Skip to main content

It is a tragic state of affairs when the antidote to the Party of Lincoln is Abraham Lincoln himself. But with House Speaker John Boehner and his band of "terrorists" and "hostage-takers" and "kamikazes" (as described by his fellow Republicans) prepared to trigger what Boehner himself warned "would be a financial disaster, not only for our country but for the worldwide economy," we need to hear from the Great Emancipator. Now more than ever.

In their effort to defund, damage and otherwise damage Obamacare, House Republicans have already shutdown the federal government and are promising to sabotage the American economy by refusing to raise the debt ceiling. If that logic—kill the Affordable Care Act or we kill the U.S.—sounds familiar, it should. In Lincoln's time, the Republicans' red state ancestors (then in the Democratic Party) made good on their blackmail threat over the issue of slavery. As he mockingly explained during his Feb. 27, 1860 Cooper Union Address:

Under all these circumstances, do you really feel yourselves justified to break up this Government unless such a court decision [Dred Scott] as yours is, shall be at once submitted to as a conclusive and final rule of political action? But you will not abide the election of a Republican president! In that supposed event, you say, you will destroy the Union; and then, you say, the great crime of having destroyed it will be upon us! That is cool. A highwayman holds a pistol to my ear, and mutters through his teeth, "Stand and deliver, or I shall kill you, and then you will be a murderer!"
Of course, in the case of Obamacare, the Supreme Court sided with the voters who elected President Obama in 2008 and 2012, gave him a large congressional majority in his first term and preserved his party's command of the Senate to start his second.

More on Lincoln below the fold.

As Lincoln lamented in his Second Inaugural on March 4, 1865, "Both parties deprecated war, but one of them would make war rather than let the nation survive, and the other would accept war rather than let it perish, and the war came." Now, the war is over health care and the rebels' weapon of choice is the debt ceiling. As Lindsey Graham described the impact of detonating the debt limit, "If Congress refuses to give the United States government the ability to pay these bills on time, the consequences for the entire global economy would be catastrophic -- far worse than the impact of a fiscal cliff."

As far back as 1838, Lincoln presciently understood that the destruction of the Union could only come at the hands of the American people themselves. In his Lyceum Address on "the perpetuation of our political institutions," the 28-year-old predicted:

At what point shall we expect the approach of danger? By what means shall we fortify against it?-- Shall we expect some transatlantic military giant, to step the Ocean, and crush us at a blow? Never!--All the armies of Europe, Asia and Africa combined, with all the treasure of the earth (our own excepted) in their military chest; with a Buonaparte for a commander, could not by force, take a drink from the Ohio, or make a track on the Blue Ridge, in a trial of a thousand years.

 At what point then is the approach of danger to be expected? I answer, if it ever reach us, it must spring up amongst us. It cannot come from abroad. If destruction be our lot, we must ourselves be its author and finisher. As a nation of freemen, we must live through all time, or die by suicide.

"Die by suicide." A very apt diagnosis for the fate of the U.S. economy should John Boehner and his GOP rebels block the once-routine increase in the federal government's borrowing authority and so precipitate what Graham acknowledged would be "financial collapse and calamity throughout the world." That course is tantamount to treachery.

Of course, Abraham Lincoln had to deal with much worse from the traitors of his day. After he took the oath of office on March 4, 1861, President Lincoln made a final plea for national unity to the secessionists who would destroy the Union rather than lose their dominion over four million human beings:

In your hands, my dissatisfied fellow-countrymen, and not in mine, is the momentous issue of civil war. The Government will not assail you. You can have no conflict without being yourselves the aggressors. You have no oath registered in heaven to destroy the Government, while I shall have the most solemn one to "preserve, protect, and defend it."

I am loath to close. We are not enemies, but friends. We must not be enemies. Though passion may have strained it must not break our bonds of affection. The mystic chords of memory, stretching from every battlefield and patriot grave to every living heart and hearthstone all over this broad land, will yet swell the chorus of the Union, when again touched, as surely they will be, by the better angels of our nature.

If the American people are lucky, their hopes—unlike Lincoln's—will not be dashed by the likes of John Boehner, Paul Ryan, Eric Cantor and Ted Cruz. But so far, the better angels of their nature are nowhere to be found.
Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags


More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site