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General News    H2'ed 2/15/09

Will Obama Follow Lincoln's Example?

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Message Danny Schechter

 

OBAMA: LEARN FROM LINCOLN AND DO THE RIGHT THING

As The Economic Situation Declines, He Has To Stop Centrist Diddling

 

By Danny Schechter

Author of PLUNDER

 

Last week, television was filled with programs marking Abraham Lincoln's birthday. (The official holiday is February 16.) We watched reports on how the civil war erupted and was almost lost by the Union side. We were reminded of how many died and were wounded in that great, national tragedy.

 

We were also told how Lincoln was often despondent and forced over time to take stronger measures including the Emancipation Proclamation and the abolition of Slavery, even though, at first, he waffled, compromised, and proposed less definitive measures. Somehow, events end up driving policy and as the war got worse, the president found himself doing things he initially opposed or deflected.

 

Ultimately, he did move against slavery, justifying freeing the slaves at first as an economic and military blow at the Confederacy. Later he called it a moral issue. His last speech calling for voting rights for some freed slaves was the trigger that sparked racist actor, John Wilkes Booth, to become an assassin.

 

Today, we seem to be at the beginning of a new civil war, a great economic war with fresh details trickling out every day about how bad it is, and how bad it may get. Many banks are insolvent and companies bankrupt. Millions are out of work. No one knows what will happen. Even as the Stimulus bill was passed, no one is confident it will stem the tide of economic decline. No one.

 

Today, there are modern Confederates called Republicans even though, in his day, that was Lincoln's party. Like the obstructionists of the old South, they have closed the door on compromise and are, in effect, seceding from the change agenda that the majority of the voters supported in the 2008 election. Rush Limbaugh's statement, "I want him to fail," speaks to and for these defenders of policies responsible for this disaster.

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News Dissector Danny Schechter is blogger in chief at Mediachannel.Org He is the author of PLUNDER: Investigating Our Economic Calamity (Cosimo Books) available at Amazon.com. See Newsdisssector.org/store.htm.
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