You are using an outdated browser.
Please upgrade your browser
and improve your visit to our site.
Skip Navigation

The Perils Of Literal-mindedness

Jonah Goldberg complains that he's getting a lot of nasty email from people who didn't like his column pouring cold water on the Obama-Lincoln comparisons because they considered it an insult to Obama. I don't know, though: I think the column is mostly an insult to his readers' intelligence. To wit, this bit of reasoning from Goldberg on why Obama isn't like Lincoln:

Lincoln was Lincoln because he fought and won the Civil War and freed the slaves. News flash: That ain’t what America is like today — and thank God for it.

I think Lincoln was just about the greatest president in American history, but I sure don’t want to need another Lincoln. Six hundred thousand Americans died at the hands of other Americans during Lincoln’s presidency. Lincoln unified the country at gunpoint and curtailed civil liberties in a way that makes President Bush look like an ACLU zealot. The partisan success of the GOP in the aftermath of the war Obama thinks so highly of was forged in blood.

Presumably Goldberg's editors removed the two grafs in which he explained that, unlike Lincoln, Obama is black and clean-shaven.

--Jason Zengerle