Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Bush Apes Lincoln In Illinois

No one ever made any good money trying to compare George Bush to Abraham Lincoln.

However, yesterday Bush went to the revamped Lincoln Museum, evidently in the hope that someone will soon start.

It seems like a stretch too far.

Afterall, even Lincoln's most bitter opponents conceded his wit and the beauty of his langauge.

With Bush, it's the opposite.

Even Bush's most diehard supporters concede he has ill concern for the English language, and minimal regard for the force of ideas that lie behind words.

However, there are similarities and differences.

Both men had a "relationship" with The Almighty.

Lincoln tried to pray to God, while Bush says God talks to Bush.

Lincoln was publicly irreligious and skeptical, while privately spiritual and seeking.

Bush is publicly and conspicuously a pious Christian, but acts like he privately thinks of himself as Zeus.

Both had detractors who called attention to their respective simian physical characteristics.

Detractors of Lincoln often compared him to a Great Ape.

Bush critics (and some supporters), sometimes compare Bush to a wee little monkey.

Lincoln presided during the incipient stages of the new Republican party, while Bush actions are inchoate signs of its decadence and decay.

Men who fought for Lincoln, sang for "John Brown's Body."

Men who benefit from Bush's war, beat bodies over the bottom line of Kellogg, Brown, & Root.

Restoring the Union between Blue & Grey was Lincoln's biggest concern, while dividing the Union into Red & Blue, is Bush's salient accomplishment.

Opposing the war with Mexico was Lincoln's first big political stance.

Supporting the war in Vietnam was Bush's earliest important politcal position.

However, unlike Bush, Lincoln was not too scared to fight.

Despite no military draft, Lincoln volunteered for combat in "The Blackhawk Campaign."

Fearing being drafted, Bush avoided combat thru his own 'chickenhawk campaign.'

Lincoln lived in a Log Cabin, while Bush just wants to cut down logs.

They were both "soft" on controlling the Mexican border.

Lincoln wasn't really sure where the border should be. Bush knows damm well where it is, and he knows where to put border patrols not.

Lincoln was "soft" because he thought the war with Mexico was was wrong and was fought under false pretenses.

Bush hasn't taken a position on the Mexican War-probably only Mexican oil futures. As far as waging war under false pretenses, can you spell WMD?

Nevertheless,regarding our porous border, Bush knows that poor enforcement of the border maintaines the illegal and vulnerable status of those who are lured accross to work for his campaign contributers. Plus, as a bonus, it gets his 'base' all 'riled-up.'

Lincoln blamed his political opponents, not American citizens, for a bad Mexico policy.

Bush supporters often blame American workers, not politicians, for being unable to compete with Mexican labor wages.

While Bush uses Mexicans to divide Americans and it does, Lincoln feared a war with Mexico was gonna divide America, and it did.

So, in that sense, they were both smart, but in their own way.

40 Comments:

At 7:31 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

MC-some good pts, but you were too easy on Bush. He makes sure to speed immigration, but in a way that maintains illegalness of the immigrants. That way he can speak out against illegals, while still pleasing the fat cats by looking the other way, spending his money in Iraq, not on the border. His ignorant supporters, who don't effing know how to spell, think they are doing his bidding by going down to the border as 'spoters' or whatnot, but they are just being played for fools by Bush, because Bush knows that all of his wealth contributers are luring the workers north- thus, you keep wage pressure on Union workers, and you set Mexicans against the American Black man and others. Divide and conquer, eh? Sounds good on the battlefield, but unless Bush is waging war on the USA, why does he do that at home?

Also, one thing you dropped the ball on is terror. Lincoln fought in the blackhawk campaign, because the Blackhawks were supposedly conducting terror against Illinois settlers- BUT, Bush IGNORED the terror WARNINGS of RICHARD CLARK, and refused to FIGHT real TERRORISTS, UNTIL IT WAS TOO LATE.-ALK, from LiveJ

 
At 8:00 AM, Blogger Blog ho said...

I remember reading what Lincoln said about his wife's folks...the Todds. Something to the effect that God was fine with one D.

 
At 10:52 AM, Blogger evolver said...

To be fair, isn't Bush usually compared to a Great Ape, too? Unless someone demoted him from chimpanzee to rhesus monkey. :-)

 
At 10:57 AM, Blogger amy said...

Excellently written, Gotham. Not to belabor the ape analogy, but isn't there a difference between looking like a monkey and acting like one? Besides choking on snack food, can't we all just see little Bushie picking his butt? Or combing through Rove's hair for nits?

On the policy issues, you're completely right. And religion aside, Bush will do what he can to maintain the archaic mastery required to keep as many sides happy as possible. He might be the most pandering president in ages - And for those who want to correct me about Pres. Clinton, he didn't always pander, but instead he wouldn't move an inch unless a poll told him that it was ok to go to the bathroom.

Again, well done. I'm adding you to my blog!

 
At 11:54 AM, Blogger NYCbeauty said...

Hey, thanks for stopping by my blog. It's always great to meet ny bloggers. I write a lot about the city...

I loved your post. I teach con law and am always giving snippets of presidential speeches to students. I slip in a few Bushisms always (even though I'm not supposed to impose my politics on them) and it's fun to see the conservatives squirm!

 
At 12:17 PM, Blogger Tara said...

Very witty and well thought out. Thanks for stopping by my site and making me aware of yours :)

 
At 12:55 PM, Blogger Irina Tsukerman said...

Just to make a few liberals squirm, I just finished reading the 9/11 Commission report... and from what I've read it holds Bush in somewhat higher regard than you guys do with regard to terror prevention. But hey, it's just a report, right?

 
At 7:55 PM, Blogger Gothamimage said...

Irina- I thought the 9-11 report was anti-Bush, and because of it's GOP members, it pulled many punches. Many punches. It was also hard on Clinton.

 
At 7:07 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Rove's hair for nits?

 
At 9:19 AM, Blogger Irina Tsukerman said...

No, it's not really that anti-Bush. It's more objective than I thought it would be. Besides, these policies of ignoring terror threat go all the way back to Carter. They don't suddenly "start" with Clinton.

 
At 2:26 PM, Blogger evolver said...

I read Richard Clarke's book, which is a kind of counterpoint to the 9/11 commission in that obviously one guy doesn't have to sanitize his story to make it look good or bad for either party. He was generally critical of everyone he had worked for, including Clinton's administration, although they got points for how they handled the LAX millenium thing.

I didn't find him too hard on Bush himself, but boy, was he withering in his criticism of both Condi Rice and Paul Wolfowitz. I would not have wanted to be them, reading that chapter!

 
At 3:15 PM, Blogger amy said...

Anonymous, per the question about "searching Rove's hair for nits," I was trying to conjure up the image of what monkeys do when they're combing through each other's fur/hair and taking care of each other. Obviously, that image failed. Oh well!

 
At 3:58 PM, Blogger Ivy said...

HA! Enjoyed the post thoroughly. Well done.

 
At 9:54 PM, Blogger Lisa said...

My head now hurts after all that. I'm afraid I'm not big on politics at all...especially American. I'm on the small minded variety that keeps themselves to themselves (yes, I'm a very bad girl). But hey, I danced on over here to say "thanks for stopping by my blog yesterday"...and although I didn't understand some of what you wrote, I do love the way you use words. Very nice.

 
At 10:22 PM, Blogger Me said...

Walking the line between brilliant and funny. Awesome post.

 
At 10:30 PM, Blogger Jane Hamsher said...

That leap from John Brown's Body to Kellog, Brown & Root was exceptionally nimble. Good work.

 
At 3:47 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Close closed, but sort of a straw man. Even right wingers like "John" would not compare the little man to the big man.risible.

 
At 5:37 AM, Blogger Rachel said...

I appreciate your view. I have always wanted to see John McCain run, but I don't think that will ever happen!!!

 
At 6:41 AM, Blogger injinuity said...

I thought that the commies err... I mean the democrats and the left as a whole prefer their president to be more 'human' and 'down to earth'... granted bush doesnot have a good grasp of the english language but then again an average american is just as bad.... so lets put it this way... bush is for the masses... what say ye maam?

 
At 8:07 AM, Blogger Gothamimage said...

Bush was born in Conn. He is the son of a President, and Grandson of a Senator. His family has been wealthy for many generation. He went to New England prep schools. He went to Yale. He went to Harvard. He was on the Board of Hollywood film company. His act for the masses is contrived. He is a trickster. He is not dumb-his poor English is a choice, signaling contempt for a certain way of thinking. Also, he is far closer to the Communists in China than some ectomorph who writes for the Nation ever was to ones in Russia:)

 
At 1:25 AM, Anonymous John said...

"Case closed"? Not so fast, Anon. Sit down. Court is now in session:

Anon opens the commentaries with a swipe at "ignorant" Bush supporters "who don't effing know how to spell."

Since I am the most outspoken defender of Bush here, perhaps he is referring to me, especially since I have the habit of impatiently sending through the door and into the Gothamimage bar a first draft without carding (i.e. previewing) and consequently let minors slip by without checking ID.

Most recently I saw, to my own astonishment, that I had spelled accomodating as "accamodating," or something, and the number "two" as "to," and "yer" for "yes," as well as having noted other misspellings-- not to mention any grammatical errors-- resulting from dancing fingers that will, from time to time, lose count, misstep, or slip on a banana peel.

It's kind of like spelling the word "spotters" as "spoters."

Right, Anon?

What the ef is a "spoter," anon? What, are you effing ignorant, anon?

"Combing Rove's hair for nits" refers to the grooming you see primates do for each other, which involves picking out nits and getting a snack out of it.

Funny, everytime you Bush-Haters get together and start griping about the despicability of Bush, I suddenly get the sensation that I'm hacking my way through a jungle and suddenly stumble upon a clearing with several species of primates sitting around and picking their own nits out.

This one beta male baboon hoo-hoots with pursed-out lips, with his beady eyes peering askant at the females but then darting about self-consciously in fear of the alpha-male's return (Bill Clinton) as he adjusts his testicles then scratches his armpit. Nearby, an insanely-bemused listening chimp grimaces a huge grin and spasmodically nods and shakes his head around in a screeching fit of assent before he gets carried away with himself, grabs a stick, raises it, and hits the ground with it. Every now and then a spider-monekey will appear and swing across the leafy canopy, screaming something about "WMD!" and dropping some kind of nut as a bomb.

Gotham is the gorilla that has scaled the Empire State Building and pounds its chest and roars in the determination to preempt the historical record and convince everyone today that George W. Bush is the worst president in the history of the republic since Thomas Jefferson placed his John Hancock on the Declaration of Independence.

But Gotham, shocked, awed, agog and agape, knows that Bush--despite having the kitchen sink ripped out and thrown at him--is undaunted and is walking into the pantheon of America's top-ten, anyway, by virtue of many things including--but not limited to-- his Atlas-like shrugging and demolishing of the once-entrenched status quo of liberalism, which had infected all three branches of government and major institutions for decades, including Education and the Fourth Estate.

This is certainly a demarcating time in history, postmarked by millennial zeroes and having blasted out of the starting gates with the starter's gun of 9/11 at a full gallop, with Georgieboy leaving the hungover Proudemetic, Carpediem, and Gothamimage in the dust.

After the eight-year intermission that separates this day's epic from the drama of the Cold War-- an intermission comprised of skits and shorts and briefs (or boxers briefs and skirts, what?)-- the curtains re-opened for the new millennial production and showed Bush atop the smouldering ruins of the World Trade Center, his arm around a fireman, a bullhorn to his mouth, and passing judgment and promising zero-tolerance for the evil of terrorism.

WOW! What an opening!

You don't think that will make the history textbooks, Gotham?

No, not if you Bush-Haters have anything to say about it!

"He's a monkey, he's a moron!" you grunt thoughtlessly, "We judge him to be judgmental! He is intolerant and hateful, and we hate him and will never, ever tolerate him!"

And so, for the purpose of underming his most assured place in history as the Leader of the free world during a time of supreme crisis at a turning point in history, the Bush-Haters in the audience boo and hiss his performance and hoot and shriek and throw vegetables at him while the orangutans behind their own bullhorns at Air America or at the keyboards behind the blogs play the disgusted theater critic and call for a premature end of the run by the show-stopper of Impeachment.

But it don't matter, because even though Dubya is no Hamlet, he's pulling off one hell of a Henry V.

Sorry, Bush-Haters. He's gettin' a Tony.

Hence, the tomatoes are dropped and the long-knives are drawn and start to stab and hack in a murderous frenzy of presidential character assassination while the mouth froths and venom is spewed any time Bush is associated with presidential greatness if only by sheer proximity, as when he attended the ceremonial opening of the new Lincoln Library in Illinois.

Always ready to preempt any notion that Bush resembles in any way the most revered icons among the presidential pantheon, a Bush-Hater par excellence like Gotham jumps at any natural--and logical--associations and begins to frantically churn out its insidious and subversive propaganda telling us to NOT EVEN THINK that a dwarf like Bush has anywhere near the stature of a giant like Lincoln, and tries to "prove it" by juxtaposing Lincoln and Bush (in a way that would only pass historical vetting by the kvetching Gore Vidal).

When the Bush-Hater rants and raves loudly about something, it's usually a good bet that they're trying to drown out something else that is saying the opposite, which, in this case, is that it's actually easy money to compare Bush to Lincoln.

Let's bring it on:

"Even Bush's most diehard supporters concede he has ill concern for the English language, and minimal regard for the force of ideas that lie behind the words," premises Gotham.

First of all, by saying that "EVEN" the staunchest supporter "concedes" something, you are implying that every other supporter down to the lukewarm one "concedes" the same thing, that it's an "Everyone-Knows-The- Sky-Is-Blue" kind of thing.

But I support the president, and I concede no such thing.

"'Ill' concern for the English language, Gotham? What do you mean, "ill"? Why not "careless?" or ""flippant?" Or "imprudent?"

Why "ill?"

What, his folksy or flippant way of speaking indicates some illness, some morbidity which could be linked to mental deficiencies or emotional instabilities that should disqualify one from being president of the United States, not to mention being a great president of the United States?

You mean like Lincoln's manic-depression?

Yes, Lincoln had a mental illness, people. He would get depressed and wallow and self-pity.

Yes, Gotham, that is very much unlike Bush.

But anyway, and again, in regards to what Bush-supporters "concede" in this instance (i.e. Bush's "ill-concern for the English language and little regard for the power of words"), Gotham engages in clairvoyancy--if not insidious suggestion, or the unpardonable offense of putting words in someone's mouth-- and presumes to present, in order to establish a premise, the "fact" of the sentiments of Bush-supporters everywhere, from the lukewarm to the "diehard," those whose very sentiments Gotham has proved utterly incapable of understanding, yet presumes qualified to speak for.

Gotham should have said, ethically and wisely: "We think that...," instead of, "They/You (i.e. Me!) think this..."

Now I have to defend myself.

So right off the bat, the premise is a false one, and the springboard breaks before Gotham can finish bouncing on it. But the consequential concussion causes a delirium which makes Gotham think that the springboard was sound and, lying supine on the concrete poolside deck, imagines a succesful launch and dive into the political pool (much like Ambrose Bierce's Confederate rebel Peyton Farquhar, hanging by his neck at the Owl Creek Bridge, imagining he has escaped).

Shame, Gotham. You--and others here with similar sentiments and tendencies as your own--are quick to keep the bar of excellence high by quickly pointing out my own flippant inaccuracies, whether it be ratios or spelling errors (if anon was in fact referring to me--of which I plead guilty-- but which were irrelevant to the point of my thrust, anyway).

That is commendable (since I know you're doing it in good faith and not trying to discredit or mock me), and we should correct each other's errors for the sake of excellence, whether they be paltry and insignificant typos (I guess, whatever), or profound errors in outlook, which is what I'm dutifully doing here.

I mean, I'm just trying to give Gotham a reputation for providing both views and being...uh...you know. Fair and balanced.

But it really isn't "fair and balanced" with me against a dozen and counting Bush-Haters. You better find more.

But let's continue.

I--a Bush-supporter-- "concede" that he has "minimal regard for the force of ideas that lie behind the word?"

I know you were juxtaposing the respective individual characteristics of the two (i.e. Lincoln and Bush), and, in that, I guess Lincoln was more eloquent in person than the mush-mouthed Bush is...

...if not a Nestorian windbag who put off the listener by his boring, homespun tales and hokey witticisms, where the listener strained to keep smiling and stay awake, with the eyes kept open only by the high-pitched, alto voice.

Gothamimage is wistfully lionizing dead presidents again of mythic stature in order to make it harder for any living man to compete with while simultaneously trying to nip Bush's own nascent myth in the bud.

Gotham is wrong when they say that Bush is witless, or a half-wit. His off-the-cuff remarks inspired many chuckles, like this one explaining the lesson learned by "The Pretzel Incident":

"Chew before you swallow."

And this very recent one about whether he liked something that was given to him:

"Well, you won't see it on Ebay anytime soon!"

Good one, Dubya.

Lincoln made rousing speeches, some of which--but certainly not all--we're written by him, but to credit the speechwriters for some of his most inspiring statements is like giving Peggy Noonan credit for some of the Great Communicator Reagan's, so I hope we can agree that words from Bush's speeches are on the record as Bush's own words.

I was on the Capital grounds on that cold, drizzling day of his Inaugural Address in 2001, listening raptly with tens of thousands of others behind me stretching all the way back to the Lincoln Memorial, spent with the weight of the bloody and M.A.D. Twentieth Century exhaling its last, noxious breath with the halitosis of Bill Clinton, and hoping for a breath mint.

He said:

"Through much of the last century, America's faith in freedom and democracy was a rock in a raging sea. Now it is a seed upon the wind, taking root in many nations. Our democratic faith is more than the creed of our country, it is the inborn hope of our humanity; an ideal we carry but do not own, a trust we bear and pass along."

And:

"The enemies of liberty and our country should make no mistake, America remains engaged in the world, by history and by choice, shaping a balance of power that favors freedom. We will defend our allies and our interests."

He also said:

America, at its best, is a place where personal responsibility is valued and expected."

And:

"Our public interest depends on private character; on civic duty and family bonds and basic fairness; on uncounted, unhonored acts of decency which give direction to our freedom."

And:

Americans are generous and strong and decent, not because we believe in ourselves, but because we hold beliefs beyond ourselves. When this spirit of citizenship is missing, no government program can replace it. When this spirit is present, no wrong can stand against it."

Well said, Mr. President.

Those were forceful ideas behind the words that are radical only in the sense that they were spoken on the heels of an eight-year interregnum that itself just kicked back and watched (and took credit for) the phenomenon of democracy that sprung up around the world like spring flowers with the winter's end of the Cold War.

It was an intermission that defended dubious allies for dubious reasons with no relation to any of our interests, encouraged a climate of victimhood, self-entitlement, shallowness, indecency, and an aggressive attack on traditional family values.

In the next contrast, Gotham decides to juxtapose the nature of the respective faiths.

With characteric and unconscionable confidence in clairvoyance, Gotham states as fact that the nature of what Lincoln was privately seeking was "spiritual," though acknowledging that he was a skeptic and emphasizing, in italics, that he "tried" to be spiritual, which does not neccesarily mean he was, or even thought of himself as being.

Yet Gotham closes its eyes and twirls its temple with its forefinger and has an out-of-body experience that travels back through time and space, enters Lincoln's bedroom, and bears witness to:

"Lincoln was privately spiritual."

Gotham then decides that Bush's "acts" enable them to read his mind and decide that they are the acts of one who thinks he's the pagan, Olympian deity Zeus.

Nonsense. The only similarity is the way he hurled thunder and brought Olympian justice to Afghanistan and Iraq (acts which inspired the applause of many Christians everywhere, including in Iraq).

(Interestingly enough, it was Clinton who was compared to Zeus--by his idolizing supporters!--throughout the nineties, and not for his omnipotent strength, but for his randiness!)

All along, by its magisterial attitude, Gotham is posing not only as a clairvoyant who knows how presidents think and pray in private, and not only as a supposedly infallible pope who supposedly knows what it means to be Christian, and not only as a Constitutional expert who supposedly knows what type of inner faith is real and proper/innocuous for a president to have and be great, and what type and amount it would take to make a president phony and/or improper/dangerous, and not only as an inverter who presents his subjectively-biased antipathy for Bush as one that is legitimately ojective, but also as a judge who arbitrarily decides who is a "real" and better Christian!

So the proprietors of the Gothamimage bar consist of a clairvoyant, a pope, a Constitutional expert on matters of Church and State, an inverter, and a judge?

Hey, what is this? Foxnews?!?

Well, s'okay. I'll stick around. Good drinks, awesome conversation, nice enough guys (if not angry drunks), and VERY attractive women (that's a hint!).

So, anyway, with the gleaning of the contrasted profiles that Gotham presented, we have both Lincoln and Bush acknowledging a relationship with the Judeo-Christian deity, and both are praying men, with the only difference being that Bush feels he is being answered (in some way NOT resembling the voice of Eleanor Roosevelt-- as Hillary claims to have summoned and to have had converstaions with), and Lincoln feels he has not been answered (if we are to accept Gotham's clairvoyant assertion as fact).

So the only difference is that Bush has a stronger faith, and Lincoln wants to have and TRIES to have one, but second-guesses himself like people with depression do and has difficulties and doubts.

This says nothing of the Bible-thumping abolotionists, who infuenced and inspired Lincoln, but I'll save them for later.

Gothamimage then decides to indulge in the favorite--if not obsessive-- exercize of heckling and calling Bush a monkey (which I find ironic; see above).

He acknowledges that Lincoln was called an ape ("Ape" Lincoln), and we all know that Incurious George is called a monkey (Gee, who keeps reminding us of that?).

But that provides a disturbing coincidence, for that would make them both simians, of a feather, and Gotham's efforts are to drive them apart as widely as possible.

So he makes Abe not just an ape, but a "great ape," and the other not just a monkey, but a "little monkey," so right there Gotham thinks it has succeeded in drawing a relevant distinction.

But it's a false distinction.

Gotham specifically calls Bush a "monkey" as a childish critique on his facial features (and has giddily provided a link to a site which provides juxtapositions which are, quite frankly, effective in capturing and comparing expressions).

"Ape Lincoln," too, was called the "Illinois ape" because of...

...his LOOKS (Yes, it's true), as well as because he angered political enemies by his restriction on Civil Rights during wartime, SPECIFICALLY BECAUSE OF HIS SUSPENSION OF HABEUS CORPUS, which is the SAME sort of thing Bush himself is doing at Guantamo Bay, during wartime, and so is drawing the same kind of self-righteous wrath, from Democrats...

...LIKE LINCOLN ENDURED!

So when Lincoln was called an "ape" (not a "great ape," which Gothamimage contrived to help widen the wedge), it was for the same reasons that Bush is called a monkey: Looks, and wartime policies!

Gotham must know this, but can't stomach it and is therefore contriving to artificially distinguish between the two by arbitrarily adding the adjectives ("great" and "little") and exploiting the connotations associated with different species of simians (i.e. one is "great," the other "little").

Hey, wait a second! Isn't that the same kind of evidentiary skullduggery you accused the administration of engaging in when arguing on behalf of regime change in Iraq, changing a bit here, adding a bit there, insinuating this, claiming that, for the purpose of suggesting the opposite?

Yes.

HEY! Have any of you seen the newer version--now already ancient--of Planet of the Apes, with Marky-Mark as Charlton Heston? And instead of showing the half-buried Statue of Liberty at the end they showed the statue of that gorilla seated where Ape Lincoln is in the Lincoln Memorial?

You did? Cool! What? No, I'm just saying, you know, incidentally.

Gotham then makes another mistake by attempting to contrast their respective places in the history of the GOP, saying that while Abe presided over it's "incipient stages," Bush is presiding over "inchoate signs of it's decadence and decay".

Nevermind the redundancy of "decadence and decay." I'll consider it a typo. But that other stuff is just... just...what's that word? You know, the stuff that comes out of a male cow's rear end?

I think you know what I'm talking about.

Anyway, Gotham suggests that the current Republican president has done far worse for the Party of Lincoln than what Herbert Hoover or Richard Nixon did for it, i.e. unlike the temporary damage they caused (in P.R.), he is presiding over it's terminal and irredeemable decline.

His succesful campaigning on behalf of Republican congressmen and governors led to historic sweeps for Republicans at the federal and state level. He has changed the political landscape and has forced the Democratic opposition to campaign on their knowledge of Scripture (lol), and banished the most strident and toxic of their propogandists and demagogues to the anonymous netherworld of the blogosphere, where they scream in pain and curse God like the damned souls in Dante's Inferno .

The Republican Party is more powerful now than at any other time I can think of...No, wait: Lincoln, right:

Lincoln held firm throughout the culturally-divisive Civil War conflict and saved the Union, despite vicious attacks on his character from the Democrats and in the press, Constitutional legalists, racists, and short-sighted idiots, all of whom called him a tyrant, and one of whom put a bullet in his brain on Good Friday, five days after Lee surendered his Confederate forces to Grant at Appomatox.

From that death in 1865 to the Twentieth Century, of six elected presidents (Johnson and Arthur stepped in from the vice presidency upon assassinations of the respective presidents), one was a Democrat (#22 & #24 Grover Cleveland, served two separate terms) and five were Republican Civil War veterans.

McKinley (Republican, last Civil War veteran) did as much. One could argue that he was the one who shook hands with Big Business and engendered the epithet "The Party of the Rich." From his day in 1900 to the four-term entrenchment of FDR and the Democrats over three decades later, there were six presidents, five of whom were Republicans.

I would say that the post-Nixon Rennaissance of the Republican Party began with Reagan, was interrupted by Clinton, but has roared ahead with Bush 43.

Of course, it is impossible, especially with the dynamic nature of today's world, to gauge W. Bush's lasting impact at this point in time, but to determine that his party's breathtaking ascent to power, behind his standard, shows inchoate signs of decay is...you know, that stuff that makes good fertilizer.

What goes up, must come down, as the saying goes, and, at this point, how much higher can the Republicans get? But when gravity and the vicissitudes of history do begin to ebb the Republican flow (if not torrent), Gotham will crow, "I told you so!" as if Bush had planted the seeds of decay in his party while he watered it to robust health.

But come on. That doesn't make any sense. It's like hating Quarterback Tom Brady of the New England Patriots and saying that he will be the cause of the Patriot's "decadence" after leading them to three Super Bowl victories and currently being the defending World Champions!

Gotham, if the Republican Party begins to decline in power, it would be only because it's at its peak right now, and Bush put it there!

Shaysh! I mean, duh!

Next!

You then say that men who fought for Lincoln sang "John Brown's Body." Then you abruptly break and veer away from the Bush equivalent in the parallel (i.e. military morale inspired by the Commander in Chief) and decide to take a snipe at corporate war profiteers who benefit from the war in Iraq.

You can't do that, Gotham, but you had to, because the proper equivalent would be the ranks of Marines all jumping from their seats as one when Bush makes an impromptu entrance in Iraq for Thanksgiving dinner, cheering and howling "HOOOOOOOO-WAH!!!!"

But if you want to talk about war profiteers on Bush's end and maintain parallel integrity, then you must look at what was going on in Abe's day in that respect, as well, but you can't do that, either, because you're suddenly confronted with more comparative similarities, like the frenzy of ordnance invention in Lincoln's North, spurred by the war and lucrative government contracts, all profiting quite handsomely from the 94,000 Southern American battlefield deaths the lethal efficiency of their inventions enabled.

Furthermore, it is said by some of the most hardened cynics that the Civil was not fought over any noble principles of "Union" or Emancipation, but merely understood the bottom-line of economics. I myself don't believe that. The raging passions for Union and Emancipation were sincere, and so spited the Confederate's Constitutional Rights to secede. But that--the economic bottom-line-- was most certanly a factor in the sentiments of many in the administration, whose job it was to mind those things, things which trumped a concern for the ultimate deaths of 618,000 Americans.

So here is Gotham, today, singing the praises of the great Lincoln as a presidential paradigm which the little Bush utterly fails to resemble, but it doesn't take a genius to figure out what kind f proganda Gotham would be propogating if it was around in Lincoln's day. It would be singing the same tune:

"Lincoln is a simian who is no George Washington and who is fighting a Constitutionally-illegal war against insurgents who are fighting against an aggressive invasion and occupation of their Constitutionally-sanctioned sovereign country and who just want the Yankees to go away. They have a different culture and different ways of looking at things and it is impossible to impose our evil Yankee ways on them. The firing on Fort Sumpter (i.e. 9/11) was just a symptom of the frustration they felt because of our imperious ways and because we don't listen to them and because the administration is unduly influenced by the Abolitionists. We should talk to them and play nice. So what if they have people oppressed and can kill them with no ramifications? It's none of our business. And besides, the only thing the criminal simian in the White House REALLY cares about is the South's natural resources. It's all about cotton."

What? It's true. You'd be telling all that to your Thespian pal and sympatico Booth, too, over drinks on Broadway.

"He is a tyrnat, a TYRANNUS!" Booth would rave, with mad, bulging eyes before he slams his shot of whiskey.

"Yes," agrees Gotham, noting giggling females gathering and drawing closer to the board-stomping stage-star, "He's destroyed the Republic and is now an Emperor!"

M-hm. You're on the wrong side of history, Gotham, just like you guys and gals were during the Cold War, spewing the same type of venom at Reagan.

Gotham then illogically compares Lincoln's concern for the Union's restoration with Bush's "accomplishment" of "causing" the American Culture War, simultaneously inferring that the war that caused brother to fight against brother and 618,000 American deaths is comparable to the bloody, battlefield spectacles we see today between the troops of Blue-stripe General Michael Moore in his baseball cap and Red-Stripe, cigarette-chomping General Ann Coulter.

Okay, so Coulter is doing to Moore what Grant did to Lee, but only figuratively.

Last time I checked, you rebellious troops aren't having your shrapnel-filled legs sawed off without anesthesia in a tent after a rigteous pasting.

You're probably just grumbling, "Friggin' Bush supporters, I tell ya..." before you go on and freely do what you do just like everyone else.

I mean, R U kidding me again? Isn't it good that a country with a two-party system has achieved a near-perfect 50-50 equilibrium, and the only cannonball you have to worry about is the one coming at you with the name "John" chalked on it?

Isn't it good that this Culture War is fought with words in forums of debate that prevents me from seeing the whites of your eyes and sticking your big, subversive butt with a bayonet?

I should think so. I think it is a very civilized war, actually, and worthy of Plato's Republic (if he could've even imagined it without the use of water-clocks and pulleys).

Second of all, such heated passions for politics have been a way of life in Europe and the rest of the world for millennia, and the increased political engagement here, by average citizens, is simply a maturation of our relatively very young society.

We're not fully mature yet, as is evident by the adolescent eruption of pimples (i.e. the Bush-Hating blogs), and the systemic strain that is an adolescent obsession with sex (i.e. liberal permissiveness), but, as they say, when liberals growsup, they become conservative, so no worries.

You say Lincoln's biggest concern was restoring the Union, and juxtapose that with Bush's "salient accomplishment" of dividing that Union.

Stay logical, Gotham, and stick with the parallel.

In differentiating Lincoln and Bush you would have to:

1) Say that the divisiveness is Bush's smallest concern.

But that's absurd.

First of all, you're playing the clairvoyant again. It may seem like he has "no concern at all" to Bush-Haters everywhere because you feel like he is ignoring your own "concerns," but if they're silly and contrary to what his consituents elected him for, and furthermore, if he knows--as I do--that there is no placating possible with you haters who call him a monkey, a liar, a murderer, and other things diverse and sundry, during wartime, no less, why the hell should he listen to you? Hell, if he was Lincoln, he'd have you in shackles with no trial.

Bush came into office campaigning as a "Uniter, not a divider," and had a record as Texas Governor to prove it.

To see those words shoved down his throat by the Bush-Haters certainly concerned him, but there's NOTHING he can do about it. When some of the best, sophisticated minds of our country devote themselves to studying the minutiae of Bush's face and jot down on their notes stuff like "it seems facial muscles create grin resembling a rectal rictis" (whatever) like some primitive anthropologist studying skulls of pro-simians dug up from the Olduvai Gorge, you're pretty far gone, Gotham.

The enemy are the vile bastards who shot down a helicopter in Iraq today and shot dead the sole survivor who was asking for help and then praised: "Allah Akbar!"

What the hell is that? Justified?

Secondly (or thirdly? Where are we? Okay, I'm good), you imply that Bush is the cause of the Red State/Blue State division Culture War (his most salient accomplishment). In fact, Pat Buchanan coined the term for popular consumption back in 1992, when Poppy Bush was seeking re-election.

The Culture War was alive and well during the Reagan eighties, which was still dealing with baggage from the Mcarthysm of the fifties, which echoed stuff you could hear from the 1917 Bolshevik Revolution (e.g. "Justice! Equality of Man!"), and which you could hear coming out of the Radical phase of the French Revolution in 1792-93.

(In fact, I must confess that I've wondered how much influence Dsnton, Marat, and Robespierre have had on you, monsieur)

Bush's "salient accomplishment" is not that he "caused" the Culture War. The Culture War was already raging throughout the nineties.

We had outraged private citizens trying to crash their private planes into Clinton's White House, remember? We had private citizens taking potshots at the White House with a rifle from the Ellipse, remember? We had separatist movements that formed militias and religious cults, remember? We had an Impeachment, remember?

Bush's accomplishment--in those terms--is that he's united and energized the GOP and changed the tide of the war in favor of his party and conservatism, winning back all the ground and then some that was lost to Bill Clinton, and he did all with characteristic good grace and civility:

"As I begin, I thank President Clinton for his service to our nation, and I thank Vice President Gore for a contest conducted with spirit, and ended with grace."

Inaugural Address, January 20, 2001

And I believe the environment today truly has a different tone than the one of Clinton's yesterday.

2) You falsely implicate Bush as the causus causata of the Culture War, and compare that with Lincoln's truly salient accomplishment of "restoring the Union."

Now, to say Lincoln was "the cause" of the schism of the Civil War is as ignorant as saying that Bush is the cause of the division in the Culture War, but Lincoln was far more catalytical in personally causing the tearing of the curtains in his time, upon his election, than Bush is in his own:

As I recently pointed out in another commentary in answer to the post that methinks protested too much vis-a-vis the situation today versus the ones of yesteryear, one month and a half after Lincoln was elected, South Carolina seceded. One month before the Inauguration, the Confederate States of America declared themselves. One month after, Fort Sumter was fired upon.

What did Bush's "divisive" ascension to the presidency cause?

Disgruntled Democrats and pissed off Liberals. Some actually did leave the country in a peevish fit that resembles a teenage girl's running away from home because daddy is an a*****e.

And then there's The Nation, Common Dreams, Air America, Moveon.org, Antiwar.com, and Gothamimage and their incessant whining that Bush has ruined everything and is an a*****e who looks like a monkey (so there).

And that's about it.

So, yes, Bush and Lincoln are different in that respect, in the sense that one's staunch domestic policies led to the deaths of 618,000 Americans at each others throats, and the other's has led to conniptions.

Gothamimage then compares Bush's pro-war stance on the Vietnam War with Lincoln's misgivings about the War with Mexico.

Well, I'm glad we have Texas in the Union, and it's too bad that South Vietnam is a communist cesspool.

So Lincoln was wrong and Bush was right.

So, yes, Bush and Lincoln are different in that respect, as well.

Gotham then exploits it's favorite flaw: Bush's avoidance of combat duty in Vietnam, the causa causata of the "Chickenhawk" stigma, which is set against Lincoln's "volunteering" for service in the Black Campaign, both of which supposedly disqualify Bush from being a Commander in Chief who wages war, on the one hand, and qualifies Lincoln for presiding over the Civil War, on the other, because he "served."

The Black Hawk War. Yes. A "President-Maker" as much as the Vietnam War is (go ahead and ask McCain and Kerry).

Yes, Lincoln was a volunteer in the United States Army... No, excuse, me, make that the Illinois militia.

I know, I shouldn't discriminate between national army enlistees and local militia volunteers.

That would be like discriminating against regular army and Guardsmen, and we don't want to do that.

Besides, a militia volunteer involved in a war of genocide is much more worthier of being a wartime president than a Guardsman who misses dental appointments (as Gotham premises).

Yes. The Black Hawk Campaign of 1832.

What was that all about?

Well, there was this Native American tribe--grandparents, men, women, and children--who signed some kind of agreement and agreed to leave their homes in Illinois and cross the Mississippi so Pale-face could do his Neocon thing.

But after a few moons, the tribe disputed some points in the contract and decided to come back home, over the Mississippi (which, incidentally, was named by Algonquins).

When President Andrew Jackson (1st Democrat) got wind of that, he thought something like "Bring it on," and sent troops.

Meanwhile, the Illinois settlers thought "Oh, s**t, there goes the neighborhood," and volunteered for the militia to help Jackson "keep things under control" (if not make a few bucks).

Lincoln was drilled accordingly and made the rank of captain.

Well, you know how these things work out:

Under the command of General James Henry and Colonel Henry Dodge, the undesireables were evicted under gunfire and chased back to the banks of the Mississipi (several hundred of them).

The braves fought back, because Illinois was their ancestral home, but they got pelted with gunshot and asked for a ceasefire.

Unfortunately, the translator had split, so, instead of, like, for example, hearing, "Don't. Stop," they heard "Don't stop" (not really but, you get the point).

And so, misunderstood, the volunteer militia kept at 'em and kept them on the run.

Colonel Dodge followed them. He said:

"Be assured that every possible exertion will be made to destroy the enemy, crippled as they must be with their women and families as well as their want of provision supplies."

Then there was the Battle of Bad Axe at the eastern banks of the Mississippi River.

Pretend Moses never parted the Red Sea when Ramses' chariots bore down upon the Israelites.

What would have happened?

Wayl, I wud think somethin' lahk this:

As the Native American braves fought to slow the army's advance and allow more time for the women and children to cross the river, a massacre began that lasted for 8 hours.

The soldiers shot anyone--man, woman, or child--who ran for cover or tried to swim across the river. They shot women swimming with piggy-backed children; they shot wounded swimmers who were going under, anyway. Other women and children were killed as they tried to surrender. The soldiers scalped most of the dead. From the backs of some of the dead, they cut long strips of flesh to be used for razor sharpeners.

And so we won the Black Hawk War.

Abe Lincoln, too?

Nah. Lincoln himself saw no actual combat. He said that the only thing that caused the loss of his blood was mosquitoes. I'm serious. That's what he said.

In the 1870's, J.F. Snyder--who later became President of the Illinois State Historical Society--interviewed men of Lincoln's own company.

He claimed that "they never spoke malice of Lincoln but always in a spirit of ridicule. He was characterized as being 'indolent and vulgar,' and they regarded him as a joke, an absurdity, and had serious doubts about his courage. 'Any old woman,' they said, 'would have made a more credible commander than he did.'"

We're not talking about John O'Neal (who I believe) talking about John Kerry. We're talking about the record compiled by a president of the Illinois State Historical Society.

Yet Gotham states: "However, unlike Bush, Lincoln was not too scared to fight."

So did he take part in the massacre, Gotham? Or is it what Snyder reported? Take your pick.

So there you have it. Gotham's qualification for the president who presided over the bloodiest war in our nation's history.

George W. Bush during the Vietnam War?

Texas Air National Guard. Missed a few dental appointments. Learned how to fly a fighter jet.

P.S. Gotham, you're off your game. How could you miss "Honest Abe" versus "Liar-In-Chief?"

Tsk-tsk.

 
At 2:51 AM, Blogger Gothamimage said...

We think anon was not speaking of you, but making an overull jeneralisation.

 
At 3:23 AM, Blogger Gothamimage said...

"John" - When I said Licoln was "trying" to pray, I was reflecting his general nonpiety in history, and the way morphed into a more religious sense as the conflict took it's tool. Lincoln, was by no means perfect and his humility was always with him- he knew that great many evils were unleashed by what he thought he has to do. So hope, was always mixed with anxiety. He also understood that it was hard to ask for forgiveness from God, when on a day to day basis he was moving forward on the basis of what he wrought, for better or worse.

In Hamlet, Claudius kills the King, and he tries to pray for forgiveness, but he knows the oddity and ambiguity of what he is doing:

O, my offence is rank, it smells to heaven;
It hath the primal eldest curse upon ’t,
A brother’s murder. Pray can I not,
Though inclination be as sharp as will.
My stronger guilt defeats my strong intent,
And. like a man to double business bound,
I stand in pause where I shall first begin,
And both neglect. What if this cursed hand
Were thicker than itself with brother’s blood,
Is there not rain enough in the sweet heaves
To wash it white as snow? Whereto serves mercy
But to confront the visage of offence?
And what’s in prayer but this twofold force,
To be forestalled ere we come to fall,
Or pardon’d being down? Then I’ll look up;
My fault is past. But, O, what form of prayer
Can serve my turn? “Forgive me my foul murder”?
That cannot be; since I am still possess’d
Of those effects for which I did the murder,
My crown, mine own ambition, and my queen.
May one be pardon’d and retain the offence?
In the corrupted currents of this world
Offence’s gilded hand may shove by justice,
And oft ’tis seen the wicked prize itself
Buys out the law. But ’tis not so above.
There is no shuffling, there the action lies
In his true nature; and we ourselves compell’d,
Even to the teeth and forehead of our faults,
To give in evidence. What then? What rests?
Try what repentance can. What can it not?
Yet what can it when one cannot repent?
O wretched state! O bosom black as death!
O limed soul, that, struggling to be free,
Art more engag’d! Help, angles! Make assay!
Bow, stubborn knees, and heart with strings of steel,
Be soft as sinews of the new-born babe!
All may be well. [Retires and] kneels


Now- if you read what Hamlet's father's ghost tells Hamlet, about being cursed for his sins, you can assume Claudius had some excuse. Hamlet's Dad, was not perfect- he did many foul deeds. That's not to excuse Claudius's crime, but to give one reason and some context. Also, Lincoln in prosecuting a war that was jest and necessary, did many bad things- you bring up Habeus Corpus, but Bush did not learn from the mistake. But Lincoln knew that much of what he did was iffy morally. That is why he "tried" to pray. His inherent doubting personality was weighted with a feeling that rough means were need.

Gothamimage does not think Bush and the snobs around him give it as much thought as Lincoln or Claudius.

 
At 3:26 AM, Blogger Gothamimage said...

Spelling errors were intentional to distract John with pretend victories.

 
At 3:28 AM, Blogger Gothamimage said...

I said "inchoaste" decline. Bush's electoral victories are like Queen Victoria's - they just led to the Boer War, and Imperial Decline. Ask General Grivas. Ask Manahem Begin. Ask Michael Collins. Ask Ghandi. Ask Jinna. Ask not, a neocon, who wishes to follow in dirty trodden snow.

 
At 3:36 AM, Blogger Gothamimage said...

Actually, Bush MADE has dental appointments, he did NOT miss them. In fact, that was the bogus vindication- Dental Records that McCllelan tried to use. Bush missed his flights for reasons that are well know, about his physical. He was absent. Gothamimage never said Lincoln fought- he VOLUNTEERED. He was willing. Bush hid. Also, no one serous doubts John Kerry. In fact, Bush's own Navy Secretary was forced to uphold the honor of Coastal Division 11 was it was under attack from the Rove-linked Swift Cowardly Slobs For Revenge (SCSR)- It was an open joke in GOP top circles and media that they were making stuff up out of revenge for Kerry "bearing witness." In Greek, that mean "Martyr" - Martyrs are always silenced by the forces of hate.

 
At 3:44 AM, Blogger Gothamimage said...

If Lincoln were alive today he would probably be a Democrat. If Jeffords left, it makes sense that Lincoln , who was more closer to modern Dems, would have left. He would not feel at home with Trent Lott and Strom. Also, the first time we heard Bush called a monkey was from a Greek conservative from Patras and his friend from Lemnos. Maybe you dismiss them because they are not 'Murican, but they are, in fact Americans too. Then we began seeing cartoons with that image. We never call him that. In fact, we were clear, we notice others do. We took note.

 
At 3:46 AM, Blogger Gothamimage said...

If you think Clinton was Zeus, are you suggesting Hillary was Hera, not Hecate? Was Monica... Esther?

 
At 7:20 AM, Blogger Gothamimage said...

We just read the complete text of John's comments on our Virginia Is For Lovers's post. Interestingly, he says Bush is called a monkey in that piece. We had only skimmed the piece til now. Now, when we cite that monkey nickname in our present piece, John acts as if WE are the ones who made that up. Whereas he brought it up a few days ago. With the possible exception of a crack of a baton against the face of antiwar ectomorph, it seems John likes nothing better than to imply things untoward on us. Hmmmmm. Projection? On his Virginia comments, we added some notes.

Also, he spends many megabytes going after Olivers Stone. Fair enough, Stone is a Vietnam Vet and that bothers the right and he made a film about a hippie named Jim Morrison that probably bothers John because he might secretly like The Doors. OK. But Stone is a filmmaker, and we are talking about politics and Bush.

 
At 7:43 AM, Blogger Gothamimage said...

A Calvacade Of Errata, is the only apt description of John's Long Telegram.

An Army of Angels, Singing The Sweetest Hymms, at just the right time, will be necessary to inspire us weary souls, to begin the long slow march of refutation.

It's a might high climb, but we're on our way.

 
At 7:52 AM, Blogger Gothamimage said...

Why is this excerpt of John's comment, worse than other excepts of John's comment?"

"So when Lincoln was called an "ape" (not a "great ape," which Gothamimage contrived to help widen the wedge), it was for the same reasons that Bush is called a monkey...

... and is therefore contriving to artificially distinguish between the two by arbitrarily adding the adjectives ("great" and "little") and exploiting the connotations associated with different species of simians (i.e. one is "great," the other "little").

Hey, wait a second! Isn't that the same kind of evidentiary skullduggery you accused the administration of engaging in when arguing on behalf of regime change in Iraq, changing a bit here, adding a bit there, insinuating this, claiming that, for the purpose of suggesting the opposite?"

As you can imagine, this one was impossible to pass over.

John PRESUMES us to be using linguistic shuffling, in a blog, to describe the most powerful man in the world, who is also very wealthy.

By implication, he then excuses OBVIOUS linguistic shuffling in the name of 'Regime Change, in which some of the least powerful and poorest people in the world lost their lives, by the thousands, and set off a new chain of events, not unlike Balkan unrest in 1905 did.

John thinks presumed linguistic shuffling in a blog is bad, but obvious linguistic shuffling in war and peace, and life and death, is OK.

 
At 2:23 PM, Anonymous John said...

Queen Gertrude: "The lady doth protest too much, methinks."

Hamlet

 
At 5:16 PM, Blogger Gothamimage said...

"This above all, to thine own self be true, and it must follow , as night the day, John must stop projecting Simianimage unto gothamimage." - Eeeeepsalonius

 
At 9:38 PM, Anonymous John said...

"Interestingly, he says Bush is called a monkey in (The Virginia is for Lovers") piece. We had only skimmed the piece til now. Now, when we cite that monkey nickname in our present piece, John acts as if WE are the ones who made that up. Whereas he brought it up a few days ago...John must stop projecting Simianimage unto gothamimage."


"Psychos on the Border: The Wages of Simian."

That was an essay that preceded the "Virginia is for Lovers" one.

What did you mean by that, Gotham? The "simian" part? Who are you referring to?

P.S. Confucius say, "It unwise to poke resting tiger with stick."

wuv, "John" (Rowrrrrr...)

 
At 1:32 PM, Blogger Gothamimage said...

Gothamimage say: It is unwise to stick a tiger with a poker player.

 
At 2:36 PM, Anonymous John said...

lol From where I'm sitting (the chickenhawk setee, whatever) it looks like my pile of chips is bigger than yours.

 
At 7:09 PM, Blogger Gothamimage said...

Yeah, Buffalo chips....

 
At 7:55 PM, Anonymous John said...

Right. Those are my winnings. Where do you think they came from?

 
At 3:06 PM, Blogger PoliShifter said...

Thanks for stopping by my blog whispering campaign.

All in all this is a good post.

I think your treatment of Bush's border policy is pretty close to the truth. I think it is a little more involved in some ways; that is IMO Fox and Bush are colluding to somehow push a unification of Mexico and the United States some time in the next 10 to 20 years.

Take care

 
At 3:45 AM, Blogger marie curie said...

there is absolutely nothing wrong with crack whores - as per your question on my blog. (by the way, thanks for stopping by) just wanted to give you an imaginary high-five on yours. it kicks much ass. keep up the good work

 

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