Bizarro Lincoln

The DC Comics' Bizarro World is home to all earthly opposites. On the Bizarro planet Htrae (Earth backwards), failing investments are celebrated, doing good is a crime and even Superman, known as Bizarro, is evil. It also happens to be the only place in the universe (real or imagined) where Barack Obama is the next Abraham Lincoln.

The Obama-Lincoln Bizarro parallels begin with their home state. It is true that both hail from Illinois, but Obama's and Lincoln's Illinois could scarcely be more different. Lincoln's Illinois was the epicenter of the newly formed Republican Party, Obama's is the tightest of Democrat strongholds. Also, the driving force that guided Lincoln and his Illinois Republicans was morality in politics and law. Conversely, modern Illinois is home to the most immoral political machine in America.

Next are the speeches: Lincoln's "House Divided" and Obama's 2004 DNC speech, "The Audacity of Hope." Each speech defined their respective courses to national prominence. The themes of each speech appear similar because they relate to the union of American States. However, Lincoln's central thesis was that the Union could not subsist as it was then constituted because of the states' ideological divide. Obama's speech denies the incompatibility of modern political philosophies while asserting we will magically unite in spite of them.



Lincoln:

I believe this government cannot endure, permanently half slave and half free.

I do not expect the Union to be dissolved -- I do not expect the house to fall -- but I do expect it will cease to be divided.

It will become all one thing or all the other.

Obama:

Now even as we speak, there are those who are preparing to divide us.... Well, I say to them tonight, there is not a liberal America and a conservative America -- there is the United States of America.

Obama's attitude is more congruent with Lincoln's challenger Stephen Douglas, who asserted that the "Union can exist forever divided into free and slave states." Obama likely would have considered Lincoln "divisive."

(Lincoln, of course, was divisive. The point being that there was a right and a wrong in the slave question, as with many other issues. Today's obsessive preoccupation with unity and "bi-partisanship" discourages us from standing up for what's right in order to avoid confrontation. This kind of intellectual appeasement will no doubt result in a heavily one-sided advantage, analogous to 20th century military appeasement.)

Concerning appointees, many have asserted that Obama, like Lincoln, is putting political rivals in his cabinet, Hillary Clinton foremost among them. While it is true that Obama and Clinton ran against each other, they had no appreciable difference on policy. The 2008 Democratic Primary "debates" illustrated this, as their similarities left them to argue over who was more likable. Clinton is no Obama political adversary, merely the loser of a Democrat Party personality contest. If her appointment flops, the worst consequence for Obama is losing the next election. Had Lincoln's appointments backfired, he would have lost the nation.

On matters of war, Obama's promise to end terrorist detention at Guantanamo Bay is a stark contrast to Lincoln's prosecution of the Civil War. Once Southern secession became unavoidable, Lincoln took every measure available to win the war. This included the controversial suspension of Habeas Corpus rights. Surely this was a difficult decision, but that is the nature of such conflicts. Conversely, Obama so misunderstands the nature of warfare and victory -- being more concerned with international image than life and death realities -- that he has promised to close Gitmo. Where Lincoln suspended rights of American citizens, Obama is moving to bestow such rights on Middle-Eastern terrorists.

Above all, what makes Obama Bizarro to Lincoln's Superman is his view on man's right to work for himself and not a master. The real evil of slavery (setting aside the brutality and inhumanness of it, which are awful but not unique to slavery) is to take a man's life by stealing his work. Lincoln believed the right to work on your own behalf (the right to property) should exist eternally, for all men. Obama does not; instead believing that government is the people's master, owning the fruit of their labors.

Lincoln:

One of the reasons why I am opposed to slavery is just here. I take it that it is best for all to leave each man free to acquire property as fast as he can. Some will get wealthy. I don't believe in a law to prevent a man from getting rich; it would do more harm than good.

Free society is such that [a man] knows he can better his condition; he knows that there is no fixed condition of labor his whole life. I am not ashamed to confess that twenty-five years ago I was a hired laborer, mauling rails, at work on a flatboat -- what might happen to any poor man's son. I want every man to have the chance -- and I believe a black man is entitled to it -- in which he can better his condition -- when he may look forward and hope to be a hired laborer this day and the next, work for himself, and finally to hire men to work for him. That is the true system

And so it may go on and on in one ceaseless round so long as man exists on the face of the earth.

Obama:

It's not that I want to punish your success. I just want to make sure that everybody who is behind you, that they've got a chance for success too. My attitude is that if the economy's good for folks from the bottom up, it's gonna be good for everybody. I think when you spread the wealth around, it's good for everybody.

Once again, these two statements have noticeable resemblance and irreconcilable disparity. Both statements were made the year each man would be elected president, both were made to laborers (Lincoln to farm hands and Obama to a plumber) and both speak of the desire of each man to see that all people get a chance at success. Lincoln, however, sought to make prosperity available to all though the protection of a person's right to property and Obama seeks that opportunity through the destruction of the right to property.

Obama can use Lincoln's Bible, eat Lincoln's food, ride Lincoln's rail and even be morphed into Lincoln by his supporters, but none of this will change history. And it is history that tells us Obama is the anti-Lincoln. Though judging from the news coverage, we could be on Htrae after all.
The DC Comics' Bizarro World is home to all earthly opposites. On the Bizarro planet Htrae (Earth backwards), failing investments are celebrated, doing good is a crime and even Superman, known as Bizarro, is evil. It also happens to be the only place in the universe (real or imagined) where Barack Obama is the next Abraham Lincoln.

The Obama-Lincoln Bizarro parallels begin with their home state. It is true that both hail from Illinois, but Obama's and Lincoln's Illinois could scarcely be more different. Lincoln's Illinois was the epicenter of the newly formed Republican Party, Obama's is the tightest of Democrat strongholds. Also, the driving force that guided Lincoln and his Illinois Republicans was morality in politics and law. Conversely, modern Illinois is home to the most immoral political machine in America.

Next are the speeches: Lincoln's "House Divided" and Obama's 2004 DNC speech, "The Audacity of Hope." Each speech defined their respective courses to national prominence. The themes of each speech appear similar because they relate to the union of American States. However, Lincoln's central thesis was that the Union could not subsist as it was then constituted because of the states' ideological divide. Obama's speech denies the incompatibility of modern political philosophies while asserting we will magically unite in spite of them.



Lincoln:

I believe this government cannot endure, permanently half slave and half free.

I do not expect the Union to be dissolved -- I do not expect the house to fall -- but I do expect it will cease to be divided.

It will become all one thing or all the other.

Obama:

Now even as we speak, there are those who are preparing to divide us.... Well, I say to them tonight, there is not a liberal America and a conservative America -- there is the United States of America.

Obama's attitude is more congruent with Lincoln's challenger Stephen Douglas, who asserted that the "Union can exist forever divided into free and slave states." Obama likely would have considered Lincoln "divisive."

(Lincoln, of course, was divisive. The point being that there was a right and a wrong in the slave question, as with many other issues. Today's obsessive preoccupation with unity and "bi-partisanship" discourages us from standing up for what's right in order to avoid confrontation. This kind of intellectual appeasement will no doubt result in a heavily one-sided advantage, analogous to 20th century military appeasement.)

Concerning appointees, many have asserted that Obama, like Lincoln, is putting political rivals in his cabinet, Hillary Clinton foremost among them. While it is true that Obama and Clinton ran against each other, they had no appreciable difference on policy. The 2008 Democratic Primary "debates" illustrated this, as their similarities left them to argue over who was more likable. Clinton is no Obama political adversary, merely the loser of a Democrat Party personality contest. If her appointment flops, the worst consequence for Obama is losing the next election. Had Lincoln's appointments backfired, he would have lost the nation.

On matters of war, Obama's promise to end terrorist detention at Guantanamo Bay is a stark contrast to Lincoln's prosecution of the Civil War. Once Southern secession became unavoidable, Lincoln took every measure available to win the war. This included the controversial suspension of Habeas Corpus rights. Surely this was a difficult decision, but that is the nature of such conflicts. Conversely, Obama so misunderstands the nature of warfare and victory -- being more concerned with international image than life and death realities -- that he has promised to close Gitmo. Where Lincoln suspended rights of American citizens, Obama is moving to bestow such rights on Middle-Eastern terrorists.

Above all, what makes Obama Bizarro to Lincoln's Superman is his view on man's right to work for himself and not a master. The real evil of slavery (setting aside the brutality and inhumanness of it, which are awful but not unique to slavery) is to take a man's life by stealing his work. Lincoln believed the right to work on your own behalf (the right to property) should exist eternally, for all men. Obama does not; instead believing that government is the people's master, owning the fruit of their labors.

Lincoln:

One of the reasons why I am opposed to slavery is just here. I take it that it is best for all to leave each man free to acquire property as fast as he can. Some will get wealthy. I don't believe in a law to prevent a man from getting rich; it would do more harm than good.

Free society is such that [a man] knows he can better his condition; he knows that there is no fixed condition of labor his whole life. I am not ashamed to confess that twenty-five years ago I was a hired laborer, mauling rails, at work on a flatboat -- what might happen to any poor man's son. I want every man to have the chance -- and I believe a black man is entitled to it -- in which he can better his condition -- when he may look forward and hope to be a hired laborer this day and the next, work for himself, and finally to hire men to work for him. That is the true system

And so it may go on and on in one ceaseless round so long as man exists on the face of the earth.

Obama:

It's not that I want to punish your success. I just want to make sure that everybody who is behind you, that they've got a chance for success too. My attitude is that if the economy's good for folks from the bottom up, it's gonna be good for everybody. I think when you spread the wealth around, it's good for everybody.

Once again, these two statements have noticeable resemblance and irreconcilable disparity. Both statements were made the year each man would be elected president, both were made to laborers (Lincoln to farm hands and Obama to a plumber) and both speak of the desire of each man to see that all people get a chance at success. Lincoln, however, sought to make prosperity available to all though the protection of a person's right to property and Obama seeks that opportunity through the destruction of the right to property.

Obama can use Lincoln's Bible, eat Lincoln's food, ride Lincoln's rail and even be morphed into Lincoln by his supporters, but none of this will change history. And it is history that tells us Obama is the anti-Lincoln. Though judging from the news coverage, we could be on Htrae after all.