It is comforting to know that, in these times of economic distress and financial belt-tightening, the first tangible product of the Obama administration is a brand new Presidential Limousine. It does prove there is at least one difference between Obama and Lincoln, although purists would argue that limousines weren’t available in 1861, and it remains to be seen whether a stove-top hat will make an appearance on Inauguration Day. Otherwise, the scheduled Lincoln inaugural train ride from Philadelphia to Washington, the Lincoln Bible, the Gettysburg Address-inspired inaugural theme, the Lincoln 2.0 Inaugural Ball, and the Lincoln lunch menu serve as ample proof that we have blessed ourselves with, dare we say it, another Lincoln.
Not so fast. Lin coln was known for his humility, lack of pretension, and self-deprecation. Obama can only be characterized as grandiose. If Obama wants to be the 21st century version of Lincoln, he’s not allowed to try so hard making the case. Let we the people decide how he rates on the Lincoln scale after at least a day or two in the Oval Office.
It would be fortuitous if, while the faithful giddily sprinkle Honest Abe pixie dust over their chosen one, some of it was actually absorbed through his skin pores. Being like Lincoln implies that you have to actually be like Lincoln, and the first Republican President used to say things like this:
"Property is the fruit of labor...property is desirable...is a positive good in the world. That some should be rich shows that others may become rich, and hence is just encouragement to industry and enterprise. Let not him who is houseless pull down the house of another; but let him labor diligently and build one for himself, thus by example assuring that his own shall be safe from violence when built."
Obama’s economic views don’t exactly reflect the Rail Splitter’s, but if I hear anything close to the aforementioned quote during the inaugural address, I will assuredly be rethinking my outlook on the universe. And pass me some of that pixie dust, please.