Category Archive 'Abraham Lincoln'

16 May 2007

Bush Found a Czar

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There is a famous military history by Kenneth P. Williams, titled Lincoln Finds a General, describing the lengthy series of unsuccessful Union commanders and the dismal record of Union defeats in the Eastern theater of the war, before, after three years of fighting, Abraham Lincoln finally made Ulysses Grant general-in-chief.

In Grant, Lincoln found a general who had an unbroken record of victory in the West, and it was Lincoln’s decision to give supreme command to a fighting general with a habit of success which brought his war to a successful conclusion.

Burdened with a similarly protracted war, one happily unmarred by any American defeat, but nonetheless a war increasing dramatically in unpopularity with the electorate, George W. Bush has found not a fighting general with a record of victory, but a staff officer. He has appointed not a general-in-chief with unlimited authority to wage war, but rather “a war coordinator” whose role will be “to eliminate conflicts among the Pentagon, the State Department and other agencies.”

Following Lincoln’s example would have been more to the point.

Associated Press story

25 Jun 2006

What Would Lincoln Do?

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The Republican Administration, at the present time, clearly needs to be reminded that it is the Party of Lincoln.

On August 15, 1861, a grand jury was convened in New York to investigate the conduct of a number of opposition newspapers.

The records of that grand jury state:

There are certain newspapers within this district which are in the frequent habit of encouraging the rebels now in arms against the federal government by expressing sympathy and agreement with them, the duty of acceding to their demands, and dissatisfaction with the employment of force to overcome them…

The grand jury are aware that free governments allow liberty of speech and of the press to the utmost limit, but there is, nevertheless, a limit…

The conduct of these disloyal presses is, of course condemned and abhorred by all loyal men; but the grand jury will be glad to learn from the Court that it is also subject to indictment and condign punishment.

On August 22, the newspapers named by the grand jury were suspended from the mail by order of the New York postmaster.

When their next issues were delivered to Northern cities by train, the United States marshall for the Eastern District seized all the copies, in accordance with the War Department’s General Order No. 67.

That order specified that “all correspondence and communications” which put the public safety at risk should be confiscated, and that, in future, the punishment for creating such correspondence and communications would be death.

–Robert S. Harper, Lincoln and the Press, 1951, pp.114-116.


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