Saturday, March 20, 2010

With Malice Toward None

David Kaiser today highlights the parallels between today's struggle for health care legislation and the Civil War. I've just finished reading Doris Kearns Goodwin's Team of Rivals and have been wanting to write something very similar.

The parallels are striking, and Kaiser mentions many that I saw and a few I missed. Here are a couple more: Every time I read "Radical Republican," the context gave me a start. The Radical Republicans of that time wanted abolition of slavery immediately with no reference to the political environment, quite different from today's radical Republicans. Every time that term jogged me, I mentally substituted "netroots" and continued.

It also seems to me that President Obama is consciously modeling his actions on Lincoln's and that they follow the community organizer model I've talked about before. It's clear that Lincoln was a decent person who wanted the best for his country and its people individually. That was at least as much a driver of his behavior as the politics. Ronald Brownstein argues Obama's actions as part of turning our very inertial country around, a parallel to Reagan. And I think that Obama's motives for that are very much the same as Lincoln's.

BTW, Kaiser writes one post a week, usually on the weekends, and they are always worth reading.

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