President-elect Obama AIN’T Abe Lincoln

Lonn Pressnall, dressed as Abraham Lincoln, walks to a polling ...

Associated Press photo

Barack Obama is likable enough. I voted for him.

I was tempted to vote for Ralph Nader, as Nader is more ideologically aligned with me and as Obama was going to win California’s 55 electoral votes no matter what anyway, but I went ahead and voted for Obama –only to discover the next day that about 70 percent of black California voters voted to strip me of my equal human and civil rights as a gay man. But I digress…

As I was saying:

It’s a wee bit too early to carve Obama’s visage into Mount Rushmore, peeps — mmmk?

I never got into Obama worship before Nov. 4 and I’m not into it now. The cleanup job before us after eight long nightmarish years of the sacking of the nation by the members of the unelected Bush regime is too daunting for me to be able to be giddy over Obama.

Maybe he’ll turn out to be a kick-ass president. Maybe. I hope so.

But let’s face it: Following the worst “president” in U.S. history — I mean, George W. Bush not only lost the popular vote to Democrat Al Gore in 2000, but his Repugnican buddies in the U.S. Supreme Court stopped the ballot-counting in Florida for him — anyone is going to look like Abraham fucking Lincoln by comparison.

Not that Obama has exactly distanced himself from the Lincoln comparison. When Obama formally announced his candidacy for president on February 10, 2007 (two days before Lincoln’s birthday) in front of the old state Capitol building in Springfield, Ill. — where Lincoln launched his political career — all that Obama was missing was the stovepipe hat:

Senator Barack Obama (D-IL) (2nd-L), his daughters Sasha (L) and Malia (C) and his wife Michelle (R), wave to a crowd gathered on the lawn of the old State Capital Building February 10, 2007 in Springfield, Illinois. Obama announced to the crowd that he would seek the Democratic nomination for President.  (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Barack Obama;Michelle Obama From Getty Images. 

Getty images

The Obama-Lincoln meme is growing and I think that it’s more damaging than helpful.

Yes, Obama and Lincoln both came from Illinois, and yes, Lincoln fought for the abolition of slavery and Obama is black. However, Obama is not the descendant of slaves; his mother was white and his father was from Kenya. In that respect the comparison between Obama and Lincoln withers, and had Obama been the descendant of slaves, there’s a good chance that he never would have won the White House.

In any event, certainly no “angry” black American, such as Jesse Jackson or Al Sharpton, would have been elected to the White House earlier this month. Leave me a nasty comment on this post for saying this, but I’ll say it anyfuckingway: Obama won the White House only because he acts white. There was no way in hell that enough white voters would have voted for an “angry” black presidential candidate to propel him into the Oval Office.

Even Joe Biden, before Obama picked him as his running mate, remarked to the New York Observer of Obama: “I mean, you got the first mainstream African-American who is articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy. I mean, that’s a storybook, man.”

Obama went on to pick Biden anyway, which is supposed to be yet another example of how — just like Lincoln did! — Obama picks his one-time opponents as his colleagues.

This bandwagon comparison of Obama and Lincoln really has got to stop. Here’s an excerpt from a nauseating Associated Press piece on the meme:

WASHINGTON – Presidents typically say they want to be surrounded by strong-willed people who have the courage to disagree with them. President-elect Barack Obama, reaching out to Hillary Rodham Clinton and Republicans, actually might mean it.

Abraham Lincoln meant it. He appointed his bitter adversaries to crucial posts, choosing as war secretary a man who had called him a “long-armed ape” who “does not know anything and can do you no good.”

You could say his Cabinet meetings were frank and open….

It so happens that Obama and New York Sen. Clinton share a reverence for Team of Rivals, Doris Kearns Goodwin’s book about how Lincoln brought foes into his fold. Clinton listed it during the campaign as the last book she had read. Obama, clearly a student of Lincoln, spoke of it several times.

Now past could be prologue.

Obama is considering Clinton for secretary of state or another senior position, meeting John McCain on Monday to see how his Republican presidential rival might help him in the Senate, and sizing up one-time opponents in both parties for potential recruitment. He made one Democratic presidential opponent, Delaware Sen. Joe Biden, his running mate.

“I think it reflects a great inner strength on Obama’s part that he is seriously considering creating a team of rivals as Lincoln did,” Goodwin told The Associated Press [yesterday].

“By surrounding himself with people who bring different perspectives, he will increase his options, absorb dissenting views and heighten his ability to speak empathetically to people on different sides of each issue. The challenge, of course, is to ensure that the discussions do not become paralyzing, and that once a decision is made the inner circle accepts that the time for debate is over,” she said.

During the bitter primary campaign, Clinton dismissed Obama as a neophyte who could not be trusted to handle crises and who had not done much more in politics than make fancy speeches. Obama sniffed that “you’re likable enough, Hillary.”

Yet she strongly supported Obama in the general campaign, not unlike William Henry Seward, the Hillary Clinton of his day.

Seward, the front-runner in the race for the 1860 Republican nomination, was so confident of taking the prize that he went on an eight-month tour of Europe a year earlier, only to see Lincoln vanquish him. Lincoln buried animosities and made him secretary of state….

None of this has been lost on Obama, who said in May that Lincoln’s inclusion of former foes “has to be the approach that one takes.”

At the time, he said he would consider McCain for the Cabinet if that made sense. Now, aides for both men say such a move is not in the works but they will seek other ways to cooperate….

Reaching out to one’s political rivals might at times be politically astute — I was OK with Obama’s selection of Biden as his running mate and I could live with Hillary Clinton as secretary of state — but granting Repugnican John Sidney “Bomb, Bomb, Bomb, Bomb, Bomb Iran”/”I Don’t Know How Many Houses I Own” McCain III any important post in his administration would not be politically astute for Obama. Such a move would drive Democrats and the majority of “swing voters” — who rejected McInsane and what he and his ilk stand for at the voting booth — off in droves.

Obama likes to say that there are no red states and no blue states — despite the fact that, according to the Associated Press, more threats have been made against him than his white presidential predecessors:

WASHINGTON – Threats against a new president historically spike right after an election, but from Maine to Idaho, law enforcement officials are seeing more against Barack Obama than ever before.

The Secret Service would not comment or provide the number of cases they are investigating. But since the Nov. 4 election, law enforcement officials have seen more potentially threatening writings, Internet postings and other activity directed at Obama than has been seen with any past president-elect, said officials aware of the situation who spoke on condition of anonymity because the issue of a president’s security is so sensitive….

Federal government officials actually are saying that these increased threats against Obama can’t necessarily be attributed to racism, but the AP also reports:

One of the most popular white supremacist Web sites got more than 2,000 new members the day after the election, compared with 91 new members on Election Day, according to an AP count. The site, stormfront.org, was temporarily off-line Nov. 5 because of the overwhelming amount of activity it received after Election Day.

[Today] one Stormfront poster, identified as Dalderian Germanicus, of North Las Vegas, said, “I want the SOB laid out in a box to see how ‘messiahs’ come to rest. God has abandoned us, this country is doomed.”

As I’ve said before, the Civil War never ended, as the regional political atmosphere from Lincoln’s time to today hasn’t changed nearly enough, and if we’re going to make any comparison between Obama and Lincoln, we accurately can state that both presided over a nation split between hateful dumbfucks, the red-staters, and real Americans, the blue-staters, who, entirely unlike the red-staters, believe in life, liberty, justice and the pursuit of happiness for all. That is the American dream, the American ideal — what the red-staters stand for is not the American dream, but is the American nightmare, and therefore I cannot, I do not and I never will consider the red-staters to be my fellow Americans except in the technical, dictionary-definition sense of the word “American.” 

Again, the Civil War never ended, but the danger of comparing President Obama to President Lincoln is that the comparison indicates that we Americans cannot go forward, but can only look backward. Nostalgia won’t solve our problems in the present.

And the danger of all of the talk of Obama including his detractors in his administration — just like Abe Lincoln did! — is that such a watering down of progressive idealism will hamper the recovery from the past eight nightmarish years that the nation needs to make if it is to survive. We cannot afford to be namby-pamby, let’s-try-to-please-everyone right now.

Yes, no matter how unifying President Obama might wish to be, there are blue states and there are red states. The threats against Obama’s life — mostly from red-staters — demonstrate this obvious fact.

The blue states just won the presidential election. The red states need to shut up, sit down and cope with that fact, just as we blue staters just had to endure eight years of their hell.

As the Repugnicans had no problem whatsofuckingever shutting the Democrats out of power when the Repugnicans ran the show, the Democrats owe no favors to the now-defeated Repugnicans, and showing such favors would be a grave disservice to the nation that needs to recover, not to continue to fall, like the ancient Roman empire, under the destructive, anti-democratic impulses of the Repugnicans, wingnuts and “Christo”fascists.

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