Thursday, April 21, 2005

Back on Track as We Explore Wingnuttia

Michelle Malkin has her panties in a wad because Senator Dick Durbin (D-Il) told a joke at the dedication of the Lincoln Presidential Museum, referring to a Jewish woman's belief that Lincoln was Jewish (because he was shot in the temple). According to MM, this is another example of "Democrat (sic) joking about a Republican president's assassination."

The main problem I have with that characterization is the description of Lincoln as a "Republican President." As much as the Repubs would like to claim they are his ideological descendants, the record just can't support that. If you look at what the current power structure of the Republican party supports, it's quite clear that they would not have been on the side of the union during the Civil War. They might flatter themselves by saying they would have been for emancipation of the slaves, but it's far more likely that they would have been for preserving the property rights of the slave holders. Beyond that (and my last comment aside), it's silly to invoke Lincoln for the purpose of partisan sniping. Lincoln was an American President, in my mind the greatest American President. Let's just leave it at that.

And finally, it's just a damn joke. Funny or not? That's your call. Tasteless? I've heard far worse. Partisan? Please. One of the earliest jokes I remember hearing, from my father, a life-long Republican and FDR hater, was "aside from that, Mrs. Lincoln, how did you like the play?" I heard it from him when I was a child and I've probably heard it every year since then. Believe me, my old man ain't an undercover Democrat.
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