9/14/2006

Bush Supporters Misquoting Lincoln

Bush supporters falsely quote Lincoln as advocating arresting, exiling or hanging members of Congress who damage military morale in wartime.

Supporters of President Bush and the war in Iraq often quote Abraham Lincoln as saying members of Congress who act to damage military morale in wartime "are saboteurs and should be arrested, exiled or hanged."

Republican candidate Diana Irey used the "quote" recently in her campaign against Democratic Rep. John Murtha of Pennsylvania, and it has appeared thousands of times on the Internet, in newspaper articles and letters to the editor, and in Republican speeches.

But Lincoln never said that. The conservative author who touched off the misquotation frenzy, J. Michael Waller, concedes that the words are his, not Lincoln's. Waller says he never meant to put quote marks around them, and blames an editor for the mistake and the failure to correct it. We also note other serious historical errors in the Waller article containing the bogus quote.

Read more@ FactCheck.org.

24 comments:

Cato said...

Social security, medicare, medicaid, welfare... freedoms for security alright, but that's not new to America. It's been going on full speed ahead ever since comrade FDR came to power.

Norseman said...

A much greater misunderstanding is the OTBL perception of the Stars and Bars.

AndyRand said...

CATO:

Is there a country on earth where you'd feel the balance of liberty is sufficient compared to that of the general welfare? I'd suggest India, where the squalor on the streets has the same stench as the OTBL blog.
Not the America I want to see!!!!!!!!!

Cato said...

No, not really. But I don't see how that is an actual criticism of my position; "but most everyone else is worse" is not an argument. The lesser of two evils is still evil, is it not?

AndyRand said...

CATO:

So every form of government on earth is evil, unless it is perfect by your standards? All Western civilization is evil?
Yes, it is a valid criticism of your position, because in REALITY your ideas of self-government have never even been attempted and when "self-government" erupts spontaneously, it always in the form of chaos and mayhem, e.g. riots, civil war and unrest.

The lesser of many evils may not be perfect good, but it is less evil.
There are more colors in the political spectrum than black and white.

New Comer said...

Andy & Cato:

Andy, you are confused about what Cato is arguing for. He knows there are many colors in the political spectrum. However, he only cares to argue for one color. He knows that his form of governmental color will never happen, but that shouldn't stop him from arguing for that color.

In reality, Andy is arguing for a specific color of government. I wonder if Cato believes in evolution? It's obvious that he doesn't believe in governmental evolution, when it comes to the US. Once the Constitution's ink was dry, we had all we need. Cato repeatedly alludes to this. Of course, he keeps telling us about federal taxation being illegal -- even though Article XVI of the Constitution states: The Congress shall have power to lay and collect taxes on incomes, from whatever source derived, without apportionment among the several States, and without regard to any census or enumeration.

That's what is confusing about Cato's arguments. He refuses to accept Article XVI. Andy seems to have understood the idea of dealing with the reality of an example citizenry and a changing world. Cato, on the other hand, prefers to hibernate in a world that probably stopped evolving on July 2, 1909 when Article XVI was ratified.

Roadkill said...

NewComer, Et Al:

I think you need to be careful when trying to clarify Cato’s position.

Criticisms of the large government programs that came into existence with the New Deal (and later under the Great Society) predate the programs themselves. Early critiques asserted that one small clause in the preamble of the Constitution, to “..promote the general welfare…” is a shaky basis for introducing huge federal programs such as Social Security, welfare (i.e. AFDC), Medicare, and Medicaid. Contemporary criticisms focus on the unintended consequences of these entitlement programs (single parent homes, absentee fathers, government dependency, etc), and their mushrooming costs (SS, AFDC, Medicare, and Medicaid make up about 58% of the Federal Budget; Defense (19%), Debt Interest (9%), and all other discretionary programs account for the remaining 42%. (Washington Post, FY07 Budget, 7 Feb 06 article). Given our $2.77 Trillion budget for FY06, the Founding Founders would probably be quite surprised at how much money those 4 little words in the preamble are costing their posterity.

Now the reason those 4 little words cost so much, Cato, is because New Dealers and Great Society types acted on their interpretation of that preamble clause, got Congress to go along, and scored a Supreme Court stamp of approval on their interpretation. More importantly, they got Americans in general to go along with it, as evidenced by the fact that no Constitutional amendments were advanced to limit the scope of that interpretation. So now its settled policy, even though some holdouts like you still argue that vast social programs are not supported in the text of the Constitution.

But back to you, Newcomer. Your suggestion that we must accept “governmental evolution” is unsettling, for here we start to depart from intent and meaning of the words of the Constitution in deference to personal policy preferences on the part of politicians and judges. That’s a slippery slope, and could lead to all kinds of havoc. Look at the great bru-ha-ha’s regarding abortion, gay marriage, and other social issues where “broad interpretations” of the Constitution have fractured the electorate and led to calls for Constitutional Amendments. Constitutional interpretation, either prescriptive or proscriptive in nature, removes public policy decision-making from the people. It is inherently undemocratic, and in many cases will cause great civil discord (the abortion and pornography lines of decisions are good examples). And consider this: things could just as easily evolve the other way, with “interpretations” leading to real curtailments on civil rights and personal freedoms. I prefer my judges to be honest brokers in the policy debates, the words of the Constitution to be inviolate, and public policy or Constitutional changes to be democratic.

Which leads me to my final point, which is that we can change our constitution, democratically and as provided for by the founders, through the amendment process. That is how we have outlawed slavery, given blacks and women the right to vote, and permitted income taxation, among other things. No judge ruled or interpreted as such, but rather, “We the People” opted to do so through the ballot box. That, my friend, is democracy, which our good friend Winston Churchill once described as “absolutely the worst form of government ever devised, except for every other form.”

p.s. The US Constitution has only 7 Articles. Earlier comments referred to authorization for the income tax as coming from the “XVI Article:” that should have read the “XVI Amendment.”

New Comer said...

Point of info to Roadkill:

Technically Article XVI, etc are articles of the Amendments to the Constitution. That is what my source titled the Constitution of the United States calls them. The commonly accepted phrase would be "the 16th Amendment."
---
Also Roadkill, wouldn't you say that amendments to the Constitution have tended to expand rather than restrict individuals rights?

Similarly, the Marriage Amendment to the Wisconsin state Constitution this November is an attempt to restrict individual rights and reign in civil liberties.

I'm not sure that I've read much on this blog where the participants are arguing in favor of curtailing civil liberties. Unless you want to argue that collecting federal taxes is a violation of your civil liberties.

Roadkill said...

New Comer,
The masthead of this blog starts with the word “Educating.” I’m just doing my part to advance that objective.
Regarding your “technicality” regarding the Constitution, your source is incorrect. Article I of the Constitution deals with the Legislative Branch; Amendment I concerns freedoms of speech, press, assembly, and religion. Let’s not confuse the two.
As to the question of whether Constitutional Amendments expand or restrict individual rights, of course the answer is overwhelmingly that of expansion. With the exception of prohibition (which we know was later repealed), the income tax amendment, and the limitation of presidential terms to two, virtually all of the amendments expand our rights.
You are also correct regarding the Wisconsin marriage amendment, although you should be careful about describing it as an effort to reign in civil liberties. There is currently no such liberty, nor has there ever been. Same sex marriage is a radical departure from historical social norms. There is a difference between civil liberty and civil license; if you go too far down that road you may find yourself defending as “civil liberties” prostitution, polygamy, and adult-child sex.
And finally, I hope that I have in no way argued in favor of restricting civil rights. My point concerns how those rights come to be recognized and codified into law. I believe it should be done democratically, through the consent of the governed, and not by some group of elites who believe they know best what is good for society. Thoughtful and reasoned expansions of civil rights will prevail in the marketplace of ideas, and will become law through the democratic process. (See all amendments to the constitution) Rights or license conferred by judicial fiat will be resented by those segments of the population who disagree with the policy and had no say in their codification (see abortion debate still raging after 33 years). So it’s a more a matter of process than one of results.
Oh yes, regarding you last point: I do regard the government’s power to confiscate large chunks of my income as a restriction on my liberties. But We the People gave the government that power, and short of a taxpayer revolt to amend/curtail that right (think Proposition 13 in California), I accept the provision as a power that we delegated democratically to the government.

Anonymous said...

Roadkill:

Concerning: "Thoughtful and reasoned expansions of civil rights will prevail in the marketplace of ideas, and will become law through the democratic process." I think today's "marketplace of ideas" doesn't seem to be more like a mosh pit of polarized mudslinging. I also believe that type of forum hasn't really changed much through the years. But then again, "democracy" is really a legal lynch mob.

This brings me to your statement:
"I believe it should be done democratically, through the consent of the governed, and not by some group of elites who believe they know best what is good for society." Here I would assume you don't want the court interpreting the laws passed by the legislative branches. That to me would seem to been the job of the court system. It's the checks and balance to make sure the laws passed and signed into law mesh with the Constitutional foundation that our system of government is built on. I don't know the detail history of the legislative/judicial relation in Hitler's Germany. It would seem that those who oppose judicial review and want the people to speak through votes via amendments are arguing in favor of Hitler's model -- if you block the judicial review option. I believe constitutional amendments can be subject to judicial review.

Concerning legalized prostitution, it is legal in Nevada. I would prefer legalised prostitution. It would take the victim out of a victimless crime. It's a business transaction between two consenting adults. I seen nothing wrong with polygamy, if it's among consenting adults. If no body's forced into this type of relationship, what would be the harm. It seems to work in Middle Eastern cultures and has worked for Mormons.

Roadkill said...

Anonymous,

I’m not sure this will do any good, given the ideas you expressed in your last comment, but you really need to consider what you are saying.

Democracy is a legal lynch mob? While its true that democracy can get a bit untidy and unnecessarily uncivil at times, what are we to replace it with? Kings and Tyrants?

Granted, great totalitarian regimes – from antiquity (e.g. Sumeria, Babylonia, and Egypt) to the 20th century (e.g. Soviet Union, Nazi Germany, Maoist China) – did not have the messiness of the democratic process to deal with. No votes, no elections, no political parties or debates or platforms or candidates. No moshpits of polarized mudslinging or lynch mobs there – only monarchs and dictators to tell them what was the law.

Now I for one prefer a say-so – government of, by, and for the people, and all that. That means democracy, with all its warts and problems. You my not agree, but if you’re going to talk down democracy, be sure to offer up your idea of a better system.

Regarding the role of the courts in general and Judicial Review in particular, you may have misunderstood what I said. Yes, courts serve a very important role and the power of Judicial Review is an extremely important check in our system of governance. My point is that judicial review should be based on a reasoned examination comparing laws for consistency with controlling statutes and/or the constitution. Judicial review should not be based on the personal views or preferences of the judge. When we detach judicial review from the letter of controlling statutes / constitution, we open the door to judge-made law – and remove the law-making function from congress, legislatures, and the people. That is what I find undemocratic and objectionable.

I not sure I followed your argument regarding votes and amendments leading to Nazism, but for the record I don’t think we are headed in that direction. Unless of course we find democracy to much of a mosh pit and abandon it in lieu of ruling elites.

Finally, you really need to re-evaluate your belief that constitutional amendments can be subject to judicial review. Good Lord, if that were the case we would not have made much progress over the years. The abolition of slavery amendment clearly conflicted with the text of the constitution at the time, as did women’s suffrage, 18 year old voting, the direct election of senators, and virtually all the amendments after the bill of rights. If amendments had to be consistent with the constitution, we would have a dead document as our ultimate law and a system of government unable to change with the times. I sure hope you agree that it’s a good thing we don’t!

Cato said...

New Comer --

Please show me where I have said that the income tax is not constitutional? I don't recall ever saying that.

Since you are a new comer I will once again explain why "evolving" laws are intolerable.

The Supreme Court once said that the "evolving standards of decency that mark the progress of a maturing society" mandated that the death penalty, in it's then current form, was unconstitutional under 8th Amend jurispudence regarding "cruel and unusual punishment". NEVER MIND that when the 8th was ratified the death penalty was not considered "cruel and unusual" said the Supreme Court, the law changed without the law changing!

The problem then arises that we can "devolve." We CANNOT allow the law to be changed to and fro, it must be stable. There was written in the Constitution a very specific way to change the document. Anything that changes the original understanding of the law from what the Founders wrote and what the people ratified is not the law. The Founders didn't write that the death penalty was cruel and/or unusual, and the people didn't ratify that. What they ratified was the law and we don't know if they would have passed it had they known it would morph without going through the speicifically mandated amendment process.

To saythat law can "evolve" is to say that the law means nothing.

The law can change, but it needs to go through the process set down. The people required this. We can amend the document to say that it can change on a judge's whim but until then it CANNOT. It must change according to the specifically laid out amendment process. The 16th amendment was made speicfically to override the Supreme Court's decision regarding a direct tax that was tied to the income tax. I have never said that the income tax was illegal, I said it was "wrong" (although I don't think I have said that here... what is "wrong" about it is that you are taxing production for being productful, and the higher amount of production you put out the more %-wise you pay. It's a very bad system. By treating Americans unequally based soley on their income it not only is bad policy but I would argue morally unacceptable. But this is a policy issue and one we can argue about; the income tax is legal but not wise). There is a difference.

New Comer said...

Cato:

I guess I meant you said the federal income tax was illegal -- not unconstitutional.

Cato said...

New comer--

I said it was "illegal"?

Please show me where I am most interested.

New Comer said...

Cato:

Maybe you said is was immoral.

Cato said...

I never disagreed with it's legality I disagreed with it's supposed wisdom. T

As you make more money you are bumped to higher income tax brackets. It rewards sloth and taxes productfulness.

norseman said...

So Cato;
You have said that you don't have a faith in God (I apologize if I'm misquoting you). My presumption is that the belief in God identifies ethic, and moral guidance. For me that is Christianity. What motivates boundaries for morality when one does not believe in a God??

Cato said...

I fail to see the relevance to this conversation but one does not need a supernatural being (who is by definition beyond reason and undiscoverable) to have morals.

Reason is what gave us morals in the first place and it is what keeps all of us within moral boundries.

AndyRand said...

CATO:
Nonsense!
If there is no Supreme Being then everyone's "reasoning" has equal authority. Whether you care to admit it or not our laws in this country are based on a Judeo-Christian ethic.

Cato said...

Sophistory =/= reasoning. You cannot reason with the supernatural, only the natural. The naturla is discoverable. There is only one correct path; postmodernist drivel is just that.

norseman said...

Cato;
Actually this point gets to the guts of the discussion. Based on your interpretation, Hitler is capable of reason, and given that premise, there was no wrong committed by his regime (had he remained the toughest guy on the block).
Without God, morals have no real authority except those determined by anyone or group with a big enough hammer to force a given set of rules or lack of rules (survival of the fittest). God changes that; God determines morality.

norseman said...

Can you reason with randomness, or, ordlyness? What you're proposing insinuates orderliness from randomness via logic; when logic is derived from, and implies orderliness.

AndyRand said...

CATO:

Is this sophistry because it doesn't agree with your logic? You've indicated that you have reasoned that abortion is immoral yet your Randist brethren have reasoned that "Abortion is Pro-Life, anti abortion is anti-life".
http://capitalism.org/faq/abortion.htm

So who's "reason" is superior?, yours or your Randist brethren?

Although Norseman has unwittingly incurred Goodwin law, he is essentially correct and is in effect saying if there is no God "Might makes right".

chancuff said...

As most who attended the rally know, I was there. After the dust had cleared created by some moonbat among the bootmurtha crowd who called in a fake police report that a fight had broken out, Larry Bailey came out to speak with me.


I complimented him from the bottom of my heart for the contributions he has made to our country's national security while he was serving active duty in the US Navy.

He made it clear my request to speak would not happen. He then proceeded to suggest he has no memory of the email he wrote me on 8/20/2006 2:59:30 P.M. Eastern Standard Time stating that our current Commander in Chief made stupid mistakes in Iraq.

Larry then proceeded to illustrate stupid mistakes made in passed wars. After he mentioned 3 or 4 examples I interjected that there is a difference between those wars and this one.

In the past it took weeks, months, sometimes years for mistakes to be discovered and reported. Today is the information age where mistakes are reported within hours of their occurrence. I reminded him this war was still going on. I also reminded him of the glaring mistakes he had acknowledged President Bush had made in Iraq, and our respective use of the Internet to support our respective views and that is where our conversation ended.

I waited outside the Arena with a Johnstown police officer who had stayed behind after the bootmurtha hysterics caused 3 squad cars and a sergeant to arrive with sirens blaring. I was debating Steeler football with him when a motorcycle officer stopped by, who had been inside. When I asked how many were inside he said, "not many at all" When I asked "500?", he responded, "na ... well maybe 500, at most."

At the end of the event when Larry Bailey came out for a photo op next to the bootmurtha.com sign on the sidewalk outside the War Memorial Arena. I handed Larry the speech I had waited to deliver. He put it in his outside left coat pocket.

This is my speech Larry Bailey has in his coat pocket ... the words he was not man enough to let me say:


"Please join me in Prayer.

Heavily father we pray today for you to continue to protect the men and women of the armed forces of the United States and other countries who are in harms way in Iraq, Afghanistan, and other countries throughout the world. We thank them and their families for their sacrifices.

We pray for the souls of those who have made the ultimate sacrifice in all wars. We pray for strength and courage for the POWs and MIAs and those held hostage.

We pray for protection and safety of relief workers helping those in need.

We pray for the protection of children and innocent civilians. Lord we especially pray for our nation and our leaders."


.
Below you will find the press release that went out on October 29th of this year.
.
----------------------------------------------------------------------
.
LARRY BAILEY (BOOTMURTHA.COM) OCTOBER 1ST RALLY IN JOHNSTOWN, PA.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: Cliff Hancuff
September 29, 2006 (202) 247-1418
Journalismisflat@aol.com

"American troops could be home now, except for critical mistakes made by our current Commander in Chief," charges Cliff Hancuff, Director of The World of Journalism Is Flat, Too.

"Media and right-wing bloggers are ignoring this fact. For weeks I have been challenging political activists and journalists to act with a minimum of ethical standards," continued Hancuff.

"I became involved when the Sun-Sentinel in Florida reported that Rep. John Murtha (D-Pa.) said the U.S. poses the top threat to world peace. I watched in dismay as the media and bloggers worldwide reported on this misquote."

"My involvement continued when I discovered Diana Irey, John Murtha's political opponent, had attacked Murtha using a fictional quote attributed to Abraham Lincoln."

"Larry Bailey of bootmurtha.com is continuing his three year blind support of our current Commander in Chief's incompetence in war. President Bush declared war in Iraq without the 4th Infantry, our most lethal, modern, and deployable heavy division in the world," added Hancuff.

This mistake lead to the atrocity of Al Qaqaa. Iraqi insurgents stole hundreds of tons of high explosives to be used as weaponry.

"These are the explosives being used by Iraqi insurgents and al Qaeda to perpetuate the war in Iraq."

"I am distressed that the same issues ignored by Swift Boat Veterans for Truth in 2004 are being ignored again in 2006," said Hancuff adding, "Americans, American soldiers, and their families deserve better."

"Without these critical mistakes made by our current Commander in Chief, our American troops would be home with their loved ones, with honor, right now."

On October 1, 2006 Hancuff be at the Cambria County War Memorial Arena located in Johnstown Pennsylvania for Larry Bailey's Swiftboating of John Murtha rally. It is there Hancuff will continue his wait for Mr. Bailey to recall the values of honor and integrity taught him by our US Navy.

There is a youtube.com video online at:

YouTube - Rovian Architecture Unplugged

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d5jcyHokFyE


The World of Journalism Is Flat, Too
(202) 247-1418

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