Thursday, March 03, 2005

Four Score And Seven Years Ago We Didn't Have Sensible Shoes

Ah, Democracy. Reasoned debate, thoughtful discussion, consensus, compromise. It's little wonder why we are a beacon to the world when we have examples like Representative Jim Gibbons, of Nevada.

Speaking at a Lincoln Day celebration he dedicated his remarks to the "brave young men and women who are serving on the front lines" in what he termed World War III. He later corrected himself and said he meant to say World War three, not World War eye eye eye.

Mr. Gibbons (no relation to Hylobates moloch)
speculated on what the 16th president might be thinking were he alive today. Well, Mr. G. could it be:

"With malice toward none; with charity for all; with firmness in the right, as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in; to bind up the nation's wounds; to care for him who shall have borne the battle, and for his widow, and his orphan..."

No? How about:

"The dogmas of the quiet past, are inadequate to the stormy present. The occasion is piled high with difficulty, and we must rise -- with the occasion. As our case is new, so we must think anew, and act anew. We must disenthrall ourselves, and then we shall save our country."

Not quite? Maybe this:

"That I am not a member of any Christian Church, is true; but I have never spoken with intentional disrespect of religion in general, or any denomination of Christians in particular."

No way you say. OK. You tell us Mr. Gibbons:

"It was not movie stars but soldiers and sailors that defended freedom in the deserts of Iraq, the jungles of Vietnam, the sands of Iwo Jima and the beaches of Normandy."

Umm...They didn't have movies back then. Besides, what about Ronald Reagan? He made movies during the Second World War.

"I say we tell those liberal, tree-hugging, Birkenstock-wearing, hippie, tie-dyed liberals to go make their movies and their music and whine somewhere else," Gibbons said to another burst of applause. He said that they are the same people who wanted to go to Iraq and become human shields for the enemy. "I say it's just too damn bad we didn't buy them a ticket," Gibbons said.

Reagan wore Birkenstocks? Well, President Reagan's footware aside, a historically accurate extrapolation of what Lincoln might be thinking were he alive today should probably give old Abe the last word:

"Neither let us be slandered from our duty by false accusations against us, nor frightened from it by menaces of destruction to the Government nor of dungeons to ourselves. Let us have faith that right makes might, and in that faith, let us, to the end, dare to do our duty as we understand it."

Hmmm...Guess they didn't have Birkenstocks either back in those days.

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