In a rapid fire display of flip-flopping that would make even the staunchest of liberals proud, Newsweek's Howard Fineman manages to change his opinion on the justification of an Obama-Lincoln connection three times in just under 900 words.
The random logic is hard to see through all the gooeyness behind the concept of such a ridiculous comparison in the first place, but once you wipe the screen, you'll be able to spot it clear as day.
Fineman starts by asking himself a few questions:
Is there any reason, other than the lean frame and knack for giving good speeches, to compare the two men? Is there any reason to see in Obama a Lincoln-like ability to unite a "house divided" in our perilous times? Is that even a fair question to ask or comparison to make?
While most of us would scoff at the notion, Fineman concludes otherwise:
I feel justified in asking because Obama himself raised these questions when he launched his candidacy February a year ago in front of the Old State House in Springfield.
So, an Obama-Lincoln comparison is justified based on the fact that Obama referenced it himself?
The piece starts to delve into an eerie reminiscing of that Obama speech in which Fineman ponders:
He didn't lay the Lincoln references on thick, but he didn't have to. Even I could hear the historical echoes.
Feel free to break for any involuntary dry-heaving that occurs after reading those lines. I know I did.
While Obama may not have been thick with the Lincoln references during this speech, he certainly has done so in the past. As have his political allies, such as Al Gore, Ken Burns, the Chicago Tribune, and naturally, the Associated Press.
Moving forward, the next portion makes a statement that can be interpreted various ways (emphasis mine):
As Obama has said repeatedly, he is, by virtue of his own DNA, "the change we have been waiting for." He is, by that standard, the rightful heir to Lincoln's vision and hope.
By virtue of his own DNA? Is this intended to imply that Obama's skin color makes him ‘the rightful heir to Lincoln's vision and hope?' Or, perhaps that statement is making reference to the fact that some liberals believe Obama is the chosen one. His DNA has been a gift that God has blessed us with at this time, to guide our country and ‘unite a "house divided" in our perilous times,' as Fineman puts it.
The notion that Obama is the end product of Lincoln's hope and vision is frightening. Did Lincoln's vision include close ties to a preacher who hates America? Did he hope that one day we would have a President who's wife had never been proud of her own country? Did the Lincoln vision include a future President who launched his Senate career from the home of an unrepentant terrorist?
Shortly thereafter however, Fineman seems to regain control of his senses. He appears to come to the realization that comparing Obama's history to that of Lincoln is just plain wrong, using such statements as:
Lincoln: He had risen above ... the humblest beginnings imaginable...
Obama: ...his trials are a lot less Malcolm X than Obama's autobiography has made it seem... he had the support of well-connected and loving grandparents who saw that he had the best education available in the state of Hawaii.
Lincoln: ...he was tested as perhaps no leader in America had ever been-by financial struggle, personal loss, public humiliation and political defeat.
Obama: To skeptics, Obama is nothing more or less than a suburban prep-school graduate who did well at Columbia and Harvard, and who smoothly propelled himself upward... what political adversity or long night of the soul has Obama faced?... What have we learned about how Obama would handle a real crisis? Nothing...
Fineman has gone from justifiable comparison, to arguing staunchly that there is no comparison to be made. While this appears to be a story with a happy ending, a moment of revelation and clarity rarely experienced by the left, it takes a tragic and final twist. Fineman closes with:
So if he wins... voters will have to hope that the lineage that traces back to Chicago is no mere coincidence, and that the echoes of Lincoln are credible enough to inspire us all.
We've gone from fairytale ending, to tragedy in one sentence.
One has to wonder, does this mean that Fineman voted for the comparison, before he voted against it, in which he previously voted for it? Somewhere, John Kerry is smiling.
By even making this comparison, Fineman reveals himself as a simple Obama mimic, repeating his own self-glorifying, albeit ridiculous comparisons to one of our nation's greatest President's.
Photo Credit: Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division, LC-USP6-2415-A DLC
Abraham Lincoln, Sixteenth President of the United States