Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Kenneth Anderson's on What would Lincoln have done? And why finally we should not ask the question.

A good post by a Law Prof looking at Kuttner's Lincoln-Bush comparison. I quoted Anderson's commmens on Lincoln's faith and education.

Kenneth Anderson's Law of War and Just War Theory Blog: Shame on Robert Kuttner for using Lincoln for cheap shots at Bush:
As for religion, Kuttner et al. might be thought to resemble most closely the anti-war Democratic newspapers of the day - along with many of the sophisticated newspapers of Europe - who were appalled by the religiousity of the Second Inaugural Address and accused its author of offering 'puritanical' theology in place of public policy, and who believed that Lincoln was invoking the mantle of the Almighty in order to shield his own policies from criticism - Lincoln was guilty, in their eyes, of being at once a believer and a hypocrite, which is not that different, so far as I can tell, from how Kuttner sees Bush. As for the belief that Lincoln acquainted himself with a wide range of opinion through his wide reading, whereas Bush lives apart from newspapers and criticism - well, ironically, both elite Radical New England opinion and elite New York Democratic anti-war opinion believed that the ill-educated Lincoln lived in a world shaped by Western frontier prejudices and that he was simply outside the mainstream of what American and European elites 'knew' to be the real world, not so different from what Kuttner et al. in the 'reality-based community' like to think of themselves and President Bush.


Amy Allen said...

But wasn't Lincoln's "Father Abraham" persona not exactly organic? His early speeches(and comments in debates) weren't always as "higher plane"(read: religious)ish.

Bill Baar said...

I don't know. The only book I've read about Lincoln recently is David Herbert Donalds Lincoln and I don't seen anyting on his religion in the index.

I do think Bush gets a bum rap as theocratic when generally I find his religous references pretty non-denominational and quit fitting with past religous references by American Presidents.

That's what caught my eye in Anderson's post.