Wednesday, October 02, 2013

Lincoln knew how to deal with fanatics

From Wikipedia
After his election in 1860, President-elect Lincoln on dealing with Southern threats of secession:
My dear Sir---Yours of the 6th is received. I answer it only because I fear you would misconstrue my silence. What is our present condition? We have just carried an election on principles fairly stated to the people. Now we are told in advance, the government shall be broken up, unless we surrender to those we have beaten, before we take the offices. In this they are either attempting to play upon us, or they are in dead earnest. Either way, if we surrender, it is the end of us, and of the government. They will repeat the experiment upon us ad libitum. A year will not pass, till we shall have to take Cuba as a condition upon which they will stay in the Union. They now have the Constitution, under which we have lived over seventy years, and acts of Congress of their own framing, with no prospect of their being changed; and they can never have a more shallow pretext for breaking up the government, or extorting a compromise, than now. There is, in my judgment, but one compromise which would really settle the slavery question, and that would be a prohibition against acquiring any more territory.
Yours very truly,
Thanks to Andrew Sullivan for the link.

Paul Krugman is good on the issue.


At 1:38 PM, Blogger Rkeezy said...

Good find!

At 2:49 PM, Blogger Rob Anderson said...

President Lincoln had to physically smash the Confederacy to save the union. With the help of the American people, President Obama---and probably his successors---will have to smash the Tea Party politically, so that these fanatics can never again hold the whole country hostage on behalf of their crackpot perspective.

At 6:17 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Abraham Lincoln - A REPUBLICAN, had to do that, just like Ted Cruz needs to do now.

At 8:39 PM, Blogger Rob Anderson said...

Abraham Lincoln lives in a completely different moral and intellectual universe than Ted Cruz, a reactionary and a demagogue who's already earned the enmity of other Republicans in the Senate. Lincoln, on the other hand, won the Republican nomination in 1860 because he was so widely known and respected in his own party.

And Lincoln refused to be bullied by slaveholders and proto-fascists in the old South, while Cruz is taking a stand against poor and working people getting affordable medical insurance---and doing it essentially with the political support of the same states that constituted the Confederate South in the Civil War.


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