Abe Lincoln's party?

I don’t think so. My knowledge of history is pretty weak, but I don’t think Abe’s republican party bears much resemblance to George Bush’s.
I just heard him claim, in a speech tonight, to be of Lincoln’s party. He was speaking to a largely black audience. Hmmm.
Fat chance? Or true.

Yes, Lincoln was a Republican.

It was true technically. He could have referred to the Democrats as once being the party of segregation and racism and he would have been roughly correct as well. Political parties in the U.S. are like sports teams. There is an unbroken lineage but things can change drastically over time. A Red Sox player today could say that he was on the same team as Babe Ruth but it doesn’t mean much.

Lincoln believed blacks were inferior, and should never have the rights of white people*. Maybe that’s what Bush meant?

(I kid. I have mucho problems with Bush, but I don’t recall any reasons to think he’s bigoted against blacks.)


Well, do you think he would have had any chance of getting elected if he had said, “I think blacks should vote, hold office, and marry your daughters”?

All political parties change over time; I seriously doubt the Conservative Party in the UK has the same positions that it did when Disraeli was it’s head.

Blacks in the US were strongly Republican in the 19th Century – since Lincoln freed the slaves, and the Democratic Party was entrenched as the slaveholders’ party in the South, how could they not? Things changed as the Democrats under FDR began to become the party of the northern urban areas where Blacks were moving. Then, when the Democrats started pushing for Civil Rights (starting in 1948), most Black voters switched. They are one of the Democrats’ most dependable voting bloc – so much so that Bush didn’t think it was worth appearing at the NAACP convention the past few years.

It is typical Republican rhetoric to make the connection with Lincoln to Black audiences, but the audiences don’t buy it.

Are you suggesting he only said those things to get elected, and did not really believe in white superiority? If so, what makes you think he did not actually feel that way?

His freeing of Black people from slavery? Just guessing.

It would have been cool if one of the audience members had said, “Thanks for the emancipation and don’t think we don’t appreciate it. But what have you done for us in the last 143 years?”

I think it’s more likely to say that Lincoln opposed slavery but considered the Union more important that that.

All quotes from Lincoln:

I think Jonathan nailed it pretty well. I do not doubt that he was utterly convinced that slavery was wrong, but he was more convinced that the Union must be preserved. I think we err when we judge 19th century men by 21st century values. By today’s terms, his notions of racial inequality seem quite outrageous. But for his time, he may have been on the liberal side of the scale. As offered before, declarations of complete racial equality would have been an electoral death sentence.

That he represented the Republican Party is mere happenstance. Both parties have evolved over time to an extent that neither modern party resembles their 19th century namesake in anything but name.

There’s a good deal of room between feeling people shouldn’t be slaves and feeling they are your equals. Lincoln stated pretty clearly that he was in that middle ground.

I heard that guy could throw one bitchin’ kegger.

Well, no, he probably did believe that whites as a group were superior to blacks as a group. But my point is, even if he didn’t, he would have to say he did. In that race, Douglas and the Democrats were painting the Republicans as the party of miscegeneration. He’s rebutting those charges, as you can see from the rest of the paragraph.

Of course Lincoln was deliberately a Republican, having been one of the earliest Republicans. The Republicans were the anti-slavery party, and abolition was the cause celebré among the emerging class of industrialists and their wives and children. The Republicans were in bed with big business from the beginning. I would say that in terms of labor policy, Bush can claim to represent the party of Lincoln without blushing.

Since this is IMHO I will add that as I recall from some history reading that England was making preparations to recognize the CSA as a sovereign nation and establish trade with the South. this would mean the much-need cannons, shot, powder, and supplies would be available to the Confederacy. Is in tun would mean ships of the Royal Navy challenging the Union blockade. The North would have to expand the war to include Great Britain or face a well equipped South. It was at this time that Lincoln put forth the Emancipation Proclamation to cast the South as the “Evil” side of the conflict in the eyes of the world and discourage this official recognition.
It was years ago that I read this and I’m not sure which text it was in but certainly seems like a reasonable tactic from all perspectives.

Well, between RIce and Powell, Bush’s administration has/had more African-Americans in visible positions of power than any others I can think of.

For me, the real telling thing is the way he dropped the “good ol’ boy cowboy” manner of speaking that he uses when he speaks to his typical crowd.

The Second Confiscation Act provided for the liberation of all slaves, as a penalty for anyone participating or assisting the rebellion. That was in early 1862. The Emancipation Proclamation basically took it one step further.

Really, what kepy Great Britain out the Civil War was their basic reticence to do so, the South’s inability to win a major offensive battle, and the Union’s capture of the Mississippi River, which pretty much doomed the Confederacy.

The Rebublican party was traditionally in favor of stronger central government and the Democrats were more supportive of states’ rights. Reconstruction left a bitter taste in the mouths of southern whites, so they became strongly Democratic. The phrase “yellow dog democrat” came from the fact that people would vote for a yellow dog as long as it was a democrat. For years there was an uneasy marriage between sothern conservative democrats who opposed civil rights legislation and northern democrats who were pro-labor and anti-big business. Nixon’s Southern Strategy changed all that. They went after the southern conservatives who were pissed off by Johnson’s civil rights legislation, “activist” courts who decided that black people had rights to equal education, etc. The Republicans exploited this discontent in a truly shameful manner. For years many souther conservatives stayed registered as democrats but voted republican.

These days, the issues are gay marriage, guns, flag burning, etc., but the tactics are the same: rile up the poor folks and then pass legislation favoring the rich.

If I had lived in the 19th century, and had limited exposure to blacks, most of whom had been deliberately kept inferior (enslaved, denied education and opportunity, etc.), I might well have believed blacks were inferior, too.