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Presidency

Cheap Imitation Lincoln

John J. Pitney writes a sprightly and instructive column today exploring the many ways in which the wit and wisdom of Abraham Lincoln have been contorted, twisted, and engineered to create useful (though false) verbal props for American presidents (and speechwriters) who ought to have known better.
Categories > Presidency

Discussions - 3 Comments

A really good, short history of the Boetcker quotes and their misattribution to Lincoln can be found on The Mighty Snopes:

http://www.snopes.com/quotes/lincoln/prosperity.asp

I believe Glenn Beck has passed along this falsehood already.

If Snopes is right, then Lincoln said all of those things, just not quite in that way; not in list form, nor with the "You cannot" beginning. "but it is generally accepted that someone published a leaflet with Boetcker's list of "cannots" on one side and authentic Lincoln quotations on the other, leading to an inevitable mix-up that resulted in everything printed on both sides of the paper being attributed to Lincoln." Surely that is different than simply putting words in Lincoln's poor dead mouth. You are complaining about a partially paraphrased compilation containing true quotes and (possibly) sentiments. That is not the same as what Pitney points to which is equivalent to making Lincoln a puppet set on Obama's lap like Mortimer Snerd mouthing what Obama wants him to say, but that he did not ever say.

Funny how the only presidents that left compare Obama to is Lincoln and Reagon. Both republicans. Guess this means that the left has finally admitted that all the past democratic presidents were losers....

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