This week a ceremony will be held at the Gettysburg National Military Park to commemorate the 150th anniversary of Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address. These few words, perhaps more than any other, describe the soul of the USA. It is an acknowledgement of the government’s continued devotion to the principles of the Declaration of Independence and to the People’s will under the U.S. Constitution.
Obama did not attend the ceremony.
Meanwhile Bret Stephens of the WSJ, has his own take on why Obama did not attend the Gettysburg ceremony in “From Four Score to Yes We Can.”
All this will force even liberals to reappraise the Obama presidency. Lincoln’s political reputation went from being “the original gorilla” (as Edwin Stanton, his future secretary of war, once called him) to being celebrated, in the words of Ulysses Grant, as “incontestably the greatest man I have ever known.” Obama’s political trajectory, and reputation, are headed in the opposite direction: from Candidate Cool to President Callow.
Stephens ends with the following:
Is there a remedy? Probably not. Then again, the president’s no-show at Gettysburg suggests he might be trying to follow Old Abe’s counsel in a fruitful way: “Better to remain silent and be thought a fool,” the Great Emancipator is reported to have said, “than to speak and to remove all doubt.”
As far as the present occupant of the White House is concerned he has already opened his mouth and proven his critics correct. In fact many of us were too generous in our initial hopes for the man simply because we hope, as all Americans hope, that anyone who occupies the Oval Office has a good heart, a love of this country and functioning brain synapses.