Along the Tracks

Thursday, September 26, 2002
 

Lincolnesque


Majority Leader Tom Daschle threw a hissy fit on the Senate floor yesterday, accusing President Bush of “politicizing” the war. Other Democrats are piling on this “issue shifter” as well.

Interesting how all this happens as PBS rebroadcasts the Ken Burns masterpiece, The Civil War. The history lesson is directly applicable to today’s events: Lincoln knew he needed a major victory on the battlefield to win re-election in 1864, so he pushed his generals to go on the offensive - particularly Sherman in his march on Atlanta. Democrats, then as today, accused the president of politicizing the war. Lincoln basically admitted it; he felt successful prosecution of the war was crucial to the future of the country and democracy itself. His re-election was a key to the prosecution of the war. Therefore, “politicizing” the debate forced voters to decide which worldview they wished to join. That’s what political debates are supposed to do. That’s why Bush is right to do it now.

I’ll have more on this in Saturday’s Bryan Times.


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