Here’s Rick Hertzberg, hitting below the belt again. Way to go, Rick.
Obama made a forthright argument that primitive individualism has to be paired with what he called “another thread running throughout our history — a belief that we are all connected and that there are some things we can only do together, as a nation.” He cited the example of his (and history’s) favorite Republican:
We all remember Abraham Lincoln as the leader who saved our Union. But in the middle of a Civil War, he was also a leader who looked to the future — a Republican president who mobilized government to build the transcontinental railroad, launch the National Academy of Sciences, and set up the first land-grant colleges.
All true. But it helped that, in the middle of the Civil War, there were no Senators or Congressmen from the part of the nation that, at the time, styled itself the Confederate States of America. In other words, Lincoln didn't have to deal with so many of the sort of people of the type we would today call “Republicans.”