Obamateurism of the Day

posted at 8:05 am on September 9, 2011 by Ed Morrissey

By this time, Barack Obama should know better than to go off the TelePrompter. In the text of the speech last night given to a joint session of Congress, Obama was supposed to make a single reference to Abraham Lincoln:

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.

Unfortunately, Obama felt the need to take a partisan shot at his opposition, and in doing so, offered up a historic flub (via Greg Hengler):

We all remember Abraham Lincoln as the leader who saved our Union. Founder of the Republican Party.

Er, not quite. Lincoln wasn’t even the GOP’s first Presidential nominee; the first Republican nominee was John C. Fremont in 1856. As the Independence Hall Association recalls, the actual founders of the Republican Party are “Northern leaders such as Horace Greeley, Salmon Chase and Charles Sumner.” Lincoln joined early, as did other anti-slavery Whigs whose party was unraveling at the time, and Lincoln came in second for the 1856 vice-presidential nomination, but he was not a founder of the party.  By the time he became a factor in the GOP, the party had already taken a majority in the House of Representatives (1855); it also carried 11 states and 114 electoral votes in the 1856 election that sent Democrat James Buchanan to the White House.

Next time Obama wants to lecture Republicans on their own history, maybe he should take the time to learn it first.

Update: Even as late as 1855, Lincoln resisted the temptation to abandon the Whigs:

When just about most Whigs, north and south, had abandoned the party in droves, Lincoln tenaciously clung to the Whig designation until he eventually bowed to political realities.  Lincoln joined the Republicans in large part due to his distaste of the nativism of other emerging major party: the Know Nothings.  Lincoln abhorred their anti-immigrant, anti-Catholic platform and so decided that the Republicans were the most palatable of the “anti-Nebraska” (those opposed to the Kansas-Nebraska act and the extension of slavery) parties emerging in the United States.

Lincoln’s letter to Joshua Speed, dated August 24, 1855, explains his reluctance to leave the Whigs and to adopt the Republican moniker.

Be sure to read it all.

Got an Obamateurism of the Day? If you see a foul-up by Barack Obama, e-mail it to me at obamaisms@edmorrissey.com with the quote and the link to the Obamateurism. I’ll post the best Obamateurisms on a daily basis, depending on how many I receive. Include a link to your blog, and I’ll give some link love as well. And unlike Slate, I promise to end the feature when Barack Obama leaves office.

Illustrations by Chris Muir of Day by Day. Be sure to read the adventures of Sam, Zed, Damon, and Jan every day!


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“Don’t know nothin’ ’bout his-to-ree….”

NeighborhoodCatLady on September 9, 2011 at 8:09 AM

Ummmm…..you have a Democrat giving us Republican history? A Hahvahd Dem, no less. ‘nut said.

herm2416 on September 9, 2011 at 8:10 AM

And the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor.

kingsjester on September 9, 2011 at 8:11 AM

kingsjester on September 9, 2011 at 8:11 AM

Forget it. He’s rolling.

Ed Morrissey on September 9, 2011 at 8:12 AM

D’oh!
—————-
but mika and joe sure thought he gave an AWESOME speech

cmsinaz on September 9, 2011 at 8:12 AM

Stop! He’s TRYING to sound confident!

Marcus on September 9, 2011 at 8:12 AM

A) Maybe he’s too young to remember Sergeant Friday: The facts, ma’am.Just the facts.

B) Or maybe he just won’t let the truth get in the way of a good story.

C) Or maybe he’s just not that bright…

Hmmm…

Crusader Rabbit on September 9, 2011 at 8:13 AM

Ed Morrissey on September 9, 2011 at 8:12 AM

lol

never gets old :)

cmsinaz on September 9, 2011 at 8:13 AM

It’s TOTUS’ fault!

a Republican president who mobilized government to build the transcontinental railroad

Yeah, and we’ve been subsidizing rail ever since.

Beaglemom on September 9, 2011 at 8:16 AM

smaht powah!

Alden Pyle on September 9, 2011 at 8:17 AM

Bam-Bam’s a Harvard grad. Facts just don’t matter to them.

AZCoyote on September 9, 2011 at 8:17 AM

It’ll be like the Simpson’s take-off on Cape Fear: blustery bravado to be followed later with:

“Oh, c’mon! I’ll be your friend. Oh, you’re mean!”

Marcus on September 9, 2011 at 8:18 AM

As if any of the drooling morons who still cling to the PBHO dream would know or care otherwise, the man lies so easily and his minions are fooled so easily that it’s all second nature now.

Bishop on September 9, 2011 at 8:18 AM

Why should he bother with American history when he clearly does not want to be an American?

Badger40 on September 9, 2011 at 8:19 AM

“Don’t know much about history, focused on ideology…”

Jim Treacher on September 9, 2011 at 8:21 AM

apparently, the only good Republican, is a dead Republican???

ted c on September 9, 2011 at 8:22 AM

Said “FAIL” out loud when I heard that part last night.

Red Cloud on September 9, 2011 at 8:22 AM

its a strawman. Oppose me, you’re opposing Lincoln.

it’s calling someone a racist, just more nuanced.

ted c on September 9, 2011 at 8:23 AM

How appropiate his good buddy Jeff Immelt was sitting in the VIP gallery!

Yep, let’s have a President give a jobs bill speech with a guy who has taken major jobs and shipped them overseas sitting there in a promiment seat!

The hypocrisy is just deafening!

pilamaye on September 9, 2011 at 8:24 AM

I didn’t listen to that disaster, what was the purpose of the Lincoln reference, some sort of attempt by the worthless PBHO to connect himself to a truly great American?

Bishop on September 9, 2011 at 8:24 AM

Since he likes to compare himself to Lincoln, do we accept that Obama is not only a Republican now but a founding Republican?

SKYFOX on September 9, 2011 at 8:25 AM

Don’t tell Paul Revere for heavens sake bells might start ringing!

tinkerthinker on September 9, 2011 at 8:27 AM

SEN Byrd is a founder of the Democrat party.

turnabout = fair play?

ted c on September 9, 2011 at 8:28 AM

He grew up in Indonesia, they don’t teach US history there.

ctmom on September 9, 2011 at 8:29 AM

OT – To create a aura of bi-partisanship, Dems plan ice cream social

http://themorningspew.com/2011/09/08/whats-the-secret-ingredient/

bloggless on September 9, 2011 at 8:29 AM

he was also a leader who looked to the future – a Republican president who mobilized government to build the transcontinental railroad;

I’m sure that even now, 150 years later, with jetliners, interstate highways, tractor-trailers, and ubiquitous personal vehicles of every description, Ole Honest Abe would be championing High Speed Rail too.

/

VelvetElvis on September 9, 2011 at 8:30 AM

Bam is just a con man. BS is his stock in trade,social justice is his weapon to attain power over the masses. He is a smooth Al Sharpton without those rough inner city edges. He is the great pretender but the “sting” is over, the mark has figured him out. The best part of his show will be his flailing about trying to stay relevant as the country passes him by, a nice bow out will not happen.

tim c on September 9, 2011 at 8:30 AM

Moochy remembers sitting on her father’s lap as a small child, breathlessly listening to Lincoln give the Gettysburg Address. In fact her parents actually met one another at the official cocktail reception which followed the speech. True story.

Bishop on September 9, 2011 at 8:35 AM

At least he didn’t mention Reagan.

As President Reagan pointed out himself, he was in the other party at the time. :-)

The_Livewire on September 9, 2011 at 8:37 AM

“Straw man, platitude, dubious historical reference, congress must immediately pass, straw man, platitude….”

forest on September 9, 2011 at 8:37 AM

I couldn’t listen cause I’d have been screaming, “YOU LIE” throughout the whole speech! I do like how he intimated that we have to pass the bill RIGHT NOW, before it can be read once again though…goon!!!

Vntnrse on September 9, 2011 at 8:40 AM

Learn? What learn? Pass this bill.

antisocial on September 9, 2011 at 8:41 AM

Maybe he got his history lessons from Al Sharpton.
http://www.breitbart.tv/sharpton-has-no-idea-what-year-civil-rights-act-passed-herman-cain-does/

mizflame98 on September 9, 2011 at 8:41 AM

When I read the word “Foundering” wrt Obama, I automatically put the “l” in after the first letter.

Obama, got the “l” out of there, lol.

Fallon on September 9, 2011 at 8:42 AM

If people would just listen to Obama and do what he says everything would be all right. I know. One of his loyal minions told me so just this morning.

backwoods conservative on September 9, 2011 at 8:42 AM

Classic example of govt involvement in education.

Kissmygrits on September 9, 2011 at 8:43 AM

obaka says it all…

ladyingray on September 9, 2011 at 8:43 AM

He’s destroying our country (accidentally, or purposefully).

It’s that Simple.

He is the DOTUS.

499 DAYS.

PappyD61 on September 9, 2011 at 8:44 AM

I’m sure that even now, 150 years later, with jetliners, interstate highways, tractor-trailers, and ubiquitous personal vehicles of every description, Ole Honest Abe would be championing High Speed Rail too.

/

VelvetElvis on September 9, 2011 at 8:30 AM

I’m waiting for Barry to call for the construction of new ocean liners. Don’t want to be left behind by England and the Q.E. II.

mizflame98 on September 9, 2011 at 8:45 AM

a Republican president who mobilized government to build the transcontinental railroad

Correct me if I’m wrong but while the government used Eminent Domain to seize lands to build the TCR it was built by private companies and investors.

darwin-t on September 9, 2011 at 8:46 AM

I’m just anticipating the Sept 19th speech
Its “Talk Like a Pirate” Day

tomg51 on September 9, 2011 at 8:48 AM

My Whack job neice Courtney Lou last night told me, her exact words……

His speech last night has great possibilities within it! At least he got an “attitude” about being “Made in America”!! I ‘ve been waiting to hear that from him, since he got elected!

I at least have a small glimmer of “hope”!! He is correct, we CANNOT wait 14 more months!

The man has OVERSPENT $5 TRILLION in budget deficit spending, we’ve had TARP, the Auto Bailout, and the first stimulus and 2 QE’s from the Fed……and maybe a third coming……and she dont’ see the fire right in front of her face.

America is burning, it’s a bonfire that the Progressives started in earnest decades ago…….and Obama wants to put more gasoline on it.

Baby, the Obama Stash voters like Courtney Lou just love the smell of smoke I guess.

PappyD61 on September 9, 2011 at 8:49 AM

Forget the transcontinental railroad, Obama explained. I’ve got one word for you, MONORAIL!

NickelAndDime on September 9, 2011 at 8:49 AM

TCR it was built by private companies and investors.

darwin-t on September 9, 2011 at 8:46 AM

And was an all or nothing gamble to boot.

tomg51 on September 9, 2011 at 8:50 AM

When I read the word “Foundering” wrt Obama, I automatically put the “l” in after the first letter.

Obama, got the “l” out of there, lol.

Fallon on September 9, 2011 at 8:42 AM

Actually the word is foundering, it is the illiterare who kept using floundering so often that they put in the dictionary.

darwin-t on September 9, 2011 at 8:52 AM

mizflame98 on September 9, 2011 at 8:41 AM

That Civil Rights Act of 1965 sneaks up on you.

Speaking of history, the public never seems to permanently learn that con men and radical thugs are not good for them.

IlikedAUH2O on September 9, 2011 at 8:53 AM

darwin-t on September 9, 2011 at 8:46 AM

I think you’re technically correct, but the govt. was involved in giving land to the companies to build the railroads along with some additional property, and used govt. bonds to support the construction costs, etc. I think.

However, I like Stephen Ambrose’ historical understanding on many topics, and may look into this a bit more:

The bonds and land grants have been frequently characterised as a government subsidy. However, historian Stephen Ambrose has argued against this since the companies repaid both the capital and interest.[11] He also argues that although the companies were able to sell the land grants in the Sacramento Valley and Nebraska at “a good price”, most of the land in Wyoming, Utah and Nevada was “virtually worthless”.[12]
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/First_Transcontinental_Railroad#Pacific_Railroad_Act

Maybe some smart GOP leaders should study this history, and use it as a blueprint to submit a bill asking for the govt. to grant some of the federal lands to energy companies to drill for oil & gas, and to build pipelines!

It was an example Obama praised in his speech, after all…

:)

cs89 on September 9, 2011 at 8:55 AM

Just imagine what the MSM talking heads would be saying if Michelle Baughman made that blunder.

DuctTapeMyBrain on September 9, 2011 at 8:58 AM

And our flag’s on Mars…

golfmann on September 9, 2011 at 9:04 AM

Nothing against Lincoln, but are there no other American public figures anyone can reference? What is this obsession with Lincoln?

RDE2010 on September 9, 2011 at 9:07 AM

What is this obsession with Lincoln?

RDE2010 on September 9, 2011 at 9:07 AM

It’s our gifted speaker alienating the Southern vote/

tomg51 on September 9, 2011 at 9:10 AM

Øbama is a very forward-looking president. He looks to the future to find people to pay for the present.

Kafir on September 9, 2011 at 9:10 AM

Nothing against Lincoln, but are there no other American public figures anyone can reference? What is this obsession with Lincoln?

RDE2010 on September 9, 2011 at 9:07 AM

Really. Let’s face facts, constitutionalists, was it not Lincoln that established the primacy of the federal government which in time opened the door for The New Deal, The Great Society, and ØbamaCare?

Kafir on September 9, 2011 at 9:12 AM

“As Abraham Lincoln said, ‘If you are a racist, I will attack you with the North,’” -Michael Scott.

Akzed on September 9, 2011 at 9:16 AM

And few people know that Lincoln was fluent in Austrian, too.

Logic on September 9, 2011 at 9:19 AM

And the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor.

kingsjester on September 9, 2011 at 8:11 AM

What’s his Delta Tau Chi name?

docflash on September 9, 2011 at 9:28 AM

Maybe Ojesus should grow himself a scruffy beard and shop around for a stovepipe hat.

Yeah, that’s the ticket.

Abraham Jugears Ojesus; second savior of the Union./

hillbillyjim on September 9, 2011 at 9:29 AM

This guy knows as much about Republicans, as Liberals know about personal hygiene.

Which is to say………

franksalterego on September 9, 2011 at 9:30 AM

“Straw man, platitude, dubious historical reference, congress must immediately pass, straw man, platitude….”

forest on September 9, 2011 at 8:37 AM

And clipping words to the point of obnoxious affectation.

petefrt on September 9, 2011 at 9:32 AM

darwin-t on September 9, 2011 at 8:52 AM

According to Merriam Webster (and a commentator on the confusion between the two words.)

Floundering: struggling to move or obtain footing: thrashing about wildly

Origin – probably alteration of founder, first known use 1592

Foundering: becoming disabled, especially: to go lame: failing

“(I)n the sense of ‘fail’ either ‘founder’ or ‘flounder’ would reasonably fit the context. Although the words do not have the same meaning, they describe situations that are related. Many English speakers have no idea they are two different verbs and use ‘floundered’ exclusively, even when they really mean ‘foundered’. It’s a tricky distinction for a person to learn merely from hearing each word used in various contexts, and really requires a dictionary look-up to appreciate the nuance.”

I’m here to learn but I think your criticism is wrong.

Fallon on September 9, 2011 at 9:37 AM

N

ext time Obama wants to lecture Republicans on their own history, maybe he should take the time to learn it first.

When everyone you surround yourself with keeps telling you that you are the smartest one who ever lived why would you need to learn anything.

chemman on September 9, 2011 at 9:41 AM

Are you sure we was off prompter because I think we know that he has a crack research team. Or maybe he is the crack research team?

Cindy Munford on September 9, 2011 at 9:53 AM

When everyone you surround yourself with keeps telling you that you are the smartest one who ever lived why would you need to learn anything.

chemman on September 9, 2011 at 9:41 AM

Not to mention that you were elected President of the United States. “Well, I am POTUS, so I must be purty smart.” Apparently you no longer need to be highly intelligent, have serious experience, or know history.

RDE2010 on September 9, 2011 at 9:53 AM

Two thoughts on the Transcontinental Railroad.

First, Obama keeps touting railroads as the modernization of transportation even though the railroads were cutting edge technology in the mid to late 1800′s, continuing to build railroads is more regressive than progressive. (Hubby favors Skytran.)

Secondly, it took approximately 5 – 6 years (1863 – 1869) to complete the transcontinental railroad and approximately 15 years (1991 – 2006) to complete the “Big Dig” in Boston.

That’s all.

Fallon on September 9, 2011 at 9:59 AM

“Don’t know much about history, focused on ideology…”

Jim Treacher on September 9, 2011 at 8:21 AM

LOL Now I’m going to have that song stuck in my head all day. LOL :P

Moochy remembers sitting on her father’s lap as a small child, breathlessly listening to Lincoln give the Gettysburg Address. In fact her parents actually met one another at the official cocktail reception which followed the speech. True story.

Bishop on September 9, 2011 at 8:35 AM

ROFLMAO!!! Hey! As long as he has the Obamedia propping him up…no one that supports this moron, cares. *sigh*

capejasmine on September 9, 2011 at 10:03 AM

Ed, you’d know a lot more about the history of this country if you had only watched President Roosevelt on TV in 1929.

parke on September 9, 2011 at 10:34 AM

When you are The One, FACTS are what you say they are. Makes life simple for the simple-minded who follow him.

GarandFan on September 9, 2011 at 11:02 AM

Loved the shot of Boehner and Biden in the background: Boehner looking at Obama with WTF written all over his face, and Biden nodding like the bobble-head he is.

RebeccaH on September 9, 2011 at 11:08 AM

all 57 states were then linked with a log ride from the White House to Knott’s Berry Far.

borntoraisehogs on September 9, 2011 at 11:09 AM

RebeccaH on September 9, 2011 at 11:08 AM

And Obama looks like he’s wearing a mask…GASP! My president is an alien!

RDE2010 on September 9, 2011 at 12:15 PM

However, I like Stephen Ambrose’ historical understanding on many topics, and may look into this a bit more…

cs89 on September 9, 2011 at 8:55 AM

Probably from his book “Nothing Like it in the World”, a great read.

slickwillie2001 on September 9, 2011 at 12:54 PM

Did you ever see the old History of the Democratic Party on the DNC website. If you had, you would realize it is not Obama’s fault that he mixes up history in the 1800s–the Democrats used to pretend that their party didn’t exist until Woodrow Wilson became President so that they could ignore the ugly history of their party. Here is a good WSJ article discussing the old page.

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB121856786326834083.html

The DNC has changed their history page to now pretend that although it claims that the Democrat party started over 200 years ago (with Jefferson), the first President mentioned is…President Roosevelt in the 1930s…

http://www.democrats.org/about/our_history

There is also this quote on their site: “For more than 200 years, Democrats have represented the interests of working families, fighting for equal opportunities and justice for all Americans.”

http://www.democrats.org/about/our_party

Er…no. So you see, it is not Obama’s fault that he doesn’t know history, he is just a product of the DNC system that doesn’t acknowledge history.

Conservative in NOVA on September 9, 2011 at 1:07 PM

its a strawman. Oppose me, you’re opposing Lincoln.
it’s calling someone a racist, just more nuanced.
ted c on September 9, 2011 at 8:23 AM

Because Lincoln was a Republican, right?
Wouldn’t that also mean if you support Obama, you support Slavery?
Wouldn’t that also mean if you support Obama, you support the KKK?

DSchoen on September 9, 2011 at 3:57 PM

Austrians speak Austrian and Australians speak Australian, you rubes.

Schadenfreude on September 9, 2011 at 4:12 PM

smartest president EVAH!

LOL, I watched John Bohener’s face when Obama said that – his face said “I can’t believe stupid just said that”.

katablog.com on September 9, 2011 at 5:45 PM