There is little doubt that the greatest Republican would now be viewed, in portions of his party, as a RINO — a Republican in Name Only. Lincoln was a lifelong advocate of Whig economics, in which government took a limited but vigorous role in promoting economic opportunity. Lincoln foresaw a vast, prosperous, commercial republic, bound and strengthened by a national bank and by publicly financed roads, canals and rails. He had little patience with Thomas Jefferson’s anti-government ideology. A great nation, in Lincoln’s view, would require free labor, public education and avenues for commerce…

America has stumbled into the age of shoddy. Our deficits mount, our politicians squabble, our credit is downgraded, our firms can’t compete, our workers lose hope, our military is about to be hollowed out by massive cuts. Obama can rightly complain that he didn’t cause all of this. But he also didn’t muster much ideological creativity to fight it. He has been unable to think anew and act anew — and so fails the Lincoln test.