The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler

Thankfulness Is A Habit

Posted on | November 22, 2012 | 29 Comments

by Smitty

Last night at church we reviewed Lincoln’s 1863 Thanksgiving Proclamation. Those who wish to “bicker and argue over who killed who” in the recent election may benefit from a stroll in Lincoln’s boots, as he hoists himself from seemingly overwhelming carnage in the Civil War (north of 45k Americans killed/wounded/missing at Gettysburg alone that year) to speak of the bigger picture, from which vantage he can say:

I do, therefore, invite my fellow-citizens in every part of the United States, and also those who are at sea and those who are sojourning in foreign lands, to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next as a Day of Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the heavens. And I recommend to them that, while offering up the ascriptions justly due to Him for such singular deliverances and blessings, they do also, with humble penitence for our national perverseness and disobedience, commend to His tender care all those who have become widows, orphans, mourners, or sufferers in the lamentable civil strife in which we are unavoidably engaged, and fervently implore the interposition of the Almighty hand to heal the wounds of the nation, and to restore it, as soon as may be consistent with the Divine purposes, to the full enjoyment of peace, harmony, tranquility, and union.

“Humble penitence” is an attitude which we’ll do well to rediscover, and it may be that we’ve just the sort of economic program in place to bring about the occasion. Nevertheless, not the lack of finger-pointing afoot in Linconln’s words. As with Psalm 51, “perverseness and disobedience” is better discussed in the vertical direction, where one is less able to shift attention from one’s own contributions. As we seek to mend a divided nation, a thankful, forgiving approach is key to bringing the hordes of Prodigals home.

And, for all that, don’t forget to score you some flesh:

This post motivated by Hayward.


29 Responses to “Thankfulness Is A Habit”

  1. Susan Valentine
    November 22nd, 2012 @ 9:12 am

    Susan Valentine liked this on Facebook.

  2. Bert the Samoan Lawyer
    November 22nd, 2012 @ 9:50 am

    Smitty, read “The Real Lincoln” by Thomas DiLorenzo, a professor at Loyola in New Orleans. The unwarranted hagiography of Lincoln has gone on long enough. You will discover that Obama and Lincoln really are political twins, but not in a good way. It all starts with Henry Clay, economic stimulus in the form of “public works” that bankrupted states like Illinois, prompting Lincoln to prescribe them as the correct medicine for the nation as a whole, and ends up with big swaths of the country (not just the South) wanting to secede.

  3. Evi L. Bloggerlady
    November 22nd, 2012 @ 10:28 am

    I am thankful for everyone at TOM. Thank you. Here are a couple of Turkeys for you!

  4. Evi L. Bloggerlady
    November 22nd, 2012 @ 10:30 am

    While Lincoln was a man and certainly no saint (with some rare exceptions, who really is), Obama and Lincoln are not political twins, in any way. Although I assure you many on the left would love this argument.

  5. Garym
    November 22nd, 2012 @ 10:36 am

    Happy Thanksgiving everyone! I hope you all get stuffed!
    Go Cowboys!

  6. Happy Thanksgiving 2012 « Blog de KingShamus
    November 22nd, 2012 @ 10:59 am

    […] Thankfulness is a habit.  So sayeth the great Smitty at the wonderful Other McCain. […]

  7. Quartermaster
    November 22nd, 2012 @ 11:09 am

    Sorry ELB, but they are. It is certainly your prerogative to disagree, but that won’t change the fact that both of the maladminstrations are characterized by their lawlessness.

    The problems of the country will never be solved until people realize that lawlessness is the problem and return to the basic law of the country. Lincoln had little use for the constitution when it go in his way, just as the modern parties have,

  8. smitty
    November 22nd, 2012 @ 11:15 am

    I’m not placing Lincoln on any pedestal. The recent reviews of his record are a healthy thing. Slavery had to go. You can argue that Lincoln’s approach was a cure worse than the disease. Fine. I don’t quite agree on that, though let’s not paper over the point that Lincoln actually did solve a problem, whereas most uses of the word ‘solve’ in a political context are really just pulling the leg.

    Lincoln himself experienced significant adversity, and persevered. And I don’t think #OccupyResoluteDesk would do anything other than crumble, faced with the dissolution of the Union.

    So, if we aren’t happy with the unintended consequences of Lincoln’s record, let’s identify and address those, and not go all retro-Alinsky on the guy.

  9. Thanksgiving Around the Web | hogewash
    November 22nd, 2012 @ 11:38 am

    […] Thanksgiving Around the Web Posted on 22 November, 2012 by wjjhoge Smitty reminds us that Thanksgiving is a Habit. […]

  10. Dianna Deeley
    November 22nd, 2012 @ 11:45 am

    Happy Thanksgiving to all at TOM, and the commenters and even to the better-natured among the trolls!

  11. smitty
    November 22nd, 2012 @ 11:51 am

    I submit that a glance at the motives would be helpful. To say that Lincoln was all about Chicago-style thuggery and cronyism, like #OccupyResoluteDesk, may be overstating the point.

    Nevertheless, the notion of popular sovereignty and limited government must be restored. For my debased money, Woodrow Wilson is the far greater villain.

  12. Evi L. Bloggerlady
    November 22nd, 2012 @ 12:01 pm

    That is a very different argument. Lincoln (during a civil war) suspended certain constitutional guarantees and protections. Whether that was justified or not, given the unique circumstances then, is a legitimate argument to be had. But despite the fact he detested slavery, Lincoln said repeatedly his primary goal was to save the Union. Now I recognize that those seed led to the federal government having far more power than our founders ever intended or imagined. But that was probably more due to Congress at the time than Lincoln (who was shot before the harm of reconstruction was implemented).

    Obama’s goal is to transform the country and adopt failed progressive policies. What he is aspiring to be is not Lincoln, but FDR.

    When you say Obama is just the same as Lincoln…no he is not. Obama was facing an economic downturn (that was mostly taken care of by Bush Paulson before he came into office). Does that justify anything Obama has done since?

    I think Obama has been a terrible president. But history will likely look back at him as having a failed presidency and adopting economic policies that weakened the country. I do not want to elevate him beyond that. Our efforts and goals are to mitigate the harm he might cause this term. I think Barack Obama is more Chi town politician who did not learn the first lesson the Chicago Machine: corrupt leadership will be tolerated only if the city actually works.

  13. Stogie Chomper
    November 22nd, 2012 @ 12:04 pm

    Although I am not at all interested in what Abe Lincoln had to say, him being the cause of all that carnage, I do wish Stacy and family a great Thanksgiving. You too, Smitty.

  14. Stogie Chomper
    November 22nd, 2012 @ 12:06 pm

    I read that book and also recommend it.

  15. smitty
    November 22nd, 2012 @ 12:12 pm

    Yeah, Lincoln bears ultimate responsibility. Such is the nature of POTUS. But let’s agree that the carnage was more than a one-man show. There was a certain inevitability to the Civil War, starting with the 3/5ths Compromise.

  16. Evi L. Bloggerlady
    November 22nd, 2012 @ 12:20 pm

    Actually FDR but without the challenge of WWII

  17. Evi L. Bloggerlady
    November 22nd, 2012 @ 12:21 pm

    Yes, Obama is most like Wilson. Ironic Wilson was probably more racist than most.

  18. Adobe_Walls
    November 22nd, 2012 @ 12:36 pm

    Here’s Comrade President’s take on Thankgiving.

  19. Taxpayer1234
    November 22nd, 2012 @ 1:01 pm

    Exactly. The Founders didn’t like kicking that can down the road and knew it would be big trouble in the future.

    BTW, Happy Thanksgiving to you, Mrs. Smitty, and Sir Kewtness!

  20. BobBelvedere
    November 22nd, 2012 @ 2:01 pm

    RT @smitty_one_each: TOM Thankfulness Is A Habit #TCOT

  21. Bert the Samoan Lawyer
    November 22nd, 2012 @ 7:24 pm

    Actually, Smitty, Lincoln was about Illinois-style thuggery and cronyism. Most of his Henry-Clay-like “public works” were payoffs to the railroads, which he had represented as a lawyer in private practice before entering politics.

    Rather than, as EBL does, repeat tired myths about the man, I stress again, read DiLorenzo’s scholarly work on the subject. It is well sourced with easily-checked footnotes. The things he says about Lincoln are not opinions, they are verifiable historical facts.

  22. Tennwriter
    November 22nd, 2012 @ 8:24 pm

    I think we need to keep fighting in the GOP until the issues get dealt with. The primary issue is the lack of real conservative leadership.

  23. Quartermaster
    November 22nd, 2012 @ 8:57 pm

    Smitty, a glance at motives will not absolve Lincoln either. One does not have to be Chitown thug to have base motives. In Lincoln’s case it was a matter of doing the bidding of his backers in New England that could not tolerate a free trade zone in the south, or the loss of the markets. The voluntary union was replaced with a coercive union that has given us what we have. Lincoln did not hesitate to rule by decree. Watch Zer0 over the next year or so. You’ve already been given an intro to what he plans by the way he has behaved for the last 4 years. He will be worse since he now has more flexibility.

    Lawless describes Lincoln in one word. Obama can be described in the same way.

  24. Quartermaster
    November 22nd, 2012 @ 9:05 pm

    No Evi, it’s not a different argument. The excuse of war does not wash since Lincoln’s war had no legal backing. The only time FedGov can intervene in anything similar would be insurrection. Given that Government mechanisms were used to secede there was no insurrection. As a result, all that Lincoln did was illegal. He ruled as Obama has tried to rule when he is subverted, by decree (which is what Obama’s EOs are).

    I reached DiLorenzo’s positions on my own, well before he wrote the book. Northern writings are damning when it comes to Lincoln’s war. Yankee Army behavior was a shame to the north. Rape, pillage and rapine were common place in the western valley of Virginia and on Sherman’s march. The diaries of Northern Officers tell the story. They are admissions against interest and even more damning as a result.

    Lincoln’s war was not a “civil war” either. The south tried to maintain its independence and the north engaged in a war of imperial conquest. The South could not have cared less about ruling the North, and the North only wanted to force the South back into the New England money men’s raw deal. Lincoln was a crony capitalist through and through.

    As I said earlier, it’s your privilege to disagree, but you show a great deal of evidence of indoctrination by propagandists. I used to be the same way, until I pieced together the truth from northern writings themselves.

  25. Quartermaster
    November 22nd, 2012 @ 9:13 pm

    That war was anything but inevitable. Or “irrepressible” as northern apologists like to say at the time. The paganized descendants of the Puritans created all sorts of chaos, ending any good the originally southern led abolition societies could have done. LIberia was founded by teh African Colonization Society which was led by James Madison and several other Southrons. Garrison, OTOH, was of the same spirit as the “BAMN” moonbats today. Garrison and other idiots of his ilk, drove out those who were Christian, or held Christian morals.

    It is an abiding shame to the US that slavery was abolished through a bloody war, and then only as a political ploy. A war that give us the current FedGov and, eventually, Zer0.

  26. K-Bob
    November 23rd, 2012 @ 2:56 pm

    No, it has to be that Lincoln snuck out at night and killed them all barehanded. He was badass.

    And the next guy inherited a terrible mess, or something.

  27. K-Bob
    November 23rd, 2012 @ 3:04 pm

    Hey, Lincoln’s dead. Obama is very much alive and killing us. So Smitty’s got the right take, and time spent trashing Lincoln is time spent antagonizing folks we need to help find a way out of this replay of the march toward totalitarian hell.

    A happy day-after-Thankgiving to you all.

  28. Bob Belvedere
    November 23rd, 2012 @ 5:33 pm

    Not ironic, Evi, if you consider that Obama is a rascist.

  29. Bob Belvedere
    November 23rd, 2012 @ 5:36 pm

    Well put.