Lincoln knew doing the right thing required the right time

  • Article by: CASS R. SUNSTEIN , Bloomberg News
  • Updated: November 13, 2012 - 7:29 PM

It is fitting that Steven Spielberg's widely praised "Lincoln" has been released just as same-sex marriage has attracted close attention from both voters and the Supreme Court. More than any other American president, Abraham Lincoln thought deeply about the complex relationship between moral commitments and political constraints.

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dc9countryNov. 13, 12 9:10 PM

You are comparing a mountain to a molehill.

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jdlellis1Nov. 13, 1210:10 PM

Part of the tragedy in this pop culture world appears to be that only when an item is brought to light in a movie is it given validity. Over the years, there has been a plethora of books and other media on Lincoln that does not carry with it the "artistic liberty" prevalent in Hollywood productions.

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cks1950Nov. 13, 1210:19 PM

But then again, Lincoln loved the country & was a magnanimous president towards those who were defeated. Entirely the opposite of the current occupant in the white house. How bitterly ironic.

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guessagainNov. 14, 12 6:33 AM

cks1950: "But then again, Lincoln loved the country & was a magnanimous president towards those who were defeated. Entirely the opposite of the current occupant in the white house. How bitterly ironic." Not ironic, just a bitter comment.

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ranger78Nov. 14, 12 6:57 AM

Prof at Harvard Law compares slavery to same sex marriage. The gravity and substance of the former is just a wee bit weightier than the latter. The obvius other comparison is Lincoln to Obama. Again, the former did a tad bit more than the latter. How can this individual be taken seriously in an academic or any setting? I guess this is what passes for serious scholarship at Harvard.

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firefight41Nov. 14, 12 7:14 AM

......The obvius other comparison is Lincoln to Obama. Again, the former did a tad bit more than the latter. more than just a tad bit more. The only thing I see a comparison between the two is the division of this nation because of their policies.

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worldcitizenNov. 14, 12 9:36 AM

"doing the right thing" 600,000 dead soldiers (Burns) and an estimated total of 1,000,000+ Americans dead (Aikens), was this war worth it or necessary? Secession would have been painful, but Southern leaders were already trending against slavery (Lee). This started as a boundary dispute with local self determination thrown in. The rest of the issues were piled on to see if any of them would stick and justify the war for both sides. And we still haven't learned to do "the right thing".

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kusstNov. 14, 1210:08 AM

Of course modern history revisionists make it seem as though the civil war was fought about slavery. Truth is it was just one aspect and more importantly it was fought about states rights vs federal rights. This is a key point that liberal education has now officially swept under the rug. We now have supreme court justices claiming indeed, Obamacare to be unconstitutional, but he takes it upon himself to rewrite law (not his job at all) by say call it a tax. - which Obama claimed all along it was not. So these days the appalling subject of slavery is paraded around as though we are all still guilty, yet capiatlists earning fair profit for providing goods, services, and growing real wealth for the economy are vilified as though profit should be banned. At the same time the government has us locked into debt where my 12 year old is now $70k in debt by no doing of his own. 50 million on foodstamps now being paid for by working people, at the same time working people are being hit up for more taxes. The dependent or freeloader class now realize it does not pay to work. So government ensures it stays in power by giving the dependent class more and more for their votes in return. Business is punished with Obamacare while government supposedly has a laser focus on jobs. Taxing the rich will accomplish nothing,and will more likely contract the economy and reduce tax revenues, but the politics of envy "sell" to the weak minded. Fewer people to pull the heavier and heavier cart while the goverment escorts more onto the cart for a ride. so- who is enslaved now???

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liberallymnNov. 14, 1212:12 PM

38 dead souls hanging in Mankato might dispute this heaping of praise upon Mr. Lincoln. Doing the right thing? Meh!

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liberallymnNov. 14, 1212:14 PM

The primary reason President Obama is obsessed with President Lincoln is that the former knows the latter took a highly divided nation intentionally into a war with itself in order to refashion what that nation was going to look like going forward. Deja Vu....all over again.

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