The Corner

Two Presidents

On Friday, President Obama gave his remarks on the Trayvon Martin case, and on race in America. Some people are calling this his “Lincoln moment.” There are greater Lincoln scholars than I at National Review — Rich Lowry and Rick Brookhiser, for two — but I think this is cracked.

In this regard, let me repeat something I mention in Impromptus today. George Zimmerman’s parents are in hiding, because of the flood of death threats against them. Is that the way it ought to be? The president spent a good deal of time talking about the Martin-Zimmerman case. Couldn’t he have spared ten seconds to say something about the defendant’s parents?

As I say in my column, it appears that this is asking too much of Obama. And it is definitely asking too much that he say something like, “Neither should the defendant be in hiding. This is America. We are a nation of laws.”

Lincoln, at least as I understand him, was a more large-minded man, even in the hellish circumstances of civil war. Some people have always espied a similarity between Lincoln and Obama. In my opinion, they misunderstand either the 16th president, the 44th president, or both.

There is a whole essay to be written about this — What would Lincoln have said about Trayvon Martin and George Zimmerman, and what are the differences between Lincoln and Obama? — but this is just one lil’ blogpost.

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Illegal leaks of classified information should be treated as a serious offense. But they would be easier to prevent if less information were classified.