Yet another gaffe of historical proportions. The New York Times provides us with a key portion of the transcript of Obama's Thursday night campaign rally, which he forced upon a joint session of Congress:
We all remember Abraham Lincoln as the leader who saved our Union. Founder of the Republican Party. 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 -- (applause) -- launch the National Academy of Sciences, set up the first land grant colleges. (Applause.) And leaders of both parties have followed the example he set.
Of course, anyone with access to Wikipedia would know that the Republican Party was formed in 1854, and Lincoln joined them in 1856. Is Obama (and/or his speechwriters) so lazy and dumb that they cannot even get their basic facts about the Great Emancipator straight? Or were they so desperate to accuse Republicans of smearing the memory of one of America's most beloved presidents that they thought they could slip some historical falsehoods in without anyone noticing?
If they thought the latter, they almost pulled it off. The media, so eager to jump on even the slightest misstatement of Sarah Palin, Michele Bachmann, and George W. Bush as proof of their stupidity (and hence buttress the perception of a super-intelligent liberal elite), did not seem to notice this momentous gaffe at all. And PBS - taking it a step further -actually changed the transcript of the president's speech in order to remove his ignorance from the record. As it appears on their website:
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. And leaders of both parties have followed the example he set.
Notice something missing?
(screenshot here, should PBS ever feel any shame about willfully producing government propaganda)
And the next time someone asks you why you think Barack Obama is a dumb as a stump, just tell them this:
Barack Obama actually does not think very deeply, does not retain information very well or for very long, and cannot form the ideas he does believe into coherent, grammatically-correct sentences. For a fourth point, consider that he hardly ever shows any real curiosity or passion about much and has not shown any ability to process new information or change his mind about anything, and you have ample evidence that Barack Obama is quite average, and possibly below average.
UPDATE: Tom Maguire seems pretty sure this was strictly an Obama error, and urges us not to blame either the speechwriters or the teleprompter...