More Lincoln Quote Abuse

Drew Cline points out an article in Dartmouth's student newspaper covering the visit of That Side of New Hampshire's congressman, Paul Hodes. Drew focuses on this bit:

[Hodes] proposed that the Federal Reserve should not concern itself exclusively with inflation, but should also take into account the growing gap between rich and poor and jobs that are being lost overseas.

"I'm a free-market guy, but Lincoln said that government must do what free-markets can't do for themselves." Hodes said.

Emphasis added. Congressman Hodes is probably mangling this quote:

The legitimate object of government, is to do for a community of people, whatever they need to have done, but can not do, at all, or can not, so well do, for themselves—in their separate, and individual capacities.

In all that the people can individually do as well for themselves, government ought not to interfere.

Let's see… some of the things individuals can't do, or can't do as effectively as the state, are: institutionalized slavery, genocide, Amtrak, and global thermonuclear holocaust. There are probably other examples.

Lincoln's words are clearly meant to describe a "necessary" test for state action; treating them, as Hodes does, as a "must do" blank check is silly, and shows no understanding or appreciation of the concept of limited government.

And it's more than a little weaselly to hide behind a Lincoln quote, even a mangled one; if Hodes thinks the Fed should (somehow) redistribute wealth and (somehow) force companies to hire more of Us and less of Them, then he should just make the argument directly.

In his comments, Drew points out, philosophical points aside, the general dubiousness of the proposal and also comments on that "but". Our previous Lincoln quote-abuse comments here.

Last Modified 2012-10-19 3:05 PM EDT

Also, Subcutaneous Electronic Devices are a Turnoff

It was with a combination of amusement and dismay (but mostly amusement) that I surfed through the website. Among my faux pas caught by the website: my red ski jacket; my ski mitts; my backpack; my white socks; my tucked-in plaid shirt; my baseball cap; my fancy Casio digital watch; my on-belt pager; …

And that's just today.

At least I'm in compliance with rule number 3 on the pants page: "Always wear a belt."

Because, otherwise, where would my pager go?

I shared the website with Mrs. Salad. Her immediate response: "Ah, it says here that they're asking a bunch of 20-something women about this stuff. You're not looking to impress the young chicks are you?"

"No, of course not. But, you know, you bought me all of those plaid shirts …"

Well, you're not looking to impress the young chicks, are you?"

"Ah. No."

So there's that. I pass the website and its advice along to any of our younger male readers. And I plan to continue wearing a belt, and take my chances with the prospect that it might drive young women wild.

Last Modified 2007-02-22 8:08 AM EDT