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:
"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:
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.