Matt Bors
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On Tuesday America will inaugurate its first African-American President. If there's one thing we can be sure of, it's that Martin Luther King Jr. and Abraham Lincoln will be fist-pounding on heaven's clouds as they look down with pride and approval. Right? Maybe not.

Leonard Pitts Jr. seems to think we've gone too far in mythologizing Lincoln's affection for African-Americans and specifically refers to the fawning political cartoons as an example of "how shallow our comprehension of history is."
...when Obama was elected in November, every third political cartoonist seemed to use an image of a celebrating Lincoln to comment upon the milestone that had occurred. Lincoln, they told us, would have been overjoyed.

Actually, Lincoln likely would have been appalled.
Leonard goes on to explain why, but he's got history wrong in one key area. It wasn't "every third cartoonist." More like 9 out of 10.

Barack Obama makes it easy to for cartoonists to do this since he is totally BFFs with Lincoln. He took the Lincoln whistle stop train tour, is swearing in on Lincoln's Bible and pledged to wear Lincoln's top hat to the inaugural ball. (I made the last one up but don't be surprised if it happens.)

My question is, political cartoonists seemed to exhaust the Lincoln cartoons when Obama won the primary, was officially nominated and ultimately elected. Will they bring him back Tuesday to deliver a fourth teary-eyed thumbs-up blessing?
01.18.2009 |



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