05 September 2010

Anyone Can Get History Wrong - Even The President

Historical quotes are often taken out of context and misapplied to drive a certain agenda or perspective. (As I've recently pointed out.) It is also easy to fall into the trap of assuming certain truths about quotes, including the original author. Most all of us have been snared by that one, or something similar to it, as Michael Aubrecht admitted on his blog recently.

Now comes this rather public and embarassing blunder:

President Obama's new presidential rug seemed beyond reproach, with quotations from Abraham Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt, Franklin Roosevelt, John F. Kennedy and the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. woven along its curved edge. "The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice." According [to] media reports, this quote keeping Obama company on his wheat-colored carpet is from King. Except it's not a King quote. The words belong to a long-gone Bostonian champion of social progress. His roots in the republic ran so deep that his grandfather commanded the Minutemen at the Battle of Lexington.

Details here.


Dick Stanley said...

I like this retranslation of the quote, via Instapundit:

"The arc of the clueless is long, but always bends toward embarrassment."


Richard G. Williams, Jr. said...

For this administration:

"The arc of the statist is long, but always toward more control."

msimons said...

ROLF I always thought the President had folks to check the facts.

Richard G. Williams, Jr. said...

Mike - facts don't seem to matter to this administration.