Charles Johnson gives the details at BigGovernment.com and writes the following:
“[Barack Obama] didn’t get it right,” says Harry V. Jaffa, professor emeritus of Claremont McKenna College, senior fellow at the Claremont Institute, and author of two influential books on Lincoln. Jaffa was referring to this quotation from President Obama.
“I’m a Democrat. But I believe what Republican Abraham Lincoln believed: That Government should do for people only what they cannot do better by themselves, and no more.”
Professor Jaffa noted that this quotation leaves a lot out. The 93-year-old Jaffa, by memory, recited the full statement from Lincoln’s speech, “The Nature and Objects of Government, with Special Reference to Slavery” (July 1, 1854):
“The legitimate object of government is to do for a community of people whatever they need to have done, but cannot do at all, or cannot so well do, for themselves in their separate and individual capacities.”Notice the difference? The emphasis is on need to have done, not on government doing the action. “That distinction was missing form his quotation,” Jaffa explains. But Obama has repeatedly invoked this misleading Lincoln quotation on both the campaign trail and during his presidency.
End quote. You can read the complete piece here.
Throughout 2010, we were treated to repeated criticisms of the Tea Party about how they twisted history to advance their political agenda. Which, as Gordon Wood has pointed out, isn't exactly true. That TP criticism came largely from pseudo-historians and big government-loving academics and bloggers. But as I've pointed out numerous times, these same self-appointed defenders of truth (their version) were utterly silent when the OWS twisted history and President Obama misquoted Lincoln and the Declaration of Independence time and time again to advance their political agenda. And, of course, the reason for their hypocrisy is that they support Obama's agenda. In other words, they are phonies and anything but objective scholars imparting non-partisan observations. I do applaud Jaffa for at least pointing out Obama's deceitfulness with Lincoln's words.
Moreover, shouldn't a graduate of Harvard and a Constitutional Law Professor be held to a higher standard than a bunch of fly-over country, Tea Party activists?
I'll also be posting some thoughts on the proposed Lincoln Day holiday here in Virginia. Once again, academic historians and bloggers show their hand.