Obama Derangement Syndrome, Gettysburg Address Style

Conservatives can’t really be this stupid can they? Okay, to be fair, maybe they aren’t stupid, they are instead ignorant. And you know what? I’m ignorant too when it comes to this particular story (more on that in a moment), but the difference is I’m not using my ignorance to attack the political opposition. I leave that to conservatives, because they are damn good at it.

Documentarian Ken Burns, to celebrate the 150th anniversary of President Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address, launched a campaign to get Americans to record themselves reading the famous speech. To launch this effort, they got a number of notable people to record their own versions including comedian Louis C.K., former presidents Jimmy Carter and George W. Bush, as well as current president Barack Obama.

Sounds like a neat idea that nobody could possibly make political, right? Well, never underestimate the power of conservative antipathy, hatred and contempt. It turns out President Obama’s recital of the Gettysburg Address omitted the words “under God” and that has conservatives on the brink of all out riot.

Politics: Obama omits ‘under God’ from reading of Gettysburg Address | Best of Cain — The explanation from Obama’s people is that he was working from an earlier draft of the text, known as the “Nicolay copy,” which did not include “under God.” Lincoln added the phrase later in the drafting process, but before he actually delivered the speech on this date 150 years ago. The only version upon which Lincoln conferred final approval was the “Bliss copy,” which is the one he delivered. The source for that is no less an authority than Robert Todd Lincoln.

So let’s say for the sake of argument that Obama didn’t intentionally leave “under God” out of the address, but was merely working from a version that didn’t include it. Why would he work from the Nicolay copy when surely someone in the White House had to know that was not the final version and not the speech Lincoln actually delivered? Is it really conceivable that no one involved with this project knew the primary difference between Nicolay and Bliss was “under God”?

Then again, is that explanation plausible at all? If Ken Burns coordinated this project and produced such that all participants read full versions, and then he mashed them all together, would Burns really leave it to each individual participant to scrounge up their own version of the text rather than simply come prepared with text in hand for the participant to read?

Or is it more plausible to believe that Obama omitted “under God” because he really just didn’t want to say it?

The fact that there are multiple copies of the Gettysburg Address that have their own names is news to me. This is where I plead my ignorance. And that’s fine, as we can’t know everything. But as I said, I try not to use my lack of knowledge on a topic as means to ignorantly attack a political opponent.

Now let’s take on a few of Dan’s questions.

Why would he [President Obama] work from the Nicolay copy when surely someone in the White House had to know that was not the final version and not the speech Lincoln actually delivered?

I’m afraid this very first question is all you need to read to understand the level of callowness on display by conservatives (and Dan Calabrese is not alone on this story). All they had to do is use Google and search for Ken Burns and Gettysburg Address and they would find the official website of this project.

www.learntheaddress.org

On the official website, it says this:

Did you know there are five versions of the Gettysburg Address? We asked President Obama to read the first, the ‘Nicolay Version.’

And guess what? The Nicolay version omits “under God.” How dare you president Obama!

There’s no need to ask why Obama would read that version, simply go to the source and find out for yourself. But why would conservatives do that knowing the answer they find would likely to be in conflict with conservative ideology? After all, as Stephen Colbert once said, “Reality has a well known liberal bias.”

Is it really conceivable that no one involved with this project knew the primary difference between Nicolay and Bliss was “under God”?

No, but it is possible you are a political hack who is unconcerned with the truth and instead focused on a 24/7 barrage of nonsense attacks against President Obama. I’m afraid your Obama derangement is showing.

If Ken Burns coordinated this project and produced such that all participants read full versions, and then he mashed them all together, would Burns really leave it to each individual participant to scrounge up their own version of the text rather than simply come prepared with text in hand for the participant to read?

No, he wouldn’t. And the reason is because he actually cares about accuracy, and well, doing the hard work required to create an accurate portrayal of historic events. But yes, I know this is a foreign concept to you.

Or is it more plausible to believe that Obama omitted “under God” because he really just didn’t want to say it?

Sure, if facts aren’t compatible with your worldview, then I guess you can go with that explanation. I mean, why wouldn’t it be plausible? Because it is President Obama who concludes every major speech with, “God bless you, and God bless the United States of America.” So why wouldn’t he go out of his way to omit “under God” from a famous speech? — The Godless heathen!

But you know what I think is most plausible of all? You’re just an asshole who doesn’t like President Obama and you will attack him on the merits, off the merits — or off your rocker.

Lincoln gettysburg address

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