527 blasts Gettysburg Address: “Honestly Abe, ‘died in vain’?”

We’ve often asked whether Ronald Reagan could survive in the modern Republican party, but what about Abraham Lincoln?

The Annenberg School, which is behind FactCheck.org, built a Web site called FlackCheck.org during the 2012 campaign (I totally missed it).

In that site, they have a wonderful series of videos looking at Lincoln’s handling of the Civil War, and how it would be treated by modern-day campaign flacks in the 1864 elections.

I suspect different videos were done by different students. But several in particular shine. The first takes Lincoln on for the Gettysburg Address and his obvious anti-Americanism. The video is spot-on.  (November 19, 2013 is the 150th anniversary of the Gettysburg Address.)

And while I doubt they intended this to be a GOP primary video, the patriotism card is often played more by the Republicans than the Democrats (nowadays).


Why does Abe Lincoln hate America?

Here’s the ad on the Gettysburg Address, it’s pretty brilliant:

ANNOUNCER: Lincoln believes that America will perish from the earth.

LINCOLN ACTOR: “…perish from the earth…”

ANNOUNCER: And that our soldiers have died in vain.

LINCOLN ACTOR: “…died in vain…”

ANNOUNCER: Honestly, Abe, “died in vain”?

LINCOLN ACTOR (repeating loop, animated-gif style): In vain. In vain. In vain. In vain.

ANNOUNCER: Abraham Lincoln: Wrong on the war, wrong for the Union.

The second ad that does a pretty good job is one taking on Democratic 1864 re-elect challenger, Gen. George McClellan. It could be an ad from today.

(I’m told that in order to actually see my Facebook posts in your feed, you need to “follow” me – so say the experts.)

Just found a few more! Here’s one on Lincoln leading from behind:

Okay, the Steamboat Veterans for Truth is pretty darn funny too:

One final video, and this one is freaking brilliant. Possibly my favorite. It targets Mrs. Lincoln, the President’s wife:

Follow me on Twitter: @aravosis | @americablog | @americabloggay | Facebook | Instagram | Google+ | LinkedIn. John Aravosis is the Executive Editor of AMERICAblog, which he founded in 2004. He has a joint law degree (JD) and masters in Foreign Service from Georgetown; and has worked in the US Senate, World Bank, Children's Defense Fund, the United Nations Development Programme, and as a stringer for the Economist. He is a frequent TV pundit, having appeared on the O'Reilly Factor, Hardball, World News Tonight, Nightline, AM Joy & Reliable Sources, among others. John lives in Washington, DC. .

Share This Post

  • Brennan Barrington

    Andrew Jackson would probably have ended up in a mental institution today. He was a homicidal lunatic. He doesn’t belong on our money.

  • excellent!

  • LanceThruster

    What constitutes the bulwark of our own liberty and independence? It is not our frowning battlements, our bristling sea coasts, the guns of our war steamers, or the strength our gallant and disciplined army? These are not our reliance against a resumption of tyranny in our fair land. All of those may be turned against our liberties, without making us weaker or stronger for the struggle. Our reliance is in the love of liberty which God has planted in our bosoms. Our defense is in the preservation of the spirit which prizes liberty as the heritage of all men, in all lands, everywhere. Destroy this spirit, and you have planted the seeds of despotism around your own doors. Familiarize yourselves with the chains of bondage and you are preparing your own limbs to wear them. Accustomed to trample on the rights of those around you, you have lost the genius of your own independence, and become the fit subjects of the first cunning tyrant who rises.

    Speech at Edwardsville, Illinois (September 11, 1858)

  • HeartlandLiberal

    Coffin Handbills and Adultery Rumors

    Andrew Jackson’s reputation as a national hero was based on his
    military career, as he had been the hero of the Battle of New Orleans,
    the final action of the War of 1812. His military glory was turned
    against him when a Philadelphia printer named John Binns published the
    notorious “coffin handbill,” a poster showing six black coffins and
    claiming the militiamen Jackson had ordered executed had essentially
    been murdered.

    Jackson’s wife Rachel had been married to another man before
    Jackson, and a question arose about when her first husband had divorced
    her and when she began living with Jackson. The explanation was that
    Jackson and his wife believed she had been divorced when they first
    married, but there was (and still is) some legitimate doubt about the

    Jackson’s marriage on the frontier nearly 40 years earlier became
    a major issue in the 1828 campaign. He was accused of adultery and
    vilified for running off with another man’s wife. And his wife was
    accused of bigamy.

    Attacks on John Quincy Adams

    John Quincy Adams, the son of founding father and second president John Adams,
    began his career in public service by working as the secretary to the
    American envoy to Russia when he was still a teenager. He had an
    illustrious career as a diplomat, which formed the basis for his later
    career in politics.

    The supporters of Andrew Jackson began spreading a rumor that
    Adams, while serving as American ambassador to Russia, had procured an
    American girl for the sexual services of the Russian czar. The attack
    was no doubt baseless, but the Jacksonians delighted in it, even calling
    Adams a “pimp” and claiming that procuring women explained his great
    success as a diplomat.

    Adams was also attacked for having a billiard table in the White
    House and allegedly charging the government for it. It was true that
    Adams played billiards in the White House, but he paid for the table
    with his own funds.


  • Actually, the ‘Leading from Behind’ add is a pro-Lincoln one, denigrating remarks ‘Little Mack’ made about why he was always camped near to DC and Richmond and never closer to the action.

  • Indigo


  • I don’t pretend to be an expert on the subject, but my understanding is that past political campaigns were pretty brutal. A lot of the stuff appearing in the videos probably was tried, or at least a variation.

    I think that the reason we don’t see how bad these campaigns were is that a lot of it has been lost to history. I imagine that the same kind of stuff we see in these videos would have been done in those times if they had the kind of communications technology that we have today.

    Lying, smearing and taking words out of context are not new, the campaign runners have just gotten a bit better at it and they have more tools at their disposal.

  • As long as the Patriot & Union Newspaper of Harrisburg, PA finally gets around to retracting its 1863 panning of the Gettysburg address.

© 2018 AMERICAblog Media, LLC. All rights reserved. · Entries RSS