Lincoln and Robespierre

Today’s most idiotic dispute, reflecting a long-standing idiotic dispute, arises via a self-proclaimed right-wing student site called The College Fix:

A public university in President Abraham Lincoln’s home state of Illinois is adorned with a plaque that states Lincoln – arguably the most famous and influential president in American history – was a Democrat.

Lincoln was a Republican.

The plaque, located on a historic building that’s part of Northeastern Illinois University in Chicago and installed in 1905, states: “This building is dedicated to public service honoring the memory of Abraham Lincoln Democrat.”

When a picture of the memorial recently surfaced on social media sites, it quickly went viral, and prompted anger among many Republicans, who called the dedication not only inaccurate but also a prime example of revisionist history.

Yes, the intrepid students on this site have sniffed out another example of the liberal conspiracy to hide the shocking fact that the preeminent Civil Rights President (before LBJ, at least) was a Republican!

Robespierre, too, was a “republican.” And the two facts are about equally relevant to contemporary politics.

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Ed Kilgore

Ed Kilgore is a political columnist for New York and managing editor at the Democratic Strategist website. He was a contributing writer at the Washington Monthly from January 2012 until November 2015, and was the principal contributor to the Political Animal blog.