The following, from the blog Phronesisaical, who got it from Balkinization where it was cross-posted at Huffington Post.

“Should any American soldier be so base and infamous as to injure any [prisoner]. . . I do most earnestly enjoin you to bring him to such severe and exemplary punishment as the enormity of the crime may require. Should it extend to death itself, it will not be disproportional to its guilt at such a time and in such a cause… for by such conduct they bring shame, disgrace and ruin to themselves and their country.”

- George Washington, charge to the Northern Expeditionary Force, Sept. 14, 1775

It’s nice to have actual presidential words in the wake of the right wing’s phony Abe Lincoln quote, as pontificated in congressional session by Alaska Republican Rep. Don Young:

“Congressmen who willfully take action during wartime that damage morale and undermine the military are saboteurs, and should be arrested, exiled or hanged.”

(View the clip at TPM cafe — watch Rep. Young’s chest heave patriotically under his red poser-shirt — oops, typo — power-shirt).

The Washington Times columnist, Frank Gaffney, invented those words for Honest Abe, 143 years after he was reputed to have uttered them. The Washington Times, with a daily circulation of over 100,000 and climbing, actually bucks a trend. Most big city dailies are losing circulation.

Thank God for blogs, the antidote to the reactionary mainstream media.

2 Responses to “Battle of the presidential quotes.”

  1. malachy walsh Says:

    And if remember correctly, all that criticism of how the Civil War was being conducted forced Lincoln to change generals until he got one that actually wanted to end the war by winning it.

    Otherwise, we might have just had 100 more Antietams instead of 50.

    Lincoln might have hated the critiques, but it served the war – and the soldiers who fought it – well.

  2. Jean mcKenzie Says:

    Please don’t be so hard on the mainstream media. they still have the comics, the crossword puzzles and sudoku.

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