Another Tack: Those who deny freedom

US President Barack Obama fancies himself in grand Lincolnesque terms and avers over and over that Abraham Lincoln is his model. Quite shamelessly invoking the Great Emancipator, Obama chose to kick off his first presidential bid on February 10, 2007, in Springfield, Illinois, just where Lincoln voiced his historic challenge to slavery in June 1858. And honing the comparison with a characteristic deficit of humility, after his electoral victory Obama took his family with much pomp to the Lincoln memorial.

But, for all of Obama’s blatant manipulation, it’s not that superficial similarities don’t exist. Like Honest Abe, Obama cuts a thin, lanky figure and sports oversized ears. None too- modestly Obama considers himself a master-rhetorician, a supreme crisis-manager, if not the outright shining beacon of liberty. There’s absolutely no denying that Obama is a dab hand at stagecraft and expediency.

Milking the advantageous analogy for all it’s worth, Obama’s inauguration speech theme was lifted with abundant conceit from a line in Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address: “a new birth of freedom.” Obama just loves the word “freedom.” With theatrical flair he enunciates it liberally at every occasion.

That in mind, it would therefore be reassuring to assume that never far from Obama’s awareness is what Lincoln wrote in 1859: “Those who deny freedom to others deserve it not for themselves.”

At this point in time the only man who denies Jonathan Pollard freedom is Obama. Continue reading