Over at Civil War Memory Kevin Levin has a nice piece on presidential candidate and former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee’s use of Abraham Lincoln to protest the jailing of Kentuckian Kim Davis for her refusal (which may continue), on the basis of God’s authority, to issue marriage licenses to gay couples.
I’d like to add one thing to Levin’s piece, namely, that when Governor Huckabee uses quotations from Lincoln’s opposition to the Dred Scott case, he is using pretty much the very same arguments that the opponents of desegregation used in the 1950s. See page 211-12 of Loathing Lincoln for a discussion of one Marvin Mobley, from Georgia, who issued small pamphlets, one entitled “More Words of Abraham Lincoln That the Race-Mixers Never Quote,” selectively citing Lincoln on race, or other utterances, in order to “prove” that resistance to the Brown decision was legitimate.
What I find so fascinating here, is that Governor Huckabee (and many other presidential candidates, to be sure) is constantly lecturing the American people on how ignorant they are of their history and the horrific consequences of such amnesia. Or, they tell us that only they know how the Constitution ought to be interpreted. And yet, the former Governor of Arkansas, the very state where it took federal authority/troops to integrate one high school in the 1950s, displays the very historical ignorance that he claims to deplore.