At the Republican website Rebuild the Party, commenter James stated "Lincoln was the leader of this party and freed the slaves at all costs.That is the kind of leadership I'm looking for." In reply, commenter Tribulation Periwinkle (whom I have reason to believe is actually a Democratic mole) said, "Well, I think he also cut taxes, too."
Wise words. But it raises the question of whether Abraham Lincoln, our nation's first Republican president, does indeed represent the kind of leadership that modern-day Republicans are looking for. To help answer that question, I've prepared a quick rundown of Lincoln's career as president:
November 6, 1860: Abraham Lincoln is elected 16th President of the United States. Although he won a majority of the electoral votes, due to the divided field Lincoln only won a plurality of 40% of the popular vote. In his victory speech, Lincoln promises to be "a uniter, not a divider".
December 20, 1860 - February 1, 1861: Seven southern states secede from the United States.
February 4, 1861: The seven seceded states form the Confederate States of America.
March 4, 1861: Lincoln is inaugurated. Americans are unaware that Vice President Hannibal Hamlin, Secretary of War Simon Cameron, and Secretary of the Navy Gideon Welles are members of a secret society called the Project for the Manifest American Destiny. The PMAD believes that President James K. Polk erred in not annexing all of Mexico in 1848, and is determined to resume the war with Mexico and conquer the entire country.
March 5, 1861: Lincoln recieves word that Fort Sumter has only a few weeks supplies left. He convenes a meeting of his war planning committee, the White House Information Group, to plan an invasion of Mexico.
April 12 - 14, 1861: Confederates take Fort Sumter. Lincoln publicly vows to take Confederate President Jefferson Davis "dead or alive", but privately asks Secretary of State William Seward to find evidence linking the attack on Fort Sumter to Mexico.
April 17 - June 24, 1861: Four more southern states secede and join the Confederacy.
May 10, 1861: Seward reports that he can find no evidence of Mexican involvement in the attack on Fort Sumter. Vice President Hamlin and Secretary of War Simon establish the Counter Secessionism Evaluation Group to manufacture evidence of Mexican involvement.
June 16, 1861: Congress passes legislation reducing tariffs. Government revenues fall by half.
July 21, 1861: Union army defeats Confederate army at Battle of Bull Run.
July 26, 1861: Union army defeats last-ditch Confederate defense outside Richmond. Confederate government flees to Petersburg.
July 27, 1861: Union army occupies Richmond. Hamlin and Simon establish Office of Special Plans to prepare for invasion of Mexico.
August 1861: First units from Union army in Richmond are transferred to Philadelphia in preparation for expedition to Mexico.
September 1861: Congress passes Legal Tender Act, authorizing the Treasury to issue $150 million in banknotes to make up for lost tariff revenues.
October 1861: Office of Special Plans leaks report to Republican newspapers that Mexican agents are in Hesse-Cassel to recruit mercenaries for a Mexican attack on the Union.
December 1861: Veteran American diplomat Charles Francis Adams is sent to Hesse-Cassel to investigate mercenary claims, but finds no evidence to support them.
January 28, 1862: Lincoln claims in his State of the Union address that Mexico is hiring Hessian mercenaries to attack the Union. He calls on Congress for a declaration of war.
February 7, 1862: Congressional Democrats, wary of treason accusations, support President Lincoln's call for war. Congress declares war on Mexico.
February 25, 1862: Congress reduces tariffs again. Government revenues fall by a third.
April 14, 1862: First anniversary of fall of Fort Sumter. Mexican Expeditionary Force sets out from Philadelphia.
May 10, 1862: Union warships bombard Veracruz in attempt to "shock and awe" Mexican government into surrender. Much of Veracruz destroyed.
May 30, 1862: Simon declares that "we know where the Hessian mercenaries are. They're in the area around Chapultepec and Mexico City."
May - June 1862: Union army advances to Mexico City.
June 9, 1862: Union troops topple statue of Mexican President Benito Juarez. Mexican government goes into hiding.
June 15, 1862: Mexico organized as US territory. Provisional Territorial Authority, established to rule Mexico, becomes dumping ground for Republican Party hacks.
July 4, 1862: President Lincoln declares "mission accomplished" in Mexico. Confederate forces retake Richmond.
July 23, 1862: Charles Francis Adams publishes an article questioning the presence of Hessian mercenaries in Mexico.
August 6, 1862: Hamlin leaks the news that Adams' wife Abigail Brooks is an undercover Secret Service agent in an effort to discredit Adams.
August 9, 1862: Treasury issues another $400 million dollars in banknotes. Inflation rate in US running at 80% per year.
September 2, 1862: Hamlin dismisses rising insurgency in Mexico, calling insurgents "dead-enders".
October 1862: Union troops in Minnesota withdrawn for redeployment to Mexico. Souix overrun Minnesota, massacre settlers.
November 1862: Democrats win control of Congress in off-year elections. Charles Sumner of Massachusetts defeated by Democratic candidate Frederick Douglass, a former slave.
December 1862: Mexican President Juarez captured by US forces. Hamlin declares Mexican insurgency "in its last throes".
January 1863: President Lincoln declares Mexico "the central front in the War on Secession", reveals plan to "surge" more troops into Mexico.
February 1863: Union troops in California withdrawn for redeployment to Mexico. Confederate sympathizers seize government. California secedes, joins Confederacy.
April 10, 1863: Benito Juarez executed.
June 1863: Confederate troops take Indianapolis. Republican newspapers trumpet fall in casualty rate in Mexico due to surge.
July 7, 1863: Treasury issues another $1.4 billion in banknotes. Inflation rate in US reaches 200% per year.
August 10, 1863: Confederate troops take Cleveland.
September 1863: Senator Douglass declares his candidacy for president.
October 1863: Photographs surface of Union troops torturing Mexican prisoners at Habo Caribe Prison. New York Evening-Post editor William Cullen Bryant dismisses the torture as being "no worse than fraternity pranks".
December 1863: Mormons in Utah Territory secede from Union.
March 1864: Inflation rate in US reaches 500% per year.
August 1864: Campaigning against Mexican War, Douglass wins Democratic nomination. Lincoln and Hamlin renominated by Republicans.
September 1864: Run on banks causes financial panic in US.
November 1864: Douglass wins presidential election.
March 1865: Frederick Douglass sworn in as president. Lincoln, unable to return to Illinois due to Confederate occupation of Midwest, joins Hamlin in undisclosed location in Maine.
So, taking Lincoln's record into consideration, I have to admit that, yes, he does seem to be just the sort of leader the Republicans are looking for.