The government shutdown: Lincoln said it best

Diana9

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October 1, 2013, 7:17 a.m.

In February 1860, Abraham Lincoln gave a speech at New York's Cooper Union that many historians believe catapulted him onto the national stage and into the presidency. It may even be more pertinent today for what he said about intransigent political blocs.

A few excerpts:

Your purpose, then, plainly stated, is that you will destroy the Government, unless you be allowed to construe and enforce the Constitution as you please, on all points in dispute between you and us. You will rule or ruin in all events. [...]

Under all these circumstances, do you really feel yourselves justified to break up this Government unless such a court decision as yours is, shall be at once submitted to as a conclusive and final rule of political action?

But you will not abide the election of a Republican president! In that supposed event, you say, you will destroy the Union; and then, you say, the great crime of having destroyed it will be upon us! That is cool. A highwayman holds a pistol to my ear, and mutters through his teeth, "Stand and deliver, or I shall kill you, and then you will be a murderer!" [...]

A few words now to Republicans. It is exceedingly desirable that all parts of this great Confederacy shall be at peace, and in harmony, one with another. Let us Republicans do our part to have it so. Even though much provoked, let us do nothing through passion and ill temper.

http://www.latimes.com/business/hiltzik/la-fi-mh-lincoln-20131001,0,1991443.story
 

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Diana9

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Did Lincoln really say "That is cool." I didn't know they used that expression in those days.

He really was way ahead of his time :wink:
 
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unionblue

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Did Lincoln really say "That is cool." I didn't know they used that expression in those days.

He really was way ahead of his time :wink:

Diana9,

The more things change, the more they stay the same. :smile:

I have seen in some accounts of the Civil War the word 'cool' being used to describe a great horse or prized rifle.

Maybe we have more in common with our civil war ancestors than we know.

Sincerely,
Unionblue
 

Diana9

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Yes, he did. I always thought his meaning here, though, was more like "you've got a lot of nerve!" :smile:

Tim
Yes, I was thinking he was saying it sarcastically, in the way we would today with a roll of the eyes.

I wonder if he picked up the expression from the black slaves.
 

Nathanb1

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In that supposed event, you say, you will destroy the Union; and then, you say, the great crime of having destroyed it will be upon us! That is cool. A highwayman holds a pistol to my ear, and mutters through his teeth, "Stand and deliver, or I shall kill you, and then you will be a murderer!" [...]
I see Eagle Eye beat me to it. Cold-blooded would be my take.
 

James N.

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Don't get too enthused yet about "cool" - it reminds me of another anachronistic mis-quote ( based on a misunderstanding of the real word ) attributed to Lincoln. I read that he'd been quoted by a modern writer as having said of the Gettysburg Address, "It won't score." What he'd actually said was, "It won't scour". But THAT didn't make any sense; at least not to the writer, so he or she changed it to the more comprehensible ( to modern ears ) "score".

It seems scour was a nineteenth-century agricultural term meaning that sewn grain had sprouted and taken root. Lincoln was expressing his belief that the speech had been a failure and that it wasn't likely to have "taken root" in people's minds. Of course in that he was mistaken, but it took a while for it to become obvious that it had been a success.
 

unionblue

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Yes, I was thinking he was saying it sarcastically, in the way we would today with a roll of the eyes.

I wonder if he picked up the expression from the black slaves.

Diana9,

The famed Law and Order actor, Sam Waterson, has given Lincoln's Cooper Union address to a live audience. I have it on DVD which I ordered from CSPAN.

I believe the speech is somewhere on the internet, or it was at one time, under a heading of 'famous speeches' or some such.

You really should listen to it, as it is one of the best I have heard done with a speech of Lincoln's.

Sincerely,
Unionblue
 

Diana9

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Diana9,

The famed Law and Order actor, Sam Waterson, has given Lincoln's Cooper Union address to a live audience. I have it on DVD which I ordered from CSPAN.

I believe the speech is somewhere on the internet, or it was at one time, under a heading of 'famous speeches' or some such.

You really should listen to it, as it is one of the best I have heard done with a speech of Lincoln's.

Sincerely,
Unionblue
Thank you. I found it on youtube. Sam Waterson begins the address at 0:16:16

 
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ole

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Don't get too enthused yet about "cool" - it reminds me of another anachronistic mis-quote ( based on a misunderstanding of the real word ) attributed to Lincoln. I read that he'd been quoted by a modern writer as having said of the Gettysburg Address, "It won't score." What he'd actually said was, "It won't scour". But THAT didn't make any sense; at least not to the writer, so he or she changed it to the more comprehensible ( to modern ears ) "score".

It seems scour was a nineteenth-century agricultural term meaning that sewn grain had sprouted and taken root. Lincoln was expressing his belief that the speech had been a failure and that it wasn't likely to have "taken root" in people's minds. Of course in that he was mistaken, but it took a while for it to become obvious that it had been a success.
"It won't scour" was used in our community to describe a plow that wouldn't become polished by the soil it turned over (scour). Hence, not up to expectations, as an unscoured plow share offers resistance and does a substandard job of turning the soil. Very similar to "that dog don't hunt."
 

James N.

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"It won't scour" was used in our community to describe a plow that wouldn't become polished by the soil it turned over (scour). Hence, not up to expectations, as an unscoured plow share offers resistance and does a substandard job of turning the soil. Very similar to "that dog don't hunt."
Ole,

Now that you say that, it may have been Lincoln's meaning as well; I could've been remembering it wrong, though I knew it referred to plowing/planting. Of course, BOTH might be right, though your scour seems to make the most sense. I don't know when steel plows became the norm, and if the saying pre-dates them or not.
 

ole

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Ole,

Now that you say that, it may have been Lincoln's meaning as well; I could've been remembering it wrong, though I knew it referred to plowing/planting. Of course, BOTH might be right, though your scour seems to make the most sense. I don't know when steel plows became the norm, and if the saying pre-dates them or not.
It might well apply to iron plows, and Lincoln would have been very familiar with them, and yes, they both might be correct. I'm just not familiar with the example you gave.
 



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