by David Safier
Republicans love their moral fig leaf, Honest Abe. "We freed the slaves. In your face, Democrats!" Rand Paul couldn't resist making the point in the embarassing black history lesson he delivered at Howard University. But conservatives have a problem: they can't find anything Lincoln said that echoes their ideology. Their solution? Make shit up.
Here's the Lincoln "quote" at the bottom of the Pima County Republican Party's eTRACKS newsletter — the quote Lincoln never said.
The quote was written and ascribed to Lincoln by William J.H. Boetcker, an ex-clergyman from Erie, Pennsylvania, in 1916-17. It's been debunked again and again, but Republicans keep using it, either because they know it's bogus and don't care or because their heads are so far up their own bubble they don't pay attention to anything in the reality-based community.
You don't even have to go as far a Snopes to see the quote given a good debunking. In 2011, the Arizona Republic ran an AZ Fact Check on the quote when it was used by Al Melvin in a series of tweets (You can see the tweets here).
The words have been misused by Republicans since Boetcker first concocted them. Reagan used them in a speech at the Republican National Convention. In the 60s, the Republican National Committee actually warned people not to use them, but Saint Ronny and others haven't let the truth get in the way of the perfectly bogus perfect Lincoln quote.