IE 11 is not supported. For an optimal experience visit our site on another browser.

The great lesson from 'Lincoln'

Let me finish with this.

Let me finish with this.

I have to say I am thrilled when I see a good politician do a good piece of political work—something good for the people who need something good for them, something good for the country anytime.

The film Lincoln shows what a true "pol" our most beloved president was. He knew what the country needed: the dead end to slavery. He saw his opportunity, and he saw the door to that opportunity closing. If he didn't get the Constitution changed before the south got re-admitted to the Union, he wouldn't get it done when the Confederates were back voting in the Congress.

Yes, he used pork. Yes, he used patronage. But all these measures are legal. And so, let's never forget, was slavery. The movie shows how Lincoln managed to use a number of legal means—pork, patronage, persuasion—to get rid of one historic evil.

It's a great bit of history, a great lesson in how it takes politicians to do the job—sometimes the really big ones. What's the old phrase? Can't live with them, can't live without them.

I'd rather live with them. Who else is going to run things and get things done that history often demands we do.