Paul Krugman begins his New York Times column today as follows:
There was a time when Republicans used to refer to themselves, proudly, as "the party of Lincoln." But you don't hear that line much these days. Why?
The main answer, presumably, lies in the G.O.P.'s decision, long ago, to seek votes from Southerners angered by the end of legal segregation. With the old Confederacy now the heart of the Republican base, boasting about the party's Civil War-era legacy is no longer advisable.
But sooner or later, Republicans were bound to notice other reasons to disavow Lincoln. He was, after all, the first president to institute an income tax. And he was also the first president to issue a paper currency — the "greenback" — that wasn't backed by gold or silver.
Mr. Krugman's premise, that Republicans are somehow running away from Lincoln, is demonstrably false. Here's Republican Congressman Paul Ryan delivering the official Republican response to President Obama's most recent State of the Union address: "Some people will back away from this challenge. But I see this challenge as an opportunity to rebuild what Lincoln called the 'central ideas' of the Republic."
Here's the Republican leader of the House, John Boehner, speaking to mark Lincoln's 200th birthday: