Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Seward as Neocon

I dunno why I've never thought of this before, but..

William Seward, Lincoln's Secretary of State, had two goals very early in the first term. One being a declaration of war on France and Spain for the purposes of a)gaining territory in Latin America and b)reunifying the American people, whom he assumed would embrace a neo-nationalism and forget the sectionalist passions with which they were afflicted. Shades of William Kristol. The other being an arrangement between Lincoln, himself, and Treasury Secretary Salmon P. Chase whereby the President would be reduced to a figurehead and actual power would be reserved to the Cabinet. Shades of Richard Cheney.

Of course Lincoln outmaneuvered Seward, and Seward eventually came to appreciate Lincoln's skillz. But what if Seward had had a weaker President like Buchanan or G.W. Bush?

There's nothing new under the sun -- except, maybe, circumstances.