, Newburyport, MA


January 25, 2013

From Lincoln's mouth to Obama's ear


The celebration, however, was as upbeat as upbeat can go, and I wondered what the world beyond made of this nation’s celebration at a time of such historically divisive economic distress.

I was struck by the TV coverage of the president of the world’s most open government and those closest to him watching the seemingly endless parade behind bulletproof glass. Essential as it was, given the reality of these times, it represented the transparency of what divides and unites us.

Whatever the outcome, the struggles ahead are going to be as divisive as were those in the prelude to it.

In 1853, Abraham Lincoln, facing a bitterly divided nation, said, “A House divided against itself cannot stand.”

President Obama takes Lincoln seriously. So must Congress. So must we all.


Bill Plante is a Newbury resident and staff columnist. His email address is

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