ABA Journal


Law in Popular Culture

New ‘Lincoln’ Movie Gets Great Reviews, Focuses on Enactment of 13th Amendment

Nov 16, 2012, 10:53 pm CST


So this isn't the one where he's fighting vampires?

By B. McLeod on 2012 11 16, 11:15 pm CST

Vampires....Conservatives....What's the difference? Both embody the essence of the Living Dead who feed on the Living.

By faddking on 2012 11 17, 1:31 am CST

It is the welfare-loving free-loaders who make up a large part of the political left who "feed on the living". Were it not for productive, creative and risk-taking segment of society - - in large part conservative - - the motor of the world would grind to a stop.

Who is John Galt?

By Yankee on 2012 11 18, 12:29 am CST


"Who is John Galt?"

A typical Randian-Conservative, egotistic, narcissitic sociopath eager and willing to watch the World burn down around him from the safety and comfort of Galt's Gulch.

By faddking on 2012 11 18, 10:32 pm CST

@4 If the "world burns down", it will be at the hands of the parasites, looters and moochers.

By Yankee on 2012 11 19, 3:44 am CST

I was at the grocery last Thursday, loading up on canned beans and a few packets of frozen burritos. In line ahead of me was a chap with a huge cartful of stuff. About $189 worth of stuff (I noticed as the clerk rang it up), most of which I would never buy myself because of its overly pricey nature. As it turned out, $111 of the tab was covered by the debit card my state provides in lieu of what we used to call "food stamps" (so that, to people who don't know what it is, the recipients can appear to be paying from a source other than government assistance). For the balance, once the clerk told him what he needed, he reached into his pocket and pulled out a five-inch thick bundle of folded bills (I would guess over $1,000), pulling four $20s off the back for what the government debit card didn't cover. Hooray. Our tax dollars at work.

By B. McLeod on 2012 11 19, 7:00 am CST

I have had similar grocery store experiences.

By Dr Phun on 2012 11 19, 6:16 pm CST

@6 ". . . debit card my state provides in lieu of what we used to call 'food stamps' . . ."

I believe that this debit card is called an electronic benefits transfer card or EBT for short. Indeed, this vehicle for redistributing wealth was celebrated in a recent music video by Rap artist Stanley Lafleur called "My EBT"

By Yankee on 2012 11 19, 9:41 pm CST

That's funny, the first time Lincoln championed a 13th Amendment was to GUARANTEE slavery where it existed, which he admitted in his first inaugural in 1861. But that would undermine the cartoon version of history being peddled here, which is designed to paint boundless federal power as patriotic rather than as the treason it truly represents.

By logos on 2012 11 19, 10:29 pm CST

"it will be at the hands of the parasites, looters and moochers."

A picture of Yankee appearing next to the definitions of "parasite", "looter" and "moocher" in the dictionary.

By faddking on 2012 11 20, 7:35 pm CST

what is the relationship between the executive branch and legislative branch?

By Lincoln on 2012 11 21, 2:39 am CST

Has peaked some interest. If the movie succeeds in conveying that the struggle was not so much over slavery as something more (though it depict something less), and there to the integrity of law in the governing separations, it will have passed the threshold of recognizing that Lincoln was less concerned with the issue of slavery than of union, the former he knew by the end of '64 to be over, the latter he feared would result in reprisal. Despite Lincoln's lifelong opposition to the abomination of slavery, he not only recognized a peaceful end to it if permitted to die naturally through universal recognition and condemnation, but feared the horrors of war, including the very human tendency to victors' revenge, something Booth enabled, and there without preventing harmful consequences with which we live to this day.

By gdp on 2012 11 21, 12:18 pm CST

Nice to see the racist overtones and dog whistles go off during comments about a movie about freeing the slaves. Looking at #6,7,8.

"yankee" -- You are dreaming if you think people like Steve Jobs, Bono, Buffett, Bill Gates, and many many other brilliant people think only all about Themselves, Their Own money, and other GREEDY (John Galt) motives for creating a better world.

Most creative people create for reasons other than $$$$$$$$$. the $$$$ are by-products of their creations....You and other John Galt fans likely have nothing but simple economic trade related ideas to contribute anyhow---good luck with your greed ---You will create nothing of consequence...

By chris on 2012 11 21, 1:23 pm CST

God yes. Criticizing abuse of public benefits (without reference to any race or color as apparently assumed via Chris's personal racism) is the same as supporting slavery. If you can't defraud the taxpayer, you're being mistreated.

By B. McLeod on 2012 11 21, 1:28 pm CST

So people defraud food stamp programs. Fine. Assuming there was a point to that statement, what was it? There's fraud in banking, the legal profession, the medical profession, construction, real estate, in grocery sales, among charities, hell, even among preachers pretending to do the Lord's work.

Let's simplify: there's fraud in any economic activity that people are involved in. What's the insight in that?

By NoleLaw on 2012 11 21, 3:01 pm CST

Lawyers will like this movie and should appreciate the calculations of a first rate lawyer. The script, admittedly wonky at times, succeeds in connecting the dots. Abolition of slavery needed a firmer foundation than an executive act, or the union would face the same divisions with perhaps the same consequences.
Those who criticize Lincoln for not having a consistent abolitionist ardor that he is perhaps caricaturized with, need to think about the era in which he lived and the art of achieving the possible versus dreaming the perfect.

By Len on 2012 11 21, 3:51 pm CST

@9 - "the cartoon version of history being peddled here, which is designed to paint boundless federal power as patriotic rather than as the treason it truly represents."

It's a good thing the coffee wasn't hot, or it would have hurt spewing out of my nose.

*Lincoln's* treason? Seriously? As opposed to say, Jefferson Davis? Have you signed the Texas petition yet?

I am astounded that we still see people banging the drum of state's rights. I'm so sorry to break the news, but there was a bit of a war fought over that, and the people wearing the blue coats won. States don't have rights, *people* do. Get over it.

By Huh? on 2012 11 21, 5:39 pm CST

@11 - hysterical

By Sara on 2012 11 21, 10:41 pm CST

Bumps: 4, 15

@17's penultimate sentence: States are collective bargaining entities. States' rights *are* peoples' rights.

By emm on 2012 11 22, 12:44 am CST

To me, the story of seeing a supermarket customer pay over $100 with food stamps and another $80 from a fat wad of twenties reminds me most of one thing - a yuppie spending his tax refund on a luxury, while the average taxpayer struggles and those too poor to be taxpayers suffer worse. Lump sums tend to get spent as such, and that's conspicuous by definition.

I think a food stamp recipient who spends a lot at once, and has a lot of cash at once, is a food stamp recipient whose family probably had very little food in the house lately, and probably owes rent (and maybe back rent) in cash. When that monthly check comes and gets cashed - whether it's from the VA, workers comp, Unemployment, welfare, or whatever - it tends to be a lump sum that gets spent.

If that's conspicuous - well, duh.

By Avon on 2012 11 22, 1:27 am CST


By emm on 2012 11 22, 2:06 am CST

Sure, all yuppies get their tax refunds in November.

But hey, that's at least as rational as the unbridled racist assumptions injected by Chris, who just assumed he knew what color the person was, based on his knuckle-dragging, racist stereotypes about who lives in the untaxed cash economy and abuses public assistance. Klassic.

By B. McLeod on 2012 11 22, 5:45 am CST

@13 You observe: "racist overtones and dog whistles go off during comments about a movie about freeing the slaves. Looking at #6,7,8."

Mr. Matthews (may I call you 'Chris'), no dog whistles here. The only dog whistles you hear are all in your head.

Now, don't you think you need to attend to your duties at MSNBC rather than posting comments here?

By Yankee on 2012 11 22, 1:57 pm CST

If he lives well and justly, and straightens out his twisted, racist spirit, perhaps in his next life he will advance to actual voices in his head.

By B. McLeod on 2012 11 22, 4:46 pm CST

But about the movie...
Was extremely disappointed. Too simple, too choppy, too corny. Team of Rivals would have made a great movie, or maybe 5 great movies.

By Russell on 2012 11 22, 6:28 pm CST

It hasn't got much to do with Lincoln, Mr. McLeod, but regarding your comment at 6, I was on food stamps during the recession of '75. I walked into the plant one night and I was on the layoff list. My daughter was born 2 weeks later. As I recall the stamps paid mainly for formula. If you want to get on my case I paid more in taxes last month than I ever collected in benefits. Someone is always gaming the system and there will always be waste, fraud and abuse whether its someone defrauding the government for welfare benefits or a Bernie Madoff defrauding thousands of people out of their life savings.

As for Abraham Lincoln, I thank God he existed. He saved my country from destruction and it was his policies that set the stage for America to be the great country it became. It was his foresight that enabled the construction of the transcontinental railroad, financed by government land grants, the formation of state colleges also funded by government land grants, and the settlement of the West throught the Homestead Act. Without Abraham Lincoln this country would not be the great nation that it is. It's too bad the "Yankees" of the world seek to destroy his work.

By George Sly on 2012 11 22, 7:36 pm CST

I've never used food stamps, although I do know how to boil nettles. I don't begrudge people who are starving whatever they need to do to get a meal.

Still, when some bastard with a fat roll of cash pops in to the local grocery to buy 2/3 of what he wants with public assistance, something is badly wrong. It's mooching on a grand scale, exactly like one of the posters above suggested, and we're ghetting past the tipping point on free riders.

By B. McLeod on 2012 11 23, 7:44 am CST

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