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The Gaffe that Time Forgot: Lincoln’s Intercontinental Railroad

John on July 2, 2011 at 10:34 am

I came across this the other day and thought it was a perfect example of the sort of silly verbal gaffe which is ignored by the media when the left makes the error, but which is elevated to national importance when a conservative does it.

Thanks to Warner Todd Huston for making this clip. Have a look:

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Listen, Abraham Lincoln helped build the interstate…the intercontinental railroad in the middle of the Civil War because he understood this was going to be important.

Of course, there was no “intercontinental railroad” being built during the Civil War. We did not build a trestle across the Bering Strait or lay tracks to South America. Abraham Lincoln did support the building of a transcontinental railroad connecting the East Coast to the West Coast.

Is this a big deal? Of course not. It’s obvious the President stumbled, probably thinking of our modern interstate road system and transposed that onto the transcontinental railroad. But if Sarah Palin or Michele Bachmann had said this, you can bet there would be lots of people pointing out what an embarrassing historical gaffe it was. Paul Revere’s ride and John Quincy Adams are the most recent examples of this trend. Those gaffes were national news. The intercontinental railroad was not.

People misspeak. Sometimes they say things that are wrong. The difference is, the right doesn’t capitalize on every one of these and try to form a narrative around them about the stupidity of, say Barack Obama. The left can’t seem to help itself, especially when it comes to conservative women.

Addendum: Thanks to Instapundit for the link. Just wanted to point out he’s made this same gaffe quite a few times.

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Category: MSM & Bias |

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