“Soft despotism is a term coined by Alexis de Tocqueville describing the state into which a country overrun by "a network of small complicated rules" might degrade. Soft despotism is different from despotism (also called 'hard despotism') in the sense that it is not obvious to the people."

Thursday, December 31, 2015

America’s First Gay President : Abraham Lincoln

A Family History Provides More Evidence That Lincoln Was Gay

Over 16,000 books have been written about Abraham Lincoln, our greatest president. Many of these books either allude to or specifically report on Lincoln's ambiguous relationships with men. Lincoln lived with and shared a bed with Joshua Speed for four years, and they remained friends years after they no longer lived together. He also had a close relationship with Captain David Derickson, who would stay with Lincoln overnight at the Soldier's Home (a retreat from the White House) when Lincoln's wife Mary left town. There were reports of Captain Derickson wearing Lincoln's nightshirt, and Lincoln has been quoted as saying, with a "twinkle" in his eye, "The captain and I are getting quite thick."
Many historians are quick to say that men shared beds due to a bed shortage and that surely Lincoln, the savior of the Union, could not have been gay. The studied impulse to make Lincoln absolutely heterosexual reflects a discernible societal discomfort with the complexities of human sexuality and sexual orientation, as well as deeply embedded streaks of homophobia.
American history is written not only in books but in the sacred narration of family stories that endure as indelible parchment in our hearts. Thomas Jefferson had an affair with his slave Sally Hemings, fathering many children with her. The family history of Sally Hemings' descendants never wavered from the fact of Jefferson's paternity, though their claims were disputed by many offended historians. Surely, these historians protested, the author of the Declaration of Independence would not have had sexual liaisons with a slave. Genetic testing proved them wrong.
America's founding fathers had sex with slaves. There's no dispute over that fact. This brings us to my own family history. Growing up, my mother told me that we were from Blair House, the White House's official guest house. She stated that her great-grandmother was a servant at Blair House, had an affair with the master of Blair House and also babysat Lincoln's kids. The affair produced a child, Mattie, born Oct. 20, 1860.
When I began to research this family story, I found that the master of the house was none other than Montgomery Blair, Lincoln's Postmaster General (a member of the cabinet) and a lawyer for Dred Scott in the infamous Dred Scott v. Sandford case. His father was Francis P. Blair, one of the founders of the Republican Party. While I have not yet learned the name of my great-great-grandmother, I found indisputable evidence that the Blairs owned slaves and had set them free before the Civil War. I also found that most of those former slaves remained working for the Blair families.
Because this research also led me to learn more about Abraham Lincoln, it resulted in my falling in love with him. I read about Lincoln's great soul, his better angel genius, his love for his children, his love of animals, his soaring words, his melancholy and his signing of the Emancipation Proclamation. And as I went on this journey, I also read about his apparent male preference in his social life. This led me to find increasing evidence about his sexuality. As a sexologist, I posit that Lincoln was a Kinsey 4 -- homosexual with more than incidental opposite-sex contact. But as I studied Lincoln's magnificent life, I realized that William Herndon, Lincoln's law partner for 20 years and the keeper of Lincoln's legacy, never mentioned anything that would leave one to believe that Lincoln was gay.
One day I was having lunch with Rev. Cindi Love, the executive director of Soulforce. I was telling her about my family history, my burgeoning love affair with Abraham Lincoln and my quest for more information. "I have been researching Lincoln and found a lot about his relationships with men, and I am getting this from a many sources," I told her. "But I am puzzled about one thing: William Herndon has not mentioned or written anything that would indicate that Lincoln was gay."
She gave me a telling look and said, "Well, here is the missing piece of your puzzle. My maiden name is Herndon. William Herndon was my great-great-uncle, and he was gay, and he was Lincoln's lover." She went on to talk about how this information was handed down from generation to generation in the Herndon family.
There are history books, and then there are generational stories that give character and quality to the threads on the loom of history. I believe that Lincoln was gay, and I see that as simply the sweet icing on the cake of the life story of our greatest president.


  1. With a little more than a year left in his presidency, Barack Obama has lately been in an elegiac mood, projecting a certain nervous confidence—"I've got 12 months left to squeeze every ounce of change I can while I'm still in office"—as well as reflecting on the lessons of experience. Most of his remarks have been boilerplate Obama, but one recent interview with NPR's Steve Inskeep struck The Scrapbook as revealing.


    To be sure, all politicians, including our greatest presidents, are creatures of ambition; and it is naïve to suggest that the office seeks the man or that aspirants aren't motivated by the pursuit of power. George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Ronald Reagan—all sought power, in their way, and all judged themselves uniquely equipped to lead the country.

  2. Yup, Deuce is bonkers.

    And a confirmed homophobe too.

    Books for Deuce this Holiday Season:

    Santa Claus Conquers the HomophobesDec 4, 2011

    by Robert Devereaux
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    Homophobe: A Logical Response to an Ignorant IdeologyApr 10, 2013
    by J. J. Morrow
    Kindle Edition
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    Nor did Deuce got a thing out of my recent exploration of the biological/developmental origins of sexual orientation.

    Nothing seems to overcome the sin of freeing the slaves.

    For Rufus:

    December 30, 2015
    Obamanomics explained in one chart
    By Thomas Lifson

    You may be running into friends and relatives at holiday gatherings who claim that the 5% unemployment rate is one of Obama's success stories, and a good reason to stick with the Democrats. Writing in Conservative HQ, George Rasley highlights a chart produced by Benjamin Weingarten in Genfkd that sums up the uselessness of the U3 unemployment rate statistic inevitably tossed out by the media to make the claim that the economy is recovering under Obama. Most AT readers are sophisticated and realize that the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ U3 “unemployment rate” does not count discouraged workers who have given up the search for work. The BLS calls these people “marginally attached workers,” and the criteria for blasting them into invisibility in the U3 stats are pretty easy to meet:

    Persons not in the labor force who want and are available for work, and who have looked for a job sometime in the prior 12 months (or since the end of their last job if they held one within the past 12 months), but were not counted as unemployed because they had not searched for work in the 4 weeks preceding the survey.

    But most of our friends and neighbors do not realize that the more realistic U6 rate, generally ignored by the media, does count the “marginally attached workers” as unemployed, and it is nearly double the U3 rate (currently 9.9% versus 5%).

    So how do we sum up all this complicated information in one chart?

    Here it is. Show it to your friends who think Obama has been good for the economy:


    Nothing to whack Quirk with at this time.

    Couldn't sleep.

  3. You poor idiot motherfucker. They just whip you like a rented mule, don't they?

    The Con man describes U-6, but the chart has nothing to do with U-6. (By the way, after Bush ran it up to 18%, or thereabouts, Obama has cut it at approx. the same rate as he's ut U-3.)

    The chart gives U-3, and "Not in Workforce." That number includes all old people on Social Security, all children over age of 16 in High School, and College, and all yahoos recuperating in the hospital after being shot by their Trump-voting, becauze freedum, open-carry, next-door neighbors.

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