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Posted at 1:22 PM ET, 11/19/2010

The Gettysburg Address -- by George W. Bush, Barack Obama and Sarah Palin

By Alexandra Petri

In honor of today's date, the anniversary of Abraham Lincoln's Gettysburg Address, here are the ways some topical modern figures might render the classic speech:

George W. Bush
A while ago, these father guys got together and, in the America, they built a country, our country, sort of based on this premise of general free-ishness and equaltude. We are now committed to this War on Terror against the bad guys, who are trying to test our resolve. But this is America! We have the greatest army in the world, and those brave men and women are now out there checking to see if these Enemies are with us or against us, and if they're against us, well, they'll be hearing from us.

Barack Obama
Four score and seven years ago, I had a revolutionary idea. This was back when the many rich threads that weave together in the fabric of our nation still bled from the scourge of oppression in an era where dreams were a commodity to be discarded, but it was a creed that I believed, and that I still believe in, that in a generous and free America, all people are created equal and can dream dreams from their fathers or legal guardians. Now we are examining the range of possibility in these economic times for that dream I had, which is similar to the dreams of Americans from the Rust Belt, where I hear from Joan, a single mother of four, who is worried that she won't be able to put food on the table, and from Jeff, a single mother of six, who is worried that he won't be able to afford a table. I think, candidly, that there has been a failure of message here that has resulted in a lot of Americans becoming upset and even, in some cases, making the extreme choice to secede, but I am confident that we can resolve this, and we've accomplished a lot already.

Sarah Palin
Hello America! Hello Tea Party! More than four years ago, before the Obama administration, the original Tea Party got this great country of ours off to a real good start. They believed in liberty! And freedom! And equality! For you! And me! And all those other hard-working people who are in this country legally! Now, we're in this for the long haul, and we aren't retreating, we're reloading, in order to refudiate this notion that the Lamestream Media has been generatin' that this isn't how you run a government.

The inspiration for this post comes from the original Gettysburg Address and the Oliver Jensen classic, "The Gettsyburg Address in Eisenhowerese," which can be found here.

By Alexandra Petri  | November 19, 2010; 1:22 PM ET
Categories:  Barack Obama, Epic Failures, Petri  | Tags:  Abraham Lincoln, parody  
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Comments

Yuck yuck. Please know that you're not funny.

Posted by: nitpicker | November 19, 2010 2:34 PM | Report abuse

Sounds like $arah Palin -- all rhetoric and no actual plans or ideas. $he can talk the talk, but walk the walk? I don't know. Quitting the Governorship and a small (population) state isn't too reassuring.

Posted by: lddoyle2002 | November 19, 2010 2:39 PM | Report abuse

Obviously, Sara Palin would be wearing her MC HAMMER glasses during this address, and this point should be noted.

Posted by: password11 | November 19, 2010 2:41 PM | Report abuse

You forgot to put in a few youbetchas and gosh darnits for darling Sarah.

Posted by: arancia12 | November 19, 2010 2:43 PM | Report abuse

Hilarious!

Posted by: Aquarius1 | November 19, 2010 2:46 PM | Report abuse

Wow. I am appalled. I hope you're not classifying this as journalism. Honestly, this is offensive.

We all get that President Bush and Governor Palin are not the best speakers in the world, but what gives you the right to put words in their mouths and assume that is what they would say? And you make President Obama sound like the most eloquent speaker in the world; it's as if he swallowed a thesaurus.

As a journalism major I am disappointed. This is the example being set for the next generation of journalists...

Posted by: naveeds1992 | November 19, 2010 2:49 PM | Report abuse

Let's all laugh on 3: 1, 2, Ha! Ha! Ha! - I couldn't wait! How low in journalistic worth.

Posted by: DoTheRightThing | November 19, 2010 3:18 PM | Report abuse

naveeds1992:
It doesn't take a Journalism Major to realize that this piece is meant to be humorous satire. And if you have any doubt that is the case, all you have to do is to look at the "punditry" hint at the head of the article, or take note of the "Opinion" hyperlink in the header. And if you're not alert enough to recognize that the hyperbolic speech attributed to Obama is every bit as nudge-nudge critical of him and his mannerisms as the others are of Palin and Bush, then perhaps you shouldn't be a Journalism Major either!

Posted by: Auslander1 | November 19, 2010 3:19 PM | Report abuse

Cute. However, I have to knock you down a bit for not using the words "notion" and "unprecedented" in the Obama parody. I giggle every time he says them because they come up all the time in his speech pattern.

Posted by: nahali | November 19, 2010 3:26 PM | Report abuse

Have received 25 emails today....is it true that Monday, Nov. 22nd, 2010 is "Boycott of DWTS day???

If it is true will participate......Someone let me know, thank you......

Posted by: lindarc | November 19, 2010 4:01 PM | Report abuse

Please stop putting Palin in front of me...I want to read about jobs......Palin and daughter are "Simpletons"...we don't need to see knocked-up teenagers in the White House...

Posted by: lindarc | November 19, 2010 4:03 PM | Report abuse

Have received 25 emails today....is it true that Monday, Nov. 22nd, 2010 is "Boycott of DWTS day???

If it is true will participate......Someone let me know, thank you......
_____________________________________________

On another note...decent folks don't to see knocked-up teenagers in the White House....God sad forgive her ...we have but enough is enough....

Posted by: lindarc | November 19, 2010 4:07 PM | Report abuse

Naveeds1992 wrote the following-
Wow. I am appalled. I hope you're not classifying this as journalism. Honestly, this is offensive.

We all get that President Bush and Governor Palin are not the best speakers in the world, but what gives you the right to put words in their mouths and assume that is what they would say? And you make President Obama sound like the most eloquent speaker in the world; it's as if he swallowed a thesaurus.

As a journalism major I am disappointed. This is the example being set for the next generation of journalists...
-------------------------------------------
Naveeds, with any luck there won't be another generation of journalists. With few exceptions, journalists have no other area of study. As a result, we have "journalists" like Steve Doocy who has a limited grasp of issues, much like other journalists like Sarah Palin. If I recall, she was a radio-tv journalism major. These people are basically talking heads. If you want real journalism, you tune in to, or read, the likes of Fareed Zakariah- Harvard Political Science Ph.D.,Chris Matthews, graduate work at UNC in economics, George Will Ph.D. in Politics from Princeton, Chris Cuomo J.D. Yale, there are many more. The problem is that especially in the United States where a solid liberal arts background coming out of public schools is rare, most journalism majors strike me - much like Mr. Doocy as hopelessly ignorant of history, anthropology, sociology, economics and political science to mention just a few fields. I have no time for banal rants coming out of the mouth of morons like Doocy - someone who has no notion about the issues he or she tries to discuss intelligently. If someone like Mr. Doocy merely read the news, fine. But the notion of a journalism major providing commentary is laughable. Kind of like listening to that brilliant journalism major Sarah Palin.
As for Naveeds, please...get a real education.

Posted by: douglasstinson | November 19, 2010 4:09 PM | Report abuse

They couldn't throw this hack in on the Newsweek deal?

Posted by: Ralphinjersey | November 19, 2010 4:29 PM | Report abuse

America is faced with either a bloody combatical confrontation with the business community or continued unemployment. I believe Americans will take on the business community so that business will feel fearful everyday of their lives.

As American's it is our duty and responsibilty to rip the cash from the business community for the good of our nation as a whole. We will no longer tolerate the business community supporting and funding those adversaries that wish us harm and that hate our freedom: China.

From now on the American business community shall be known as the Communist Lovers. The ones that deserted and sold their country for a dollar.

Posted by: Maddogg | November 19, 2010 4:50 PM | Report abuse

You forgot "Let me be clear" in Obama's speech. And - let me be clear - it would show up at least four times.

Posted by: MidwaySailor76 | November 19, 2010 4:58 PM | Report abuse


Joe Biden would just deliver it per Lincoln but claim the words as his own.

Posted by: edbyronadams | November 19, 2010 5:06 PM | Report abuse

Should Palin's speech not be well received, she'd blame someone! The reporter, the media, Obama, but she'd never admit that her speech just sucked.

Posted by: bozhogg | November 19, 2010 5:36 PM | Report abuse

Well, that was 2 minutes of my life I will never get back. Pretty stupid all the way around

Mark

Posted by: markandbeth92 | November 19, 2010 6:10 PM | Report abuse

Actually, Lincoln wrote his own gettyburg address. We now know that obama has never written anything from his days on the harvard law review to his two books bill ayers (the terrist friend of obama)wrote for him so it would be impossible to know what obama would actually say.

Posted by: j751 | November 19, 2010 6:15 PM | Report abuse

This was really not worthy of the Washington Post.

Posted by: rwassmer | November 19, 2010 6:15 PM | Report abuse

Another fine example of someone who should have taken a buyout (saving some copy editors in the process), but didn't.

In all sincerity: Is someone slipping crazy pills into the water over there on Fifteenth Street?

Posted by: jcbcmb68 | November 19, 2010 6:20 PM | Report abuse

Alexandra


Good piece

Posted by: RedTeaRevolution | November 19, 2010 6:42 PM | Report abuse

Lame.

Posted by: gilbertbp | November 19, 2010 7:05 PM | Report abuse

So what was it that President Linclon was addressing in Gettysburg anyway? A national victory, right. And depending on how you look at it, I guess that's kinda funny all by itself, right ? Kinda makes me wonder how this kind of humor is going to play out, even if it has been 150 years.

Posted by: jralger | November 19, 2010 7:07 PM | Report abuse

Did Mr. Lincoln right the speech on his hand? Which reminds me if she becomes the President someday, why would there be a need for a presidential library. Maybe, just some xerox's of her palm.

Posted by: BBear1 | November 19, 2010 7:14 PM | Report abuse


He left the speech on his hand.

Posted by: edbyronadams | November 19, 2010 8:40 PM | Report abuse

Auslander1 - Aww, come on now. You just don't understand naveeds1992's subtle humor.

Posted by: Bob-S | November 19, 2010 10:09 PM | Report abuse

Alex you buffoon...there should have been a "report abuse" button for this crap.

Posted by: PanhandleWilly | November 19, 2010 10:10 PM | Report abuse

@douglasstinson If an advanced degree from Harvard or Princeton was a prerequisite for working in journalism, Walter Cronkite would never have landed at Normandy, and Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein never would have exposed the Watergate Scandal. I had the honor of working on the same newspaper as two journalists who won a Pulitzer Prize in 1986 for exposing the illicit global trade in transplant organs. Neither of them had an advanced degree in anything, yet they were able to penetrate a complex, arcane milieu and expose a pattern of corruption that no degreed public health expert had ever spotted. Great reporters usually can do this sort of thing because they are autodidacts, skilled at immersing themselves in unfamiliar subjects and bringing to them a fresh perspective. The most important qualifications for a journalist are the ability to ask questions and the persistence to ask enough of them of enough people.

Posted by: pjkiger1 | November 19, 2010 10:13 PM | Report abuse

Sarah Palin is an idiot.

Ask her, she is smarter than JFK

Posted by: COWENS99 | November 19, 2010 10:21 PM | Report abuse

Four hours and seven minutes ago our Petri brought forth upon this ComPost, a new column, conceived in drunken revelry, and dedicated to the proposition that all men don’t look so equal with nothing on but a bag over their heads.

Now we are engaged in a great uncivil comment war, testing whether this Democrat, or any Republican so inconceivable, can endure as long as Sarah Palin.

We are met here on a not so great, offensive, appalling battlefield of that comment war. We have come to dedicate a portion of these comments to those disappointed journalism majors who wrote the ultimate comment so that the next generation of journalists might have a better example. It is altogether unfitting and improper that they should have to classify the Compost as journalism.*

But in a larger sense…. it is for us commenters, who get it… to highly resolve that these comments were not typed in vain; that this ComPost shall have a new birth of satire; and this journalism of the ironic, by the sarcastic, and for the next generation of journalists, shall not perish from the Washington Post.
===
*With gratitude to naveeds1992 | November 19, 2010 2:49

Posted by: divtune | November 19, 2010 10:56 PM | Report abuse

naveeds1992, lighten up and read more carefully.

douglasstinson, you need to lighten up too. Some choose journalism because they enjoy the opportunity to constantly learn new things; some to read the words someone else wrote on camera. Don't paint them all with the same brush.

Posted by: exco | November 19, 2010 11:13 PM | Report abuse

Sara Palin is a despicable woman. She does nothing but attack and demean Pres. Obama who has not said anything bad against her. Palin's daughters are just as nasty and downright mean and filthy-mouthed. Who in their right minds would even consider Sarah Palin as president? An underachiever, ill-educated, uncouth, ignorant, a quitter and cruel. Palin epitomizes the ugly American. Boycott DWTS, it rewards mediocrity and lack of talent.

Posted by: mstratas | November 19, 2010 11:46 PM | Report abuse

Disgusting woman breeds ugly mean children - the Palins

Posted by: mstratas | November 19, 2010 11:47 PM | Report abuse

From the Fox News website:

"MADISON, Wis. -- A rural Wisconsin man apparently enraged by Bristol Palin's "Dancing with the Stars" routine blasted his television with a shotgun, leading to an all-night standoff with a SWAT team, investigators said."

Was that you, mstratas?

Was at a charity event last night. Friend asked me, out of the blue, to "justify Sarah Palin."

I replied, "Why should she need me to justify her?" which left my interrogator stumped momentarily. But she rallied, demanded to know what qualifications she had to be vice-president. I returned the serve by pointing out that as governor of Alaska, she had had two more years of executive experience than President Obama had when he was nominated.

The conversation degenerated quickly after that into critiques of Palin's and Obama's alleged intellects, and when we started getting into the quagmire of Obamacare, I suggested to my interrogator that, "Believe me when I tell you you don't want to go there with me. BELIEVE me."

And we changed the subject and the conversation once again turned pleasant.

But I now know the answer to her initial question ("Justify Sarah Palin.") Anyone who can stoke such eyeball-vibrating fury among left-wingers by the simple mention of her name must be doing something right.

Posted by: gilbertbp | November 20, 2010 8:26 AM | Report abuse

@douglasstinson If an advanced degree from Harvard or Princeton was a prerequisite for working in journalism, Walter Cronkite would never have landed at Normandy, and Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein never would have exposed the Watergate Scandal. I had the honor of working on the same newspaper as two journalists who won a Pulitzer Prize in 1986 for exposing the illicit global trade in transplant organs. Neither of them had an advanced degree in anything, yet they were able to penetrate a complex, arcane milieu and expose a pattern of corruption that no degreed public health expert had ever spotted. Great reporters usually can do this sort of thing because they are autodidacts, skilled at immersing themselves in unfamiliar subjects and bringing to them a fresh perspective. The most important qualifications for a journalist are the ability to ask questions and the persistence to ask enough of them of enough people.
Posted by: pjkiger1 | November 19, 2010 10:13 PM | Report abuse
============================================pjkiger1, well said and I concur.... at least somewhat. But as for the likes of Walter Cronkite, he was from a different age. I have great confidence that he could locate Singapore on a map, and perhaps tell you something about its history. That was then, this is now. We are graduating students who are barely capable of writing a coherent sentence and have minimal grasp of geopolitics. If you want a story on the polar bear at the local zoo having a cub, fine- give it to a journalism major. What I'm saying is that while I don't deny journalism majors can be good journalists, I find it more and more unlikely. How good can journalists be if - say they are reporting on the Middle East- they make it clear they know nothing about the sunni/shiite traditions and how their differences have to be considered in reporting on issues from that part of the world? I fail to see how a journalist can know what questions to ask if they don't understand the subject they're investigating. Give them the fluff pieces.

Posted by: postaddict1 | November 20, 2010 1:35 PM | Report abuse

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