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THE PLANK MAY 1, 2008

Fox History Channel

 

Fox News did a joking mockup of what the Lincoln-Douglas debates might look like today that evidently was more of a joke than intended. Evidently the folks at Fox imagine that Lincoln's opponent in the 1858 race for U.S. Senate was not Stephen A. Douglas, but rather abolitionist and former slave Frederick Douglass. As hilzoy at Obsidian Wings notes:

Legally, for a political party to run Frederick Douglass for federal
office would have been on a par, not with running a citizen of another
country, but with running a shovel or a cow: a piece of property whose
nature precluded its being a citizen, let alone a Senator. The most
Douglass might have aspired to, in 1858, was to be granted such rights
in something like the way Caligula made his horse a Consul. 

On the plus side, at least the folks at Fox realized that Lincoln wasn't running against Kirk Douglas. 

--Christopher Orr

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