Lincoln is Obama's professed ideal. We remember Lincoln today from civics lessons and the monument in Washington, but the historical reality is that he was both soaring idealist and ruthless pragmatist.
Up in the Air is based on a Walter Kirn novel. As I sit down to dinner with him, Kirn has the slightly wide-eyed look of someone who realizes that the old lottery ticket he's been carrying around in his wallet is a jackpot winner.
Let's drop the childish game of scaring ourselves with the likes of high school drop-out Jose Padilla and similarly I.Q. challenged riff-raff. In doing so, we are behaving like kids who conjure monsters.