Speaking in the House on July 27, 1848, Congressman Abraham Lincoln of Illinois tried to explain why he was first against the (Mexican-American) war, and then was for it:
But, as General Taylor is, par exellence, the hero of the Mexican War, and as you Democrats say we Whigs have always opposed the war, you think it must be very awkward and embarrassing for us to go for General Taylor. The declaration that we have always opposed the war is true or false, according as one may understand the term “oppose the war.” If to say “the war was unnecessarily and unconstitutionally commenced by the President” by opposing the war, then the Whigs have very generally opposed it. Whenever they have spoken at all, they have said this; and they have said it on what has appeared good reason to them. The marching an army into the midst of a peaceful Mexican settlement, frightening the inhabitants away, leaving their growing crops and other property to destruction, to you may appear a perfectly amiable, peaceful, unprovoking procedure; but it does not appear so to us. So to call such an act, to us appears no other than a naked, impudent absurdity, and we speak of it accordingly. But if, when the war had begun, and had become the cause of the country, the giving of our money and our blood, in common with yours, was support of the war, then it is not true that we have always opposed the war. With few individual exceptions, you have constantly had our votes here for all the necessary supplies.
(Cited from <a href=“http://www.addall.com/New/LinkToUs.cgi?isbn=0060528370&dispCurr=USD&title=People” onclick=“_gaq.push([‘_trackEvent’, ‘outbound-article’, ’http://www.addall.com/New/LinkToUs.cgi?isbn=0060528370&dispCurr=USD&title=People’, ‘A People’s History of the United States’]);” s+History+of+the+United+States:+1492-Present”>A People’s History of the United States, by Howard Zinn, p. 153)