First irony: President Lincoln was what modern Republicans call a "R I N O", Republican In Name Only. A brief look at the history of political parties in the U.S. reveals the fact that the New Republican Party of whom Lincoln was the nominee was the leftist-liberal party in the 1860's. Democrats in the south were pro-slavery "state's rights conservatives". The Democratic Party remained the conservative party through the early 1900's. Lincoln's Republican Party was a Big Central Government party that opposed slavery and was for equal rights for all, for public universities and the public funding of railroads heading west. There were, at the time of the Civil War, conservatives among the Republican Party who then formed the Radical Democratic Party to draw support away from Lincoln. They failed to win. The now-extinct Whig Party (Presidents Tyler, Harrison, Taylor, Fillmore) was essentially the centrist party at the time of Lincoln's campaigns. The Whigs, of whom Lincoln was an eight year Illinois State Legislative leader (1934-1942), were split on extending slavery to the nation's expansion of western states and along with the conservative Democratic party, lost to Lincolns' New Republican Party.
Teddy Roosevelt may have been the last of the liberal Republicans, while Coolidge and Hoover (Great Depression era) were among the first of the now conservative Republicans. President Hoover took the conservative approach during the Great Depression by ignoring calls for a government stimulus package thereby dragging out the depression even further. F.D. Roosevelt, with his New Deal introduction of social and business safety-nets, could be described as the first true liberal Democrat, though conservative state's rights Democrats did still represent much of the South.
Second irony: Rep. Tom McClintock supports down-sizing our government safety nets and repeatedly speaks out against the Affordable Care Act (ObamaCare) which would seem in contrast to President Lincoln's sentiments. This could be because before ObamaCare, he was eligible for health care coverage under the government subsidized Federal Employees Health Benefits Program. Now, under the Affordable Care Act, members of Congress who want coverage generally have to buy it on the health insurance exchange. Mr. McClintock preferred his tax-payer paid health insurance along with his tax-payer paid salary, but he always votes against tax-payer subsidized health insurance for everyone else.
Third irony: Both Presidents Lincoln and Reagan were victims of hand-gun violence. Lincoln was assassinated by John Wilkes Boothe who carried a concealed hand-gun into the Ford Theater. Lincoln was enjoying a play at the theater, though he could have been at church or in modern times, at the movies or a nightclub...
And in 1981, surrounded by good guys with guns, President Reagan, James Brady and two law enforcement officers were shot outside of the Hilton in Washington D.C. Reagan and the other victims survived, though James Brady became partially paralyzed and required a wheelchair for the rest of his life. James Brady, now deceased, became a champion of background checks for gun purchases and a five day waiting period. His "Brady Bill" finally passed through Congress and was signed into law by President Clinton in 1993. He was President Reagan's Press Secretary.
Modern Republicans want to embrace Lincoln for his historical greatness and his Republican party affiliation without embracing the true essence of what made him great: his liberal, public-first policies, his belief in a strong centralized power, and freedom for all men as the best foundation for a government of the people, for the people and by the people.