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BlueStateMan On August - 10 - 2011

Roosevelt did not accept the simplistic conservative meme that MACROeconomics and MICROeconomics have the same fundamental principles and that government has to “live within its means like families do”… a juvenile concept that the “rabble” can understand, even as they would be hard-pressed to describe the differences.

In fact, even today (August 8, 2011), in the wake of a 630 point loss in the Dow after the downgrading of the US credit rating for the first time in our history, Eric Cantor (R-VA) is STILL telling is colleagues (those RESPONSIBLE for the downgrading) to, “resist pressure to compromise on tax increases”.. exacerbating the problem even more.

FDR understood that economic downturns not only restricts the debt to the levels of the day.. but they actually REDUCE NATIONAL INCOME…  and that reduced national income LEADS TO FURTHER DOWNTURN, creating a deflationary cycle that can only be broken when GOVERNMENT STEPS IN TO PUT PEOPLE BACK TO WORK and break the cycle… a consideration that came SECOND to balancing the budget.

At a campaign speech on Oct. 1, 1936, in Pittsburgh, Roosevelt outlined exactly this case:

“To balance our budget in 1933 or 1934 or 1935 would have been a crime against the American people. To do so we should either have had to make a capital levy that would have been confiscatory, or we should have had to set our face against human suffering with callous indifference. When Americans suffered, we refused to pass by on the other side. Humanity came first.

No one lightly lays a burden on the income of a Nation. But this vicious tightening circle of our declining national income simply had to be broken. The bankers and the industrialists of the Nation cried aloud that private business was powerless to break it. They turned, as they had a right to turn, to the Government. We accepted the final responsibility of Government, after all else had failed, to spend money when no one else had money left to spend.

I adopted, therefore, the other alternative. I cast aside a do nothing or a wait-and-see policy.”

Now… even where Obama and Roosevelt could be seen to agree on economic principles, the SELLING of those principles has been FAR DIFFERENT. Obama’s stimulus bill was a RESOUNDING SUCCESS by any measure, as was the billions spent to prop up the American auto industry at its nadir.


And now, as in Roosevelt’s time, the Republicans advocate a do-nothing and a wait-and-see policy.

The DIFFERENCE, however, has been that Roosevelt seemed more willing to OWN THE POLICY AND DEFEND THE PRINCIPLES that were such a success, whereas Obama has LET THE NOTION that the stimulus failed become conventional wisdom.. DESPITE THE FACTS.

Again, from Roosevelt’s 1936 speech:

“As for the other six and a half billions of the deficit we did not just spend money; we spent it for something. America got something for what we spent—conservation of human resources through C.C.C. camps and through work relief; conservation of natural resources of water, soil and forest; billions for security and a better life. While many who criticize today were selling America short, we were investing in the future of America.”

Indeed, it is certainly true that Roosevelt did NOT have to contend with the same RECKLESS IDEOLOGUES  who currently control the House of Representatives, and there is NO DELUSION that, were Roosevelt president today, he would have FORCED Boehner to bring to the floor, much less pass, any legislation that increased the government’s role in the economy or provided more badly needed stimulus.

But it is a fair bet to say that the conversation surrounding the deadlock would have been QUITE DIFFERENT from what it is today: Roosevelt had NO HESITANCY about using the BULLY PULPIT to make a PASSIONATE of what GOVERNMENT CAN and SHOULD do for people and the economy.

And while Obama did not explicitly rule out using the 14th Amendment as a pretext for unilateral action (as he should have done), Roosevelt’s history would seem to indicate that he would have NO PROBLEM WHATSOEVER taking ANY ACTION HE DEEMED NECESSARY and DARING THE SAME HOUSE REPUBLICANS who had been advocating against his popular policies to go ahead and IMPEACH HIM for taking action to SAVE THE CREDIT OF THE UNITED STATES.

122 Responses so far.

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  1. agrippa says:

    Another part of the national emergency in 1932 was foreign policy. There was going to be another world war, and people knew it.
    Germany; Spain; Italy; Japan; China. All were on fire or about to be set alight. By 1937, for informed people it was a matter of when and where for the USA.

    The scope of the depression: 25%+ unemployment; banks bankrupt; compaines bankrupt; state and local govt bankrupt; farmers bankrupt.
    Several orders of magnitude worse than now. And the GOP was bankrupt mmorally and politically. ( You see they came back — ideas die hard)

  2. agrippa says:

    When FDR came to power, we had a national emergency and Congress had an overwhelming majority.

    The above links describe the Congresses that began 1933 and 1935. Who they were and what they did.

    Yhe FDR Admin in 1936/37 drew back from federal spending to stimulate the economy. The “deficit hawks” acquired a lot of influence. So, unemployment got worse. The New Play was closed to plyed out in 1937.

    We do not have as severe a situation as in 1932, and the Democrats had a small majority. Obama received only 53% of the populat vote.

  3. KQuark says:

    BSM sorry for the diversion.

    Adlib, OK pet peeve how was the debt ceiling deal 98% of what the GOP wanted?

    I think I heard Bonehead say it but it’s far from true. The GOP wanted the Ryan budget. The GOP wanted massive cuts to entitlements, a balance budget amendment, caps on spending based on revenue with MORE tax cuts for the rich. Believe me the Tea Bag types are not cheering in the aisles of the debt ceiling.

    While the Dems did not get revenue increases.

    Using some progressivese the GOP got a watered down debt reduction bill.

    • AdLib says:

      Sometimes the best tool in politics is judo, use your opponent’s weight against them.

      Of course it wasn’t really 98% of what Boehner wanted but the best strategy right now is to validate that claim…and hang them on it.

      Sure Boehner, you and the GOP own 98% of the deal that lost us our credit rating and tanked the markets! Now that we’ve seen the results, we’re not going there again, are we?

  4. texliberal says:

    Dear California/Arizona/Northwest Pacific. I smoke brisket and hot links every weekend. Ya’ll can come on down any time or I’ll consider sending ya some. My jalapeno marinade is to die for. And AL, a California Deli. Is that like pineapple pizza?????

  5. texliberal says:

    jkk, WHAT IN THE WORLD does my problems with Obama have to do with STARVING kids in Somalia? You’re really gonna have to explain that one.

    • jkkFL says:

      That there are more important issues than your personal displeasure with the President.
      Focus on the larger picture..
      There’s a drought in TX-
      There’s a battle in WI
      The GOP is unwilling to compromise
      Obama doesn’t govern in the way you expect..
      There’s killing heat in the US
      There are riots in the UK
      The Middle East is killing to prevent democracy
      The GOP is stripping women and the states of their rights
      The currency of the US and the world is embattled
      The stock markets are nosediving into recession, again
      Your house isn’t worth what you paid for it
      Your 401K just tanked….
      Japan is in dire straits
      France and Greece are are insolvent
      There are far more serious problems in the world-
      Lose the binoculars and get a telescope- the Big Picture is far more serious..

      • texliberal says:

        jkk, what can be more important than the rights of working people and the survival of the middle class???

        • choicelady says:

          I am a long-time union activist even though not IN a union. I have been on the lines with USW, UAW, IAM, and many more and fought to give union people strategies that won them victories. I believe in unions and a strong NLRB that protects them. Here we fought for the checkoff, for unions’ rights to use members’ funds for campaigns, inclusion of domestic employees in rights, sick days, and every manner of right. Tex -- all I’m saying is that the meme that Obama HAS to be vocal in support or on the lines is something we never asked of ANY president before. It’s a non issue. His NLRB upholds rights, and Hilda Solis -- unlike Reich -- is VERY vocal in support of union organizing and actions. I just think this is a diversion -- rights trump PR any day of the week. And jkkFL -- there is, I think, no distinction that NEEDS to be made between Somalia and Wisconsin. They are all on the spectrum. We individually focus on specifics because it’s where our hearts and work take us, but no one issue is “more” important than another. They ALL are important. We need all hands on deck on all these issues and respect for whatever someone else’s priortities are.

        • jkkFL says:

          Survival. Life. That is what matters. Here, Somalia or Texas. There is much more to life than your little square on Google Earth.
          If the children of the world starve, is the plight of the middle class more important?
          The survival of generations trump your shortsighted view, tex.

      • AdLib says:

        Thanks jkkFL, that’s quite a sobering list, really puts some perspective on where our priorities need to be.

        • texliberal says:

          AL, that’s a crock. PRESENTLY there’s not much between many people and a box under a bridge. Efforts need to be concentrated there. Otherwise you’re looking at Romney/Perry. A truly scary thought.

          • choicelady says:

            Worse -- Perry/Bachmann. Or vice versa! Aaaaarrrggghhhh!

          • AdLib says:

            Tex, matters of life and death are not at least on a par with our economic crisis?

            That doesn’t change that this is an urgent crisis but as I mentioned, the list of crises jkkFL listed are also urgent.

            We each focus on what we think is the priority of the day but just as it can for a President, that can change for us with each day when there are so many problems bubbling in so many directions.

            Part of being a good leader is an ability to be flexible and re-prioritize when necessary.

            We disagree on this but I think Obama will be focused like a laser on jobs and getting revenue in.

            We can both guess but time will tell.

  6. funksands says:

    I’m confused. I have EXTREME CLARITY about the level of opposition that the President faces. I can also list nearly from memory the accomplishments of the President over the last 2.5 years. I visit the whitehouse website, diligently send my postcards of support and suggestions to the President. I understand the positively SYSIPHUSIAN task that he has faced, and will face in his next term.

    He reminds me of a soccer goalie. The best in the world. Save after save after save after save. The problem is that role does not enable him to go on offense.

    If this criticism of the President marks me as uninformed or ungrateful or unsupportive (is that a word?) well that’s too damn bad.

    • AdLib says:

      What your comment does is prove that people can both support Obama and still be dissatisfied with him on his handling of some things.

      Right now is a time for a firm hand and leadership. Obama has said he is coming out in two weeks with what he wants to see in the Super Committee deal. I hope he’ll do so strongly and whether or not we see it in the media, that at least behind the scenes he will be pushing a balanced and fair deal forward that can get America working again.

      • texliberal says:

        Don’t count on it AL. He’s already outsourced to Congress and they feel their oats

        • Sabreen60 says:

          Outsourced? You know they beat Hilary over the head (and Bill) because she wrote the health care bill and didn’t allow Congress to write it, which was actually the job of Congress. President Obama comes into office and tells the American people and Congress what he would like and then tells Congress, “do YOUR JOB”, which is to write legislation. For the first time in years Congress had to get off their collective butts and do some work. NOW, President Obama is “outsourcing” Congress’s job to Congress. I really don’t get it.

          • Emerald1943 says:

            Sabreen, I am late with this comment due to computer problems yesterday, but I totally agree with you. The President has been having to force Congress to do its job since he came into office. I get so tired of the criticism from people who don’t understand that the President does not WRITE the bills, nor does he PASS them. Congress has to do that, no matter what the President wants.

            • Dorothy Rissman says:

              There are a number of important issues that the dem house and senate refused to deal with before the 2010 election.

              1. Obama asked both to pass the debt ceiling before recessing. They refused.

              2. PBO asked Congress to create a bill which would separate the middle income taxes breaks from the Bush wealthy tax breaks. They refused.

              In both situations the dems were afraid it would hurt their chances of being elected.

              I have also read studies that indicate that the more a president pushes his own agenda, Congress tends to get their backs up and refuse to go along.

              Hillary and the health care bill is a perfect example of that issue.

        • jkkFL says:

          Illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing has depleted some populations of Chilean seabass. In addition, some Chilean seabass is caught using unmodified bottom longlines, which hook and drown thousands of seabirds each year, most notably endangered albatross.

          A portion of the Chilean seabass fishery is certified as sustainable to the standard of the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC). These certified fisheries are not evaluated in the Seafood Watch report and are not covered under the general “Avoid” recommendation.

        • AdLib says:

          I’ll make a friendly wager with you right now Tex, Obama will come out with terms of a deal within 2 weeks which detail what he wants to see come out of the negotiation.

          He will have to be involved because he has to sign any bill that comes out of there, that gives him leverage.

          No one gets all they want from a negotiation but I think there will be revenues or the GOP will take ownership of the sinking economy and the Bush Tax Cuts will expire at the end of next year.

          • KQuark says:

            Obama took a good bit of leverage away from the GOP during these negotiations because he no longer wants something the GOP House does not want like it was with the debt ceiling.

            He can either make a deal or let the triggers hit so it gives him much more flexibility.

            • AdLib says:

              I agree, I think the Dems and Obama will have the greatest leverage going into the Super Committee.

              They got 98% of what they wanted and the economy threw up.

              That doesn’t mean there will be a deal but if there is one, it will be more on Dem terms than Repub.

              And if there is no deal, the cuts wouldn’t kick in until 2013…just after the Bush Tax Cuts expire so a deal can be made then to spare entitlements and get rid of corporate tax loopholes with even more leverage.

          • texliberal says:

            AL, YOUR ON my friend. My pound of smoked brisket against what?? Don’t say sushi, I hate that stuff.

            • Khirad says:

              I felt like I was in an ambulatory coma for one to two hours. Good fries, I just didn’t need a bucket of them. you could feed a Somali village with that alone.

            • texliberal says:

              KHIRAD. we have Five Guys too. NOW YOU’RE TALKING. You can have the dates

            • AdLib says:

              We were talking In and Out before, just continuing the joke.

              I know one thing you can’t get in TX, great deli.

              How about a Mile-High Reuben?

            • Khirad says:

              You have them there too? Yeah, they aren’t really just a California thing any more. Have a couple here, one not far away.

              I think it was the hype that did them in for me. Not bad, but I just didn’t fully get what the whole mystique was about.

              Besides the fact that by trying it it was the first fast food I’d had in years and it made me groggy-sick. Still not as bad as last year when I tried Five Guys. My lord. And people are just concerned about cigarettes?

            • texliberal says:

              AL, we have In and Out here now. I hope that’s not what ya’ll call a hamburger in California. How about a pound of Chilean Sea Bass? And Oh BTW I intend on COOKING it not eating it raw.

            • AdLib says:

              In and Out burgers?

  7. KQuark says:

    There is no comparison between the ’30s and now. FDR was a great president but even he could not get the economy going until WWII.

    It’s so hard to compare presidents and FDR would not be a good comparison anyway because he had huge Democratic majorities and such a long term. He had as many ups and downs as any president to be honest if you look at all the 30s and 40s.

    Now why did FDR cut the debt so drastically in 1937 since it was not part of his principles?

    That’s right he caved. Actually he cut the deficit in HALF and then to almost zero in two years.

    I see no way invoking the 14th would have made anything better at all. We would still have a debt ceiling fight of some kind and S&P would have downgraded us anyway.

    It’s not Obama that buys this conservative BS it’s the people who said the debt deal did not cut ENOUGH spending by a plurality of 45% only 15% thought there were too many cuts.

    To be honest history does not help us much at all with what is going on because the GOP has transformed into a major party this country has never seen before.

    • BlueStateMan says:

      It’s not so much a historical comparison as it is how each man, faced with similar circumstances, dealt with them.

    • AdLib says:

      KQ, right on the money, I just mentioned the 1937 budget cuts as well. FDR compromised with Repubs, the country wanted him to, then when it was proven to be a disaster, that philosophy was exploded.

      I think that’s happened or is happening with today’s GOP. They get 98% of what they want, the Market tanks and our credit rating drops for the first time.

      Yeah, let’s have more of that!!!

      As to the 14th Amendment, agree on that too. Had Obama used it, HE would have 100% blame for the market drop and credit downgrade. Then, the GOP might garner greater public support for greater cuts.

      It’s hard for people to imagine that what we’re dealing with now in government, is unique. However, it is unique and ranks with pre-Civil War and McCarthyism as a time when extremists in Congress took it over and set the course of America on a destructive path.

      Hopefully, we can now start steering back onto the right road before the axle breaks.

      • KQuark says:

        pre Civil War is the only real comparison I can think of because the press had the courage to take on McCarthyism. Now most of the press thinks torture is a debatable subject.

        • AdLib says:

          It wasn’t like that, the press didn’t take on McCarthyism for a long time. The anti-communist paranoia heated up just after WWII, McCarthy came to prominence in 1950 and it wasn’t until 1954 that he was finally stopped and disgraced.

          Thanks for that don’t go to the press in general but include the likes of Edward R. Murrow, the attorney Joseph Welch at the Army-McCarthy Hearings (“Have you no sense of decency, sir? At long last, have you left no sense of decency?”) and brave people who refused to name names like The Hollywood Ten.

          The press and media were terrified of McCarthy and the power he and the government wielded.

          For example, movie studios had to get approvals from the government for scripts and actors to use, many lives were ruined during those years due to the blacklist.

          When you read about the times, it’s reminiscent of the power Bush had right after 9/11 and the fear of speaking out among others, let alone in public, for fear of being attacked or reported to the government.

          Scary times, scarier that today. At least we have checks and balances right now to stop most of their worst schemes to undermine this country but in some cases, like holding the Deficit Ceiling hostage, not always.

          • KQuark says:

            Oh I know it took a little while to expose McCarthyism for what it was.

            I think this version of the GOP is much worse and there is nothing that is going to rectify the situation.

            I boil down what Obama could not accomplish with one axiom. You can’t get people to do what they don’t want to do if they really don’t want to do it.

            • AdLib says:

              In addition to FDR having a lot of Dems in Congress, Repubs in the Senate didn’t use the filibuster like toilet paper so he was able to pass bills without 67 votes (which I believe was the vote needed back then on a filibuster).

            • KQuark says:

              It does not help when people have no historical perspective either. FDR did a ton of things wrong but he had almost 10 years to fix things with mostly Dems.

              Most of all people just don’t respond to the presidential office like they use to on an emotional level. Great leaders need followers and face it Americans are not followers anymore. Everyone thinks they know better, especially purists.

            • AdLib says:

              This is what gives me the most trouble with the angriest critics of Obama.

              They howl about him, how he should’ve done this and should’ve done that but NEVER admit or recognize that this is not a dictatorship, that Congress has to vote for any spending or taxing to take place and that one house of Congress refuses to do anything that might help Obama or the economy.

              What would they do if they were President? Why they would just press the magic “Finance Infrastructure” button on the President’s desk, what else?

    • jkkFL says:

      KQ- “the GOP has transformed into a major party this country has never seen before.”

      That is the exact problem. Bravo.

  8. Sabreen60 says:

    Here’s another perspective on FDR v BHO. I think the article is pretty enlightening.


  9. funksands says:

    OT: Where did FDR get his wealth? Inherited from his mother Sally. Where did she get it? From her Warren Delano. Where did he get it? Smuggling opium in China.

    True story. A lot of the blue-blood east coast families made their fortune this way.


  10. funksands says:

    Doc Blue, great post.

    “The DIFFERENCE, however, has been that Roosevelt seemed more willing to OWN THE POLICY AND DEFEND THE PRINCIPLES that were such a success, whereas Obama has LET THE NOTION that the stimulus failed become conventional wisdom.. DESPITE THE FACTS.”

    That is the crux of the issue for sure.

    • KQuark says:

      See I get points like this but I also remember the time the stimulus passed.

      PROGRESSIVES summarily whined and whined about how it was not enough.

      CONSERVATIVES bashed it every time they talked about it.

      So what were Dems suppose to do when their so called base said it would not work?

      Over and over again PROGRESSIVES derail any message the Dems try to make on policy they passed like the HCR law and Wall Street legislation. So anything Dems do to promote these things has no weight behind it at all.

      • texliberal says:

        KQ, the Dodd Frank Act has been watered down, HCR watered down. Those two pieces of legislation would embarrass Richard Nixon.

      • funksands says:

        I don’t mind when the President yells back at me. Maybe I’m weird. I don’t think the stimulus went far enough either.

        Liberals are never satisified, that is our greatest strength and our greatest weakness. We’ll never stop complaining, agitating, trying to make things better.

        The neo-left is different though. The two-three groups are very hard to tell apart in the whole mish-mash of feedback.

        • bito says:

          The original “stimulus plan was over 1.2 trillion and had fewer tax credits/cuts, it was chopped and changed by Congress to what ended up passing, yet O gets the blame, as Presidents are, for not passing a better bill. Snowe and Collins, for their votes to pass, cut much out out of aid to the states and infrastructure and that is what makes you so correct. The neo/new left hasn’t a memory beyond a gnats brain or any knowledge that the voters are not a progressive bunch of fellow travelers.

          • KQuark says:

            I guess my problem is I do remember that well. I also remember it was Collins and Snowe who requested the cut before they would even talk about the bill.

            One thing progressives seem to forget is that the 111th House gave them 90% of what they wanted like the PO in the HCR law and even a climate change bill. So what do progressive do? Fire them.

            • bito says:

              KQ, you have some idea of my memory problems as I may know yours, but that bill was far from the “pure bill” that was first presented. Your memory is perfect. That bill was like most bills, it was a compromise and now we have a Congress with members that has an attitude of “my way or nothing”!
              I may have short term memory loss, but I do remember a the Bush administration and the speech in Grant Park.

        • KQuark says:

          Then we should never complain about Democrats losing the message war. That’s my point.

          • funksands says:

            I don’t mind losing. I do mind a poorly-executed game plan. I happen to think that the President CAN count on the support of much of the left no matter how much of a hissy-fit they throw, because they ARE informed for the most part. They are comparative voters for sure.

            The leaners? The casual voter? The young? The Obama Republicans? They are starting to tune out. That is what I am afraid of.

          • texliberal says:

            KQ, a message war is only won when the message is genuine. Otherwise what’s the point? Political expediency? That’s how we got where we are.

            • KQuark says:

              So the GOP must have a genuine message if they keep winning the message war with that logic.

              The efficacy of the stimulus proves opposite what you said because reality was quite different than the GOP line.

        • texliberal says:

          Funk, amen and amen and amen

    • eileenleft says:

      I disagree that he has “let” that notion become conventional wisdom. All of the trips, every freaking day there was a press release about the Stimulus,that was ignored by the media, and clearly many supporters.
      WTF do you people want? Do your homework. The corporate media is NOT going to tell us ANYTHING. Get off your asses and help us. And go to http://www.whatisworking.com Go to http://www.whitehouse.gov If you care about anything progressive, inform yourself and stop listening to pundits. Obama has been SHUT out, as have Dems from the MSM. It takes effort to stay informed.
      The RW will take over if this continues. Reinforcing negative memes is how we lost in 2010.

      • BlueStateMan says:

        POLITICS isn’t about expecting people to “do their homework”.. it is about doing their homework FOR THEM.. and, like it or not, the FIRE that Obama used to get elected was DOUSED once he was in office.

        I’m a supporter of the President, but he needs to know (as FDR did) that to get POPULAR SUPPORT, he needs to SPEAK UP in NO UNCERTAIN TERMS.. and he needs to do that in the realm of the POPULAR MEDIA.

        Otherwise, he is just preaching to the choir.

      • bito says:

        eileenleft, you are perfectly right (correct) in my book. One can label themselves liberal, progressive and do not even bother to read any factual sites, they instead read and listen to opinions, I too fall into that trap and we all must remember to depend on facts more than opinion. I find it quite amazing when some opine on a speech from President Obama and then read the text at http://www.whitehouse.gov and wonder what people are saying.
        Thanks for the other link.

      • AdLib says:

        Hey eileenleft!

        What BSM missed in his article and many others are overlooking about FDR is that he too gave into public pressure that supported conservatives and turned a 180 to cutting spending in 1937, the year after the quotes BSM used above.

        This led to a renewed recession and it was only after that period that FDR turned to the most Progressive policies.

        What is interesting is that Obama’s Presidency is really mirroring FDR right now but if he can get spending back into the mix sooner than FDR did, we could avoid a new (or deeper) recession and really recover.

        The real difference between FDR and Obama is that Americans back then kept backing FDR even though things didn’t get better after his first years and even though he compromised with Republicans, whereas Americans today seem to be much more fickle…as Nov 2010 showed.

        • BlueStateMan says:

          My post wasn’t all about policy.. it was about POLITICS. Obama, even as I was and still am an ardent supporter, is a MILQUETOAST when it comes to dealing with his opposition in the PUBLIC SPHERE.

          He is making the SAME mistake that FDR made in acquiescing to the forces stacked against him and, as FDR LEARNED, he also must take them to TASK… HEAD ON if he expects to prevail.

          So far, he hasn’t.

        • agrippa says:

          That is what occured. Some of the pressure came from inside the Admistration: Garner and Morganthau were “deficit hawks” on the inside.

          Spending was cut back and unemployment went back up.
          The two Contresses of 1933 and 1935 acconplished a lot ( see my links above)

        • funksands says:

          Ad, I think that IS the point. What historical context did FDR have to draw from? None. The Great Depression had never happened before. They tried a lot of things that worked and a lot of things that failed. We have a very clear record of this and can and should draw upon that to guide us now.

          When we don’t, even when we know better? That is what creates frustration.

        • KQuark says:

          Great point. Glad I brought it up. 😉

          Really though even that comparison is a bit different. FDR slashed the budget somewhere on the order of 30%-40% of the US GDP. While even the max cuts in the recent bill are not even 2% of GDP.

          Not to mention FDR cut off ALL public works no kidding.

          So yes FDR was BOLD. In this case I would call what he did RECKLESS.

          The biggest reason I find these comparisons moot is everyone forgets the mistakes presidents made as history goes on.

          • AdLib says:

            Can you imagine the outrage on the Left and from unions if Obama did as FDR did in 1937?

            I should have said FDR and Obama are vaguely similar, coming into office with the nation in a Depression, pulling the levers he could, being pressured by Repubs to cut off spending which harmed the nation, passing HCR, etc.

            Not exact parallels but some general similarities.

            I don’t know if a more partisan, more hostile president would have gotten as much done as he has or would have gotten worse deals in negotiation but I wouldn’t doubt it.

      • funksands says:

        Eileen, great seeing you! Glad you chimed in.

        I get almost none of my news from the MSM and I consider myself very informed. I volunteer what time I have to the Dems here locally and statewide. I am a supporter of the President and I respectfully disagree with you.

      • Sabreen60 says:

        I agree with you 100%. How many times did the President tell the public not to give the keys back to the Republicans. If you watched C-SPAN you heard almost all of his speeches. If you watched the MSM, not so much. When is the last time the MSM, including corporate owned MSNBC listed the President’s accomplishments. Rachel did it a while back, but there’s more since then. Many in the public including some the left are lazy. They want the pundits to think for them. Practically every Sunday morning talk show for months and months had a majority of Republicans on with one or two Democrats. For the last month it has been bash Obama almost 24/7. I’m cynical enough to believe the MSM is rooting for the President to fail and the country. If not that, what? A horse race for ratings?

        • funksands says:

          Sabreen, that’s it exactly. A horse race. The MSM doesn’t give a rat’s ass whether Obama gets a fair shake or not. They want drama, angst, combat, and high-strung emotional fluff.

          If all they did was have reasonable people that debated the merits and problems of the administration they’d go out of business.

        • texliberal says:

          Sabreen, woe is us, huh? I don’t buy that my friend. From that most famous of philosophers Emeril LaGasse, time to kick it up a notch

          • Sabreen60 says:

            I’m not sure what you’re not buying. That the MSM is rooting for the President to fail or that they simply want a horse race.

            • Sabreen60 says:

              The media use to be known as the Fourth Estate as I’m sure you know. I remember those days. I’m 62 and I remember when journalists informed the public. They were not talking heads that dished out their own opinions without stating that they were giving their opinions. The media presented facts. It wasn’t perfect, but there was a certain amount of credibility. So no, the media is NOT doing a credible job. People can come to the same conclusions for different reasons. Sarah Palin calls it the “lame stream media”. She thinks this because the lousy softball questions put to her were too hard. She wants a media to be even less credible than it is already. I think the media is lame too. But not for the same reasons as Sarah Palin. The fact is that if you rely solely on the MSM you do yourself a disservice.

            • jkkFL says:

              @tex- what is your point Exactly- other than the fact that Obama isn’t conducting business to your liking??
              Do you realize that 600,000 kids in Somalia are about to die, in addition to the 26,000 that have already died? That’s a generation- in case you don’t realize it..
              There ARE other issues that are greater than your pissing contest with Obama supporters.

            • texliberal says:

              It’s the MSM huh? That’s what another outfit and amalgamation of pundits says constantly?

      • BlueStateMan says:

        Obama is probably the most erudite President SINCE FDR… yet he has yet to use the BULLY PULPIT other than campaigning or fundraising.

        • Sabreen60 says:

          That’s not true. The MSM and Republicans were complaining that the President was ALWAYS on TV. Go check the C-SPAN archives and see how many times the President spoke to the nation.

          • BlueStateMan says:


            “um, classy”??

            Please don’t patronise me…. OK?

            What has the fact that he is the “First African American President” to do with it?

            He’s the PRESIDENT.. PERIOD, and he needs to FIGHT BACK..

            He needs to to call these miscreants out onto the carpet of public scrutiny.. loudly, unapologetic, and unfettered by the obsequious cowardice that mitigates the true nature of the cancer that we are confronting.

            He needs to resurrect the concept of PUBLIC SHAME and direct it towards those whose sole mission is not only to destroy HIM.. but everything that FDR and the New Deal has accomplished.

            Obama himself lifted a meme from Roosevelt.. “Go Out And Make Me Do It”.

            Well, it is OUR responsibility as those who still believe in him to do JUST THAT.. and making excuses and refusing to OPENLY CRITICIZE is not only accomplishing nothing, it is raising failure to a self-fulfilling prophesy.

          • BlueStateMan says:


            How is that a criterion?

            Why does anyone GIVE A SHIT what the “MSM and the Republicans” were claiming?

            As their stated agenda was to DESTROY him.. what did he have to lose by slinging their BULLSHIT right back at them?

            FUCK “decorum”.. he needs to STATE HIS CASE to the populous.. in terms that they understand.

        • bito says:

          FDR’s “bully pulpit” is far from what President Obama has right now. FDR had three national radio stations and didn’t have 24/7 cable in opposition nor the internet blogs or talk radio. I have read and seen sites and cable stations say he has been on TV too much from both the left and right. When FDR spoke everyone listened, they didn’t flip the channel to “Shark Week” or MTV. More people listen to O’reallly’s/ Hannity’s/Rush’s interpretation/digest than actually listen to the “Bully Pulpit.”

          • BlueStateMan says:

            Again, when Palin, Bachmann or anyone else in the political sphere “tweets”.. it ENDS up in the MSM as HEADLINES.

            Obama himself finally realized the power of the medium when he held his first “Twitter Q&A” a short time ago.

            FDR used EVERYTHING at his disposal.. and there were PLENTY newspapers and radio demagogues who railed against him..

            Obama has to do the same thing.. granted more difficult, complex and ‘immediate’.. but essential nonetheless.

          • BlueStateMan says:


            He has MORE of a “bully pulpit”.. the same one that the likes of Palin, Bachmann and the rest of the bagger degenerates use.

            THIS medium.

            • bito says:

              BSM, I disagree, his “bully pulpit” is shared is not an equal footing. When FDR gave a speech there was not a rebuttal after his speeches from the opposition immediately following his speech nor a network dedicated to his defeat of every proposal.

              This medium? More people/voters look at porn, I Love Lucy, and Justin Beiber than political sites or chat on FB about Pigeon poop than what the President said. I do the Planet’s twitter account and it is rare to see a political topic ‘trending’ but you will see #shestooyoungforyoubro. Ha, “This Medium.”

          • texliberal says:

            Nice try bito but no cigar. The POTUS has all three major networks at his beckon and call. Last time I checked no one from Fox lived at 1600 Pennsylvania Av.

            • Sabreen60 says:

              You stated that the President has 3 networks at his beckon call. Your point(I don’t think) was not whether the networks would or would not allow the President air time. I merely pointed out that the President does have to ASK for air time. Sure they probably wouldn’t refuse him, but he does have to ask.

            • bito says:

              All three major networks? What does that even mean tex? All three? How many channels do 75% of TV users do you think they have? Three? What is the average clip shown on most “news stations” of a political/policy speech? FDR had a captive audience and didn’t have to compete with the cartoon channel or some “stupid criminal and pet tricks channel. Don’t insult others intelligence, tex please.

            • texliberal says:

              Which network is gonna tell the POTUS no Sabreen?

            • Sabreen60 says:

              Nope the President does not. He has to ASK for air time. People were complaining about his talk re the debt ceiling because they said it was political and he should not have been granted air time. That’s why they gave Boehner time for a rebuttal.

        • texliberal says:

          BSM, amen, but I had to look up erudite :)

      • Chernynkaya says:

        Hey eileenleft! So good to see you!

  11. ADONAI says:

    Yeah but Roosevelt was just a different cat. He didn’t give a shit. At all. And he was one of the last Presidents without term limits. Dude was in office for 12 years.

    He was from a wealthy family and I think he just felt bad for people who were being cheated out of just a fraction of what he enjoyed. Made him angry. A lot of people steal from the rich but what kind of asshole steals from the poor? I think that drove much of his economic policy. If America was going to be great they had to start at the bottom and work up. A New Deal for America.

    • BlueStateMan says:

      I also feel that after he succumbed to polio (1921), he was depressed at first…. then humbled after living alongside a wide strata of society…. professionals, artists, dancers, bankers, lower-working class “white trash” and people of color while he was receiving treatment at Warm Springs (which he bought in 1926 and still operates as the ‘Roosevelt Warm Springs Institute for Rehabilitation’… then enabled (even as his paralysis never improved).

      He thought he was finished in politics… but his adversity gave him cause to want to fight for the “little guy”.

      That kind of strength comes from inside… background notwithstanding.

      • ADONAI says:

        Indeed BSM. It can be a humbling experience but also give people a new strength and determination they may not have known they had.

        And it is a strength that comes from within, you are correct. From life experiences. The ups and the downs.

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