A call to arms for Barack Obama

Kari Chisholm FacebookTwitterWebsite

Watching Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich, and Rick Santorum battle it out for the GOP nomination, I think no one makes the case for Barack Obama's re-election better than this guy:

For eight years this Nation was afflicted with hear-nothing, see-nothing, do-nothing Government. The Nation looked to Government but the Government looked away. ...

Powerful influences strive today to restore that kind of government with its doctrine that that Government is best which is most indifferent.

For nearly four years you have had an Administration which instead of twirling its thumbs has rolled up its sleeves. We will keep our sleeves rolled up.

We had to struggle with the old enemies of peace—business and financial monopoly, speculation, reckless banking, class antagonism, sectionalism, war profiteering.

They had begun to consider the Government of the United States as a mere appendage to their own affairs. We know now that Government by organized money is just as dangerous as Government by organized mob.

Never before in all our history have these forces been so united against one candidate as they stand today.

... Here is an amazing paradox! The very employers and politicians and publishers who talk most loudly of class antagonism and the destruction of the American system now undermine that system by this attempt to coerce the votes of the wage earners of this country.

On the jump, the identity of this radical polemicist. :)

Figure it out yet?

This is a campaign speech by President Franklin Roosevelt given just a few days before his 1936 re-election. (The only thing I've edited is the second word - he said "twelve", rather than "eight" years.)

The more things change, the more they stay the same. The full text is here.

Hat tip to Robert Cruickshank, who shared this yesterday in honor of President's Day.

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    FDR is the first name that came to mind! Jeez. The more things change....

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    The freak show of fanatics and extremists with their robber baron corporate funding that we know as the GOP primary process will unify Democrats more than ever. You think W was bad? These guys are total toxin, pure poison, and would bring total ruin to America if any of them every got close to the presidency. They would make Saudi Arabia look like freedom street with their prescription for oppressive govt. control of personal lives. And they would make our paltry safety net look like Somalia.

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    How timely! Did you know that just yesterday was the 70th anniversary of FDR's order to round up the Japanese, Italians and Germans in America. No small government could ever have done that! Go progressives!

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      Yes, FDR sucked on that. I don't think you'll get a lot of argument there.

      He also managed to guide the nation through it's most perilous times in our history, with the exception of the Civil War.

      Abraham Lincoln was a horrid racist who, while very much against slavery, wanted to cleanse the country of blacks because he believed, "there is a physical difference between the white and black races that will for ever forbid the two races from living together on terms of social and political equality." And by cleanse I mean ship black Americans to Liberia, Haiti & Central America..anywhere but US soil.

      Yet I doubt you'll hear much argument that Lincoln and FDR are among the nation's greatest presidents.

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        "ilk" is such a great word to stereotype with, don't ya think? ;o). Let's talk about the right side of history, were the progressives on the right side of history when they supported prohibition? How about when they supported the eugenics movement? Were they on the right side of history when they opposed the Republicans that led on the civil rights movement? I can go on, I have a bachelors in history and studied this quite extensively, care to play?

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          Would I be interested in debating history with BlueO's resident Glenn Beck, i.e., delusional religious moron? Sure...right after I finish shoving needles into my eyeballs.

          Keep studying!

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            You can skip the dramatics. Here I'll even give you a tactic: own the points where the progressives were on the wrong side of history that I've already made and then tell us something about when they were on the right side.

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        What was great about Roosevelt? Did you know the Great Depression in America was only a depression everywhere else? There is mounting evidence that suggests that Roosevelt's Keynsian policies were to blame.

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          Just like Obama, conservatives like to blame the guy for things that happened before he even became president.

          You know the depression (great or otherwise) started in October 1929, right? FDR wasn't president until March 4, 1933.

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            So about FDR. He's still wildly popular.

            Overall his base favorability is 62 favorable to 22 unfavorable.

            With moderates it's 74-12. With Republicans it's 48-34. With self-described independents it's 57-26. And with some of those who might remember him, ages 65+, it's 63-26.

            So, unless one's very, very conservative (and even they only barely disapprove, 37-44), people still love FDR. Even "somewhat" conservative voters approve (48-30).

            Data from Public Policy Polling, released 2/15/12. Available here.

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            Kari, the stock market crashed on October 29, the economy didn't slide into a technical recession until later (two consecutive quarters of negative economic growth) but, that's sort of splitting hairs on my part, I'll grant that, you should however grant that my comment said nothing of when the recession technically started because I wasn't trying to place blame on it's beginning on FDR. I was pointing out that contemporary macroeconomic scholars, with all the benefit of hindsight (that FDR did not have), are asserting that FDR's Keynsian economic policies prolonged what was a garden variety depression everywhere else in the world to a GREAT depression here. Roosevelt did some great things, guiding the country through WWII was great, bit his economic policies hurt the country. Rather than lionizing him for hIs ability to demagogue, we should learn from him, warts and all.

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              Can you provide citations?

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                Here's one from UCLA: http://newsroom.ucla.edu/portal/ucla/FDR-s-Policies-Prolonged-Depression-5409.aspx

                Here's one from the WSJ: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB123353276749137485.html

                Here's one from the Ludwig von Mises Institute: http://mises.org/freemarket_detail.aspx?control=258

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                  Well, I've never heard of the latter institute. And the former is from two professors at UCLA.

                  Anywho, here's a nice article from David Sirota in the other direction and efforts to pile on FDR: http://goo.gl/c2dYz

                  Regardless, seems like the court of public seems to have FDR's back on this one.

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        well, Ben, you would know.

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    In all seriousness, this is the first time that I have seen Kari indicate just how far into the desperate, dark and fascistic future that Barack Obama has taken us. It is truly a milestone. Why? Because it has been four years of Tom Hartmann and other quasi liberal/progressives who have tried to summon the image of FDR.

    But the tragic and terrible reality is that there is nothing about Obama that resonates with FDR.

    Obama resonates, vibrates, and totally identifies with George W. Bush. Ronald Reagan. The entire neo-liberal mish-mash of supply side economics. And the most totalitarian approach to civil rights and the Constitution in American history.

    Oh, I know. Kari is as much in the horse race bull droppings of polictics as Wolf Blitzer. And about as relevant.

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      With regards to Thom Hartmann's opinon on Obama...I've heard him say, "We thought we we were going to get FDR and we got Bill Clinton."

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        Thom is a good friend.

        But anyone that thought Barack Obama was going to be FDR wasn't paying attention.

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          I WAS paying attention when I went down to Eugene to see him speak during his first campaign. He and those who introduced him certainly did give me the mistaken impression that he was going to lead the fight to reinstate our freedoms, hold wall street and the corporations accountable for dest5roying our economy, hold the Bush administration accountable for their crimes,etc. Yes, I was paying attention and I thought he would be a leader and a fighter ala FDR. Now I don;t know if he is intimidated or just another neocon in dems clothing.

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          And Thom Hartmann describes Bill Clinton as having been "a disaster". The beginning of the end of the progressive Democratic Party- the beginning of triangulation. So, if we all agree that that is what Obama is, let us at least do away with the phony enthusiasm and admit that the reason to support him is to stave off the insane GOP.

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    Ah, the firebagger rhetoric issues forth again. I note that Glenn Greenwald, in the apparent absence of a Ralph Nader candidacy has fallen in love with the perennial white supremacist candidate, Ron Paul. So today we get to hear that President is a fascist, just like W. Next we'll hear the teabagger language of Glen Beck, Gingrich, and Santorum that President Obama is another Stalin and Hitler. The self-marginalization campaign marches on.

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    One is simply at a loss for words to find a pejorative suitable for an individual that supports the policy of expending one hundred and ten billion dollars to train the Afghans to be an army with no success. And then charaterizes a change in that policy as unilateral disarmament. Funny too in that the individual professes some knowledge of mental health. I would bet that he is certifiable. But a devout end-timer. Tsk Tsk.

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    @Bill Ryan: Glenn Greenwald is supporting Ron Paul? I'll have to look that up as I can't believe it. Maybe he speaks highly of Paul's foreign policy, but I can't imagine he'd like much else. And, yes, we who will vote for a progressive alternative to Obama will "self-marginalize". That's okay. To quote Bob Dylan, "you just want to be on the side that's winning".

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      Thanks for your reply.

      I think we can go back and forth like this for a long time, I will start by reiterating the point you made about Progressive Woodrow Wilson showing the "Birth of a Nation" at the White House and how you minimized it ("There was overlap").

      What do you make of Margaret Sanger's position on birth control and reducing the black population (eugenics) and how that has developed into today's "Planned Parenthood" and the weird coincidence regarding "Planned Parenthood" locations and black communities?

      Or, how about Progressive ICON George Bernard Shaw and his position defending eugenics and mass murder (here's the video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hQvsf2MUKRQ or, this gem: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L8lwg-NMWjE&feature=related)?

      I can continue and I suspect you can as well ... care to keep playing?

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