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View Diary: Please God Just Give Us One More FDR (125 comments)

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  •  You mean dear god unite working class voters (21+ / 0-)

    Because that's how FDR was able to do what he did.

    I really do worry about the state of reading comprehension. Or maybe it’s just that extremists can’t grasp the notion of non-extreme positions held by other people. - Paul Krugman

    by Anton Bursch on Sat Jul 09, 2011 at 03:40:11 PM PDT

    •  in 1936 when FDR gave this speech (12+ / 0-)

      73 Senators were Democrats, 322 House members were Democrats.

      FDR didn't have to bargain, Obama does. Imo it's impossible to overstate the difference that makes.

      •  FDR gained seats in 1934 (11+ / 0-)

        He took the reins of power in 1933 and did everything he could to help the common American and fight the entrenched interests which drove the economy into the ditch.  He gained nine seats in the House and nine in the Senate in 1934.

        Obama's inept bargaining, which so many of us were so critical of and which we warned was dangerous politically as well as economically, had a far different outcome in his first midterm.

        DC politicians don't realize they're corrupt for the same reason fish don't realize they're wet.

        by Dallasdoc on Sat Jul 09, 2011 at 05:23:45 PM PDT

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        •  FDR started with 59 Dem senators and 311 in House (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          sewaneepat

          on his first day in office, and that was when 50 senators were a majority. He passed everything he tried to pass with ease because he had more than enough Dems to do it.

          If Obama had had those numbers, at the very least the Senate would have passed all the bills Pelosi got through the House. (And imo, the House would have passed far better bills if it had 311 Dems.) There would have been no call to negotiate, and we'd be applauding a very long list of excellent legislation now.

          I admire FDR more than I can express. But not even on day one was he in the predicament with Congress that Obama's in. FDR did not have to negotiate with Reps, and we have no idea how things would have gone for him if he'd had Obama's shifting caucus in the Senate, with Lieberman counted as Dem and Byrd and Kennedy out sick so much of the time.

          He was our best president, we were lucky to have him, but even with the congress he had, he was not a miracle-worker. At the start of FDR's third term, before we entered WWII, unemployment was at 19% from his low of 14%. He did not avoid a firestorm of criticism from his left flank. Now, looking at the sincerity and tenaciousness of his efforts, that seems (to me, anyway) to be an insult to him.

          I think both FDR and Obama are deep in the bone progressives, but one had the right conditions to turn it into policy and the other doesn't. Imo comparing them as if the playing fields were level and times similar, is misleading.

          •  In those days it took 2/3 to break a filibuster (7+ / 0-)

            And a lot of those Democrats were Dixiecrats, who were brought around to the need for economic populism by a leader who chose that direction.  So you're wrong about FDR's situation.  Republicans didn't filibuster everything because they'd been spanked in the 1932 election and FDR took full advantage of it.  He didn't try to chase the Bipartisanship Fairy and rehabilitate their image for them.

            DC politicians don't realize they're corrupt for the same reason fish don't realize they're wet.

            by Dallasdoc on Sat Jul 09, 2011 at 08:29:25 PM PDT

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            •  Nope - he took their heads off. LOL! (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Bluefin, Sunspots
            •  Reps in FDR's time filibustered not even 1 thing (0+ / 0-)

              FDR did not have to worry about that 2/3 figure. In all the years between his election and WWII, there was not one Rep filibuster. (Only two were attempted then, and they were by Southern Dems to kill anti-lynching legislation.)

              Filibusters were not the tradition, they were rare. The relevant number for FDR was 50 votes, and he started out with 59 and built to 73.

              Contrast this to Obama's Senate situation. From day one he has needed 60 votes for cloture. 60 votes just to get a vote. And Reps have almost invariably obstructed by voting against cloture en bloc. The fact that Obama has never been able to count on 60 votes for cloture is a very dramatic difference between Obama's situation and FDR's.

              •  Obama always needed 51 votes. (0+ / 0-)

                The Republicans pointed the way a few years ago.  They claimed that the 60-vote rule was unconstitutional when they wanted to force their judges onto the Supreme Court (which they succeeded at, by the way, because of 6 or so craven sellout Democrats).

                Abolish the filibuster and move on.

                I suspect Obama never had 51 votes.  But the fact that Reid and company are hiding which Senators are working with the Republicans, which ones are "voting yes" with the full knowledge that they can kill the bill because it won't get 60 votes... well, I consider that traitorous and criminal.  And that is the reason Democrats are getting blamed for what is, in fact, largely the fault of Senate Democrats.

                Read pp. 1-7 of Krugman's _The Great Unraveling_ (available from Google Books). NOW.

                by neroden on Mon Jul 11, 2011 at 09:00:42 PM PDT

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      •  If Obama went hard left with a big FDR program (8+ / 0-)

        The Dems would have crushed the Repubs  last year.  The hard left would have included some of these things:

        Arrest the banksters and shut down any TBTF bank that needed to be shut down.  

        Prosecute Bush regime war criminals.  

        A big stimulus bill with few or no tax cuts.  

        A public option in the health bill that would already be up and running.  

        And kick the ever loving shit out of RepublicSCUMS if they dared to play games with his programs.  

        I know........................that's not Obama...................that was FDR!

        He has failed because he already has been too Republican oriented in his policies.  

        The beauty is the Repubs get to blame him for his 'Democratic' policies.  

        The darkness drops again but now I know That twenty centuries of stony sleep Were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle, And what rough beast, its hour come round at last, Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born? William Butler Yeats

        by deepsouthdoug on Sat Jul 09, 2011 at 05:29:33 PM PDT

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    •  That too (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      jm214, Sunspots, triv33

      and more unionization.

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