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Let me say from the get go, I think FDR was a great president.

I have let that sentence stand alone, to underline my bird’s eye view, the luxury of looking back.  The luxury of looking at a president’s sum total, all these many years later. And, I might add, that FDR had 12 years to establish his legacy. Obama is mid way through his third year.  

Many here think that sizing up FDR from the rear view mirror is equivalent to sizing up Obama from the front windshield.  Many here would either be very surprised by how many compromises FDR made on his way to greatness, or they’re willfully manipulative of facts. Please follow me under the fold to check out whether your FDR comparisons are on the level.

So, a few facts about FDR that would surely see those who judge Obama harshly in comparison, off FDR’s boat in a heartbeat, if they were there then.

Let’s start with the issue of Japanese internment in WWII:

“Japanese-American internment was the relocation and internment by the United States government in 1942 of approximately 110,000 Japanese Americans and Japanese who lived along the Pacific coast of the United States to camps called "War Relocation Camps," in the wake of Imperial Japan's attack on Pearl Harbor.[1][2] The internment of Japanese Americans was applied unequally throughout the United States. Japanese Americans who lived on the West Coast of the United States were all interned, while in Hawaii, where more than 150,000 Japanese Americans composed over one-third of the territory's population, 1,200[3] to 1,800 Japanese Americans were interned.[4] Of those interned, 62% were American citizens.[5][6] President Franklin D. Roosevelt authorized the internment with Executive Order 9066, issued February 19, 1942, which allowed local military commanders to designate "military areas" as "exclusion zones," from which "any or all persons may be excluded." This power was used to declare that all people of Japanese ancestry were excluded from the entire Pacific coast, including all of California and most of Oregon and Washington, except for those in internment camps.”

Now, let’s move on to the compromises FDR made with the then southern democrat party of racists.

“Roosevelt's attitudes to race were tested by the issue of Black (or "Negro") service in the armed forces. The Democratic Party at this time was dominated by Southerners who were opposed to any concession to demands for racial equality. During the New Deal years, there had been a series of conflicts over whether African-Americans should be segregated in the various new government benefits and programs. Whenever a move was made to integrate the races Southern governors or congressmen would complain to Roosevelt, who would intervene to uphold segregation for the sake of keeping his party together. The Works Progress Administration and the Civilian Conservation Corps, for example, segregated their work forces by race at Roosevelt's insistence after Southern governors protested at unemployed whites being required to work alongside blacks. Roosevelt's personal racial attitudes were conventional for his time and class. Some historians argue that he nevertheless played a major role in advancing the rights of blacks, and others say it was due to prodding from Eleanor Roosevelt and liberals such as Ickes, Perkins, Hopkins, Mary McLeod Bethune, Aubrey Williams and Claude Pepper.

BUT, let’s go on to give credit where credit is due:

"In June 1941 Roosevelt issued Executive Order 8802, which created the Fair Employment Practices Committee (FEPC). It was the most important federal move in support of the rights of African-Americans between Reconstruction and the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The President's order stated that the federal government would not hire any person based on their race, color, creed, or national origin. The FEPC enforced the order to ban discriminatory hiring within the federal government and in corporations that received federal contracts. Millions of blacks and women achieved better jobs and better pay as a result."

Geepers, what do you know?  A BINARY record on civil rights from the great one, the one that Obama must live up to with a purity not asked for from those here who accept FDR as a hero, without being willing to accept all heros have flaws, even illustrious presidents.  And, ALL presidents compromise.

And now, one of the hardest things to perceive about FDR.  What was his attitude about saving the Jews in the run up and execution of WII? Here, history has many different things to say. Google it and you’ll find those who say FDR could have cared less about the Jewish problem, and those who say this is not true. But, much of what you read will show you that the persecution of the Jews was hardly FDR’s first concern.  When you think about it, it’s much like Lincoln and the Civil War. History greatly sides on the fact that Lincoln’s number one concern was to hold the union together, that Lincoln did not go to war over slavery, something his country had long accepted, a country he comfortably presided over, slavery and all, until the south wanted to secede.

And then there’s the whole deal regarding FDR’s pull back from what he originally fought for. In 1937, probably to stay afloat and assure his re-election, he went along with that day’s version of the austerity crowd, and caused a second dip in the economy.

Now, let’s look at the false equivalency of majorities meme when it comes to FDR and Obama. Let’s look at FDR’s most revered legacy---Social Security.

Social Security was passed with the help of 81 republicans in the house and 16 republicans in the senate.  15 house democrats voted against it and 1 democratic senator voted no.

Compare and contrast this with Obama's Affordable Healthcare Act where ALL 176 republicans in the house voted no, ALONG WITH 39 democrats, AND ALL Republicans in the senate voted no.

It’s clear that Obama faced an entirely different landscape in the house and senate than FDR did, even though both had majorities.

And finally, some quotes from FDR's day from an interesting, informative and balanced article on FDR.

“At neither end of the ideological spectrum did respect for civility of discourse restrain the Roosevelt-haters. The Communist leader Earl Browder said that FDR was "carrying out more thoroughly and brutally than even Hoover the capitalist attack against the masses," and the domestic fascist William Dudley Pelley called the President the "lowest form of human worm - according to Gentile standards."

"Roosevelt, his critics maintained, had shown himself to be a man without principles. Herbert Hoover called him a "chameleon on plaid," while H. L. Mencken said, "If he became convinced tomorrow that coming out for cannibalism would get him the votes he so sorely needs, he would begin fattening a missionary in the White House backyard come Wednesday."

"Left writers have chided him for offering a "profoundly conservative" response to a situation that had the potential for revolutionary change, while commentators of no particular persuasion have criticized him for failing to bring the country out of the Depression short of war, for maneuvering America into World War II (or for not taking the nation to war soon enough, for refusing to advocate civil rights legislation, for permitting Jews to perish in Hitler's death camps, and for sanctioning the internment of Japanese-Americans. Even a historian who thought well of him, Allan Nevins, wrote that "his mind, compared with that of Woodrow Wilson, sometimes appears superficial, and...he possessed no such intellectual versatility as Thomas Jefferson - to say nothing of Winston Churchill." Nevins added: "In respect to character, similarly, he had traits of an admirable kind; but...even in combination they fell short of a truly Roman weight of virtue."

It sure sounds familiar, doesn’t it? SHAZAM---"Left writers have chided him for offering a 'profoundly conservative' response to a situation that had the potential for revolutionary change." Nevertheless, this review of FDR includes many reasons why in retrospect, FDR’s strengths beat out his weaknesses, in the final analysis, in the way I hope is some day true of Obama. But, keep in mind, this is the long view of 12 years of a presidency. Years that democrats fought to give FDR the chance to prove their vote right in the end.

All in all, there’s A LOT of “false equivalencies” going on here, within our own party, between FDR and Obama, despite our supposed disdain for false equivalencies. I repeat, I think FDR was a great president.  But I also think he would have pissed off many here to no end, ironically, those same ones who lament if only Obama was another FDR.

Who can say with our faces slapped up against the present like a slab of ham on glass that we have more powers of perspective than those from the left and right who chastised FDR with equal vehemence? And hey, they did it in equal measure without a blog to go to!  

In the end, maybe Obama will live up to FDR’s strengths, maybe he won’t. But one thing’s for sure, that won’t be decided by Drew Westen’s cherry picking analogies to FDR, or any other like cherry picking analogies on this site.  

If you want to talk about and respect FDR here, then don’t rob him of the true realities of his accomplishments, as if he’s some kind of mythical progressive icon rather than a human and a president who struggled with his own imperfections under the microscope of the hardest job in the world. Don’t rob him of the fact that as imperfect as he was, as many policies he supported that would make the blood of progressives here turn cold, he triumphed in the end. That as much as he erred, he succeeded more.  He is great because of that.

We are in the process with Obama.  Obama is in the process.  At LEAST recognize that, and with some humility, rather than the need to be right, except that we are all trapped in the now and can and will be so easily proved wrong by the long eye of history.

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Comment Preferences

    •  "Progressives" have a huge blind spot to race (9+ / 0-)

      Especially on this site.

      FDR was hands down the greatest President of the 20th Century. Period. End of discussion.

      However, we must not turn a blind eye to the tragic compromises FDR made to pass legislation. As noted earlier in the day, the reason we don't have a National Healthcare System is because the Roosevelt Administration could not figure out a way to exclude blacks, or at least give the impression of exclusion, as they did with SS.

      These "progressives" will demand that FDR operated in a very different time, and my response is: precisely. The modern time is far more conservative economically than the time of the New Deal. So don't compare.

      August 16, 2011: Rick Perry will win the Presidency in 2012.

      by NoFortunateSon on Sun Aug 21, 2011 at 11:36:39 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

        •  Let's keep it simple (0+ / 0-)

          Obama's turning out to be a lousy President.  

          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 Sun Aug 21, 2011 at 01:46:15 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Well... (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            ParkRanger, Fe Bongolan

            that sure is simple.  And simplistic.  I will say to you what I have said to others here who NO MATTER WHAT THE SUBJECT, the nuance or the focus, will make it about Obama being a lousy president.

            In keeping with my focus here, I will note to you that Democrats kept FDR in office for 12 years---despite their complaints and there were plenty of them from the left, and then went on to keep another democrat in office for 8 years, again, despite their complaints, and again, I assure you there were plenty of them. 20 years of a Democratic administration.

            Democrats haven't done the same since, not even come close.  Maybe because we've become a bunch of victims who can't prioritize.

            What up with you people who think you're the first in the history of this country to not get what you wanted from your party?  

            You people who don't understand that it comes from the bottom up as surely as it comes from the top down are going to kill us before anything else does.  

      •  Yeah, it's so simple (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        vets74, deepsouthdoug

        The excoriated Japanese internment was upheld by the Supreme Court in Korematsu v. US. Civil rights became a winning battle with Brown v. Board.

        Except that 4 Justices - Reed, Frankfurter, Black and Douglas - were in the majority on both opinions. Warren, who was Chief Justice in Brown - and often credited with forging the decision - was the CA Attorney General who enforced internment.

        And those 4 Justices plus Jackson (who dissented in Korematsu and concurred in Brown) were all appointed to the SC by FDR. The other Justices in Brown were Warren, as noted, and 3 Truman appointees (and FDR selected Truman) - the decision was unanimous.

        But of course that interferes with simplistic fantasies.

        Of course you can argue that SC appointments don't matter, in which case you might want to read Armando's current diary.

        If my thought-dreams could be seen, they'd probably put my head in a guillotine

        by badger on Sun Aug 21, 2011 at 12:15:14 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Huh? n/t (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          August 16, 2011: Rick Perry will win the Presidency in 2012.

          by NoFortunateSon on Sun Aug 21, 2011 at 12:23:40 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Not sure I understand your point. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          I would be the last to argue that SC appointments don't matter.  Nevertheless, FDR authorized the internment by executive order, regardless of what later happened with the supreme court.

          If I am misunderstanding you, please explain.

          •  That selecting individual anecdotes (0+ / 0-)

            like FDR's "tragic compromises" is not a valid way to assess a Presidency, but rather the long term consequences - like the outcomes of FDR's appointments, or the passage of seminal legislation like SS or labor laws - is a more accurate reflection of a President's strategies in issue areas. Simply looking at a President's tactics (like the long lists of Obama "accomplishments", or FDR's "tragic compromises" or internment) is insufficient and nonsensical, because tactics are dictated by the times and not by intentions.

            The point would be that politics - and politicians - are complex and not subject to sound-bite-like analysis. But you can look at things like what a President's actions and appointments intentionally set in motion - perhaps not the specific consequences, but a general set of goals - like the Warren Court's "Progressivism" you and the post I'm responding find it necessary to bash in the comment's title.

            Also, contrary to the post I'm responding to, it's essential to compare the present and the past, because it's the only way one can arrive at judgments about how present actions will lead to future consequences. It's because those kinds of judgments are so unfavorable to the current President that his supporters want to avoid them.

            Otherwise, you might as well be writing silly diaries about how Obama is already the "greatest President ever".

            If my thought-dreams could be seen, they'd probably put my head in a guillotine

            by badger on Sun Aug 21, 2011 at 01:43:56 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Ok. Here's my reply. (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              scilicet, ParkRanger

              1.  My whole diary was ALL about how selecting individual compromises to asses a presidency is not valid. If it's not valid for FDR, it's not valid for Obama.  

              2. Interesting that you would note that "tactics" are dictated by the times and not by intentions, and then go on to give FDR full credit for that and deny it to Obama.

              3. I DID NOT bash progressives or the Warren Court in my diary or my comments.  I did AGREE with the poster that some progressives will fight to the bone to say that FDR's compromises with racist democrats really don't count.

              4. I agree with you that it is essential to look at history, to compare and contrast.  But, the whole point of my diary was that this must be done with intellectual honesty and not cherry picking to prove one's points.

              5. And, for me, being honest about making these comparisons includes that while they may be interesting and educational, these two presidents cannot be compared equally, on merits and time in office, today.  History will do that.

              6.  Here's another interesting "comparison." Democrats kept FDR in office for 12 years, despite their complaints, and there were plenty of them from the left. Then they went on to keep another Democrat president in office for another 8 years.  

              When today's democrats can manage to keep a democrat in office for 8 years more than once every 20 years, that will be good.  Comparisons can be made from bottom up, as well as top down.

        •  FDR authorized the Internment system in part (0+ / 0-)

          to protect these Japanese-Americans.

          Simple fact is that the overt, full-armed racism of the 1940s was expected to result in hundreds of killings. It would have been Open Season on them.

          No way they would have been safe.

          Look to wartime propaganda for the attitude of the day. These films are quite accurate -- aimed to a known audience.

          Btw: seizing their property ? That's another issue -- local governments got well with house-grabs and taking their cars.

          Nasty stuff.

          Angry White Males + Crooks + Personality Disorder psychos + KKKwannabes + "Unborn Child" church folk =EQ= The Republicans

          by vets74 on Sun Aug 21, 2011 at 01:11:31 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Hard for me (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            to justify that being interned without choice is OK if the motivation is to protect. Certainly, America did not go for interning Muslims after 9/11, despite those who would have loved the idea. Sorry, but I'm feeling more of a racist and knee jerk defensive thing going on with the internment of the Japanese, than a desire to protect them.

            But I would love to see any link to an article that talks more about this.

            •  Different country in 2001. (0+ / 0-)

              "Gooks." "Slants." And that was during WW II, Korea and then Vietnam.

              Besides, Muslims cover a broad spectrum. Saudis are rich, anyway, so SIOKIYA-richie.

              Angry White Males + Crooks + Personality Disorder psychos + KKKwannabes + "Unborn Child" church folk =EQ= The Republicans

              by vets74 on Sun Aug 21, 2011 at 02:45:08 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  The Japanese citizens (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                ParkRanger, vets74

                who were interned in WWII covered a broad spectrum too.  120,000 Japanese were thrown into camps without any rights.  Young, middle aged and old.  Rich, middle class and poor.

                I've read your comments here many times Vets74, and we often agree.  But not here.  Just can't buy into the idea that the internment was about protecting the Japanese.  Just can't by into the idea that it was justified.  I think many today look at it with horror, and that's as I think it should be.  And I think, why it didn't happen after 9/11.

                •  How many people attacked Arabs after 9/11 ? (0+ / 0-)

                  Maybe a couple dozen. A handful of murders, usually hitting the wrong nationalities. LA's Iranians had a lot of problems with that.

                  After Pearl Harbor there were dozens of murders in California. Mostly gangsters taking advantage of the situation. Burglaries aimed at Japanese exploded.

                  FDR knew he couldn't protect the Japanese. Imagine if there had been a pogrom ? Something like Ocoee, Florida.

                  Btw: that 120,000 figure is less than half the Japanese-Americans in the country.

                  Boston didn't clean them out. Maine didn't, or Vermont or New Hampshire. Same generally across the upper Midwest.

                  California was the big problem because of the many Southerners who had relocated during the 1930s. They'd shoot anybody.

                  Angry White Males + Crooks + Personality Disorder psychos + KKKwannabes + "Unborn Child" church folk =EQ= The Republicans

                  by vets74 on Sun Aug 21, 2011 at 05:06:42 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

          •  love FDR but what about anti-lynching legislation? (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            StellaRay, ParkRanger, vets74, Day24Day7

            Did he refuse to support it to protect those in danger? I suppose the argument could be made that passing anti-lynching laws would have inflamed passions etc. But I would guess it was about his close relationship to the Southern Dems, who backed his New Deal policies in exchange for his stepping back in terms of racial issues. It just about killed Eleanor, who even before that thought he got much too close to Southern racist pols during his polio rehab in Warm Springs, GA.

            Again, I love FDR. But I think the diarist's point is well taken.

            "Facts are meaningless. You could use facts to prove anything that's even remotely true!" Homer Simpson.

            by scilicet on Sun Aug 21, 2011 at 02:49:26 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  FDR had tea baggers voting on his side (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      vets74, NoFortunateSon, Day24Day7

      instead of being willing to destroy the world economy in blind opposition to him having any successes as a President.

      See, the truth is that tea baggers are socialists.  Period.  They wanted the New Deal.  But they are also racists.  They don't want minorities to share in the New Deal.  And that is how we lost them to the Republican party.  And that is why today they would rather end the New Deal than share it will minorities.

      The tea baggers are anti Obama because Obama is black, plain and simple.  They will let their elderly die poor and sick before they willingly share with minorities.

      FDR ONLY succeeded as President, despite the opposition from the Left at the time, because he was supported by tea baggers of the day.  

      Obama is struggling to succeed as President, because he has both the opposition from the Left AND opposition from the tea baggers of today.

      It's kind of strange for me to read people complaining that Obama won't stand up to the tea baggers and call them out the way FDR did in his time, because FDR didn't call them out.  He COUNTED on their support.

      You dick, why do you have to focus on the negative. - Thomas Haden Church as Jack in the film Sideways

      by Anton Bursch on Sun Aug 21, 2011 at 12:57:03 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  maybe not socialists, but they like socialism (0+ / 0-)

        because they love being dependent.  they are projecting when they accuse minorities of wanting to be dependent on government.

        You dick, why do you have to focus on the negative. - Thomas Haden Church as Jack in the film Sideways

        by Anton Bursch on Sun Aug 21, 2011 at 01:14:52 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  populism is the right term for the tea baggers (0+ / 0-)

          they just mix their populism with racism... and sexism... and bigotry against gay people... and an indifference toward children's rights... and religious intolerance... and etc, etc, etc...

          You dick, why do you have to focus on the negative. - Thomas Haden Church as Jack in the film Sideways

          by Anton Bursch on Sun Aug 21, 2011 at 01:20:44 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  Interesting perspective. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        I'm going to have to think about this.  Not sure I agree that the Tea Party is "willing to let their elderly die poor and sick before willingly sharing with minorities."  

        Seems to me the Tea Party WANTS its benefits---hell half of them are living on them.  And I don't think they're going to vote in large part, for anything that strips them of those benefits, minorities or not.  It would be interesting to see what the Tea Party would have to say if for instance, Ryan's voucher plan were to be invoked immediately after passing, if it ever passes, instead of only for those 55 and under.

        I think we have to remember that the GOP/Tea Party did NOT run on getting rid of Medicare and SS in the mid terms.  They ran on jobs, jobs, jobs. I suspect their are many Tea partiers who were surprised to find their benefits on the table.  As polls show, approval for the Tea Party is waning in this country, and I think that just might include from some of their own.

        And, I think FDR DID face the same kind of opposition from the right and left than Obama has.  It's to be expected in times of discontent when presidents try to do big things.

      •  The Tea baggers were on FDR's side yes - (0+ / 0-)

        but he was not afraid to openly mock the opposition. President Obama does not take them to task in this manner.

        The only time I remember and of course I may be wrong about the president openly mocking someone was Trump at the yearly news correspondence dinner - Someone unelected and someone who has 0 influence on the political process.

        I don't want any more of this "My friends" bullshit. 07 Obama proclaimed that it would be insanity to give the keys back to the drunk drivers after they drove the car into the ditch, jumped out and then set fire to it. 11 Obama speaks of my friends across the isle and bipartisanship as if they are a holy grail.

        Obama needs opposition from the left so that he WILL succeed as president. He has only responded to the needs, wants, concerns, bed changing, of tea partiers and neglected to  be the voice of reason against them.

        So yes he is struggling to succeed as president - because be has adopted 1994 Clintonian third way trianglulation and does not fight in a meaningful way for progressive policies.

        Progressive policies speak for themselves and resonate with the values that most "independents" hear.

        They just need a skilled speaker who can define the debate in those terms..


  •  I think LBJ is the even more striking example. (7+ / 0-)

    To hear some from the left champion LBJ when the modern Democratic Party collapsed in hatred over him is mind-boggling.

    It is instructive because the purist progressives of that era ignored LBJ's accomplishments on race relations and economic equality and focused on the Vietnam War.

    Now they champion LBJ for his domestic policies and ignore his foreign policy blunders.

    The fact is that no president is perfect. You simply can't like any president if you insist on perfection.

    by Common Cents on Sun Aug 21, 2011 at 11:47:01 AM PDT

    •  Wow, excellent points. (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      sunbro, vets74, Common Cents, Day24Day7

      I'll never forget watching LBJ announce he would not run for re-election.  A more tired, discouraged presidential face I have never seen in my life time.

      I was going to add into this diary that LBJ passed Medicare with similar support from Republicans that FDR had with SS, but didn't want to go OT.  Still, it's true and both FDR and LBJ
      faced significantly different landscapes with their majorities than Obama did.  

      What disturbs me is the progressive obsession here with Obama, as opposed to so many other things to be done on a local and state level.  But then, those things are a lot harder than taking aim at the president.


  •  A lot of Roosevelt's success (0+ / 0-)

    was because he chose, for his cabinet, people who were thoughtful and wanted to do their best for the average person.

    We are in trouble because of Obama choosing republicans for his appointees and cabinet.

    Even though Roosevelt was wealthy he didn't work just for the wealthy, he worked for the poor and middle class.

  •  Well said. (6+ / 0-)

    I think this new paradigm in which we follow every tiny bit of political news with forensic detail has made people a bit nuts.  FDR would never have stood up to this scrutiny.  Nobody could.

    I doubt any President to come for decades will handle the situation nearly as gracefully as Obama is now.

    If Kucinich, Grayson, Sanders or Feingold were President, you'd be accusing them of betrayal right now.

    by snout on Sun Aug 21, 2011 at 11:52:57 AM PDT

  •  excellent diary. agree completely. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    "I'm Black and I'm proud, I'm ready, I'm hype, plus I'm amped/ most of my heroes don't appear on no stamp!" ~Carlton Ridenhour

    by mallyroyal on Sun Aug 21, 2011 at 11:53:56 AM PDT

  •  Well done. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    StellaRay, vets74

    President Obama is doing incredibly well considering the amount of Republican obstructionism he has face.  The Republican politicians are getting away with acting in bad faith, and corporate-owned Big Media are letting them get away with this.  Through the constant propaganda and yellow journalism of Big Media, the GOP is doing far better than their performance deserves.

    But don't Mitt Romney observes, "corporations are people", so at least our circular firing squad, apathy, and disunity among Democrats, that resulted in the 2010 House realignment in favor of Rethugs, is benefiting SOME "people" in this country.

    -4.75, -5.33 Cheney 10/05/04: "I have not suggested there is a connection between Iraq and 9/11."

    by sunbro on Sun Aug 21, 2011 at 12:04:06 PM PDT

  •  Remember another thing... (0+ / 0-)

    during the Left's halcyon days in the 30s, (and the 60s as well, for that matter) abortion was illegal everywhere.  No one on the Left did anything substantial to change that, including FDR.  

    "Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable." John Fitzgerald Kennedy

    by penguins4peace on Sun Aug 21, 2011 at 12:07:48 PM PDT

  •  I think (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    - a least for me I do want President Obama to invoke FDR.

    What frustrates me when I listen to President Obama is that he saves his ire and his frustration and his disdain for those who he should be the champion of his causes.

    FDR on numerous occasions openly mocked Republicans in the public forum. When confronted with extremism  holding a centrist position is not only dangerous but naive. Mocking them is a fantastic tool to use to show just how batshit crazy they are. Forgoing that in lue of seeking a mythical bipartisan compromise that makes no one happy is not a way to win the support of those who were your most ardent supporters during your campaign.

    I want President Obama to save his ire, his frustration, his disdain, his appeals for concilliation, his mocking, solely for Republicans - the ones who deserve it.

    So yes - I do want President Obama to be more like FDR - both in policy and FDR's willingness to call a spade a spade. I forgive (well wasn't born) his transgressions and hopefully I will be able to say the same thing about President Obama when he delivers Medicare fore all, ends the Iraqi and Afgan wars while protecting social security for my retirement and for my future children's.  

    •  Good comment. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      I understand how you feel.  I want the same things you want.

      But it's not correct to say that Obama hasn't mocked the GOP in the public forum. It is fair to say he's taken more than one swipe at progressives, and I don't think that's doing him any good. However, progressives here have been pounding on him since he put his hand on the Bible---and imo, often not in a balanced way that salutes any kind of perspective or context.
      I'm sure I'm in the minority here in that I think the relationship between the president and the progressives is a two way street.


  •  ah, another Ugly Bridesmaid diary. (0+ / 0-)

    The bride isn't looking any prettier for it.

    But you folks keep repeating those same smears as long as you like.

    grieving citizen of the murdered Republic, unrepentant rebel against the Empire.

    by khereva on Sun Aug 21, 2011 at 12:54:58 PM PDT

    •  And you aren't looking any prettier (0+ / 0-)

      for your choice of insult over substance.  There's no "smear" here. But then, I wouldn't be surprised to know that you hadn't even read this diary.

      •  Read it. (0+ / 0-)

        No there there.

        Same old smears, repeated with the same old purpose, with the same old failure.

        grieving citizen of the murdered Republic, unrepentant rebel against the Empire.

        by khereva on Sun Aug 21, 2011 at 01:28:51 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Still no substance. (0+ / 0-)

          What smears?  Be specific.  What same old purpose?  Be specific.  What same old failure?  Be specific.  Your comments so far are lazy.

          •  Gave you more effort than you earned, but... (0+ / 0-)

            Same old smear #1: Internment

            Everyone agrees that internment was bad. However, FDR did not preside over the fatal torture of internees, as Obama has. He also did not prosecute children, as Obama has.

            Same old smear #2: FDR as a racist.

            As you yourself admit, this doesn't really wash. It was never an actual argument anyway, it was simply a "your hero sucks!"smear. At best, FDR's accommodation of Southern Govs was a necessary accommodation to get the WPA going. FDR did that to save the economy. BHO makes such accommodations now in order to ruin it by pursuing spending cuts in a Depression (something he might have learned doesn't work if he'd bothered to look at the history).

            Same old smear #3: FDR was timid rather than revolutionary on Social Security

            The SS program itself was revolutionary. It could have gone farther. On the other hand, FDR didn't collude with those scheming to strangle it in the cradle, as Obama is doing now.

            Same old motives: silence those who draw the obvious comparisons between the President who did save the Republic in the 20th century and the one who is refusing to do so in the 21st.

            And the same old failure: the smears are invalid, and they do not convince anyone who was not already on the OMGOBAMAROX bandwagon.

            grieving citizen of the murdered Republic, unrepentant rebel against the Empire.

            by khereva on Sun Aug 21, 2011 at 02:31:31 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Well gee, (0+ / 0-)

              how lucky am I that you deigned to actually offer some substance to YOUR smears of my diary?

              1.  The fact of Japanese internment is NOT a "smear" on FDR it is a fact.  He authorized the internment by executive order, and 120,000 Japanese were thrown into camps without any civil rights.  And if you think there weren't children thrown in too, get googling and get educated.

              2.  Obama HAS NOT presided over the fatal torturing of internees.  That was Bush.  Supply link.  Water boarding was stopped under Obama.  Supply link that proves different.

              3. LOL, #3 is my fave! I NEVER SAID FDR was a racist. I said he made compromises with racists, and BIG ONES. Interesting that you would say that FDR's compromises with racists were necessary to get other parts of his agenda through and then cut no such lattitude to Obama.

              4.  I don't know where you came up with the idea that I said FDR was timid rather than revolutionary regarding SS.
              I think you have confused a quote from a leftist of that day with my words.  

              5.  Let's end this.  If you cannot accept or see the purpose of my diary, I'm not going to change your mind.  Let it be.

              •  These smears have been refuted repeatedly, (0+ / 0-)

                in other diaries, over and over.

                And you cheerleaders continue to repeat them.

                1. Yes, internment is used as a smear. It was a fact, everyone admits it, everyone deplores it. The reason it keeps being brought up is that cheerleaders think that it excuses Obama's continuation of the Torture State.

                2. Yes. Yes, he has. And he shows no signs of stopping it. He maintains secret prisons in Bagram, and in Somalia. He hides behind Congress to keep Gitmo open. Shame on him for doing so.

                3. You got caught at it, and had to give it up. And as I said, FDR did it to save the economy. BHO does it to ruin it. That's why he doesn't get any slack: he's not even getting anything back for it.

                4. That was indeed the entire thrust of your section on social security: that FDR was not the agent of revolutionary change, and therefore, we can't expect BHO to be either. Again, you got caught.

                5. Your admission that you've produced nothing of substance, just another "smear FDR fest" in the vain hope of salvaging BHO's image, and that it can't stand up to scrutiny is accepted.

                grieving citizen of the murdered Republic, unrepentant rebel against the Empire.

                by khereva on Sun Aug 21, 2011 at 04:39:45 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  I'll let your comment speak for itself. (0+ / 0-)

                  Except I would like a link that gives evidence to your claim of  Obama's "secret" prisons in Bagram and in Somalia.  And I'd like a link to evidence that Obama has continued to allow torture. Seems you're pretty sure of this, so do share.

                  •  Awal Gul died after "exercise" in 2011, not under (0+ / 0-)

                    Bush. Under Obama, who claimed he would put a decisive stop to such things, and then buried the evidence of torture when it surfaced.

                    On Awal Gul:


                    On Obama's secret prison in Somalia:


                    And his prison at Bagram:


                    grieving citizen of the murdered Republic, unrepentant rebel against the Empire.

                    by khereva on Sun Aug 21, 2011 at 07:40:24 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Thank you for the links. (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:

                      I have read every one of them, and they are indeed troubling, to say the least.  I have never agreed with Obama on continuing Bush's policies in these matters.  

                      However, there is no evidence in any of these articles of direct torture being used, including with Awal Gul.  BUT, it is indeed another form of torture to be held in a cell underground without charges or trial, or to be kidnapped off a street anywhere, anytime without due process or the need to prove guilt.  

                      It is beyond disgusting.  On that you and I agree.  However, my views on Obama are BINARY.  Some I like, some I don't. And it is my sad view that these things will not end under any president.  That does not excuse it, and I'm thankful to those like the attorney, Ms. Tina Foster, who are dedicated to taking on the role of David against Goliath.

                      I simply do not see a better outcome with a republican administration in 2012.  Far from it.

  •  Oh, the heck with this discussion (0+ / 0-)

    FDR is long gone.  This is about Obama.

    Let us resolutely study and implement the resolutions of the 46th Convention of the Democratic Party!

    by Rich in PA on Sun Aug 21, 2011 at 01:00:16 PM PDT

    •  I get referred to FDR (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Catte Nappe, Day24Day7

      countless times in comments on this site.  And, pundits are crazy for the comparison too---fact is when Drew Westen wrote his editorial comparing Obama to FDR, this site went nuts commenting on it.

      But gee, thanks for stopping in to say "the heck with this discussion."

  •  Both Sides Miss the Only Important Point: (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    BradyB, schumann, jabney

    It's the RESULTS not the men that matter.

    America of the 1930's, public and private, was pioneering, they were cutting a track through virgin forest. And likewise everyone after them, to a lesser extent but true of many particulars.

    All of them cutting a first time track through virgin forest.

    Not remotely true in 2008. In 2008 we had the whole historic record and we had the entire list of results. It started with the lower taxes and regulation of the 20's and the 80's-2000's, bubble economies with many of the identical features both times including high tech, stock and real estate bubbles and collapse starting in Florida.

    In 2008 we not only knew how we caused both financial collapses with similar deregulation and criminality, we also knew precisely what policies of the 30's thru the 70's worked, to what precise degree, who was helped the most, who was left out.

    Jesus Hussein Christ it doesn't matter a whit how Obama and any prior figure compare as personalities or in leadership style.

    The only thing that matters is that today Obama and the Democratic Party and the entire nation HAVE ALL THE ANSWERS TO ALL THESE ISSUES lying in the history books.

    And that means we have 90% of the voter education message in black and white also lying in the history books.

    The only reason they remain neglected in the history books is that our party and our president oppose the proven solutions.

    That's the crime.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Sun Aug 21, 2011 at 01:24:40 PM PDT

    •  I agree with you (0+ / 0-)

      that history's powerful lessons are being ignored, but this is hardly anything new.  When it comes to the often cyclical nature of history, FDR's time was hardly a "virginal forest."

      Consider the lessons the French revolution, and the Russian revolution have to tell us about the consequences of when the have nots way out number the haves---when the majority of the community is not getting enough out of it to want to protect it. Yet here we are today, on that path after 30 years of Republican agenda that America bought into, and not just the republicans. Bill clinton comes to mind and the huge democratic support for him comes to mind, even though, IMO, he was to the right of Obama. But it seems democrats are a lot more forgiving when the economy is thriving.  No surprise there.

      I find your bottom line that Obama "opposes the proven solutions" too simplistic for my taste.

      This country is imo, in a bloodless civil war. As divided now in our hearts, souls and brains as we once were north to south, and just about as evenly. The "answers," the "proven solutions" are to say the least, no where near agreed upon, no matter what history says---and of course, everyone disagrees about what it has to say.  Ever heard a right winger talk about FDR?

      I've read enough of your comments to know you hold Obama responsible for most of this, and I'm not going to try to talk you out of it.  For me, the cult of leadership over party, the obsession with loading and aiming all guns at Obama here is troublesome. But that's for another diary and another time.

      I appreciate the discussion.

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