Tuesday, August 9, 2011
THIS IS FOR THE OBAMA-BASHING LIBERALS WHO HAVEN'T TAKEN THE TIME TO READ HISTORY OR UNDERSTAND WHAT THIS PRESIDENT HAS ACCOMPLISHED
It's bad enough to read and hear the lies and misrepresentations put out by foaming-at-the muzzle extremist TPers and GOPers. But to read and listen to some liberals attack and undermine the president without understanding how government works and how FDR had to compromise with the worst elements in the Republican Party is not only disheartening but unfathomable as well.
Here's some history from Steve Benen:
"I’ve mentioned this before, but I often think about Social Security at its origins. In 1935, FDR accepted all kinds of concessions, excluding agricultural workers, domestic workers, the self-employed, the entire public sector, and railroad employees, among others. And why did the president go along with this? Because Franklin Delano Roosevelt had to cut deals with conservatives, even in his own party — many of whom were motivated by nothing more than racism — in order to get the legislation passed.
When delivering red-meat speeches in public, FDR saw his Republican critics and “welcomed their hatred.” When governing, FDR made constant concessions — even if it meant occasionally betraying his principles and some of his own supporters — in order to get something done.
Four years into Franklin Roosevelt’s first presidential term, the worst of the Great Depression seemed behind him. Massive jolts of New Deal spending had stopped the economic slide, and the unemployment rate was cut from 22 percent to less than 10 percent.
'People felt that there was momentum,' U.S. Senate historian Donald Ritchie tells Guy Raz, host of weekends on All Things Considered. 'Finally, there was the light at the end of the tunnel.'
So Roosevelt, on the advice of his conservative Treasury Secretary Henry Morgenthau, decided to tackle the country’s exploding deficits. Over two years, FDR slashed government spending 17 percent.
'All of a sudden,' Ritchie says, 'after unemployment had been going steadily down, unemployment shot up, the economy stagnated, the stock market crashed again. And now it seemed we’d come out of the Hoover Depression to go into the Roosevelt recession.'
Similar decisions Roosevelt made about spending and austerity are being discussed at the White House right now. In the long term, both political parties say they agree that austerity is a good thing. But what about in the short term, while unemployment remains high?
In other words, today’s emo progressives would have been savagely attacking FDR the same way they’re attacking Obama now. And they would have had more grounds, between the internment of the Japanese, FDR’s initial failure to respond to the slaughter of innocents by Adolf Hitler (it was the Japanese we ultimately went to war against) and his ongoing refusal to address issues of racial segregation, lynching and discrimination against African-Americans, including in the armed forces. That and the compromises FDR accepted as part of the New Deal, including explicitly keeping racial parity out of the equation, would have made Roosevelt as great a villain to the purist progressives of today as Obama has become. And their disappointment would have been just as great.
The bottom line: Roosevelt was no less a great president — even a great liberal president. But being president requires compromises, often unpleasant ones, and there is no 'perfect' example of caution to the wind liberalism for the purists to point to. They can feel free to demonize Obama, but not with the weight of history on their side."
And to those of you who insist that President Obama shoulda/coulda advanced his liberal/progressive agenda more aggressively, here's another reality check:
Barack Obama and the myth of the progressive ‘majorities’