Last active
3 years, 12 months ago
  • tomvox1 commented on the blog post Today’s Lesson from the White House: Take Hostages

    2010-12-22 09:01:59View | Delete

    Yes, he looks absolutely gutted:

  • In the credit where credit is due department, the Obama Administration did pretty much single-handedly save the American auto industry, whereas Republicans were more than willing to let it (and, not coincidentally, all those union jobs) go extinct.

  • I believe Blue Texan misinterprets the context of Obama’s comment regarding FDR being “irresponsible.”

    Obama was no doubt referring to the period between FDR’s election and his inauguration, during which time FDR did nothing to help Hoover and in fact the Depression accelerated (and yes, inaugurations were in March back then, not January). Hoover repeatedly pleaded with Roosevelt to sign off on his economic policies (remaining on the gold standard, fighting inflation) to calm the markets and the nation’s deposit holders but FDR did not want to be associated in the public’s mind in any way with the failed previous administration. During this period between the two administrations (the interregnum), the unemployment rate rose to 25% and there was a massive new wave of bank failures. By the time of FDR’s inauguration, the country was desperate for action, any action, even that which previously would have been dismissed as “too radical.” Hence, the ease in passage of the key elements of the New Deal in the first 100 days. The very fact that so much was accomplished in the first 100 days mitigates against believing that this was the 6-month period of time that Obama was referring to when saying that Roosevelt “waited until the thing had got so bad” before acting. He has to be talking about the period between the election (November 9, 1932) and the inauguration (March 4th, 1933) when, in fact, the government was effectively paralyzed. It is no accident that the 20th Amendment was passed during this terrifying period of drift.

    Now, contrast FDR’s course of action with Obama’s willingness to work with Bush and lend his support to TARP during his interregnum, what Obama is referring to when he contrasts his actions with FDR’s. Unfortunately, if Obama were a more calculating politician he would see that FDR was indeed right politically to avoid having any claim of ownership for the policies of the previous administration, despite the human costs of such political calculations. Even though TARP was not technically a failure and stands to make the American taxpayers a profit (as well as potentially heading of another Depression), Obama’s willingness to engage in bipartisan action for the greater good of the country has cost him dearly in people’s perceptions of him as the hoped for new broom sweeping the status quo away. Instead, because he followed his “responsible” course during his interregnum, he is now seen by many as “just another politician,” bailing out the moneyed interests at the expense of the average American, to the extent that many people no longer realize that it was Bush and Paulson who initiated TARP in the first place! Responsible or not, FDR new exactly what he was doing when he refused to have anything to do with Hoover or Hooverism.