Monday, July 06, 2009

There is an amazing (if not somewhat depressing) article in the new issue of Harper's by Kevin Baker in which he does a great job of pointing out that as much as we want to compare Obama to FDR, as much as we want to say he's the solution to this nightmare our country has plunged into, every decision he's made thus far really matches the other president that tackled the Great Depression: Hoover.
Now, the important thing to note here is that when Hoover wasn't elected, he wasn't known for the homeless veterans that built their shacks on his lawn, but he was a dynamic and energizing leader who looked like he could turn everything around. He attacked the crises he was dealt with aplomb and gritty determination. But in the end, he ended up capitulating most of the ideals that he had believed in. FDR, on the other hand, didn't care what anyone thought and pushed his legislation through. FDR had lofty ideals when he entered office, but in the end just said fuck it, if I gotta make enemies in order to get this done, so be it"*"

Anyway, read the whole article here. and try to read it without being defensive of Obama. We have to look at him the same way we look at every other president: objectively. Bush did some things right, did he not? Why would we assume that Obama might not be doing some things wrong? I enjoy hearing the guy speak more than anyone. I think he's a standup guy and I want him to succeed in a way that we cannot comprehend as a voting public. But as with every president, there are lessons from history just being ignored while we go through this.

*not verbatim

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