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Electing FDR: The New Deal Campaign of 1932
By Donald A. Ritchie
University Press of Kansas
Lawrence, KS, 2007

In late 2007 I wrote a series of three essays (here, here and here) examining the parallels between the early indicators in this election cycle and the Democratic landslide of 1932.  In those previous essays I examined long-term demographic and voting trends, the number of seats being defended by the Republicans and the overwhelming financial, operational, strategic and polling advantages of the Democrats, and the tremendous unpopularity of George W. Bush and the Republican party.  

In the months since, the underlying weaknesses of the Republicans have grown more apparent.  The National Republican Congressional Committee has remained broke and is mired in an embezzlement scandal that could leave it unable to borrow money to protect their dozens of endangered incumbents or to defend Republican-held open seats.  The NRCC's Senate counterparts aren't in much better shape, with several Republican-held seats like those in Virginia, New Hampshire and New Mexico appearing to be already settled contests, and with probably ten or more remaining Republican seats potentially vulnerable, all while the DSCC has a roughly 2-1 cash advantage.  

Last November and December few would have predicted that it would not be until June that the Democratic nomination was finally settled.  After polling roughly even with Republican nominee John McCain, since Hillary Clinton conceded the nomination Barack Obama has surged to solid leads in many of the previously contested battleground states like Ohio and Pennsylvania, and has polled exceedingly well in many other states that haven't been competitive for Democrats since 1996, or in some cases 1976 or even 1964.  

History doesn't repeat itself.  While there is great value in many of the writings of advocates of a cyclical view of history, such as Giambattista Vico, Arnold Toynbee and Arthur Schlesinger, Jr (whose works include the Pulitizer-prize winning The Crisis of the Old Order 1919-1933: The Age of Roosevelt), few historians accept the notion that history repeats itself.  But Mark Twain was on to something when he quipped that "history doesn't repeat itself...but it rhymes."  

Donald A. Ritchie's Electing FDR: The New Deal Election of 1932 would be a worthy read even were it not for the compelling parallels one finds in it from the perspective of this particular campaign season.  Ritchie, an associate historian at the U.S. Senate Historical Office, has a deft touch for the compelling anecdote and story, and keeps the narrative moving nicely.  He introduces the main and secondary characters with enough detail and context that we can understand their actions and motivations, but with enough brevity and economy that the details don't slow down the reader.  

Ritchie knows the social, economic and intellectual history of the era, and does an excellent job of giving the broader cultural and social background in which the campaign took place.  And his descriptions of the hard working, conscientious but humorless Herbert Hoover and the ebullient FDR, once seen as a featherweight but whose struggle with polio at age 39 led him to develop tremendous fortitude and empathy with those in danger of being beaten down in their own struggles, enliven the book.  Ritchie's portraits of Hoover and Roosevelt make it seem obvious that a cabbie in Detroit could convey this impression to a reporter:

I tell you, lady, the day Roosevelt is elected will be a national holiday—like Armistice Day, you know.  I figure that if we get rid of Old Gloom and put in a feller that can laugh and act human, the Depression will be half over.

The cabbie was right.  The economic toll of the Depression continued through FDR's first two terms, and didn't really lift until the country was mobilized for the struggle against fascism.  But half the battle against the depression was against fear and despair, and the country began righting itself the moment FDR, in his first inaugural address, told Americans that "the only thing we have to fear is fear itself."  

But what about those parallels between 1932 and 2008?  Yes, the country and the world face tremendous challenges, probably the most dire since the Second World War.  Things are not as bad as when FDR ran.  But the years before the stock market crash of 1929 have many similarities to our recent past.  The Republicans were in full control of the government, and anti-regulatory, pro-business policies prevailed. While unemployment was low, there was a yawning gap in wealth and income between the rich and poor.  Rural communities were distressed.  The economy was undergoing a major transformation.  Organized labor was weakened and under assault.  Though economic problems were increasing, it was cultural issues, most of all prohibition, that dominated elections.

Hoover came in to office with a reputation very different from that of George W. Bush.  Hoover was possibly America's most admired and respected administrator.  He was a self-made man who had excelled in the first class at Stanford University, became a mining executive, traveled the world and made a fortune.  During World War I he was dispatched by Woodrow Wilson to oversee food relief programs in Europe, and he performed brilliantly.  In 1920 he was even sought out as a possible Democratic nominee for President.  

That year former assistant Secretary of the Navy Roosevelt ran on the losing Democratic ticket.  He and Hoover had become friends in Washington DC during the war, and they admired each other.  But Hoover joined the Republicans, and spent the 1920's as the Secretary of Commerce.  He largely avoided political rancor, but built up political chits, and in 1928 won the Republican presidential nomination and defeated New York's Catholic Governor Al Smith for the Presidency.

Roosevelt spent much of the 1920's rehabilitating himself from polio, which he contracted in 1921.  By 1928, however, he was recruited, somewhat reluctantly, to run for Governor of New York, in part to bolster the ticket in New York for Smith's presidential campaign.  Smith lost his home state, but Roosevelt eked out a narrow win.    

By 1932, the good times and emphasis in campaigns on divisive social issues were gone.  Unemployment, 3.2% when Hoover took office, was at 23.6%.  We have severe problems in our banking and financial sectors today, but nothing like what faced the country in 1932.  On the very day the Democratic convention started in Chicago, 25 of that city's banks were forced to close.  

In 1930, as the Depression gained strength, the Democrats crushed the Republicans in the mid-term elections.  Back then Congress didn't convene until a year after the elections.  During the interim between the elections in November of 1930 and the seating of Congress in early 1932, 13 members of Congress died, and Democrats won almost every one of the special elections, including some in previously solidly Republican districts.  In total, by the time Congress was seated, Democrats had netted a 54 seat gain in the House, shifting the chamber from solidly Republican to a Democratic advantage of 3 seats.  

In the Senate, Democrats picked up 8 seats.  It was barely less than they needed to gain control, but thinking that a solidly Democratic congress that couldn't accomplish anything in the face of Presidential obstruction would hurt the Democrats more than his party, Hoover urged the Senate Republicans to let the Democrats organize the chamber.  

That Congress, in large part because of Presidential vetos, accomplished very little.  Unlike today, there were progressive Republicans like George Norris of Nebraska and William Borah of Idaho.  Nevertheless, like today, an obstructionist President prevented a narrow Democratic majority from many accomplishments.

Roosevelt, easily reelected in 1930 on the strength of his bold policies as governor as much as the overall Democratic wave, became the favorite for the nomination.  However, the other candidates, including his one-time ally Al Smith, had enough support to prevent Roosevelt from securing the nomination.  Roosevelt assembled a team of newcomers, while the campaigns of his rivals were stacked with politicos who had been involved in previous presidential campaigns.  At a time when primaries meant very, very little—fewer than 5% or so of the delegates were awarded on the basis of primary results—Roosevelt nonetheless dispatched one of his chief aids to travel the country and build on the support of Democratic leaders with whom Roosevelt had continued correspondence ever since his 1920 VP candidacy, and he contested every primary.  Despite losing most of the biggest or mostly heavily Democratic states, such as Illinois, Massachusetts and Pennsylvania, Roosevelt performed quite well, especially in states not traditionally thought to be bastions of Democratic support or likely Democratic wins in a general election.

Roosevelt's team went to the Chicago convention with the most support, but far from the total needed for the nomination.  In 1924 the convention required over a hundred ballots before reaching agreement.  FDR's team expected to be able to hold and maybe grow their lead through four.  If all of the candidates arrayed against him could have thrown their collective support behind one of their group, that man would have won the nomination.  But with the assistance of Joseph Kennedy—father of John, Robert and Teddy Kennedy—Roosevelt's team was able to negotiate a deal with the Speaker of the House, Texan John Nance Garner, for the support his delegates who controlled the delegations from Texas and California.  

The Democrats came out of the convention only moderately excited by Roosevelt.  Some delegates, supporters mostly of Al Smith, declared that Roosevelt would not be able to win Catholic voters in November.  But the delegates were unified in support for repealing prohibition.  

Shortly after gaining the nomination, Roosevelt disappointed many of his most liberal supporters by renouncing his support for the League of Nations.  In the wake of World War I, the country was strongly isolationist.  While Roosevelt personally supported the League, Roosevelt announced he would not seek US entry in to the league, declaring there was "a difference between ideals and the methods of obtaining them."  

Throughout the campaign Roosevelt provided few specifics on policy.  He was widely criticized by intellectuals, writers and party elites for the vagueness of his proposals and the lack of bold pronouncements in his campaign.  He did, however, have his "brain trust" of professors, mostly from Columbia, who were key in drafting his speeches in which he advocated for government intervention in the economy and a more vigorous effort to move the country forward than that advocated by Hoover.  But Roosevelt kept many of his more conservative financial backers molified by advocating a balanced budget, and he eschewed many specifics.  As he told his brain trusters, he was running a campaign and not an adult education program, and that in office he could educate the public and harness their support for his initiative, but as a candidate he "had to accept people's prejudices and turn them to good use."  

Operationally FDR's campaign was far more bold and inventive than Hoover's.  FDR had a deep, resonant voice and an orator's gift.  Hoover was uncomfortable with speaking on the radio, and avoided that new technology, while FDR and his campaign embraced it.  FDR took every opportunity available to speak on the radio, while Hoover conceded that new medium to the Democrat.  And with Wall Street comparatively broke and the activist base split over prohibition between the pro-repeal "wets" and the pro-prohibition "dry's," the Republican party was short on money and enthusiasm.  

Along with the special election wins in the congressional races, the September results in Maine presaged the huge win.  Back then Maine voted for other offices in September, with only the presidency contested in November.  Despite being one of the most Republican states in the union, that September Democrats stomped the Republicans, winning the Governorship and two of the state's three Congressional seats.  

Polio decimated Roosevelt's legs, but the crushing work and failures of his presidency aged Hoover tremendously.  Despite a whisper campaign about FDR's disability—plenty of rumors circulated that he had been infected with syphilis—most who saw him viewed him as the epitome of vigor in comparison with the pallid and defeated Hoover.  Roosevelt developed a powerful upper body from pulling and hoisting himself around, and on campaign stops, his auto or train car was fitted with a bar on which he would rise and stead himself, enabling him to stand.  He had a powerful voice, was relatively young at only 50, and he was campaigning on the belief that what the country needed most was change.  The contrast was stark.  Hoover was old and represented the past.  Roosevelt was the future.  

On election day, Roosevelt won every state but Pennsylvania, Delaware, Connecticut, Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine.  He garnered 57% of the vote--less than future landslide wins by Roosevelt in 1936, Johnson in 1964, Nixon in 1972 and Reagan in 1984--and Democrats netted another 99 seats in the House and 14 in the Senate.

Obviously there are many differences between Franklin Roosevelt and Barack Obama.  I will not burden Obama with comparisons with one of our three greatest presidents, and the greatest Democrat to ever hold the office.  It's also important to recognize the difference between the horrific conditions of 1932 versus the bad but not as obviously dire circumstances facing us today.  But just as there are striking parallels between the underlying electoral conditions and demographic trends that I examined in my previous essays, the contrasts between our current candidates and the conduct of their campaigns have many parallels with those of 1932.  

Will Barack Obama lead Democrats to the overwhelming win that FDR led in 1932?  While the portents are good, it's still too early to tell.  Besides, we need to not only predict our history, we need to work smart and work hard to create the history we desire.  But one cannot read Ritchie's book in 2008 and not hear words and patterns that, while not the exact as what we hear today, certainly rhyme.  

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Sun Jun 22, 2008 at 06:15 PM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Well-done (9+ / 0-)

    What I wonder about is whether, given the advances in telecommunication (including the Web) and the greater ability for people to examine evidence directly and make up their own minds, people will be as forgiving if Obama runs a centrist campaign.

    Some local evidence suggests not.

    John McCain's Court will overturn Roe; don't kid yourself.

    by Seneca Doane on Sun Jun 22, 2008 at 06:22:20 PM PDT

    •  It will probably depend on how much (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      seattlegirl

      pain they are feeling, on election day.

      •  Yeah, sweet talk doesn't cure the pain. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Nimbus, limpidglass

        Substance through action works better at that. So far I am cautious of someone who will coddle the right and ignorant for political expediency while casting aside what is the Constitutional thing to do.
        Even if Barack does achieve the Presidency, Cheney and his thralls with undermine Barack and us through the private sector schemes they have been setting up for the past 8+ years.
        That sorta rhymes with Carter.

        "Its a grave digger's song, Praising God and State. So the Nation can live, So we all can remain as cattle. They demand a sacrifice..." -Flipper

        by Skid on Sun Jun 22, 2008 at 06:43:15 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Whooooosh (6+ / 1-)
          Recommended by:
          liberte, bloomer 101, Ginny in CO, blueness, deepeco, caps lock on
          Hidden by:
          Skid

          Thanks for not closely reading the essay.  

          The revolution will not be televised, but we'll analyze it to death at The Next Hurrah.

          by Dana Houle on Sun Jun 22, 2008 at 06:49:05 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Heh. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            David Kroning

            In regards to your smartass comment, relax big boy. I commented on this person's comment, not yours. Thanks for choosing to be a jerk rather than realizing the comment wasn't directed for you.

            "Its a grave digger's song, Praising God and State. So the Nation can live, So we all can remain as cattle. They demand a sacrifice..." -Flipper

            by Skid on Sun Jun 22, 2008 at 06:58:24 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  You know, I enjoyed the essay (5+ / 0-)

            but I don't think anything within it should render a reader incapable of holding the opinion expressed in the comment to which you respond here.  Do you?  That FDR ran a centrist campaign and still turned out great doesn't mean that Obama will turn out great, although I have strong hopes for him.

            At most, it veers off-topic -- but that it how a lot of threads go without the commenters being accused of not having been able or willing to understand the story.

            John McCain's Court will overturn Roe; don't kid yourself.

            by Seneca Doane on Sun Jun 22, 2008 at 06:59:21 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  It's true that Obama may not (15+ / 0-)

              turn out to be "great". But it feels to me as if whether this happens or not depends to some extent (and a not small extent) on how committed and organized "we the people" in the grassroots are to change. If we don't come across in pressuring change, we all lose and Obama's presidency will not achieve its potential. But if we maintain and grow the grassroots organizing that is taking place to get this man elected, and continue building on it and interlinking with labor and other groups, we can provide the push that can make Obama's presidency a watershed.

              I keep saying this, over and over. It's up to us. No one person can do the job as President, not can it even be done with a veto-proof Congress. We have to provide the floor of support and momentum, dammit.

              "Everything we do or say should be done or said consciously."

              by TheWesternSun on Sun Jun 22, 2008 at 07:06:13 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  It certainly is "up to us," unfortunately... (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                scott5js

                many people here seem to already be snubbing their nose at what is the chance of a lifetime.

                It reminds me of George Washington...a man that we have come to admire as much as our Constitution.  He left office hated and despised by the people.

                •  shocking fact (3+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Skid, brein, PvtJarHead

                  Washington supported the Alien and Sedition Acts. This was after he had left office, so it reflected his true feelings and was not just a politically convenient stance.

                  He, the man who detested partisanship and faction, had become deeply partisan himself, highly suspicious of the party led by Jefferson and Madison, which came to be called the Democratic-Republicans. And he welcomed these stringent measures to suppress the anti-Federalists.

                  None of them are perfect, as you pointed out in your earlier comment.

                •  Shit. When will we take responsibility for (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  David Kroning

                  our own actions, needs and desires? Who else will? Are we just plain stoopid ? Or totally numbed? It really makes my heart hurt, David.

                  "Everything we do or say should be done or said consciously."

                  by TheWesternSun on Sun Jun 22, 2008 at 08:10:57 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                •  David, I know how you (4+ / 0-)

                  feel about this because my heart is so torn. But you know, that Washington left office hated doesn't matter. The fact is, he did what needed to be done. We're at a tipping point right now, as Obama suggests in Dr. King's words, "the fierce urgency of now". This isn't just the chance of a lifetime. It's the chance of a century in the evolution of this country's view of its process, its view of itself, its definition of what/who it is. It's just plain BIG. And it's not just about you and me, or even this nation. The whole damn planet hangs in the balance here. We each need to be sensitive to all of this, as I know you are.    

                  "Everything we do or say should be done or said consciously."

                  by TheWesternSun on Sun Jun 22, 2008 at 09:44:17 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

              •  Many, many, many people... (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Nimbus

                support impeachment. We have been talking about it and shouting about it on blogs and letters to the editor! For all the effing good it has done!

                Just because the electorate wants something doesn't mean diddley to the ones we elect!!!

                •  I feel that impeachment is, in a sense, (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  lawman, Seneca Doane

                  a false objective. What needs to happen is to create a support system of morality that predisposes elected officials to acting in a way that does not require impeachment. Of course, this is the ideal in the long term. But I do feel that this is possible given the organizational network that is being created here and now on the ground to get this man elected and hold him responsible to us. In many ways, this network is bigger than he is. Meanwhile, shit, I'd like to hang these bastards from the nearest tree limb for what they have done to this country. I'm just holding on to this thought and hoping that, in time, it will happen. It's going to taker a ton of people holding this intention. Call me an idealist but, I hope, a practical one.

                  "Everything we do or say should be done or said consciously."

                  by TheWesternSun on Sun Jun 22, 2008 at 09:38:02 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

              •  Which is why understanding FDR's History is criti (4+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                DHinMI, sofia, Wyote, seattlegirl

                The point of expectations of Obama rooted in some knowledge of FDR is that we expect him to do as well or better.  You can't expect that if you don't know 30's and FDR History.  

                FDR initially opposed FDIC, Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, but leadership in Congress forced him to accept it.  Today it is very critical, and as we look at banks dealing with the huge credit crunch -- useful to understand.  

                FDR was not all that hot on Labor Unions, and when Clause 7-A was put into the National Recovery Act, which guarenteed the right to organize, he actually was opposed.  Court ruled the NRA unconstitutional, but in the process FDR learned the value of Labor Unions, particularly Industrial Unions, so when the Wagner Labor Act was fashioned to replace NRA, they made sure that section 7-A of that bill was about rights of labor to organize.  

                FDR was not really in favor of Social Security -- but when the huge movement for the Townsend Plan gained millions of supporters, he became a convert to a much less ambitious plan for securing the economic security of the elderly and disabled.  

                You can't divorce the 1930's and the Progressive programs that were instituted then from the movements that pushed FDR to adopt ideas that were not really his own.  As DHinMI puts it, he ran for office on a centerist and minimalist agenda that featured a balanced budget -- but organization on the progressive side moved him, and very much conditioned what he did.  FDR made huge compromises over time.  Throughout his more than 12 years in office he had Southern Racists as Senate Committee Chairs who could decide whether any legislation could come to the floor of the Senate, and they did so on the race criteria.  He could not, for instance, propose Social Security so that it covered most black workers -- for instance farm workers and domestic workers who were not covered till revisions were made in 1956. (by LBJ).  But he did fire Southern WPA State Administrators who paid black workers only 80% of the designated poverty wage, and pocketed the remainder, as was the custom.  

                I haven't read the Richie Book yet -- but have read many of the multi-volume FDR biographies, (Davis, Freidel, etc, plus an excellent new one I would recommend, "FDR" by Jean Edward Smith (now in paperback), and I would recommend much more reading in the history of the 30's so as to comprehend the politics of that era.  It isn't that History repeats itself -- though I do believe it cycles in various waves -- but time comes to "right" the ship so that it does not sink in the waves of a high sea, and that is what makes the two times comparable.  

                So yes -- lay heavy expectations on Obama.  At least as accomplished a pol as FDR, and with at least as many accomplishments.  

                (I must admit that I found the DNC Rules and Bylaws committee meeting entertaining in large measure because back in the day, little Jimmy Roosevelt would have been leading the kiddie pack in which little Harold Ickes, maybe 5 years younger, would have been a bit player -- at the White House Picnics for Children and Grandchildren of the old gang.)  

            •  Its a good essay, but this may not rhyme as much (0+ / 0-)

              as holier-than-thou DHinMI thinks it does, especially to indirectly presume an outcome from it. Its well researched and written though. Too bad the jerk can't be civil/courteous. Maybe next time.

              "Its a grave digger's song, Praising God and State. So the Nation can live, So we all can remain as cattle. They demand a sacrifice..." -Flipper

              by Skid on Sun Jun 22, 2008 at 07:11:14 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Smooches (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                liberte, caps lock on, Wyote

                And thanks for asserting I assume an outcome that I didn't assert or imply.  

                I always have to remind myself that no matter what I write and don't write, some people will read whatever they want to read, whether it's in there or not, and then comment based on what was written and implied not in the piece but only in their own minds.  

                Occupational hazard of instant feedback I guess.  

                The revolution will not be televised, but we'll analyze it to death at The Next Hurrah.

                by Dana Houle on Sun Jun 22, 2008 at 07:19:48 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Thicken your skin too. (0+ / 0-)

                  Its funny then that you write a long-ass 'rhyming' history piece as a similarity to what we have going on today, but get testy if someone disagrees with the possible 'rhyming' outcome you 'don't' make in your piece.

                  "Its a grave digger's song, Praising God and State. So the Nation can live, So we all can remain as cattle. They demand a sacrifice..." -Flipper

                  by Skid on Sun Jun 22, 2008 at 09:25:07 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                •  What is your point then exactly? (0+ / 0-)

                  Seriously, I don't see why you made that asshole 'whoosh' comment in the first place, other than to be a dick.

                  "Its a grave digger's song, Praising God and State. So the Nation can live, So we all can remain as cattle. They demand a sacrifice..." -Flipper

                  by Skid on Sun Jun 22, 2008 at 09:27:22 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                •  You remind me so much of Armando (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Skid

                  Often great diaries, often needlessly awful comments.

                  I do not believe that you can defend the proposition that this comment

                  Substance through action works better at that. So far I am cautious of someone who will coddle the right and ignorant for political expediency while casting aside what is the Constitutional thing to do.

                  Even if Barack does achieve the Presidency, Cheney and his thralls with undermine Barack and us through the private sector schemes they have been setting up for the past 8+ years.

                  means that the point of your diary went over the commenter's head.  It seems to me that the commenter was responding to the comment above his, as often happened, and that therefore your "whooosh!" -- which I've seen you use legitimately if unkindly in other situations -- was misplaced.  He wasn't trying to demonstrate how well he understood and could apply the lessons in your diary.  Nor did your diary render the opinion he expressed nonsensical.

                  A lot of people do misunderstand your work, though not as many as you think do, so "whooosh!" becomes a reflexive response from you.  It would be nice if you could hold back from it -- but, even if you can't, it would be nice if you could admit that you misplaced your allegation here.  It costs you very little.

                  Or, if not, it would be nice to see you try to defend the proposition that I suggest above you won't be able to defend.  Until you do so, you may not realize that you're in the wrong and are detracting from a generally good piece of work.

                  John McCain's Court will overturn Roe; don't kid yourself.

                  by Seneca Doane on Sun Jun 22, 2008 at 10:41:53 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

          •  uprated (5+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Avila, behan, liberte, geez53, Lauren S

            to offset bullshit HR. This is so mild--particularly for DH--it's ridiculous. People can be HRed for being "a jerk"? Really? Then why wasn't armando run through the autoban every day for about 18 straight months there? Where were all the brave "anti-jerk" HRers then? Cowering in the corner, that's where--because if you HRed armando, he'd follow you around the site bombarding you with retaliatory HRs, and he'd set his little posse after you, too. DH doesn't HR back, and he has no posse. So people get their kicks dinging him with HRs. Just as Kossacks shouldn't escape HRs because they're frontpagers, as armando escaped, neither should Kossacks get dinged with HRs because they're frontpagers, as happens to DH three or four times a week now. Leave off, people.

            •  Leave off then. (0+ / 0-)

              Last I knew it was something between DHinMI and I, not you. If armando or anyone is a prick I'll HR them if need be, and that isn't often. If they stalk me or whoever, thats reason to be banned or have rating ability stripped away, so I'm not really worried about that either. Read DHinMI's baseless and snide comment before you give him a reacharound for it.

              "Its a grave digger's song, Praising God and State. So the Nation can live, So we all can remain as cattle. They demand a sacrifice..." -Flipper

              by Skid on Sun Jun 22, 2008 at 09:38:42 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  i read it (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Avila, liberte

                It wasn't HRable. And you might want to check the FAQ & related meta wisdom on HRs: it's poor form to HR somebody you're in a dispute with.

                •  Sorry but it was. (0+ / 0-)

                  There was nothing in my comment to where DHinMI had to be a jerk about it. Get real.

                  "Its a grave digger's song, Praising God and State. So the Nation can live, So we all can remain as cattle. They demand a sacrifice..." -Flipper

                  by Skid on Mon Jun 23, 2008 at 07:53:05 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

              •  bravo, pendejo (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Lauren S

                thats reason to be banned or have rating ability stripped away, so I'm not really worried about that either.

                I know you know exactly how that works. you ain't no reform candidate.

                •  Que? (0+ / 0-)

                  I know you know how that works as well. You kept HR'ing me for simply disagreeing or to be a smartass (mmmkay?), but when I struck back you pulled your HRs. Yeah, I remember your crap.

                  "Its a grave digger's song, Praising God and State. So the Nation can live, So we all can remain as cattle. They demand a sacrifice..." -Flipper

                  by Skid on Mon Jun 23, 2008 at 07:51:22 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  ai, si (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Lauren S

                    you remember your own crap and return to it like a dog.

                    smartass? no. a smart person wouldn't "strike back" by troll-rating every comment available (40-50 troll rates in the space of minutes).

                    that's how you struck out of ratings altogether. your crap was so wack troll-ratings had to be rationed.

                    I remember. five hide rates a day keeps the skid at bay.

                    •  You did it first and you know it. (0+ / 0-)

                      What a bunch of BS. Are you still in high school with that mentality or have you unfortunately retained it for life? You lurk around for fights that have nothing to do with you. For example, do you have anything constructive to say about the diary I posted upon, or even the comment I replied to originally?
                      Yeah, I didn't think so.

                      "Its a grave digger's song, Praising God and State. So the Nation can live, So we all can remain as cattle. They demand a sacrifice..." -Flipper

                      by Skid on Mon Jun 23, 2008 at 12:28:21 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                    •  Plus, it was immigration reform that you trolled (0+ / 0-)

                      every comment I made because I have a 'both sides are wrong' viewpoint, which last I checked wasn't troll-rate worthy.
                      No, I remember it well.

                      "Its a grave digger's song, Praising God and State. So the Nation can live, So we all can remain as cattle. They demand a sacrifice..." -Flipper

                      by Skid on Mon Jun 23, 2008 at 12:42:11 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  obsessive much? (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        Lauren S

                        You did it first and you know it.

                        never. vendetta mass troll-rating was part of your repertoire, not mine. your protests of "mom! she did it FIRST! she started it!!" are so WATB, so you that I didn't even have to look at the commenter name. by the by, your name suits you.

                        it was immigration reform that you trolled

                        what you meant to say is that you're a nativist.

                        For example, do you have anything constructive to say

                        pendejo, you just replied two for one. I rest my case. I don't do platitudes, and I have no pity for you.

        •  Centrist campaign? (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          DHinMI, geez53, PvtJarHead

          Didn't FDR talk in 1932 about balancing the budget? John Maynard Keynes was not exactly regarded as Mr. Conventional Wisdom in those days. I have seen Republican tracts that claimed that the 1932 platform was the best Democratic platform ever. Included a plank for a balanced budget.
          Did FDR support gay marriage? Did he support racial integration of the armed forces? Both ideas were then held by a handful of people, considered very radical.
          Circumstances drove the Roosevelt administration to change it thinking about economics, as FDR listened to advisers.
          One of the best remarks was quoted by Saul Alinsky about when FDR visited a group that was trying to get action from him: "You have my commitment. Now you have to keep the pressure on me."

          •  the person at the top matters (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            geez53, brein

            while the people are the source of change, a leader with vision and courage can do much more with popular support than can a leader without those traits.

            Had Al Smith won in 1932 instead of FDR, I doubt he would have proven so successful in guiding the country through the Depression as FDR was. Indeed, he might well have been unable to keep the country united long enough for WWII to begin and finish off what was left of the Depression. And I doubt he would have been able to get the country through WWII.

            •  Al Smith (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              sofia, mightymouse, Wyote

              Any reading of the bi-play between Al Smith and FDR between 1928 and 1932 will settle your hash.  Al Smith was always in league with the Finance Crowd, and in 1928 he got John Raskob appointed to head the DNC with the express purpose of cutting FDR out of the Presidential Race of 1932.  Raskob was a Republican.  Rather like the last Democratic Nominee inviting Bush to appoint the head of the DNC for the next four years. Raskob got Smith the Presidency of the Empire State Building Corporation, and helped him with many favorable investments, even as Wall Street went Belly-Up, and then got the Arch-Diocese to name a dinner for Al.  Smith played an Urban Populist Game -- but FDR was a much better pol.  

              DHinMI leaves out one of the critical figures in the FDR circle, while actually mentioning him in a way, and that was Louis Howe, the genius who first met FDR in 1912 when he was a small town reporter covering the NY Legislature, and devoted the rest of his life to making FDR President.  The fight between 1928 and 1932 that Louis Howe ran against both Smith and Raskob in the inner sanctum of the DNC, for the benefit of FDR is a priceless story.  Howe was the Karl Rove in FDR's circle -- and much smarter. He was as short little guy, his suits always looked as if he had slept in them, he always had cigarette ash falling down his vest, but he knew every county chair in the country, and what their political base might be, and he made sure FDR sent them Xmas cards every year.  He also taught Eleanor to drive, and to make speeches.  He carried real bedpans for years when FDR could not move about.  Man who could do everything.  

              •  Yeah, Howe is a Huge Figure... (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                sofia, mightymouse, Wyote

                ...in FDR's rise.  He did all the little things, while at the same time he was the guy who saw the big picture and figured out how to get FDR the nomination.  And getting him the nomination was the bigger challenge than winning the general.  

                The revolution will not be televised, but we'll analyze it to death at The Next Hurrah.

                by Dana Houle on Mon Jun 23, 2008 at 05:04:22 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

    •  an interesting parallel with the criticism (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Seneca Doane, geez53

      of Micelle and the criticism leveled at Eleanor. Eleanor Roosevelt probably had as many vicious rumors and smears circulated about her as any First Lady before.

  •  It's not the man, it's the mandate. (11+ / 0-)

    We need to build a popular mandate that will both propel and compel Obama and the House and Senate. That's the 50-state strategy as well.

    Thank you DHinMI for this historical context. Very enlightening, food for thought.

    The sleep of reason brings forth monsters.

    by beijingbetty on Sun Jun 22, 2008 at 06:29:17 PM PDT

  •  regarding FDR's governorship (24+ / 0-)

    In 1932 FDR did run as a moderate and stay fairly vague while he was campaigning.

    But while he was governor of NY, he did advance a strongly progressive agenda, pushing old-age insurance, pro-labor and pro-farmer policies, regulation of the investment sector, and government involvement in the generation of electric power. For this I refer you to Bernard Bellush's book on FDR's governorship (which by now may be hard to find).

    He was not the stealth progressive he is often made out to be; many of the seeds of the New Deal could be clearly discerned in his governorship, and many of the New Deal policies were simply his earlier policies enacted on a bigger scale.

  •  Wow. (6+ / 0-)

    My God, I see a ton of similarities there.

    Well done.

    Pragmatic progressivism is the future.

    by Pragmaticus on Sun Jun 22, 2008 at 06:31:29 PM PDT

  •  From your lips to God's ear. The pivotal point: (11+ / 0-)

    Besides, we need to not only predict our history, we need to work smart and work hard to create the history we desire.

    It's all up to us. Always has been.

    "Everything we do or say should be done or said consciously."

    by TheWesternSun on Sun Jun 22, 2008 at 06:32:34 PM PDT

    •  We gotta light a fire under some asses then. n/t (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      gogol

      "Its a grave digger's song, Praising God and State. So the Nation can live, So we all can remain as cattle. They demand a sacrifice..." -Flipper

      by Skid on Sun Jun 22, 2008 at 06:48:27 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Fire, yes. But also (6+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        gogol, Skid, geez53, brein, Wyote, PvtJarHead

        we need to recover a sense of justice and what it means to be truly human, to care about each other and not surrender to cocooning ourselves in mind- and sense-numbing materialism. We need to light a spark in people's hearts that helps them remember what this society was like when we reached out to help each other, what the word "neighor" really meant, what a "community" really means. In other words, this country needs to recover its heart and its soul.  

        "Everything we do or say should be done or said consciously."

        by TheWesternSun on Sun Jun 22, 2008 at 06:55:23 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Happy days are here again!!!! (3+ / 0-)

    FDR's 32 theme song

    "...and I, for one, welcome our new ant overlords." --Kent Brockman

    by dhshoops on Sun Jun 22, 2008 at 06:33:32 PM PDT

  •  One note: the reason this economy isn't as bad (17+ / 0-)

    as the Depression is exactly because of FDR's regulations, and (ironically) the reason it's as bad as it is is because of the Bushists' abandonment (with much Dem acquiescence) of those same regs.

    "Well, yeah, the Constitution is worth it if you can succeed." -Nancy Pelosi, 6/29/07.

    by nailbender on Sun Jun 22, 2008 at 06:34:10 PM PDT

    •  Unfortunately (12+ / 0-)

      it wasn't just Bush.  As has been noted often, President Clinton did allow Glass-Steagal to be repealed, and the banking/mortgage mess is directly related to that lack of firewall between the pieces of the financial industry.

      •  yeah, after I posted I thought I should have (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Prof Dave

        inserted "collusion" in place of "acquiescence." (and btw, when I use the term "Bushist" I'm referring also to their predecessors - who engineered those all capitulations of Clinton's in the previous decade - many of whom became the Bush admin team in 2000.)

        Thanks for pointing that out.  I only hope Obama proves as paradigm obliterating as FDR did.  This FISA shit does give one pause, though (FDR's pivoting around the extra-constitutional issue of the League of Nations notwithstanding).

        "Well, yeah, the Constitution is worth it if you can succeed." -Nancy Pelosi, 6/29/07.

        by nailbender on Sun Jun 22, 2008 at 06:46:42 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  We're ALL complicit. We (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        gogol, geez53, brein, PvtJarHead

        as a nation lost our way several decades ago. Now that the situation has become dire, when we are on the precipice of losing our freedoms, our way of life, and the life of this planet, we're being drive hard and fast to remember what we've lost in the materialistic miasma and right the balance. It's all up to us.

        "Everything we do or say should be done or said consciously."

        by TheWesternSun on Sun Jun 22, 2008 at 07:00:43 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  however the country in the Great Depression (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      gogol, nailbender, geez53, limpidglass

      was largely made up of subsistence farmers who only needed cash to buy a few staples and pay property taxes so they were better suited to survive a falling economy than we are today.

      •  excellent point. (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        geez53, limpidglass, brein

        we came real close at the point of the Bear Sterns bailout.  the Fed really had no choice after their abandonment of the regulatory structure that resulted in that Gilded-Age implosion.  Whether the remaining shoes that are hovering over our heads are too heavy for the Fed to deal with, that remains to be seen.

        Can you imagine all these folks raised on gameboys and Whoppers having to plant and tend a garden - and read second hand books at night (while the natural light lasts)?

        "Well, yeah, the Constitution is worth it if you can succeed." -Nancy Pelosi, 6/29/07.

        by nailbender on Sun Jun 22, 2008 at 07:08:43 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Actually No, By 1920 More than Half... (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        IM, nailbender, limpidglass

        ...the US population lived in towns and cities.  

        The revolution will not be televised, but we'll analyze it to death at The Next Hurrah.

        by Dana Houle on Sun Jun 22, 2008 at 07:12:49 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  but the underlying point, that the Depression pop (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          gogol, entlord1, geez53, limpidglass

          ulation was much more suited to living off the land than we are, still stsnds imo.  

          Hell, I was more connected to the land in the 70s than I am today - and I live on a ranch now as opposed to towns and cities back then (I was an avid gardener and fisherman back then).

          "Well, yeah, the Constitution is worth it if you can succeed." -Nancy Pelosi, 6/29/07.

          by nailbender on Sun Jun 22, 2008 at 07:19:37 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  That Much Is True, Depending on Where in the US (7+ / 0-)

            I think for those in the cities, it was even more dire probably because so many could imagine what it would have been like had they not left the farms.  But on the farms, they were going broke (and in Plains they were ravaged by the Dust Bowl anyway).  

            I know listening to cousins in Canada--where things were almost as bad--those who didn't leave the farm didn't fear they would starve, but those in the city remembered being hungry.  But as described by Steinbeck and captured on film by Dorthea Lange, things were much better in a lot of the countryside.  

            The revolution will not be televised, but we'll analyze it to death at The Next Hurrah.

            by Dana Houle on Sun Jun 22, 2008 at 07:23:08 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  my mom was a dustbowl refugee. (5+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              DHinMI, behan, sofia, entlord1, geez53

              We have pictures of her in Bellflower CA standing barefoot outside a dirt-floored shack, about 300 sq ft in size, with her 4 siblings, about 1931 or 32.  They moved from Texarkana.  Nobody died except my grandad (about 5 years later) and my grandma was able to put all 5 kids through college by dent of her hard work and business acumen (she started a restaurant that became the Chicken Shack chain).

              Did you leave a "not" out in your last sentence?

              "Well, yeah, the Constitution is worth it if you can succeed." -Nancy Pelosi, 6/29/07.

              by nailbender on Sun Jun 22, 2008 at 07:31:53 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

        •  But Rural Electrification didn't come to many (0+ / 0-)

          towns until the late thirties.

  •  Excellent essay. (6+ / 0-)

    Yet sadly, I see no reference to Fala and/or an Obama family pet. Tsk.

    •  I Love the FDR Memorial (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      RonV, behan, sofia, Rob Cole, paintitblue

      And the statue of Fala is one of the nice touches.  

      The revolution will not be televised, but we'll analyze it to death at The Next Hurrah.

      by Dana Houle on Sun Jun 22, 2008 at 06:39:16 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Fala (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        sofia, Wyote

        At Hyde Park Fala has a little headstone at the foot of the FDR Grave, a mid-sized index file card size.    

        But Fala was late FDR, he didn't arrive on the scene till the third term.  Eleanor and the Grandchildren kept him going well into the mid 1950's.  Eleanor had a pond at her house near Hyde Park, which was fixed up as a swimming hole, and Fala learned to swim, and then flip pond water over all the visitors, needing bath or not. Imagine Eleanor's Guests, Adali and Arthur Schlesinger sitting in their lawn chairs in deep serious conversation -- with Fala flipping water.  

        If one wants to appreciate the real scene in the early years of FDR's Presidency, see if you can find a copy of Ruth McKinney's book (which the U of Illinois has reprinted) "Industrial Valley" which is about Akron Ohio in the early to mid 1930's.  We are talking about 35-50% unemployment in the sole industry of the town, the Rubber Shops, and the skilled workers on piece work pay schedules, such as the truck tire builders, were getting 9-11 hours work per week, and thought themselves lucky.  The tax collections were nill, the school teachers and the police were being paid with city issued script, and at least some of the grocery stores accepted it, so that kids could eat.  People used coal for heat in those days, and the school board hired guards with guns to protect the coal piles at the schools.  You have to read about the workers at Goodyear taking pitchforks to work to battle the county sheriff deputies to protect their picket lines.  They knew how to use Pitchforks, as about 70% of the Rubber Workers were from West Virginia or Kentucky, and they had land back home where they could raise a few veggies.  These are the same folk who followed John L. Lewis in organizing the CIO and the Rubber Shops, Voted Roosevelt, and knew damn well what they were voting for.  These are the people Obama doesn't quite connect with yet -- he too needs to read Industrial Valley.  

        When the Rubber Shops left Akron in the 1970's, it was suddenly discovered that the School Board had never built classrooms or hired teaches sufficient for more than 60% of the kids to go to High School.  It was just assumed you dropped out at age 15 and went into the shops, and the girls either married or went to secretarial school.  It had been that way since the early 20th century -- why would workers in the shop need any education?  

        •  In the Mid 90's I Was Involved... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Wyote

          ...in a nasty strike in the Detroit area.  We had pickets in about 60 or so locations, but one of the most tense was on the near west side of Detroit, off Michigan Ave, in a neighborhood that in the 30's was mostly Polish and Hungarian, and a few blocks from UAW local 173, where the president of that amalgamated local, Walter Reuther, was consolidating his power with the international union.  In the same neighborhood where I got pushed around by cops with riot shields live my friend Darrel, whose great grandparents had moved in to the neighborhood and helped fund the construction of the local church with money they earned from their bakery.  One particularly violent night there were choppers flying overhead at this picket site, which was about 6 blocks from his house.

          At the time I was reading a biography of Reuther, and learned that during a violent strike in that neighborhood in the 30's, Reuther's organizers had built ups such neighborhood support that when the Detroit police came in on horseback to break the picket line, the most Polish women in the neighborhood boiled water and poured out from their second floor balconies on to the cops as they rode through the streets below.  

          When I saw Darrel a week or so later, he joked that his mom was irritated with me for the choppers flying overhead, which kept her awake all night.  I told him what I read about that strike in his neighborhood in the 30's, and he laughed and said his mom wasn't really upset, because his great aunt had been one of Reuther's organizers--the strikers were mostly women in a low-paying parts plant--and his family had been one of the families pouring boiling water on the strike breakers.  

          My grandparents came from Canada in the mid to late 20's.  They arrived just in time for the depression, and in Detroit it was arguably as bad for a lot of people as what you describe in Akron (although now you have me wanting to read that book).  I heard a lot of the stories growing up, and they're similar to what you describe about Akron.  

          The revolution will not be televised, but we'll analyze it to death at The Next Hurrah.

          by Dana Houle on Mon Jun 23, 2008 at 06:28:50 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Herbert Hoover in Japan, 1946 (10+ / 0-)

    Hoover was Morgan Stanley's man in Tokyo at the end of World War Two. Hoover was to insure that something like 120,000,000 dollars owed to Morgan Stanley was back on track in payments by Japanese banking institutions. Unfortunately, in order to accomplish this, the Japanese government was given the go ahead by the Americans to keep a lot of the looted gold from Asia during the war in order to create a gold reserve. The British were mightily pissed off with this arrangement.
    Hoover and Shogun MacArthur also purged the American Occupation Army of New Dealist Democrats in the officer corps who wanted to go much further with land redistribution in feudal Japan. They were quickly sent packing stateside. (Source, "The Yamato Dynasty"-well worth a read)

  •  there is a difference (8+ / 0-)

    between then and now.

    FDR was able to cultivate a voter base of laborers and small farmers, by promoting pro-labor and pro-agricultural policies during his governorship, and using the new medium of radio to communicate his policies directly to them.

    In this way he was able to bypass the big-business coalition that Al Smith and the other conservative Democrats relied on, and create an economic coalition that was not beholden to corporate money. That is how he won in 1932.

    Today, that voter base is gone, thanks to outsourcing and the consolidation of agribusiness. There is not yet any alternative to the economic coalition of the oil, coal, auto, and financial industries which have locked their fingers around this country's throat.

    Obama's coalition is based mostly on discontent with the horrors of the Bush years and the desire that things be better. And he himself is beholden to many of the very industries that are destroying this country.

    Obama's coalition will withstand one election. But as it stands now, it will ultimately not be able to prevail in the larger battle against the economic interests that resist true change in this country.

    •  Possible... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      nanobubble, limpidglass

      One barometer that keeps rearing its ugly head is the midterm elections of 2010. I know, we should be thinking one election at a time, but if and when Obama takes the presidency, and the Democratic party dominates both branches of Congress, what condition will we be in if there is a severe economic downturn in 2009? The voters will need someone to turn on, and we'll be the governing party.
      Of course, this has been stated many times in many places. The scariest take on the scenario is what Daily Kos member Wu Ming calls "Huckabee's attempt to go populist, sidestep the plutocracy, and appeal right for that 40 million strong disenfranchised Christian base." In this frightening scenario you get this Eugene Debbs/Newt Gingrich phenomenon that can scare the bejesus out of you if you reflect on its implications.

      •  that will be a real problem (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        behan

        Friday's events tell us that the Democratic party is in thrall to the corporations. Not all Democrats are willing to knuckle under, but enough of them are that they can keep the corporate gravy train rolling. And Obama's response has, to say the least, been less than satisfactory.

        I too have expressed my fears of a Christian fundamentalist uprising in the GOP, now that the corporations have decided to side with the Democrats, abandoning the Republicans. It would be so easy now for the radical Christianist wing to rebrand themselves as economic populists, creating a American theocracy while trying to help the poor. They have a sizable base already, and people will flock to them in the event of an economic crash.

        I think it will take at least eight years for the Republicans to rebuild themselves in that image, even if we enter an economic downturn. But it will happen, and so far, Obama is not giving me much confidence that he will be able to respond nimbly and creatively to the coming crash and preempt the radical groups that will no doubt spring up during another Great Depression.

    •  The Labor Coaltion Was Created in 1935... (7+ / 0-)

      ...with the passage of the NLRA.  Labor was mostly a bystander in 1932, and not a big reason for his win or the creation of the voting coalition that sustained Democrats for decades.  It became a big part of the coalition after the passage of the NLRA led to the massive unionization drives of the mid-30's through early 40's, especially by the CIO unions.  

      FDR's election in 1932 was heavily because of discontent.  Voter turnout was barely over 50%.  And remember, he only got 57% of the vote, which has been surpassed several times, and was almost what Eisenhower got in 56.  

      The win was mostly a Democratic win, and FDR happened to be the beneficiary.  Of course his tremendous traits helped put him there, and absolutely contributed to his greatness as a president.  But when speaking of how he became president, you can't really argue that he won because of the voting coalition that helped him win in NY.  

      The revolution will not be televised, but we'll analyze it to death at The Next Hurrah.

      by Dana Houle on Sun Jun 22, 2008 at 06:54:08 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  fair enough (0+ / 0-)

        but as I said, Obama's movement is also based on discontent. The question is whether Obama can build a lasting economic coalition that can overcome the power of the oil, coal, and financial industries and bring about real change.

        And I don't see that he that he will be able to do this. Certainly his actions on Friday cast some doubts on just how independent he will be of the corporations.

  •  One huge difference (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    RonV, Skid, mightymouse, brein

    Al Smith had brought an entirely new constiuency into the Democratic Party in 1928: the new immigrants from southern and eastern Europe. Prior to 28 these groups had not been voting. Smith, however, was their hero (he grew up on the lower east-side of manhattan). This was the base on which FDR was able to build.

    Many historians have shown that it was the impact of this new constituency that made 1932 a realignment election, and not so much people switching from one party to another.

    So what I am wondering is: even though there are many parallels with 1932, where is the new, untapped constituency on which to build a realignment?

    •  But Dems Lost Most of Those New Voters in 1930... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      behan, brein

      ...despite the big wins.  Most of those people who moved to Smith in 1928 did so because he was Catholic and moved back to the Repubs or didn't vote in 1930,  not because of a Democratic realignment. The Democratic realignment is really more traced to Roosevelt's reelection in 1936.  

      The revolution will not be televised, but we'll analyze it to death at The Next Hurrah.

      by Dana Houle on Sun Jun 22, 2008 at 06:56:19 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Also, Smith Picked Up Wets (0+ / 0-)

        The other reason besides his Catholicism he gained many of those new votes in the city was because of prohibition, which in 1928 was unpopular in the cities but still supported in most of rural and small town America.  

        The revolution will not be televised, but we'll analyze it to death at The Next Hurrah.

        by Dana Houle on Sun Jun 22, 2008 at 09:01:32 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  New Progressives (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      gogol, liberte, Litvak36, limpidglass, brein

      That coalesced under Dean's failed bid for the nomination in 2004, and is the natural home to those whom have identified as "conservative" in name only and live in the Intermountain West (MT, CO, NM, NV, ND, SD, and parts of E. Washington, E. Oregon, Inland CA, even NB and KS). I grew up in that part of the country and these people are finding a natural home in the Progressive movement and a great many never felt a comfortable allegiance to the Republican coalition.

      They have always revered FDR, and wanted that Democratic party back. Seriously, go to places like E. Washington, MT, ND where they named dozens of places and things after FDR. It appeared to outsiders that they were true believers in the Republican wave that started in the 70s and took hold in the 80s, but it was a very shallow support based primarily on the appeal of Reaganesque rhetoric to their Libertarian streak.

      I myself was shocked at the level of enthusiasm of the local folks in my hometown during the primaries - people I believed wouldn't vote for a Democrat for dogcatcher are solidly and enthusiastically on board with Obama and the Progressive movement. And I don't believe they will be leaving the fold - folks in those parts don't just bend with the political winds and they are done with the Republican party. The only way the Democratic party looses them in the near term is if the Progressive movement leaves the party (they will follow).

      That's just my two cents for what its worth - I'm no expert but it is my observation as someone who has deep roots in that part of the country.  

      •  Other Potential parts of the New Coalititon (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Ginny in CO, Redneck Aeschylus, Wyote

        Hispanics. The big switch is already happening with the Republican pander to the anti-immigrant,anti-foreigner right through people like Tom Tancredo. What's the "Speak English" crowd about except xenophobia? Most immigrants learn to speak as much English as they are capable of, and the vast majority of second-generation Americans speak it just fine.  The illegals will be legalized again in a combination with measures that will regularize legal immigration for poor immigrants and make it possible to enter legally with a few simple steps.

        Mobilizing non-voters. A surprising number of Americans have never voted or no longer do. Others are disenfranchised felons whose right to vote have been stripped away, another movement which is about to take off as there is no good reason to electorally disenfrancise an ex-con who is free to walk about. (I'd have people in prison vote too, but that'a a debate for another time)

        The Millenials and re-mobilized Xers, along with forward looking Boomers and Jonesers. Those now under 18 who will vote in two years. Iraqi immigrants once they get here and can vote will be a new part as well. You don't think they will come? Google "boat people" for the answer. The surrounding nations will beg us to take them in to take the pressure off of their teetering governments.

        Switchers from Republican to Democrat. Howard Dean's family was moderate Republican, Dean's now a Democrat. Dean was an early harbinger of what's happening now. People who were ok with a few of the Republican items when the Republican party stood for something other than pandering to greed and prejudice are now fleeing, and will stay fled.

        So that's the pieces in my view of the new Democratic Coalition. The last one held for 40 years, and could hold together for just as long.

        A Crushie for Democracy

        by CarolDuhart on Mon Jun 23, 2008 at 03:58:02 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Lead Democrats to the overwhelming win? (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Cassiodorus, limpidglass, Dave1955

    He might. He has a shot at it, at least 50-50 shot anyway.

    The question is, if he wins, what will he do with it?

    "The single most important job of any president is to protect the American people," he affirmed in a major foreign-policy statement last April [2007]. But "the threats we face.... can no longer be contained by borders and boundaries.... The security of the American people is inextricably linked to the security of all people." "That's why the U.S. must be the "leader of the free world." It's hard to find much difference on foreign policy between Clinton and Obama, except that Barack is more likely to dress up the imperial march of U.S. interests in such old-fashioned Cold War flourishes.

    That delights neoconservative guru Robert Kagan, who summed up Obama's message succinctly:  "His critique is not that we've meddled too much but that we haven't meddled enough.... To Obama, everything and everyone everywhere is of strategic concern to the United States."  To control everything and everyone, he wants "the strongest, best-equipped military in the world.... A 21st century military to stay on the offense." That, he says, will take at least 92,000 more soldiers and Marines -- precisely the number Secretary of Defense Robert Gates has recommended to President Bush.

    •  But who cares if he turns out to be bush lite. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Skid, Cassiodorus, limpidglass

      The most important thing is gaining power. Not doing anything useful with it.

      •  Thanks For Playing (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Edger, caps lock on, Wyote

        Appreciate it.

        The revolution will not be televised, but we'll analyze it to death at The Next Hurrah.

        by Dana Houle on Sun Jun 22, 2008 at 06:56:54 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  You're fun. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          cdembrey, Cassiodorus

          Not bright, but fun.

        •   "What do I think of Western civilisation?" (0+ / 0-)

          "I think it would be a very good idea."

          -- Mahatma Ghandi

          When a social movement adopts the compromises of legislators, it has forgotten its role, which is to push and challenge the politicians, not to fall in meekly behind them.
          [...]
          The Congressional Democrats' proposal is to give more funds to the war, and to set a timetable that will let the bloodletting go on for another year or more. It is necessary, they say, to compromise, and some anti-war people have been willing to go along. However, it is one thing to compromise when you are immediately given part of what you are demanding, if that can then be a springboard for getting more in the future. That is the situation described in the recent movie The Wind That Shakes The Barley, in which the Irish rebels against British rule are given a compromise solution-to have part of Ireland free, as the Irish Free State. In the movie, Irish brother fights against brother over whether to accept this compromise. But at least the acceptance of that compromise, however short of justice, created the Irish Free State. The withdrawal timetable proposed by the Democrats gets nothing tangible, only a promise, and leaves the fulfillment of that promise in the hands of the Bush Administration.

          There have been similar dilemmas for the labor movement. Indeed, it is a common occurrence that unions, fighting for a new contract, must decide if they will accept an offer that gives them only part of what they have demanded. It's always a difficult decision, but in almost all cases, whether the compromise can be considered a victory or a defeat, the workers have been given some thing palpable, improving their condition to some degree. If they were offered only a promise of something in the future, while continuing an unbearable situation in the present, it would not be considered a compromise, but a sellout. A union leader who said, "Take this, it's the best we can get" [...] would be hooted off the platform.

          -- Howard Zinn, "Are We Politicians or Citizens?", March 24, 2007,

    •  I'm guessing you weren't around in 1960. (6+ / 0-)

      You would have surely detested Kennedy and all his "missile gap" rhetoric.  Of course, you must have loved George W. Bush in 2000 when he vowed a "humble" foreign policy.  Life is confusing when you can't tell the difference between campaigns and actual policy intentions, isn't it?

      Freedom is in the fight.

      by Troubadour on Sun Jun 22, 2008 at 07:26:41 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  It's 6/22, You are citing a 6/7 poll? (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      gogol, Edger, brein

      And a foreign policy statement from 4/2007...  

      Given the number of millitary who are not going to be able to stay in due to PTSD, TBI and DU illnesses, 92,000 new recruits may still be a reduction.

      Obama repeatedly stresses the need for the voters to understand that this election is about WE the PEOPLE. Whether he knows it or not, (and I think he does) the people are spreading information about our imperial problems, millitary overkill (see OPOL's graph and pie chart) and the millitary- industrial- finacial-corporate hold on our government and economy to those who are afraid and anxious without understanding why.

      I forget who has the sig quote about "The truth will set you free, but first it will piss you off." I do hear a lot of people being pissed off. Eventually this will get to President Obama. Methinks he may be planning on something happenin'.

      The number of books on The Uprising, The Fourth Turning, Blessed Unrest, and other variations of grass roots activism to bring about transformational change is growing faster than anyone can keep up.

      Am I underwhelmed that the Dems have been sucked into the DC traps in order to keep a foothold in government? No Duh. Never been there, never tried to do any of this (nor would an atheist have a chance in ...).

      I do believe that when enough Americans get motivated to keep involved with government AFTER they mark their ballots, we can restore the Republic. How much and how far are TBD. Depends on how willing folk are to persist and persevere.

      I'm sure all the wet blankets will help - big time.

      Relative to you, I think there are a lot of bright folks writing and commenting here. And, no I don't enjoy playing this game.

      •  What? Not old enough for you? :-) (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        gogol, geez53, PvtJarHead

        You're fun too. I do wish you were just a little brighter though.

        A little history lesson might help, though I doubt it, but what the hell - let's give it a shot, shall we?

        After all it's Sunday night, and it looks like there is a strong craving for things to deny going around...

        "Ancient History": U.S. Conduct in the Middle East Since World War II and the Folly of Intervention
        by Sheldon L. Richman
        August 16, 1991
        Policy Analysis no. 159

        As the United States finds itself in the aftermath of another crisis in the Middle East, it is worth the risk of opprobrium to ask why there should be hostility toward America in that region. Some insight can be gained by surveying official U.S. conduct in the Middle East since the end of World War II. Acknowledged herein is a fundamental, yet deplorably overlooked, distinction between understanding and excusing. The purpose of this survey is not to pardon acts of violence against innocent people but to understand the reasons that drive people to violent political acts.[2] The stubborn and often self-serving notion that the historical record is irrelevant because political violence is inexcusable ensures that Americans will be caught in crises in the Middle East and elsewhere for many years to come.

        After 70 87 years of broken Western promises regarding Arab independence, it should not be surprising that the West is viewed with suspicion and hostility by the populations (as opposed to some of the political regimes) of the Middle East.[3] The United States, as the heir to British imperialism in the region, has been a frequent object of suspicion. Since the end of World War II, the United States, like the European colonial powers before it, has been unable to resist becoming entangled in the region's political conflicts. Driven by a desire to keep the vast oil reserves in hands friendly to the United States, a wish to keep out potential rivals (such as the Soviet Union), opposition to neutrality in the cold war, and domestic political considerations, the United States has compiled a record of tragedy in the Middle East. The most recent part of that record, which includes U.S. alliances with Iraq to counter Iran and then with Iran and Syria to counter Iraq, illustrates a theme that has been played in Washington for the last 45 62 years.

        [snip]....

        Background: Oil

        If the chief natural resource of the Middle East were bananas, the region would not have attracted the attention of U.S. policymakers as it has for decades. Americans became interested in the oil riches of the region in the 1920s, and two U.S. companies, Standard Oil of California and Texaco, won the first concession to explore for oil in Saudi Arabia in the 1930s. They discovered oil there in 1938, just after Standard Oil of California found it in Bahrain. The same year Gulf Oil (along with its British partner Anglo-Persian Oil) found oil in Kuwait. During and after World War II, the region became a primary object of U.S. foreign policy. It was then that policymakers realized that the Middle East was "a stupendous source of strategic power, and one of the greatest material prizes in world history."[4]

        Subsequently, as a result of cooperation between the U.S. government and several American oil companies, the United States replaced Great Britain as the chief Western power in the region.[5] In Iran and Saudi Arabia, American gains were British (and French) losses.[6] Originally, the dominant American oil interests had had limited access to Iraqi oil only (through the Iraq Petroleum Company, under the 1928 Red Line Agreement). In 1946, however, Standard Oil of New Jersey and Mobil Oil Corp., seeing the irresistible opportunities in Saudi Arabia, had the agreement voided.[7] When the awakening countries of the Middle East asserted control over their oil resources, the United States found ways to protect its access to the oil. Nearly everything the United States has done in the Middle East can be understood as contributing to the protection of its long-term access to Middle Eastern oil and, through that control, Washington's claim to world leadership. The U.S. build-up of Israel and Iran as powerful gendarmeries beholden to the United States, and U.S. aid given to "moderate," pro-Western Arab regimes, such as those in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and Jordan, were intended to keep the region in friendly hands. That was always the meaning of the term "regional stability."[8]

        •  Exactly! (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          gogol, Edger, geez53

          Nobody knows this stuff and they look at me like I'm a terrorist sympathizer when I try to explain it.  That's how I ended up here at DKos.

          "War is a Racket" - MajGen Smedley D. Butler, USMC Ret

          by PvtJarHead on Sun Jun 22, 2008 at 08:38:17 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  You sympathize with with these people here? ;-) (0+ / 0-)

            Heh!

            I kind of feel sorry for them, myself.

            •  It is a cacophony here... (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Edger

              But there are some intelligent caring people.  Just need to sort the wheat from the chaff.

              "War is a Racket" - MajGen Smedley D. Butler, USMC Ret

              by PvtJarHead on Sun Jun 22, 2008 at 09:11:12 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Yes.... there are a few good people who know how (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                gogol, behan, Nightprowlkitty

                to use their heads here... but just like people in the GOP who tried to use their heads when the knuckledraggers took over that party, they get drowned out by the fanatics here who want power at any cost unless they Yell Louder!, so after the knuckledraggers got through destroying the GOP the only thing they could think of to do have a hope of retaining some power was to infiltrate and corrupt the Democratic party.

                "Democrats Give White House Another Blank-Check For Iraq"
                Thu Jun 19, 2008

                A Democratic engineered emergency supplemental bill to continue funding the occupation of Iraq and the war in Afghanistan to the tune of $162 billion is expected to win bipartisan support, aides to leaders in the House said late Wednesday.

                The bill, as currently drafted, does not contain any conditions for withdrawing U.S. troops from Iraq nor does it restrict how President Bush can conduct military operations. The legislation ensures both wars are funded well into 2009 and comes nearly two years after Democrats won majorities in Congress and the Senate largely on promises to resist handing the Bush administration "blank-checks" for Iraq and a pledge to immediately bring U.S. troops home.

                A spokesperson for Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi was unavailable for comment.  

                "Unavailable For Comment"

                Asked about her "greatest mistake," Pelosi said...

                "Why don't you tell me? 'Cause I think we're doing just great." Remember when Georgie stumbled over a similar question and couldn't recall any mistakes? It seems Our Only President is not the only one so afflicted.

        •  In a classic book of fiction (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          DHinMI, gogol, behan, sofia

          The Phantom Tollboth, Norton Juster describes the Kingdom of Wisdom as bounded by the Mountains of Ignorance and the Sea of Knowledge. Off the mainland is the Island of Conclusions. In the Kingdom, if you jump to Conclusions, you have to wade back through the Sea of Knowledge. (You also have to eat your words, but that's another lesson in a book of great wisdom.)

          the people are spreading information about our imperial problems, millitary overkill (see OPOL's graph and pie chart) and the millitary- industrial- finacial-corporate hold on our government and economy

          Something about that comment did not clue you into the notion that your very superficial history lesson was unnecessary?  Not to mention I believe it violates the rules on citing & linking versus full copy.

          Let me suggest some other books that might help you better understand the greater mess.

          The Sorrows of Empire Chalmers Johnson
          Wastrels of Defense Winslow Wheeler
          The Rise of the Gun Belt (Can't find my copy, several writers)
          House of War James Carroll
          Overthrow Stephen Kinzer

          You can go back much farther in the history of war, in the US and the World. Bottom line is: it is never for the reasons that are foisted on the taxpayers, the only 2 reasons are to gain territory (for us to 'secure our national interests') and to keep the rich in the business of acquiring wealth. Our overblown military exists primarily to protect the wealth of the corporations whose enterprises are overseas and subject to the whims of rulers and vengeance of terrorists.

          Did you know that Sadam learned the art of spraying people from the air from the Brits?  After they went out of their way to secure the Babylonian oil fields and redraw the borders to their liking - regardless of the occupants - it was necessary to keep the pesky natives away from the fields (I think they were hunting in the area) by spraying leftover mustard gas from their WWI planes.

          I know, you wish I were brighter. Maybe if you take your blinders off?

          Oh, then you would have to deny something.  Next time you want to give something a shot, try aiming first.

  •  Does history repeat itself? (3+ / 0-)

    History doesn't necessarily repeat itself in exacting terms, but a lot of historians believe patterns are clear.

    Consider Straus' theory on Generational Dynamics and the Saeculum. It is eerily reliable on an 80-year cycle for the U.S. and 2008 would place us very much in the right place at the onset of the 4th Turning for a repeat of 1932. The condidtions are aligning splendidly.

    •  Strauss Wasn't a Historian (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      NorthCountryNY, behan

      He was a marketing and business consultant and a guy who was in the Capitol Steps--the most unfunny political humor group ever--and his theory is really just the historical equivalent of pop psych.  He's to historians what Wayne Dyer or Doctor Laura are to real psychological researchers.  

      Even with Schelesinger, almost all historians think his cyclical stuff is tripe, even though he wrote some great works of history.  It's to his real historical work what Isaac Newton's studies in alchemy are to his work in mathematics and physics.  

      The revolution will not be televised, but we'll analyze it to death at The Next Hurrah.

      by Dana Houle on Sun Jun 22, 2008 at 07:04:09 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Tsk Tsk DHinMI (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        DHinMI

        Wayne Dyer is a fellow Michiganosh...Michigoth...Michilplick...Michigoner...just what exactly do folks from Michigan call themselves?

      •  It is a theory (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Ginny in CO

        Certainly I didn't mean to suggest it was anything more, but nonetheless there are many historians and political scientists and sociologists who find it compelling at least. It is one framework with which to consider and view past events that we can learn from. But it is perhaps a bit unfair to compare the study of history to Isaac Newton's studies of the physical world - one is an "art" and the other is a "science."

        One may also argue that a marketing and business consulting background allowed him to see what classically educated historians did not - I myself in a marketing consultant, but I'm also smart enough to know the difference between pop psych and an idea worthy of academic consideration. Please take this in the kind spirit it is intended, but it is a little insulting to imply that my comment is "tripe." I think Strauss' theory is considered a great deal more than that, and I first learned of it in political science classes when I was in college at the University of Washington in Seattle (a respected institution by most standards).

        •  History and Science, Either Natural or Social... (0+ / 0-)

          ...still depend on care with evidence and precision in your terminology.  The problem with those guys who talk about "generations" is that they're so vague.  

          I'm not saying there aren't, but because of their terminology and methodological standards, I rather doubt many sociologists place much credence in that Strauss and Howe stuff.  She's only a sample of one, but MissLaura is a trained sociologist, and I remember in a thread a few months back she shared the skepticism of those of us who were assailing the Strauss and Howe stuff as imprecise, arbitrary and not particularly useful.  

          Finally, the point about Newton is that alchemy was ALSO about the physical world.  But it was dubious, just as most historians see the strengths of much of Schlesinger's work while still dismissing his cyclical theory of American history.  

          The revolution will not be televised, but we'll analyze it to death at The Next Hurrah.

          by Dana Houle on Sun Jun 22, 2008 at 08:33:06 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I'm not willing to concede the point (0+ / 0-)

            But I respect your argument, and I appreciate the respectful way you engage in a disagreement. (We need more people on here who can disagree without being nasty about it. Thank you. :)

            •  You Started It! (0+ / 0-)

              [The respectful disagreement, that is.]

              Yeah, I'm fine with disagreement.  Plenty of people have quibbled or disagreed on this thread, and I don't mind that as long as they're not disagreeing for reasons tied to half-baked conspiracy theories or because they commented without reading or bothering to focus on what I actually wrote.  

              The Sunday threads tend to be better, because I think the people who comment are more likely to have read the post, are are more likely to engage the argument instead of just reacting to the headline, so the threads often have pretty good conversations, as I think this one has.  

              The revolution will not be televised, but we'll analyze it to death at The Next Hurrah.

              by Dana Houle on Mon Jun 23, 2008 at 08:11:46 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

        •  My sociology background (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          PvtJarHead

          gives me a perspective that considers Strauss' theory worth considering. I first heard about it recently on Tom Hartman's show. Tom, having done a LOT of historical review for several of his books, was clearly intriqued by the concept.

          Then there is my personal bias. I came to the conclusion this kind of historical upheaval would happen in my lifetime - in the late 60s, as an adolescent. The crises that were going to develop were already clear, as well as the forces that would fight the changes we would have to make.

          And here we are, battling the Haves and the Fundies to take our republic back.

  •  maybe in Congress, but the White House race (0+ / 0-)

    is going to be very tight. No doubt about it, in that we're not going literally against the incumbent President. We're going against a "maverick" senator who is likely to keep a degree of that image around. Also, Obama's color and name, if we are honest with ourselves, is going to hurt him in a lot of places. He will do amazing in the blue states, but he's gonna have a lot of trouble in the red states. Luckily, he'll be raising a lot of money to combad the Bradley effect, but its still gonna be there. America's condition is bad, but I don't think Obama is anywhere as surefire a winner as Roosevelt. I think Mark Warner, if he had another term and had served in the military would have been that easy to win.

  •  My NY working class parents (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    nanobubble, cactusflinthead

    adored FDR. Though they never hung his portrait in our home they admired both his governing style and what he helped accomplish to bring the nation gradually out of the depths of economic depression. I too was enchanted by the FDR memorial park that we had the pleasure to visit at night.

    Obama; raisin' McCain in the Bush!

    by gaspi on Sun Jun 22, 2008 at 06:52:47 PM PDT

  •  Long-term trends (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    gogol, scott5js, JeffW

    I think the 1932 analogy is a good one, as far as the degree of realignment goes, but if apt it spells long-term troubles.

    FDR's reign brought with it the kind of arrogance that accompanies hegemony. Democratic party organizations in many parts of the country transformed into local tyrranies, especially in areas of federal intervention, namely Appalachia, where TVA and eventually the AEC becames instruments of party control --essentially the reason that Appalachians are so suspicous of big government and the Democratic Party today.

    Machine politics then came to dominate the main labor unions, obliterating insurgent movements like the IWW, and likewise in cities like Kansas City where the Pendergast Machine became hegemonic, producing the person and politics of Harry Truman.

    It was that rule of machine politics that gave rise to the popular rebellion against the Democrats in 1952, when, despite his worthiness, he couldn't convince people in the heartland that Democrats were anything but corrupt functionaries of big machines. And people were right. Thus the Eisenhower and Nixon years.

    So let's be aware that hegemony comes with a price, and the first order of business under an Obama Administration will be purging our party of its corrupt machine elements.

    •  In 1952 I meant Adlai Stevenson (0+ / 0-)

      of course

    •  Um, No (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      IM, nanobubble, mightymouse

      Roosevelt's presidency helped CREATE vibrant, democratic unions.  In 1932 most unions were dying, sclerotic organizations in the AFL.  The challenge of the CIO unions, which were able to organize because of the passage in 1935 of the NLRA, led to a vibrancy and militancy in labor that was never greater, before or after.  

      As for rebellions, Democrats controlled the House of Representatives for 62 of 64 years after the 1930 election.  Oh that we would have such a horrible backlash!

      The revolution will not be televised, but we'll analyze it to death at The Next Hurrah.

      by Dana Houle on Sun Jun 22, 2008 at 07:07:31 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  It was double-edged (0+ / 0-)

        The dominence of the industrial union model that came with the New Deal growth of the CIO (effectively obliterating old trade unionism) certainly helped unions grow. To say it made unions "democratic" would be a huge stretch, and I doubt you've ever worked for a union if you say it. The CIO model empowered workers to achieve concrete things like better wages and legal protections. In no way did it foster union democracy. American unions became bureaucratic, collaborationist, and anti-radical, contrary to their European equivalents.

        In large part that was because the industrial unions functioned as arms of the Democratic Party machine, all rooted in the hegemonic character of Roosevelt's administration.

        And it's precisely for that reason that the more democratic unions, like the UMWA and UFW, sprung up in places where the Democratic Party did not exert hegemonic control, or where there was a popular base for resistance.

        •  Hmmm (0+ / 0-)

          I've encountered this from you before, your propensity to write things like this:

          To say it made unions "democratic" would be a huge stretch, and I doubt you've ever worked for a union if you say it

          ...where you base your claims on your ignorance of the biography of your interlocutor.  

          And you may want to check out the hilarious internal contradictions of assailing the CIO and trumpeting the UMWA, because the CIO was founded by John L and the UMWA didn't return to the AFL until after the death of John L. and long after the merger of the two federations.  

          Your labor history is completely muddled.

          The revolution will not be televised, but we'll analyze it to death at The Next Hurrah.

          by Dana Houle on Sun Jun 22, 2008 at 07:35:35 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  You have said nothing about "union democracy" (0+ / 0-)

            You seem to equate democracy with strength, like you seem to equate the Democratic Party winning with a growth in democracy.

            I never mentioned John L. Lewis. My point is that the UMWA and UFW, to take two examples, were unions in which some degree of rank-and-file democracy flourished. In the big industrial unions that grew on the CIO model (I'm not talking about formal membership, which is irrelevant), rank-and-file democracy became a fiction. It simply didn't exist. And the worst union bosses kept pictures of FDR hanging over their desks, not because he did anything progressive, but because he ensured their basis of power.

            If you don't understand that hegemony leads to an erosion of democratic institutions -- small d -- all I can say is that it's very very sad.

            •  It's Hard to Discuss The UMWA... (0+ / 0-)

              ...of that era without discussing Lewis, and you seem to have totally missed the point that you can't say the CIO was bad and the UMWA were good when the CIO was founded by the leader of the UMWA, and the UMWA was an industrial union.

              As for Democracy, the CIO unions have traditionally had greater participation of a wider section of members, whereas the AFL unions had narrower participation.  It was at the heart of the divide that created the CIO, that the AFL was opposed to industrial unionism, and hewed to a more "elitist" model that was not class based.

              These divisions are much less significant today, but in the 30's they were huge.  

              The revolution will not be televised, but we'll analyze it to death at The Next Hurrah.

              by Dana Houle on Sun Jun 22, 2008 at 08:36:30 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  There you go again refuting things I didn't say (0+ / 0-)

                I never defended the AFL or said it was more democratic. And of course the CIO had greater "participation" -- participation was not optional under the labor laws that FDR helped enforce. Once workers voted in a union, they were forevermore "participants."  

                The fact that this constituted a tradeoff between greater union strength and reduced union militancy, with less room for rank and file democracy -- the so-called bureacratization of American labor -- is the main stuff of 20th century labor history. The proper comparison isn't the old corrupt AFL, it's the militant more democratic unions that developed in France, Italy and the UK over the same period.

                I mention UMWA only because the coalfields didn't allow the kind of bureacratization that the factories did, just as the farmfields of California did not. Thus UMWA and UFW escaped the blenderizing of the union movement to some degree.

                And I do not categorize historical developments as "good" or "bad." These developments had a positive side I acknowledge -- higher wages and better working conditions -- and a negative side -- less room for rank-and-file activism, political obeisance to the Democratic Party.

                If this election turns out as well for Democrats as you and I both expect, it's the latter trend we will have to watch out for.

      •  Actually,it was 60 out of 64 (0+ / 0-)

        we lost the House in 1946 and 1952 and our long run mostly depended on the old solid South.

    •  Recommended Above (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Wyote

      As someone who was born into the sulpher fumes of Akron Ohio's Rubber Industry, (yes, in the late 1930's) I recommend you read the book I suggested above, Ruth McKinney's classic, "Industrial Valley"

      I haven't lived in Ohio for years, but I did grade and High School as well as College in Ohio, and have family among the original settlers, and know well that what went wrong in Ohio was not the labor movement, it was the decisions to disinvest in industry.  It was the Rubber Industry's decisions in the 50's not to build steel belted Radial Tires in the old 4 story factories, but to go to greenfields in the South where they had no labor law -- and then on to Mexico and wherever.  It was National Cash Register's decision in the 70's not to re-tool for chip based calculators and other business machines in Dayton, and then to tear down the ten square block mechanical cash register factories and leave their skilled workers high and dry.  And yes, the Cuyahoga River did catch fire due to the chemicals pumped into it -- but the steel companies left anyhow, again leaving the workers behind, largely because they made a business decision not to invest in environmental mitigation.  

      Rust Belt was not caused by wage workers, it was caused by financial decisions to disinvest in economic assets and in working class community.    

  •  It would serve us much better (0+ / 0-)

    if we spent more time considering how the candidates think, seek information and opinions, synthesize and develop good plans and legislation. Their communication skills away from the stage as well as from it. Leadership, team building and delegation skills are critical to POTUS.

    Probably why so many of us consider Obama's campaign as a very good indication of how he would function in the Oval office.

    There are other things that can be communicated about problems than specific plans which will not be implemented as they are proposed on a campaign trail.

    In education, Obama has stressed the importance of bringing back arts and PE. That parents have to be more involved and new approaches to teaching developed rather than useless testing.

    The other election that most closely approximates this one was against Buchanan. Lincoln was the relative unknown who defeated the nominee of the incumbent's party, considered to be one of the worst presidents.

  •  Period b/w election and inauguration (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Jay C, Mae, Dave1955

    I've read else where that the four months b/w the election and when FDR was sworn in (on Mar. 4, 1933 - the date wasn't moved up until 1940) is one of the most fascinating in US history.

    Hoover begged FDR to effectively become president when Congress adjourned - he wanted him to proceed with his agenda, and promised not to interfere. Instead, FDR stayed holed up in the upper East Side apartment, meeting with advisers, but indicating absolutely nothing about his plans.

    Then in the days before the inauguration, banks started failing, and the sense of palpable tension and near-panic (and possible revolution) pervaded the public. FDR's address - "the only thing we have to fear is fear itself" - and immediate actions, including the forced closing of banks for a few days, and then quickly getting some emergency measures through Congress - managed to electrify the country and calm things down a bit.

    •  Another historical mistake in this thread, (0+ / 0-)

      the date for the inauguration was changed for the 1937 2nd term,FDR took office for that term on the 20th of January.

    •  November to March, 1932 (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Wyote

      Hoover actually asked FDR to endorse his policies, and FDR fully understood the nation's mood -- it was not interested in a slow evolution from one administration to another, it was interested in real change.  FDR kept his distance because he did not want to be identified with whatever Hoover wanted to offer.  It is rather like some of the rumors of the current period suggesting that Obama should keep much of Bush's Cabinet.  Horsefeathers!!

      FDR did not have an upper East Side Apartment.  He owned a double 4 story Townhouse. His Mother bought it for him as a wedding gift. It was where Teddy Roosevelt gave his neice, Eleanor, to Franklin in marriage.   But he did not hole up there really.  

      He stayed in Albany as Governor till Jan 1, except when he was at Hyde Park, and then during most of February he went Houseboating in the Florida Keys, that is after he spent Thanksgiving at Warm Springs, and part of the month of January there.

      The FDR Family were both Rich and Upper Crust, and part of what made them heroes to the poor and working class was the fact that from that place in society, they comprehended the plight of many others much less fortunate.  They didn't pretend to be what they were not...look at any picture of FDR in his dress and presentation.  Slouch Hat, gold tipped cigarettes in a long holder, Naval Cape and pince-nez.  In one of Louis Howe's papers there is a reflection on the fact that FDR carefully studied how Charlie Chaplain constructed the character, "The Little Tramp" -- some of the pieces being tramp, others saying no -- not really Tramp -- and FDR thought about this as he constructed his public image. The Rich may have called him a traitor to his class -- actually he used it to advantage.    

       

  •  Depends (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    gogol, nanobubble, mightymouse, Dave1955

    If we are to make any real changes we need another 1932.  We cant have another 1992, where we won a small battle but ended up losing the war big time.  

  •  Nit-picking (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    nanobubble, mightymouse

    Roosevelt also lost Delaware in 1932.

    The sad thing is that I knew that without having to look it up.  I mean, how pathetic is it that I knew who won Delaware in 1932?  What does this say about me?  Of course, it could explain why I have no life...

    "Everybody has won, and all must have prizes." - Lewis Carroll

    by Dave1955 on Sun Jun 22, 2008 at 07:00:19 PM PDT

  •  omfg (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MeMeMeMeMe, brein

    The "after the jump" space is your friend.  Use it.
    Lord jeezy.

  •  After reading about notional foreign cabbies (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    nanobubble, mightymouse, JeffW, brein, Wyote

    who remarkably agree with a billionaire "journalist" about the wonders of globalization, it's great to read about a real American cabbie who recognizes the facts about the American economy.

    Even if the long-dead cabbie was essentially yearning for a president he could have a beer with:

    If we get rid of Old Gloom and put in a feller that can laugh and act human, the Depression will be half over

    .

    The more Obama and other Democratic candidates invoke the optimistic spirit of the great FDR this year, the better.

    The Republicans want to cut YOUR Social Security benefits.

    by devtob on Sun Jun 22, 2008 at 07:05:57 PM PDT

  •  beautiful review, thanks! (0+ / 0-)

    I am tempted now to order the book right away!

    louise 'hussein' to you! proud donor to "White Dudes for Obama" Endorsed 11/1/07 and never looked back!

    by louisev on Sun Jun 22, 2008 at 07:06:37 PM PDT

  •  DHinMI, you are a great writer and (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Indieman, David Kroning

    asset to this site. Your diaries stand on their own. You don't have to go tit-for-tat with anybody. Please don't.

    The signers of the Constitution created a Liberal Democratic Republic. Or else.

    by Karl Rover on Sun Jun 22, 2008 at 07:09:38 PM PDT

  •  George W. Bush is not Herbert Hoover. (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    nanobubble, JeffW, limpidglass, brein

    Herbert Hoover was not a murdering, torturing tyrant who would do anything to stop or sabotage Roosevelt.  Hoover was not a madman with the world's most expensive imperial military and private mercenary force, lately trained over several years in urban conquest and civilian suppression.  Nor was Hoover poised to attack yet another country on the eve of an election.  History never repeats itself; the enemy is never the same; the path to victory never as transparent.  What do we do if Bush attacks Iran?  What do we do if he seeks Congressional authorization, and gets it?  These are not unanswerable questions, so we had better have answers ready and waiting.  Obama may yet turn out to have more historical similarities with Lincoln than Roosevelt, although, of course, we'll just have to see.

    Freedom is in the fight.

    by Troubadour on Sun Jun 22, 2008 at 07:11:33 PM PDT

  •  Excellent diary, but... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    limpidglass

    I don't need a history lesson on 1932.  What I need is a candidate like 1800.  IMHO Jefferson put himself in at least the top 3 by repealing the Alien and Sedition Acts of 1798.  I'm wondering who you have 4th?  Washington or Lincoln?

    "War is a Racket" - MajGen Smedley D. Butler, USMC Ret

    by PvtJarHead on Sun Jun 22, 2008 at 07:14:25 PM PDT

    •  Uh, please don't laud Jefferson with any American (0+ / 0-)

      Indian in the room. Let's recall that he did more to abrogate Indian treaty rights and obtain the removal of Indians from their land than any other President. Harrison probably would have given him competition if he had lasted more than a few months in the job.

      While we can respect certain qualities of Jefferson, that little genocide business ought to keep him off any favorites list.

      •  I think you mean Jackson (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        geez53, brein

        Jackson was the one who was responsible for the horrible Indian removal policies, as well as vetoing the charter for the Second Bank of the US (a move which wins him some points in my book, for sheer populist balls).

        •  No I mean Jefferson (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          gogol, limpidglass

          It was Jefferson who removed most of the Indians of the Ohio Valley (including the War of 1812 as an extension of his policies), and by the Louisiana Purchase, replaced the largely Indian-friendly policies of the French with a frankly genocidal policy, extending over a huge territory.

          We tend to give Jefferson more credit over Jackson, because the former was a scholarly man, while the latter was a ruffian, but this credit is wholly undeserved. Read Roger Kennedy's book, "Hidden Cities" to get a better if still deferential appreciation of Jefferson's policies.

          In his lifetime, Jefferson never crossed the Alleghanies. For that reason, too, he's not associated with Indian policy -- he never personally fought Indians, but that hardly alters the devastation wrought by his policies.

          •  Jefferson had his faults as did Washington... (0+ / 0-)

            and Adams and Franklin Roosevelt.  Washington betrayed the Iroqouis Nation, did he not?  During his term as Vice President under Adams he undermined the President and was calling for war with France.  I'm not saying that FDR was not a great President.  My first point was that I want Barack Obama, as President, to relinquish the powers granted his office by this current FISA legislation.  My second point was that given Thomas Jefferson's lifetime of work to build this nation I feel he merits a place in the top three.

            "War is a Racket" - MajGen Smedley D. Butler, USMC Ret

            by PvtJarHead on Sun Jun 22, 2008 at 08:09:16 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Lincoln, Teddy Roosevelt, and JFK (0+ / 0-)

              are my top three, because they did the most to go against the grain of prior government and accomplish real change.

              I don't think Jefferson can get a pass for his Indian policy any more than LBJ can get a pass for Vietnam. You could argue that except for Vietnam, LBJ was one of our best presidents -- but making that exception would seem rather silly. Same for the Indian policy of 1801-1809, only we don't have photographs to keep the memory fresh. A shame we don't.

              •  But Lincoln fought in the Blackhawk War, right? (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                limpidglass

                As President his policies were as expansionist as any other.  His fight was with secession and abolition was a means to an end.  

                Johnson inherited Vietnam from Kennedy.  We like to think that JFK would have fought hard for Civil Rights, but we don't know if he would have compromised.

                Teddy Roosevelt was a ruthless propagandist like Bush.  The whole San Juan Hill sham and the Spanish American War.  Remember the Maine?  False Flag OP?

                All Presidents are human.  Not one of them was perfect.

                "War is a Racket" - MajGen Smedley D. Butler, USMC Ret

                by PvtJarHead on Sun Jun 22, 2008 at 08:49:26 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Not quite (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  gogol

                  Lincoln "served" in the Blackhawk War but saw no action, and seemed to be glad of that fact. He never killed an Indian, though Indians did kill his grandfather. Lincoln befriended many Indians and always regarded them highly. He steadfastly opposed the Mexican War of 1846.

                  Teddy Roosevelt resigned as Asst. Secretary of the Navy to take a combat post when the Spanish American War started. Whatever one thinks about the justification for that war, Roosevelt displayed tremendous courage and integrity by deciding he wanted to see for himself, not sit behind a desk and fulfill bureaucratic responsibilities. From his perspective, he was fighting for Cuban independence. Imagine if Donald Rumsfeld or Paul Wolfowitz had resigned his post to go lead a combat brigade in Iraq -- well, no, I don't suppose we can imagine.

                  William James, a leader of opposition to the war, nonethless had so much respect for Roosevelt's position, that James recommended him to be president of Harvard after his last term as POTUS.

                  Environmentalism and nature conservation in general would not exist today as we know them without TR.

                •  Oh and.... (0+ / 0-)

                  Kennedy's involvement in Vietnam was by no means equivalent to Johnson's. It's well established that JFK intended to withdraw all personnel from Vietnam, and that has fueled many of the assassination conspiracy theories.

                  No one expects or attributes perfection and certainly they all had flaws. I just think the three I mentioned stand above the rest for having the courage of their convictions.

    •  Thomas Jefferson had his own Islamic "terror"... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      gogol, brein

      problem.

      They were called the Barbary Pirates.  They were capturing American ships in the Mediterannean and demanding ransom.  Thomas Jefferson decided that he would not go to Congress and ask for a declaration of war...instead he would just give the navy permission to  attack them.

      He got away with it--because he won.  Actually, he also paid them a bunch of money as well.

      So much for Constitutional purism.

  •  Great history lesson!!! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    nicolemm

    I enjoyed reading this; thank you for sharing it!

    John McCain; more of the same Bush on Social Security

    by davehouck on Sun Jun 22, 2008 at 07:15:14 PM PDT

  •  thank you for this informative review; it (0+ / 0-)

    certainly offers some well-needed fodder for reflection as we struggle with a potentially great candidate's seemingly centrist moves to maintain electoral viability in today's political context.

  •  Ordered the book.... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    DHinMI

    I just ordered this book for $23. Let's hope it's as good as reviewed. Hoover WAS aware of the Teapot Dome contracts quite early on under Harding; they were reviewed with the cabinet, and his hands were not entirely clean. However, he was personally quite an honorable man, but he badly lacked imagination and mis-understood the role of government. So he was Mr Wrong for the 1930s. Even so, I found it amusing to read somewhere that Hoover was advancing himself over Wilkie for the 1940 Republican nomination - imagine! Such foolishness!
    On the other hand Truman much respected Hoover and brought him out of retirement to do some assignments on matters that I now forget.
    Hoover's career, while flawed, was not without merit.
    The Republicans do not have many like him today.
    JIM
    sfe

  •  Fabulous post - will share with my students (0+ / 0-)

    Great job and so fascinating.  Someone already posted about the months leading up to March 4th which is when the Depression worsened- I can't imagine what people where going through but I believe that economists today are burying their heads in the sand- they keep saying there is no recession- we are in a recession and for some it is a downright depression- lets hope that Obama will be FDR and not Jimmy Carter

  •  that cabbie quote reminds me of an interview (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mightymouse, Mae, brein

    recently on NPR of this egghead who wrote a book about the "degeneration" of the Presidency (in his mind) due to the fact that we now expect Presidents to be "national shamans" instead of pure administrators (I can't find the link for the life of me).

    He actually used FDR as an example of that "pathology" we have supposedly descended into.  

    While it's true that the deification of FDR was pathological, the truth was then (as it is now) that a President's job during times of stress and extreme change needs to include a good deal of inspiration and moral cheerleading.

    One of Bush's most glaring failures (apart from his policy, tactical, and moral ones) was his abject inability to inspire.  

    Obama has that in ample amounts.  I just hope he puts it to the best use.

    "Well, yeah, the Constitution is worth it if you can succeed." -Nancy Pelosi, 6/29/07.

    by nailbender on Sun Jun 22, 2008 at 08:02:07 PM PDT

  •  Interesting... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    gogol, Indieman, PvtJarHead

    ...but even as much as I honor FDR, it has been a long time since 1932 and America is a very different place.  Obama hopefully does very well, but I can't see 1932 providing even Mark Twain's rhyme.

    There are so many differences beyond the obvious, but here are a few:

    - America was more of a rural population - the Great Depression was of a magnitude worse than present times; we are talking 25 percent unemployment and a huge chunk of the population below the poverty line - the New Deal was of course in the future, hence no Social Security, SEC, etc. in existence, whereas now we have all these and more - America was at peace and strong isolationist sentiments prevailed

    I could go on.  But I think Obama is better served by looking to more recent history such as LBJ's attempt to extend the New Deal into the Great Society.  And, yes, even to Bill Clinton's efforts in the 1990's to which Obama is beneficiary (e.g. welfare reform no longer wedge issue).

    It makes me rather nervous to read triumphalist blogs talking about landsides and realignments.  I think this will be a very close election and very unlikely to be a slam dunk.

    McCain is no Hoover, for starters - underestimate him at your peril.

    And Obama, for all his strengths, staggered over the finish line losing 9 of the last 14 primaries to Hillary.  For those who take comfort in our candidates likelihood of raising vast sums of money, recall he outspent Hillary substantially in the home stretch and was still losing.

    We need to regard Obama as the underdog.  He is attempting something no one has ever accomplished - an African-American President - and getting him into the White House even on a squeaker should be regarded as a tremendous accomplishment. The polls right now are meaningless.  We need to play like we are ten points behind, not start dreaming of 1932.

  •  One more similarity between 32 and 08: (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    brein

    the outgoing Executive was purported to be a national CEO.

    "Well, yeah, the Constitution is worth it if you can succeed." -Nancy Pelosi, 6/29/07.

    by nailbender on Sun Jun 22, 2008 at 08:03:30 PM PDT

  •  2008 nothing like 1932 (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    gogol, mightymouse

    The Great Depression was THE issue.  There's simply no comparison to 2008.

    There's no comparison between FDR and Obama, a patrician father figure vs. a youthful best and brightest figure.

    There's no comparison between FDR running against Hoover the incumbent vs. Obama running against McCain the fellow "outsider".

    Economically, the world's problem is too much boom with India and China with huge populations moving up fast straining the world resources.

    Comparisons to previous presidential contests is always hard because the personalities are so key to the election.

    A better comparison is probably Nixon vs. Humphrey for the political environment.

    1. An unpopular war dragging on overseas.
    1. An unpopular president not running for re-election.
    1. A slow US economy.

    But then the personalities are so different as to make any comparison useless. Same for the Ike/Stevenson matchup in 1952 which had the same elements but Ike was an iconic figure and the Cold War loomed.

    But 1932? Not even close. There will be no massive Democratic landslide. Obama will do well and expand the Democratic base in the South with shots at VA, GA, NC, SC, and FL.  He'll gain in IA and CO, NM and  NV in the West and Democrats will gain about 5 Senate seats.  But it's not a sea change like 1932.

    •  Another historical mistake, (0+ / 0-)

      the economy was excellent in 1968,the problem was riots in the streets,both by anti-war protesters and blacks.If you didn't live through it,at least study about it.

      •  Your mistake...US Growth Rate in 1968 fell (0+ / 0-)

        From 8.5% in 1st quarter to 1.7% in 4th quarter and heading into recession in latter part of 1969 with decline in last quarter of 1969 and first quarter of 1970 which defines a recession.

        Inflation was also a problem so there were big economic worries in the 1968 election in addition to the unpopular war, the unpopular president which is why 1968 has more similar metrics to 2008 than 1932 which has none.

  •  Hoover was not... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Mae, Dave1955

    ...as bad a president as George W. Bush.

    Bush's level of ineptitude was an unknown in Hoover's day.

    "So this is how liberty dies. With thunderous applause."--Padmé Amidala

    by wyvern on Sun Jun 22, 2008 at 08:13:26 PM PDT

  •  In 1932... (0+ / 0-)

    the global capitalist system was much less well-developed than it is now.  The economies of the First World benefited from FDR's promotion of (and enactment of) Keynesian economic policies.  Increases in the money supply along the lines of 1930s economic stimulation were capable of being backed up by increases in production, because resource limitations had yet to be reached.

    Today we're in a crisis of global overproduction, "economic stimulus" has led to a $9 trillion dollar national debt, asset bubbles, and stagflation, and as far as I know Obama is not running as any sort of Keynesian.  Peak oil and global warming are on the horizon.

    I think one can expect the current inappropriateness of elite intellectual ambition to continue, next year as today.  In 1933 the intellectual horizons opened up because, for the most part, of Keynes and his economic theories.  There may be intellectual horizons opening up in this era, mostly coming from within a concept called "ecosocialism," but the major parties are far from accepting them and the minor ones aren't even paying attention.

    "Imagine all the people/ Sharing all the world" -- John Lennon

    by Cassiodorus on Sun Jun 22, 2008 at 08:21:49 PM PDT

  •  Just a minute (as in minute) (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mightymouse

    For the record.  As our bizness president--under our first Harvard MBA graduate President, the Dow Jones Industrial Index has increased 1% over the last 8 years to a whopping 11,842 points vs. Clinton's height in 2000 of 11,722.  

    To benchmark-- this president has given us a 1% boost over 8 years or .125% per year.  

    Dubyuh is truly a leader among mensch.

    Panem et circenses-- Juvenal, Satire X, line 81

    by Agent Orange on Sun Jun 22, 2008 at 08:44:08 PM PDT

  •  It's late Sunday night and I am way downthread, (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    DHinMI, mikolo, geez53

    so probably won't be noticed, but this is one of the best essays I have read in ages.  Lots of discussion in the comments and some arguments have validity, others appear to me to be straight out of the textbook intellectualizing.  

    America is primed for a big change.  And Democrats have put up a change agent.  This diarist makes a thoughtful and intelligent link to a similar time in history.

    Good job, DHinMi.

  •  For a minute I thought you meant Donald Richie. (0+ / 0-)

    Perhaps this election will have aspects of "Rashomon."

  •  The parallels are compelling... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    nicolemm

    and we should remember that the economy is not as bad partly because of the New Deal policies meant to avert another Depression.

    I enjoyed the history and especially the reminder that FDR planned to educate the people once in office.  I see that kind of potential in Obama, as well as the ability to inspire with his speeches.  I would like to read the book.  Thank you for the review.

  •  Obama Isn't FDR (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    gogol

    If Obama doesn't actually stop the FISA telco amnesty in the Senate, now that he's endorsed the House version that gives telcos amnesty, then he's not going to resemble FDR in 1932 anymore. Even if he "works to stop it" and fails, so convenient to his inheriting those tyrannical powers for himself in 2009, he won't look like FDR this November.

    He'll look like yet another Democrat who lies to us about the "minority excuse", while merely swapping a Republican mask on our Unitary Executive for a Democratic one.

    "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - HST

    by DocGonzo on Sun Jun 22, 2008 at 10:19:17 PM PDT

    •  Yeah, Because FDR Was Perfect. For Instance... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Wyote, fleisch

      ...he would never have done something like put the Japanese in prison camps.  

      Let's make sure we don't look at people in the full, emphasize only the best or the worst, and always judge people as coming up short in any comparison, because it's important to keep people depressed and disillusioned.  

      The revolution will not be televised, but we'll analyze it to death at The Next Hurrah.

      by Dana Houle on Mon Jun 23, 2008 at 05:10:24 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  You Said "Perfect", Not Me (0+ / 0-)

        In fact, FDR used his presidency to consolidate lots of government power in a Unitary Executive that paled in comparison only to his contemporaries Hitler, Stalin and Mao, and to today's Bush grabs.

        I didn't say FDR was perfect. You're the one who created that strawman for any real person to come short in any comparison. But you're the one who's offering FDR as the model by which to judge this year's election, which therefore means Obama. As power hungry as FDR was, he didn't create or inherit the Bush/Cheney Unitary Executive the way Obama is headed with his FISA doubletalk. And FDR didn't betray those ambitions as he campaigned in 1932, nor did his new Democratic Congress wield the "minority excuse" for its first two years the way this one does.

        But if all you've got to argue with a direct implication of your own model that you don't like so well is some sarcasm that relies on hyperbolic strawmen, and accusations that the truth is important merely to keep people depressed and disillusioned, I've got a Bush in the White House to sell you. Or, evidently, an Obama you've already bought on a tradein.

        "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - HST

        by DocGonzo on Mon Jun 23, 2008 at 08:02:17 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Very Interesting Piece (0+ / 0-)

    Bravo!

    This aggression will not stand, man.

    by kaleidescope on Sun Jun 22, 2008 at 10:47:26 PM PDT

  •  Question on unemployment rates 1920s (0+ / 0-)

    and 2000s: what would today's unemployment be if figured the same way as in the 1920s?

    Remember- when the Republicans start accusing others of doing something they consider awful, it is because they are doing it and trying to cover it.

    by maybeeso in michigan on Mon Jun 23, 2008 at 10:26:37 AM PDT

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