Comparing Obama with FDR …

by on June 30, 2010

To the Editor:

The comparisons with FDR were common when Obama entered office, but are so few and far between now that I’m surprised Rachel Maddow went there.

Roosevelt used the new mass communication medium of radio to educate Americans about what he hoped to accomplish and about their responsibilities as citizens. Obama’s machine brilliantly used the internet to get him elected — but once in office, he pretty much dropped it as a way of rallying support for programs in which he did not seem to believe. It took a world-class environmental catastrophe for him to give his first Oval Office address, and it was a world-class dud. His once vaunted eloquence turns out to be boilerplate platitudes.

Unlike FDR, Obama seems to possess no moral compass or compelling vision of the common good. He makes nice with those who want him dead, and they despise him for it. He’s a technocrat who filled his Administration with similar pragmatists rather than visionaries such as Frances Perkins and Harry Hopkins. (He wasted no time throwing Van Jones under the bus.) FDR (and Eleanor) drove the ship of state forward by the force of their convictions; under Obama, it drifts towards the rocks, with no one in the pilot house. Chris Hedges had it right when he called Obama simply a marketing brand.

Gray Brechin
Berkeley, CA

To the Editor:

Obama is doing what he said he would do for the most part. He is not the second coming for liberals. We’d like him to be, but he isn’t – and never said he would be. Given how the government works, he has accomplished quite a bit. I agree with Rachel.

Janice Scott
Berkeley, CA

To the Editor:

Regarding your column “Is Rachel Maddow’s Obama-FDR Comparison On Point?”, what we need is to have a million plus peoples demonstration on Washington DC to help President Obama get progressive legislation passed to put people to work and re-build our country. Below the underline is a letter that I wrote to the AFL-CIO,, the Huffington Post and a few other people suggesting that they organize such a demonstration:

What we need is a MARCH TO SAVE AMERICA including national church, union, environmental, peace, civil rights and economic leaders. The issues that we would be demonstrating for should draw at least a million people to converge on Washington DC, and sit down in the streets to demand Medicare for everyone, much more spending to put people to work including green jobs, education, mass public transit, aid to local and state governments, improved Social Security etc. To pay for these programs we would demand higher taxes on the rich, as well as getting out of Afghanistan and cutting the military budget. We also must demand passage of the Employee Free Choice Act, and that the filibuster be abolished.

With so much unemployment and millions of people in this country who are not happy about the way things are going, I believe that if some progressive leaders would get together and plan such a demonstration in Washington DC, that we could get at least a million people to come. The New Deal programs that included the Wagner Act giving workers the right to organize, and the Civil Rights and Voting Rights laws of the 1960’s were not passed only because of the efforts of FDR, JFK, and LBJ, but also because mass numbers of people took to the streets in non-violent direct action.

I actually believe that what we would be calling for today in such a demonstration will be much easier with Obama as President and the Democratic Congress. The AFL-CIO representing millions of workers across the country must immediately get together with other progressive organizations and organize this demonstration. If you will do this, you actually will be HELPING President Obama!

Walter Ballin
Chico, CA

Use the feedback form at the bottom of a stories to reply, or you can contact us at:

Beyond Chron
126 Hyde Street
San Francisco, CA 94102
415-771-9850 (phone)

Please do not send anything to this mailing address that is not intended for Randy Shaw or Paul Hogarth. If you wish to reach other Beyond Chron writers directly, please call us.

Filed under: Archive

Translate »