Obama is NO FDR! And never will be!

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mtdon's picture

Sorry Thom but come on now!  Obama is no FDR...and it's an insult to HISTORY and FDR to claim "one day Obama will wake up and magically become FDR"!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

You always give the example of FDR saying " I want to - but you have to make me"

THAT is revisionist history to make it sound like FDR was just another guy that history FORCED to do the right thing. And that Obama is the same way.....THAT is inaccurate to say the least - if not disingenious....

Many, if not most, of the FDR New Deal policies were tried on the state level under FDR when he was Governor of New York. AND WORKED!  Francis Perkins was in the FDR NY administration BEFORE she came on board as his Labor Sec.  She also  pushed for - in that day - radical changes to accepted business practices -  from reducing the work week hours, to safer working conditions and unemployment insurance....

Francis Perkins fought for those things BEFORE she went to work in government -  she was NOT a corporate lawyer turned populist -  she was ALWAYS a populist!

Harry Hopkins: after graduation he worked for the "NY Assoc for Improving the Conditions of the Poor" and then moved on to work for the "Bronx Park Employment Program" -possibly the 1st public employment programs EVER in the USA.   He then worked for the NY Bureau of Child Welfare and then the Red Cross during WW1 among MANY MANY other progressive social empowerment programs.

During the early days of the Great  Depression Harry Hopkins went to work for the NY Governor FDR 's admin in the TERA(Temp Emergency Relief Program) office.  Soon after FDR won the presidency he brought Hopkins over in that same capacity in the Presidential Admin.  

Hopkins hired 3 million workers in less than 6 weeks with an overhead of 3%!!!!!!

Now Obama hires that work out to private companies that charge it out at 175.00 per hour and then sub it out and sub it out until the ACTUAL WORKER gets 9.00 per hour.  That's a 95% overhead!

Obama is more like Bush Jr than FDR - those are the facts.  YOU need to admit that - you're NOT helping push Obama to the left by giving him a free pass.

FDR had a HISTORY for relief work that Obama has never even admitted to wanting much less trying to achieve. Or EVER working or voting to create.  Instead Obama has given the banksters more than enough to pay off EVERY RESIDENTIAL MORTGAGE IN AMERICA!

To say Obama will become FDR if we push him enough is GARBAGE and revisionist history -  FDR HAD ALREADY conducted many of the programs used by the federal government during the depression -  FDR HAD A PROVEN TRACK RECORD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

No such thing exists in the case of Obama. 

I'd suggest reading "Harry Hopkins" by Henry Hitch Adams BEFORE skewing history into a revisionist inaccuracy regarding Obama.  And while you're at it -  admit it

OBAMA IS NO LIBERAL OR PROGRESSIVE, OR FRIEND OF WE THE PEOPLE!!!!!!!! -  he's doing the very bare minimum to keep the uninformed thinking he's a liberal - but it's ALL WORDS AND NO ACTION!

He is a CORPORATIST plain and simply -  that Tiger will NOT change his spots.  And THom -  you have said I'm giving him until July, then it was SEpt , then it was Jan and now it's " well he's the lesser of 2 evils"....

WHEN are YOU going to help push Obama to do the right thing?


Obama has defined himself as

Obama has defined himself as a New Democrat...as opposed to a traditional Democrat. That places him in the Corporate pocket....a neo-liberalist...same as the Repugnants.

Neo-liberalsm embraces outsourcing, trickle down economics and favors a financial economy over a productive one.

People who placed a progressive mantle around his neck weren't listening.

Retired Monk - "Ideology is a disease"



mtdon's picture
when are true working class

when are true working class democrats going to come to their senses and realize that the current bunch of democrats ARE NOT ON OUR SIDE? 

ans what did rahm emaneul say about us:  " they're retards".....  and obama has never threatened the blue dogs -  oh no he saves that whipping for the progressives -  he even slammed his finger into the chest of the oregon senator.....ansd now the true progressive - or old-school - democrats - ones that actually care about the poor and the middle class - are all threatened by this white hosue " do as we say or you'll NEVER see another democratic dollar for reelection AND you'll find yourself facing a primary challenger WITH all the party money"

FDR at least talked about the poor - and KNEW the best way to build a middle class is to raise the standard of living for the POOR TO ENTER THE MIDDLE CLASS!

As I said Obama is no FDR and it's an insult to FDR's legacy AND history to say " one day obama will become FDR"

and one day I'll wake up 7' tall and be center for the LA Lakers!

DRC's picture
Obama will only become what

Obama will only become what we make him if we are organized and pushing for something other than a savior.  FDR had a movement ready for a New Deal, he did not have to organize it.

FDR did not have to run an empire, only a big country that still had the character of a "republic."  No jobs had been shipped overseas.  Capital was just frozen in its monopoly glut so creating jobs was a lot easier.

My point is to stop the effing whining about Obama not being your fantasy.  The FDR references are about us and the pressure we are not putting on Obama for what we want.  Deal with the empire.  Tear it down, please.  But don't whine because Obama cannot be FDR unless we make him.

I have no problem with criticizing the choice of advisors or policies.  I think trying to measure the mind or heart of Obama is foolish and beside the point.  My guess is that he would like to do a lot of stuff that he cannot do.  Does deciding that it cannot be done make him the enthusiastic supporter of any policy?  It is a fools errand to think the difference matters.  Make him do something he would rather not do if you can.  Go for it!

mtdon's picture
"My guess is that he would

"My guess is that he would like to do a lot of stuff that he cannot do"

are you kidding?   The public option had a 70% approval rating and Obama went behind the backs of the public and promised big corporations that he would not allow a public option and not to worry -  if they gave him a free pass!

sounds a lot like his "job offers" and supporting lieberman and spector over the true democrats.....

You are giving him a free ride!

mtdon's picture
what I love the most is

what I love the most is democratic apoilogists that say " leave obama alone on the one hand and then follow it with " we have to make him be liberal"

how do you make him become more liberal IF you're no willing to criticize him?

that makes ZERO sense!

and history shows that FDR had to FIGHT for everything he accomplished -   and FDR WAS NOT AFRAID OF THAT FIGHT"m    he was called a socialist and a communist and was nearly assasinated....in fact the guy sitting next to FDR was killed by the stray bullet!

and obviously to anyone paying even the slightest attention Obama  IS AFRAID OF THAT FIGHT.....

FDR said " I welcome their hatred"

and Obama said " they're my friends, they're savvy businesmen"

Quit giving the guy a free ride - it's getting sickening - and this democrat who has NEVER voted anything but democratic WILL NOT VOTE FOR THE DEMOCRATS AGAIN until they change -  and I know a lot of people who feel that way.....

WE SICK OF IT!    IT'S NOT OK ANYMORE!  the economy is a zero sum game - the more the rich have the less everone else has!

Just wait  -  Obama will extend the bush tax cuts- as any republican would - which is what Obama is if you get past the "cult of personality" and look at his policies with a non-judgemental eye towards reality.....

voting for the lesser of 2 evils is still voting for evil.....

or another analgoy -  I'm drowing and the republicans just threw me a 30 lb rock......while the democrats threw me a 25 lb rock....


I'm the retard Rahm warned you about I suppose -  and if that's what the White House thinks of me  and doesn't need me -  well then that's ok also -  Because I know they are NOT ON MY SIDE  or on the side of the working class.......

Unclepurple's picture
When America was dragged into

When America was dragged into WWII, FDR declared an emergency and told business's small and large to get on board the war-wagon and start making products for the war effort. And America responded in mass and the effort won us the war!! If America isn't in as big, if not bigger 'emergency' with our destructive addiction to hydrocarbon fuels, i.e. oil, I don't know what could be worse. It seems to me that with the number of manufacturing facilities left unused, and all the manufacturing personell out of work because of the mass exodus to offshore cheap labour, Obama should declare America in crisis now, and do the same thing and inspire America to build the infrastructure for alternative energy supplies!Imagine the hundreds of thousands back to work, and all the factories pumping out equipment, hardware, and software. This could save the U.S. from the abyss we are sinking into, and revitalize the working class!!

DRC's picture
mtdon, the point is to

mtdon, the point is to criticize policies rather than bashing Obama and making an emotional statement about disappointment and not getting what we voted for.  Boo hoo.  If it was going to be that easy, we would not have been in the hole we were and still are in.

If everything is much worse than you thought, get over it and get busy.  But don't bury the Progressive and Black Caucus in your corporate Dem damnation.  Attack the corporate agenda, and that will make it possible for Obama not to pay obeisance to it.

We do not have the movement for change organized, in the streets or ready to vote for change.  When we can tell politicians that they don't have to worry about the funding because we will not respond to the ads--and make it stick--we will not have to dance around the money and those who "need" to take it.  I don't want to see progressives handicapped in the elections because of the structural issues, and I don't want them to be martyrs.

I would love to see the anger and vehemence of these anti-Obama posts directed toward positive action.  My constant refrain is that he is not the issue and the issues are.  Instead of screaming about how disappointed we are in Obama not following our script, it makes sense to make that story line the reality he has to deal with.  Work on the narrative instead of wasting time bashing him.  The bashing tends to be hyperbolic as a measure of disappointment, and the analysis that follows leads to despair instead of action.

BadLiberal's picture
One thing you can say for

One thing you can say for Obama: He's pretty much as advertised during the election. He campaigned as a New Democrat and that's what he is.

Fact: He's not a progressive like Kucinich. We didn't nominate Kucinich. If we had we would be bitching about President McCain and Veep Palin. The public simply isn't ready to go that far left. Farther than this crowd is taking us, perhaps, but not that far.

Fact: Even if Obama had the inclination and temperament of FDR, he still couldn't do what FDR did. Obama is about three years out of phase to this financial crisis compared to FDR. When FDR took power it was three years after the collapse and people were HURTING BAD. There were no safety nets that we take for granted now like FDIC, unemployment insurance, food stamps, social security, and Medicare. Things simply haven't gotten bad enough to force that kind of change. Not yet; just wait.

Between the Wall Street collapse, banker bailouts and bonus payouts, dead miners and oil field workers, the Gulf of Mexico being renamed the Black Sea, and perpetual war; we may yet see a critical mass of indignation and backlash against the neocons. We can only hope, pray, and WORK.

polycarp2 wrote: Obama has

polycarp2 wrote:

Obama has defined himself as a New Democrat...as opposed to a traditional Democrat. That places him in the Corporate pocket....a neo-liberalist...same as the Repugnants.

Whne did President Obama define himself as a New Democrat? Dates and places please. Name your sources.

mtdon's picture
my main point is that FDR had

my main point is that FDR had courage - and was doing the new deal policies on a statewide level in NY since the depression hit 3 years earlier....

he had the courage to stand up to the corporate powers of the day and rallied people around him - AND THEN DELIVERED

obama has backpedaled on the gitmo and illegal extradition, investigating  the bush crimes, health care,( remember when he said no more backroom deals?) the bailouts for banksters instead of the homeowners, etc etc etc

everytime he goes with the corporations against the poor and middle class


as they say Hoover sent the National guard to break up the Vet rallies and FDR sent his wife to join them! Guess which the people admired?

as I said in the 1st post FDR ALREADY had a track record of supporting the poor and middle class - obama has no such track record - and in fact Obama's has done the EXACT OPPOSITE during this turndown!

Enough monies have been given out thru the Treasury and FED to pay OFFEVERY SINGLE RESIDENTIAL MORTGAGE IN AMERICA.....

those are simply facts - I'll drop this thread when people stop comparing the 2.........

Obama will take his money as did Clinton after his term ended while FDR had "noblese oblige".... do you honestly belive that either  obama or clinton have that?

HARRY HOPKINS by Henry Hitch Adams - a great book on the depression and ww2.......about the man FDR wanted to be the next president - but didn't happen due to illness......

read it and then tell me obama will soon become FDR.........

reed9's picture
kwikfix wrote: polycarp2

kwikfix wrote:

polycarp2 wrote:

Obama has defined himself as a New Democrat...as opposed to a traditional Democrat. That places him in the Corporate pocket....a neo-liberalist...same as the Repugnants.

Whne did President Obama define himself as a New Democrat? Dates and places please. Name your sources.

Obama: 'I am a new Democrat'

Obama Calls Himself a New Democrat

DRC's picture
I am less concerned with

I am less concerned with labels than with realities.  It was always clear that Obama was not running according to the labels or the defined components of the Democratic Party, later the nation.  He sold a brand of hope and change because that is what we wanted.  We did not define what we wanted in political constituencies or movements.  We expressed "opinions."

Obama is attempting to be transcendent of partisanship in order to suppress the partisanship.  I think that is what is behind the loathsome Rahm comments about Progressives.  We are issue advocates and want to confront the PNAC and Wall St. Establishment.  But the Presidency is about more than a partisan reversal, and the power of the Empire is still around even if it is beginning to smell funky.

The cartoon history of the Left is not a whole lot better than the FAUX coloring book.  Highly partisan use of history robs the story of its real radicalism.  Zinn did not "proof-text" the Progressive case or make saints out of mortals.  FDR acted in his context.  Obama has his.  They are very different even if the economic challenges have similarities.  The Empire has changed everything, and the Liberal Left or Progressives are still living in the nostalgia of democracy.

How to get from here to there is the issue.  It requires recognizing that we are much farther from the goal than we were told, much less hoped.  That means we must not allow despair or disappointment to sap our energy and will.  Generational change will not be finished in my lifetime, but accepting the present is death on the early installment plan.

Poor Richard
Poor Richard's picture
DRC wrote: How to get from

DRC wrote:

How to get from here to there is the issue.  It requires recognizing that we are much farther from the goal than we were told, much less hoped.  That means we must not allow despair or disappointment to sap our energy and will.

Despair and disappointment are not the only things that sap our energy and will.

Why is it that most progressive's still patronize the Establishment we despise?

Why is it that more progressives are not building eco-villages or solar panel factories?

Poor Richard

"Green Free-enterprise"

Poor Richard's Almanack 2010

kwikfix wrote: polycarp2

kwikfix wrote:

polycarp2 wrote:

Obama has defined himself as a New Democrat...as opposed to a traditional Democrat. That places him in the Corporate pocket....a neo-liberalist...same as the Repugnants.

Whne did President Obama define himself as a New Democrat? Dates and places please. Name your sources.

President Barack Obama firmly resists ideological labels, but at the end of a private meeting with a group of moderate Democrats on Tuesday afternoon, he offered a statement of solidarity.


“I am a New Democrat,” he told the New Democrat Coalition, according to two sources at the White House session.


The group is comprised of centrist Democratic members of the House, who support free trade and a muscular foreign policy but are more moderate than the conservative Blue Dog Coalition.



Retired Monk - "Ideology is a disease"

mtdon's picture
obama does not have the

obama does not have the courage, desire or willingness to stand up to big business while FDR did....and we are talking about the monopoly days ofthe early 1900's to 1930 -  the corporate powers were as strong then as they are now -

but the MAIN POINT is FDR was not a corporate weasil like obama is.....

FDR was of and for the poor and middle class...

when has oabam ever mentioned the word "poor"?

never -  that's when - he only panders to the "middle class"

while the true way to support the middle class is to build it from the bottom...

i'm sorry to be so anti-obama but he is a HUGE disappointment about EVERYTHING!

so has anyone here ever read Harry Hopkins by Henry Hitch Adams?

FDR surrounded himself with true progressives for years before his entrance into the white house and Obama did not - make all the comparisons you want....facts are facts....


bush blew his chance after 9-11 and now obama is blowing his chance after the financial meltdown -  where his admnistration is doing everything in it's power to uphold "too big to fail" at the expense of WE THE PEOPLE.

if that's a new democrat - I want nothing to do with them...and will not have anything to do with them.....

and how is blindly supporting and equivocating ever going to help push obama to the left?  how is buying his words and not his actions ever going to push obama to the left...

when the obama admin sees people like his apologic supporters and their "he really wants to do the right thing"  there's no incentive for him to change....

until peoiple like thom hartmann start hammering obama he has it made.....and will not change his corportist ways.....

and the downfall will continue..........


meljomur's picture
Oh for goodness sakes.  The

Oh for goodness sakes.  The US is a very conservative country, so how on earth can you expect its leader to be truly progressive? 

Its baffling how much people seem to deny the environment in which they live.

mtdon's picture
news has now come down that

news has now come down that the democratic congress was ready to pass legislation - and had the votes lined up - to break up the "too big to fail" banks BUT obama once again stepped in and STOPPED REFORM.......

and the disaster in the gulf?  Obama should have BP stay on the capping effort and have the federal gov take over cleanup effort - especially when BP  is threatening to fire cleanup workers if they wear protective masks, etc....

why does Obama EVERY SINGLE TIME choose the interests of Corporations over WE THE PEOPLE?

Simply another reason why Obama is no FDR and NEVER WILL BE!

that's an inaccurate analogy....so please Thom quit using it!

obama is more like hoover than FDR!  unfortunately THOSE are the facts....

Obama's use of double-speak - saying one thing and doing the opposite hoping people aren't paying close enough attention to catch his use of orwelian language, brings to mind an old marx brothers quote:  who are you gonna believe.... me or you own 2 eyes?

obama hopes it's him you believe and not the truth.....

wishing things ...
wishing things were different's picture
Obama should do some of the

Obama should do some of the things FDR did. Like start a government program that goes and fixes infastructure.  It would provide jobs and fix lots of things that have been neglected for over 50 years before people start dieing. 

Obama is a

Obama is a neo-liberalist...same as Republicans. He's waiting for private industry and financiers to create jobs. Hopefully, after they've gutted the world's economies, they'll have enough loot to do that.

They could do it now...if some of the $650 TRILLION in global derivates (bets on financial paper going up or down) were re-directed.

Not likely.

Gutting economies is more lucrative in the short term than building them and has less risk if they can keep the pitchforks at bay..

Retired Monk - "Ideology is a disease"

Bush_Wacker's picture
All modern day presidents are

All modern day presidents are "faces of the franchise".  Econonics, wars, foreign policy, domestic policy, vaginas, sexual preference, social needs, employment, defense of a country, etc.etc.etc.  The plate has become much too full for anyone to appreciate.  We don't see it because we have our own little microset of agendas and issues.  Our country is run by "teams" of so called experts in various fields.  There will never be another FDR because there can't be.  Welcome to the brave new world!  Stick your head between your knees and get ready for the wild ride.

Well, it's going to be a hot

Well, it's going to be a hot ride. The Climate Change Denier-In-Chief has seen to it. He single-handedly sabatoged the Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen.

The new norm is going to be hot, hot, hot. The heat and agricultural emergency declared by our Missouri Gov. will become an annual event in the mid-west as well as the west.:

Speed up hydro-carbon emissions to provide power for the air-conditioners...and find a spot where the U.S. can still grow its food..

We had the chance to reverse global warming and didn't take it..


A corporate dominated government probably never will. Corporate dominated Obama showed where he stands at Copenhagen.:


The heat is causing a shift in rainfall patterns. Might I suggest a move to Northern Minn.or New England? Plant a garden full of stuff you can easily preserve. The work of a garden is better than the hunger of failed agriculture..

Provide good drainage for the downpours of rain....much of which should have fallen elsewhere. before the atmosphere was screwed up.

There may be a few years of alternating to near normal weather before the new pattern becomes fully set.

I expect FDR would have taken a different approach to an impending crises instead of the approach taken by the current White House twit..

The unraveling economy is becoming the least of my worries.

Retired Monk - "Ideology is a disease"

D_NATURED's picture
FDR had a vast majority in

FDR had a vast majority in both houses of congress. That's why he was able to get so much done. Obama must deal with the obstruct-o-cons in the Senate, which is impossible. They are programmed for his destruction and no other directive takes precedence.

Furthermore, there is this re-branding of fascism in the form of top-down economics that has swept the conservative south and the aristocratic north east, as well. Anybody with an "R" next to their name and half of the "D"s are high on Reagan kool aide. Add the reconfigured republicans who now identify as "libertarian" and the picture becomes even more bleak for Obama. The libertarians, after all, are the most magical of all conservatives because they think the best government is no government at all.

So, yes, Obama reflects the attitudes of those he represents. It doesn't make sense and it doesn't have to to many of his constituents. Unlike certain conservative presidents, who only represent the money that put them into office, he feels the need to represent the millions of morons along with the more reasonable minority. He has made fence-riding into the new sport of kings.

What he doesn't realize is that we are all waiting around for him to take our side, so we can stand with him. Our side is too poor, though, to be meaningful in the American political environment. If he stands with us, he loses the election.


If Obama had any sense, he'd

If Obama had any sense, he'd get that his constituency includes all of the human race at this point....and that includes Americans.

When he entered office, we had  7 years to stop global warming before it became irreversable. Time is  about up. Instead of addressing it, he sabatoged the last chance to do so at the Global Warming Conference in Copenhagen.

History won't be kind to a man who presided over a period of non-action that led to an  annihilation of 2/3 of the human race. Americans won't be exempt from that.

It's hot here. 20 degrees above the norm for 2 months. Crops are dead or dying. It will quickly become the new norm....right along with famine.

Thank you, Mr. Pres.

Now back to important stuff like who can marry who...as if the dead will give a hoot.




Retired Monk - "Ideology is a disease"