Looking For A New FDR

Yesterday I engaged in an e-mail spat with a prominent Obama Bot/Clinton hater from the primaries about my criticisms of Barack Obama during the primaries. This Obama Bot of course was so blinded by his Obama worship, that he had no idea that I have been criticizing Obama's post-partisan unity schtick since long before the primaries. My first post in the summer of 2006 was titled What Obama Needs To Learn Hofstadter, Lincoln And FDR and argued for, as I have since I began blogging in 2003, a Politics of Contrast. Krugman was on it in early 2007. The other day I wrote about the fact that Even Doris Kearns Goodwin Is For a Politics of Contrast and wants more FDR from Obama:

[W]hat FDR did was to say this isnt just an election between two men. It is between two doctrines. He laid out the difference between the Republican and the Democratic party, one concerned about government favoring the few and the other one wanting the masses to be sound and that would help the country. It seems to me Obama is missing a chance. . . . To not argue about the doctrine of the Democratic party. Yes, he wants independents. Yes, he wants to be post-partisan after wins. But right now is the time when the Republican-Democratic brand is so contrasting and I think he has desired to not be in that fight. Its not helping him in a certain sense.

Digby, who has been on this issue as long as I have, wrote about it again yesterday:

[T]he Democrats are failing to take advantage of the complexity of the situation and use simple politics to sell it. . . . As my readers know, I believe that the Democrats should make an aggressive argument for progressive policies and liberal principles. I don't mind someone saying they can work with others, but I do object to saying Republicans have good ideas when they don't. The radical policies that have led us to this moment have failed but somebody needs to tell the American people exactly why and offer them a clear alternative. This crisis is an opportunity to spell that out so clearly that there will be no question for a generation that these ideas are as toxic as an adjustable rate mortgage.

The congress is going back to the drawing board. And maybe they'll hammer out another plan. But the political question is who is in the driver's seat this time. Clearly, the country is operating without a president right now --- he has absolutely no juice to get anything done and his administration is so discredited that they can't rally the public. Leadership on this is left to the Democrats. ( Republicans are going to go on strike just like the bankers and leave the whole thing in their hands.) If that's the case, then the Democrats should set forth a real progressive plan --- a New Deal for the 21st century.

Let's have the argument and let the American people decide. If the Democrats win it they will have a mandate for real progressive change in the middle of a crisis that demands it. If they play their cards right they'll end up neutering the failed conservative ideology for a generation, put in place some important and long neglected structural changes and mitigate the worst of this downturn at the same time.

Digby points to this excellent Rick Pearlstein post on the subject:

Let Franklin Roosevelt be our guide. We take for granted now one of his signature political innovations: the idea of an executive "legislative agenda," a specific set of White House proposals, by which the success or failure of a presidency can be judged. FDR's was the first and most spectacular. He understood that the New Deal would pass quickly or it would not pass at all. And so, politically, he yoked Congress' willingness to pass his program without obstruction to Congress' willingness to address the national emergency tout court.

It seems we are all now searching for the next FDR. And I can honestly say I have been pushing for Obama to go in this direction as long as I have written about him. Maybe now that everyone is with me and Digby and Krugman and Pearlstein on this, the Obama Bots among us will see that this is a legitimate argument to be addressed, not to be attacked.

By Big Tent Democrat, speaking for me only

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    Obama does criticize (5.00 / 2) (#2)
    by WS on Tue Sep 30, 2008 at 08:14:59 AM EST
    a failed "economic philosophy" that is against regulations and for trickle down economics but he doesn't go further and state the word "Democrat" or  "failed Republican economic philosophy and/or policies."

    Really? (5.00 / 5) (#9)
    by Romberry on Tue Sep 30, 2008 at 08:34:53 AM EST
    Not so much when he went on Fox for an interview with Chris Wallace just last April. Here's part of what he had to say then:
    WALLACE: Over the years, John McCain has broken with his party and risked his career on a number of issues -- campaign finance, immigration reform, banning torture.

    As a president, can you name a hot-button issue where you would be willing to buck the Democratic Party line and say, "You know what? Republicans have a better idea here?"

    OBAMA: Well, I think there are a whole host of areas where Republicans in some cases may have a better idea.

    WALLACE: Such as?

    OBAMA: Well, on issues of regulation. I think that back in the '60s and '70s a lot of the way we regulated industry was top-down command and control, we're going to tell businesses exactly how to do things.

    And you know, I think that the Republican Party and people who thought about the markets came up with the notion that, "You know what? If you simply set some guidelines, some rules and incentives, for businesses -- let them figure out how they're going to, for example, reduce pollution," and a cap and trade system, for example is a smarter way of doing it, controlling pollution, than dictating every single rule that a company has to abide by, which creates a lot of bureaucracy and red tape and oftentimes is less efficient.

    Did you watch the debate? (none / 0) (#15)
    by WS on Tue Sep 30, 2008 at 08:41:01 AM EST
    He said the "economic philosophy" line in his opening statement and his commercials say something similar although like I said, he doesn't attach it to Democrat or attach the failed policies to Republicans.  

    Sometimes people have to give Obama some credit because he does do some things right and no, he's not some quasi-Reagan.  I agree with some people that he's too cautious but I try to be constructive in my criticism.    


    Yes, I watched (5.00 / 5) (#17)
    by Romberry on Tue Sep 30, 2008 at 08:49:30 AM EST
    As far as what Obama said, well, Obama says lots of stuff. How much of it does he mean? Heck if I know. He sure didn't mean it when he said he would fight the FISA bill.

    No, he's not another Reagan (5.00 / 4) (#31)
    by esmense on Tue Sep 30, 2008 at 09:15:20 AM EST
    He's a very modern Democrat. A Democrat wary of being too closely identified with the party's most traditional and faithful constituencies (dismissed by the punditocracy and neo-liberals as "people with needs"). Too much attention to these constituencies (labor, low wage workers, women, poor minorities, the elderly) -- and left-wing populism in general -- guarantees the derision of the Washington political media and threatens Wall Street/corporate support (the two constituencies modern Democrats care most about).

    A very modern Democrat! Sounds like a song from (5.00 / 1) (#49)
    by jawbone on Tue Sep 30, 2008 at 09:45:39 AM EST
    Gilbert and Sullivan. I imagine some here could write a great parody of the original.

    If a Very Modern Democrat (is that like New Labor? with Tony's authoritarianism? NuLab = NuDem?) can't support basic Democratic principles, can't use the name of his party, can't vote for civil liberties and Constitutional rights--who needs that Very Modern Democrat?

    Uh, your comment itself was a parody? Snark?


    Snark? (5.00 / 3) (#60)
    by esmense on Tue Sep 30, 2008 at 10:06:28 AM EST
    You said it yourself -- "can't support basic Democratic principles, can't use the name of his party, can't vote for civil liberties and Constitutional rights" -- is Obama unique in this? No. The problem is with what the party has become, not just this one candidate. If you've been paying attention much over the last 25 years you might have notice that the Democratic legislative consensus never challenges the conventional wisdom of the Washington political establishment (which never challenges the conventional wisdom of Wall Street). And noticed as well that national Democratic candidates who are even mildly populist are ridiculed mercilessly by that establishment ("panderers" "lactating," etc.)

    Certainly Obama and his campaign have noticed the allowable limits.  


    I have been complaining (5.00 / 2) (#146)
    by BernieO on Tue Sep 30, 2008 at 12:13:04 PM EST
    about this for years! Democrats won't even take on the blatantly misleading, disastrous talking point that "tax cuts raise revenues". The Republicans have been using that line since Reagan, implying that tax cuts pay for themselves and therefore do not add to the deficit. This is demonstrably untrue but since we Dems don't challenge this seductive idea, people keep falling for it. Even Bush's own economic advisors have admitted that tax cuts replace at best only half of what is lost by the cuts.

    Obama also needs to keep pointing out the fact that Clinton raised taxes on upper income people and the economy not only was strong, he balanced the budget. In contrast, Reagan and Bush cut taxes and the deficits ballooned. Clinton reduced income inequality without hurting the wealthy (they did extremely well under him), Reagan and Bush worsened it and we are all paying the price.
    Oh yeah, and the much maligned Jimmy Carter put us firmly on the road to energy independence. Reagan came along with his pie-in-the-sky worldview and convinced us that the free market would cure this problem with no sacrifice from us.

    Democrats have proven time and again that they know how to govern, yet their heirs too often refuse to claim their legacy.

    Republicans know that giving people a simplistic rationale for doing what is easy is very effective especially when you opponents do not have the guts to challenge you. It is up to Democrats - both leaders and rank and file - to begin challenging their delusional lies. We must all speak out, particularly to the media, if we are to regain control of our national ideology. Republicans have mobilized their rank and file to keep pounding the media with their worldview. It is time we do the same.


    This is a point that I have been thinking about (none / 0) (#172)
    by Iris on Tue Sep 30, 2008 at 01:05:02 PM EST
    is Obama unique in this? No. The problem is with what the party has become, not just this one candidate.
    The failings that progressives criticize Obama for are the same ones that have plagued the party for years.  However, he has shown an ability to adapt and has been reaching out to Hillary's supporters and been more populist in his rhetoric (at least since the general began) than John Kerry in 2004.  Perhaps it was the high expectations for 2008 being "our year," but what perplexes me are the people who say Obama is "unacceptable" or even "not a Democrat."  Nonsense, their problem is that he is too much like other Democrats.  

    oh.... (5.00 / 5) (#65)
    by Salo on Tue Sep 30, 2008 at 10:17:01 AM EST
    I am the very model of a very modern Democrat,
    I've information vegetable, animal, and mineral,
    I know the premieres of Europe, and I quote the fights historical
    From Jericho to Ossetia, in order categorical;
    I'm very well acquainted, too, with matters mathematical,
    I understand equations, both the simple and quadratical,
    About binomial theorem I'm teeming with a lot o' news,
    With many cheerful facts about the square of the hypotenuse.
    I'm very good at integral and differential calculus;
    I know the scientific names of beings animalculous:
    In short, in matters vegetable, animal, and mineral,
    I am the very model of a very modern Democrat.
    I know our mythic history, Washington and Lincoln and Sir Reaganonicals;
    I answer hard acrostics, I've a pretty taste for paradox,
    I quote in elegiacs all the crimes of Heliogabalus,
    In conics I can floor peculiarities parabolous;
    I can tell undoubted portfolios Nasdaq from  Dows Jones and Footsies,
    I know the croaking chorus from The Frogs of Aristophanes!
    Then I can hum a fugue of which I've heard the music's din afore,
    And whistle all the airs from that infernal nonsense of Palin's Pinafore.
    Then I can write a washing bill in Babylonic cuneiform,
    And tell you ev'ry detail of Washington's uniform:
    In short, in matters vegetable, animal, and mineral,
    I am the very model of a very Modern Democrat.
    In fact, when I know what is meant by "mamelon" and "ravelin",
    When I can tell at sight an M16 from a javelin,
    When such affairs as sorties and surprises I'm more wary at,
    And when I know precisely what is meant by "commissariat",
    When I have learnt what progress has been made in modern missile technology,
    When I know more of tactics than a novice in a nunnery--
    In short, when I've a smattering of elemental strategy--
    You'll say a better Very Modern Democrat has never sat a-gee.
    For my military knowledge, though I'm plucky and adventury,
    Has only been brought down to the beginning of the century;
    But still, in matters vegetable, animal, and mineral,
    I am the very model of a Very Modern Democrat.

    Clap, clap, clap, clap! (5.00 / 2) (#67)
    by gyrfalcon on Tue Sep 30, 2008 at 10:21:31 AM EST
    Well done, sir/madam!

    Bravo. Now sing it, Salo. (5.00 / 1) (#70)
    by oculus on Tue Sep 30, 2008 at 10:25:56 AM EST
    Wow! Amazing! And thank you so much. (5.00 / 1) (#195)
    by jawbone on Tue Sep 30, 2008 at 01:53:24 PM EST
    How do you people who do this kind of thing do it?

    I stand in awe. Well, sit in front of the computer screen in awe, OK?


    So women are a constituency of (5.00 / 1) (#92)
    by hairspray on Tue Sep 30, 2008 at 10:43:49 AM EST
    the Democratic party?  I thought we were more than half of the party.  That should make men a constituency at this point. And if that is the case, why are they calling all of the shots?

    Things may be changing (none / 0) (#180)
    by Xclusionary Rule 4ever on Tue Sep 30, 2008 at 01:21:42 PM EST
    At this point in the financial crisis he might benefit from more FDR-style rabble rousing. Everybody I talk to, even libertarians and repubs, are mad at the 'players' in the financial markets.  Everybody feels like they've been punked, like their 401k value and home equity value has been transferred to a swiss bank account somewhere.  The most popular email going around is suggesting that the $85 billion spent on AIG should have been redistributed to the 200 million Americans over 18 ($425,000 each!), and by so doing, all of the economic, housing and health care problems would be solved.  People are screaming, "what about me?  where the hell is my bailout?"

    I do think Obama is playing to the center wisely in order to win the election.  My dream is that he resumes his progressive ways once he moves in to the White House. I am willing to be patient.


    His progressive ways?! (none / 0) (#194)
    by nycstray on Tue Sep 30, 2008 at 01:48:30 PM EST
    You obviously haven't seen his new "health care" TV spot or paid attention to his right swinging ways. You may be waiting a looong time for a progressive Obama.

    But what about Obama's Love of Acorns? (none / 0) (#102)
    by supertroopers on Tue Sep 30, 2008 at 10:55:48 AM EST
    Thank you for spreading (none / 0) (#107)
    by WS on Tue Sep 30, 2008 at 11:00:20 AM EST
    right wing talking points.  

    Oh --- Thought it was relevant (none / 0) (#131)
    by supertroopers on Tue Sep 30, 2008 at 11:38:10 AM EST

    Why is this a right wing (none / 0) (#138)
    by rennies on Tue Sep 30, 2008 at 11:54:03 AM EST
    talking point? Why isn't this relevant in formation? Are you of the One cannot be scrutinized?

    Why do you think it is relevant? (5.00 / 1) (#142)
    by WS on Tue Sep 30, 2008 at 12:02:01 PM EST
    And its from the National Review.  Isn't there a limit to posts opposing the Democratic ticket?  

    Scrutiny is fine but don't bring right wing attacks here.  I didn't like it against Clinton and I don't like it against Obama.    


    Because (none / 0) (#160)
    by standingup on Tue Sep 30, 2008 at 12:36:09 PM EST
    the Right wing is not providing a critical examination of the facts regarding ACORN.  Instead they are using outrageous claims, unsupported allegations and guilt by association to instill fear of ACORN and Obama into people who have no idea of what critical thinking involves.  

    I'm not against scrutinizing an organization or a candidate. But don't try to pass off propaganda and smears as such.  


    I agree as well. But I think Obama's afraid to (5.00 / 2) (#3)
    by Angel on Tue Sep 30, 2008 at 08:16:27 AM EST
    make that leap.  

    Disclaimer:  This is not criticism of Obama because I supported Hillary.  I know we cannot afford to have McCain win.

    I think most Democrats. . . (5.00 / 2) (#5)
    by LarryInNYC on Tue Sep 30, 2008 at 08:28:29 AM EST
    are afraid to draw that contrast.  That's because for the last twenty years it's been the Republican doctrine that has been ascendant.  Arguing against it, at least in a good number of the states Obama must win, has been a losing proposition.

    Has has the worm turned?  Obviously, BTD argues yes.  I think probably it has -- as long as the alternative doctrine doesn't wind up sounding like the diary column at Daily Kos.  Or, to be frank, the editorial line here at Talk Left.  Jeralyn's positions on law and order matters are obviously heart-felt and morally based.  But they're not sentiments that are going to allow people who espouse them to get elected outside of some particularly liberal areas.


    The problem (5.00 / 7) (#8)
    by Ga6thDem on Tue Sep 30, 2008 at 08:33:03 AM EST
    as I see it is that you'll never win if you don't project confidence in your ideas.

    Very true. (none / 0) (#38)
    by Faust on Tue Sep 30, 2008 at 09:33:01 AM EST
    The problem is the Democratic party is infected with rational pragmatists that are capable of seeing both sides of an issue.

    Real rational pragmatists (5.00 / 2) (#97)
    by sallywally on Tue Sep 30, 2008 at 10:47:50 AM EST
    would see the opportunity here, would see what pragmatically is needed now, and would boldly propose a progressive agenda, which is what the nation and its people are crying for and the only thing that can get us out of this catastrophic reality.

    ADD to that (none / 0) (#39)
    by wystler on Tue Sep 30, 2008 at 09:33:05 AM EST
    that you'll never win if the traditional media decides that your candidacy should be treated with disdainful reporting. witness Gore, who was pilloried through the theft in court. witness Kerry, whose swift-boating could have been halted were the media willing to speak in a strong voice.

    you suggest "projecting confidence", Ga6thDem. that projection depends on a traditional media willing to allow that confidence through their filter.


    The (5.00 / 1) (#41)
    by Ga6thDem on Tue Sep 30, 2008 at 09:36:17 AM EST
    media is overrated. Relying on them to do your work for you is a fool's errand. How many people even trust the media anymore? And frankly, the Bush example should be the main reason to vote against any media endorsed candidate.

    meh (5.00 / 1) (#104)
    by wystler on Tue Sep 30, 2008 at 10:58:52 AM EST
    ... the main reason to vote against any media endorsed candidate.

    From the "accept things you cannot change" department: How you vote determines an election no more than how I vote. It's how we all vote. The vast majority get their narrative from traditional media sources. The narrative that plays typically more closely resembles a script out of Disney than it does cold hard analysis.

    We don't have to like it. We can work to massage a change. But we're not producing any broadcast/cable content, nor driving the paper-of-record editorial slant. That's still, along with talk-radio talking points, what drives water-cooler, street-corner and tavern-stool chatter among the masses.

    It's a numbers game. To win, the media narrative cannot be calling our candidate a fibber, a wimp, a traitor, or similar. Such a shame - but, for now, it really is that simple.


    Well (none / 0) (#192)
    by Ga6thDem on Tue Sep 30, 2008 at 01:44:49 PM EST
    we'll see if your theory holds up. I personally think that the media is damaging Obama with their apologia.

    It's not who he is (5.00 / 8) (#4)
    by Democratic Cat on Tue Sep 30, 2008 at 08:27:37 AM EST
    I would be shocked -- pleasantly shocked, but shocked all the same -- if he were to convert to the politics of contrast at this stage in his career. He seems to be the most cautious of politicians, and I don't think it's in his make-up to go in this direction. I wish he would, and I hope people continue to press him. But wishes, fishes.

    I agree, it is not who he is (5.00 / 1) (#42)
    by befuddledvoter on Tue Sep 30, 2008 at 09:36:36 AM EST
    Obama has always fashioned himself as some kind of conciliator or mediator. In most situations, that is ideologically fine in the abstract, so long as two sides are strongly represented and present at the table.  

    However, with our two-party system, based on two distinct and real ideologies of the role of government in this country, he misses a great opportunity to further the Democratic policies and principles.  After yesterday's debacle, I would hope he would get the point:  there are really two distinct parties; those parties are significantly different; the differences have real meaning in the lives of the American.  The two parties see very different paths to acting in the best interests of the American people.  It is not about Democrats are good; Republicans are bad.  I think the good Democrat/bad Republican dichotomy is what Obama shuns.          


    You know (5.00 / 3) (#46)
    by Ga6thDem on Tue Sep 30, 2008 at 09:39:49 AM EST
    what I find sad? The fact that we are even having to push a candidate to make this point.

    The concilatory attitude is something I don't see as a positive.


    It's not conciliation America needs... (5.00 / 2) (#121)
    by marian evans on Tue Sep 30, 2008 at 11:18:53 AM EST
    right now, it's a plan!

    You'd think with his 43 advisers in every platitude-enriched cup of wishful thinking, Sen Obama could manage to turn his attention to this globally significant issue.

    Hey, I know he wants to get back to that all-important campaigning on Thursday, so how about expending a bit of elbow grease on polishing off an idea or two on maintaining the global economy.

    Or maybe his advisers are too busy running focus groups on whether his new shirt collars make him look presidential enough.

    (warning...here be snark)


    Maybe Jesse Jackson, Jr. (none / 0) (#175)
    by oculus on Tue Sep 30, 2008 at 01:10:41 PM EST
    is the FDR, or maybe his statement is a finger in the wind for Obama?

    JJ,JR. on why he voted "naye"


    But the truth is (5.00 / 1) (#53)
    by sallywally on Tue Sep 30, 2008 at 09:55:15 AM EST
    that the Dem policies are good for the country and good for its people - ALL of them - and the Repub policies are bad for the country and its people - ALL of them. It's not the Dems who have created this vicious partisanship, it's the Repubs all the way. The truth is that Dems are good and Repubs are bad.

    He doesn't have to say it that way but it's already floating at the top of people's consciousness, and if Obama wants to leave some sort of valid intellectual and moral legacy and reputation, he has to recognize reality and distinguish between - and clearly choose between - the policies of the left and right.

    There's no possible way Obama (or anyone with an IQ in the three digits)can miss the fact that we are looking at the end point of Reagan's "good ideas," and if Obama wants to be anything serious in the country's history he's going to have to recognize that enough to choose the progressive policies we need.

    For Heaven's sake, the populace is already rebelling at the state of the nation. Obama is supposed to be smart. If he is, he has to go with the popular groundswell and give us a good progressive foundation for the coming years.

    This has nothing to do with generational crap or the past vs the future. It has to do with intellectual and moral honesty and recognition of what intellectually, morally and realistically is needed to save the country. Not just financially, but in every way.


    If Obama wins he MUST govern as a (5.00 / 1) (#100)
    by hairspray on Tue Sep 30, 2008 at 10:50:13 AM EST
    Democrat or we will have a terrible problem.  The GOP is not willing to take any responsibility for these messes and as soon as their machinery is up an running they will be involved in revisionism.  It was a month after Clinton won that they were already feeding the media with "the Democrats will ruim this country" crap. And they kept it up all 8 years.  Unless Obama gets a firm handle on representing the Democratic party I am afraid he will be rolled and he won;t have the support of the downstate Dems.

    You know I agree (none / 0) (#84)
    by befuddledvoter on Tue Sep 30, 2008 at 10:37:57 AM EST
    with you.

    If Obama wins he MUST govern as a (none / 0) (#99)
    by hairspray on Tue Sep 30, 2008 at 10:49:50 AM EST
    Democrat or we will have a terrible problem.  The GOP is not willing to take any responsibility for these messes and as soon as their machinery is up an running they will be involved in revisionism.  It was a month after Clinton won that they were already feeding the media with "the Democrats will ruim this country" crap. And they kept it up all 8 years.  Unless Obama gets a firm handle on representing the Democratic party I am afraid he will be rolled and he won;t have the support of the downstate Dems.

    Ah, well (5.00 / 5) (#7)
    by votermom on Tue Sep 30, 2008 at 08:31:36 AM EST
    you go to the election with the candidate you have.

    My sentiments exactly (5.00 / 1) (#13)
    by Demi Moaned on Tue Sep 30, 2008 at 08:40:03 AM EST
    I have been disappointed at every step of the way at how little is being attempted in the way of changing public policy discussion in this Presidential election. But that doesn't make winning unimportant.

    We do need a Dem in the White House (5.00 / 1) (#57)
    by sallywally on Tue Sep 30, 2008 at 09:57:37 AM EST
    even if he's not a moral, intellectual and pragmatic heavyweight.

    But at the very least he/she must (5.00 / 1) (#108)
    by votermom on Tue Sep 30, 2008 at 11:05:25 AM EST
    NOT be corrupt.

    And Especially (none / 0) (#109)
    by daring grace on Tue Sep 30, 2008 at 11:06:50 AM EST
    if he is.

    You can also dilute a Party's Core Beliefs (5.00 / 5) (#77)
    by Prana on Tue Sep 30, 2008 at 10:29:55 AM EST
    with the candidate you have.

    And that is the case with Obama. He is moving the Party backward not forward.

    It's bad enough that we have Democrats pushing for a Wall Street giveaway who have taken millions upon million of dollars from their corporate Wall Street masters which explains their votes and enthusiasm for such a travesty against taxpayers. But when the Democratic candidate for President is out promoting for the bailout and is a top recipient of Wall Street money then we have crossed the Rubicon.

    Opensecrets.org took public information and charted the WS money received by the enablers of the bill starting in 1989 to present. Obama received $27,942,613. More than anyone who is pushing for the bailout. More than people with 4 times his tenure in politics.  And that was I would guess from 1997, not 1089, when he started as a state Senator to present.  So he amassed a record amount in a shorter time frame.

    How can that excite any real Democrat little on a Progressive? How can anyone doubt the influence of that money on him? How can anyone think their words could trump the money in influencing him?

    Anyone who thinks they can push this guy with words to become a solid Democrat or a progressive and knows his history and his monied connections are only fooling themselves. And if they don't know his history or monied connections then they need to do their homework and start telling people what we are really dealing with.

    Wall Street and the Free Traders are really going to love this guy. Americans who need affordable guaranteed health-care and jobs that don't go overseas will not love him. There is no place in a real Democratic Party for Wall Street enablers and Free Traders as they are counter to what being a real Democrat is.


    I think its different today Hard to be an FDR (5.00 / 2) (#10)
    by Saul on Tue Sep 30, 2008 at 08:36:23 AM EST
    Back then when FDR was coming up, people were not that involved in politics as today.  The only communication other than mail and telegraph was the radio.  Plus people were not so untrustworthy  of politicians as they are today.  Politicians were held in higher esteem back them  I think even FDR would be having a problem today using the same tactics he did back then.

    Another major difference. . . (5.00 / 3) (#16)
    by LarryInNYC on Tue Sep 30, 2008 at 08:41:47 AM EST
    In FDR's, communism was an ascendant ideology.  It competed seriously with capitalism.  FDR's policies (not the policies, by the way, that he ran on) were sort of a watered down compromise between two strong ideologies.

    That's quite different from now when there is no ascendant ideology of the left.


    Another difference... (5.00 / 3) (#79)
    by Salo on Tue Sep 30, 2008 at 10:30:55 AM EST
    ...in his book Obama explicitely stated that the New Deal was "crumbling" and ought to be finished with. He didn't seem upset at the idea.

    So some GOPer is going to read his book and point out that Obama rejected the philosophical underpinnings of the New Deal in his writings.


    I think that the major difference (5.00 / 1) (#89)
    by inclusiveheart on Tue Sep 30, 2008 at 10:42:08 AM EST
    is that by the time FDR came along pretty much everyone in this country was totally flattened - struggling - there were essentially two classes - a tiny group of rich, a majority of people living their lives in poverty and few were in between.

    Both sets of my Grandparents lived through the Depression and their habits even years later after they had all done well belied how tough that experience was even for their families who were relatively well off.  The unbelievable number of tins of soap chips that I found in my Mother's parent's house after they died were a total mystery to me until my Mom explained that because my Grandmother couldn't afford soap during the Depression - even living in a fairly nice home on the lake in Minneapolis with some income - my Grandmother for the rest of her life saved those little bits of soap bars just in case another crash came along.  On the other side, my Grandaddy lived under the railroad tracks in a tent city while attending college as did many of his classmates.  He too was from a middle class family.

    I think the fact that the financial devastation was so widespread really gave FDR the kind of political capital that he needed to experiment with government programs that people now may be less resistent to, but are not yet desperate enough to actually get behind.


    Give it a few days (none / 0) (#122)
    by sallywally on Tue Sep 30, 2008 at 11:24:17 AM EST
    for desperation to take hold.

    The Washington Consensus (none / 0) (#185)
    by Xclusionary Rule 4ever on Tue Sep 30, 2008 at 01:30:22 PM EST
    Right wing ideology is so dominant that they declared permanent victory in the so-called Washington Consensus. Perhaps we'll come out of this with a little less regard for Reagonomics and a healthy respect for European socialist democracy.  It's going to happen sooner or later.  We can't keep cooking the books and declaring eternal capitalist growth.

    Let's all remember to teach our children about greed and human rights during and after this crisis.  The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice.


    the corporate-fascist state (5.00 / 1) (#76)
    by sancho on Tue Sep 30, 2008 at 10:29:38 AM EST
    was not quite so well entrenched then. and the depression made the country vulnerable to experiment. the alterd media universe since then has much, though not everything, to do with it. who knew then the weapons industry would have its own tv channel. and that channel, GE/NBC, is in the tank for Obama this year. wonder why. i'd be surprised if GE thinks Obama is a latent FDR waiting to spring populist policies on an unsuspecting corporate state.  Love to see it though.

    In short he's not (5.00 / 2) (#81)
    by Salo on Tue Sep 30, 2008 at 10:31:48 AM EST
    You only need to read his book to understand that he's hardly an admirer of the New Deal.

    Well, maybe the new Depression (5.00 / 3) (#83)
    by sallywally on Tue Sep 30, 2008 at 10:33:28 AM EST
    we're in now will open a few minds and doors....we can always dream...

    Yes it was - that is what led (5.00 / 1) (#94)
    by inclusiveheart on Tue Sep 30, 2008 at 10:45:14 AM EST
    to the crash.  The reality is that they wiped themselves out and left everyone else holding the bag - that's how they lost influence and gave an opening to FDR - but make no mistake - they were still very much a part of that era - those who maintained influence fought FDR fiercely.

    I think voters... (5.00 / 2) (#11)
    by lucky leftie on Tue Sep 30, 2008 at 08:38:28 AM EST
    ... are already making the conection between  republican policies and the financial crisis, that's why so many have moved to Obama since last week.  

    But I doubt that the democrats have the courage to do what Digby describes.  They want the repubs on board so that everyone shares the blame.

    The true polling results.. (none / 0) (#21)
    by CoralGables on Tue Sep 30, 2008 at 09:01:00 AM EST
    between the financial crisis and the Republicans may still be a day or two away from showing more swing voters going for the candidates with the (D), but this morning's Rasmussen poll pegs Obama at 51%. That puts him at +6 and the magical election winning over fifty number is his highest showing of the year at Rasmussen.

    Although it was the GOP House that caused the chaos yesterday, look for GOP Senate candidates to take a stronger hit at the ballot box from the swing voters. A four seat pickup always looked very good. A seven seat pickup is now looking very possible.


    I have always thought... (5.00 / 2) (#123)
    by lambert on Tue Sep 30, 2008 at 11:25:35 AM EST
    ... that Obama would bump along and win by, say, 5. It's always nice to have confirmation of my cherished beliefs!

    However, a corollary to that is that the time to hold his feet to the fire is NOW and not later.


    Principles (5.00 / 6) (#12)
    by mmc9431 on Tue Sep 30, 2008 at 08:39:52 AM EST
    If yesterday's events didn't show Obama the folly of post partisanship, nothing ever will. McConnell and Boehner are never going to join the team! The Republican's will continue to do everything in their power to undermine any Democratic successes. Their goal will be the 2010 mid term. It's in their political as well as financial interests to see that Obama fails.

    It's time for Obama to stand up for the Democratic Party values and lead. Enough of straddling the fence.

    This can't be serious? (5.00 / 1) (#119)
    by Prana on Tue Sep 30, 2008 at 11:16:55 AM EST
    "It's time for Obama to stand up for the Democratic Party values and lead. Enough of straddling the fence."

    No one really believes that is possible do they?


    When I think about Presidents and legacies, (5.00 / 3) (#14)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Sep 30, 2008 at 08:40:45 AM EST
    the current financial situation and on going wars has made such an almost unbelieveable space for a President to lay claim to a golden legacy and secure the future for progressives.  Our next President can be a brand new FDR with all the dreaminess of JFK almost on day one if they want to be.

    More like the next Lincoln (5.00 / 5) (#19)
    by Fabian on Tue Sep 30, 2008 at 08:53:57 AM EST
    I listened to a good chunk of Ken Burns' Civil War and decided that the reason that Lincoln has such a high stature is because he had so many horrible situations thrust upon him yet he managed to navigate most of them well.

    The next President is going to have a total mess on their hands:
    Foreign Policy

    plus little things like the DOJ...

    They'll be up to their necks in it from Day One and they'll be shoveling their entire term.  Think of the Bush administration as Katrina or Gustav.  It will take decades to deal to clean up and rebuild and the next four years will just be the beginning.


    My husband says that one of my (5.00 / 6) (#22)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Sep 30, 2008 at 09:01:46 AM EST
    priceless worths is being able to see the opportunity in a situation. Your shoveling is my zen.  What an opportunity to prove that unregulated Republicanism is little more than poison for the masses, I would utterly thrive on the opportunity while shoveling.  My muscles would be rippling in the sun.

    I hope all the Dems in office (5.00 / 1) (#32)
    by Fabian on Tue Sep 30, 2008 at 09:16:41 AM EST
    would be toiling alongside you!

    None of this waiting for investigations to be completed.  Sure.  Set up the blue ribbon committees and put them to work, but don't wait for their official report before you take action.  We have a pretty good idea what the story is.  


    Problem is (5.00 / 1) (#85)
    by Prana on Tue Sep 30, 2008 at 10:39:03 AM EST
    they don't want to be, neither of them. End of dreams. End of optimism. End of story. Maybe if either goes 8 years the end of Progressivism.

    Nah, you'd have to cut all of our hearts (5.00 / 2) (#95)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Sep 30, 2008 at 10:46:23 AM EST
    out as well to finally end progressivism.

    OK True (none / 0) (#115)
    by Prana on Tue Sep 30, 2008 at 11:12:48 AM EST
    So let's say the end of the 'Influence' of progressivism, as if we were all that influential to being with in todays 'money first' political climate.

    "Liberal" is a "Same Name" (5.00 / 3) (#18)
    by Doc Rock on Tue Sep 30, 2008 at 08:52:57 AM EST
    I despised Dukakis for his unwillingness to stand up for Liberal principles and to allow "Liberal" to be made into a "Shame Name" by the Conservatives.  Now that the failed Conservative surge has failed us so miserably and we are drowning in Reagonomics, it is the time for Obama and the Party to polish up their proud in being Liberal and to demonstrate the benefits that Liberal policies have wrought and will bring.  Obamadom should get on board and ride this train to victory.

    Or (5.00 / 1) (#58)
    by jar137 on Tue Sep 30, 2008 at 09:58:05 AM EST
    at the very least to do to the word conservative what they have done to the word liberal for years- make it a dirty word.

    I have probably labeled myself (5.00 / 8) (#61)
    by Jjc2008 on Tue Sep 30, 2008 at 10:06:57 AM EST
    a liberal since my youth and have never wavered.  During the 80s, I was derided by some colleagues for my decision to attend protests against the very popular (especialy in this conservative city) Ronald Reagan. At one protest, there were only 8 of us.  But I felt then and still feel, Reagan and the Bush families, have this paternalistic view of the world..that poor people are to be "taken care of" but not in the way I see.  To me government has a role in "providing for" rather than taking care of: providing jobs with decent pay, providing fair and equitable justice; making sure housing laws provide fair treatment.  

    The ultra rich see "giving people low paying jobs, domestic service jobs, jobs without benefits" as "taking care of".  It was always like "taking care of" pets.  Some rich were actually loving about that...some not so much but none able to see the "poor" as their equals who happen to not win the DNA lottery.

    FDR was a hero because he was a rich man that understood that creating a middle class, a LARGE middle class was the best way to keep democracy.
    I alway loved what Justice Brandeis said:

    "We can have a democratic society or we can have great concentrated wealth in the hands of a few. We cannot have both." -Louis Brandeis

    I believe we were headed in the right way....wrestling away the wealth from robber barons after WWII but too many "poor people" and immigrants (like my family) were seizing opportunity to educate their children.  I believe that Reagan stopped the process, using deceit and his ability to act to convince people like my father who had loved and admired FDR that he, Reagan, was for everyone.  Reagan tried to undo everything FDR and his neocon worshippers wanted to continue it.  Clinton was able to stopgap the thievery for a short four years until Newt, the most sanctimonious, lying hypocrite, and his cronies made sure Clinton policies were stopped by his smear and dirt campaign.  No, Bill was not innocent in his personal life. Neither was Newt. One was given a pass. The other was trashed to make sure his policies that benefitted the poor and middle class were stopped.

    If it were up to me, not only would the work program theory of FDR be the cornerstone of the democratic nominees, the neocon greed machine would be mentioned whenever possible.  People NEED to blame Bush, Reagan and the millionaire pundit class who put these idiots into power and got rich for their work.

    I am so angry, I cannot even stay on topic.  Revolution needs to happen.  People have to be taken to task for their greed, their lies, their stealing from the poor.  NOW.


    Very thoughtful comment, (5.00 / 2) (#93)
    by KeysDan on Tue Sep 30, 2008 at 10:44:30 AM EST
    please consider, however, just one modification. The Bush family does seem to present the noblesse oblige attitude (extremus-- Barbara Bush's idea of good works--convention hall housing is working quite well for the Katrina evacuees, since they are underprivileged anyway).  However, the Reagan ideology seemed to be even meaner;  not a me problem, but a you problem, sorry, and catsup counts as a vegetable for poor children's school lunches, too.

    Yes - I think Reagan and the Bushes (5.00 / 3) (#103)
    by inclusiveheart on Tue Sep 30, 2008 at 10:56:36 AM EST
    even more so see/saw the masses as "useful" or irritating depending on the situation.  I don't think they see them as individual people with rights endowed by our creator etc.  

    I thought McCain's "the fundamentals of the economy are strong" shift to "American workers are strong" was a very telling shift in an way because to him and his ilk the "fundamentals" in the form of workers is primarily about their productivity - not about their quality of life in return for that productivity - and that is a huge difference between a more liberal view of workers and a conservative view.  

    Conservative philosophy is to squeeze as much productivity out of a workforce for the lowest possible price.  I will never forget a quote I heard about Jack Abramoff's trail of emails in which he said something to the effect that if we could use the same model for working conditions they had set up in CNMI (which are/were near slavery conditions) in the United States, it would create an economic boom.  That's scary stuff...


    You could be right (5.00 / 2) (#117)
    by Jjc2008 on Tue Sep 30, 2008 at 11:13:46 AM EST
    There was a meanness, a disconnect from others with Reagan and his wife that really bugged me.  It came from his treatment of, the reaction of his children.
    The two younger ones, seemed to turn against their parents' philosophy, despite the fact that they seemed to be the beneficiaries.  The two older ones, basically abandoned by their father, seemed to be begging for his love and attention and thus embracing his greed philosophy. It always made me wonder about his and her ability to connect emotionally, even to their own children.

    Barbara Bush always turned me off.  To me she was a condescending b*tch...and she was one of the elite, I think, who really saw the Clintons as "trash imposing themselves on us."  She really hated Hillary and everything Hillary stood for (which was middle class making and upward turn in life financially). And I am sure she looked her rich nose down on Bill's family.  

    I know people like that.  A dear friend of mine married in to a wealthy family, and I was in her wedding. So I had to attend all these parties thrown by the rich of this city....the people who basically run the BROADMOOR in Colorado Springs, people who are friendly with Cheney......

    I was the token poor person. And the condescension was palatable. They looked down on my ethnicity, my job (teacher) but not in an open way...if you know what I mean. Of course half of my friend's husband's friends were rich, trust fund babies who thought themselves superior for owning  their own businesses (hell they all inherited huge amounts of money and connections), and yet many were alcoholic drug users.   My friend's family lost their fortune, and he's a long time alcoholic who has never held a job for more than two years.  Her teaching and now her pension has kept them going...

    Anyway, those kind of people, like the Bush family have always angered me. W and his younger brothers were ne-er do wells who got bailed out by Daddy's rich friends.  How W became president still stuns me.  Scary that a rich dufus, clearly not capable of deep thinking or empathy, gets that much power.


    Absolutely disagree (none / 0) (#173)
    by sj on Tue Sep 30, 2008 at 01:05:25 PM EST
    Less evil is still evil.  If you want an example of noblesse oblige look to the Kennedys.  Not the Bushes.

    Monkey Fister... (5.00 / 3) (#26)
    by lambert on Tue Sep 30, 2008 at 09:05:52 AM EST
    has a fine open letter to Obama on exactly this topic.

    That was better than sex (5.00 / 1) (#30)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Sep 30, 2008 at 09:14:14 AM EST
    We all have little reason to hope right now for anything fine that speaks to our higher selves.  What a tremendous writing about where we can go if only we will.  It spoke to my heart, my very being.  What an internet name though.

    I just wanna know (5.00 / 2) (#28)
    by Fabian on Tue Sep 30, 2008 at 09:09:25 AM EST
    WHO has $100k deposited in any bank?
    WHO has $250k deposited in any bank?

    An Average Citizen probably doesn't have that much  cash lying around.  They may have investment funds set up for retirement or education or income(lucky ducks) but they don't often have over a year or two or more worth of income in liquid assets stowed in a bank.

    So who will be protected by upping the limit?

    And BTW - why hasn't anyone pointed out what a freaking GREAT IDEA it would have completely privatized Social Security right now?  Yeah, that would have been a regular laugh riot.

    But you seem to be assuming that (5.00 / 1) (#48)
    by dk on Tue Sep 30, 2008 at 09:44:49 AM EST
    there is a real and imminent danger that people who have between 100k and 250k in the bank are about to lose that money.  Do you have any evidence for this?  I'm not snarking here, I'm actually curious.

    It's not so much that people are in danger (5.00 / 1) (#75)
    by gyrfalcon on Tue Sep 30, 2008 at 10:29:26 AM EST
    of losing their money, but to reassure them that they aren't, no matter what happens.  FDIC insurance for deposits mostly serves to keep people from rushing to the bank and taking their money out in a panic, which is what happened that brought everything down in the Depression.

    I don't know if there are reasons (none / 0) (#174)
    by dk on Tue Sep 30, 2008 at 01:09:13 PM EST
    not to do it (I'm not an economist).  My point, however, was that it was not a particularly impressive proposal by Obama if it really doesn't have any concrete effect on real people.  Sure, I agree that our leaders should work toward stopping people from panicking.  However, a more effective way to do so would be to offer solutions that really would have an impact in people's lives.  We didn't see that in the bill yesterday, and that is why vast majorities of the American people, and some courageous liberals in congress, defied our anemic leadership on both sides of the aisle to do the right thing.  

    Actually there are effects... (5.00 / 1) (#191)
    by BigElephant on Tue Sep 30, 2008 at 01:44:46 PM EST
    I was actually fielding a fair number of calls from retirees and their children (I tend to be a source people I know come to for things financial/political/scientific/technological/mathematical -- but not about relationships) asking if they should consider moving their money to additional banks to get FDIC coverage on their amounts over $100K.  So you'd better believe that this is something that was weighing on peoples minds.  

    The other thing that this does not address, which is also on their minds, is if say 30% of banks fail, can FDIC actually cover all of the accounts?  With a run on the banks, and inability to lend across, I think things can get pretty tricky.  But if it comes to that, we're in a whole lot of trouble (not that we're not already).


    Security and calmness (none / 0) (#178)
    by gyrfalcon on Tue Sep 30, 2008 at 01:16:24 PM EST
    You say very, very rightly, "Security and calmness are key in an environment like this."

    Let's all bear that in mind, please, when people like McCain and even the dread Bush say things like, "The fundamentals of the economy are strong."

    Everybody involved in this bail-out thing even peripherally is acutely aware that they've got to tread a very thin line between getting across the sense of urgency for it, or something, to pass and touching off a panic by their words.

    Henry Paulson looked to me when he made his post-vote statement yesterday like he was barely in control of a full-blown panic attack, yet he kept his words quite moderate.


    Here is an example (none / 0) (#169)
    by standingup on Tue Sep 30, 2008 at 12:57:00 PM EST
    of where it happened recently with Washington Mutual, from
    Conde Nast:

    Dealbook gives us something new to worry about:

    In Washington Mutual's case, customers withdrew $16.7 billion in cash from the thrift in the last nine days, according to the Office of Thrift Supervision. The majority of those that withdrew cash were holders of retail deposits that were over the government's $100,000 insurance cap.

    It's a potentially troubling tale: If depositors that have more that $100,000 began withdrawing their cash all around the country, the banking industry would have a serious problem.

    The statistic doesn't actually come from the OTS factsheet, but rather from the conference call, where an OTS official said that
    a majority of the deposit outflows (a) came from the state of California, and (b) were deposits in excess of the insurance deposit limit.

    The FDIC's limits are out of date.  There are more and more banks at risk for failing and under significant pressure as they find themselves undercapitalized.  A run on deposits can become the tipping point that puts them into the hands of the FDIC.


    Lots of people (5.00 / 1) (#50)
    by andgarden on Tue Sep 30, 2008 at 09:45:42 AM EST
    And many of them have freaked out about bank solvency recently, leading to the failure of at least one institution.

    But (none / 0) (#90)
    by chrisvee on Tue Sep 30, 2008 at 10:42:58 AM EST
    aren't most of them simply opening an additional account in a different bank and moving whatever is over the FDIC limit?  Or one of a number of other alternatives?  I don't get the sense that anyone I know is withdrawing that much cash out of savings accounts entirely and putting it in their mattresses.

    I don't object to this as a confidence booster to wrap into a larger plan but is it really targeting the core issues?


    They're going to T-bills, mostly (none / 0) (#110)
    by andgarden on Tue Sep 30, 2008 at 11:06:56 AM EST
    Most people with a few million in assets (and there are plenty in every major metropolitan area) do not want to be running around town opening up accounts at every bank.

    So they put their money in T-bills, and take it out of the banking system. That's bad for everyone.


    I don't see (none / 0) (#128)
    by chrisvee on Tue Sep 30, 2008 at 11:32:22 AM EST
    how raising the limit to $250,000 does anything substantial to alleviate the underlying problem of lack of confidence. Someone with a few million in assets is presumably sharp enough to question whether buying more insurance makes them safer.

    It's got to be $10M, maybe $15M (none / 0) (#130)
    by andgarden on Tue Sep 30, 2008 at 11:36:19 AM EST
    If the FDIC goes that high, then the only thing 99.999999 percent of people have to be worried about is the fundamental strength of the U.S. dollar.

    Of course there are also business accounts that are an order of magnitude bigger than that, but if you can satisfy panicky individuals that their money is safe, the banks ought to be safe.


    This feels (5.00 / 1) (#154)
    by chrisvee on Tue Sep 30, 2008 at 12:21:04 PM EST
    more like one of those meaningless perks that get thrown into a credit card so that they can call it platinum instead of gold.  It's nice to have but I'm really going to choose my card based on things like interest rate, cashback, etc.

    By all means let's do it, but I hardly feel like this is the FDR moment for Obama or the foundation of a new New Deal (as was the sentiment that started this thread).  I'm waiting for Obama to suggest we come up with a new plan, not just modify the old one around the edges.


    It doesn't (none / 0) (#183)
    by gyrfalcon on Tue Sep 30, 2008 at 01:27:54 PM EST
    You're right on that. But espcially in the absence of a "bail-out" bill, they're just trying to prop things up here and there where they can.  Last thing we need right now is more money being pulled out of the system or tied up and unavailable in things like T-bills.

    FDIC (5.00 / 1) (#54)
    by befuddledvoter on Tue Sep 30, 2008 at 09:55:25 AM EST
    limits are 100K in regular bank accounts and 250K in retirement accounts.  Anything above is not guaranteed, except you if you are in a Massahcusetts chartered savings bank.  Then DIF covers up to any and all amounts.

    Upping the limit nationally would help the banks nationally as people would not be pulling out their cash above the present limits.

    My account will NEVER reach the limits but I do agree that many seniors have cash in the bank and do not invest in stock markets. They have lived through the Depression.  


    The New Democrat (5.00 / 1) (#80)
    by mmc9431 on Tue Sep 30, 2008 at 10:31:41 AM EST
    That's one of the glaring differences in the "new" Democratic Party. There are millions of families across the country that are facing bankruptcy and or foreclosure. There's millions more that can't find a job that pays them a decent wage, let alone anything as frivolous as health care.

    Right now most American's would love to be confronted with the problem of how to best protect their 100,000-250,00 cash in the bank.


    Really??? (5.00 / 1) (#124)
    by Jjc2008 on Tue Sep 30, 2008 at 11:26:06 AM EST
    I am an older, retired folk...and what little savings I had was depleted with unexpected health care costs.  And it never reached 100K.  The ONLY friends of mine, mostly retired teachers, who do have lots INHERITED that.  That would be about two  of our group.

    Most of us are continuing to work (substituting) to try to build a small nest egg outside of our pension.  Granted, our teacher retirement has been a good one, and so far stable.  But, most of us live in fear of a catastrophic health issue because the insurance we have (covering us until we hit 65) is not all that good, despite most individuals paying nearly $5000 a year in premiums.


    My mother was not wealthy (5.00 / 1) (#181)
    by gyrfalcon on Tue Sep 30, 2008 at 01:23:31 PM EST
    and inherited zero money from her Depression-bankrupted family, but she lived frugally well below her pension/SS and invested my dad's life insurance money wisely.  I was horrified to discover she had almost $100 K in her checking account, earning zero interest.  But she felt safer having that much money instantly available that she could simply write a check on.

    I know of several similar elderly people.  I think ti's more common than you realize.


    From what I've read though (none / 0) (#33)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Sep 30, 2008 at 09:20:37 AM EST
    not insuring the deposits over the currently insured amount will have unwanted repercussions.  Those deposits were made in actual cash, not inflated smoke and mirrors mystery assets or speculation.  It undermines the confidence of people in the banking system as well when your elderly Aunt has cash simply disappear.

    my 81-year old mother (none / 0) (#40)
    by wystler on Tue Sep 30, 2008 at 09:34:33 AM EST
    has deposits approaching 100K

    what's your point?


    Just so you and others know, (5.00 / 2) (#105)
    by inclusiveheart on Tue Sep 30, 2008 at 10:59:57 AM EST
    retirement accounts are insured up to $250,000 already.  That is worth knowing and taking the time to clarify with banks or other financial institutions that your deposits and specific accounts in their current iteration are covered by FDIC.  If they aren't, move the money into an account that would be covered.

    leadership test (5.00 / 2) (#34)
    by sarany on Tue Sep 30, 2008 at 09:22:57 AM EST
    It takes courage and vision to recognize an opportunity, such as we may have now. History shows us that real leaders seize the moment and actually CAUSE historic shifts.

    I hope Obama has the stuff to do this. This is no longer about the election, but about a potential watershed moment for Obama, America and the world.

    One of my absolute favourite FDR stories... (5.00 / 2) (#44)
    by gtesta on Tue Sep 30, 2008 at 09:38:47 AM EST
    Concerns the veterans that descended on DC, encamped on the mall and asked Hoover for accelerated pension payments.  Hoover sent the army to disperse them.   Next year they returned, this time FDR sent Eleanor with coffee and sandwiches to meet with them.
    One veteran was asked what the difference was between the Republican Hoover and the Democrat Roosevelt, his response, "Hoover sent tanks, FDR sent his wife".
    Obama needs to demonstrate that he has the political skills that will be needed to accomplish what must be done.

    I hadn't noticed that TChris (none / 0) (#35)
    by sarany on Tue Sep 30, 2008 at 09:27:56 AM EST
    Used the phrase "seize the moment" in an earlier post.  Anyway, I'm with him.  Obama has an opportunity to show his mettle, and discuss the failures on both sides of the aisle, the failures of 8 years of poor leadership and give Americans his vision for a transformed future.

    Something like a vision of an honorable government that inspires, supports and requires the best in all of us.


    "Across the aisle politics" (5.00 / 3) (#37)
    by Stellaaa on Tue Sep 30, 2008 at 09:31:41 AM EST
    I hope this little stunt has burst that bubble, cause I did not see any special across the aisle skills here.  

    I guess we know who the FDRee candidate was all along.  

    Not according (5.00 / 1) (#43)
    by Ga6thDem on Tue Sep 30, 2008 at 09:37:17 AM EST
    to the statement Obama released after the bill failed. It sounded like Tom Daschle wrote it.

    What? (none / 0) (#59)
    by Stellaaa on Tue Sep 30, 2008 at 10:06:26 AM EST
    It was posted (none / 0) (#63)
    by Ga6thDem on Tue Sep 30, 2008 at 10:13:37 AM EST
    here yesterday after the bill failed.

    Ummm, that was Hillary (5.00 / 1) (#51)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Sep 30, 2008 at 09:49:13 AM EST
    She's speaking out for HOLC and FDR (5.00 / 2) (#72)
    by sallywally on Tue Sep 30, 2008 at 10:26:56 AM EST
    right now, but the media aren't covering it.

    If McCain can sit in with Palin (5.00 / 5) (#112)
    by oculus on Tue Sep 30, 2008 at 11:08:50 AM EST
    for interviews, maybe Hillary could sit in with Obama?  (joke)

    I saw Bill Clinton on the Jon Stewart show (5.00 / 5) (#163)
    by hairspray on Tue Sep 30, 2008 at 12:46:25 PM EST
    and he was fantastic.  In about 15 minutes he explained the way the mess was created and what should be done about it.  It was all about how to help the people.Of course it was the HOLC solution he was pushing.  He was eloquent and was a complete Democrat. No ifs ands or buts.

    Right! Hillary! (none / 0) (#143)
    by rennies on Tue Sep 30, 2008 at 12:04:56 PM EST
    Well, one first and necessary (5.00 / 6) (#45)
    by dk on Tue Sep 30, 2008 at 09:39:25 AM EST
    step would be to untether Obama from his current economic advisors.

    Look, the left blogosphere and MSM is going to trip over itself in schadenfreude later this week as Sarah Palin will be asked complicated economic questions during the debate and will be unable to even begin to address them.  But let us all try to remember that none of the candidates are economists; they all rely on their advisors to develop their policy, particularly as regards the economy.  

    Correct me if I'm wrong, but my recollection is that FDR was quite the dillitante, not an economist, and the New Deal was crafted by an incredible brain trust of advisors with bold ideas.  Obama is also a dillitante, but he has surrounded himself with the Chicago school, the DLC, and the Daschle wing of the party.  See the problem here?

    To me, the question isn't so much how we can push Obama to do the right thing, but rather how we can push him out of the way and hand the policymaking to people who actually believe and understand the principles of the Democratic party when it comes to the economy.

    It seems that there (5.00 / 5) (#52)
    by lilburro on Tue Sep 30, 2008 at 09:51:47 AM EST
    is some intangible quality that Obama does not have that gives us FDRs and Clintons, people that say this is the Dem ideology, this is how it works, now let's do it.  Digby is right, we don't have a President right now (and that is a great way of putting it).  But we don't have a visible ideological leader on our side either to fill the vacuum, and much as they may try, Dodd and Frank just cannot fill it, their stature is not great enough.
    Just look back at the debate.  Thinking about the now oft-mocked Obama line "I agree with John" "I agree with John McCain" that threaded its way throughout...it is clear that Obama does not see things the way you do.  How, at this hour, is his strategy still to agree with John McCain?  To be agreeable period?  
    HOLC is such a great example of an institution that can be created and explained fairly easily to a broad audience.  Show some courage and push the plan, Obama.  PEOPLE ARE LISTENING.  For God's sakes Ben Stein and Krguman were agreeing last night on the need for economic intervention.  Bipartisanship is already happening.
    If Obama doesn't move to do something big about this bailout, then something funny really is up, and I will begin to seriously doubt his ability to effectively and progressively govern.

    He did give a great speech (5.00 / 1) (#55)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Sep 30, 2008 at 09:55:50 AM EST
    on the economy though.  If only he could live up to his speech giving.

    The speeches don't have (4.83 / 6) (#64)
    by lilburro on Tue Sep 30, 2008 at 10:14:13 AM EST
    to be great.  The explanations do.  I recall seeing Hillary speak about one of her plans, in the middle of her stump speech.  She basically said, this is my idea (about green jobs), we're going to take the money by taxing these companies, we're going to reinvest it here, and then within x amount of time, the jobs will appear.  Etc. Etc.  
    That's what people are looking for methinks (it's what I'm looking for).  Some reassurance that this is doable.  
    Obama needs to put his hand on the rudder.  

    I never bet against America (none / 0) (#69)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Sep 30, 2008 at 10:25:04 AM EST
    I still live in an environment where people tackle enormous tasks daily having to use the resources they have on hand. Complaining or over analyzing every angle accomplishes nothing tangible when there is a task that needs done.  I think most Americans are out there "doing" every single day, they don't blog much.  Those people already know we can do this.  Those people will be furious if a real solution isn't applied because they apply real solutions all over their lives every day.  Seems to me like it is mostly introverted bloggers who need reassurances of what is possible.

    Good sentiment. Bill Clinton said that (5.00 / 4) (#166)
    by hairspray on Tue Sep 30, 2008 at 12:52:53 PM EST
    to Jon Stewart the other night on his show.  Bill was showing how everything was working (badly) and ever so gently pointing out that had we invested in alternative energy instead of the Iraq war, we would be on top of our game economically today.  Thanks be to all the right wingers and then all the Clinton haters we are here, having taken the wrong path. Thanks also to people like Frank Rich and those who detested Al Gore for their destruction.

    I meant to rate liburro's comment a 5 (none / 0) (#118)
    by sallywally on Tue Sep 30, 2008 at 11:16:11 AM EST
    but inadvertently pressed the 4. Sorry!

    What great speech was that? (none / 0) (#144)
    by rennies on Tue Sep 30, 2008 at 12:06:47 PM EST
    The new FDR was right in front of us (5.00 / 11) (#68)
    by angie on Tue Sep 30, 2008 at 10:23:11 AM EST
    but the Dem party went with Obama.

    sadly Obama suggested in his book (5.00 / 3) (#74)
    by Salo on Tue Sep 30, 2008 at 10:28:58 AM EST
    that the New Deal is at an end.  

    It's a massive clanger in his book.  

    Oh Boy (none / 0) (#78)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Sep 30, 2008 at 10:30:50 AM EST
    You really need to be kidding right now!

    I read the chap's book. (5.00 / 5) (#82)
    by Salo on Tue Sep 30, 2008 at 10:33:12 AM EST
    30 bucks wasted imho.

    he suggested teh New Deal was passe, crumbling, outmoded, unworkable etc.


    Now you tell us. (5.00 / 1) (#176)
    by oculus on Tue Sep 30, 2008 at 01:13:23 PM EST
    Hm (5.00 / 3) (#87)
    by Steve M on Tue Sep 30, 2008 at 10:40:28 AM EST
    Didn't Nancy Pelosi demonstrate yesterday that the politics of contrast makes Republicans cry?

    It makes them cry (5.00 / 2) (#91)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Sep 30, 2008 at 10:43:44 AM EST
    and then kick the most defenseless thing they can lay hands on......the country :)

    The MSM makes this difficult. (5.00 / 1) (#120)
    by Manuel on Tue Sep 30, 2008 at 11:17:11 AM EST
    FDR was able to bypass the newspapers of his time by going directly to the nation via radio.  Today's media, including the Internet, makes it difficult for a clear choice to be placed before the public.  Take the current credit crisis.  Neither the politicians nor the press have done a good job of explaining the crisis and the alternatives we have for dealing with it.  It is hard to cut through the noise, the sound bites, and the misinformation.

    They've done an excellent job! (5.00 / 2) (#127)
    by lambert on Tue Sep 30, 2008 at 11:30:12 AM EST
    That is, if their job description is shocking the country into handing another trillion to the same guys who took their last trillion to the track and lost it...

    Good example of what I mean (5.00 / 1) (#136)
    by Manuel on Tue Sep 30, 2008 at 11:50:52 AM EST
    Your characterization is what sticks in people's minds along with the mindless Republican rejoinder that we should let the markets be free.  The media thrives on the conflit and then stokes up people's frustration that nothing gets done.  The details of the crisis and responsible alternatives are ignored.  Getting the progressive point of view heard and seen in such an environment is very hard.  On the MSM and the internet all opinions are presented on an equal footing regardless of merit.  It is hard for people to know who to trust.  Obama is on his way to gaining the trust of a majority of voters.  

    THE MOST important thing to recovering (none / 0) (#148)
    by pluege on Tue Sep 30, 2008 at 12:13:50 PM EST
    America is to breakup Big Media - no question about it. Everything else is not even close.

    The MSM and political parties (none / 0) (#137)
    by jar137 on Tue Sep 30, 2008 at 11:53:06 AM EST
    don't want the public to understand what is actually going on.  They will relinquish their control if they do.  EG, last night the sky was falling because the market dropped.  Today it has regained almost a third of that loss.  Sounds like the market is functioning ok at this moment.  Ideally, the president should have spoken to the people for however long it would take to explain to them what is happening and what the consequences of not acting are.  Then the people would support it.  Since we don't have a president right now, the media and/or the presidential candidates should take up the mantle.  Why haven't they done so?

    Democrat's need to use media smarter (none / 0) (#141)
    by mmc9431 on Tue Sep 30, 2008 at 12:01:08 PM EST
    Obama was able to get complete media attention when he wanted to give his speech on race. He could do the same with the economy.

    The Democrat's have had a terrible record for getting their message out to the public. They continually allow the Republican's or the MSM to define their position.


    "He could do the same (none / 0) (#152)
    by oculus on Tue Sep 30, 2008 at 12:19:18 PM EST
    with the economy."  But he isn't.  Why?  

    Because he doesn't have to (none / 0) (#182)
    by Manuel on Tue Sep 30, 2008 at 01:25:10 PM EST
    Sticking your neck out on the economy in this media environment is just courting trouble.  Obama is doing the smart thing.  He is pojecting knowledge, confidence, and calm much better than McCain.  Even when people diagree with his position on the bailout, Obama is seen (rightly IMO) as the best bet to handle the economy.

    Progressive leader is not Obama (5.00 / 2) (#145)
    by pluege on Tue Sep 30, 2008 at 12:11:09 PM EST
    This is where Obama as Democratic leader will fail most strikingly. Obama is a center-right corportist with anti-New Deal instincts. Any new New deal that comes out of these difficult times will be in spite of Obama, not because of him. But on the bright side, who would have guessed blue-blood FDR would have become the patron saint of progressivism, i.e., I'd love to be wrong about Obama.

    Also, keep in mind that Obama is not really old enough to be New Deal. His political orientation is almost exclusively the age of republican media propaganda dominated by anti-liberal, anti-progressive shrieking. True liberals are just starting to peer out from cellar after nearly 40 years of being demonized (a stupider, more inane success story - that of republican demonizing of liberals, could never be imagined), but few have gone on the offensive yet. A progressive resurgence is only yet in its infancy, spurred on by the extremism of the bush years.

    Obam won't call himself a progressive or a liberal (5.00 / 2) (#156)
    by ruffian on Tue Sep 30, 2008 at 12:29:25 PM EST
    He barely calls himself a Democrat.

    I hope and believe he will win this election.  But nothing will get significantly better in the next 4 years.  The problems are so deep that only dramatic solutions will solve them, and that is just not who he is.

    I hope there is a progressive Democrat willing to take him on in a primary fight in 2012.  By then the failure of Republicanism and unity schtick politics will be apparent.   I'm sorry for what the country will have to go through in the next four years.


    A real progressive... (none / 0) (#187)
    by BigElephant on Tue Sep 30, 2008 at 01:35:56 PM EST
    can't win the nomination.  I know everyone here loves Hillary, but she's slightly to the right of Obama.  

    Jim McDermott would be a great choice.  Mike Gravel also would be good, had he not retired.  

    But lets be real, these people will never be picked.  The choice came down to Edwards, Clinton, and Obama.  No progressives in that room.


    Meanwhile, Feingold is (none / 0) (#153)
    by oculus on Tue Sep 30, 2008 at 12:20:56 PM EST
    pushing to protect the laptop computer info.  

    Perhaps we should all just take a nap (5.00 / 2) (#155)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Sep 30, 2008 at 12:24:17 PM EST
    Feingold has championed just about everything that really mattered while getting ignored for the past eight years.  If he isn't worried about this maybe we should all just nap :)

    See BTD's post above. (none / 0) (#165)
    by oculus on Tue Sep 30, 2008 at 12:49:46 PM EST
    Doesn't seem like Obama needs our advice!   He's doing great in the polls.

    I have no doubt he is going to be my next (none / 0) (#167)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Sep 30, 2008 at 12:54:47 PM EST

    B.S. (none / 0) (#161)
    by flyerhawk on Tue Sep 30, 2008 at 12:41:33 PM EST
    This is just creative writing.

    So anyone under 60 can't be New Deal?  WTF?


    The Democrats in congress (5.00 / 1) (#147)
    by eliz0414 on Tue Sep 30, 2008 at 12:13:23 PM EST
    in their quest for bipartisanship on this bill, are beginning to remind me of Charlie Brown and how he believes Lucy EVERY TIME she says that THIS TIME she'll really hold the football and she won't pull it out from under him at the last minute...

    I just watched Obama speaking in Nevada (5.00 / 1) (#150)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Sep 30, 2008 at 12:18:43 PM EST
    He doesn't seem to understand the basics of what has happened economically and what needs to happen economically.  He threatened the crowd with a long painful recession if this bailout wasn't to be had soon, yet we are going to have a long painful recession whether we do this bail out or not and in fact if we do this bail out it is being argued by the brightest minds that we will be extending out that long painful recession for the little people.

    That is not good (5.00 / 1) (#158)
    by ruffian on Tue Sep 30, 2008 at 12:34:29 PM EST
    I heard a little bit of McCain speaking on my way home for lunch and he offered some steps the President can take without the bailout bill.  He said the housing bill recently passed gave the treasury the authority to use up to 1 trillion dollars to buy out mortgages.  I have not fact checked that.  He also mentioned another couple of things the federal gov can do without a new bill.

    I don't like to see him being the one offering solutions, however half-baked they may be.  He talked a good game and sounded like he knew what he was talking about.  As I said, I have not researched his ideas one iota, and am not endorsing the ideas, just noting the political perception that he is creating.


    I guess I shouldn't feel so confident (5.00 / 1) (#170)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Sep 30, 2008 at 01:01:50 PM EST
    that Obama is going to be my next President.  This is disturbing if McCain is making these statements.  What is Palin going to be talking about at this debate?  Joe Biden could get his credit card company luvin a$$ kicked if he isn't careful here.  The Democrats aren't offering a plan that doesn't give a blank check to Paulson and McCain is offering people solutions that don't require their grandchildren to pay for it, not honest solutions either probably but with as poorly educated as the public is on what is happening McCain sounds like a good deal and Obama...not so much.

    McCain's free for Dubya to use (none / 0) (#198)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Sep 30, 2008 at 02:01:15 PM EST
    crisis solutions.

    McCain said he had urged Bush in a morning call to use the Treasury's Exchange Stabilization Fund to expand the financial services it guarantees beyond money market accounts.

    He also said he urged Bush to require the Treasury use its roughly trillion-dollar authority to shore up mortgage values.

    "The administration can take these actions with the stroke of the pen to help alleviate the crisis gripping our economy. I urge them to do so," he said to an audience of about 200 employees and business owners at the Des Moines concrete forms manufacturer.

    Obama (5.00 / 2) (#159)
    by TheRealFrank on Tue Sep 30, 2008 at 12:34:29 PM EST
    I read the text of his speech today, and was pleased.

    Pleased because it had courage. The easy way for a politician who is looking to get elected is to resort to easy black and white pictures and demagoguery about "fat cats on Wall Street".

    He didn't do that. He stood up and explained that this is not just some "Wall Street" crisis, but that it affects everybody, and that something needs to be done.

    I like that. I've grown rather tired of all the demagogues in the blogosphere, especially the ones who say that they are "progressives" at every other turn. That word has been abused so much that I now instantly am suspicious of anybody who uses it.

    There are arguments to be made for and against a whole range of solutions, but I applaud Obama for not going for easy rhetoric.

    hear, hear! (5.00 / 3) (#164)
    by OldCity on Tue Sep 30, 2008 at 12:48:43 PM EST
    I wrote above about how I'm so sick of the rampant misuse of the word "progressive".  Reminds me of that scene in the Princess Bride..."You keep using that word.  I do not think it means what you think it means." (With apologies to William Goldman)

    There is nno way out of this without creating some relief for institutions.  None.  The sooner people get their heads around that, the better off we'll be.  This isn't, specifically, about fixing the stock market.  It's about fixing the CREDIT markets.  There's been collateral damage to the stock market as a result, but ultimately, this comes down to fixing the engine that makes the motor run.  

    I keep waiting to hear feasible solutions.  McCain's certainly isn't, nor, really, is the insurance provision (that's a joke, and I'm in a position to know).  

    The questions for the Republicans and Democrats who voted against the bill ought to be, "How many Americans should lose their jobs?  How many small or privately held companies should close?  How soon?  Are you prepared to take responsibility when it happens?"

    The act of implementing a fix is a far different thing from taking responsibility for creating the problem, or absolving the institutions and people responsible.    


    It's the party of Moynihan, not FDR (5.00 / 2) (#171)
    by esmense on Tue Sep 30, 2008 at 01:04:56 PM EST
    I don't think Moynihan gets enough credit for what modern "liberalism," as expressed in the Democratic Party's last several decades (from the 70s to present) legislative record and leadership, has become. But he should. It's the kind of elitist "liberalism" that fought harder than anyone against health care reform during the Clinton administration, among other betrayals of traditional Democratic constituencies and their issues(the very constituencies, and the issues, that had put a Democratic President in the White House). The kind of liberal who could work as comfortably in the Nixon administration as the Kennedy administration (or, perhaps, more comfortably).

    Bravo! (none / 0) (#190)
    by gyrfalcon on Tue Sep 30, 2008 at 01:43:37 PM EST
    I was initially suspicious of Hillary's Senate run precisely because she courted Moynihan's approval so hard.

    My biggest fear isn't that Obama will lose (5.00 / 2) (#201)
    by esmense on Tue Sep 30, 2008 at 02:25:02 PM EST
    But that when he wins he will be unable or unwilling to challenge the clueless, legislative Democratic leadership (and the Washington consensus they tremble before) that promoted his candidacy and was so instrumental in his primary win.

    The times absolutely require someone who will challenge that consensus, stand up for -- rather than "stand up to" -- the traditional constituencies that the DC establishment consistently demands that Democratic candidates betray (or, in their parlance, "show their independence" from), and, ignore and stand above the vicious ridicule, low attacks and howls of outrage that doing so will elicit from the media pack.

    Nothing Obama has done yet indicates, to me, that he is willing to provoke, and ready to stand up to, the kind of attack that doing what will be  required will earn him. He is a man whose nature seeks consensus, approval and the smoothing out of conflict. I don't think these are times that will be comfortable for that kind of man.


    hmmmmmmmmmmmmmm! (5.00 / 3) (#177)
    by cpinva on Tue Sep 30, 2008 at 01:14:26 PM EST
    first off, i don't think sen. obama really has much of a grasp on history, past or present.

    second, it wasn't FDR's policies that put the country back on its feet financially, it was wwII and the massive gov't (deficit) spending required to support it.

    third, the FDR era republicans weren't dominated by the right-wing religious nuts, just your basic greedy wall streeters. religion adds a whole new, and very toxic, element to the mixture.

    fourth, based on the primaries, and his actions, i wouldn't trust sen. obama one iota to lead a "progressive" democratic charge on capital hill.

    all in all, sen. obama is, in my not-so-humble opinion, merely the lesser of two evils.

    Grasp of history... (none / 0) (#189)
    by BigElephant on Tue Sep 30, 2008 at 01:38:42 PM EST
    I'm sure your grasp of history is much greater than Obama's.  Like my neighbor who reminds me that Eli Manning wouldn't start on his high school team (and no, his high school team didn't have John Elway at the helm).  

    I agree (none / 0) (#1)
    by Ga6thDem on Tue Sep 30, 2008 at 08:13:20 AM EST
    with Digby 100% here. She has the right read on the situation.

    Obama is a Democrat? (5.00 / 7) (#6)
    by Shainzona on Tue Sep 30, 2008 at 08:31:34 AM EST
    Oh, wait - of course he is there is a D next to his name.

    But when was the last time he actually said he was a Democrat in any of his ads and then talk about Democratic principles?  He works very very hard to avoid using that word as he is campaigning.

    No wonder he won't stand up for a democratic policy.


    Check the debate transcript (5.00 / 1) (#27)
    by lambert on Tue Sep 30, 2008 at 09:08:46 AM EST
    Number of times Obama uses the word "Democrat":


    He's got to dance with who brung him, and that's post-partisanship. No time to pivot.


    Piffle - the primaries are long over. (5.00 / 2) (#29)
    by Fabian on Tue Sep 30, 2008 at 09:11:50 AM EST
    Obama could have ditched the post partisan marketing schtick in June once he had the nomination of the Democratic Party sewn up.

    There's pivots in dancing (5.00 / 2) (#73)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Sep 30, 2008 at 10:28:38 AM EST
    Sometimes you even change partners.  I'm not letting Obama off the hook with that dancing with who brung ya thing.

    changing partners... (5.00 / 1) (#101)
    by marian evans on Tue Sep 30, 2008 at 10:51:59 AM EST
    Well, if you can change partners, how about changing to Hillary Clinton?

    Oh of course, women dance partners aren't allowed to lead...

    However, remember the comment about Ginger Rogers...she did what Fred did, only backwards, and in high heels...


    But BO08 does not partake of Democratic doctrine (5.00 / 3) (#66)
    by RonK Seattle on Tue Sep 30, 2008 at 10:20:25 AM EST
    Rather much the opposite. Even as this week he points an opportunistic rhetorical finger at deregulation, at heart he's as much a deregger as McCain ... nor is the current difficulty a product of deregulation.

    Ironically, the Republican right staked out the most left/populist position on the bailout.

    McCain instinct was to head for the arena, taking flak as necessary, and try to make a difference.

    Obama's instinct was like that of so many House members on both sides -- try to be as uninvolved as possible, and look as good as possible doing it.

    (HRC, by contrast, would have suspended and gone to the arena, and would have passed a legislative solution. Can you doubt it?)

    Obama is no FDR, no leader, no Democrat ... and it looks like we must learn this the hard way.


    Here's Hillary's statement on her support--gulp, (none / 0) (#196)
    by jawbone on Tue Sep 30, 2008 at 01:57:31 PM EST
    gasp! Oh rats!--of Paulson's Fix Is In. Seems she's following the Barry-Harry-Nancy-Barney NuDem party line. Alas.

    The text of Senator Clinton's comments in New York follows.

    Senator Clinton: Thanks to [Congressman Anthony Weiner] and [Congresswoman Nita Lowey], and to all of the House Democrats and the approximately one third of the House Republicans who stood up today and put partisanship aside, forgot what got us here for just a moment with a focus on what would get us out of the mess we're in, and voted not only for Wall Street, but for Main Street.

    This is not a situation any of us are happy to be in. This is a very tough time for our country and not only for our economy, our financial credit markets, but indeed for the world. There will be plenty of time to figure out what went wrong and how we're going to come up with new regulations and oversight and demand more accountability.

    But we now have to go back to the drawing boards, work together in a bipartisan way and come up with a solution that will actually make a difference for the problems that we are facing. I hope that we'll be back in Washington as soon as we can. The only reason we're not still there is because of the Jewish holidays--which everybody understands--but we will go back. I know the Senate will be back on Wednesday. We're going to see what we can do to try to pick up those additional votes. We were ready to vote today or at the latest on Wednesday because we have faced up to the very unfortunate consequences that inaction produces.

    This is not a time when doing nothing will see us through. We have to take action. It's not a bill that any one of us particularly likes or that we would have written. It's a compromise. And it's a heck of a lot better than what we were sent by the Bush Administration last week. It does give us a lot more in the way of tools to try to get at the real problem, to have the kind of accountability and oversight that was needed, to distribute the money in installments so that we can wait and see how this is working.

    We've got to get back together and I know that the New York delegation stands ready to work as hard as we can. Because despite what are clearly national and international ramifications, this really comes home here. We have tens of thousands of people who are dependent upon the financial services industry, we have thousands of people who run businesses across our state who can't get the credit they need to stay in business, and we have thousands and thousands of employees. We'll see the unemployment rate, I predict this week going up dramatically. I've talked to a lot of employers here in New York in the last week. They're laying off people, they don't see any end in sight unless we get a grip on this and that's what we're asking that everybody begin to do again in a bipartisan manner.

    Source: Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton (My emphasis)

    From a blog I found googling.

    I have no idea whether this blog can handle much traffic, so whole statement is here. Not that it's copyrighted.


    Call Hillary to push her to stand up for HOLC-- (5.00 / 1) (#199)
    by jawbone on Tue Sep 30, 2008 at 02:03:47 PM EST
    I guess we need to add her to our calls lists--I'd hoped she would vote against it, but that was probably silly thinking given she's the jr. senator from NY--and most of the state's and city's revenues come from Wall Street. But, still, I am disappointed.

    But, maybe call her and stress that Paulson/Bernanke said they could get away with $150B through January. Limit the damage he and BushCo can do. Use the time to work on things which will actually have a better chance of working. Have hearings for opinions different from the WH/Paulson/Bernanke/Rubin. Like those economists who called it right on just how bad this horror show could be.

    Remind her that if $7B is blown, next session the hue and cry will be that we can't afford of any of the programs which worked in the past, like HOLC. Like infrastructure public works/jobs programs. Like Universal Health Care, which will relieve all businesses of the burden of dealing with the rapacious for-profit health insurance companies. Entrepreneurs can focus on great ideas instead of how the insurance companies will raise their rates by double figure percentages each year.

    BTW, I heard on NPR yesterday that HOLC requires retail (individual attention) treatment, not wholesale. Up to 20,000 people were employed by HOLC to implement the mortgage assistance to, well, individuals. It will be a jobs program, as well as helping people and the economy.

    Obama is going full bore in favor of the Paulson Fix--with the big change being raising FDIC insurance limits to $250K. Wow. Totally wrapped himself in the bailout policy of President 28% and creator of the largest deficits and debt in the nation's history. Way cool.

    Even if the DC pols have decided to call it Recovery for Main Street, it's still the Banker Boiz Bailout. And the only good possibly for Main Street comes in stuff trickling down from the Big Banker Boiz....nasty image.

    Our Dem leaders (NuDems?) have decided that Reagan was right, that trickle down is the way to go. Hopefully, Hillary still believes she can push through what she campaigned on....


    Still Looking.... (none / 0) (#24)
    by gtesta on Tue Sep 30, 2008 at 09:02:26 AM EST
    You're asking Obama to pivot from a campaign of "I've come not to praise the Democratic Party but to bury it" to a new 100 days.
    Can't be done.

    but Brutus is an honorable man... (5.00 / 2) (#88)
    by huzzlewhat on Tue Sep 30, 2008 at 10:40:42 AM EST
    On the other hand, Antony managed that pivot over the course of one speech... :-)

    there are time when partisan politics (none / 0) (#36)
    by OldCity on Tue Sep 30, 2008 at 09:31:15 AM EST
    are inadvisable...this is one of them.

    It's inarguable that this crisis arose, in part, from legacy policies of Democratic Administrations.  What works in our favor is that Republicans allowed the problem to grow beyond the mortgage market into other markets; the failure to regulate those markets exacerbated liquidity and credit crisis that arose from foreclosures.  

    I think it's important to note that it isn't utterly politically expedient to lay this all at the feet of the Republicans.  Plenty of Democrats share blame, here, especially where regulation of Fannie and Freddie is concerned.

    What Obama is doing is smart...he's recognized that, for better or worse, this is not the bst time to polarize the electorate further.  Yes, the Republican did forver tarnish the words "liberal" and "democrat".  That said, their autodestruction of their own brand isn't going to be accelerated by the trumpeting of democratic principles, per se.  Sure, we can point to our belief in the social contract, but that's still code for "tax and spend".  

    We need to be the party of realists, the party that is analytical enough to change direction when things aren't working; more importantly, we need to be the party that is proud to change directions rather than adhere to failed policies.  We need to change the perception of that quality from flaw to benefit.

    We're never going to have a post partisan world.  I do think though, that the world has evolved beyond monolithic party strategies or platforms.        

    very few Democrats with a left wing bone (5.00 / 2) (#71)
    by Salo on Tue Sep 30, 2008 at 10:26:46 AM EST
    in their body could be held responsible for deregulation.

    If we ARE realists (5.00 / 2) (#111)
    by sallywally on Tue Sep 30, 2008 at 11:07:16 AM EST
    we will go to the progressive philosophy, which in fact IS beyond partisanship. It is the most fundamental, most profound, most universal and successful philosophy of all. It embodies the basic beliefs of all major religions; of all the best political philosophies; of the most successful societies. It is not some partisan rhetoric.

    And it is the Dems who once did, and now again can, espouse it.

    If Obama can make that case, and it is the realistic case, then he will be beyond partisan in a real way.

    That's not to assume the the Repub party, as you note, will not brand it "tax and spend" or whatever, since they are totally committed to vicious, divisive partisanship.

    But there will be no progress for anyone unless someone stands up for the better angels of our nature without worrying about right-wing branding.

    Worrying about what the Repubs will say is accepting their profoundly partisan world as the most powerful factor in our civilization, instead of creating a new intellectual and moral world for the future.

    We have a chance to do that. Let's speak loudly for it.


    Exactly, 100% wrong (5.00 / 4) (#125)
    by lambert on Tue Sep 30, 2008 at 11:28:24 AM EST
    It was only partisan politics that saved us from handing a trillion dollars to Hank Paulson's golfing buddies with no oversight.

    Maybe, just maybe, we've bought time for a bette solution.


    'bette solutions" (5.00 / 1) (#132)
    by marian evans on Tue Sep 30, 2008 at 11:40:37 AM EST
    Quote..."Maybe, just maybe, we've bought time for a bette solution"

    Hey, Lambert, is that Bette as in Davis, or Bette as in Midler?

    I vote for Bette Davis...the clothes are better AND you get that whole very apropos retro-depression thing going...


    Right wing populist partisanship, mostly (5.00 / 1) (#133)
    by andgarden on Tue Sep 30, 2008 at 11:42:38 AM EST
    I hope you enjoy who you've gotten into bed with to stop this Lambert.

    andgarden, I love you dearly (5.00 / 1) (#139)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Sep 30, 2008 at 11:55:24 AM EST
    Nobody understands polling like you or remembers political history like you do, but the world didn't burst into flames today.  The Fed pumped more money into the markets anyhow and it isn't working.  The bailout money wouldn't have freed up the interbank problems either.  In spite of all of this the world continues to rotate and the sun came up this morning and my grandchildren didn't get ripped off with my consent.....at least not yet.  They really need a future though and that what needs to happen next and won't happen if we keep feeding the shock doctorine.

    Geez, you're really good at (none / 0) (#186)
    by gyrfalcon on Tue Sep 30, 2008 at 01:33:28 PM EST
    this straw man stuff. Who said the world was going to burst into flames today?

    Oh, policy outcomes don't matter? (none / 0) (#135)
    by lambert on Tue Sep 30, 2008 at 11:49:58 AM EST
    Check. Stay pure, andgarden!

    OK, OK, more like Cousin Bette?

    Oh, and as far as being bed with people, it seems to be quite the rage these days, what with this Bush + Pelosi + Reid + Obama + Paulson bailout I'm hearing so much about. Eh?


    Policy outcomes are paramount (5.00 / 1) (#140)
    by andgarden on Tue Sep 30, 2008 at 11:55:54 AM EST
    which is why supporting the deal was the right thing to do. Giving aid and comfort to know-nothingism was not the right thing to do.

    Talking about being in bed . . . (5.00 / 1) (#149)
    by rennies on Tue Sep 30, 2008 at 12:14:18 PM EST
    Paulson owns $634,000,000 in Goldman Sachs stock.

    And how did FDR deal (none / 0) (#56)
    by lilburro on Tue Sep 30, 2008 at 09:57:27 AM EST
    with his Blue Dogs, I wonder?  

    The irony (5.00 / 1) (#62)
    by Ga6thDem on Tue Sep 30, 2008 at 10:12:54 AM EST
    is that lots of blue dogs are actually pretty much in line with some of the FDR ideology. A large part of the problem with them is having to vote with and agree with Pelosi who does not represent these values.

    Can you imagine if Murtha was the speaker? Do you think that we would have the same problems getting things passed?


    OT: Sign Oppostion/Open Letter to Sarah Palin (none / 0) (#86)
    by befuddledvoter on Tue Sep 30, 2008 at 10:39:21 AM EST
    As I read this, (none / 0) (#98)
    by OldCity on Tue Sep 30, 2008 at 10:49:42 AM EST
    I find it pretty intersting the number of people who are denigrating Obama, and comparing him unfavorably to Clinton.  

    Unless I forget my history, Clinton co-opted all sorts of Republican programs.  Welfare reform, anyone?  

    And really...you want to go back, HOEPA has a role to play in the current muckety-muck.  Clinton admitted that his administration may have overreached in that area.

    I love the guy.  I always have.  But, I'm not going to laud him and not acknowledge that he ws more a skillful politician than he was Democratic idealogue.  

    I love the guy above who called Obama a dilettante.  What?  Politicians are ALL dilettantes.  Obama is a lawyer, not a career diplomat, not an economist nor a soldier...neither was Clinton.  FDR was certainly no economist.  Bush, well, he wasn't anything.  The point is that Obama and Clinton are both smart enough to not only multi-task, but also to synthesize information and make good judgements.  The very fact that both identify as Democrats says something central about their character.  Obama obviously is motivated to work for the greater good, not just for the greater good of the materially privileged.  

    America has tried out political zealotry.  It never works.  It sure took a dive in the past 8 years.  The center is where most people live.  Being a lefty doesn't prevent me from acknowledging that, nor from trying to reach some accommodation with others of a different stripe.      

    We are talking about a different Clinton (5.00 / 4) (#114)
    by sallywally on Tue Sep 30, 2008 at 11:11:15 AM EST
    who is a stronger progressive than Bill - in an environment just made for progressives to show themselves as the universal supporters of the nation and its people.

    That Clinton can still be a leader, if not the president, as we move on.

    But that Clinton isn't being covered by the media and isn't being quoted or worked with by the Dem candidate, who never calls himself a Dem, so it's hard to say he identifies with Dems....


    Which part of (5.00 / 5) (#126)
    by Jjc2008 on Tue Sep 30, 2008 at 11:28:51 AM EST
    "Hillary is not Bill" do you not get. I am so sick of progressives not being able to see that a woman, even if she is a wife, does not have to parrot her husband.

    I'm kinda sick of the word (none / 0) (#151)
    by OldCity on Tue Sep 30, 2008 at 12:19:00 PM EST
    "progressive".  It's not being used correctly, if I remember my political history.  You're a democrat, or a liberal democrat or a right leaning democrat.  If you're a "progressive", you're not a Democrat.  For all the carping about losing identity because the Republicans demonized the words "liberal" and "democrat", we seem to be going to great lenghts to avoid using the words ourselves, which is pretty disappointing.  "Progressive" means something wholly different; trust me, HRC would not be flattered to be described as a "progressive".  She identifies as a Democrat.  

    Further, what is it with "lead".  Just once, I'd like to see somebody put some parameters around that demand.   Lead how?  Should he have an epiphany and convert all of Congress to his new idea?  Should he re-draw the world financial system?  How, precisely, is he supposed to lead Democrats on this issue?  This is a lousy situation with no attractive or workable fix that does not involve a rescue of the people who created the problem in the first place, no matter how loathe the public is to admit it.

    The Democrats swung enough votes...this simply has to be a bi-partisan fix, as a purely practical political matter.  The Republicans are the ones that are going to have to move, not Obama, and not the Democrats, really.  


    Moderate views seen as winning views (none / 0) (#106)
    by Rashomon66 on Tue Sep 30, 2008 at 11:00:12 AM EST
    According to the Americans for Democratic Action [ADA] he is one of the most liberal senators in Congress. I consider him closer to a left liberal than many politicians out there. However it is true he doesn't play that card. I think there is a belief that when you run for the Presidency you have to run to the middle and not seem too extreme one way or the other. The reason is because those on the left are already going to vote for Obama. So he feels he needs to try and get those Independents or Republicans who are more moderate.
    That said, yeah, I would love a new FDR.

    I think this moderate views win (5.00 / 1) (#116)
    by sallywally on Tue Sep 30, 2008 at 11:13:24 AM EST
    isn't true. To the extent that Obama seems to typify the progressive approach, he also seems to move ahead with independents, as far as I can tell.

    The FDIC's reserves are down (none / 0) (#113)
    by Mr Natural on Tue Sep 30, 2008 at 11:08:58 AM EST
    to 43 or 52 $billion.  Raising the insurance limit would require a cash infusion from, you guessed it, us.

    FWIW, Warren Buffet owns a small, very specialized insurance company that issues insurance to banks for the value of over-FDIC-limit deposits.  Two or three weeks ago his company announced that it is canceling all extant policies, at around 6000 banks.

    WOW!! (none / 0) (#134)
    by befuddledvoter on Tue Sep 30, 2008 at 11:47:53 AM EST
    That certainly is a significant piece of info.  does anyone know what Warren Buffett sees as a remedy here?

    He was pushing hard (none / 0) (#184)
    by gyrfalcon on Tue Sep 30, 2008 at 01:29:56 PM EST
    for the Paulson bail-out bill with every Rep. he could make contact with, apparently.  But how enthusiastically he supported the basic idea as the best possible plan, I have no idea.

    Leopard. Spots. (none / 0) (#129)
    by oldpro on Tue Sep 30, 2008 at 11:35:34 AM EST
    Change I can't believe in.

    Which FDR are we talking about? (none / 0) (#157)
    by flyerhawk on Tue Sep 30, 2008 at 12:33:37 PM EST
    The FDR of 1933 or the FDR of 1932?

    The FDR of 1933 was a man of action and leadership and contrast of the New Deal he offered and the old failed programs of the past.  We a bulletproof majority in the House and Senate he began the "hundred days" in which the country began it's transition into modern America.  

    The FDR of 1932 was a cautious politician who campaign on very popular themes, without providing a whole lot of specifics.  "Relief, recovery, reform" were his buzzwords but he focused on combating the Great Depression and NOT attacking the Republican Party.

    You can't be a partisan warrior until you convince the voters that your ideas work.  You can't do that until you are in charge.

    Right now Obama's entire campaign platform is changing Washington.  It is intentionally vague so that each voter can infer from that what they want to.

    The country is moving towards a more Progressive platform.  Democrats see this.  Republicans see this.  But that doesn't mean that the Obama campaign can lay out a grand Progressive plan right now.  If he does he will frighten voters who grew up with the belief that the market is great and the government is terrible.

    He needs to pick off the low hanging fruit and let the economy and political climate does the work for him.

    Win the election.  Push the agenda.  

    This is 1932 or 1980. This is no 1992. Once Obama is in the White House, with hopefully 60 Democratic Senators, things can be done.  New plans can be rolled out.  

    But right now it would be contentious and would lose voters and likely not win any.  

    Win the election.  Push the agenda.

    Thanks but no Thanks... (none / 0) (#162)
    by gtesta on Tue Sep 30, 2008 at 12:42:17 PM EST
    for that bridge to the 21st Century.  I dunno, it's a hell of a leap.

    I have no idea (1.00 / 1) (#168)
    by flyerhawk on Tue Sep 30, 2008 at 12:56:36 PM EST
    what this even means.

    Worried you might need to throw your Reagan portrait away?


    Hey? (5.00 / 1) (#179)
    by gtesta on Tue Sep 30, 2008 at 01:20:55 PM EST
    No need to insult, just because my joke is lame.
    It was a subtle criticism that Obama is rejecting a repeat of the political climate of 1992 and by extension rejecting Clinton again (remember Clinton's slogon...combined with a little Palin bashing).
    The original post equates this election with 1932 or 1980 but not 1992.  Actually, I think the climate today is most like 1976 - the most favorable climate for reform that we are likely to see.
    My concern is that if we don't take full advantage of this opportunity, then like 1980, our time in the White House will be short and we will set our country up for more disastrous policies.
    I believe Obama will be elected.  I don't want him to be a one-termer.  
    I would welcome him embracing both FDR and Clinton.

    I think it is a huge reach (none / 0) (#188)
    by flyerhawk on Tue Sep 30, 2008 at 01:38:38 PM EST
    to suggest that Obama is somehow rejecting Clinton because he supposedly doesn't see this as 1992.

    I don't think this is 1992 at all.  In 1992 the Democrats had been largely in charge of Congress for most of the previous 30 years.  They were getting blamed for a lot of stuff, as was Bush.  So in 92 they kicked Bush out and in 94 they kicked the Dems out of Congress.  This created a confrontational environment in which laws were passed by attrition.

    Right now the Republicans look like they are going to get smoked in November.  Not only the White House but decisive majorities in both branches of Congress.

    Obama will be able to do FAR MORE than Clinton can.  Not because he is a better politician or more liberal or anything like that.  He will because the times will allow it.

    If I worked for the DNC I would absolutely PUMMEL those House Republicans.  I would paint them as the poster child for failed Washington policies, of putting personal desires over the welfare of the country.


    And if they do manage (none / 0) (#193)
    by Alien Abductee on Tue Sep 30, 2008 at 01:48:29 PM EST
    by some miracle to come up with a progressive bill like that, supposedly Bush will sign it.

    Bush has boxed himself in--logical inconsistency (none / 0) (#200)
    by jawbone on Tue Sep 30, 2008 at 02:12:37 PM EST
    to veto bill with help for the Financial Mess.

    However, logic is not his strong suit. Nor is consistency.

    So, yes, vetoing a Dem bill is not only possible, but likely. Bush will be Bush.

    Unless BushCo takes charge.


    when either party is (none / 0) (#197)
    by OldCity on Tue Sep 30, 2008 at 02:00:24 PM EST
    marginalized for long enough, you're gonna have wholesale change.

    The question is, sinc we have the benefit of history, do we want long-term control of Congress, or do we want to get washed out by the Republicans once their pique hits critical mass?

    Anyone who thinks that gross implementation of "Democratic" or "progreesive" legislation is going to please the entire country, or even work, is totally deluded.  

    We can be partisan and not utterly disenfranchise the right.  I'm as big a Democrat as anyone, but I've read my Federalist papers.  Inefficient government can be good (by which I mean, thorough debate).  

    There is no historical parallel right now to the new deal.  We're not going to spend huge amounts of money on social program.  We don't need a TVA or another highway.  We don't need a President with enough power that he thinks that he can pack the Supreme Court.  

    We need good government.