Warm Southern Breeze

"… there is no such thing as nothing."

Posts Tagged ‘New Deal’

What will President Obama do in his next four years?

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Friday, October 26, 2012

Obama and the Road Ahead: The Rolling Stone Interview

In an Oval Office conversation with a leading historian, the president discusses what he would do with a second term – and his opponent’s embrace of ‘the most extreme positions in the Republican Party

by: Douglas Brinkley

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Photo by Mark Seliger

Barack Obama can no longer preach the bright 2008 certitudes of “Hope and Change.” He has a record to defend this time around. And, considering the lousy hand he was dealt by George W. Bush and an obstructionist Congress, his record of achievement, from universal health care to equal pay for women, is astonishingly solid. His excessive caution is a survival trait; at a time when the ripple and fury provoked by one off-key quip can derail a campaign for days, self-editing is the price a virtuoso must pay to go the distance in the age of YouTube.

Viewed through the lens of history, Obama represents a new type of 21st-century politician: the Progressive Firewall. Obama, simply put, is the curator-in-chief of the New Deal, the Fair Deal, the New Frontier and the Great Society. When he talks about continued subsidies for Big Bird or contraceptives for Sandra Fluke, he is the inheritor of the Progressive movement’s agenda, the last line of defense that prevents America’s hard-won social contract from being defunded into oblivion.

Ever since Theodore Roosevelt used executive orders to save the Grand Canyon from the zinc-copper lobbies and declared that unsanitary factories were grotesque perversions propagated by Big Money interests, the federal government has aimed to improve the daily lives of average Americans. Woodrow Wilson followed up T.R.’s acts by creating the Federal Reserve and the Federal Trade Commission and re-establishing a federal income tax. Then, before the stock market crash in 1929, the GOP Big Three of Harding-Coolidge-Hoover made “business” the business of America, once more allowing profiteers to flourish at the expense of the vulnerable.

Enter Franklin Roosevelt, a polio victim confined to a wheelchair and leg braces. His alphabet soup of New Deal programs – the CCC and TVA and WPA – brought hope to the financially distraught, making them believe that the government was on their side. Determined to end the Great Depression, Roosevelt was a magnificent experimenter. Credit him with Social Security, legislation to protect workers, labor’s right to collective bargaining, Wall Street regulation, rural electrification projects, farm-price supports, unemployment compensation and federally guaranteed bank deposits. The America we know and love today sprung directly from the New Deal.

For the next three decades, the vast majority of voters benefited from Roosevelt’s revolution. And every president from FDR to Jimmy Carter, regardless of political affiliation, grabbed America by the scruff of the neck and did huge, imaginative things with tax revenues. Think Truman (the Marshall Plan), Eisenhower (the Interstate Highway System), Kennedy (the space program), Johnson (Medicaid and Medicare), Nixon (the EPA) and Carter (the departments of Energy and Education). Whether it was Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy going after the Mob or LBJ laying the groundwork for PBS, citizens took comfort in the knowledge that the executive branch was a caring iron fist with watchdog instincts that got things done.

It was the election of Ronald Reagan that started the Grand Reversal. Reagan had voted four times for FDR, but by 1980 he saw the federal government – with the notable exception of our armed forces – as a bloated, black-hatted villain straight out of one of his B movies. His revolution – and make no mistake that it was one – aimed to undo everything from Medicare to Roe v. Wade. Ever since Reagan, both the New Deal and Read the rest of this entry »

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Is Government & the process of governing really evil, truly corrupt, and criminal?

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Sunday, September 2, 2012

Those who assert that government is evil, yet participate in the process by and through their own candidacy & election, are admitting they are evil.

Ironic, eh?

And yet, it’s pure logic… something sadly & noticeably absent in the GOP.

For years I have shared this (astute & regular readers will recognize my quote, and the category of the same name), that

“Politics is the art of compromise, and first begins in the home.
For neither Daddy, nor Mama, nor children always get their way all the time.
On occasion, however, Daddy gets his way, Mama gets her way, and by mutual agreement, the children get their way.
And by this effort, in which on occasion everyone gets their way from time to time, no one is harmed, the family is not harmed, and everyone learns how to get along, to love, and cooperate with each other, and to help one another.
In that way, we teach children how to love, to live, to respect, and increase our own sense of love and respect for each other.”

Regular readers of this blog will also recognize the song which I’ve been singing, which is that the Republican party – since 1964 – has been, as then-Governor Nelson Rockefeller said at the RNC convention at Cow Palace in San Francisco, “The Republican party is in real danger of subversion by a radical, well-financed and highly disciplined minority.” {Ed. note: I encourage the reader to also read the entry of November 10, 2009 entitled “These extremists feed on fear, hate and terror.”}

Further, those who tear down things are destroyers, although through our process of governance, there are some who are hell bent upon deconstructing it.

It always takes more creativity, energy and effort to maintain and operate a thing, than it does to create it, simply because maintenance efforts are ongoing and continuous, whereas once a thing is made, there is no further energy or effort required to make it, for it is already made.

In the same way, our nation’s governance requires more effort now than in 1776 (when it was 2,500,000 – in contrasting comparison, NYC’s population is now over 8,400,000) to operate for several reasons, not the least of which is that our nation’s population is in excess of 300,000,000 (300 Million) – a mere drop in the bucket when compared to China or India – both nations which have 1,000,000,000 (1 Billion) more people each.

Logically and rationally, with the proliferation of inventions, discoveries & patents, it is utterly absurd – so much so as to be insane – to assert that in this era, with all the continual increase of those same inventions, discoveries & patents multiplied by our population – that somehow, we will have fewer laws, smaller needs, and a decrease in any kind of governance, rule, regulation or law is beyond the scope of any rationality or comprehension. Analogously, it’s like asserting that adults should – and can – wear children’s sized clothing.

How ‘Government’ Became A Dirty Word

by NPR Staff
September 1, 2012

Listen to the Story
All Things Considered [11 min 29 sec] / Download / Transcript

The message at the GOP convention this week was clear: Government is too big, too expensive, and it can’t fix our economic problems.

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President Ronald Reagan and his wife, Nancy Reagan, in the inaugural parade in Washington, D.C., in January 1981. In his speech after being sworn in, Reagan called government “the problem.”

“The choice is whether to put hard limits on economic growth, or hard limits on the size of government. And we choose to limit government,” said Republican vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan.

There’s nothing new about the message. Anti-big government sentiment is practically part of the American DNA, and it has deep roots in the Republican Party.

“Republicans, dating back to the New Deal, had always voiced their opposition to the expansion of government,” says Julian Zelizer, who teaches history and public policy at Princeton. “It was always part of the party the idea that centralization was bad, bureaucracy was dangerous, taxes were bad.”

But before the 1960s, the Republican Party also had a liberal wing, Zelizer tells weekends on All Things Considered host Guy Raz.

“They had New York Republicans, they had a lot of Midwestern progressives, who still said government is good for a lot of things,” he says.

Extremism ‘Is No Vice’

At the 1964 Republican convention, the party showed a shift away from Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in - Lost In Space: TOTALLY Discombobulated, - Politics... that "dirty" little "game" that first begins in the home. | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

 
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