A little history can harm only the ignorant

South Carolina

Perhaps because of the history we're taught, and because of the dire scenario created by the media, we expected President Obama's first term to be similar to that of FDR's first term. There was cooperation because that situation was so dire. FDR had promised that if various quarters resisted fixing the emergency, he'd use his powers of commander in chief to get the job done.

President Obama inherited an obstructionist Congress more like that of FDR's second term, a Congress that kept him from accomplishing much. The Republicans and conservative Democrats have plagiarized most of that playbook to block President Obama.

Al Smith loudly decried FDR's policies as those of Marx and Lenin. Most of the nation's wealthy industrialists, banks and food processing companies formed and supported the American Liberty League. The League's stated its purposes were to,"...defend and uphold the Constitution" and to "foster the right to work, earn, save and acquire property." (Anti-union language.)

When the Congress passed an agricultural administration the League didn't like, they called it, "a trend toward Fascist control of agriculture." During the development of Social Security, they said it was "...the end of democracy." Sound familiar?

The new wrinkle is that they have toadies such as Joe Wilson and Joe Barton, who have accomplished little but are willing to sacrifice themselves to distract the media talk from major Obama accomplishments.

The main reason FDR weathered the storm was that the Republicans and his other critics, by their own actions, tied themselves to the hated bankers. They overplayed their hands and self-destructed. We see that happening again - but shouldn't totally count on it.

A telling difference, however, between FDR and President Obama is that FDR was willing to use devastating metaphors such as, "I'd rather be an eagle flying high rather than a turtle or ostrich with its head in the ground," (referring to some early war time critics.) Nothing like some commonsense ridicule.

In that you're correct. However, Obama should do this sparingly and leave most of the work to those speaking for him. The President has better uses for his time than trading barbs with intellectual lightweights who've demonstrated they're only in it for their money, not the interests of the American people.

To some extent, President Obama has already fired the first shot of this round. Before the speech, pundits behaved as though they were the master of his comments. By post speech time, they'd sliced and diced him and high-fived each other. The next morning the President delivered the complete BP pledge for financial restitution. He showed the babbling heads of all political stripes, along with the print pundits, to be clueless.

Yes, they need some house cleaning. However, I've got a feeling his administration has a few more accomplishments to present before going into campaign mode and ripping the curtains back to reveal the anti-democracy corporatists and their toadies working to manipulate the American people out of their own best interests.

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