Wednesday :: Nov 28, 2007

How Hillary Clinton, unlike FDR, Single-Handedly Destroyed America

by eriposte

It's time for more Reality-Based Straight TalkTM on Senator Clinton - and what better place to find it than in yet another Recommended Diary at Daily Kos (from last week). Today, let's take a first look into the deep thoughts of diarist ProgressforAmerica, a person who started her brilliant diary thusly:

Why, as a Reasonable Woman, I cannot vote for Hillary Clinton

This is an appeal to rational women.

All I can say is, about time! A "reasonable" woman finally wrote a diary revealing the real Hillary Clinton - the person whom no reasonable woman should be voting for. Just what I've been waiting for! I must confess though, that I initially thought this diary might just be a reproduction of Karl "unindicted co-conspirator in a whole string of felonies" Rove's column in Newsweek - which might have deflated the value of the diary. However, I discovered to my great relief that this diary was actually an extraordinarily incisive original piece written by a "progressive" diarist at Daily Kos (not that it's easy to tell the difference these days).

You can guess how "reasonable" this diary is from the introductory portion where ProgressforAmerica indirectly offers gushing praise for a real and true blue Democrat (note that all emphasis in the remainder of this post is mine):

My mother’s father, my paw-paw (what we call our grandpas in Louisiana), was a lifelong democrat. I remember my paw-paw telling me about the Great Depression. He told me that he had to walk miles to sell a bucket of snap beans for 5 cents. He said at that time, the world was without a bright light at the end of the tunnel. He taught me the value of work. He taught me the value of integrity. And he taught me about Franklin Delano Roosevelt.

He told me that FDR saved not just the United States, but the entire world by exuding extreme courage and conviction, and challenging conventional thought.

If ProgressforAmerica and Daily Kos had been around when FDR was President, any guesses as to whether we would have seen Recommended Diaries by alleged progressives titled:

Why, as a Reasonable Person, I cannot vote for Franklin Delano Roosevelt

I'll tell you my guess. If FDR had allowed it, there would likely have been many, many such diaries - attacking him for pandering to Southern Democrats by not pushing for anti-lynching legislation, comparing him to the worst dictators of the world for interning Japanese Americans en-masse during WWII, aghast at his denial of asylum to Jews escaping from Nazi Germany and at his support for the military-industrial complex and atomic bombs through a vast increase in defense spending to engage America militarily in unprovoked conflicts (prior to Pearl Harbor), and perhaps even expressing shock at his "court-packing" attempt. Then again, there may have been NO diaries to this effect - after all FDR also used Executive Order 8985 to establish the Office of Censorship saying:

All Americans abhor censorship, just as they abhor war. But the experience of this and of all other Nations has demonstrated that some degree of censorship is essential in wartime, and we are at war.

The important thing now is that such forms of censorship as are necessary shall be administered effectively and in harmony with the best interests of our free institutions.

It is necessary to the national security that military information which might be of aid to the enemy be scrupulously withheld at the source.

It is necessary that a watch be set upon our borders, so that no such information may reach the enemy, inadvertently or otherwise, through the medium of the mails, radio, or cable transmission, or by any other means.

It is necessary that prohibitions against the domestic publication of some types of information, contained in long-existing statutes, be rigidly enforced.

Finally, the Government has called upon a patriotic press and radio to abstain voluntarily from the dissemination of detailed information of certain kinds, such as reports of the movements of vessels and troops. The response has indicated a universal desire to cooperate.

In order that all of these parallel and requisite undertakings may be coordinated and carried forward in accordance with a single uniform policy, I have appointed Byron Price, Executive News Editor of the Associated Press, to be Director of Censorship, responsible directly to the President. He has been granted a leave of absence by the Associated Press and will take over the post assigned him within the coming week, or sooner...

Here was the result of that EO, where the American media formally agreed to be Pravda, in a more overt way than the American media's knee-pad obeisance to Dear Leader since 9/11:

Voluntary self-censorship worked well, even if it meant battlefront reportage that ran heavily to human-interest stories. As requested, newspapers didn't publish photographs of dead American troops until 1944, when the government wanted to motivate home front support. Reporters knew the war's biggest story—the coming atom bomb—two years in advance, and kept the secret. They knew the war's longest story too—President Roosevelt's failing health—and kept that secret. In fact, Price contended that of the thousands of stories filed, only once did a U.S. journalist intentionally break the rules.

Some book publishers seemed eager to censor themselves. Existing manuscripts critical of some allies, for instance, weren't released until after the war. Publisher Bennett Cerf even suggested to his colleagues that they "check their backlists carefully," and eliminate any books that suggested Russia, "our (new) friend in need," was a less-than-splendid operation.

By 1942, 10,000 civil servants were reading and censoring a million pieces of mail weekly, especially those to or from POW's and other internees. (At the same time, they watched for potentially valuable information. Loose lips could also sink the other guy's ships.) GI's writing home-all subject to censorship by officers-were prohibited from mentioning anything about the military situation around them. Their families were encouraged to write back frequently, sending light, happy letters that were non-specific about life and especially work at home. Allegedly, that's what combat soldiers wanted to read, even if, as in one case, a D-Day veteran learned all about how difficult Pledge Week had been at Kappa Kappa Gamma.

That FDR guy. What a great progressive hero, unlike Hitlery Hillary who is just like George W. Bush and is destroying America from within!

The thing is, I agree that FDR is an icon who did tremendous good for the country, especially for the poor and middle class (not to mention his wartime leadership) - and was clearly one of our best Presidents. Yet, in these amazing and wonderful tales of America-saving heroism, I always find it fascinating how "reasonable" people conveniently have selective amnesia about their heroes (excerpt from Mike Lux's post at Open Left, emphasis mine):

Teddy Roosevelt created the national park system, partially broke apart the big trusts and brought us some measure of food safety; but had no use for unions or women's suffrage, allowed some of the worst lynching to go on in the South in the nation's history, and was a serious military adventurer. Woodrow Wilson brought us the single most important economic reform in the country's history, a progressive income tax, and his ideas set the stage for many New Deal era reforms and the United Nations; but he was perhaps the worst stone cold racist president in the country's history, was vehemently opposed to women's suffrage, and got us into a stupid, wasteful war we had no business being in. FDR gave us Social Security, labor law reform, the minimum wage, financial regulation and a massive increase in domestic spending and job creation; but did nothing on civil rights, interred the Japanese in WWII, and screwed Jews trying to save themselves from the Holocaust. Kennedy and Johnson helped push through civil rights laws, Medicare and Medicaid; but got us into Vietnam.

There are no straight lines up in the history of American progressivism. We gain and we lose, we chip away, occasionally there's a big breakthrough, but it always has been and always will be a constant- and frequently heartbreaking- struggle. The other thing is that our gains almost never happen overnight. We live in a culture that wants instant results, but democracies (at least this one) don't provide them.

Let me add this. Two days ago, I responded to a Recommended Diary at MyDD on the "Clinton/Bush dynasty" by a classic Clinton Derangement Syndrome proponent and I highlighted one of the comments of another CDS proponent in that same diary - this one:

....You can say what you want but if we have the same two families running this country for 28 yrs., I find that unsettling.

by RDemocrat on Wed Nov 21, 2007 at 05:11:17 PM EST

I mentioned in my post on Monday how RDemocrat - an alleged Democrat - sounded positively R=Rovian. He combined 20 Bush years [12 under GHWB (8 as VP, 4 as P) plus 8 under GWB] with 8 years of (Bill) Clinton to claim that "the same two families" have been "running this country for 28 yrs". As I said then, I'm sure Bill Clinton would find it newsworthy that he was allegedly running for election as President in 1991-92 against GHWB even though he was already running the country then with his pal GHWB, according to RDemocrat - and Hillary Clinton would certainly have found it edifying that she doesn't need to run for President now because, according to RDemocrat, she has been running the country for the past 8 years (or is it 28)?

As it turns out, RDemocrat is even more into CDS than is evident from the above comment. Here is another comment exchange from the same MyDD thread:

Re: [UPDATE] End the Bush/Clinton Dynasty (2.00 / 2)

Great Diary Vox. I agree with your assessments. It is time that another family got a chance at the White House.

What is the definition of insanity? Doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result!!

by RDemocrat on Wed Nov 21, 2007 at 04:15:14 PM EST

Re: [UPDATE] End the Bush/Clinton Dynasty (none / 0)

Wow. You really would have hated FDR.

by CaseyL on Wed Nov 21, 2007 at 04:27:17 PM EST

Re: [UPDATE] End the Bush/Clinton Dynasty (2.00 / 1)

Well lets see. FDR was in the WH for just under 16 yrs, and actually helped the nation. If Hillary wins eight years that will be 28 yrs of little or no Progressive change. Why again do I hate FDR?

by RDemocrat on Wed Nov 21, 2007 at 05:08:38 PM EST

RDemocrat is right. The real question here is not why RDemocrat should hate FDR.

The question we should be asking is: What is more dangerous - alleged "progressives" who have no comprehension of American history - especially political history - or alleged "progressives" who perhaps are aware of the history but feel comfortable blatantly rewriting it to falsely trash today's progressive leaders?

eriposte :: 6:19 AM :: Comments (18) :: Digg It!