[Marxism] Barack Hoover Obama
lnp3 at panix.com
Mon Nov 30 11:21:20 MST 2009
Very early on in Obama’s administration, you heard many of his
supporters on the left begin to call for pressure from the mass
movement in order for him to promote progressive legislation.
Analogies were made with FDR, who was elected on a fairly centrist
platform. Without protests from the unemployed et al, the
assumption is that FDR would have continued on his centrist
course, just as Obama is doing today. For example, in article
titled “Obama needs the left”, the social democratic historian
Michael Kazin wrote: “For the president to have a chance at
becoming another FDR, he needs a big push from the left—or the
conservative assumptions that have kept the nation in thrall for
the past three decades will continue to hold sway,” while Nation
Magazine editor Katrina Vanden Heuvel answered that “I think
history shows us that Franklin Delano Roosevelt was compelled to
abandon caution because of the great traumas of his day — the
Great Depression gave him little choice but to be bold. And it was
the great popular social movement of his time, working outside his
administration, the unions at that time, that put pressure on FDR
to carry out bolder reforms” when asked about the parallels
between Obama and FDR.
This assumes that Obama is as susceptible to mass pressure as FDR.
What if Obama was not a latter-day FDR but a repackaged Herbert
Hoover, however? Would Hoover have pushed through Social Security
legislation if he had been President? Maybe if the pressure was
sufficient to do so, but clearly Hoover was more hostile to the
poor and to the working class than the aristocratic FDR whose
combination of noblesse oblige and long-term strategic thinking on
behalf of the class he served made him more amenable to change.
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