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Obama's Friendly FIRE
May 8, 2012 2:36 PM   Subscribe

In 2008 the late Robert Fitch, author of "The Assassination of New York", was asked to foretell an Obama presidency before the Harlem Tenants Association:
If we examine more carefully the interests that Obama represents; if we look at his core financial supporters; as well as his inmost circle of advisors, we’ll see that they represent the primary activists in the demolition movement and the primary real estate beneficiaries of this transformation of public housing projects into condos and townhouses: the profitable creep of the Central Business District and elite residential neighborhoods southward; and the shifting of the pile of human misery about three miles further into the South Side and the south suburbs... Obama’s political base comes primarily from Chicago FIRE—the finance, insurance and real estate industry. And the wealthiest families—the Pritzkers, the Crowns and the Levins.
posted by ennui.bz (41 comments total) 12 users marked this as a favorite

 
"In my lifetime, we haven’t had a politician with his gifts: his writing talent; his eloquence; his charisma; his mastery of public policy; his ability to run a national campaign against formidable rivals. Obama projects so brilliant an aura that it’s almost blinding. He’s become the bearer of pride for forty-five million African-Americans who want to be judged by the content of their character. He’s the prophet of hope; the apostle of change and the organizer of “Yes We Can.”"

A weird kind of hit piece, if it really is one. I mean, the fawning praise at the beginning isn't really a feint that Fitch later takes advantage of to attack Obama.

The whole thing is more like a weak lament that failed public housing projects were finally demolished with a little nudge from the feds in the form of dollars and that yes, money does play a part in elections and other things. Not a bad read, but rather... pointless. (No that the speech itself was without a point, but that putting these facts forward seems to be)
posted by dave78981 at 3:09 PM on May 8, 2012


And?

It's been four years. Somebody* should open Karnak's envelope.

Has the Obama Administration promoted polices that support FIRE interests at the expense of inner city poor people?

---------------------
*Here's a guess: Maybe this sorta explains why HAMP was so dismal while the various bank bailouts worked a treat.
posted by notyou at 3:11 PM on May 8, 2012


This is a fantastic article - it really put together some stuff about Chicago development history for me. The part about how public housing in Chicago actually facilitated gentrification by moving poor folks from their sprawling single-family housing (crappy as it was) into compact highrises in another area - that alone was worth the read.

Man, I allowed myself to be so deluded about Obama. I knew better at the time, but honestly I liked him because he was smart instead of basely cunning like most politicians; I wanted to believe that having a black president would necessarily change things even if that black president came from a creepy background; I wanted to believe that we could have another FDR without having the things that brought FDR to power. I wanted to believe that a medium-term fix was possible and that we could halt the slide through policy change without me personally suffering that much. I wanted to believe that I was wrong, basically, that my skepticism about representative democracy was misplaced and that at this historical moment in the middle of so much corruption and with a non-existent left we could somehow elect someone who would, out of the goodness of his heart, act in the public interest.

Alas!
posted by Frowner at 3:11 PM on May 8, 2012 [10 favorites]


Obama’s political base comes primarily from Chicago FIRE—the finance, insurance and real estate industry. And the wealthiest families—the Pritzkers, the Crowns and the Levins.

It's a bit misleading to end the quote there, because it does go on:
But it’s more than just Chicago FIRE. Also within Obama’s inner core of support areallies from the non-profit sector: the liberal foundations, the elite universities, the non-profit community developers...
etc.
posted by twoleftfeet at 3:15 PM on May 8, 2012 [5 favorites]


Eh. Some of the stuff reminds me of the Hillaryis44 nonsense. Anyone remember that from the primaries? As supposedly pro-Hillary site, it was full of all kinds of crazy conspiracy theories, including about Rezko, who was mentioned in this essay as well. The site was actually pretty hilarious.

Obama was well connected in the Chicago elite, and there happened to be some shady characters in there. I think it would have been kind of ridiculous to infer from that that he had some kind of ideological disposition to support the interests of urban development magnates.
posted by delmoi at 3:18 PM on May 8, 2012 [3 favorites]


Actually it is a feint, dave78981.

Fitch follows up by presenting us the "real" Obama as revealed by his donor list, his associates, his "Communitarianism" and his previous work as a lawyer defending an alleged Chicago slumlord.
posted by notyou at 3:18 PM on May 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


The auto industry and millions of union jobs were saved. A comprehensive health care and financial services reform legislation packages were passed. Unemployment benefits have been repeatedly extended. The minimum wage was increased. Thanks to President Obama.
posted by humanfont at 3:21 PM on May 8, 2012 [3 favorites]


That doesn't seem to have anything to do with the point of this speech (although I confess I haven't finished it yet - humanfont must be a much faster reader than I am).
posted by muddgirl at 3:23 PM on May 8, 2012


The whole thing is more like a weak lament that failed public housing projects were finally demolished with a little nudge from the feds in the form of dollars and that yes, money does play a part in elections and other things. Not a bad read, but rather... pointless. (No that the speech itself was without a point, but that putting these facts forward seems to be)

It's not a hit piece: if you asked Obama I think he would stand behind "revitalization" in the South Side and public/private partnerships. I think it was given as a look into the sausage behind "Third Way" politics: ideology has consequences. But, it's informative, both as a counterbalance to the "community activist" narrative and in the broader context of the current economic crisis and it's connection to Finance, Insurance and Real Estate.

It's a bit misleading to end the quote there, because it does go on:

But it’s more than just Chicago FIRE. Also within Obama’s inner core of support areallies from the non-profit sector: the liberal foundations, the elite universities, the non-profit community developers...


It's edited both for space and to get people to actually read the speech. The secondary point is how Third Way politics leads into things which smell a lot like corruption: real estate reverends and co-opted non-profits.
posted by ennui.bz at 3:24 PM on May 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


But you don't have to read the whole thing, really, you only need to read the very first sentence.
Nellie asks us to foretell what an Obama Administration is going to do for cities, housing and neighborhoods.
He's not talking about union jobs, health care and financial services, unemployment benefits, or the minimum wage.
posted by muddgirl at 3:25 PM on May 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


It's a bit misleading to end the quote there, because it does go on:

But it’s more than just Chicago FIRE. Also within Obama’s inner core of support areallies from the non-profit sector: the liberal foundations, the elite universities, the non-profit community developers...


Also, Fitch's other big work is "Solidarity for Sale," about corruption in the labor movement. The point is that you start with the best intentions and end up in bed with corrupt real-estate developers (which may be redundant.)
posted by ennui.bz at 3:29 PM on May 8, 2012 [2 favorites]


He's not talking about union jobs, health care and financial services, unemployment benefits, or the minimum wage.

So you're assuming we can dump the context of his presidency as a whole, and that this won't devolve into yet another generic Obama rant thread? Good luck with that.
posted by zombieflanders at 3:32 PM on May 8, 2012 [2 favorites]


If the point of the thing is to explore the possible impact of "Third Way politics", which Fitch seems to define as a rejection of the usual dialectic between The Left and The Right, then I'd have to say that the thing doesn't have much relevance anymore. In 2008 Obama was certainly saying things like "there aren't Red states and Blue states; there is a United States". But this is 2012, and the danger of that kind of political unity seems to have been, um, you know, completely averted.
posted by twoleftfeet at 3:33 PM on May 8, 2012 [2 favorites]


I'd like you to consider the alternative if you're still grousing about the current administration, Frowner. Go ahead and don't vote for him because the wool was pulled over your eyes. But please keep your mouth shut as Romney et al dismantles the social safety net and pushes the country into an economic depression. Oh and remember those two or more Supreme Court noms the next president will likely get, because those will be the ones that finally rescind Roe v. Wade and uphold a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage.

I think humanfront was responding to Frowner's(apt!) post above, muddgirl.
posted by dave78981 at 3:34 PM on May 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


Well, I'm hoping we can actually read the article and discuss that, but I do know better. For example, let's take Obama's financial services reform (which I was probably too hasty in including in my last comment). Does it disprove Fitch's predictions?

(Also, there's no need to put quotation marks around Third Way. It's A Thing.)

I think humanfront was responding to Frowner's(apt!) post above, muddgirl.

But it doesn't address any part of Frowner's comment at all. Maybe it's a bit Third-Way of me but I think it's possible to believe that Obama has done a lot of good things for this country AND has failed to live up to the very high expectations that he demanded of his voters.
posted by muddgirl at 3:36 PM on May 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


I'd like you to consider the alternative if you're still grousing about the current administration, Frowner. Go ahead and don't vote for him because the wool was pulled over your eyes. But please keep your mouth shut as Romney et al dismantles the social safety net and pushes the country into an economic depression.

Did Frowner say anything about not voting for Obama? Are people who voted for Obama and will probably vote for him again required to never voice any criticism of any of his decisions now until the election?

Please don't ask people to keep their mouths shut.
posted by overglow at 3:39 PM on May 8, 2012


I hardly ever comment in Obama threads, and I really have no idea why I chose this one...

It seems to me that if you just take a reasonable cursory look at the Presidencies of, oh say the last 80 years using the reasonable means at your disposal, and you could hardly escape the conclusion that he is by far, the best of a rather sorry lot.

If you don't like him, please don't flame me. JMHO
posted by sfts2 at 3:40 PM on May 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


I realized my comment makes it sound like I'm assuming Frowner will vote for Obama again. Which, you know, I really have no idea about. More importantly, I don't think it should matter in the context of a Metafilter discussion.
posted by overglow at 3:48 PM on May 8, 2012


I'd like you to consider the alternative if you're still grousing about the current administration, Frowner. Go ahead and don't vote for him because the wool was pulled over your eyes. But please keep your mouth shut as Romney et al dismantles the social safety net and pushes the country into an economic depression.
Frowner: we're already in an economic depression. Obama's policies aren't going to make it any better either. When we elected Obama, very briefly I thought that we might get a New Deal. But when he appointed Summers and Geithner I knew it was game over. I didn't have Fitch's background research, I just knew that Summers had presided over the economic meltdown in Russia, and that Geithner was a FIRE sector disciple.
posted by wuwei at 3:49 PM on May 8, 2012 [2 favorites]


The part about how public housing in Chicago actually facilitated gentrification by moving poor folks from their sprawling single-family housing (crappy as it was) into compact highrises in another area - that alone was worth the read.

True, but this has been accepted conventional wisdom for decades. The Gautreaux decision was in 1976. Heck, my parents were in the audience for a Nichols and May appearance in the 1950s where they joked about the South Side -- the University of Chicago is in Hyde Park -- undergoing "urban removal".

The real problem after Gautreaux was that they were demolishing the projects under court mandate while providng insufficient alternatives -- vouchers and waiting lists.
posted by dhartung at 3:51 PM on May 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


I'd like you to consider the alternative if you're still grousing about the current administration, Frowner. Go ahead and don't vote for him because the wool was pulled over your eyes. But please keep your mouth shut as Romney et al dismantles the social safety net and pushes the country into an economic depression. Oh and remember those two or more Supreme Court noms the next president will likely get, because those will be the ones that finally rescind Roe v. Wade and uphold a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage.

I guess I'd say two things:

1. We're ending up about 85% of the way to Romney-ville. A lot of vulnerable people - poor folks, people of color, women, working people - are basically living in Romneyville, because that's where everyone from Clinton (dismantle the welfare system....and be sure not to track what happens to people who lose their welfare!) onward has been working to put them.

Now, I as a semi-middle-class white person can probably make an okay life for myself under the Obamas of the world, if I can hang onto a job and if I don't get too badly screwed by either the current healthcare system or healthcare "reform". I have fairly good odds and a lot of incentive to support the reform end of the status quo.

But things are getting a lot worse for a lot of people, some of whom I know, and with the exception of food stamps they haven't gotten much out of the current administration. Abortions don't matter much if you want to have a baby, as many folks do- healthcare is still out of reach, you're still broke, you're still working for minimum wage, you're still sick and miserable.

I can't in conscience say "I can probably have an okay life if Obama doesn't change course to the right, probably" and use that to justify shutting my mouth.

2. Fundamentally, politicians do what they're coerced to do. Obama has extended unemployment because this country would be one long scream if it weren't extended, and he'd lose the next election. ("Ten million bamboo spears pointed toward Beijing") Obama wants to triangulate between rich centrist gays (who want DADT ended and would like marriage) and the various semi-homophobes among the Democrats. If the rich gays were stronger, we'd have marriage. (Of course, the poor gays still need housing and meds and jobs and an end to police violence and a real, on the ground end to job discrimination, but the poor gays don't have leverage because we aren't organized.)

The issue with Obama is to stop being attached to him as Obama and start figuring out how (if it's even possible; this country is such a sinkhole) to organize people and lean on him so that it's a moot point whether he's a good guy or not. He can be a lousy human being and a gentrifier and secretly pal around with social security privatizers (which he does, IIRC) but as long as there's a strong enough popular movement (which there isn't and which, frankly, there probably won't be) he'll do the right thing.

We had an FDR because the times forced an FDR.

The Chicago aspect of the article was pretty darn good. I'm from around there; I have a relative who went to the University of Chicago when the neighborhood around it was newly gentrified and all the white students were warned not to go into the black neighborhoods.
posted by Frowner at 3:51 PM on May 8, 2012 [8 favorites]


("wanted DADT ended")
posted by Frowner at 3:52 PM on May 8, 2012


Please don't ask people to keep their mouths shut.

A figure of speech only. I wouldn't expect chronic complainers to actually keep their mouths shut anyway.

We're ending up about 85% of the way to Romney-ville.

You know, when people say this, I have to laugh. Because we're not 85% to Romney-ville. Romney and the right want so much more than what's been going on the last 3 years(which they've beaten to a pulp, branded socialism and waved, dripping blood, in front of their rabid base) The base will want to taste that blood. If there's a sweep of the three- Senate, House and Prez, we're doomed. Really. I mean, think of the crazy shit that Gingrich and Santorum and the others have been promising their followers and then think about what Romney had to agree to in order to get their endorsements.

And this is why humanfront's comment is relevant to this conversation. Because this self flagellating tendency on the part of the left to whine about Obama has the potential to really undo the fabric of this country and a strong defense of the accomplishments of this administration needs to occur anytime the whining starts.

You think the poor suffer now? Just wait. Derail ended.
posted by dave78981 at 4:12 PM on May 8, 2012 [2 favorites]


Now that I think about it, Obama's pursuit of Third Way politics might be the reason he couldn't accomplish as much as we all hoped.

In 2008 the political picture looked different. Obama had been in politics for a while, he knew The Left was over here and The Right was over there, but he may honestly have seen some sort of middle ground in between that could unite the country. But then he got elected, and The Right started running as fast as possible further to the right, lead by a cohort of inexperienced fanatics and ideologues, moving the middle ground with it.

For a while Obama figures he can still compromise. But then The Right says "we won't compromise. No how. No way. Never." This makes compromise difficult. And as time goes on, it starts to dawn on Obama that the fanatics and ideologues might actually be lunatics. I mean, I read this opinion from Grover Norquist, the Tea Party darling, yesterday:
The election of Socialist Francois Hollande to the presidency of France is a transparent ploy by the DNC to make Obama look more reasonable. Probably organized by ACORN and funded by Soros. American voters will see through this ruse.
and I had to read it three times before I realized that he probably wasn't joking. There really are people who think like that. How can you possibly compromise with them?

So not much gets done.
posted by twoleftfeet at 4:13 PM on May 8, 2012 [3 favorites]


Some of the stuff reminds me of the Hillaryis44 nonsense. Anyone remember that from the primaries?

As an enthusiastic Obama supporter at the time, oh man, they were hilarious. But somehow not as much fun to troll as the equally nutzoid crew at No Quarter - promulgators of the mythical "whitey tape".
posted by Trurl at 4:24 PM on May 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


Why does every thread about Obama have to get derailed by people who threaten us with vote-for-him-or-else scare stories? Can't we just discuss the link?
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 4:47 PM on May 8, 2012


Why does every thread about Obama have to get derailed by people who threaten us with vote-for-him-or-else scare stories? Can't we just discuss the link?

Partly because of people spouting uninformed bullshit like "we're 85% to Romneyville already" (LOLWUT) and Obama being responsible for it, and partly because it is a "or else" situation.
posted by zombieflanders at 4:56 PM on May 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


I liked him because he was smart instead of AND basely cunning like most politicians

FTFY.
posted by ZenMasterThis at 5:10 PM on May 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


[We don't do that "I think you must have a mental illness" thing here. Please rephrase your comment so it's not doing that, thanks.]
posted by jessamyn at 5:21 PM on May 8, 2012


start figuring out how (if it's even possible; this country is such a sinkhole)
...
as long as there's a strong enough popular movement (which there isn't and which, frankly, there probably won't be)


Eponysterical. It's like you literally can't get through a sentence without injecting a note of hopelessness into it.

Why does every thread about Obama have to get derailed by people who threaten us with vote-for-him-or-else scare stories? Can't we just discuss the link?

One might equally well ask why some people are still harping on arguments from the 2008 primary. It is ironic, though, that the right hates Obama because of his lack of business experience and lack of interest in big business, and the left hates Obama because he's too cozy with big business.
posted by anigbrowl at 5:43 PM on May 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


Partly because of people spouting uninformed bullshit like "we're 85% to Romneyville already" (LOLWUT) and Obama being responsible for it, and partly because it is a "or else" situation.

There are reelection committees or phone banks you guys could join or something. Seriously.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 6:11 PM on May 8, 2012 [2 favorites]


[MetaTalk > threadshtting. Flag and move on, folks.]
posted by jessamyn at 7:12 PM on May 8, 2012


I suppose it's possible that Obama's political base comes primarily from three wealthy Jewish families, but I think it's much more likely that Robert Fitch had a thing about Jews.
posted by Joe in Australia at 7:21 PM on May 8, 2012 [2 favorites]


I'm voting for Obama in the general (although with much less enthusiasm than 2008), but I liked Fitch's speech, because it's answered a question that's always puzzled me about Obama. How could a man get elected with his 2008 "hope and change" juggernaut, the biggest nationwide community organizing effort I have seen in my lifetime, yet he basically never bothers to use Obama for America at all until it's way too late in his first term to stop GOP obstructionism at the top and the mobilization of the Tea Party at the grassroots. Fitch suggests the answer is simple: Obama wasn't much of a community organizer to begin with. The Woodlawn Organization that supposedly transformed Obama into the greatest community organizer of all time was merely a coopted pale shadow of what it used to be in the Saul Alinsky days.
posted by jonp72 at 9:26 PM on May 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


> a cursory look at the Presidencies of, oh say the last 80 years using the reasonable means at your disposal, and you could hardly escape the conclusion that he is by far, the best of a rather sorry lot.

Say, what?! FDR was a far, far greater President than Mr. Obama in every respect. He promised change, and he delivered on his promise - he completely remade the social contract of America. FDR was a truly great President.

And we desperately needed a great President in 2008.

Instead, we got someone who isn't dealing with the elephants in the room, these elephants being the endless foreign wars and the endless war on terror, the surveillance state, the abandonment of the rule of law, the global financial crisis, the creation of the class of the permanently unemployed, and the dramatically increasing gap between rich and poor... oh, and the war on drugs and global climate change.

Mr. Obama's watchword is "business as usual". That's often a good idea, but we needed change, we voted for change, and without change in those empire destroying issues I mentioned above, the United States is going to continue to get sicker and sicker.
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 10:29 PM on May 8, 2012


Say, what?! FDR was a far, far greater President than Mr. Obama in every respect. He promised change, and he delivered on his promise - he completely remade the social contract of America. FDR was a truly great President.

Yeah, no. FDR basically made an entire class (Japanese-Americans) into non-citizens in his own little War on Terror, complete with spying and indefinite detention without trial based entirely on where you or your parents were born. It was actually worse in a lot of ways than what we've had since 2000, since it did so to entire families and even communities, a not-entirely-unintentional effect which weakening their urban presence so that white developers could come in and remake neighborhoods for white residents. He also made a ton of shitty underhanded deals (including promises to forget about anti-lynching legislation) with Southern politicians that left minorities out of portions of the New Deal, which didn't even start to get fixed until LBJ (who had problems of his own). In addition, FDR and his War Department also created a situation where Japan had to (1) expand aggressively for industrial resources, and (2) be dealt with only in a military fashion by ignoring effective diplomatic solutions. Everything from Cheney, Rice, et al ignoring "Bin Laden Determined to Strike in the US" to invading Iraq and Afghanistan while stoking suspicion of Muslim Americans followed essentially the same script. And, of course, he signed off on creation of what would become the deadliest weapons in history, over the objections of many civilian advisors.

So FDR was not a "truly great" president, in context. Yes, the New Deal did a lot of good and was a big start to creating a new social contract, but it was imperfect and partial to a lot of special interest groups. His wartime behavior, both domestic and foreign, was in many ways more horrifying than Bush and Obama's. Others that followed him helped make it better or fill in areas he omitted with things like Medicare and civil rights legislation and creation of environmental agencies, but all had flaws of their own. There's no really great presidents, Obama included, just ones who built on what came before them. Probably never will be, either, due to the nature of the level of "politician-ness" that it takes to win, especially in the modern era.

Instead, we got someone who isn't dealing with the elephants in the room, these elephants being the endless foreign wars and the endless war on terror, the surveillance state, the abandonment of the rule of law, the global financial crisis, the creation of the class of the permanently unemployed, and the dramatically increasing gap between rich and poor... oh, and the war on drugs and global climate change.

Half of this isn't even close to being true. While I agree with you on the immense disappointment in terms of civil liberties and drug law, he's done more than most countries affected by the recession. He's actually been able to sign a ton of stuff that counts as stimulus while not actually calling it a stimulus, including the ACA. Further attempts to fix that stalled after the 2010 elections, and considering that there's a good portion of Democrats in both chambers that will almost never be swayed by him (particularly Lieberman and Nelson), there's at least as much fault with the inefficient parliamentary process. The lack of cap-and-trade and other climate bills never leaving the House is not his fault, nor arguably Pelosi's. He at least tries to get EPA enforcement to happen (the coal and mercury restrictions, for example) and has made a good-faith effort to fund alternate sources of energy.
posted by zombieflanders at 5:02 AM on May 9, 2012 [2 favorites]


Oh, and I almost forgot: FDR also oversaw, both directly and indirectly, the creation of the modern US intelligence apparatus and the rapid rise of the military-industrial complex, and as far as I can tell seemed unconcerned about either.
posted by zombieflanders at 5:40 AM on May 9, 2012


Addendum the second: FDR had overwhelming majorities in both chambers of Congress during almost the entirety of the New Deal enactment, including a filibuster-proof (or nearly so) Senate. He also had a great number of conservatives on both sides help him out thanks to deal-making (see also: trading lynching for stimulus) that was not always pretty. It also created a huge conservative backlash in the 40s and 50s that prevented full civil rights, repeal of anti-labor laws, expansion of public education, extending Social Security benefits, and universal health care, among many others.

Obama had two years of a close majority in the House, which was almost completely neutralized by the fact that a good portion of them were conservative. It was even worse in the Senate, where he had at most 9 months of a razor-thin majority in that also had to deal with fiscal and social conservatives, making non-starters of things like the public option (let alone universal care), climate change bills, labor laws, and anything more effective than light financial reform.
posted by zombieflanders at 6:36 AM on May 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


This is a sad thread, not primarily for the inevitable Obama-sucks-no-you-suck shtick that will be thrilling us all right through the next election but for the apparent fact that nobody but ennui.bz and me has heard of Robert Fitch, one of the great social critics of our time. Please take the time to read the first link, and if it intrigues you at all try to find a copy of The Assassination of New York (which I'm pleased to have peering down at me from a bookshelf to my left as I type). The guy was incredibly smart, dogged, and determined to resist the financial-sector-ordered destruction of America's great cities. I can't believe he didn't get an obit post here.
posted by languagehat at 6:49 AM on May 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


FDR was a far, far greater President than Mr. Obama in every respect. He promised change, and he delivered on his promise - he completely remade the social contract of America.

Actually, what was promised in the 1932 Democratic Party platform was a budget-cutting austerity policy that would have been a disaster if it had been implemented:

We advocate an immediate and drastic reduction of governmental expenditures by abolishing useless commissions and offices, consolidating departments and bureaus, and eliminating extravagance to accomplish a saving of not less than twenty-five per cent in the cost of the Federal Government. And we call upon the Democratic Party in the states to make a zealous effort to achieve a proportionate result.

The platform also endorses a "sound currency," when it turns out that FDR's abolition of the gold standard actually lifted the country out of the Depression faster.

In other words, FDR's governance was not based on delivering electoral promises of change, but in responding to the demands of the public after he was elected and by making decisions about what was good for country (e.g., Keynesian stimulus and elimination of the gold standard). FDR did not get to be the president he was, because of his early electoral promises, but because the times forced him to be a better president.
posted by jonp72 at 8:12 AM on May 9, 2012


Also, look at what FDR had to work with on Congress: a 70-23 (+1) majority in the Senate and a 322-103 (+3) majority in the House. Controlling ~75% of the legislature (and increasing that share during the midterm).

The platform also endorses a "sound currency," when it turns out that FDR's abolition of the gold standard actually lifted the country out of the Depression faster.

FDR did not abolish the Gold Standard. The 1934 Gold Reserve Act nationalised all gold and devalued the dollar. The dollar was convertible to Gold until 1971, when Nixon finally abandoned it due to the cost of the Viet Nam war.
posted by anigbrowl at 10:48 AM on May 9, 2012


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