Tuesday, April 28, 2009

The First 100 Days – Then and Now

By David B. Woolner

After 100 days in office, the comparisons between President Obama and Franklin D. Roosevelt seem as valid as ever.

Both leaders have had to cope with an unprecedented global financial crisis, a deteriorating economy, high unemployment, and an electorate steeped in fear and apprehension about the future. Both men have also had to contend with a world-wide security crisis; inspired in FDR’s case by the pernicious ideology of fascism, and in President Obama’s by the rise of a deadly form of international terrorism driven by religious extremists. Both men have also had to share the blessing—or burden—of high expectations, not only among the American public, but among people the world over, where their assumption of office has been widely heralded as the beginning of a new day.

But in spite of these and other similarities, there are some striking differences between their first 100 days that may provide the current President and his colleagues in Congress with some food for thought.

One clear distinction is the reaction of the Republican Congressional leadership to the President’s initial legislative agenda. In FDR’s day, many republicans not only responded positively to the President’s call for bi-partisanship, they also lent their support to some of the most significant measures to come out of the 100 days, including the Federal Emergency Relief Act and the establishment of the Tennessee Valley Authority or TVA—our nation’s first electric public utility. In short, this “unprecedented national emergency” met with unprecedented national cooperation, among democrats and republicans, and among the executive and legislative branches of government.

A second clear distinction involves America’s standing overseas. Although FDR did not attend, he sent a high level delegation (led by his Secretary of State, Cordell Hull) to Great Britain in June 1933 to attend the long anticipated “London Monetary and Economic Conference.” Attended by 66 nations, and convened to bring about an international response to the global economic crisis, FDR famously “torpedoed” the conference by rejecting a temporary currency stabilization agreement that was negotiated in London and seen as critical to the ability of the conference to continue its work. His decision to do so—particularly after the terms of the temporary agreement had been secured—greatly disappointed the British, French and other delegations. As a result, his international reputation suffered for a time and there were fears—which subsequently proved unfounded—that FDR was an economic nationalist.

By contrast, President Obama’s performance at the recent G-20 meeting in London has been a 10-strike. The President may not have gotten all he wanted in London, but his willingness to listen to and work with the leaders of the world’s leading industrialized nations, along with his ensuing visits to France and Turkey, have restored the international community’s faith in American leadership and significantly enhanced the confidence of people the world over that together we will get through this crisis.

This last point brings us back to the most significant similarity between the two men—their ability to inspire hope in moments of despair and their willingness to act. FDR, like President Obama, never lost faith in the ability of the American people to restore the nation to prosperity. But he understood that government, which he wisely called “ourselves and not an alien power over us,” had a vital role to play in this process. By restoring the people’s faith in government, then, FDR in essence restored their faith in themselves. President Obama and our leadership in Congress would be wise to do the same.
Woolner is senior vice president of the Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt Institute and co-editor of “FDR’s World: War, Peace, and Legacy.”
Copyright (C) 2009 by the American Forum. 4/09


StandUpAmerica said...

Socialism is coming under this Idiot. Socialized medicare, bigger government and of course more taxes to pay for the both if there is any money left after the first year. He is already controling the major corporations that he has bought.
Medicare is a not a right, it is a earned as well as social security. Under Obama, we will give it to whoever wants it. You and I will pay for it. What happened to actually working for a living. Immigrants will only have to work for 10 quarters to begin receiving social security. Thats's our money!!! Look at this. This is a good example of what this president is doing to us if you didn't know.

H.R. 1388 was passed yesterday, behind our backs. You may want to read about it. It wasn't mentioned on the news... Just went by on the Ticker tape at the bottom of the CNN screen.

Obama funds $20M in tax payer dollars to immigrate Hamas Refugees to the USA.
This is the news that didn't make the headlines...

By executive order, President Barack Obama has ordered The expenditure of $20.3 Million in "migration assistance" to the Palestinian Refugees and "conflict victims" in Gaza.

The "presidential determination", which allows hundreds of thousands of Palestinians with ties to Hamas to resettle in the United States, was signed on January 27 and appeared in the Federal Register on February 4.

Few on Capitol Hill, or in the media, took note that the Order provides a free ticket replete with housing and Food allowances to individuals who have displayed their overwhelming support to the Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas)
In the parliamentary election of January 2006.

Let's review...itemized list of some of Barack Obama's Most recent actions since his inauguration:

His first call to any head of state, as president, was to Mahmoud Abbas, leader Of Fatah party in the Palestinian territory.

His first one-on-one television interview with any news Organization was with Al Arabia television.

His first executive order was to fund/facilitate Abortion's not just here within the U. S. but within the world, using U. S. Tax payer funds.

He ordered Guantanamo Bay closed and all military Trials of detainees halted.

He ordered overseas CIA interrogation centers closed.

He withdrew all charges against the masterminds behind the USS Cole and the "terror attack" on 9/11.

Now we learn that he is allowing hundreds of thousands Of Palestinian refuges to move to, and live in, The US at American taxpayer expense.

These important, and insightful, issues are being "lost" in the blinding Bail-outs and "stimulation" packages.

Doubtful? To verify this for yourself:


You Liberals should look at what happened in South Africa to see what will happen here under this President. The Have's and have not's. The Have not's now rule in South Africa. Bribery and corruption is now rampant there.