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« Nose. Spite. Face. | Main | A friendly reminder about the future of the Supreme Court »


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Bush and Cheney haven't been content with going after FDR -- they've been giving it their best shot to exorcise Washington and Lincoln as well with their theory of elective dictatorship ("unitary executive theory").

I fear that all too many of our fellow citizens fail to appreciate today the legacy that FDR left us and that was safeguarded by his successors -- even Nixon. Given the havoc wreaked over the past 7 years, your simple prescription will still be a very tall order. And it should be abundantly clear from the frustrations of how little could be done with the results of the 2006 election that we have little chance of accomplishing any of it without both a Democratic president and stronger Democratic majorities in both Houses of Congress.

Like FDR, our new President will have to find the means to reach the people to build popular support for this Renewal by both circumventing the corporate media while still keeping it engaged. None of us should be under any illusion about how difficult the task will be or indeed how long it will take.

It is not just Bush and Cheney who have vandalized the edifice FDR built. There is a whole wrecking crew, and the corporate media are the most dangerous as they are the least accountable to the voters. These entrenched interests will fight every step of the way. I just wish somebody would persuade Obama to read MacGregor Burns' The Lion and the Fox -- but as you say, the new President won't have to do it alone, as long we remember that's it's up to us.


"what he'd given away to Stalin at Yalta"

You know, I wish people wouldn't use this phrase. I mean, it's not like the Red Army only occupied Eastern Europe because Roosevelt gave them the go-ahead.

Perhaps "his refusal to start WWIII with the Soviets while still fighting WWII with the Nazis?"


I'm just finishing up David McCullough's book on John Adams. That brought me back to Wikipedia to review the list of US presidents. What struck me is kind of the opposite: we've had a LOT of mediocre (or even worse) presidents, and more than three truly horrible ones --and just to stay out of arguments, I don't need to put Reagan in that last category to top the number of good ones. It's kind of amazing that we get about one a century, and we may not be due another one who can leave office with some sort of positively balanced effect for decades.


I'm a Teddy Roosevelt fan myself (and I much prefer his wife to E.). A Repub candidate like him would be most welcome these days. Although he did like to start wars...


One more thing the new Democratic President needs to do: fire the apparatchiks now seeded throughout many Federal agencies and replace them with people who believe in those agencies' missions.



Rooting out all the "stay-behind agents" left by Rove will be a monumental and essential task. They will all leak like crazy to the corporate media to undermine the new President's appointees (it will make the "Travel Office scandal" seem quaint). I sure hope the new President's transition team understands this -- Clinton's team clearly would, I just hope Obama has enough savvy old Washington hands aboard to do the same. Given how public and messy it will be, with Civil Service law protecting a lot of these infiltrators, I wonder whether the Democrats will have the stomach for it. If "accountability" for Scooter Libby is portrayed as "partisan revenge", how do you think these systematic sackings will be portrayed?


Lance, I'd argue that the only way to secure what you want is to vote for "None Of The Above".

We live in a nation ruled by Duverger's Law. The popular will means nothing. Money talks. Even Obama has ties to Middle Eastern oil interests (read up on Naum Auchi and his ties to Obama's 2004 campaign via Tony Rezko), meaning he's not ending this occupation anytime soon.

No, our best hope for democracy lies in losing it. Then maybe we'll wake the fuck up.


Great post. The main problem that Obama or Clinton would have, though, is that half the crew want the boat to sink. This will reduce the possible achievements even further.


I'm quite partial to Jefferson as well. But I agree with most everything you've written.

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