Wednesday, June 13, 2007

W Is Like FDR Is Like Lincoln Is Like...

The other day, I presented a post suggesting that W may constitute a Constitutional Disaster. The comments over there were very interesting. As things go, some times a thread can be extracted and elevated to it's own position on the front page. As such, some of us got into comparing Mr. Bush to some past Presidents - including FDR and Lincoln. Thus, I thought I would begin a discussion here to see what others thought. Let's call this....drum roll please...

Windspike's Wednesday Presidential Comparative

  • If you can, pick your favorite President and draw a comparative analysis that identifies the similarities and differences between that man and W.

  • Which one is a better president?
To get you started, here's some of the dialog that has already occurred:

I said:
FDR? good question. that’s a difficult one. First, I’d give him the label president. Quite arguably, we could give him a label as terrorist for having given the green light to cream Nagasaki and Hiroshima. Having been to both locations to see for myself, i think what we did there was atrocious.

We might call him an “anti-constitutionalist,” as he interred 100K Japanese here in the USA based on irrational fears and without due process - and this has widely been condemned.

Others might call him hero - for pulling the country out of the depression.

Still others might call him Patriot as all the sons he sired fought in the military against Hitler, and he engineered much of the success we experienced in defeating him.

Well, you can’t lump him into one word is my answer to his question. He is the sum total of all his actions. Which puts him light years above W in stature as a president, in my book, but equally shameful in other categories.
SteveIL said:
I would call FDR more of a leader, and Bush more of a manager, although both had tendencies of both leaders and managers. In my opinion, I would want a president to be more of a leader, leaving the hands-on stuff to the rest of those who work in the Executive Branch, but retaining the responsibility of the actions of those under him.

As far as the two as President? I’m not at all impressed by the domestic agendas of either one as it relates to growing the government. FDR’s New Deal created the Social Security boondoggle we have today, along with other programs that were part of it. Along with my own complaints with his immigration agenda, Bush did nothing to curb the spending in Congress, as well as expanded the Medicare boondoggle with that unnecessary drug bill. Add in the NCLB fiasco, and his unwillingness to unload Gonzales, yeah I got some problems with Bush.

FDR, with seven years experience in office, saw that the U.S. was going to get involved in WWII. At that point, he started getting the country going on a war footing, which in fact helped the economy of the time, something his New Deal failed to do. He was wrong to put 180,000 Japanese into those camps, and while it could be considered a tyrannical act, it wasn’t made by a President who was in any way a tyrant. There were no (or little) calls for impeachment when Korematsu forced the end of the camps, because there was the bigger object going on, the war. And I will disagree with your assessment on the dropping of the A-bombs on Japan, and leave that there.

Bush, on the other hand, was in office nine months and was given an incomplete assessment of the state of the world (I don’t believe for one minute that any of the Clintonista holdovers he kept on gave him the whole picture, especially George Tenet and Richard Clarke), especially since the end of the Clinton regime didn’t stress these factors enough. If anything, Bush is to be blamed for trying to be a uniter in keeping these hacks around, when a Reagan would have made sure these hacks were left out to pasture where they belonged. Bush, along with Congress (who are equally to blame since they are a co-equal branch of the government), really failed to get the American people involved with the war effort right off the bat, something FDR did very, very well.

But Bush did see the bigger picture of Islamist terrorism and the Islamofascist governments that feed them, and that there is a war on. His wartime Patriot Act has helped keep this country from being attacked since 9/11, yet no credit is given by the jerks in the American media, who seem to long for the days of Clinton whoring around with their constant drumbeat of reporting on Paris Hilton, Anna Nicole Smith, and the latest American Idol episode. The confirmed Justices and judges he nominated have been top notch compared to the crap Clinton put on (the aforementioned Breyer and Ginsburg), although I hated the Harriet Miers nomination (she wasn’t qualified). The tax rate cuts have raised federal revenues through the roof (the amount of the deficit for the next year was lowered from the original speculation).

And, we haven’t lost any allies or trading partners, and have added some and strengthened others, even though the leftist American media doesn’t report that either. Like it or not, we are trading with Vietnam. And, most importantly, the two largest democracies in the world have a new defense arrangement, thanks to Bush and Indian Prime Minister Singh.

I agree that FDR probably was a better overall President than Bush, but not by nearly as much as you might think. But, you have to admit that Bush has actually worked for the benefit of the country, something too many minimize or ignore.
Craig Harmon said:
I think that’s the best way to look at FDR, or any president, for that matter. We love Lincoln but, as Wikipedia puts it:
Civil liberties suspended

During the Civil War, Lincoln appropriated powers no previous President had wielded: he used his war powers to proclaim a blockade, suspended the writ of habeas corpus, spent money without congressional authorization, and imprisoned 18,000 suspected Confederate sympathizers without trial.

Bush, to my knowledge, has only detained, what, two US citizens and one or two alien residents for being suspected Al Qaeda members whereas FDR detained 110,000 and forced the relocation of many others who were never even suspected of collusion with the enemy. Congress and the Supreme Court upheld the actions of both but both were severely criticized at the time. Maybe in 150 years, Bush will join Lincoln and FDR as one of the most admired US Presidents in spite of having, like them, been criticized in his time for exercising expanded Presidential powers.
What say you?

Blog on friends, blog on all.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Comment on Comments

1. ''His [Bush's] wartime Patriot Act has helped keep this country from being attacked since 9/11, ...''

Snapping your fingers keeps elephants away.

2. ''During the Civil War, Lincoln appropriated powers no previous President had wielded: he used his war powers to proclaim a blockade, suspended the writ of habeas corpus, ...''

Bush isn't presiding over a civil war in the USA.