Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Obama and TR: The Republican Is the Liberal

A hero of the revolution: Teddy Roosevelt
It is interesting that President Obama selected a small town in Kansas (Osawatomie) where Theodore Roosevelt laid out his "socialist agenda" a century ago and got himself thrown out of the Republican Party over it to make an important speech on the middle class. Obama and Roosevelt have a lot in common philosophically, though I think Roosevelt was a bit more liberal and would have kicked some Wall Steet ass if he were in Obama's shoes today.

In any case, bringing up Roosevelt is a good idea. Republicans want to be associated with this short giant, but not with his politics, which they oppose on every level and which they misrepresent at every opportunity. His political philosophy, like Lincoln's (another mis-labeled Repub), has as much to do with the modern party as Likud has to do with Hezbollah. And that ain't much, boys and girls. Roosevelt said, and delivered upon, “Our public men must be genuinely progressive.” Roosevelt wanted to regulate corporations and said he was in favor of "completely controlling them in the interest of the public welfare.” Doesn't sound a lot like Rush Limbaugh.

Roosevelt defended America's workers against its corporate bosses, political bosses and the sheer inequity of the times. Obama has not done that and I won't believe his sincerity until some of those fat Wall Street butts are resting in federal prison cells.

It has been years since the public crimes on Wall Street and in banks' board rooms and we're still waiting to see some perp walks. I'm not sure how Obama can possibly expect broad support on his policies until there is retribution for the near-destruction of our economy in the name of greed. His polling points could surge by double figures instantly if he'd simply announce--then follow up--that his Justice Department is working on indictments of the people who caused this mess. I would love to include George Bush in that, but it ain't happenin'.

At minimum, though, Wall Street and the banking community should be terrified to pursue the path it is so casually continuing to follow these days. I don't see anything but a continued case of arrogance by a powerful elite.

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