Franklin Delano Roosevelt

Why Social Security Is a Success, in Four Charts
August 14, 2015

Happy birthday to America's biggest and best welfare program.

What Ken Burns Doesn't Understand about the Roosevelts
September 17, 2014

It's so focused on the Roosevelts as people, it neglects their importance as public figures. 

From the Stacks
February 08, 2013

In 1933, The New Republic sent literary critic Edmund Wilson to observe the swearing in of FDR. He was not amused. 

Yes, Obama's Election Campaign is Affecting His Syria Policy. No, That's Not a Bad Thing.
June 15, 2012

It’s clear that the conflict in Syria is now an issue in the American presidential campaign, largely at the insistence of Mitt Romney’s Republican supporters. Most notable among the interjections was an emotional speech recently delivered on the Senate floor by Senator John McCain, in which he demanded to know why the White House was abetting Bashar al Assad’s murdering of innocents. There is, of course, much to quibble with in this characterization: Far from doing nothing to oppose Bashar, the Obama administration has supported the U.N.

Has Obama Convinced Americans About the Importance of Community?
February 25, 2012

While neither political party has a monopoly on “community,” in recent years Democrats have been more inclined than Republicans to invoke it—none more conspicuously than Barack Obama. In the peroration of the 2012 State of the Union address, he declared that “No one built this country on their own. This nation is great because we built it together. This nation is great because we worked as a team.” A month earlier, in the city where Theodore Roosevelt delivered his landmark “New Nationalism” speech, Obama argued that “Our success has never just been about the survival of the fittest.

Is Obama's Campaign Deluded?
September 01, 2011

Michael Scherer, via Mike Allen, reports that the White House is listening to cheerful historical analogies: In June, ... White House chief of staff Bill Daley arranged a secret retreat for his senior team at Fort McNair ... Historian Michael Beschloss went along as a guest speaker to help answer the one question on everyone’s mind: How does a U.S. President win re-election with the country suffering unacceptably high rates of unemployment? The historian’s lecture provided a lift for Barack Obama’s team. No iron law in politics is ever 100% accurate, Beschloss told the group.

Return of the Republicans
January 13, 2011

(Join John B. Judis and Richard Just at 1 p.m. on January 20 for a livestream discussion about the Republicans' return.) In 1960, the political scientist Clinton Rossiter began his classic text, Parties and Politics in America, with the following memorable words: “No America without democracy, no democracy without politics, no parties without compromise and moderation.” Rossiter saw U.S.

Before Normalcy
December 27, 2010

I've been annoyed about today's Ross Douthat's column all day, so I suppose I should write something about it. Here's the paragraph that annoyed me: The fantasy was the idea that Barack Obama, a one-term senator with an appealing biography and a silver tongue, would turn out to be Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Robert F. Kennedy and Mahatma Gandhi all rolled into one. This fantasy inspired a wave of 1960s-style enthusiasm, an unsettling personality cult (that “Yes We Can” video full of harmonizing celebrities only gets creepier in hindsight) and a lot of over-the-top promises from Obama himself.

Barack Hoover
September 01, 2010

Martin Wolf invokes an interesting counter-factual: Suppose that the US presidential election of 1932 had, in fact, taken place in 1930, at an early stage in the Great Depression. Suppose, too, that Franklin Delano Roosevelt had won then, though not by the landslide of 1932. How different subsequent events might have been. The president might have watched helplessly as output and employment collapsed. The decades of Democratic dominance might not have happened. I think that's correct. It's also a useful lesson for liberal who compare President Obama with President Roosevelt.

The Movie Review: ‘If God Is Willing and Da Creek Don’t Rise’
August 23, 2010

Spike Lee's wonderful 2006 documentary When the Levees Broke: A Requiem in Four Acts, wasn’t just about Hurricane Katrina. Rather, it explored the social inequities that the hurricane laid bare, and the incompetence, confusion, greed, and stupidity that made a terrible situation worse. His latest effort, If God Is Willing and Da Creek Don't Rise, which premieres on August 23and 24, casts a cold eye on the opportunism that followed in the wake of Katrina, finishing with a devastating hour about the BP oil spill and the political and economic forces that allowed it to happen.