Wednesday, February 11, 2009

That darn Roosevelt!

No matter how dumb the past eight years have made the GOP look, there always are some Republicans who will think that's just not dumb enough.

LIKE U.S. Rep. Steve Austria of Ohio. Says The Columbus Dispatch:
Freshman U.S. Rep. Steve Austria conceded yesterday that President Franklin D. Roosevelt did not cause the Great Depression.

In a one-page e-mail, the Beavercreek Republican wrote: "I did not mean to imply in any way that President Roosevelt was responsible for putting us into the Depression, but rather was trying to make the point that Roosevelt's attempt to use significant spending to get us out of the Depression did not have the desired effect. Roosevelt did not put us into the Depression, but rather his policies could not pull the nation out of the recession."

The day before, as Austria was explaining his opposition to the huge federal stimulus package backed by President Barack Obama, he told The Dispatch editorial board: "When Roosevelt did this, he put our country into a Great Depression. ... He tried to borrow and spend, he tried to use the Keynesian approach, and our country ended up in a Great Depression. That's just history."
AND THE FAILED Republican presidential candidate, Sen. John McCain, from an appearance on Hugh Hewitt's radio show:
HH: Does it make sense for the President of the United States, though, to use the term catastrophe? Doesn’t that add alarm to an already panicky financial situation?

JM: Well, Hugh, I think he probably believes that, and there are Americans who have lost their jobs and their homes who would probably agree with that. The job of the presidency, in my view, is to give people hope, give people hope. Whether you happen to have liked Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s policies, and there’s a number of them I still think exacerbated the Great Depression, but he gave the fireside chats, and gave people hope and optimism for the future. I think that’s, there’s no problem that America can’t prevail over, because we’re still the greatest nation in the world.
I'M A LITTLE UNSURE how you exacerbate the Great Depression from the 25 percent-plus unemployment that existed when FDR took office in 1933, but why let the facts get in the way of bashin' them lib'ruls, right?

I just got a robocall from my congressman, Lee Terry (R-Neb.), wanting my opinion on the "stimulus" package. You would think Terry might have wanted that input before he voted against the House version of the bill nearly two weeks ago . . . but, whatever.

At the risk of advising the good representative to do something silly like exacerbate our current depression -- if not, indeed, cause it -- I'd tell him to vote for the compromise emerging from conference. Of course, it won't be enough to stop the tailspin and isn't weighted enough toward public works and job creation (think the Works Progress Administration that did so much to "cause" the last depression) . . . but it's better than nothing.

And nothing is exactly what the Republican Party has to offer us, and is stupid enough to think we'll buy.

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