If Barack Obama wins the presidency in November and retains majorities in Congress, this country will make a hard turn to the left not seen since the New Deal. Seventy-five years ago, Franklin Roosevelt’s first 100 days began with his March 4, 1933, inaugural, and culminated June 16 with his big push for the National Recovery Administration (NRA).
I should preface this by pointing out that the material depression was far greater in 1933 than today. Americans needed Roosevelt to act, and he did. Like Barack Obama today, Roosevelt used his rhetoric to bring Americans into his camp. But his NRA programs, plowing through Congress exploiting a 313 to 117 Democrat to Republican ratio, only exacerbated the Great Depression.
Roosevelt pushed his unprecedented, government-growing legislation through not only because of his majority in Congress, but like Obama today, he appealed to the emotions of voters using biblical falsifications such as the government’s “duty” to seize control and expand all forms of transportation, communication, and other utilities.
Barack Obama’s vision for an increase in government power carries a Rooseveltian harmony. As evidence, I submit any supporter of Barack Obama who can’t explain his position on any major issue. These types of voters are more numerous than you might imagine. Just about every late night and political talk show has interviewed such persons on numerous occasions. They have been beguiled by the mellifluous notes of The Pied Piper’s Barack Obama’s flute. And to top it all off, they have no excuse. First, they have the failures of Roosevelt’s New Deal to look back on and learn from, and second, we are not in a depression and do not need our next president to expand government in order to survive. Obama’s ideals for government power are for his personal benefit and the good of his party, not the American people.
In 1935, thanks to a conservative Supreme Court, the NRA was found to be an unconstitutional deprivation of liberty, resulting in FDR backing off. But he cranked it back up after his reelection. And since the voters during those depression years preferred the hope the NRA paraded to the medicine GOP candidate Alf Landon offered, Roosevelt enjoyed a second term with another majority in both houses of Congress and no opposition to obstruct his liberal programs.
What can conservatives do this year to prevent The New Deal 2.0? One way is obvious: work to elect John McCain. But if McCain appears headed for defeat, Republicans will have one other viable option: prevent a sizable Democrat majority in Congress. The Wall Street Journal’s John Fund recalls what happened in 1996 when Bob Dole’s loss was imminent:
The Republican National Committee decided to take bold action by directly appealing to the public’s fondness for divided government and fear of one-party rule. It rook out ads that featured a fortuneteller staring into a crystal ball showing scenes of Biblical devastation, plague and conflict were seen. The announcer warned what could happen if Democrats swept the elections:
“Remember the last time Democrats ran everything? The largest tax increase in history. Government-run health care. More wasteful spending. Who wants that again? Don’t let (insert local state) down. Don’t let the media stop you from voting. And don’t hand Bill Clinton a blank check.”
It worked. Republicans gained two seats in the Senate and lost only a handful in the House.
Fortunately, McCain is running close enough in the polls that option one is still highly possible. But if Obama’s daily flip flops have the intended consequence of duping more voters into believing his words today over yesterday, then plan B may be our only hope for survival.