Monday, June 15, 2009

Barak Hoover Obama

A very interesting article in this month's Harper's (, subscription required) contrasts Hoover - a deliberative, progressive, well-meaning technocrat - with Barak Obama.

The article is making the case that, although Obama is often compared with FDR, by trying to take the "middle road" and avoiding the open warfare with his detractors, he is actually emulating Herbert Hoover, and that this approach is doomed to failure.

"Franklin Roosevelt also took office imagining that he could bring all classes of Americans together in some big, mushy, cooperative scheme. Quickly disabused of this notion, he threw himself into the bumptious give-and-take of practical politics; lying, deceiving, manipulating, arraying one group after another on his side—a transit encapsulated by how, at the end of his first term, his outraged opponents were calling him a “traitor to his class” and he was gleefully inveighing against “economic royalists” and announcing, “They are unanimous in their hatred for me—and I welcome their hatred.”

Obama should not deceive himself into thinking that such interest-group politics can be banished any more than can the cycles of Wall Street. It is not too late for him to change direction and seize the radical moment at hand. But for the moment, just like another very good man, Barack Obama is moving prudently, carefully, reasonably toward disaster."

1 comment:

TrainRyder said...

read that article in Harpers. Scared the bejeebers out of me. (and taught me how well intentioned and competent Herbert Hoover was!).
I haven't been re-assured by events since reading it!