Alfred E. Smith

Alfred Emanuel Smith

Alfred Emanuel Smith (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Alfred E. Smith, The Happy Warrior by Christopher M. Finan. Democrat and liberal, Alfred E. Smith lived from 1873 to 1944. He was governor of New York for 8 years and was the Democratic nominee for president in 1928, losing to Herbert Hoover. He antagonized some businessmen with his proposed liberal legislation to protect the poor and working people.

“When business groups objected that he was threatening the free enterprise system, Smith’s answer was simple. ‘What did we set up government for?’ he asked. ‘My idea of law and democracy is the expression of what is best, what fits the present day needs of society, what does the greatest good for the greatest number.”’

Great Depression 2

English: Franklin Delano Roosevelt and Herbert...

English: Franklin Delano Roosevelt and Herbert Hoover in convertible automobile on way to U.S. Capitol for Roosevelt’s inauguration, March 4, 1933 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I received an email moments ago from a right-wing source calling the present economy the Obama Great Depression or the Great Depression 2. If you recall your history, the first Great Depression is forever associated with Herbert Hoover who was in office when it began in 1929. It did not become FDR’s Great Depression in 1933 because FDR tried to work the US back into prosperity despite opposition from the GOP and the US Supreme Court. What we currently label the Great Recession and some in the GOP want to relabel as the Obama Great Depression began in 2008 under George W. Bush. Obama has been trying to turn the economy around and has had limited success, success limited by the constant GOP obstructionism.

Mitt Romney and Herbert Hoover

Herbert Hoover, head-and-shoulders portrait, f...

Herbert Hoover, head-and-shoulders portrait, facing slightly right. Italiano: Herbert Clark Hoover Türkçe: Başkan Herbert C. Hoover (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Hardly a day passes without someone on the Right comparing Barack Obama to Adolf Hitler. When I see or hear that, I stop reading or listening because I know that the speaker or writer does not know what he/she is talking about. On the hand, I think that there is a good case to be made for comparing Romney to Hoover, so permit me to make it.

Herbert Hoover was president from 1929 to 1933 and he did not cause the Great Depression which began about 6 months after he took office. Hoover had never run for public office before he became president, but he had plenty of government experience in Washington, and he was a highly respected businessman, well-beloved by his employees and respected for his charitable work. He saved thousands of lives in Europe with his relief work to prevent widespread starvation after WW1. He served as Harding’s and Coolidge’s Secretary of Commerce from 1921 to 1928. He did not cause the Great Depression, but he was at least partly responsible for its length and severity and he received all the blame. He tried to restore prosperity by the conventional methods of the times and failed. Prosperity was not “just around the corner.”

I like Mitt Romney as a person and I will admit that he probably is a good person who was a successful businessman and is well-beloved by his close associates. However, I think that he would be a disaster as president. He has no Washington experience and once his tax cuts fail to restore the economy, he will have no idea what to do next. He has no foreign policy experience, nor does he have any military experience to aid him in his role as commander-in-chief. His Neocon advisers want a war with Iran which is likely to be a disaster if Iran shuts down the Strait of Hormuz. Mitt, like Herbert Hoover, is a good man who would be way out of his depth as president.

I voted for Barack in 2008 because he was the better candidate. John McCain admitted that the economy was not his strength and McCain usually advocates bombing in any international dispute. McCain would bomb first and talk later. In 2012, President Obama is again the better candidate. Mitt’s business experience, like Hoover’s, does not qualify him for the Oval Office, and Mitt is untested in international affairs and war and peace. Barack Obama has demonstrated his competence. I will vote to re-elect the President and I urge you to do the same. Americans still suffering from the effects of the Great Recession want, need and deserve a president who feels their pain and will do something about it beside cut taxes for the wealthy.

Hoover

English: Franklin Delano Roosevelt and Herbert...

English: Franklin Delano Roosevelt and Herbert Hoover in convertible automobile on way to U.S. Capitol for Roosevelt’s inauguration, March 4, 1933 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

If he were alive today, Herbert Hoover would applaud GOP efforts to impose austerity on the nation. During his term in office, 1929 to 1933, Hoover was thwarted by the Democrats and then FDR in his effort to lift the US out of the Great Depression. He believed as Mitt Romney believes that we should let nature take its course and the economy will correct itself. The Republicans have always contended that FDR’s policies prolonged the Great Depression. If Mitt wins in November, they intend to demonstrate that their policies are the correct ones. A short, deep Great Depression 2 will be painful for millions, but that won’t bother the GOP and the 1%. Watch out America.

Decision/Indecision 2012

Herbert Hoover - NARA - 532049

Image via Wikipedia

GOP voters are having a hard time making up their minds this year. Their indecision is reflected in rapidly changing polls and daily, if not hourly, changes in who is considered a leading contender. In the long run, I doubt that it will matter who they choose as their nominee, Barack will be re-elected, see my post Charmed life. Ronald Reagan’s name is mentioned often as a model, but he was too pragmatic for today’s ideologues. The GOP is really seeking someone like Barry Goldwater, but what they will give us is another Herbert Hoover.

What truly worries me is the effort by some in the Neocon branch of the GOP to launch another preemptive war, this time against Iran. In my judgment, they want hostilities with Iran before the election for the sole reason to blame President Obama for the results and advance the chances of their nominee to defeat him. If there is any good coming from the war, they will claim credit and blame Obama for the bad, and bad there will be.

Any hostilities in the Persian Gulf will cause gas prices to spike and likely will cause shortages leading to rationing. This will tip the world’s economies back into recession or worse. Anything to regain power and the White House.

Please see Strait of Hormuz | Strait of Hormuz part 2 | Regime change | Regime change part 2