Saturday, August 23, 2008

Do you know who made this extravagant campaign promise?

"We in America today are nearer to the final triumph over poverty than ever before in the history of any land. The poor-house is vanishing from among us. We have not yet reached the goal, but, given a chance to go forward with the policies of the last eight years, we shall soon with the help of God be in sight of the day when poverty will be banished from this nation."

Hoover, Herbert. 1952. The Memoirs of Herbert Hoover: The Cabinet and the Presidency, 1920-1933 (New York: Macmillan): p. 184: while running for the Republican presidential nomination in 1928.

This, of course, compares with George Bush's promise of a humble foreign policy.


Anonymous said...

Something like John McCain promising to continue the search for the rewards of the Bush administration's policies in the areas of global democracy and compassionate conservatism. I'd be curious to know what old Herb offered as an explanation for the stunningly brilliant foresight of that statement after leaving office.

Shag from Brookline said...

Consider what old Herb left for FDR in 1933. Climbing out of that deep hole would be difficult. Old Herb's Republicans were not prepared to make FDR's job any easier and in fact were often obstructionists. The deep hole continued because it was so deep. Eventually America got out of the hole, whether by the acumen of FDR or WW II, with FDR providing leadership in giving hope to Americans. What could old Herb say about his foresight?

Leap to Jan. 20, 2009, and assume that Obama is elected. How deep will the Bush-hole be then? Consider the optimism of George W's cheerleading over the past 8 years. (What did he say about the progress after 3 years of Katrina?) How long will it take for old George W to say that Obama has botched the legacy he left for him? Will old George W's Republicans try to help Obama get America out of the Bush-hole or will they be obstructionists?

If Hoover left a vacuum, George W will leave a perfect vacuum. Hoover was intelligent, whereas George W is not. At the least, Obama will try to fill the Bush-hole intelligently.

Anonymous said...

Assume Obama is elected. Assume that he is better for his word than was Bush, and was and is McCain. Assume that his rhetoric will match up with his promise of change, and assume that he thinks of change the way I think of change. If all those assumptions evolve into realities Obama will need a Congress with a majority of members who share those assumptions of promise and reform.
Sounds like a pipe dream, but still it is an offer of something different than what has been. McCain offers nothing save an exagerated history and histrionics.