It’s odd, though, that after four years of major liberal legislation, the FDR comparisons have largely disappeared. Entering the Oval Office in 2009, Mr. Obama as likened to Lincoln and Washington, but one of the most popular images—so popular it found its way onto the cover of TIME Magazine—showed President Obama seated in Roosevelt’s specially designed Ford, smiling “That Man’s” dazzling smile, and even with a cigarette in holder clenched between his teeth. Press reports always referred to that cigarette holder as being held “at a jaunty angle.”
It’s especially strange given the talking point of ObamaCare advocates, that it is the natural extension of FDR’s “signature” domestic legislation, Social Security.
Roosevelt’s domestic New Deal programs were beset with “glitches” too, but he waved away Republican charges of “boondoggling.” He told audiences that “the immortal Dante tells us that the sins of the cold-blooded and the sins of the warm-hearted are weighed in different scales.” Roosevelt wanted Americans to know he was of the warm-hearted kind of sinner.
Americans today can judge how warm-hearted President Obama is. His administration has ordered the closure of the World War II Memorial in Washington. Ninety-year olds on Honor Flights faced barricades as they made that last trip to see the monument to their heroism on D-Day and a thousand days.
White House spokesman Jay Carney raced to tell reporters that it was not the intent of the Obama administration to deny death benefits to families of soldiers recently killed in Afghanistan. It just seems to have been another glitch. The Obama spokesman’s efforts to avoid responsibility were strenuous. But he might have consulted another veteran of that great WWII generation. Harry Truman kept a plaque on his desk in the White House:
“The Buck Stops Here.”