Democratic Underground

Big Man, Little Man
October 4, 2001
by Madison

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Children of the Depression and World War II remember Pearl Harbor and the war clearly, and know there is one significant difference for today's Americans. During WWII, the common enemy was clearly understood by all to be foreign powers. Today, the accepted common enemy is terrorism, wherever the terrorists come from and wherever they live.

But -- and this is the big "but" -- during WWII Americans did not ALSO need to fear their own government as some of us do today. The Bush administration, and some Republican members of Congress, see this as their Main Chance. Amendments, such as one to allow drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, are stealthily added to the Defense Appropriations bill! Yes, stealthily. Callers to Senator Murkowski's office last week, received assurances from a Murkowski aide that the senator would NOT add such an amendment to the Defense bill. While factually accurate, that was a lie. Senator Murkowski did not add the amendment; his friend Senator Inhofe did it for him.

U.S. Attorney General Ashcroft has moved aggressively to gain advantages over civil liberties -- all in the name of "safety" and "patriotism," although he has failed to make the case that surrendering civil liberties will commensurately enhance public safety.

The Bush administration sees the combination of economic downturn and "war" as proof we need more tax cuts for the rich. What we need are jobs for the suddenly unemployed. President Roosevelt would have provided jobs for the unemployed -- not tax cuts for the rich.

President Roosevelt had the confidence of the American people, because all Americans knew that he was there to protect them -- not rip them off while they were grieving and feeling frightened. Nowadays, we have two causes for fear: one foreign and the other domestic, the Bush administration.

President Roosevelt did not see the Depression and WWII as an opportunity to enrich his wealthy campaign contributors. Mr. Bush sees this as his Main Chance. Big, big differences between the two men.

And no one who was alive while Roosevelt was president would EVER confuse the two men, their presidencies, or their ambitions.