Mark Schmitt: Why 2012 May Mark the End of an Era of Political Anger
Mark Schmitt is a senior fellow at the Roosevelt Institute and former editor of The American Prospect.
...The early second terms of popular presidents are very often cool and productive periods. After Bill Clinton survived an anger wave in his first term, 1997 was a calm year in which legislation such as the State Children's Health Insurance Program was passed, and it also brought a surprising turn toward greater public trust in government. The same could be said of the two years after Ronald Reagan's reelection, which included enactment of the Tax Reform Act of 1986. George W. Bush, who gave up on his major second-term initiative, Social Security privatization, within a few months, is the notable exception to this rule....
The best counter-example to such a return to the mean would be FDR’s second campaign, exemplified by the “I welcome their hatred” speech at Madison Square Garden, which fully captured the tone of an angry, still-suffering nation in an ever more direct way than he had in 1932. Roosevelt went on, in his second term, to govern even more ambitiously and aggressively than in the Hundred Days, including waging war on uncooperative members of his own party. This, of course, is the model that many liberals would encourage on Obama....
comments powered by Disqus
- South Dakota drops history as a high school requirement
- The Forgotten History Of 'Violent Displacement' That Helped Create The National Parks
- Gospel of Jesus’ Wife May Be Authentic, New Tests Suggest
- Architect Sought for Obama’s Presidential Library Complex
- 2016 election's leading candidates have strong Jewish family ties
- Ron Radosh plans to defend Warren Harding in a new book
- Historians tackle America’s mass incarceration problem
- Report: Russian studies in crisis
- Ken Burns: Donald Trump’s birtherism — a “politer way of saying the ‘N-word'” — proves America isn’t remotely “post-racial”
- Medievalist calls on historians to welcome pop culture