Today the St. Louis Post-Dispatch quoted Roy Blunt’s take on the Obama stimulus package:
“I guess you can’t be Franklin Roosevelt if you don’t create a depression,” he said of President Barack Obama.
Did Representative Blunt never learn that the Great Depression began in 1929, well before FDR was elected in 1932? Certainly, the Post-Dispatch reporters either did not know or did not think it necessary to supply a correction to Blunt’s assertions which they presented as “pointed criticism.”
I suppose, though, that such claims just prove that it is hard to be a Republican in this day and age. After years of working to reverse the reforms enacted during the New Deal, what Republicans have given us is a failed economy and a sadly eroded middle class. So what do our friends on the right do to deflect their descent into irrelevance? They pretend it just isn’t so and make up a nice alternative fantasy.
I am not, of course, attributing any actual originality to Roy Blunt, since he seems to be picking up a meme that is floating around out there in Republican land. Republicans have enjoyed some success on the cable news stations pushing the story that the New Deal was a failure; this success seems to have inspired some, Roy Blunt among them, to the even more bizarre claim that FDR created the Great Depression with New Deal spending.
One does wonder why these revisionist wannabes aren’t a bit embarrassed that their claims are so blatantly untrue. The facts about the origin of the Great Depression are easily verifiable along with the important role of of the New Deal in ameliorating the Depression–which finally ended, according to Robert Reich, thanks to the granddaddy of all stimulus spending packages, the Second World War, which
pulled the nation out of the Great Depression because it required that government spend on such a huge scale as to restart the nation’s factories, put Americans back to work, and push the nation toward its productive capacty.