Search the Lounge


« What’s Wrong With the Anti-Semitism Awareness Act | Main | Interested in Joining Application for Trusts & Estates Collaborative Research Network? »

June 13, 2018


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.


Why do we honor the man who did this--FDR?

Deep State Special Legal Counsel

Does anybody see the similarities with what we are doing today to the undocumented children at the Mexican border? We are putting them in a caged in warehouse area with portable toilets and "space blankets." Are these kids provided with a Guardian Ad Litem? Hope I am not charged with treason for asking that question.




Anon and anymouse

Anything a D does is ignored or immediately forgiven, because as a D, the good always not only overshadows, but makes irrelevant any negative facts.

In fact, it is not a fact that FDR had anything to do with the internment and only use of nuclear weapons in history.

Any such claim is based on Fox News "fake news" and the lying Republican Russian propaganda machine. FDR could have done no wrong, ever.

BTW, sometimes a leftist will fight against wrongs by an agency done under a R, but then defend that very same agency against ANY criticism for actions taken under a D. That is because the same action that may be wrong, when done by a R, is not even newsworthy when done by a D.

Don't believe this? Just read this blog.

Patrick S. O'Donnell

In response to three of the four comments above (and in the belief that this blog deserves better):

Re: The ‘only use of nuclear weapons in history’

Responsibility for that has nothing whatsoever to do with FDR but remains solely in the (‘dirty’ or ‘bloody’) hands of President Truman. See, for example, Gar Alperovitz’s “comprehensive and definitive history,” The Decision to Use the Bomb (Alfred A. Knopf, 1995).

* * *

One can fault FDR for any number of things (in addition to his Executive Order on the internment camps) during his presidency: his (understandable) frustrations and exasperations with the Supreme Court which directly led to a putative attempt at “reform,” the public justification for which, while containing a “wisp of truth,” was not honest, although it was transparent enough for even his friends and allies to criticize it as “too clever, too damned clever.” Furthermore, in order for his legislative and other policy programs to succeed, he courted and thus compromised with the racist Southern Democrats (e.g., not coming out in active support of an anti-lynching bill, among other things) in his party. All the same, and looking at the proverbial bigger picture, it’s safe to conclude that Roosevelt was among our greatest presidents, as any serious and fair-minded student of the Depression and World War II would conclude. Roosevelt saved capitalism from itself, and while the “liberal’ welfare state he helped construct is fairly meager and has proven not nearly as successful as the two principal alternatives, namely, the “corporatist” and “social democratic” models (the criteria on which this assessment is based: the promotion of efficiency, equality, integration, stability and autonomy, and the reduction of poverty), something, as we say, is far better than nothing in this case, and of course we are witness to the deleterious consequences of the dismantling of this welfare state in our time, accelerated of late by the myriad forces of neoliberalism (Joseph Stiglitz has a useful article on this, ‘The Welfare State in the Twenty First Century,’ available online).

On another topic and not unrelated topic, Charles R. Beitz reminds us in his important book, The Idea of Human Rights (Oxford University Press, 2009),* that

“[e]ven before the US entry into the war, Franklin Roosevelt, in his 1941 State of the Union address, had stressed the importance of ‘four freedoms’ (of expression and worship, from want and fear) and associated ‘the supremacy of human rights everywhere’ with a secure peace. Subsequently the statement of war aims agreed by Roosevelt and Churchill in the Atlantic Charter (1941) described a postwar world order in which ‘all people would enjoy an array of rights—for example, to self-government [i.e., democracy], improved labor standards, social security, and (again) ‘freedom from want and fear.’ A similar catalog of rights appears in the ‘Declaration of the United Nations’ of January 1942, issued by the US and UK and subsequently adhered to by all of the wartime allies.”

Economic rights “were included in the [UN] draft declaration from the beginning,” reflecting the power and influence of the “four freedoms” (alongside the Atlantic Charter and some of the draft declarations prepared by nongovernmental organizations), and were first (abstractly if not vaguely) enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948) and later (1976) filled out in more detail in the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR), which should be considered on equal normative footing with the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), as most experts on the subject outside the United States appreciate. Roosevelt thus played a pivotal role in the development of human rights doctrine for which we should be grateful. And of course Eleanor Roosevelt was instrumental in seeing this courageous and compelling vision come to fruition, as Mary Ann Glendon well informs us in A World Made New: Eleanor Roosevelt and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (Random House, 2001).

While WW II in many respects is responsible for ending the Great Depression, it is hard to imagine this even occurring without Roosevelt’s New Deal Programs that allowed many of the unemployed and poor (and indeed, the middle class) to survive—with some minimal sense of human dignity and self-respect—through this period. It bears pointing out, loudly and clearly, and in the words the historian David Kennedy, that “[m]uch mythology and New Deal rhetoric notwithstanding, it [i.e., the New Deal] did not substantially redistribute national income. [….] Nor [alas, I would add], with essentially minor exceptions like the TVA’s electric-power business, did the New Deal challenge the fundamental tenet of capitalism: private ownership of the means of production.” Perhaps the foremost legacy of the New Deal, and this in spite of, or perhaps owing in part to, its “mongrel intellectual pedigree, its improbably plural constituent base, its political pragmatism, its abundant promiscuities, inconsistencies, contradictions, inconstancies, and failures,” Kennedy rightly highlights (cf.: ‘illumined by the stern-lantern of history’) the “institutional arrangements that constituted a coherent pattern” [….]

“that can be summarized in a single word: security—security for vulnerable individuals, to be sure, as Roosevelt famously urged in his campaign for the Social Security Act of 1935, but security for capitalists and consumers, for workers and employers, for corporations and farms and homeowners and bankers and builders as well. Job security, life-cycle security, financial security, market security—however it might be defined, achieving security was the leitmotif of virtually everything the New Deal attempted. But legend to the contrary, much of the security of the New Deal threaded into the fabric of American society was often stitched with a remarkably delicate hand, not simply imposed by the fist of the imperious state. And with the notable exceptions of agricultural subsidies and age-old pensions, it was not usually purchased with the taxpayers’ dollars.”

Much more could be said by way of viewing Roosevelt, with all his shortcomings and flaws, as one of the greatest presidents in U.S. history (a group that includes at least both Washington and Lincoln). Only a mean-spirited Malthusian Social Darwinist with an unusually dark conception of human nature and potential (no doubt conspicuously stained with ‘original sin’) and an appalling ignorance of the relevant history could fail to marvel, all things considered, at his accomplishments.

* The title is perhaps misleading, as the book is an argument for the significance of “international legal human rights” instruments (the idea in praxis, as it were, what Beitz terms his ‘practical conception’), beginning with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (adopted 1948).

Patrick S. O'Donnell

Incidentally, I have several bibliographies chock full of titles germane to the argument and other material in the above comment freely available on my Academia page:
• The Great Depression & The New Deal
• Human Rights
• Nuclear Weapons — Development, Detonation, Deterrence & Disarmament
• Social Security & The Welfare State


Harry S Truman (D)

Patrick S. O'Donnell

Perhaps you could make an informative comment (i.e., something that provides information or knowledge on the topic that is not already well known to those with at least an elementary school education ... well, at least in my day) rather than uninformative and insipid one.


US development of the bomb began in 1939, at FDR’s direction.

FDR did not even inform Truman that this development was underway.

FDR died on April 12, 1945. The first bomb was exploded over Hiroshima on August 6, 1945, and a second was dropped on Nagasaki on August 8, about four months after FDR died.

PTSOD: Figure it out.

Patrick S. O'Donnell

I long ago "figured it out," and it involved thoughts and evidence (provided by those with the requisite expertise and wise use of same) that involved more characters than found in a tweet or text message.

Patrick S. O'Donnell

For those interested, one judicious accounting and appraisal of the views and actions of FDR and Truman on this score is found in the Alperovitz volume I referenced above, pp. 661-663, which ends with an apt quote from Albert Einstein, who “judged—and stated publicly in 1946—that the decision to use the atomic bomb ‘was precipitated by a desire to end the war in the Pacific by any means before Russia’s [i.e., the USSR’s] participation. I am sure that if President Roosevelt had still been there, none of that would have been possible.’” (The sundry reasons in support of Einstein’s beliefs are provided in the preceding pages.)

Deep State Special Legal Counsel

Supreme Court Appointed President George W. Bush (R) didn't read the MEMO or understand it and we were attacked. What did he do? Rounded up Muslims and took away our Liberties under the Patriot Act. Remember warrantless searches? Libraries were under siege and TORTURE. Sometimes democracies overreact when they are attacked. They key, is both FDR (D) and GWB (R) got corrected over time. Even the grifter putz we elevated to the presidency today, can't touch torture.


As stated on the Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library and Museum website:

“FDR was prepared to use atomic weapons against both Germany and Japan. But a bomb was not ready for testing until after his death and Germany's surrender. In August 1945, President Harry Truman authorized the use of atomic bombs on two Japanese cities.

Bombing Civilians

The decision to develop atomic weapons is part of a larger issue Americans grappled with during World War II - the bombing of civilians. … [A]s the war dragged on, attitudes changed. Moral opposition to bombing urban areas gave way to a grim strategic conclusion that such actions were necessary to maximize the impact of bombing and win the war more quickly by demoralizing the enemy. By 1944, American bombers were making devastating firebomb raids on Japanese and German cities. A single raid on Tokyo in March 1945 killed nearly 100,000 men, women, and children.”


PSO. I don't understand how anyone could defend a president who locked up over 100,000 American citizens. Not only were they locked up; they lost everything they had worked their entire lives for. FDR's other acts cannot make up for this horrific act.



Think FDR has responsibility for some heinous acts?

Truman just like every Democrat leader, was also a man without faults. According to Wiki, which may or may not be accurate in every respect (one is sure corrections will be quick to follow):

As noted above, the only use of nuclear weapons in human history.

When a national rail strike threatened in May 1946, Truman seized the railroads and drafted a message to Congress that incited violence against union leaders:

"Every single one of the strikers and their demagogue leaders have been living in luxury.... Now I want you who are my comrades in arms ... to come with me and eliminate the Lewises, the Whitneys, the Johnstons, the Communist Bridges [all important union officials] and the Russian Senators and Representatives ... Let's put transportation and production back to work, hang a few traitors and make our own country safe for democracy."

Note the favorite of our current crop of Democrats: the Red Scare. "Russian Senators" indeed. Gotta love these Democrats.

The Truman message to Congress was ultimately moderated; instead, Truman called for a new law to draft any railroad strikers into the Army. The House actually passed it.

He seized steel mills in April 1952 and was then soundly rebuked by the Supreme Court therefor.

And, there is Korea. Truman entered the war without authorization. The war remained a stalemate for two years, with over 30,000 Americans killed, until an armistice ended the fighting in 1953.

By February 1952, Truman's approval was 22% in the Gallup.

And there is so much more.

Of course, there is no reason at all to find any fault whatsoever with Harry n any event.

Indeed, Harry did advocate for universal health care. Too bad the Democrats reverted to the republican scheme (we are the ones we've been waiting for!), long opposed by Democrats until the latest object of their obsessive sycophancy proposed it.

For those in FL who can't bear to hear the truth: think of the days and days you spend obsessing about the latest Democratic talking point, then talking and talking and talking about how really awful is everything and anything that any republican does or thinks.

Someday, maybe you geniuses will wake up to see that there is blame all around, and good things too, and that just condemning the other "tribe" is unproductive. (Personally, I think we should be scrutinizing GOVERNMENT, all of them, not just those we think are on "the other side.")

What I found offensive was the title of the post above: evoking the language of the left today (resistance) to describe opposing everything that the current president does, and comparing, by implication, the internment.


Re Truman.

LEt's not forget the DEPORTATIONS!


“It’s true that many were deported or induced to return "voluntarily" during the Truman years. We figure, based on the official historical tables, that more than 127,000 were formally deported and more than 3.2 million left voluntarily rather than face deportation — a total of nearly 3.4 million." (The dreaded self-deportation? Of course.)

Truman actually wanted to do more than he was able to do to stem illegal immigration. He said the bill he signed didn’t go far enough. He said he would ask Congress for stricter sanctions against employers who harbor illegal aliens, and would also seek clear authority for INS inspectors to raid workplaces without search warrants.

This is a Democratic hero, folks. Resistance indeed.

Against Democrats? Nah ... not so much.

The comments to this entry are closed.


  • StatCounter
Blog powered by Typepad