The more things change . . . #FactOfTheDay or two facts of the day actually

The more they change

Here are two facts about the world which won’t return any time soon. Good facts.

The first is that Franklin Delano Roosevelt was a paraplegic. Now of course you knew that, but the fact associated with it is that noone knew. The mores of the time were the only way to treat his paraplegia as irrelevant to his presidency. That is people didn’t know.

In today’s age of equal opportunity world FDR wouldn’t have stood a chance. His best chance would have been being the ‘nice guy’ in the cabinet – and I’m not too sure he was that.

My other fact comes at the end of this passage from this op ed.

A campaign ad had Bill Clinton praising Obama for the courage of ordering the raid because, had it failed and Americans been killed, “the downside would have been horrible for him. “ Outraged vets released a response ad, pointing out that it would have been considerably more horrible for the dead SEALs.

That ad also highlighted the many self-references Obama made in announcing the bin Laden raid: “I can report .?.?. I directed .?.?. I met repeatedly .?.?. I determined .?.?. at my direction .?.?. I, as commander in chief,” etc. ad nauseam. (Eisenhower’s announcement of the D-Day invasion made not a single mention of his role, whereas the alternate statement he’d prepared had the landing been repulsed was entirely about it being his failure.)

We won’t be seeing any of that for a long time either. Our leaders have to be Just Like Us and it’s all down to story telling as you would do it to children – the president’s plan for this, the president’s plan for that. The president’s plan for tooth flossing . . .

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Pedro
Pedro
9 years ago

So he bravely risked a Jimmy Carter moment!
Good points. It’s kind of funny to think people now wouldn’t vote for a good candidate because they’re a cripple.

Patrick
Patrick
9 years ago

rofl.

Don’t get me wrong, I do think that you have a point. But if you weren’t so hopelessly conditioned to love lefty tropes and figures and dismiss ‘rightwingers’, you might realise that Obama is incredibly self-absorbed and petty mainly because he is a classic modern lefty?

Back in the normal world, fear not! Sanity and some rudimentary humility remain relatively common, refer eg George Bush’s much-maligned ‘victory speech‘ abord the USS Lincoln. The only ‘I’s are:

I have a special word for Secretary Rumsfeld, for General Franks and for all the men and women who wear the uniform of the United States: America is grateful for a job well done.

When I look at the members of the United States military, I see the best of our country and I am honored to be your commander in chief.

Pedro, Obama is a Carter moment, just a four-year-long one. Carter, otoh, actually had high points inbetwixt the ‘Carter moments’.

Richard Tsukamasa Green
Richard Tsukamasa Green(@richard-green)
9 years ago

In his autobiography, John Howard describes the agonizing decision process about joining the invasion of Iraq. A diary entry.

I think all of us realise that if this does go “pear-shaped”, then that would be it for me. I should take the rap, for the sake of the party’s future.

Such is the burden of power….

Alan
Alan
9 years ago

Krauthammer? Krauthammer?? Hmm … Oh, yeah, that bloke. “Hans Blix had five months to find weapons. He found nothing. We’ve had five weeks. Come back to me in five months. If we haven’t found any, we will have a credibility problem.”

Also, http://languagelog.ldc.upenn.edu/nll/?p=2113

paul walter
paul walter
9 years ago

No doubt about it, is it? They want humanity returned to the sixties, ie cocooned from reality and off in la-la land watching “I love Lucy” or “Disneyland”, impervious to untoward intrusions of reality and amnesiac of it, if its accidentally returned to.
And if there is alarm, some bland politician or spokes individual will get up there to drown you in a tank full of treacly reassurance piped directly from the river Lethe.
Reality threatens?
Retreat to Brady Bunch world. If it all eventually go wrong, you won’t have to worry.
You”d be dead, for whatever it took to shake you out of your unconsciousness would be so shattering as to physically end you, anyway.

emess
emess
9 years ago

I suggest that responses that Eisenhower made were done in a slightly less nasty and loud environment.

If Eisenhower had had to make the point he did amongst a mob of birthers, truthers, Teabaggers (or is that Tea partiers?) and other associated loonies, he probably would have had to increase the ‘me’ volume too.

paul walter
paul walter
9 years ago

Yes, emess, the damage has been done over some time.
Another recession-inducing round of plunder from casino capitalism, another centrist put in to ease public concern and mend damage to the actual fabric of humanity, with the most important tools to change things denied by a very Habsburgisch oligarchy.
the Dems in the USA have outwitted the extremists and had them drown in their own noise, after constant assault personal and ideological directed by geriarchs like Murdoch and the Koch bros, but it’s been a near thing. Only the palpable damage to people individually there has had them remember who induced their woes, tho- the Tpartiers themselves, deeply in denial over science and capitalism and Barney Rubble reading his Bible as he rides to work on his dinosaur, still think its a plot concocted over time by a crafty afro guy who is also the Secret head of Al Quaeda and in regular contact with the Hidden Soviet Divisions in Montana. It should be added, a devilish-cunning individual who possessed the the unique ability to forge his own birth certificate, probably even from inside the womb re the prior manufacturing of the paper counterfeited.

Braddles
Braddles
9 years ago

I read somewhere that out of 40,000 photos of Roosevelt kept at his Presidential Library, only three show him in a wheelchair, and all three were taken by close family.

He wasn’t strictly a paraplegic. He had suffered adult polio that wasted his leg muscles. He could stand with assistance (and difficulty). There are photos of him standing, even giving speeches, but holding on to someone’s arm with a vice-like grip.

His minders went to great lengths to shield his disability. On one occasion he wanted to go to a public funeral at a church that had many steps, and so the Secret Service built a huge ramp and platform to allow his car to drive to the door.