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Sunday, July 31, 2011

 
And That Is Why Tom Friedman Is An Idiot

by tristero

Today's Times:
Watching today’s Republicans being led around by an extremist Tea Party faction, with no adult supervision, I find my mind drifting back to the late 1980s when I was assigned to cover the administration of George H.W. Bush, who I believe is one of our most underrated presidents.
No, Tom, this is one of the most underrated presidents.

What's that you say? FDR underrated?? FDR who, along with Lincoln and Washington, always tops historians' lists of our greatest presidents?

Yes, dear friends, FDR is grossly underrated. Otherwise, this country's politicians wouldn't be so hellbent on destroying every single program and policy he put into place. Otherwise, we would be extending his incomplete, yet still breathakingly awe-inspiring social legacy instead of enthusiastically dismantling it. Otherwise, he, and not Ronald Reagan, would be cited as an exemplar by leading presidential candidates of all parties. Otherwise, his name would be ready on the tips of every Democrats' tongue, rather than being held in abeyance and uttered only as a tepid parry to the slings and arrows of the lunatic right that Friedman, far too belatedly, has come to realize play an enormous role in our political discourse.

Bush Senior was a terrible president, Tom. One of countless examples: Friedman,in his article, approves of Bush for not entering Baghdad at the end of Bush/Iraq I. What Friedman fails to mention is that Bush's incompetent diplomacy was likely a major factor that reinforced Saddam's decision to invade Kuwait (see bottom of numbered page 54, column 1). Of course, Bush had no right to invade Iraq - had he done his job and appointed a competent diplomatic corps and supervised them properly instead of relying on rigid ideological "realists" (who were anything but realistic), war might have been averted and the awful moral catastrophe of that war's end, as US troops watched as Saddam slaughtered countless of his own citizens, would never have happened.

Sorry, my dear historian friends, but you are bunk. While you might like FDR, the fact remains that this country offers only a token public nod to his memory and achievements. For not only in the offices of the government but also in the most influential think tanks, in the largest propaganda mills, in the slightly more legitimate "responsible" media, and most importantly, in the minds of at least half of all American voters, FDR is one of the most underrated and undervalued presidents in our history.


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