There’s a post on the HuffPo tonight from Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., who recently endorsed Hillary Clinton, about the Hillary Haters and how they are not unlike the Roosevelt haters back in the ’30’s. Kennedy makes some valid points and presents an interesting look back at history.
It’s well worth the read. Here’s a few quips:
The intense hatred of the Roosevelts was a dominant feature in the American political landscape during the decade of the 1930s and prompted efforts to impeach him and even a plot to depose him by a military coup planned by high ranking officers of Wall Street’s richest corporations, including Goodyear, Bethlehem Steel, JP Morgan, and DuPont. The “vast right wing conspiracy” had its own Richard Mellon Scaife. Robert Clark, one of Wall Street’s richest bankers and stock brokers pledged half of his $60 million fortune to help finance the coup. His deputy, former Commander Gerald Macguire of the American Legion, a Wall Street bond broker, equated Roosevelt’s reforms to Communism and explained the purpose of the coup to a co-conspirator, “We need a fascist government in this country to save the nation from the Communists who want to tear it down and wreck everything we have built in America.” The 1933 coup attempt was only averted by the courage of General Smedley Butler, the popular World War I warrior who had been tapped by Wall Street to lead the plot and who instead exposed and denounced it.
“People in power with privilege don’t want to be challenged at all,” Hillary told me recently as we discussed the repetitive rhythms of history. “FDR’s policies rescued capitalism, thereby saving the fortunes and restoring the incomes of so many of the same people who would curse his name over the dinner table. They somehow still felt threatened because they don’t like to be questioned.”
“And there is something of the same going on today. If you challenge the pharmaceutical companies, the health insurance companies, if you think investment fund managers should be taxed at the same rate as nurses and firefighters, you run into this vitriolic response.”
Irrational hatred was the powerful drug that intoxicated the Gingrich Congress to impeach President Bill Clinton at the time when he enjoyed 65% popularity with the American people and had steered the nation through eight years of peace and unprecedented prosperity.
Hillary’s supporters should be heartened by the fact that intense hatred is often accompanied by equally strong support. Roosevelt won four landslide victories against his opponents and crafted the architecture for the most humane, successful, generous features of modern American government.
They can also take comfort in Hillary’s proven ability to transform intense hatred into loyal support. I recently toured upstate New York’s traditionally Republican counties which she has transformed through leadership and political acumen, into rock solid Hillary Clinton strongholds.
With a playful wink she told me, “One of my favorite pins in my political pin collection is “I Don’t Like Eleanor Either.” It reminds her that it’s not just the president who is targeted by the haters. But “about anybody who cares about and stands up and fights for the changes that our country needs to have.”
Our country desperately needs change. I’m not inclined to think that any of the Dems running for the nomination won’t deliver that change. I’m also not inclined to think that any of them aren’t worthy of the office. When all is said and done after the primaries, we’ll all be on the same team. Let’s keep that in mind and remember that the Republican’s will go after anything and everything. We better get a tougher skin.
No matter who we put in the White House in ’08, the Republicans will continue their opposition to the Democratic Party and all who, as Clinton says “who cares about and stands up and fights for the changes that our country needs to have.” We saw this happen in the last election with Kerry. In many ways, they target Clinton in the same way they targeted Kerry. I’ve said this here before.
We all want change. Go out and get involved.