Slide

More horrifying economic news:

The U.S. economy shrank in the fourth quarter at an even faster pace than previously estimated as consumer spending plunged, companies cut inventories and exports sank.

Gross domestic product contracted at a 6.2 percent annual pace from October through December, more than economists anticipated and the most since 1982, according to revised figures from the Commerce Department today in Washington. Consumer spending, which comprises about 70 percent of the economy, declined at the fastest pace in almost three decades.

The recession is forecast to persist at least through the first half of this year as job losses mount and purchases plummet. The Obama administration’s attempts to break the grip of the worst financial crisis in 70 years are unlikely to bring immediate relief as companies from General Motors Corp. to JPMorgan Chase & Co. cut payrolls.

If only we had cut capital gains taxes like the Republicans wanted, this would never have happened.

You know, I keep wondering- was the opposition party this petty and stupid during the great depression? When FDR proposed his budget, did some rich prick with a fake tan get up in front of microphones an hour after it was proposed (mind you, this is the same guy who whinged he did not have enough time to read the stimulus bill after a month, but an hour was sufficient time to read the budget), and say “OH MY GOD THE ERA OF BIG GOVERNMENT IS BACK!” Was there a John Boehner of that time period? And this is a serious question- was our politics always this stupid, and were we always suffering from morons like this?

During the depression, were there organizations of idiots running around having little tea parties and chanting porkulus? Or are we as a nation intent on proving Darwin wrong?






80 replies
  1. 1
    cervantes says:

    We probably were always morons. BTW JC, at least with IE, the site is messed up right now — those PJ media ads are on top of the left hand of the post, making it unreadable. You have to click on comments to get a readable page. And what the heck are you doing associating with an organization that promotes "Michelle Malkin, Glenn Reynolds, and Joe the Plumber" as the front for American Tea Parties anyway? You’re advertising exactly what you are trashing, and the ads are on top of your rant so I can’t even read it!

  2. 2
    TR says:

    You know, I keep wondering- was the opposition party this petty and stupid during the great depression?

    Yep. Go read up on the American Liberty League, for starters. Their leaders were technically ex-Democrats, but they voiced a strong pro-business, anti-government attitude in defiance of the New Deal.

  3. 3
    Xanthippas says:

    Politics will be this stupid as long as WE are this stupid. So basically, forever.

  4. 4
    Captain Haddock says:

    Being opposed to the New Deal is (was) one thing. But taking the stupidest, most backwards segment of your base and catering to their every crazy whim and delusion is another matter entirely.

  5. 5
    Rome Again says:

    Yep. Go read up on the American Liberty League, for starters. Their leaders were technically ex-Democrats, but they voiced a strong pro-business, anti-government attitude in defiance of the New Deal.

    You mean there was such a thing as a PUMA equivalent back in the thirties? Wow, I’m amazed.

  6. 6
    Napoleon says:

    FDR got a fair amount of Republican votes for some of his early stuff. If I am recalling correctly, for Social Security, which was a couple years in, he got one Republican vote. Of course the Republicans got killed in the mid-terms.

    Of course back then there were a fair number of moderate and progressive Republicans.

  7. 7
    Rome Again says:

    @cervantes:

    Looks the same to me. Try Firefox.

    Oh, and if you don’t know why Pajamas Media is featured here, it’s because John USED to be a Republican. This used to be a right wing site. Hard to believe, eh?

  8. 8
    Comrade Jake says:

    Joe The Plumber’s the most popular dude at the CPAC conference. What else needs to be said really? I think the DNCC is printing giant billboards with his picture that read "Intellectually Bankrupt" as I type this.

  9. 9
    Josh Hueco says:

    Well, there supposedly was the Business Plot, but that probably counts more as mendacious than teh stoopid.

  10. 10
    wilfred says:

    You know, I keep wondering- was the opposition party this petty and stupid during the great depression?

    Actually, one of the things they did was to establish the Pecora Commission, a modern version of which we could use right now.

    Anybody calling for one.

  11. 11
    BillB says:

    In addition to the Liberty League, don’t forget the clowns surrounding Father Coughlin, the "radio priest."

    For me, the current morons most resemble the America First isolationists circa 1940, when it was pretty obvious to all but the most clueless that the Axis presented an actual threat.

  12. 12
    Rome Again says:

    I could be wrong, but I’ve always been under the impression that while there was ridicule, in the thirties there wasn’t a political party that would have publicly promoted sedition and wanting to kill other American citizens. ;)

  13. 13
    Rome Again says:

    @Comrade Jake:

    He had an appearance at a bookstore close to CPAC where he only sold FIVE books. He only spoke to ELEVEN people. How is THAT popular?

  14. 14
    wilfred says:

    Or are we as a nation intent on proving Darwin wrong?

    We’d already done that in the late 19th and early 20th Century, following the economic crisis and depression of the 1890’s, iirc. Progressivism, Charles Addams et alovercame the social Darwinism of the Herbert Spencer crowd. Progessivism was the third Great Awakening, really.

    Nothing new under the sun. Unhappily, Homelanders have neither history nor a sense of historical context and are easy prey for the Chicken Little politics that is being pawned off on them these days.

  15. 15
  16. 16
    brainpan aka headpan aka miss water whiskers says:

    Bawlin’ Boehner up bitching about stim. It’s a "job killer" – just lying his ASS off.

    Boner – I just lost another job. SUCK MY LEFT TIT!

    FUCK . YOU you cryin’ ass bitch.

  17. 17

    .
    Fake tan? No, I think the right-wingers wanted to be as white as possible in the 30’s. There were large groups of them, dedicated to just that. And not just in the South. In NJ, not far from where I used to live, there was Camp Norland, the German-American Bund’s summer HQ and kids training & recreation area. The Klan was welcome there too. Racism was going to save us from the Depression. Funny how things don’t change.

    Today’s traitorous Repukelickin’s are doing everything they can to keep consumer confidence down. That’s the real reason behind all their antics, which make no sense, otherwise. Their big plan is to reverse their fortunes in 2010 if they can keep the economy tanked. They don’t care what happens in the mean time.
    .

  18. 18
    Dennis-SGMM says:

    @Rome Again:
    The German American Bund aspired to be a political party, events intervened.

    From the linked article:

    Arguably, the zenith of the Bund’s history occurred on President’s Day, February 19, 1939 at Madison Square Garden in New York City. Some 20,000 people attended and heard Kuhn criticize President Franklin D. Roosevelt by repeatedly referring to him as “Frank D. Rosenfeld”, calling his New Deal the "Jew Deal", and stating his belief of Bolshevik-Jewish American leadership. Most shocking to American sensibilities was the outbreak of violence between protesters and Bund storm troopers.

    Everything old is new again.

  19. 19
    jibeaux says:

    Wingers are such lightweights. One month into office and they’re polling on rebellion v. secession. Come talk to me in ninety-five months, I’ll feel your pain, bro.

    Slightly O/T, something in my paper yesterday about state budget cuts kind of struck me, let me know if I’m off base here, but:

    But her office released a list of some of the programs that her budget office is considering for cuts.

    Those include seven smaller and older state prisons, eliminating inmate road crews, cutting out the Capitol Police investigative unit, ending state funding for "The Lost Colony" and the Shakespeare Festival, ending state funding for the High Point Furniture Market, eliminating the Labor Department’s apprenticeship program and ending state meat and poultry inspection programs.

    The Lost Colony is one of the cultural jewels in the district represented by Basnight. But he said it was fair to consider "The Lost Colony" along with other state programs

    So…."hmm, well, that’s too bad, the furniture market’s awfully nice and the Lost Colony is a classic outdoor drama that….wait a minute, could you repeat that last thing please?"

  20. 20
    Porkulus fka Media Browski says:

    Yes, the Republicans were obstructionists then too; I’ve been having this historical de ja vue feeling since the stimulus debate began.

  21. 21
    slaney black says:

    You know, I keep wondering- was the opposition party this petty and stupid during the great depression? When FDR proposed his budget, did some rich prick with a fake tan get up in front of microphones

    Oh my yes. And some of the worst of them were Democrats. That’s how the mini-depression of ’38 happened…Blue Dogs of the time forced budget-balancing and threw the country back into the toilet til the war came…

  22. 22
    jibeaux says:

    The blockquoting on that is screwed up and I can’t figure out how to edit, it looks sort of right on the edit screen. Anyway, all but the first and last bits should be in the blockquote.

  23. 23
    kay says:

    I’m stunned at how dishonest Senator Gregg is. I watched him on C-SPAN last night after the Obama budget press conference and he was just mournful about the spending in the budget. I read this morning that he’s directed 66 million in fed funds to a closed air force base in NH, where his brother is the private developer of an office park. Gregg himself has earned half a million dollars on that investment. It’s legal, what he’s done, and Senators are, in my view, supposed to direct money to home states. But I’m not Judd Gregg, who lectured the country last night for 15 minutes on good government and prudence, a lecture I was somewhat interested in hearing. I feel like a dupe for listening.

  24. 24

    During the depression, were there organizations of idiots running around having little tea parties and chanting porkulus?

    Google "Business Plot" or "FDR coup attempt" or "Smedley Butler". They are always willing to use their power.

  25. 25
    brainpan aka headpan aka miss water whiskers says:

    Good lord, just exactly what *is* that on Boner’s head?

  26. 26
    brainpan aka headpan aka miss water whiskers says:

    Nothing but country music so far. But Jim DeMint says he believes they can reach out to soccer moms, hispanics, blacks and whites. Mmhm.

    K, here comes Mitch "Jelly Jowls" McConnell

  27. 27
    Atanarjuat says:

    You Obama Juicers are so right, as always.

    The Power of the Porkulus cannot be denied. Resistance is futile, so say the Lockstep Left of the Great Liberal Hive Mind. Why should anyone in their right mind work hard, save their money, and invest wisely when can just relax and do nothing, fully expecting the government to save us all from ourselves? The world owes you leftists a livin’, after all!

    There’s that old story of the grasshopper and the ants, where the grasshopper (typical liberal) just wants to have fun and play music while the ants (conservatives) are working hard to store up food for the winter. Winter comes, and the grasshopper comes begging to the ants, looking for a bailout to cover for his lazy, frivolous ways.

    Sorry, lefties, not all of us want to be grasshoppers, fiddling away and laughing without a care in the world while the financial winter gets deeper. There’s real work to be done, and prancing about merrily expecting someone else to pick up the slack is not the answer.

    -A

  28. 28

    The real difference is that the opposition has a much larger megaphone due to the 24-hour cable news cycle and the congressional districts that are gerrymandered to the point that most seats are pretty safe. The real test will come in the mid-term elections. If job losses continue in some of the very Republican areas, even Jesus will not save some of them. As long as the congressional R’s continue to suck off Limbaugh you’ll have a party with no ideas. None.

    Look at CPAC. John Bolton actually had a crowd guffawing over a joke about nuking Chicago. It’s one thing to have a blog commenter erupt into some sort of deranged tirade but when Very Serious People think its appropriate to make those sorts of distasteful remarks before an audience you have to wonder just how desperate are they? With John Bolton headlining your show you know your shit is weak. Very weak.

  29. 29
    Rome Again says:

    @jibeaux:

    Click my link, it will show you how to do mulitple paragraph blockquotes here. That was your problem.

  30. 30
    wilfred says:

    Yes, the Republicans were obstructionists then too

    In many things, yes. But it was the Republican controlled Senate that instituted the Pecora Commission and got it up and running against a lot of Democratic Party obstructionism.

    Fair play’s a jewel.

  31. 31
    kay says:

    @Atanarjuat:

    Senator Gregg is completely full of it. Really. You have a serious credibility problem, on the right. On everything.
    This is your standard-bearer for good government and fiscal prudence? No wonder he quit at Commerce after lobbying for the job, with that incredibly lame press conference where he wouldn’t raise his eyes. He realized the Gregg family coffers weren’t going to be refilled in that job.
    Trot him out again. I have concerns.

  32. 32
    Josh Hueco says:

    @Atanarjuat:

    And Attatwat sh*ts his pants, diarrhea running down his legs as he points and laughs at us for holding our noses.

  33. 33
    miss water whiskers says:

    Why should anyone in their right mind work hard, save their money, and invest wisely

    Why indeed. That’s what many of us have been doing for *years* and we are still FUCKED – how on earth did that happen?
    Anyway, I think you’re a spoof, but just in case.

    McConnell says, who wants to hang out with Paul Krugman and Robert Reich when you can hang with Rush Limbaugh, to enthusiastic cheering.

  34. 34
    SueinNM says:

    At–

    Do you actually KNOW any lefties? I mean, really? My husband and I routinely put in more than 40 hours a week, and frequently more. I have three projects going on right now, and my husband has an equal number on his plate. We’re making over $170,000 this year. And we’re glad to pay our part so that others have health care and hope.

    You need to get out more, A.

  35. 35
    Rome Again says:

    @Atanarjuat:

    Go read Matthew 7 and get back to me.

    Are you not your brother’s keeper? You’re just a self-interested man who cares not one iota if a young family who lives down the street has lost their income and they’re about to starve? You’d just say "let ’em die, I got mine" and be done with it?

    You’re a blight on humanity. Shame on you.

  36. 36
    wilfred says:

    Why indeed. That’s what many of us have been doing for years and we are still FUCKED – how on earth did that happen?

    See Gramschi; Hegemony.

    An entire generation was further conditioned in the ‘sober banker construct’ – remember those E.F. Hutton ads from the 80’s?

  37. 37
    A Mom Anon says:

    Oh headpan,I’m sorry,Jesus this is insane.

    I wonder just how long it’s going to be before someone takes a swing at The Boner,his constituents have to be over his sorry ass.

  38. 38
    TR says:

    Right now on MSNBC, Contessa Brewer is taking Joe the Plumber as the leading authority on the state of the Republican Party.

  39. 39
    kay says:

    @miss water whiskers:

    Why indeed? When you can pose as a fiscal conservative, deliver stern lectures, and profit handsomely from tens of millions in earmarks?

  40. 40
    miss water whiskers says:

    Hi A Mom Anon – here I am liveblogging CPAC this morning, why I do not know. Maybe I just really got the closet-hots for Grover Norquist. I’m fine, hon, hope you are too.

  41. 41
    MattF says:

    By the way, evolution is working and Darwin was right. The Republicans are sinking into a specialized niche under that rock on the beach over there. They’re still nourished by the tides, but when the long-term trends dominate, they’ll be high and dry and gone.

  42. 42
    miss water whiskers says:

    Oh, Antan, goodness me! I just realized I should have been on a strictly Spam diet and living under a bridge all those years and I would have enough money to keep going into my retirement years. Shit! What was I thinking!

    Damn, they are flogging The Fairness Doctrine when they fucking got what they want! That’s okay, guys, keep living in denial. It will serve the rest of us well. Believe me, we feel this thing crashing down around our shoulders and we know who is *primarily* responsible and who has been in charge these last 8 years.

  43. 43
    TR says:

    Now MSNBC is featuring the guy behind the American Tea Party demonstrations today.

    Remind me, was the original tea party a demonstration against 95% of the colonies getting a tax cut?

  44. 44
    Michael says:

    Nearly three decades of support for Conservatism got me nothing more than multiple kicks in my nuts.

    I can’t name a single thing that the policies I was conditioned to support and which I enthusiastically and vehemently championed have ever done for me or my family.

    Conservatives pretend to talk about bootstraps when they are really talking about magnifying the status quo on the allocation of wealth and concomitant political power.

    In Conservatism as it is currently defined in the US, there really is no such thing as upward mobility – everybody has his place and station in life, and if your betters happen to drop a few crumbs, you should be fawningly grateful and support their causes.

    I’m finding the idea of entrenching an economic nobility to be fundamentally anti-American, and borderline treasonous.

  45. 45
    Napoleon says:

    In Conservatism as it is currently defined in the US, there really is no such thing as upward mobility

    If you want the American Dream you need to go to Europe where it is substantially easier to move between economic classes. Remember that when you hear John Boner and Mitch McConnell on the tv telling you how the Dems want to make the US like Europe.

  46. 46
    Rome Again says:

    @Michael:

    I’m finding the idea of entrenching an economic nobility to be fundamentally anti-American, and borderline treasonous.

    Welcome to the real world. What took you so long?

    My parents tried to condition me into this right-wing way of thinking too, but, it didn’t take. I knew better. What was it that made embrace it? I’m curious. Did you at one time think feeding the nobility was helping you? Was it that "trickle down" thing?

  47. 47
    Mouse Tolliver says:

    Here’s a relevant passage from the movie Stagecoach (1939), directed by dyed-in-the-wool Democrat John Ford …

    HENRY GATEWOOD, a banker (clutching a bag full of embezzled cash): … I don’t know what the government is coming to. Instead of protecting businessmen, it pokes its nose into business! Why, they’re even talking now about having "bank examiners." As if we bankers don’t know how to run our own banks! Why, at home I have a letter from a popinjay official saying they were going to inspect my books. I have a slogan that should be blazoned on every newspaper in this country: America for the Americans! The government must not interfere with business! Reduce taxes! Our national debt is something shocking. Over one billion dollars a year! What this country needs is a businessman for president!

    Like the song says, everything old is new again.

  48. 48

    […] talk triumphantly about their little tea party today, that is the appropriate context (from the comments: “Remind me, was the original tea party a demonstration against 95% of the colonies getting a […]

  49. 49
    Michael says:

    Welcome to the real world. What took you so long?

    I was always coloring outside the lines in terms of social views, in that I had no racial hangups, no gender hangups, no gay hangups, no religious hangups and thought that people should be allowed to order their lives and do pretty much what they wanted. I suppose that it seemed an extension of that libertarian mindset.

    My parents tried to condition me into this right-wing way of thinking too, but, it didn’t take. I knew better. What was it that made you embrace it? I’m curious. Did you at one time think feeding the nobility was helping you? Was it that "trickle down" thing?

    The barrage of conservative propaganda at the time was intense – particularly in the Reagan era. What I didn’t think about until a couple of years ago was the fact that the very entities which are fucking us are creations of government, but really unanswerable when they screw up.

    The notion that Conservatives are about "rugged individualism and personal responsibility" is a blatant lie.

  50. 50
    Rome Again says:

    OMFG!

    Currently on MSNBC a guy representing the Philadelphia Tea Party named Devon Generally doesn’t understand a fucking word he’s saying, and when asked if he noticed foreclosures in his area, he said "no, it’s really only affected about five states". When asked about his own mortgage situation, he says "well, actually, I live in an apartment". Contessa Brewer had to school him on interest rates and why people are in foreclosure.

    Do these people even have a single fucking clue?

  51. 51
    Rome Again says:

    @Michael:

    Michael, I apologize if I came off condescending. I guess my advantage is that I grew up in a very well off Republican family and saw the "let them suffer, I got mine" attitude as a child. It put a very bad taste in my mouth and I swore I’d never follow in those footsteps. Sometimes I am amazed that people fall for this stuff, but I guess if they didn’t witness it the way I did, I can understand their ignorance. I have to remember that. Thanks for reminding me.

  52. 52
    El Cid says:

    From July 10, 1933, Time magazine, on Howard Scott leading a meeting of the Technocracy movement which argued that the major unit of economics should be energy rather than prices:

    Howard Scott the Technocrat let off a preliminary bombast: ”We want men of action and when I say men, I mean males and females. Our light is to abolish the price system. Bayonets will line up those who wilfully refuse to join the movement. The Roosevelt raw deal is the greatest boloney ever perpetrated. In eight weeks inventories will be at a maximum. If production hits the 1929 level 12,000,000 will still be unemployed. The country is being fed hooey."

    And days after losing again in the 1934 Congressional elections, Republicans begin to wonder if perhaps they are doing badly because they are offering the public no alternatives and ignoring the record that brought them low:

    "I should like to see the Republican Party reorganized. … I don’t think there is any room in this country for an old conservative party. . . .
    Abraham Lincoln and Theodore Roosevelt were liberal leaders. It doesn’t take long to shake off what you call conservatism. . . . There was a vast amount of reaction against the New Deal, but what were the people offered? . . . People can’t eat the Constitution."

    Thus Senator Borah, speeding to Washington, summarized his feelings about the election. Well w
    ere his words chosen to win back to himself the public attention which for weeks had been pre-empted by the campaign. In every mind on the morning after was one big question: Who is going to be the other party now?

    "When You’re Licked."

    With Pennsylvania’s Reed, Ohio’s Fess, Indiana’s Robinson, Missouri’s Patterson, Connecticut’s Walcott, Rhode Island’s Hebert, New Jersey’s Kean and West Virginia’s Hatfield, Old Deal Republicanism had been discarded by the U. S.

    Even Henry P. Fletcher who, as chairman of the Republican National Committee, had rallied the Tories to their last stand against the New Deal, had only one spark of fire left. Said he: ”When you’re licked you’re licked, but you don’t have to stay licked." Then he tossed in the sponge by admitting: "The Republican Party can come back only by being alert, united and willing to stand for questions that will benefit the masses as opposed to the classes."

    I’m still waiting to see that Republican Party.

  53. 53
    Et Tu Brutus? says:

    Partea!

  54. 54
    wilfred says:

    @El Cid:

    See Lewis Mumford’s "Technics and Civilization", a crytpo-Marxist paean to Materialist philosophy and a truly visionary work given its time, published c. 1935.

  55. 55
    bellatrys says:

    Oh, boy howdy – it’s just all gotten redacted out of popular memory. If you can’t get to a good periodicals archive to check out the letters columns and articles from the time, Sinclair Lewis’ darkly-comic It Can’t Happen Here is a good summing-up of the political pop culture of the day.

    (In sum, his wife was a foreign correspondent, he was an award-winning novelist of small town Americana, he took what she was seeing and mixed it with his own take on the US of A and got a home-grown fascism full of faux hickery brought by the progressives being too complacent and the leftists too ideological to work with FDR…war with Mexico is just the least of it. It was a hit, on stage as well, but MGM chickened out of filming it and after McCarthy denounced it as "unAmerican" it was not put on until this millennium…)

  56. 56
    argh says:

    Micheal: I was always coloring outside the lines in terms of social views, in that I had no racial hangups, no gender hangups, no gay hangups, no religious hangups and thought that people should be allowed to order their lives and do pretty much what they wanted. I suppose that it seemed an extension of that libertarian mindset.

    It is impressive that you escaped the Con conditioning, but what you describe is a liberal mindset, not a "libertarian" one. So the propaganda worked even if not completely. The libertarian label was invented so that liberal-minded Americans could join in with decrying liberalism in accordance with Establishment’s (ie, entrenched economic nobility) siren-song propaganda. There is no "there" in libertarianism, just wishes, opinions and the underlying fear of being seen as the liberal caricature.

    The "Conservative" goal was and is to erase the idea of a liberal commonwealth and self-governance through endless and sadly effective rhetoric through bought media channels, helping Americans down into the mud beneath our new nobility’s feet not only without protest, but the public’s enthusiastic cheering. It worked for the Red side of the U.S. equation … too well, as always.

    Good on you for seeing your way out. Hello fellow American.

  57. 57
    Rome Again says:

    @El Cid:

    I’m still waiting to see that Republican Party.

    Considering ‘Masses not Classes’ is a Democratic platform, that would make them Democrats, wouldn’t it?

  58. 58
    El Cid says:

    @Rome Again: I guess that was a play on Democrats for all intents and purposes being the equivalent of a former, saner Republican Party.

    OK, but what I meant was that the Republican Party itself had never become what Fletcher suggested they needed to be, although they did get much better at (a) taking away 1/2 of the Conservative Coalition to make Southern Democrats into Republicans and (b) sounding much better about being for the ‘masses’.

  59. 59
    Cris says:

    @MattF: By the way, evolution is working and Darwin was right.

    Absolutely. In our political environment, the stupid and simple have a survival advantage, so stupid ideas and stupid movements reproduce more successfully.

  60. 60
    The Golux says:

    @jibeaux:

    Another way to put paragraph breaks in a blockquote is to put a pair of "br" tags where you want the breaks. For example, this string,

      <blockquote>Bush<br><br>to<br><br>The<br><br>Hague!</blockquote>will look like this:

    BushtoTheHague!

    Oh, never mind; the damn thing actually executed the stuff that wasn’t supposed to be code, and ignored the stuff that was meant to be code. Preview? Bah humbug.

  61. 61
    delljody says:

    Allan Lichtman’s frakkin’ brilliant book "White Protestant Nation" has a few chapters on the holes that ’30s conservatives kept digging themselves into.

    There were organizations of idiots running around accusing FDR of being a Commie and the New Deal of destroying American freeeedum.

    But they didn’t seem so utterly determined to ignore reality and rut around in their own mental pigpen. How could they, when they lost so many elections from 1930-1946?

    The movement right-wingers gradually took over the facets of the party after the Goldwater fantasmagoria. What was previously kooky nutjob blather became "consensus." Now the popularity of their ideas is shriveling up, putting them back on the extreme fringe where they belong.

  62. 62
    Steeplejack says:

    @jibeaux:

    The easiest way I have found to do block quotes (substitute angle brackets for the braces below). It gets all the paragraphs and also keeps the quote from being bold.

    {blockquote}{p}First quoted paragraph.{/p}

    {p}Second quoted paragraph.{/p}

    {p}Third paragraph, etc.{/p}{/blockquote}

  63. 63
    Daryl says:

    There were organizations of idiots running around accusing FDR of being a Commie and the New Deal of destroying American freeeedum.

    They said the same thing about Truman and Eisenhower only they were New Deal care taking commie dupes. Sure Ike was a Republican but hey when you got a theme going…

  64. 64
    memory says:

    You know, I keep wondering- was the opposition party this petty and stupid during the great depression?

    Oh absolutely. The stock market crashed in 1929. Hoover did NOTHING about it for the entire stretch of his term. He lost re-election handily in 1932. When FDR visited the White House during the transition period, Hoover’s Secretary of the Treasury started ranting at him about the Gold Standard. The Republicans spent FDR’s entire presidency pulling every rabbit out of every hat they had to derail the New Deal.

    The major difference is that instead of fake tans they had monacles, top hats and coat tails. Their actions during the 30s has led to the archtype of the tophatted, monacled and coat tailed villain.

    You should also go read up on the Business Plot, and think about some of the more viscious statements coming out of the Conservative movement right now.

  65. 65

    I don’t know the specific history of the time, but I somehow doubt Republicans engaged in the kind of stupid theatrics that we are seeing today.

    Which, in a way, gives me hope. Because if the GOP can’t organize a serious opposition to Obama policies, he may just have the most unique opportunity in a 100 years to make REAL changes.

  66. 66
    bvac says:

    I have a book about politics from the 1930s and many of the dumb phrases and tactics used today seem to have been in full force back then.

  67. 67

    […] John Cole asks a thought provoking question: You know, I keep wondering- was the opposition party this petty and stupid during the great depression? When FDR proposed his budget, did some rich prick with a fake tan get up in front of microphones an hour after it was proposed (mind you, this is the same guy who whinged he did not have enough time to read the stimulus bill after a month, but an hour was sufficient time to read the budget), and say “OH MY GOD THE ERA OF BIG GOVERNMENT IS BACK!” Was there a John Boehner of that time period? And this is a serious question- was our politics always this stupid, and were we always suffering from morons like this? […]

  68. 68

    […] subscribeJohn Cole asks a thought provoking question: You know, I keep wondering- was the opposition party this petty […]

  69. 69
    MNPundit says:

    Obviously.

    Their names were James Clark McReynolds, George Sutherland, Willis Van Devanter, and Pierce Butler.

  70. 70
    Nash says:

    JC: You know, I keep wondering- was the opposition party this petty and stupid during the great depression?

    If you can imagine it, they were even more petty and stupid back then. From Bill Kristol’s most recent column:

    Still, Republicans do have advantages over their forebears in 1965 and 1933. There are more Republicans in Congress today, so they should be able to resist more effectively. There is much more of a record of liberal failures to look back on now than when the New Deal and the Great Society were being rushed through. Conservatism is more sophisticated than it was back then. So there is no reason to despair.

    (emphasis mine)

    Another 75 years and Darwin may arrange for a real opposition party.

  71. 71
    kormgar says:

    That’s an interesting historical question…and I find myself compelled to see what sort of fun quotes happen to be flying around.

    But I do doubt that the conservatives were quite so nutty and irrelevant back then. For one thing, the primary obstacle to much of the new deal was the conservatism of the supreme court. Much of FDR’s agenda was consistently blocked throughout the early years of his administration as an unconstitutional expansion of federal power.

  72. 72
    Polish the Guillotines says:

    And this is a serious question- was our politics always this stupid, and were we always suffering from morons like this?

    Back when the GOP’s governing philosophy was "Get Clinton", I had a history professor who talked about
    Father Coughlin, the El Rushbo of the Depression. My prof quoted Coughlin as referring to "Frankly Delirious Rosenfeld and the Jew Deal."

    So, yeah, it was always this stupid.

  73. 73
    Ellen says:

    Yes, the Republicans were just as ridiculous during the Great Depression and Roosevelt’s ensuing attempts to put the country back together.

    Frank Rich’s cited the stats in this February 14 column in the New York Times:

    "…In the first four years after F.D.R. took over from Hoover, the already decimated ranks of Republicans in Congress fell from 36 to 16 in the Senate and from 117 to 88 in the House…."

  74. 74
    scarshapedstar says:

    I’m pretty sure that the Republicans called for FDR’s impeachment, but given that there were like 12 of them it didn’t go far.

  75. 75
    binzinerator says:

    @Michael:

    I’m finding the idea of entrenching an economic nobility to be fundamentally anti-American, and borderline treasonous.

    Said it before, conservatism is really an old form of government called aristocracy.

    Naturally it is fundamentally at odds with such principles as ‘unalienable rights’ and ‘created equal’.

  76. 76

    @Chris Andersen:

    I don’t know the specific history of the time, but I somehow doubt Republicans engaged in the kind of stupid theatrics that we are seeing today.

    There are no "good old days" either in society or politics. It is an illusion fostered at least partly by high school texts that cover so much ground in so little time that much reality gets left out. (yes you could also argue govt propaganda) You can go clear back to Washington’s administration and find the same kinds of things going on. For pete’s sake, Burr shot Hamilton in a duel over political speech going over the "line".

    Politics is now and has been a very rough game and lies and dishonest framing have been one side or another’s tools right along. You don’t have to be a poli-sci major to know this stuff, but you do have to have a bit more than a passing interest in it.

    You will find that sometimes the crap works, for decades, sometimes it explodes in the users faces. There are reasons that happened, they’re available but you have to go back to the specific era and get a grip on all the social, economic, and political context to see why.

    Supply side economics is entire and complete economic bullshit, it has nothing, but it worked as a political device. If you want to know why it worked you’ve got a job cut out for you examining the context preceding its championship and following its implementations. There was plenty of statistical evidence that it was failing spectacularly, but as Twain noted there are liars, damn liars, and statisticians. Bullsit trumped evidence, and here we are.

    I tried to do a little analysis of why the GOP is trapped into its current bullshit. It probably needs a book, but I tried to get some of it in.

  77. 77
    bellatrys says:

    Oh, hey, how on earth could I have forgotten about The Goat Ball Guy? And he wasn’t the worst, according to an NPR article I heard a few years ago.

    There were 1930s radio personalities who made Fr. Coughlin sound sane…

  78. 78
    Mayken says:

    @Napolean

    (The following comment is brought to you by snark. Please forgive me my sad attempt at wittiness. I couldn’t resist!) European Dream? Those pansy Euros start out with universal health care, subsidized child care and great schools and then have great labor laws while working and state assisted retirement. What kinds Dream is that?! Everyone knows that the real Dream is pulling yourself up by your bootstraps out of horrendous poverty with no help but the fact that you are white and male, working under mind-numbing and back-breaking conditions for no money, and hoping to all that is holy that you aren’t injured or too ill to work until eventually through the magic of hard work and frugality you become a multi-gazillionaire with the ability to crush your former co-workers under your diamond boot-heels.
    Really, emulating the Euros. You commie!
    (end snark)
    Although in all truthfulness, my cousins in the Netherlands aren’t exactly living the European Dream. Though university educated, two of them cannot find work, the third is delaying graduation because it is better than trying to find work and the fourth, the only one who can find work, is an underpaid nurse. And their parents are having a tough time because retirement benefits are stagnating, health care is getting spendier and they just had to our grandmother in an assisted living situation. (My aunt still curses the frakin’ Euro – she wants her Guilder back.) ‘Nuff said. Things are tough all over right now.

  79. 79
    bvac says:

    I always find it humorous to think that there was an "Anti-Masonic Party" whose sole issue was to oppose freemasons.

  80. 80
    burnspbesq says:

    @miss water whiskers:

    Maybe I just really got the closet-hots for Grover Norquist.

    I think the hot dog I just ate is coming back up.

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  1. […] subscribeJohn Cole asks a thought provoking question: You know, I keep wondering- was the opposition party this petty […]

  2. […] John Cole asks a thought provoking question: You know, I keep wondering- was the opposition party this petty and stupid during the great depression? When FDR proposed his budget, did some rich prick with a fake tan get up in front of microphones an hour after it was proposed (mind you, this is the same guy who whinged he did not have enough time to read the stimulus bill after a month, but an hour was sufficient time to read the budget), and say “OH MY GOD THE ERA OF BIG GOVERNMENT IS BACK!” Was there a John Boehner of that time period? And this is a serious question- was our politics always this stupid, and were we always suffering from morons like this? […]

  3. […] talk triumphantly about their little tea party today, that is the appropriate context (from the comments: “Remind me, was the original tea party a demonstration against 95% of the colonies getting a […]

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