Regular CMR readers will find my next line rather odd and perhaps even humorous, but here goes. I found a very interesting post over at Vox Nova through which I actually learned something. I know, I know. We ocassionally like to have a little fun at their expense, but let’s give credit where it is due.
In the post, Blackadder looks at a curious remark by Barack Obama at the Alfred E. Smith dinner the other night. Obama said that he “shared the politics of Alfred E. Smith and the ears of Alfred E. Newman.”
Blackadder asks Oh really?
…I expect that in making this remark, Senator Obama was thinking that, as a Democrat, Al Smith would have approved of the economic proposals that Obama has put forward.
If so, then Senator Obama is almost certainly mistaken. While Al Smith was the Democratic nominee for president just prior to Franklin Roosevelt, after Roosevelt’s election he became a ferocious critic of the New Deal, saying of the Roosevelt administration: “It is all right to me if they want to disguise themselves as Norman Thomas or Karl Marx, or Lenin, or any of the rest of that bunch, but what I won’t stand for is to let them march under the banner of Jefferson, Jackson, or Cleveland.” Smith went on to become a major player in the American Liberty League (along with, among others, George Bush’s grandfather), which labeled Roosevelt’s Agricultural Adjustment Administration “a trend toward Fascist control of agriculture,” and said that the passage of Social Security would “mark the end of democracy.” Smith even went on to endorse the Republican presidential nominee in 1936 and 1940, making him the Joe Lieberman of his era. His politics had less in common with Barack Obama’s than they do with Joe the Plumber’s.
I don’t know about you, but I find that remarkably interesting. Al, we hardly knew ye! Good job by Blackadder for getting the background on good ol’ Al. Apparently Al is rolling over in his grave at the economic rescue policies of both major candidates as they have a lot more in common with Thomas, Marx, or Lenin than Jefferson, Jackson et al.
I agree with Blackadder that Al Smith would not have gone for homosexual marriage and abortion on demand. Boy, I wish we still had Democrats like Al Smith around.