Acknowledging all the caveats about how this is a game and not serious historical analysis, let’s think about what Roosevelt did do, and whether it applies …
In 1932, Roosevelt campaigned on a major public works program, farm relief, better labor laws, securities regulation, more public power, reforestation, lower tariffs, old-age pensions, unemployment insurance, coordination of industry…much of we now think of as the New Deal.
He could therefore say that his agenda needed enacting because he’d campaigned on it.
How did he manage to get support for such a diverse agenda, especially when each single piece of it wouldn’t benefit all voters?
He articulated a defense of (to use his word) interdependence—the idea that none of us could prosper unless all of us prospered; that farm relief might come today, and manufacturing relief tomorrow, but each would get their turn.
Another way he put it was “social justice,” a phrase we’d find familiar—and which he said was the opposite of “trickle down” economics. Improve the condition of the vast majority of people, and prosperity would rise up, like yeast.
So he was good at articulating a broad general message of shared interest, and he was able to claim the voters had put him into office to do these things. I’m sure he would do those things today, if he had to.
Obviously Biden has a major impairment that FDR didn’t—not only the narrow majority, but the filibuster as it now is. Many things can go through, but they all have to go through in a single bill because of reconciliation. Which means it’s harder to campaign for it—
you need to make a long list of its contents. And its easier to campaign against it—you can say “entitlement” like Manchin, or “socialism” like Rubio; you can pick your unpleasant abstraction.
So it’s a lot harder for Biden to have a debate on substance than it was for Roosevelt, who could go step by step, and have each step represent a clear aim.
Roosevelt also did some other things, too—he used the power of the state as it already existed. He invoked the Trading with the Enemy Act to save the banks & currency; I now think this was consonant, given the original intent of the law, but it was, let’s say, imaginative.
In late 1933, he let Hopkins commandeer state relief bureaus to set up an emergency public works program. He used Army trucks to deliver materiel. He used the VA’s accounting arm to cut checks.
So, in addition to speaking clearly about the concrete elements of the program and its benefits for everyone, he used existing state capacity to its absolute limits.
That’s what he did then; so that’s my best answer as to what he’d do now.
I’d add that, come 1938 and some electoral and political setbacks—especially from the conservative wing of his own party—he appointed an aggressive liberal, Frank Murphy, as Attorney General—
—and Murphy set about bringing a voting rights case to begin the process of abolishing the all-white primary that was the mainstay of that conservative wing.
And he delivered what, to make this a tad shorter, we could call a brush-back pitch to the federal judiciary.
So: powerful messaging for the whole and the parts; aggressive, imaginative use of existing state capacity; voting rights and a meaningful challenge to judicial supremacism.
That’s off the top of my head, anyway.
(yes, I meant “consonant, given what I know, with the original intent of the law,” sigh)

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More from @rauchway

18 Oct
He’s George Baer, if that helps.

(I know it doesn’t.)
This is George Baer, depicted during the 1902 anthracite strike. Image
A coal baron who@claimed he and his peers enjoyed their wealth and property by divine right, and refused to make concessions to the working man, even ones he could well afford.
Read 4 tweets
1 Oct
The reason we, and everyone else, went off the gold standard is that it was a giant failure.
“This is where Freud would come in. This reluctance to part with something that is precious to you, this insistence on discipline. He identified a personality that was what he called parsimonious to the point of avarice, and you and I have probably heard the term anal retentive”
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18 Sep
I reviewed Woodward & Costa's PERIL. I think its stuff on Biden is as interesting, if less juicy, than its stuff on Trump.

"'Who thinks democracy is a given?” [Biden] asked … 'If you do, think again.'"

washingtonpost.com/outlook/how-tr…
A lot of the Trump stuff leaked before publication because it tells us yet more about January 6 and the plan to derail certification. But the Biden stuff, which is the stuff of ordinary politics, is consequential too.
There is, in specific, quite a lot of material on Biden and Manchin, which is of current interest.
Read 5 tweets
15 Sep
Saying Elder got 47% is misleading; he got 47% of people who answered the second question (who should replace). Remember, Newsom asked that you vote “no-and-go”—no on the recall and nothing on the second question. Looks like about 45% of the total voters did that. Which means…
About 4m voters didn’t vote on the second question. Elder got 2.4m votes. So he lost overwhelmingly to the nonvotes. And he didn’t get 47%, he got 47% of 55%, or about 26%.
(Those of you who are screaming at your monitors that @jonrog1 has been proved right again, I hear you.)
Read 6 tweets
29 Aug
"Gov. Ron DeSantis has crisscrossed the state…promoting a treatment for people who already have COVID-19. But the last time he held an event specifically to encourage getting vaccinated was four months ago. Instead, he’s downplayed the vaccines…"

orlandosentinel.com/politics/os-ne…
If you wanted a test case for a large state that made a strong push to vaccinate people, you should look elsewhere.
"Florida shows that even a state that made a major push for vaccinations — Florida ranks 21st among states and Washington, D.C., in giving people of all ages at least one shot — can be crushed by the Delta variant"

that's in the NYT article

what is 21st, a participation trophy?
Read 11 tweets
17 Aug
People often say this, and I know where they’re coming from, but:

a) those majorities were largely illusory; white Southern Democrats were often hostile to the New Deal—even within the first 100 days;

b) the 1930s press was super hostile to the New Deal.
So I’m not trying to dunk on you, Doug Lakey, but I do want to address this point; the distinction is nowhere near that clear.
Just briefly, on the media point, this is an entirely representative bit of work from a Hearst paper. Image
Read 4 tweets

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