The pattern is clear based on comments such as that delivered by Brit Hume of "fair and balanced" Fox News. As befitting the commentator and the network, a statement was made to sound fair and balanced that was anything but that:
"Everybody agrees, I think, on both sides of the spectrum now, that the New Deal failed."
Note the highly questionable "everybody agrees" comment as a universal, a point beyond serious debate. By both sides of the spectrum that would certainly include Democrats who had written favorably about the New Deal.
Did Arthur M. Schlesinger Jr. prior to his death renounce what he had written in his Age of Roosevelt series? Has Nobel Prize winning author Paul Krugman announced that what numerous historians, including those in the economic field, such as himself, had changed their minds and concluded that Roosevelt's presidency had been a failure?
Has Hume delivered the minimal specific to substantiate his position by naming anyone on the liberal side of the spectrum who had concluded that the New Deal had failed?
The Hume statement is as questionable as that delivered by George W. Bush in stating that his term of service might be in dispute two centuries later as evidenced by George Washington, someone Bush was currently reading books about. The conclusion was as questionable as the books he claimed to be reading, which were never identified.
Washington remains in a stellar position of the "first in the hearts of his countrymen" that had been coined when he was still alive. Generally he has been ranked first or second and never has there been any controversy about his position of greatness.
Pat Buchanan relied on a Heritage Foundation chart in asserting that "before 1940, not once did unemployment fall before 14 percent." As Jamison Foser of Media Matters for America wrote in a July 9 column that "at the point Heritage identifies as the beginning of the New Deal, unemployment was higher than 35 percent. Suddenly 14 percent looks like extraordinary progress, doesn't it?"
Foser denounces the fallacious thinking of Buchanan's analysis in noting that the Heritage Foundation chart on which his conclusion is based fails to take into account a major element of Roosevelt's New Deal strategy, public sector jobs, which put millions of people to work through the Works Progress Administration as well as some of the nation's youthful, able-bodied citizens through the Civilian Conservation Corps.
Somewhere along the line as well a minimum wage was created, the Securities Exchange Commission was launched to safeguard against the kind of unbridled speculation that caused the economy to crash and banks to fail, while massive rural electrification was launched through the Tennessee Valley Authority to bring power to Americans in distant reaches of the nation.
The old anti-Roosevelt fight that the old right launched and the new right is rejoining occurs when the spirit of the New Deal and remedial programs are vitally necessary to save the economy, with Barack Obama stepping up to a plate that is staggeringly full just as Franklin Delano Roosevelt did the same in March 1933.
In conclusion one broad difference between the FDR era that the right loathes and the Bush-Cheney era that it strongly supported should be made.
Roosevelt was the author of the statement, "We have nothing to fear but fear itself."
The Bush-Cheney administration exploited fear with impunity, using the 9/11 tragedies to launch war in the Middle East, to engage in widespread torture and rendition, to practice preventive detention and spy on Americans without judicial warrants.
Distort as they will, the right will never be able to twist history to make Roosevelt look worse and Bush appear to be anything more than an unmitigated disaster.