Ken Burns, the documentarian who’s convinced he’s a deep thinker, has endorsed Barack Obama in an editorial in the New Hampshire Union Leader, comparing Obama to FDR and Jimmy Stewart in It’s A Wonderful Life.
Burns has been living off the public dole for years, as taxpayers subsidize his left-of-center documentaries, so it’s no surprise that he would endorse Obama. He has donated thousands of dollars to Democrats over the years. In 2007, he chose Obama over Hillary Clinton, gushing that Obama was like Abraham Lincoln, a “wiry, relatively inexperienced” person.
Flexing his philosophic muscles, Burns loftily stated:
What kind of country are we? Are we Bedford Falls or Pottersville? Are we all in this together — and stronger and better because of it — or are we entirely on our own, with a few “makers” on the top of a heap of “takers?”
Hmm, making a living from taxpayers funding your films? Who’s the taker?
Much like Franklin Delano Roosevelt (one of the subjects of a new documentary series we are working on — [SHAMELESS PLUG] — if Romney doesn’t get his way and PBS isn’t eliminated)[SHAMELESS WHINING] — President Obama took office at a time when lax regulation of the financial industry had brought us to the brink of a complete collapse, creating an industry that needed nearly a trillion dollars in President Bush-authorized bailouts. He also inherited two off-the-books wars that had further ballooned our budget deficit, an auto industry on the verge of bankruptcy, and a loss of prestige in the international community. Like FDR, Obama has walked us back from the brink. He averted a depression, [THE GREAT ECONOMIC RECOVERY] ended one war and put us on the path to ending the other [ABANDONED SUCCESS AND FLED] rescued the auto industry [NON-UNION WORKERS LOST PENSIONS] slowly building the sound footing necessary to have a sustained recovery [WHAAAAAAAATTT???] — better, smarter regulation of those that brought this upon us, tax breaks to save a dwindling middle class, GONE [FROM DWINDLING TO VANISHING] and a request that the very super rich, folks like Gov. Romney who have taken advantage of loopholes and deductions and off-shore accounts to amass their fortunes, pay their fair share. (Like FDR’s hero, Theodore Roosevelt — also part of the new series we’re making — [SHAMELESS PLUG] — Obama has deployed the shrewd combination of speaking softly and using a big stick. Ask Bin Laden. ASK A RESURGENT AL QAEDA There’s a lot more work to be done, obviously, but history itself suggests that changing the trajectory of things takes time and patience and, as FDR demonstrated, intelligent experimentation [THE MAN WHOSE POLICIES PROLONGED THE GREAT DEPRESSION FOR ALMOST TEN YEARS].
Unfortunately, unlike FDR, who had great cooperation from across the aisle for many of his programs, Obama has had to pretty much go it alone. As the Republican Party ignored his gestures of compromise and bipartisanship, they also moved further and further to the right, the furthest right they have ever been since the party was founded in 1856. Further right than the days of President Ronald Reagan, who in his second inaugural address in 1985 said, “Our two-party system has served us well over the years, but never better than in those times of great challenge when we came together not as Democrats or Republicans, but as Americans united in a common cause.”
HMM. Reagan 2nd Inaugural address:
We must never again abuse the trust of working men and women, by sending their earnings on a futile chase after the spiraling demands of a bloated Federal Establishment. (SOUND FAMILIAR?) You elected us in 1980 to end this prescription for disaster, and I don’t believe you reelected us in 1984 to reverse course… I will shortly submit a budget to the Congress aimed at freezing government program spending for the next year. Beyond that, we must take further steps to permanently control Government’s power to tax and spend. We must act now to protect future generations from Government’s desire to spend its citizens’ money and tax them into servitude when the bills come due. (SOUND FAMILIAR?) Let us make it unconstitutional for the Federal Government to spend more than the Federal Government takes in.
If Burns is going to liken Obama to a former president, it should be Jimmy Carter. And if he’s going to liken Obama to a Jimmy Stewart character, it ought to be Ransom Stoddard in The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance; the man who launched his political career and eventually became a candidate for vice-president based on a lie. Only, in Obama’s case, he’s basing his campaign on a number of lies.