Heh. Hat tip to Andrew Sullivan.
Alan Brinkley has an article at The New Republic in which he argues that Obama, in this mythical timespan, "has been less frenetic than Franklin Roosevelt's, but in some ways more productive." The comparison with FDR is both obvious and inevitable because of the fact that the very concept originates with FDR and because of the circumstantial analogy between today's financial crisis and that DR confronted when he took office.
I do not want to pre-empt my own presentation from next week, but in shorthand my view is: Too early to tell; first hundred days is a journalistic rather than a historical construct when it comes to analyzing most any president but FDR; There might be better comparisons to make than with FDR.
Part of me is amused that contemporary conservatism has become a bastion of idiocy and shallow thought as the movement implodes into incoherent tea parties ("We are about to return to the high marginal tax rates of the first Bush administration! Batten the hatches!") and as Rush Limbaugh becomes the most prominent person within the movement (which says more than anything I could about the state of the right). But there is also a patina of danger behind this unhinged and marginalized right-wing zealotry. Idiocy fetishized as resistance breeds violence.
The Red Sox were scheduled to be on national television today, but because of frightful April weather in Boston, the game has been postponed to tomorrow. Which brings me to the question of what the hell the Sox and Rays are doing kicking off in Boston in early April when both teams just left Florida, where the Rays play in an indoor facility. I love Fenway, I love baseball, and I love Opening Day, but Fenway in early April can be frigid, and if it is wet it can be utterly miserable. Why not play this series in St. Pete and open at Fenway in a couple of weeks? 'Twould be done in dcat's world (admit it -- you're growing warm to the idea of my benevolent dictatorship).
Here are my perfunctory predictions for the season:
AL East: (Predicted order of finish; * denotes predicted Wild Card berth) Red Sox, *Rays, Yankees, Orioles, Blue Jays (In the best division in baseball, maybe in baseball history, three teams will win 90 games and the fifth-place team will be fighting for a .500 record through September.)
AL Central: Indians, Twins, Tigers, White Sox, Royals (The Indians will rebound to win a stunningly mediocre division.)
AL West: Angels, Rangers, A's, Mariners (Also mediocre, but more competitive, one of the stories in the West will be the Rangers finally having some good young pitching to go with a team that can always hit. Still, at least for this year, the Angels will continue to be the class of the division.)
NL East: Mets, *Phillies, Braves, Marlins, Nationals (It is fun watching the Mets collapse, but they have strengthened their bullpen and should win the East, though Philadelphia is not going to give up the crown all that easily.)
NL Central: Cubs, Cardinals, Brewers, Reds, Astros, Pirates (Why in the hell does the NL Cantral have six teams while the AL West has four? This has always annoyed me. My benign autocracy will shift one of these teams to the American league -- welcome back Milwaukee!
NL West: Dodgers, Diamondbacks, Rockies, Giants, Padres (Manny really is a difference maker. This should be a good race to the end, though, and the Diamondbacks could pull it out.)
ALDS: Sox over Indians; Angels over Rays
NLDS: Cubs over Phillies; Mets over Dodgers
ALCS: Sox over Angels (Again.)
NLCS: Cubs over Mets (hey, one of these years this much-anticipated matchup is going to happen)
World Series: Sox over Cubs in six. (What, you thought I was going in another direction? The Sox both have my blind loyalty and a hell of a team. The pitching staff, starters to back of the pen, could be other-worldly and the lineup will have its usual stellar season. That's a nice combination.)
Play Ball!!! (Tomorrow!)
So it is with fear and trepidation that I read this morning that the Globe's corporate overlord, The New York Times Company, is demanding $20 million in concessions from the myriad unions that serve in production and distribution of the Globe or else shuttering the paper is a very real possibility. Some of these concessions are surely necessary. But I cannot help but think that at least some represent an attempt to squeeze labor during difficult times knowing full well that if things do return to something resmebling prosperity, the workers will not get back what they give up.
The loss of the Globe would feel like a personal tragedy, but also would represent the most significant newspaper loss so far. Maybe the era of the newspaper, so seemingly permanent for so long, really is ending. Maybe in ten years we really will get all of our news from the internet, and that those newspapers that do survive will do so in a solely or primarily web-based form. But I hope not. The web offers many things that atraditional newspaper cannot, but so too does the paper-and-ink version offer pleasures that even the most user-friendly technology cannot replicate. I am crossing my fingers that the Globe will emerge from this current crisis.
(Hat tip to this guy. The Yankees suck.)