Does Ed Schultz Believe New Deal Emerged From US Experience in WWII?

Sure sounds like it, but you be the judge.

Here's Schultz on his radio show Wednesday, doing his part in the liberal media pile-on after Mitt Romney dared suggest considerable overlap between President Obama's supporters and those Americans most dependent on government (audio) --

In the video taken at the fundraiser that has leaked out, Romney claimed that 47 percent of Americans are Obama voters that pay no income tax, are dependent upon government and believe that they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing, you name it.  Now, in a sense, he is correct, in the social safety net which we have believed in for generations. We're a compassionate country. We don't want to leave people behind. We've made sure that there is no suffering. We've tried to make sure that there's no suffering. And a lot of this comes from World War II. A lot of the policies that have propped up from the New Deal in the aftermath of the Second World War when we saw real pain, suffering, extermination in World War Two, it changed America for a number of generations and it changed how we did legislation, it changed what we wrote, what we believed in. And I do believe that the suffering of the Second World War pushed forward civil rights in this country, I do. You may disagree with me.

It's one thing for Schultz to get it wrong about Bill Clinton, claiming as he did earlier this month that Clinton was never tried in the Senate after he was impeached during the Lewinsky scandal. It's quite another for someone as boisterous in his braying for liberalism to get it wrong about the presidency of Franklin Roosevelt, liberals' patron saint.

By the time the US entered World War Two in 1941, all of the New Deal's signature achievements -- Social Security, legalizing collective bargaining, a federally mandated minimum wage and overtime pay, banning child labor, creation of the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Tennessee Valley Authority, along with a slew of others -- had been accomplished years earlier.

Even though Roosevelt was president from 1933 until his death in 1945, the New Deal lasted less than half that time, from the flurry of activity in Roosevelt's first Hundred Days until his disastrous attempt to alter the balance of power by packing the Supreme Court in 1937, followed by huge losses for Democrats in Congress a year later.

Roosevelt's attention turned to the threat from fascism abroad and after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, FDR's role as commander in chief became the singular focus of his presidency.

It's more than a stretch for Schultz to suggest that many New Deal policies "propped up" in the "aftermath of the Second World War when we saw real pain, suffering, extermination," since the New Deal, architecture of the modern welfare state, was already in place.

Schultz has more of a leg to stand on in claiming the US experience in World War II accelerated action on civil rights. President Harry Truman signed an executive order to end segregation in the military two years after Japan's surrender brought the war to a close.

But advances in civil rights moved at a glacial pace over the next decade, hastened by the Supreme Court's decision in Brown v. Board of Education in Topeka and the brave students in Little Rock who demanded an end to segregation at their high school.

I seriously doubt that many of quarter million people taking part in the March on Washington in 1963 considered the Second World War to have brought their goals much closer -- nearly 20 years after the conflict ended.

Jack Coleman
Jack Coleman
Liberated ex-liberal from the People's Republic of Massachusetts