FDR Shrugged

From a very entertaining review of David Michaelis’ new biography of Eleanor Roosevelt:

                                     Helen Andrews: Do-Gooder In Chief.
Eleanor was moved by the desperate plight of out-of-work miners and, because they lived so close to Washington, it was convenient to throw herself into the effort to help them… By the end of the decade, no factory had been built, most Arthurdale residents were still on welfare, and the unit cost of their homes had risen to $16,635, up from an original target of $2,000. ‘My Missus, unlike most women, hasn’t any sense about money at all,’ FDR shrugged.”

 
In her peculiarly lengthy heyday, Mrs Roosevelt was called “First Lady of the World” by toadying pressmen. Her Arthurdale debacle – reminiscent of Homer Designs a Car – did justify the title in one sense: the henpecking of treasuries throughout the Western world to “help” people became an enduring political and cultural norm. Now, more than ever, we’re all residents.

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30 Responses to FDR Shrugged

  1. Roger says:

    “She’s the sort of woman who lives for others—you can always tell the others by their hunted expression.”

    C.S. Lewis, The Screwtape Letters

  2. tombell says:

    plus ça change

  3. Notafan says:

    A US friend, a natural born libertarian told me, with admiration, that it was Eleanor that insisted the verges of the interstates be left to native wildflowers, thus saving the taxpayer millions in mowing costs.

    Which pleased my friend very much, as she hates the government’s hand in her pocket.

  4. Zulu Kilo Two Alpha says:

    Didn’t Franklin keep a mistress?

  5. Notafan says:

    Jowls as an older women and bad teeth were par for the course pre orthodontics.

    ‘Bovine’ eyes are a darn sight better than pxxx holes in the snow.

    I don’t get the premise that she was involved in politics because she was plain, she was involved in politics because her husband was president.

    not bad looking as a young woman

  6. C.L. says:

    I don’t think Andrews argues that, ‘fan.
    She says that was a prejudice people had, one outwardly embodied by Mrs Roosevelt.

  7. JC says:

    Rones

    He may have. Didn’t your previous wife keep a lover?
    I forget , who does the glass houses thing go?

  8. Fair Shake says:

    The Australian : ‘Driverless’ Tesla crashes, kills two’

    Reminds me of previous age…

    Those magnificent men in auto driving machines
    The go uppity up up …in flames

    120,000 gallons of water to put the fire out. Faaark!

  9. Notafan says:

    I don’t know CL. She describes her as ‘not blessed with good looks’ and charmless.

    Yet her description of her appearance is of Eleanor in middle age, not Eleanor as a young single woman.

    The only reason she had influence was because of whom she married.

    I don’t see a lesson for women seeking a life in politics here.

    I do note that US first ladies are able to directly meddle in ways not acceptable here.

    As I said,my friend, despite poverty,
    lack of education and living in fly over country is both astute and very interested in the politics of her country and is clearly fond of Eleanor who was after all, never a politician in her own right.

    Incidentally, as a theory, politics is for the ugly is venal and stupid.

  10. cuckoo says:

    Mrs. Roosevelt was well-known for taking no pleasure in food, and making sure that nobody else around her did either.

  11. Notafan says:

    And yet that article implies she was ‘charming’

  12. C.L. says:

    Yet her description of her appearance is of Eleanor in middle age, not Eleanor as a young single woman.

    She was about 50 when Franklin became President. Andrews argues she was a perfect proof for the “cruel and baseless generalization” that “only ugly women were interested in politics.” That was really just an aside.

    I was more interested in her harebrained attempts to ‘improve’ the lower classes. ‘Progressives’ are still trying to do this and still squandering money in the attempt.

  13. C.L. says:

    Mrs. Roosevelt was well-known for taking no pleasure in food…

    Nor in sex, as she told her daughter, Anna – nor in children.

    She was very obviously a lesbian.

  14. Notafan says:

    Or maybe her husband wasn’t much good at it.

    You’d be surprised as the lack of interest some husbands took back it the day.

    I remember reading on an Anglican blog about a bisexual Anglican bishop in New York who gave his wife nine children and one orgasm.

  15. The Sheriff says:

    It’s certainly true that most left-wing women are ugly.

  16. Notafan says:

    Well there you go, most women have lost their looks by the time they reach fifty so it seems to me a completely unnecessary aside.

    As for her being useless, indeed, so why did FDR let her meddle and squander taxpayer’s money?

    You are correct, elected politicians have a long history of
    squandering money on harebrained schemes to improve the poor.

    Billions.

  17. Professor Fred Lenin says:

    Not blessed with good looksand charmless ,mmmh sounds a bit ike hilarity clinton and her ate jooliar giliard ,socialism attrcts ugly sheilas Notafan ?

  18. Professor Fred Lenin says:

    Why do politicias lie all the time ? To keep in practice?

  19. Notafan says:

    You’d know Mr Lenin

  20. Notafan says:

    Both Julia and Hillary were attractive enough in their salad days though.

  21. Roger says:

    Why do politicias lie all the time ? To keep in practice?

    Politicians lie like birds sing.*

    That is to say, it’s their nature.

    * Gore Vidal, whom I would otherwise be loathe to quote.

  22. C.L. says:

    I’m not sure what we’re disagreeing about, ‘fan.
    It’s Andrews’ book review and I didn’t highlight her quote about Eleanor’s looks.

    What interested me was how a suffragist ‘progressive’ came to pioneer a new kind of ‘save everyone’ mentality (along with her socialist husband). Arthurdale is like a template for every such scheme pushed by progressives since. Her gender is relevant if you subscribe to the view that women’s suffrage changed forever the kind of policies sold by politicians to electorates. This is a legitimate historical hypothesis.

    Or maybe her husband wasn’t much good at it.

    You’d be surprised as the lack of interest some husbands took back it the day.

    Good at it or not, his wife was obviously involved in a heavy romance with Hickok. Men of that time may not have been attentive lovers but nor were their wives attentive tutors. I suspect the higher up you went socially, the more coy couples were. Exceptions – like Albert and Victoria – prove the rule.

    I remember reading on an Anglican blog about a bisexual Anglican bishop in New York who gave his wife nine children and one orgasm.

    LOL.

  23. Tel says:

    I was more interested in her harebrained attempts to ‘improve’ the lower classes. ‘Progressives’ are still trying to do this and still squandering money in the attempt.

    Combines the thrill of ruling over people, with a smug sense of moral superiority and no doubt a bit of pocket stuffing on the side since no one can ever account for where all the money goes.

  24. johanna says:

    I suspect the higher up you went socially, the more coy couples were. Exceptions – like Albert and Victoria – prove the rule.

    And you ‘suspect’ that based on? Might it be your private prejudices?

    Suggest that you stick to what you know about.

  25. C.L. says:

    I’m privately prejudiced against dead nabobs of the early twentieth century, am I, Joanna? That doesn’t even make any sense.

    But I’m more than certain I know as much about the variability of sexual frankness in relationships and the relative importance of it as regards the health of a couple’s romance as you.

  26. Notafan says:

    Point taken CL.

    I guess I was taking issue with Mrs Andrews highlighting the looks of a middle aged woman who could have been anyone in the crew at the local CWA.

    As for women voting I agree that women generally speaking, view the world through a different lens than men and universal suffrage, which isn’t going away, was most likely a bad idea.

    I still like Milo’s premise there is no such thing as lesbians though.

  27. Rex Anger says:

    I still like Milo’s premise there is no such thing as lesbians though.

    Where is his ambit raised? This sounds like an interesting thing…

  28. Up The Workers! says:

    Even 80 years later, the current pin-up girl of the A.L.P. is Magda Szubanski who, like most thespians, has based her whole lucrative career on her looks.

  29. John A says:

    Up The Workers! says: April 20, 2021, at 7:21 am

    Even 80 years later, the current pin-up girl of the A.L.P. is Magda Szubanski who, like most thespians, has based her whole lucrative career on her looks.

    Would that be a backhander about how ill-advised that was as a career move? An online search for her current images might require a trigger warning. 🙂

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