History Repeats Itself – Van Buren / Obama

Here is an excerpt from page 51 of The Secret Lives of the U.S. Presidents by Cormac O’Brien:

The financial panic of 1837, though largely the result of Jackson’s emasculation of the Bank of the United States, hit the country with its economic pants down, and the blame immediately fell on the new president. It was the worst economic crisis yet in American history, and Van Buren – convinced, like his predecessor, that government shouldn’t interfere with such things – embraced a policy of inactivity. This worsened both the economy and his popularity. When the economy took another hit in 1839, Van Buren, having learned his lesson, took action by creating a strong and independent treasury. But it was too late – by then known popularly as “Martin Van Ruin,” he failed to win reelection in 1840.

Change the names and the dates, and it sounds like today.

Van Buren inherited the economy in shambles from the reckless machinations of Jackson, and got blamed for it. Then he didn’t know what to do about it, and faltered.

What an obamanation!

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