What a lovely speech the President gave just a few minutes ago. Talking about the economic crisis (and his looming stimulus pork package), he said, ...failure to act, and to act now will turn crisis into a catastrophe, and guarantee a longer recession, a less robust recovery and a more uncertain future. Millions more jobs will be lost. More businesses will be shuttered. More dreams will be deferred.

Quite a ways from We have nothing to fear but fear itself, eh?

Rather than talking like FDR, it turns out Barack Obama is following the Hank Paulson playbook: scare the hell out of everyone in hopes of making them panic into passing his nonsense.

And on that point: I don't know if most Americans realize the pitch Paulson put on Congress last Fall. I have heard it directly from a member of Congress (and had this confirmed by another source yesterday) that Paulson's pitch ahead of TARP 1 was: if you don't pass this, the entire global financial system will collapse. People may literally go to their banks tomorrow, put their cards into the ATMs and find that no money comes out.

Republicans bit. They choked, really. And now they have buyer's remorse, realizing they were snookered, which explains why they're putting their feet down now (comparatively speaking, anyway). Better late than never, I guess.

Back to FDR: although what was his ongoing message of hope sounds little like the arguments of fear being made by Obama today, keep in mind Roosevelt's gameplan-- an ongoing string of hail marys and constitutionally questionable power grabs-- sounded strikingly similar to what we're now witnessing.

Based on his message, our new President is no FDR. Then again, based on his intended policy course, he really is.