Evidently great minds think alike, even on the Internet, as The Republic’er also (and independently) made the connection between Barack Obama and Huey Long:
We Americans are faced with another Huey Long in the person of Barack Obama. He will pave roads, bring overreaching government programs to the people, and take money from the rich to give to the poor. He will be a socialist knight in shinning armor. Yet as he is placing penny’s into the hands of the poor he will shackle their wrists and place them into a government of dictatorship. When the government supplies you with everything they also are in a position to own you.
He’s also got some great videos of “the Kingfish;” check these out. My own piece is here.
One thing that the Republic’er brought up that deserves some comment is the issue of public works. Having spent a good deal of time riding over some of those public works in Louisiana, it’s true that he did upgrade the infrastructure of the state. But there’s two things that need note.
First, public works have traditionally been a politician’s road to popularity. In Louisiana, they were a good way to entrench yourself, both for the jobs they created and the roads and bridges that resulted. Edwin Edwards did the same thing forty years later. But, as politicians like Long and Edwards are secured into power, they become corrupt, and the money starts going to places other than public works. It’s a great thing up front, but in the long run (sorry!) it goes downhill. That’s the lesson of Louisiana politics.
Second, it’s unlikely that Barack Obama will pursue public works with the same gusto that Huey Long and other “old time” Democrat politicians did. Before the 1960’s the Democrats sponsored many major public works improvements (TVA is a good example, Al Gore Sr.’s support of the Interstate Highway System is another.) But the environmentalists–an important constituency for Obama–will simply not permit this. The deficiencies in our infrastructure will not be addressed the way they need to be, even by the successor of Huey Long.