Osawatamie Obama replays TR's "New Nationalism" speech. One appreciates the radicalism and subtlety of both in comparing the two speeches. For more on the radicalism of TR's speech, see this brief commentary. But Obama is doubling down on TR's Progressivism and demand for the nationalization of everyday life, while playing off of TR's 1910 Civil War reunion setting and the John Brown terrorism. Obama's speech is his now-familiar schoolyard bully pulpit of accusing Republicans of making arguments they have never advanced concerning class favoritism. (But a more extreme version worked for Harry Truman in 1948.) I fully expect Obama to endorse, as TR did in 1910, a "Federal Bureau of Corporations"--to offset the Citizens United case. Republicans make matters easier for Obama when they emphasize their tax cut argument, as though they agree with Democrats that general prosperity depends on the tax structure. Just as Progressives succeeded in their crusade against corporate interests, Obama channels their radicalism in his, well masked by the engaging persona of the Rough Rider.
UPDATE: Here's a money quote (italics added):
It's a simple theory [trickle down] - one that speaks to our rugged individualism and healthy skepticism of too much government. It fits well on a bumper sticker. Here's the problem: It doesn't work. It's never worked. It didn't work when it was tried in the decade before the Great Depression. It's not what led to the incredible post-war boom of the 50s and 60s. And it didn't work when we tried it during the last decade.
Obama ignores the New Deal and the Great Society. He is laying the ground for further waves of Progressivism, probably by executive order, given the likelihood of Republican control of Congress.