Throughout the two year Presidential campaign, we heard President Obama rail continuously against his rivals, whom he accused of using the "politics of fear" and whom he termed "fearmongers." He began to beat that drum as far back as August of 2007. In a speech in Washington, he noted, "Freedom must mean freedom from fear, not the freedom of anarchy."
Throughout the campaign, he was fond of quoting FDR's famous line, "The only thing we have to fear is fear itself."
Even the future First Lady, Michelle Obama got in on the fear act:
Now that he has attained the Oval Office, we see a complete reversal of this theme. Now, as he faces the need to motivate the public, only 25% of whom voted for him in the first place, as he tries to sell his "Stimulus Plan" to a highly skeptical public and Congress, he suddenly finds that fearmongering serves his purposes.
In recent weeks he has begun to play heavily on the fears of the public in regard to the ongoing recession, repeatedly raising the specter of the Great Depression both explicitly and by allusion.
In a recent speech at George Mason University, Obama intoned, "We start 2009 in the midst of a crisis unlike any we have seen in our lifetime — a crisis that has only deepened over the last few weeks. If nothing is done, this recession could linger for years." With his reference to lasting several years, he is clearly invoking the years-long duration of the Depression.
More recently, in a speech delivered at Elkhart, Indiana, a one industry town which is the center of recreational vehicle manufacturing, he is quoted in The Washington Post as saying that the country is in, "an economic crisis as deep and as dire as any since the Great Depression," and "our nation will sink into a crisis that at some point we may be unable to reverse."
In his televised press conference on February 10th, he again summoned the bogeyman of the Great Depression, saying, "...we also inherited the most profound economic emergency since the Great Depression..." and, "So what I'm trying to underscore is what the people in Elkhart already understand: that this is not your ordinary run-of-the-mill recession. We are going through the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression..."