I was wondering what running against a “Do Nothing Congress” would sound like, and here’s one of Truman’s stump speeches:
Some people say I ought not to talk so much about the Republican 80th “do-nothing” Congress in this campaign. I will tell you why I will talk about it. If two-thirds of the people stay at home again on election day as they did in 1946, and if we get another Republican Congress like the 80th Congress, it will be controlled by the same men who controlled that 80th Congress–the Tabers and the Tafts, the Martins and the Hallecks–would be the bosses. The same men would be the bosses, the same as those who passed the Taft-Hartley Act, and passed the rich man’s tax bill, and took Social Security away from a million workers.
Do you want that kind of administration? I don’t believe you do–I don’t believe you do.
I don’t believe you would be out here, interested in listening to my outline of what the Republicans are trying to do to you, if you intended to put them back in there.
When a bunch of Republican reactionaries are in control of the Congress, then the people get reactionary laws. The only way you can get the kind of government you need is by going to the polls and voting the straight Democratic ticket on November 2. Then you will get a Democratic Congress, and I will get a Congress that will work with me. Then we will get good housing at prices we can afford to pay; and repeal of that vicious Taft-Hartley Act; and more Social Security coverage; and prices that will be fair to everybody; and we can go on and keep sixty-one million people at work; we can have an income of more than $217 billion, and that income will be distributed so that the farmer, the workingman, the white collar worker, and the businessman get their fair share of that income.
That is what I stand for.
That is what the Democratic party stands for.
Vote for that, and you will be safe.
Other than a few factual references, it still works. Also, too, if Obama started giving stump speeches as frank and forthright as that one, they’d have to spike the water with Xanax and install fainting couches on the press plane.