The Big Show, a thoughtful radio show on current events featuring Rusty Silber and Ron Grace on WRLR-FM 98.3 in Lake County, IL, had historian William S. Bike, author of the book Winning Political Campaigns, on May 24 to talk about President Joe Biden’s first 100 days.
FDR Set The Pace
In a wide-ranging historical discussion, Bike talked about how the president’s first hundred days was never an issue before President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, who passed 76 laws in that period, many of which are still in force today. “While Biden has passed only seven, putting him on a par with President George W. Bush rather than FDR, he has nonetheless made significant achievements in that time period, particularly in the fight against coronavirus (COVID-19),”
The three also talked about how repeal of the Glass-Steagall Banking Act, which kept banks from speculating in the stock market for over 50 years, helped cause the crash of 2008.
Tribalism And Polarization
They also discussed Biden’s high approval ratings. “Because of the tribalism and polarization of American politics that began in the 1990s, a president’s approval ratings are unlikely to ever again reach the 70% mark achieved by President John F. Kennedy and the 90% mark attained by President George W. Bush,” Bike noted.
The January 6 insurrection came up, as did the ouster of Congresswoman Liz Cheney from her leadership post in the Republican Party. The trio looked at the GOP’s chances to take the House of Representatives and Senate in 2022.
Bike gave a historical analysis of how politicians in both parties used to get along instead of hating each other, noting that Democrat JFK’s best friend in the Senate was Republican Barry Goldwater, and Republican Bob Dole’s best friend in the Senate was Democrat George McGovern.
Everyone contributed with both cogent analysis and humor.
WRLR is “The Voice of Lake County,” and Bike and the hosts voiced some great historical analyses. The conversation among Bike and the show’s hosts is available as an audio podcast, which you can enjoy here.