One Fish, Two Fish, Rod Fish, Kingfish
People have compared our present Governor to various past leaders, both local and national, but I think that the most apt comparison may well be to the Kingfish.
While there were some invocations of Long brought up by people following Gov. Blagojevich's class-dividing budget address last year, I'm not sure that anybody has really thought about the extent of the similarities. Or if they have, I may have missed it.
I'll let you judge to what extent the following items seem eerily similar. They are not all negative, by the way. In fact, some may well find the comparisons to be a reaffirmation, not a repudiation, of the current administration. I'll let you be the judge, I'm just throwing this out there for thought.
So here you go, from the background of Huey Long (all emphasis added):
Even during his days as a traveling salesman, Long confided to his wife that his planned career trajectory would begin with election to a minor state office, then governor, then senator, and ultimately election as President of the United States.
As governor, Long inherited a dysfunctional system of government tainted by influence peddling. Corporations often wrote the laws governing their practices and rewarded part-time legislators and other officials with jobs and bribes.
Long moved quickly to consolidate his power, firing hundreds of opponents in the state bureaucracy. Like previous governors, he filled the vacancies with patronage appointments from his own network of political supporters.
In 1929, Long called a special session of both houses of the legislature to enact a new corporate tax, in order to help fund his social programs. The bill met with a storm of opposition. (can you say GRT?)
Denying that his program was socialistic, Long stated that his ideological inspiration for the plan came from the Bible. (where have we heard this recently?)
Long became ruthless when dealing with his enemies, firing their relatives from state jobs and supporting candidates to defeat them in elections.
After impeachment, Long surrounded himself with armed bodyguards at all times. (Although I don't think they had SUV's back then.)
Long’s radical rhetoric and his aggressive tactics did little to endear him to his fellow senators. Not one of his proposed bills, resolutions or motions was passed during his three years in the Senate. During one debate, another senator told Long that “I do not believe you could get the Lord’s Prayer endorsed in this body.”