Going After FDR's Head

Anyone who still thinks there's not a dime's worth of difference between the two parties should take a look at a Washington squabble over the dime itself.

A gaggle of top Republican leaders in Congress -- including the odious legislative thug, Tom DeLay -- are furiously pushing a bill to alter the dime. They want to remove the likeness of Franklin D. Roosevelt from the coin and replace it with the countenance of Ronald Reagan.

In a time when America's health care system is failing, when the federal budget is half-a-trillion dollars short, when middle-class jobs are disappearing, when our troops are dying every day in Iraq and Afghanistan -- isn't it comforting to see that our country's lawmakers do not let these actual problems deter them from getting down in the slime of petty partisanship for something as inconsequential as displacing a Democratic president with a Republican one on our 10-cent piece?

Democrats in Congress are responding with their own effort to keep FDR on the coin. They point out that his face was put on it not merely because he was president, but especially because he had founded the March of Dimes organization, through which America's children collected the dimes that funded research into polio, the awful disease that had put Roosevelt himself in a wheelchair. Thanks to those dimes, a vaccine was developed that effectively ended polio in our country.

But Democrats are not alone in opposing this effort to scrape FDR off the dime. None other than Nancy Reagan opposes it. Indeed, Ronald Reagan himself has proudly noted that he voted for Roosevelt in all four of his presidential elections, and Reagan cited the Democrat as the greatest president of the century.

Nonetheless, the rabidly partisan Republic leaders are still demanding FDR's head. If they win, will they then go after the nickel, which features Jefferson, the first Democrat? To help stop this silliness on the dime, call the office of Rep. Jim McGovern: 202-225-6101.

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