By John Aloysius Farrell, Thomas Jefferson Street blog
In their floundering for something—anything!—with which to discredit Barack Obama's fiscal policies, conservatives (having waited until most of the Greatest Generation has died off and cannot laugh in their faces) are making the silly argument that Franklin Roosevelt's Keynesian policies didn't cure the Depression, and so we should embrace Herbert Hoover's laissez faire approach.
As an historian who has studied the New Deal—and is currently hip deep in accounts of the depressions of the late 19th century—I'd suggest that Obama, like Roosevelt, is in the process of saving capitalism from its inevitable excesses, and that conservatives should be grateful. Or, if not grateful, at least honest in their appraisal, as conservative commentators like David Brooks and Kathleen Parker have been in recent columns. We are a long way from socialism, folks.
As for resurgent Hooverism, Jonathan Chait, in a long well-reasoned piece in the New Republic, dismantles that canard quite effectively. I recommend it to you.
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