Walter Russell Mead sees similarities
between Barack Obama and - not FDR or Lincoln but - Herbert Hoover.
The problem was not that Hoover didn’t try. He had long been known as a leading progressive, and in the face of the Depression he was ready to countenance a significant expansion of the government’s role. His Reconstruction Finance Corporation would be taken over by FDR; it lent money to distressed companies in an effort to jump start the economy. He proposed the creation of a federal Department of Education; he was willing to countenance significant budget deficits and supported important public works projects (like Boulder Dam) as a way of stimulating employment and rebuilding confidence in the economy.
None of it worked.
Ugh! Does that mean we'll need WWIII to get us out of the coming depression? Read it all.