Megan McArdle writing on her talk with David Kennedy, author of Freedom from Fear: The American People in Depression and War, 1929-1945.
One of the things we talked about was the obstruction that Obama has faced. And it turns out there was a very good parallel: the Democratic Congress that Hoover had to contend with. By the last year of his term, Hoover had a Democratic majority in control of congress. And according to Kennedy, they used their power to the hilt.“Hoover also faced a very obstructionist Democratic Congress–they understood, as these guys do today, that if they just go in the middle of the road and refused to move, that would benefit them at the next election. And it paid off.”The myth of Hoover’s inaction in the face of the Great Depression was thus partially a product of the opposition party that greatly benefited from its propagation.