Schweikart chronicled the liberal historians' view that FDR "saved capitalism from itself by entrenching a number of regulatory measures and social programs that kept the market economy from its own 'excesses.'" Rexford Tugwell, FDR's assistant secretary of agriculture, exposed the "myths" of laissez-faire, saying: "The jig is up. There is no invisible hand. There never was. Virtually all of the New Dealers shared, to one degree or another, a distrust of business and entrepreneurship that they thought had landed the nation in its current distressed condition. The administration's aims were crudely simple: 'One objective (of New Deal power policy) was to enlarge the publicly owned sector of the power industry as a means of diminishing private control over the necessities of life.'"
Today Obama trashes capitalism while pretending not to and without naming it specifically, but only as "an economic philosophy that has failed." Likewise, Obama's Democrats intend to curb capitalism's "excesses" and punish Wall Street "greed" through such measures as imposing caps on executive bonuses. It's also undeniable that they are wildly expanding the public sector at the expense of the private sector.
According to Schweikart, most of FDR's "Brain Trust" subscribed to the Keynesian premise that government spending would spur demand and thus pull a nation out of a depression. Few were troubled by the fact that this hadn't worked in Britain. A number of these "Keynes acolytes" sought "to ensure that federal spending was transformed 'from a temporary expedient to a permanent institution of government.'"
It's hardly a secret that Obama is a Keynesian and that he is staggeringly untroubled by the consistent failures of Keynesian policy before and since the New Deal. Moreover, Robert Rector notes that Obama has more ambitious plans than merely stimulating the economy. "The real goal is to get 'the camel's nose under the tent' for a massive permanent expansion of the welfare state."
Finally, Schweikart related that FDR adviser Raymond Moley "was 'impressed by the scantiness of (FDR's) precise knowledge of things that he was talking about (and) by the immense and growing egotism that came from his office."
Obama has sometimes revealed himself to be similarly uninformed on matters about which he has revealed an inflexible certainty, such as the complexities and consequences of closing Gitmo. Attorney Debra Burlingame attended Obama's meeting with families of terrorist victims, where he tried to justify his decision to drop charges against the USS Cole bomber. She said Obama said the right words in general, but when it came to specifics, he was "uncertain, uninformed and sometimes just plain mistaken." In addition, many have begun to comment on Obama's egotism, some even calling it narcissism.