1930s reform, 2000s reaction

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On the other hand, half the job losses in the lesser recession occurred under Obama, so ridiculous as the claim is, his opponents could argue his policies were responsible, and get away with blocking most of the moves he tried to make, taking more radical action off the agenda, at least for the moment.

What were these alleged stymied “radical” actions? I don’t think that this reading of the Obama administration’s response to the GFC is supported by evidence. On the contrary, Obama accepted Geithner’s proscription of privileging the large financial institutions on the basis of the principle “Too Big To Fail”.
I think there is something in the argument about the timing of the crisis in relation to the US electoral cycle but that it is important not to overstate it.
Rather, I would argue that the US corporate elite had taken control of the policy-making institutions of the US. Obama simply did not possess a Rooseveltian Brains Trust to counter the intellectual hegemony of the US corporate elite.

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