Ramesh – Isn’t that of a piece with the notion that FDR’s legacy should somehow play a role in whether or not Social Security should be reformed? As if even in some small way we should tolerate a bad system as some sort of tithe to his memory. The whole “constititution in exile” thing strikes me as part of the romanticization of FDR too. Obviously, there’s more to it than just that, but one does get the whiff that the New Deal court decisions are beloved for literary-romantic-political reasons along with legal ones. The symbolism of restoring pre-New Deal legal theories runs counter to too many liberal assumptions about the role of government and the “progress” of history.
And just try to explain to a conventional liberal the now fairly accepted fact that the New Deal prolonged the Depression.