The new FDR

According to the sycophantic Michael Gerson, Bush is the new FDR:

Usually, just the opposite is the case. A sitting president normally must accept the boring constraints of real-world choices. Campaigns can inhabit the utopia of their own ambitions.

But it is President Bush and Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson, by proposing the massive government purchase of bad debt, who have assumed the mantle of Franklin D. Roosevelt. It is John McCain and Barack Obama who are playing the role of Roosevelt's more timid, forgotten foils, "Martin, Barton and Fish." Having last week criticized the role of the Federal Reserve in bailouts — demonstrating a tin ear of elephantine proportions — McCain now calls for a bipartisan oversight board to review the government's rescue attempt.

Bush's idea may be bold and "new" (in the quantity of its generosity), but as of this writing, it seems enormously dumb and completely in line with his notion of the imperial presidency.  It invests unchecked and unregulated power in the hands of one person for the direct benefit of a handful of extremely wealthy and irresponsible people and the theoretical good of maybe the American people (not a guarantee).  It was thrown at Congress, painted as the only alternative that must be passed without study or examination. 

This argument is a very bad example of what one might call aestheticism, the tendency to confuse how an idea appears (new, bold, imaginative) with whether it is wise.  Bush has indeed in his eight years had a lot of new and bold ideas, some of them, like this one, quite awful.