For some reason has been in the archives since July 2010. It is not finished, but I’m lifting it out anyway:
A silly series of recent alternate history novels included as one its postulates the idea that the Great Depression might have started on the watch of an ostensibly left-wing Socialist Party president. Despite that, that President would be small-c conservative about fighting the Depression, for most of the same reasons why ostensibly left-wing governments in Europe have been small-c conservative about fighting the Great Recession. Moreover, the conservative opposition in Congress would succeed in blocking whatever actions he tried to take. The electorate, of course, would blame the situation on the Socialists. As a result, a really conservative Democrat would take office in 1933 and the Depression would continue to worsen.
They are really silly novels. I do not recommend them. But watching the recent Republican success in blocking the extension of unemployment benefits and (AFAICT) escaping all blame for the decision certainly reminded me of the fictional scenario. The fact that I have close family members whose benefits are about to run out drives the point home. One political party has done something both unpopular and economically unsound; public apathy means the incumbent party gets the blame.
There a few things that should be worrying observers.