October 26, 1935 - Article - Think Fast, Captain!, by General Hugh S. Johnson
It will be a tragedy if, in November, 1936, no other choice is offered but a return to Hooverism or a continuation of the present mess.
Between now and then, we should pray - yes, pray - that one of the great parties will offer us the principles of the New Deal of 1932, plus assurance of their faithful fulfillment and minus any possibility of their present perversion.
This was the proposed New Deal!
It was based on a strong foundation in fundamentals. The cornerstone was sound money, a reduction of 25% in the routine cost of Government, a corresponding reduction in taxes, a balance of the budget, a ban on furtive Federal financing and an almost religious devotion to the credit of the United States. (pg. 5)
It was about to embark on an Administration as vast as war. Yet there was not an experienced administrator in the lot - some were visionaries noteworthy for nothing but divergent dreams.
As a matter of fact, the main fault was not here. The best that such a Cabinet could have become was a bulwark or a balance wheel against fantastic diversions from a chartered course. As constituted, it could not even serve in that capacity.
The diversions all originated from without.
Even during the planning of the New Deal, there began to appear - faintly and little considered at first - pressures, and vetoes in advice, from a group then sometimes called "The Harvard Crowd," but later, on account of its leader, Prof. Felix Frankfurter, irreverently yclept the "Happy Hot Dogs."
Shortly after election there began to occur one of the cleverest infiltrations in the history of our Government. There was no noise about it. The professor himself has refused every official connection. His comings and goings are almost surreptitious. Yet he is the most single influential individual in the United States.
His "boys" have been insinuated into obscure but key positions in every vital department - wardens of the marches, inconspicuous but powerful.
They have had a hand in drafting nearly all legislation except NRA, from which they were excluded, with difficulty, by a tour de force.
To them the Constitution is just a foil for clever fencing - an antediluvian joke to be respected in public like a Sacred Cow and regarded in private somewhat as Gertrude Stein probably regards the poet Tennyson, or any other Victorian. (pp. 6, 85)
Comments: Here we see that General Johnson has had a change of heart as far as the New Deal is concerned. He saw that it had been perverted from its original promises. The "Happy Hot Dogs" were the Brain Trust, headed by Professor Felix Frankfurter. He was FDR's number one man. It was Frankfurter and his "boys" that wrote the mass of executive legislation, all in violation of the Constitution. These were the type of people FDR appointed to the Supreme Court as the old justices he despised died and retired.