It’s not pretty at this moment.
This is not, in short, an us-versus-them moment. It could be, should be, an all-hands-on-deck moment. Obama, I suspect, understands this better than most of the people around him. Late in his campaign, Obama gave a speech in Indianapolis in which he unfurled a kind of optimistic, soft populism that was both eloquent and perfectly calibrated for the times.
“We will all need to sacrifice, and we will all need to pull our weight, because now more than ever, we are all in this together,” Obama said. “What this crisis has taught us is that at the end of the day, there is no real separation between Wall Street and Main Street. There is only the road we’re traveling on as Americans, and we will rise and fall on that as one nation, as one people.”
He should say that again. Not just because it’s a great set of lines—but because, like all the best rhetoric, it also happens to be true.