But now Obama went further, using a parable from the Sermon on the Mount — the need for a house built on rock rather than on sand — to describe a future that was nothing less than an overhaul of the nature of American capitalism. "It is simply not sustainable," he said, "to have an economy where, in one year, 40% of our corporate profits came from a financial sector that was based on inflated home prices, maxed-out credit cards, overleveraged banks and overvalued assets."
That was the house built on sand. His house built on rock had five pillars — new rules for Wall Street, new initiatives in education, alternative energy and health care, and eventually budget savings that would bring down the national debt — which did sound a bit prosaic. Democratic politicians have been promising one or another, if not all, of the above since Franklin Roosevelt reinvented American government in the 1930s. But Obama was making his case in the midst of a national crisis, at a moment when it seemed possible that he might enact much of what he was seeking. And he was talking about far more than a new set of policies: he was implying a new set of national values. […]
The combination of candor and vision and the patient explanation of complex issues was Obama at his best — and more than any other moment of his first 100 days in office, it summed up the purpose of his presidency: a radical change of course not just from his predecessor, not just from the 30-year Reagan era but also from the quick-fix, sugar-rush, attention-deficit society of the postmodern age. […]
The most important thing we now know about Barack Obama, after nearly 100 days in office, is that he means to confront that way of life directly and profoundly, to exchange sand for rock if he can.
Read the speech that has Klein so hot and unbothered here. Typical for the genre, Klein provides no detail whatsoever, let alone analysis, of those alleged "new initiatives in education, alternative energy and health care, and eventually budget savings that would bring down the national debt."
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