I trademarked the phrase
It was a century or so ago, on October 25th, 2004 that I wrote:
Although the crisis will unfold as an economic one, its basis is not primarily economic. The basis is the willingness of leaders to sacrifice the national good on the altar of personal gain. The country's wealth is being looted, its environmental treasures raped, its treasury of good deeds pawned, its honor squandered. This great wrong is clothed in language of restoring honor and dignity, spreading freedom and opportunity, and reasserting the centrality of God in American life. But the problems that are being created- debt, global warming, decline of the productivity of the oceans, social fragmentation, declining citizen involvement, rising religious extremism- are so large as to pose an existential threat to the United States. No prior generation of American leaders, not even in the Gilded Age, has been this indifferent to the public good.
They seem to have been written in another lifetime, a naive moment, an era when we thought that a Democrat might yet stand to fill the gap.