It takes a lot for the folks in middle America to "look upon concentrated wealth as anything except a virtue," writes Timothy Egan for the New York Times, but that line has finally been crossed. Hearing of tens of billions in holiday bonuses at Wall Street firms bailed out by taxpayers, or of investment bankers skipping ahead of pregnant women and children in the line for H1N1 vaccines, Americans feel utterly betrayed, and very angry. This rage is the new political force in America, he writes, and it cuts against both parties.
GOP and Dems alike are seen as culpable for the "continuous drip of perceived unfairness;" which way the rage will turn in next year's elections depends on whether health care reform and the economic recovery end up helping ordinary people. "The next governing majority will be guided by independents," says Egan, "and include liberals, conservatives and a whole lot of Budweiser drinkers, wondering how the world changed so quickly, without them."