When the votes were tallied on the night of November 2, 2008, I was at a bar in Moab, Utah – the one rabid Democratic stronghold in a rabidly Republican state – to enjoy the hysteria as Barack Obama was summoned to lead the country out of the disaster of eight years of George W. Bush. People shook hands, hooted, clinked glasses, got drunk, raised fists, wept. The good liberals had elected a visionary Democrat to the presidency, who, blessed with a Democratic majority in Congress, would fashion “hope” and “change” into a palpable policy. I was told that in parts of Brooklyn, my hometown, voters ran through the streets banging pots and pans. The feeling was of religious jubilee – the new dispensation was upon us, and 2009 would mark the emancipation from the old rottenness. Corruption and fraud and deceit and war and oligarchy would be washed from the body politic. It was the beginning of the restoration of the republic.