This is the "hope" that characterized so much of the subprime mortgage market that now sits in foreclosure. Folks getting loans for properties that they weren't asked to show in any meaningful way they could afford. The whole transaction was driven by the "hope" that prices will go up and up to justify the commitment that's been made.
There's a lot of speculation about why the Obama campaign has not soared. Why, when today's voter identification with the Democratic Party is 13 points higher than with the Republican Party, is the presidential race virtually tied?
I think it's because of the sense that the foundation of the whole Obama enterprise stands on emotional quicksand.
There are two ways that the Republicans can handle this.
One is the way Obama himself in his acceptance speech suggested they would: To drive a negative campaign and feed the many doubts that already plague the Democratic candidate.
The other is to reach out to the troubled hearts and minds of Americans today with a vision of substance.
Obama suggested in his speech that his lofty visions would be dismissed as a "Trojan Horse" for the abandonment of traditional values. He said this amounted to making a "big election about small things."
This was the most significant misstatement of his speech. Traditional values are not "small things." They are the biggest things. And the only terra firma that we really have in an uncertain world.
John McCain can hammer Obama into the quicksand on which he stands. Or he can point the way to the firm ground of real values on which this country was built and on which we must continue to stand.
I hope Senator McCain chooses the latter.