I was discussing with a friend Bush's Shock Doctrine, as described by Naomi Klein. Darned if the tactic doesn't seem exactly what Obama used to promote the 'stimulus'.
Yesterday's Cato Daily Podcast discusses exactly this, with David Boaz citing Rahm Emanuel, Paul Krugman, and Arianna Huffington promoting crisis as a political opportunity. I love Boaz's line about Obama's tenor:
Hope helps you get elected, but fear helps you get your program through.
Excellent. He also calls this the "Bush-Obama Era". So far, I have to agree. Check out the Cato Podcast for Feb 17 2009 via their archive.