Trial lawyers are a widely-despised lobby. Yet courts remain the only way individual Americans can redress grievances against the rich and powerful; they are a great leveler, and limits have had perverse effects.
The speech was brilliantly crafted, forcefully delivered and very specific about the benefits and the costs, while also dispelling the "bogus claims spread by those whose only agenda is to kill reform at any cost."
This is Obama's true test. His biggest flaws as president so far have all come down to his hesitation to fight the narrow, entrenched industry groups serving their bottom line at the expense of the people.
We are asking the impossible of the new administration. Nobody can fix a catastrophe of this magnitude over night that is the result of deconstructing the rule of law in the financial sector for some 25 years.