WASHINGTON (CNN) – When the White House first got wind of the executive bonuses at American International Group, the disbelief was palpable.
"You smack your head and you say 'You've gotta be kidding me,' " senior presidential adviser David Axelrod tells me. "It put another brick on the load we're carrying."
Or a concrete block.
Just as the White House readies its long-awaited plan to bail out the banks - having presented its plans for housing and small business - a new wave of anger is precisely what it doesn't need. And to make matters worse, it's a widespread anger that is not grounded in the more ordinary resentments between economic classes.
In fact, this new populism is almost unanimous: The banks were greedy and reckless. They took us down with them. So why do the bad guys deserve a government cushion?