Under the George W. Bush administration, the "US = Rome" trope as it appeared in media tended to carry an anti-Bush message; under the Obama administration, the trope is still useful, from the opposite perspective. Glenn Beck recently put forth some thoughts on the subject:
Now, if we knew our history, we would take lessons from once legendary civilizations that fell before us, because they all fall in the same way. The Babylonians, the Soviet Union, Germany, France — France during the French Revolution, hugely important to us today — and Rome.
This is a pattern I highlighted in my book "Broke," in the first six pages, we start go on to Rome because it's spooky how much we are doing like Rome.
Here's the bell curve of history. There's the expansion and the contraction. Regionalization, people come — people start coming together, the ascension into an empire, you start to grow, you mature, you become overextended, and decline, and legacy. It happens over and over and over again, same way.
Former comptroller of the U.S., David Walker, explains and he knows because he'd seen all of America's books. In fact, he has served both to Republicans and Democrats and was frustrated with both of them, and that's why he left government service. He said, people have to know the truth. He knows how deep the rabbit hole is. He says, quote, "There are striking similarities between America's current situation and that of another great power from the past, Rome. The Roman Republic fell for many reasons, but three reasons are worth remembering: declining moral values and political civility at home." How are we doing on that one?
Wait, is he saying that political civility caused the fall of the Republic? Aha--now I see the grand strategy for restoring the American Republic through the use of vitriolic rhetoric! It all makes sense now!
[Thanks to DPT on Classics-L.]