We knew Sandy was coming and we know Sandy will pass. For the survivors of people the storm kills, or for those whose homes and livelihoods it obliterates, it will not be over for a long time. But for the society as a whole, for the country, it’s hardly begun and it’s almost over. It’s impossible to imagine Sandy every day for nineteen months with no end in sight. It’s not just the speed that makes this hurricane incomparable with the storms wracking Syria—what a crisis like Sandy reminds us, even in the teeth of a high-stakes Presidential election, is that our government is supposed to be here to protect us, and we believe not only that it should but also that it can.