The miles gloriosus blogger at the Capitol Tribune reviewed a book titled "Are We Rome?". The author presented numerous arguments supporting the rather uncontroversial idea that America is the new Rome, and offered several challenges to that idea. But the idea that the Romes of history are worth defending is usually unquestioned. I'm guessing that the author on some level accepts that the empire hypothesis is, while suffering considerable problems in our own time, a position worth preserving. The author just accepts a soft version of it.