For starters, the U.S. has been accused of imperialist tendencies, debatable but the image is certainly there, and the Romans were definitely guilty of imperialist tendencies.
There was a war in the Middle East. Pompey had been sent to quell unrest by a King Mithridates in Northern Anatolia. Mithridates wanted to overthrow the Roman puppet king of Bithynia and there were pirates in the Mediterranean. The U.S. has a war in the Middle East with people who want to overthrow what are viewed as puppet governments in various countries and there is a pirate problem in the Mediterranean.
Taxes had shot up to pay for the war.
This is a time of huge personal debt, corrupt moneylenders, punitive and unconscionable interest rates. People were crying out for debt relief.
This is where Catiline comes in. He was from an old patrician family, i.e. old money but fallen into hard times. He made a bid for consul and failed to get elected due to Cicero who saw him as an enemy of the republic even though Cicero had no problem representing him in court before this. Catiline decided that the only way he was going to gain control of the government was through armed insurrection. He had a popular following because he was advocating debt relief, redistribution of land and cancellation of debts, something that did not go over well with the powers that be. So you can see where there is a parallel with the U.S., minus the distribution of land of course and the fact that debt relief meant helping the money lenders not the starving borrowers.
Cicero posted a massive reward for anyone willing to turn Catiline in. Not one person did. In the final battle between the Roman forces and Catiline, not one person abandoned the camp. They were very loyal to Catiline and fought to the death, including Catiline, who was found at the front lines in the thick of the battle, covered with wounds but defiant to the last. When Antonius who lead the army against Catiline was later convicted of a crime and executed, people danced in the streets and laid flowers on Catiline's grave.
Caesar was suspected of being sympathetic to Catiline because, when some prominent men had been arrested and Cicero was in a big hurry to get Senate approval to execute them, Caesar gave a brilliant speech that this went against Roman law to execute citizens without due process. When Caesar became dictator, he enacted most of what Catiline had been agitating for.
As well, there is Cato who supported Cicero but was deemed the most virtuous man, impervious to bribery but leading a very conservative faction of Senators, more old money.
I am oversimplifying of course. So question is, and this may be a dangerous question to ask since people do get heated. This is for fun only, but how does Obama fit in? I am sure most Republicans would view him as Catiline, especially as Catiline had been considered almost as spawn of the devil for many centuries. Thinking has shifted on that. Is he Cato, Caesar, Cicero, or Catiline? How do you view Obama if he were a Roman senator? And is it not interesting how similar things may be between two countries separated by culture and 2000 years? Plus ca change, plus c'est la meme chose. Let the arguing begin.