I’m gonna push back a little on Salena Zito’s argument here on populism, although I certainly agree with her assessment of Elizabeth Warren:
We are in the midst of a record wealth gap between America’s rich and middle class, according to the Pew Research Centers. That has fueled the populist opposition to Washington among Main Street Americans on both sides of the political line — and [Senator Elizabeth] Warren is trying to cash in on it.
That’s fine; that’s what we do in America. But it isn’t populism, as will be seen when people do not rise up. Populism is an ideology extolling the virtues of the people against the depravities of elites — such as Harvard Law professors like Warren, according to Baylor University political science professor Curt Nichols.
Continue reading On trying to shoehorn populism into the modern Left. Somehow. Somewhere.
What, exactly, was the victory condition here?
President Barack Obama and his Democratic allies hoped to capitalize on the recent wave of companies ditching the U.S. to slice their tax bill as a populist issue to fire up the progressive base and bash Republicans as slaves to corporate interests.
So far, rather than becoming the political whopper that Democrats dreamed of, the issue has turned out to be pretty much a massive dud.
…Because I’ve been watching the Left try to pound the left-populist, anti-corporate drum for I guess most of my life, and it always seems like the Left always seems to forget to get enough of the actual populace to make the whole thing worthwhile. And it’s not for lack of trying: the ‘greedy’ or downright ‘villainous’ corporation as enemy has been a mass media trope since before the beginning of my life. It would appear, however, that nobody actually cares. Or at least can distinguish the media fantasy from their own, rather more complex, lives.
PS: I see that Ed Morrissey has also gone to town on this subject; so I’ll just link to him and go take as much of a nap as my kids will let me. Awfully lazy of me, I know.
And he thinks that he can do it via populism, bless his heart again: “Vice President Joe Biden appeared at a closed-door fundraiser in South Carolina Friday and delivered what one attendee called “an Elizabeth Warren-type speech” about the struggles of America’s middle class, remarks that were well-received by a room full of influential primary state Democrats.” Fun fact: Joe Biden has been a member of the political class longer than I have been alive, and a Senator since before my wife’s birth. I would pay good money to see him try to run an actual retail establishment for a month…
Via Hot Air Headlines.
PS: Elizabeth Warren has even less idea about what motivates blue-collar and middle class people than Joe Biden does. She’s also about one-third as personable as her admirers think she is. As I said on Twitter: I salivate at the thought of a Biden/Warren ticket in 2016: out-of-touch, oblivious, and old (Warren will be 67 in 2016, and the Republican candidates will not).
The more astute ones will only need this to get my point…
…but let’s walk it through anyway. Continue reading Common Core: a PRAGMATIC observation for politicians.
Why don’t you go ahead and make your play there, Chuck.
Sen. Charles Schumer (N.Y.), the Senate Democrats’ political guru, has a plan to poison the Tea Party by driving a wedge between its rich funders and its blue-collar rank and file.
Schumer, one of the Democrats’ most influential strategists, will argue in a major speech on Thursday that super-wealthy Tea Party donors have hijacked the grassroots movement that grew out of the economic anxiety of the 2008 financial collapse to suit their pro-big-business agenda.
Continue reading Chuck “Little, Porky Amendments” Schumer thinks that he can split up Tea Party.
I am not really that into making a long, involved production out of this post – life goes on, and I have a full day scheduled – so just let me cut to the chase. If progressives and liberals want to be effective activists, then they need to stop telling themselves that they are the vanguard of a populist movement and start becoming one. Which they will not wish to do, because it’s a simple truth that the basic principles of progressive and liberal thought are not really a comfortable fit with the mindset and philosophies that this country generally defines as being ‘populist.’
This would bother me, except that it doesn’t.
Jim Geraghty and Glenn Reynolds have done an admirable job of rolling their eyes at this doesn’t-really-get-it WaPo op-ed by ‘democratic socialist’ [read: ‘Commie’] Harold Meyerson, so I’ll restrict myself to this nugget of nonsense:
In an April speech at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, [noted apologist for murder Dick] Trumka affirmed that “working people are right to be mad at what has happened to our economy and our country.” Our political leaders, he continued, need to validate that anger — and remedy its causes — if they are to keep that anger from turning into racial, religious and homophobic hatred.
Yes. Yes, of course. When I’m infuriated at the way that this Congress and President have mucked up the economy, my default reaction will be to go out with pitchforks and torches to go looking for black, Muslim*, and gay people to beat up. I need to be protected from that inevitable scenario by enlightened Commies** like Meyerson***, because of course I can’t be trusted to work out on my own who to properly blame.
Or is he worried that I will know who to properly blame, and that my first reaction to meeting the aforementioned black, Muslim, and/or gay person will be to give them a torch and a pitchfork and invite them to come along? And that a nontrivial percentage of same will accept the invitation? One wonders.
Moe Lane Continue reading #rsrh November’s scaring people again.
(H/T: Hot Air) Taylor Marsh wants to know:
Where is the woman on the left who can make headlines and draw crowds like Sarah Palin, Liz Cheney, perhaps even a re-entry of Dr. Condoleezza Rice?
…as if she didn’t know the answer already – which is, “stuck permanently below the twin filters of Democratic establishment orthodoxy and left-feminist orthodoxy.” To put it simply, anybody who can manage to bow at both altars without irony or self-consciousness is going to be as dull as dishwater. This is not a bug, and this is not even a feature: it is in fact the goal. The entire organization of the Other Side is designed to take radicals, populists, mavericks, and/or anybody else with a desire to change the system and put them off to the side, where they can be fed a steady diet of hate-the-enemy, periodically shaken down for money, and pointed at Republican and conservative targets. This preserves Democratic party apparatchiks and keeps the entire edifice humming nicely along, and nobody important is discommoded by it.
Again, Taylor Marsh must know of this system: heck, Taylor Marsh is an enabler of the system (writer for HuffPo, after all: which exists to tamp down left-activism and keep it working for Establishment Democrats). So why is she pretending that she doesn’t?
…but I think that RS McCain’s link to my Waters post is interesting because it’s showing a certain confluence of interests. As some of you may know, I’m a former Democrat myself (like RS McCain, in fact): and as most of you have worked out by now, I’m a good GOP Party man (decidedly unlike RS McCain). And while I’m sympathetic to a lot of libertarian notions – enough to define me as one of those Dread Moderate Squishes on a variety of topics* – I’m not one. 300 million people in this country: we can’t run it all via town meetings. That being said, everything he wrote after: Continue reading Not to be all self-reflexive and stuff…