Thursday, January 26, 2012
Is he really running the Al Gore 2000 populism playbook?1 Against a Republican field that makes former scion, George Bush II, look like a thoughtful, articulate candidate? Against a a Republican field that Senator Bob Dole could have beaten with one arm tied behind his back?
What gives, Mr. President?
Has no one told you that the only way you can run against the Man in this country is with less regulation, not more. The Reagan narrative, "Get the Man out of lives and off of our back" is alive and well, in the Tea Party freshman of Congress and the Ron Paul zeitgeist."2
But the populist left, Mr. President? This country has been tarring and feathering the populist left as lily-livered commies since before Senator Joe McCarthy was a teenager. The last Democrat to win the Presidency with a true people's mandate from the left was Franklin D. Roosevelt.
And there was a depression. Now, while there is economic malaise, and there are worrying signs of deflation in the United States economy, there is no depression.
Absent times that bad, campaigning from the populist left is a surefire recipe for defeat, Mr. President.
1 None of this should imply that there are not dangerously high levels of income inequality in America. It is just that a Democrat can't win a national election crowing about it.
2Note that in both these canons the Man is far more likely to refer to the government than big corporations.