More on populism
From David Sirota:
One of the big arguments by the Beltway elite against Democrats embracing a new economic populism says a political party must always be FOR something, not just against things - and always avoid any tinge of populist anger ... I'm not saying Democrats need to fully embrace a politics of "pessimism, anger and divisiveness" - but the idea that they should be so afraid of that kind of populist politics because it doesn't work just doesn't pass history's smell test.
Does anyone really believe that the modern Republican Party - which now controls all three branches of government - hasn't ascended to power on "pessimism, anger and divisiveness" and on being against things? Think about it. Their party is based on these tenets: government is bad, you are being ripped off by taxes, those evil "others" - minorities, gays, immigrants, liberals, etc. - don't share your values ... Hell, Tom Frank's book is ALL ABOUT the success of what he calls "backlash" conservatism.
...Contemporary American political history is a history OF populism and OF the Republican Party becoming a channel for average people's (albeit often misdirected) anger.