PEEK

GOP Aims to Outflank Dems on Economic Populism

Democrats need to hurry up and embrace their populist wing.
I've sparred at times with New America think-tanker Michael Lind, but that doesn't mean we don't agree often. His article today in the Daily Beast is an example of such agreement, as I think he really nails the political danger of this moment for Democrats:

First they came for the bankers. Then they came for the CEOs. Then they came for the liberals. That might be the epitaph of the Democratic Party, if Democrats cannot learn to surf the tsunami of populism created by the economic earthquake...

The Obama administration has seemed more concerned with reassuring Wall Street that it will be protected against Main Street hotheads than in disciplining Wall Street on behalf of Main Street Americans who have lost jobs, homes, and savings. First Obama appointed an economic team dominated by Robert Rubin proteges, like Timothy Geithner, who were considered safe by the Street. Then Geithner put forth a plan which many economists warn might force the public to pay too much for toxic assets held by the banks...

Given the opportunity, Republicans can once again tap a reservoir of resentment, some of it justified. For a generation, the white-collar liberals who now dominate the Democratic Party have shown a remarkable ability to dress up their own economic interests in the rhetoric of globalization and anti-racism while attacking the motives and assaulting the characters of Americans who are far less wealthy and privileged.

I think Lind uses a few too many tired cliches to make blanket characterizations of "liberals," but I also think he's onto something.

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