Posts Tagged ‘Populism’
July 2nd, 2013 at 8:00 pm
The Next Time Liberals Try to Play the Populist Card …
Posted by Print

… remind them of this announcement from earlier today in Politico:

The Obama administration is postponing the federal health care law’s insurance mandate for employers next year, in a major concession to the business community and lawmakers who have become increasingly vocal about the law’s potential to damage a slowly recovering economy.

The announcement doesn’t affect the main coverage tools in the law — the individual mandate and the new subsidized insurance markets. But it could boost the cost of the law if more people end up seeking subsidies instead of getting covered on the job.

Of course, this is great news in one respect. Going a little longer without one of the most economically damaging aspects of Obamacare kicking in is a very good thing.

But note the irony that there’s no delay on applying the individual mandate. If Joe Taxpayer doesn’t comply, the government will be at his door with a bill in no time flat.

Washington’s willing to wait when it comes to sticking it to business. But when the little guy is the one who’s ox is getting gored? No such luck.

December 8th, 2009 at 12:26 am
Creating a Party of Freedom
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A new Rasmussen Reports poll out today shows that if the Tea Party movement was an organized political party it would poll second nationally (at 23%, 13 points behind the Democrats).  Many reports on the numbers play up the growing influence of this grassroots force on the right, but that may miss the bigger point: Republicans came in third in the poll, with only 18% supporting the GOP.

Read those numbers closely; with Republicans and Tea Partiers divided, Democrats win (a lesson learned in the congressional race in the New York 23rd).  Thus, if the right hopes to regain political traction it’s going to have to create a fusionist project between the mainstream GOP and the “mad as hell and not going to take it any more” Tea Party movement.

A possible prescription for this kind of Republican renaissance improbably shows up this week’s edition of Newsweek, courtesy of Howard Fineman, whose columns usually tend toward EZ-Bake liberalism.  However, in a piece entitled “Is There a Doctor in the House?”, Fineman perceptively notes that the GOP could do a lot worse than straightening its spine through Ron Paul’s example:

… The GOP needs to study Ron Paul, and learn. No one has better captured the sense of Main Street outrage over secret insider deals and Wall Street bonuses. No one has been more consistent about sticking to core conservative values—including the one that says the government shouldn’t spend more money than it takes in. If the GOP is going to appeal to independent voters, it has to confront its own corporate allies. “Republicans need to find a populist edge again,” says Craig Shirley, the author of Rendezvous With Destiny, a new account of Ronald Reagan’s 1980 campaign. “Reagan spoke to the guy who thought he was being screwed by big business, by big government, by the big media.” The good doctor, of all people, is showing Republicans the way. What they need is a candidate who embodies the spirit of Ron Paul. Just so long as it isn’t Ron Paul.

There’s a lot of sense in Fineman’s diagnostic (along with this, a sign of the apocalypse).  On foreign policy, Paul is still peddling ideas long ago discredited by Charles Lindbergh and Bob Taft.  But on the domestic side, his compass is truer than most of the GOP.  When the Republican Party isn’t rooted in notions of small government and individual liberty, it tends towards existential drift.  And we all know where that leads.