Tag Archives: Populism yeah yeah!

Knowing Ourselves

With the loss of Senator Olympia Snowe, the United States Congress continues to bleed moderates, even as Republican presidential hopefuls ramp up the language of division, in their attempts to unite the party behind the narrowest message possible. With the passing of time, we’re becoming more polarized, not less. Maybe we should talk about why. Especially […]

In Praise of Professional Politicians

One of the Tea Party articles of faith holds that all politicians, but at least legislators, should hold their positions only as part time jobs, meet as few times as possible, and otherwise live normal lives, and hold normal jobs, so they understand the pressures of ordinary Americans and avoid falling prey to “Washington” sensibilities. […]

The 99% Movement Isn’t (or Shouldn’t Be) About Identity Politics

Earlier this week, Politico ran a header casting insurgent liberal leader Elizabeth Warren as “a well-off voice for the poor,” and musing about how “her financial well-being will likely hand conservatives a new line of attack,” and could potentially hurt her reformist credibility. How? Why? Wealthy advocates for the poor are not exactly a new […]

Herman Cain Feels Your Pain

“If you don’t have a job, and you’re not rich, blame yourself!” Recalling for the moment that unemployment’s at around 9%, is insulting that demographic, with tough-but-useless “love,” actually the best strategy to take? The breadth of the economic crisis, which Cain assumes (baselessly) is somehow causally distinct from the crisis that began in 2008, […]

Why “Occupy (Take Back?) Wall Street” Might Matter, Maybe

The “Occupy Wall Street” protesters are a strange bunch. On the one hand, they’re far too few, and far too unsure of why exactly they’re there, to be taken seriously. (Locals will remember the comparably schizophrenic agenda of the “Take Back NYU” protests in 2009: those guys were hilarious.) On the other, they’re getting into a […]

Tim Pawlenty is Very Impressed With Tim Pawlenty

An excerpt from his book, as summarized in Vanity Fair’s review of 2012’er books:  On the morning that Pawlenty was passed over as McCain’s V.P. pick, he took the dog out for a walk and, bending to scoop her poop, thought, “Well, this is the only number two I’ll be picking up today.” After giving […]

What To Make of Donald Trump?

Forgetting for a moment that he’s crazy — a birther “politician” leading the Republican field, really? — there’s little that Trump adds to the ticket, and a lot he subtracts. The only thing I can tell that he adds, as the New York Post’s headliner for today seems to concede, is that he has just […]

A Requiem for Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson: What Was It For, This Country?

And a belated happy New Year to all readers! Yesterday saw the close of the first of the Public Theater’s two shows to make it to Broadway in 2010 (the other, the company’s production of Merchant of Venice starring Al Pacino, continues). Jackson‘s untimely end raises its own questions of Broadway’s place in the arts, […]

Framing the Individualist Argument

A close friend and comrade of mine says the age of the individual is upon us: technology allows increased exposure and personal expression, while sweeping away privacy barriers, the confluence of which, with the populace’s accelerating trend towards social libertarianism, makes individual uniqueness, and the protection of the values it entails, resonate stronger than ever. […]

Condescension

Politico lends an assist in the perpetual Republican meme of condescending, elitist liberals, frowning on anyone without an Ivy League degree. Three immediate problems spring to mind. First, the Republican’s headliners this year (Palin, Boehner, the others spotlighted by the article) are ignorant, and that is dangerous. Second, those candidates, and others, embrace the label […]