“In a marked shift from his usual upbeat economic assessments,” President Bush “conceded…that the nation faces ‘economic challenges’ due to rising oil prices, the home mortgage crisis and a weakening job market.” Though Bush insisted he “recognize[d] the reality of the situation,” the White House has refused to say that the economy might be heading towards a recession.And according to the calculator toting kind of people:
In a “controversial” report, Merrill Lynch “said that Friday’s employment report, which sent shares tumbling worldwide, confirmed that the US is in the first month of a recession.”Bahhh! What would those financial type idiots know about this anyways? Well... They know they have plenty of money to toss at fighting presidential candidates that want to do something to help the little guy:
“Alarmed at the increasingly populist tone of the 2008 political campaign,” U.S. Chamber of Commerce President Tom Donohue said his organization “would spend in excess of the approximately $60 million it spent in the last presidential cycle” to defeat “anti-business” candidates.While I would not lump Hillary Clinton into the populist candidate short list in any way shape or form, it is apparent that the Chamber of Commerce is part of a group of idiots that will try and make "Populist" the new "Liberal" smear from the rightards that got us in this mess.
Presidential candidates in particular have responded to the public concern. Former Sen. John Edwards of North Carolina has been the bluntest populist voice, but other front-running Democrats, including Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton of New York and Sen. Barack Obama of Illinois, have also called for change on behalf of middle-class voters.
On the Republican side, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee - emerging as an unexpected front-runner after winning the Iowa caucuses - has used populist themes in his effort to woo independent voters, blasting bonus pay for corporate chief executives and the effect of unfettered globalization on workers.
Also, I am glad to see the recession hasn't stopped them from finding the dough to stomp on the poor people in their ongoing class war known as "The Great and Failed Republican Experiment" brought to you by your local and national GOP candidates, aided and abetted by spineless Democrats who had turned their back on the people, over the last 30 or so years...
We have a crippled Economy brought to you by precisely the kind of candidates and policies that the Chamber of Commerce would and do support, but they want to stop candidates that advocate real change?
John Edwards clearly fits into the long tradition of economic populism, and this is clearly a major reason why Versailles has done its very best to ignore him, and if it can't do that, to label him as angry, to write him off as "not serious," in some way. Obama, on the other hand, has repeatedly poked at post-1950s styled "progressives", often along the lines that they are somehow uncouth-a typical progressive complaint about populists. Edwards, in true populist style, is emphatic in demanding change, and stressing the urgency involved. Obama prefers to work incrementally. The two candidates are almost archetypal embodiements of populism and progressivism... except that Obama's followers rally around him like a populist tribune of the people. This is not unheard of. Teddy Roosevelt was one of the main progressive leaders of his day, and was clearly a political rock star. But Roosevelt was the exception that proves the rule. Most progressive leaders are restrained and cerebral, reflecting the normative difference between their tradition and that of the populists.
In fact I would argue the following:
(1) People are suffering from extreme wealth polarization, and related political neglect that has a wide range of manifestations. Edwards is a genuine economic populist speaking to this neglect, and because he is doing so, he is despised by the political establishment.
(2) However, this situation has developed over a long period of time, and has a rather complex and confusing overlay surrounding it, including several decades of distracting political debates, in which the Democrats traditional defense of the work class has largely been obscured, and the normal history of American politics, in which one party or the other dominates for long periods of time, has been forgoten. Barack Obama has taken advantage of this situation to substitute his own version of the elite/progressive narrative, which blames the situation on "gridlock," "polarization," and "politics as usual," casts both sides as similarly (if not equally) to blame, and demonizes populist anger, offering in its place a sanitized dionysian frenzy of ecstatic release.(3) In short: Edwards is the real populist, but in today's world, you almost need to be a progressive scholar to appreciate just how deeply rooted his populism really is. Obama, on the other hand, is a classic progressive, who is playing the part of a populist to perfection, with none of that icky oppositional baggage that progressives always find so distressing. Obama's victory speech in Iowa was the perfect embodiment of cultural populism-it's model was not William Jennings Bryan's "Cross of Gold," but Napoleon Hill's Think and Grow Rich , more recently channeled by the likes of Tony Robbins.
I am not a member of the Democratic party, not in any way shape or form, and I certainly do not suffer from "GOP delusions" about the differences between the candidates on the left. And I will continue to paint a clear and honest picture of where the Democratic candidates really stand, IMHO, in the hopes that the voters will make an informed choice based on facts... Regardless of whom they should choose as their candidate in the election cycle and, hopefully, with them disregarding the far-right wingnuts spin.