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Populism without the pop

By Michael J. Smith on Monday May 8, 2006 04:33 PM

Tim D responds to Ed Kilgore's deep thoughts:

Uhh when has the message of economic populism ever really been delivered by the Democratic Party? Who in the Democratic Party has challenged or even really exposed corporate power? In an article for MSNBC right after the 2004 election, Eleanor Clift pointed out that, although many conservatives turned out at the polls to vote on anti-gay referenda in various states, even more people turned out in other states to vote overwhelmingly for minimum wage hikes!!!

But this is nothing new. Right after the 2000 election, Al From wrote an article for Blueprint Magazine in which he lamented that one of Gore's major mistakes was taking the populist line (when that ever happened is a mystery to me):

in the 2000 election Gore chose a populist rather than a New Democrat message. As a result, voters viewed him as too liberal and identified him as an advocate of big government. Those perceptions, whether fair or not, hurt him with male voters in general and with key New Economy swing voters in particular. By emphasizing class warfare he seemed to be talking to Industrial Age America, not Information Age America.
Interestingly enough, he also stated that "The assertion that Nader's marginal vote hurt Gore is not borne out by polling data. When exit pollers asked voters how they would have voted in a two-way race, Bush actually won by a point. That was better than he did with Nader in the race."

Comments (3)

js paine:

i propose a new pledge

i won't vote for a democrat candidate
that won't him/her self pledge to fight for the rights of third party and independent candidates
to put the big D back in democrat

this chit chat about populism

misses opne key to bryan
he worked 'hand in glove' for years with waever rex of the populist movement

oh i also plan on making it a point to use only flattened figures like
the one in single qotes above for the next two weeks
as par of my 'cut out all
rich faty salty or sugary figures ' ---its a key plank
in my verbal curlie cue curbing
slim fast rhetoric diet

This idea that Gore was a populist who advocated class warfare is nonsense. Gore was the big cheerleader behind Clinton's welfare "reform", lest we forget.


i won't vote for a democrat candidate
that won't him/her self pledge to fight for the rights of third party and independent candidates

Oh, yeah. I am mightily sick of these people chloroforming every prospect that comes down the plank while simultaneously claiming it's the prospect's inate qualities that render him/her weak. Who could forget the DP's charge to shove Nader's campaign back into the write-in box in '04, while it simultaneously shed useless crocodile tears for the poor disenfranchised Ohio voters and what-not ? Aparently, there's no such thing as a disenfranchised 3rd Party voter. Some democracy.

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