That said, I need to point out that silliness is not the sole province of the left.
While the left’s foibles have been on display the past few weeks as the grand plan to ram some sort of healthcare reform down our collective throat has unraveled I would observe that the right is always capable of popping up and eating its young when you least expect it.
It should be instructive to both sides that perceptual polling done by Frank Luntz for Fox News in the Massachusetts Senate race appears to show that the final nail in Martha Coakley’s coffin was Obama’s derisive reference to Scott Brown’s pickup truck.
With all of the big issues on the table, healthcare, taxes, the deficit, secret deals and the like, the President of the United States appeared to be making fun of people who drive pickup trucks. “Anybody can buy a truck.”
If Coakley had been on the path to losing even before Obama showed up, his speech sealed her fate.
For one thing, not everybody can buy a pickup truck these days. And for another, the pickup truck is so quintessentially American that to make fun of people who drive them puts you in league with Marie-Antoinette, the Queen consort of Louis XVI who, upon being informed that the people didn’t have bread said, “Let them eat cake.”
So I think it important for those on the right to keep in mind that populism is not necessarily a dirty word.
Much of the programming on both Fox News Channel and Fox Business Channel recently has been taken up with a description of Barack Obama’s “populist” attempt to capitalize on the upset most ordinary folks have with big banks paying big bonuses for profits made possible by our money.
The tone from business types is at least as derisive as Obama’s reference to pickup trucks.
Forgive me for pointing this out to those who would have you believe that all big bank executives are deserving of a half a million a year to start and much more to stay, but the fact is that performance on Wall Street has been so bad for so long that anybody who can look us in the eye with a straight face and defend the bonuses being paid is delusional.
Sometimes populism just means doing what is right.
Bluntly. when you ask for the people’s money to bail your pathetic butt out, then you should not bitch about the strings which come with that money.
That said, Obama’s lack of business knowledge could fill the Empire State Building and if you really want to make Wall Street stop taking insane risks with our money, than the way to do that is to first do what I suggested last week and take the stock which rightfully belongs to the U.S. Treasury and distribute it to the citizens and then start banning those people who caused the problems from ever holding positions of trust in the regulated banking industry again. The laws to do that are already on the books. They only need to be rigorously enforced.
Is that populism?
Is that wrong?
Only if you were one of the executives who screwed the public and then want the public to make sure you get paid for your “work”.
If that sentiment hurts me with my friends in the Chicago School of Economics, I’ll get over it.