Thursday, March 19, 2009

There's another old saying, Senator: Don't piss down my back and tell me it's raining.

While bitching about AIG this week I was accused of being a "populist." Obviously "populist" along with "teleprompter," "post facto" and "Dodd" are the words of the week for the kiddies over at "Wingnut Street." (The most dysfunctional children's show ever conceived.)

I've argued politics on the internet since Al Gore invented the damned thing, so when I tell you that there's little that can jar me anymore you'll know where I'm coming from. This "populist" as an insult thing left me at a loss for words.

In the first place "populism" is not on it's face a dirty word. Popular anger at the elites in our society is as American as apple pie or making fun of Brittany Spears. It's certainly more a part of the American tradition than mounting some pathetic those same elites.

There's something deeply troubling about some middle class schmo grovelling in defense of people who would not toss him a rope if he was drowning. Can "Renfield" be used as an adjective?

(Peter Lorre voice) "The Master has a contract to suck her blood. Stopping the Master from feeding is unconstitutional." (/Peter Lorre voice)

So I was very happy to see E.J. Dionne's defense of populism in today's Washington Post. Dionne gets it--

"We are at the beginning of a great popular rebellion against those who showed no self-restraint when it came to lining their own pockets. Their entitlement mentality arose from an inflated sense of their own value and of how much smarter they were than everyone else.

The sound you are hearing in response to the AIG payoffs -- excuse me, bonuses -- is the rancorous noise of their arrogance crashing to earth.

Yet there is much hand-wringing that this populist fury is terribly perilous, that the highfliers who could not control their avaricious urges have skills essential to repairing the damage they caused in the first place."

I believe it was Jesse Jackson who said "it's not 'trickle down' economics, it's 'trickle on' economics with poor and the middle class on the receiving end."

Couple that idea with the John Vernon quote at the top of this post. "Don't piss on our backs and tell us it's raining." We know better than that, we're not that stupid. It's your folks that are catching and eating flies.


Don Snabulus said...

Whoa Nelly! Let's tone down that populism a bit, Poppy McPopulist.

It isn't like a bunch of fraudsters sold a bill of goods and endangered the world economy is it?

Just chill out and let industry insiders take care of it...shhh, quiet, there you go. Triangulate. Triangulate. There.

Randal Graves said...

There's a pop a cap/Orville Reddenbacher popcorn joke in here somewhere but I'm too much the deadly combination of lazy and stupid to figure it out.

Is it easy to hate on these fuckers? Sure. Few things more American, either, save for bombing brown people and hawking shitty Chinese trinkets.

Petere Lorre was goddamn cool, though Dwight Frye was Renfield in the 1931 Dracula. ;-)


Dean Wormer said...


I'm changing my internet nick to Poppy McPopulist. Cracked up in my office when I read that. My staff probably thinks one of them is getting canned. That's usually when I'm my happiest.


I knew when I was too lazy to look up who actually played Renfield some jackass would come along and call me on it.

Peter Lorre is still the definitive evil sidekick. Followed closely by Dick Cheney.

Dr. Zaius said...

I'm not sure that Renfield can be used as an adjective, but he can be used to help you gain admittance to the bedchambers of Lucy and Mina Harker, and then later killed at your whim. He is also darned good catching flies!

Lockwood said...

I've been using the phrase "trickle on economics" since the mid 80's. I didn't know anyone else used it, but I'm glad they do. Another pop phrase that I know has made the rounds is "A rising tide raises all yachts." We now know why those yachts are so expensive: when the tide goes back down again, the yachts transform into personal jets. And that's not a cheap mod.

Arkonbey said...

If anyone tells you 'populist' is a dirty word, ask them how they feel about Teddy Roosevelt.

In all seriousness, those who would think populist is a dirty word don't, as you alluded, know what it means. It just has the same suffix as 'socialist'.

@snab: I, too laughed out loud at your humorous remark.

ThoughtCriminal said...

It's like being accused of engaging in "Class Warfare". I say yeah, it's been going on for a long time and the rich are winning. Class warfare? Bring it on!

Ubermilf said...

Instead of Power to the People, the followers of St. Ronnie Reagan want to Piss on the People.

We are now paying for Ronald Reagan's folly.

Anonymous said...

...every spring the toilets explode..

Lockwood said...

BTW, Dean, you look good in a beard.