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.