Tony Katz

Blog > Tony Katz > The Populism Angle Ain't New

The Populism Angle Ain't New

Earlier today, I posted this on my Facebook page:

The President trying to go populist isn't new. In his campaigning, he sees himself in this light daily. An aggressive picture is painted of him being someone who understands "folks," and is "working hard for the middle class."

But any new push you see towards this end is meant to turn your attention away from his Obamacare disaster and from the 2014 mid-terms, where the President is a problem that can hinder his party's potential success. 

You can't play populist when there are 5 million cancellations of insurance, when deductibles are skyrocketing, when the wait time to speak to customer service of BCBS is over five hours in some cases; when there are three applicants for every one job and when, in the middle of nationwide sub-zero temperatures, your EPA puts out guidelines for limiting wood fires - as you return from a 17 day Hawaiian vacation.

Barack Obama is not a populist. He's an elitist. And America has finally taken note of this.

Much has been made of the President, fresh back from vacation, immediately going to a push for a higher minimum wage and stating that extending unemployment benefits will create jobs (a claim that was ridiculously made by former Speaker Nancy Pelosi in 2010.)

It's not the claim I make reference to in the post, it's this word you keep hearing about the President - populist. As defined, populism is about siding with the "people" over the "elites." It's the same argument regarding the 99% and the 1% made by the now defunct - yet still unbathed - Occupy movement. It's the same argument regarding the proletariat and the bourgeoisie made by the now defunct - yet still adored by the unbathed - Karl Marx.

Populism is about siding with the "have-nots" over the "haves" in order to gain political points and votes; in order to gain or maintain power.

The real story here isn't President Obama trying to be a populist. The story is that America now knows that he's an elitst. Barack Obama is the one percent! And it's simply undeniable.

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