Saturday, November 05, 2011

Barack Obama’s Faux Populism

Barack Obama’s Faux Populism: As Barack Obama shifts openly to woo the political Left, including those who endorse Occupy Wall Street, he is seeking to don the mantle of the serious left-wing populist, a Huey Long for the 21st Century, threatening the Washington establishment as the voice of the outsiders.

When Long was alive and challenging Franklin Delano Roosevelt he created a “share the wealth” movement that was gaining ground quickly, and might have seriously harmed the President’s chance for re-election had Long not been gunned down by a disgruntled local opponent of his Louisiana tyranny.

Conservatives of the day did not like FDR but compared to Long’s demagogic and irrational economic policies that appealed to the have-nots with a quick and easy answer based on complete redistribution of wealth by the state through executive fiat, Roosevelt was a cautious moderate. Long gained a national backing when he openly criticized the New Deal’s failures.

But Obama does not face any opposition from his own left wing, only scattered cries of dismay from people like Cornel West and Tavis Smiley whom most of their common constituencies see as a group of eccentrics.

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