Refining Republican Anti-Populism

By Thomas Heaney

Now brought to you exclusively by former lobbyists sporting weak resumes

Photo courtesy of Google Images

It would seem that a selection process leaving only Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich, and Ron Paul (sort of) as viable candidates would have moderate Republicans wondering. What would have to happen for them to recapture or even have a significant voice in their own party. The empowered group seems hell-bent on casting the nomination process as only a contest to see who can create the most negative image of President Obama.

That strategy is at once problematic and dysfunctional. Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich are themselves lobbyists and Washington insiders. Both men are unresponsive anti-populists helping folks like themselves avoid sharing in the sacrifice this economy has visited on everybody but the very richest. The two front-runners have in fact been engaged in completely self-serving lobbying efforts, growing rich by making a for-profit enterprise of helping other wealthy folks multiply their own wealth. Only the ethically bankrupt need apply for this line of work.

Mounting evidence shows that continued jimmying of the tax code and desperate deregulation will not improve the lot of most Americans. It would continue to exacerbate the current problems of wealth concentration, US industry growing and relocating offshore, and lobbyists continuing to steal American infrastructure from average folks.

Basic human values are missing from the current crop of candidates. Ron Paul, a man with close to no chance of being nominated, is the closest thing to a populist. Getting anywhere close to his record and looking at the likely results of his policy proposals should make true populists dismiss his ideas and his candidacy in short order. The durability of his campaign speaks to the weakness of the entire field of Republican candidates.

It will be nearly impossible for any of the current crop to claim they are an alternative to the Washington establishment. Despite claims to the contrary, both Newt and Mitt have become part of the problem. They are lobbyists currently lobbying the American people that they personally deserve to be elected President.

The Republican Party has managed to find the most dysfunctional aspect of American politics: out of control lobbying giving excessive influence to the federal government. They are now in the business, literally and for profit, of extracting further wealth from the rest of America. They deserve to be fired and replaced by those who would honestly and truly give us a government of the People, by the People, and for the People. We deserve no less.

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