Thursday, June 12, 2014

Silly Shit Andrew Sullivan Says, Ctd.

In which the World's Greatest Blogger drops some straight-up, down-home troof about "right-wing populism" on us po' dumb Libruls.

Take it away Andy! (with a soupçon of emphasis added for flavor):
Don’t Under-Estimate The Power Of Right-Wing Populism
JUN 11 2014 @ 4:35PM

That’s my underlying take on what just happened in American politics. We live in a potentially powerfully populist moment. The economy is failing to help middle- and working-class people make headway, while the wealthiest are living higher on the hog than since the days of robber barons. Wall Street’s masters of the universe nearly wiped out the US and global economy – and there has been scarcely any accountability for their recklessness and greed and hubris. Big business favors mass, cheap immigration – which adds marginally to the woes of the working poor. All of this is grist to someone like Elizabeth Warren, but also to someone like Dave Brat or Ted Cruz.

But the main difference between a Warren and a Brat is that Warren is never going to be able to rally the Southern or Midwestern white working poor to her professorial, Massachusetts profile. A dorky populist like Brat? Much more imaginable. A gifted demagogue like Ted Cruz? I think many liberals would be surprised. And the ace card for the populist right, rather than the populist left, is immigration. If you can weld together a loathing and resentment of elites with a loathing and resentment of foreigners “invading” the country and “taking our jobs,” then you have a potent combination.

This theme also taps into a deep dissatisfaction with a gridlocked government.

The gridlock is, of course, caused by the absolutism of the opposition to anything Obama might want to do – but the GOP radicals can rely on their base and many more to forget that...
For me, the idea of Andrew Sullivan -- America's most famous gay, Catholic, Tory, Beltway-dwelling, Conservative immigrant blogger who just discovered that race was, like, a really big deal in Murrican culture and politics ten minutes ago -- presuming to Burkesplain the Terrible!Dangers! of wingnut populism to liberals zooms so far above mere hilarity that it achieves a kind of cluelessness escape velocity and enters that intellectually weightless, orbital plane where only creatures like Rand "Whitesplaining The History of the NAACP to Howard University Students" Paul dare to soar:
Anyway, as an example of how whitesplaining should be used, consider Urban Dictionary: "U.S. Sen. Rand Paul whitesplained to students at Howard University," it says, "that a black Republican founded the NAACP."

Indeed, even Paul looked surprised at Howard when, after he asked if anyone knew that the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People had been founded by Republicans, his audience responded with a resoundingly impatient "Yes!"

"We know our history," one student shouted. Unfortunately, Paul didn't. He had to be prompted from the audience with the name of Massachusetts Republican Edward Brooke, the first African-American to be elected to the U.S. Senate by popular vote — and Paul still mangled it twice as "Edwin Brooks."

Worse, he expounded at length on the historically incorrect narrative that conservatives often give, that blacks left the party of Abraham Lincoln to follow Franklin D. Roosevelt's promise of "unlimited federal assistance," while Republicans only have the "less tangible ... promise of equalizing opportunity through free markets."
We know our history, Andrew.
We know yours too.
And that is what makes us outcasts.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Despite the general conflation of populists and progressives, the old turn of the century (19th) populists were far more likely to be religious fundamentalists, anti-immmigrant and racists. Sound familiar? Yes, they shared a core belief in being deeply suspicious of the benevolence of giant trusts, and an uneasy alliance through at least the New Deal, but that starts to split apart after WW II due to racial issuses.
Southern and western populists have been voting against their economic interests for years, but that was the deal they struck with Nixon and Reagan. Most of the so-called "Big Liberty" faction, the Paulistas, at least run on virtually the same platform as Christian conservatives. There's a reason Elizabeth Warren has trouble reaching these people, despite knowing them well from her years growing up in Oklahoma, and that's because they have come to believe that the anything an immigrants or minorities get come directly from them. Yes, they hate the big banks, but they also believe that gold is real money - that's right: the 21st Century populist is even more of a Know Nothing than the populists of 100 years ago. Elizabeth Warren isn't a magician . She isn't going to be making deals with southern populists because making deals to reign in the power of banks is far less important than god, guns, abortion and immigrants