Gulling the Rubes

Charlie Pierce has the definitive take-down of Ross Douthat and his budding bromance with Rick Santorum. Here’s a taste:

[C]an we please have a better definition of “populism” than the one embodied in Rick Santorum, which can be fairly summarized as, “Gulling the rubes so that I’m in a position to lower the corporate tax rate to zero and eliminate the estate tax, all the while maintaining my position as a ‘ho for what’s left of the K Street Project”? Thank you.

[Douthat Quoting Jonathan Chait now] ‘Think of disaffected blue-collar workers, downscale white men who love guns, hate welfare, oppose free trade, and want higher taxes on the rich and corporations.’

Okay, I’m thinking of them. I think I’ve met two of them in my entire life. Most of the ones that I’ve met will settle for the first three things there and figure that, well, hell, the whole system’s rigged and we’ll never get tax the rich boys at what they deserve to be taxed, but as long as my money’s not going to Them, life’s good here at deer camp. They’re the salt of the earth. They’ve also been the prime suckers for 30 years of bait-and-switch politics that sent all their money zooming to the top, a politics that produced, among other blights, Rick Santorum. What Ross is asking here is whether Rick can bring the big con home one more time.

Yep. That’s the con. It’s also a con that continues to tempt certain corners of the Democratic consulting class who think if they can just get these non-existent good ole boys to believe they aren’t giving it all away to the you-know-whos, they’ll be eager to vote for the Democrats. Sometimes you have to wonder who it is that’s being conned.

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