Monday, December 31, 2007

Economic Populism Thunders on the Campaign Trail in Iowa

EJ Dionne of the Washington Post has a story out about the economic populist themes of John Edwards and Mike Huckabee's campaigns. From my experiences talking to Republicans about different issues, one thing we can agree on is that government policy favors corporations and the wealthy over the interests of average people and that big money has too much influence in the process.

Dionne has this quote by Huckabee at a recent campaign event in Iowa...

"I'm not exactly the pick of some of the East Coast establishment Republicans," the former governor of Arkansas said in a nice bit of heartland understatement. "I think they don't understand a lot of us who don't live in their world."

"If you ask a hedge fund manager what's he worried about, he's going to give you a very different answer than a guy who just lost his job in a factory in Orange City," Huckabee continues in a quiet voice, referring to a town in the western part of the state. And then he speaks up for "the guy in Orange City" who is alarmed by the price of gasoline, the rising costs of college and health care, the inexorable increases in "deductibles" and "co-pays."

Dionne concludes...
Since the Reagan era, the heroes of the nation's economic story have been valiant entrepreneurs who "took risks" and "created wealth." This narrative advanced the Republican cause and seeped deeply into the Democratic Party. If Iowa is any indication, there is a new narrative in which the old heroes are cast as the goats of the story and the new heroes are people like "the guy in Orange City." There is a thunder out of Iowa, and it is shaking both parties.

1 comment:

The Real Sporer said...

Dionne misses the larger and more important point because he has to grind his socialism axe.

Huck's popularity is very much due in part to an economic message that also hits the small business owner who is squeezed hard with taxes and regulations and then placed at a further competetive disadvantage by the economies of scale (as highlighted by Iowa's property tax system demonstrates). Believe me, what's good for Wells Fargo or Principal isn't necessarily good for a small start up family bank in Ottumwa or Osage (or Des Moines for that matter).