Republicans Are Not Populists

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Ben Cohen
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The recent Republican victory in Massachusetts has re-energized the party and given them hope for the midterm elections in 2010. The GOP is busy portraying itself as the 'party of the people', in part because the Democrats have so blatantly sided with Wall St. As Frank Rich writes:

The Obama administration is so overstocked with Goldman Sachs-Robert
Rubin alumni and so tainted by its back-room health care deals with
pharmaceutical and insurance companies that conservative politicians,
Brown included, can masquerade shamelessly as the populist alternative.

Despite the Democrat's complete subservience to the financial sector, it is still extremely important to draw a distinction between them and the Republicans. The sad fact is, both parties are beholden to the banks and cater their economic policies to make sure Goldman Sachs' bottom line is not affected. However, Democrats still believe somewhat in the power of government to alleviate the giant inequalities created by the free market, and still direct government cash to things that make a difference (health care, education, roads etc) The Republicans do not, and believe private markets will take care of everything (despite absolutely no evidence). Populist policy is pro people, whereas Republican policy is pro corporate. The two are about as compatible as Keith Olbermann and Pat Robertson, and should never, ever be confused.