Populism is a predictable recurring feature of any society that is unwilling or unable to be as democratic as it claims to be.
Ezra Klein’s work at the Washington Post is indispensable; he brings much insight to the task of making domestic policy accessible to those of us who only follow it part time. But I’m not buying this one: There’s a tendency among some on the left and, with the “libertarian populists,” some on the right, to portray the interests of corporate American and the interests of low-income Americans as directly opposed to each other. That’s not true. They can conflict, of course — it’s easy enough to imagine a proposal to raise taxes on corporations in order to fund a low-income tax cut — but they’re not always in tension. Sometimes they’re even in concert. Sometimes, sure.
Whatever its explicit message, Occupy Wall Street has made a powerful statement with its very mode of existence.
Drew Westen is right: Obama would do well to name the villains in the economic story he tells the American people. But the villains aren't individuals; they're powers and principalities.