The New York Times poses the question on its op-ed page:
Hillary Rodham Clinton’s presidential campaign is based on the assumption that voters are angrier at the rich than they are at the poor. Her strategy poses a dilemma for Democrats, who are arguing among themselves about whether targeting the rich is an approach that will work.
Robert Jones, C.E.O. of the Public Religion Research Institute, a nonpartisan think tank, points out that there is “an open opportunity for the party that strongly gets behind a set of policies that demonstrate that government has their back and is a force for ensuring that hard work pays off.” But the problem for a party seeking to exploit working- and middle-class anxiety, he continued in an email exchange, is that many voters “want a role for government that they are skeptical it can perform.”
Let me make this simple: when a modern Democrat articulates a position, it is always subject to change. It’s like their fingers are crossed behind their backs, or something. The rich people — of whom Hillary! is one — know that she doesn’t mean it, just as the Left knew that Barack Obama’s belief in the sanctity of heterosexual marriage was an obvious ploy. You can’t believe a word these people say, ever.
Right now, Hillary! can pose as a populist because that’s the way the polling is moving: Americans (especially when asked loaded poll questions) are in favor of taxing the bejesus out of the rich in order to “redistribute” income — so, naturally, is Hillary! And having watched our economy destroyed by crony capitalist Wall Street crooks and irresponsible bankers, who can blame them? The rich are still doing great; they paid not a sou or a farthing for the Crash of 2008, while Main Street remains shuttered and desolate. If South America is what we want, we are well on our way there. (If you’re looking for yet another reason why Mitt Romney lost this is a good one.)
Still, no matter what happens on the torches-and-pitchforks front, I remain confident in my assessment that the Dowager Empress’s sham candidacy is doomed, doomed, doomed:
Clinton entered the contest with both assets and liabilities on this front, and the Republican Party is doing all it can to make her liabilities politically fatal. According to Pollster, Clinton’s favorable-unfavorable ratings have dropped from 58.3 positive and 33.1 negative in December 2012 to 45.8 positive and 48.9 negative now. A May 28 Quinnipiac poll revealed some of her strengths and weaknesses. Perhaps most damaging, voters said, 53-39, that Clinton is “not honest and trustworthy.” Voters are split 48 to 47 on whether she “cares about the needs of voters like you.”
Still, she’s right about the eat-the-rich sentiment, and the Romney Republicans (current incarnation, Jeb Bush) would do well to keep that in mind:
For all Clinton’s political liabilities, her basic claim that ordinary voters are being shoved aside is on target – as is her claim that corporations are “making record profits, with C.E.O.s making record pay, but your paychecks have barely budged,” and that “you see the top 25 hedge fund managers making more than all of America’s kindergarten teachers combined.”
Too bad she doesn’t really mean it.