Return of the conservative populists?

David Sirota, writing in Salon, muses that Republicans could revive their fortunes if they embrace populism, as Mike Huckabee and Ron Paul did during the primary campaign, calling Wall Street tycoons “criminals.”

Of course, at some point such rhetoric would need to be backed up by real policy proposals.  And it’s safe to say that Republicans don’t have a lot of credibility on economic issues at the moment.  

But the basic point remains:  politicians on the right can be just as effective at exploiting public outrage as those on the left.  Sarah Palin was masterful at this, even though she often didn’t seem to make much sense.

What about if it’s 2010 and the economy is still in the tank, and the public starts to turn on Obama and the Democrats?

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