A Dose of Old-Time Populism

Dukakis plays the politics of Us vs. Them

Populism is the last refuge of a declining Democrat. As poll numbers decrease, populist rhetoric increases. After months of touting such eye- glazing proposals as the Pan American summit on drug trafficking, Michael Dukakis has finally, and reluctantly, decided to tap into the roiling pool of American class resentment. Presto -- Dukakis the class warrior, the suburban populist.

The appeal is simple, direct, visceral. Us vs. Them. The Haves vs. the Have-Nots. The cry has a long and honorable history among Democratic presidential candidates. Dukakis' populist pitch began as far back as Labor Day, when he delivered a speech shaped by...

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