I have some BIG political news, folks:
Hillary Clinton is a populist!
No... seriously. She says she is. Well, she hasn't actually used the P-word to describe her 2016 political persona, but the managers of the Greater Clintonista Political Perpetual Motion Machine are casting her as the very embodiment of pure populism, even asserting that Hillary was "populist" before populism was cool. Indeed, they're even claiming that she is the original Elizabeth Warren, today's hell-raising, senatorial champion of the poor and the middle-class.
If that assertion strikes you as a not-so-subtle putdown of Sen. Warren ... well, it is.
To back up Clinton's claim of populist superiority, her partisans have issued a 16-page document itemizing 40 instances in which Hillary took populist positions on issues before Elizabeth did. And if that's still too subtle for you to get the message that Clinton is to be considered Populism's Numero Uno, one of her close confidantes has tried to kneecap Warren, bluntly dismissing her as a "footnote."
Populism is as populism does — it's not a brand-name to throw on like a designer scarf, but real, pointed policies and actions that democratize money and power in our society. Yet, Clinton — a former member of Walmart's board of directors — hasn't even had the guts to say no to the latest anti-worker, plutocratic trade scam called the Trans-Pacific Partnership.
Her milquetoast response to this audacious assault on our people's sovereignty by global moneyed elites is a vague statement that the corporate deal should "protect American workers."
On the other hand, rather than playing political pattycake with this raw power grab, Sen. Warren is going after it hammer and tongs, demanding that Congress kill it outright.
That's the real populism.
Jim Hightower is the best-selling author of Swim Against the Current: Even a Dead Fish Can Go With the Flow, on sale now from Wiley Publishing. For more information, visit jimhightower.com.