Sen.-elect Brown Lays Down Gauntlet on Populism As Money Party Rears Its Head Again

05/25/2011 12:00 pm ET
  • David Sirota Newspaper columnist, radio host (AM760), bestselling author

Sen.-elect Sherrod Brown (D) has thrown down the gauntlet to all the Democratic presidential candidates in a new interview with Mother Jones. Asked whether he had any interest in being vice president, here was his answer:

"No. But anybody that runs for the president will have to go through Ohio, literally and figuratively. The Democrats need to nominate somebody that will be an economic populist, that will stand up for the middle class, that doesn't just want to increase the minimum wage but somebody that will work to put the government on the side of working families. And that means different trade policy, standing up to the drug industry, taking on the oil industry. It means showing that the Democratic Party is a progressive, populist party. "

In other words, Brown is letting the field know that any Democrat who wants a chance to win Ohio - and thus win the presidency - better get on board with the kind of economic populism he used to win the most politically important swing state in the country.

Sadly, not everyone has gotten the message. The Money Party faction inside the Democratic Party reared its head yesterday, in both the House and Senate. The worst part about it, as you will see, is not just the brazen legislative sellout - but the attempt to portray the sellout as something that "will help American workers" when in fact anyone who takes 6 seconds to research the issue will find that it's about exactly the opposite.