Joe Scarborough referred to his type of politician as a Populist. Scarborough was talking about how it's silly for Constitutional/Limited Government Conservatives to cling to principles when they should compromise and get things done. Scarborough talked about the extreme elements of both parties who stand on principles, then he basically described such stances as politically cute but not politically useful or realistic. According to Scarborough, GOP representatives in DC, like he was in the 90s, come to the table fighting against deficits and debt while the Democrats come to the table fighting for taxes and spending and saving entitlements, but it's all a show, because when they get behind closed doors they start bargaining these show principles with one another to reach a deal. Scarborough says that the current Republicans are protecting rich financiers, and that he thinks all rich people should pay at least 30%, never 15% or so. This means Scarborough is promoting at least 30% taxes on capital gains and no "loopholes" at all that would reduce a rich person's tax rate below 30%.
Scarborough says he talks with many Republicans who share his "populist" view. I never knew this is what populist meant -- the politician pretends to support what his constituents say they want him/her to represent and fight for, but then behind closed doors the politician ignores the constituents and makes a deal which violates the principles of the constituents. Rand Paul, Ted Cruz, Mike Lee, Justin Amash, Tim Huelscamp, and the other "Tea Party" candidates which Scarborough thinks are extreme, stay loyal to the Constitution and their constiuents who elect them to stop the out of control spending and expansion of power in DC -- Scarborough says these reps should stop representing their constituents and make deals like good populists. This is incredible.
If Scarborough is right that many Republicans think like he thinks, and I'm sure they do, then the GOP is finished. Scarborough lives in a world of political pragmatism, flip-flops and manipulation. He's the type who admires the arm-twisting and hard-ass deal making of a LBJ, and he loves the power that the statist system provides. Scarborough would say that deal making is necessary to get things done that are good for the country, and that the people don't always know what's good for them. Only politicians looking at the Big Picture can make the deals that help everyone (collective, as the left would say). Scarborough would say that the rich and powerful are hurting the middle class, and that if he has to compromise and make deals, then that's how the game is played, but it's all done to protect the middle class and make the rich pay their fair share. He said as much this morning. This is what Obama says. It's what all statists say to justify their protection of the status quo in DC against extremists like the Tea Party faction. If the people aren't quite as mad at the rich as they should be, I suppose a good populist gins up class warfare to properly reveal the true enemy of the poor and middle class. It's for their good.
These ideas promoted by Scarborough are what's caused all the problems he now says politicians have to fix. This game has been going on for decades as government creates problems through central planning, then has to create more regulations and fixes to deal with the unintended consequences of their meddling, until now government has created such a mess of regulations and financial manipulation, the economy is frozen, unemployment is around 14%, minorities and the middle class are suffering, cronyism is rampant in political power circles, the military/industrial complex has us bogged down in the mideast as our soldiers are misused because the President is afraid politically to make a decision to end the futile military pursuits in this region. The military aspect is one valid duty of goverrnment, but statism has corrupted government to the point that political concerns pervert pure national defense concerns so that actions actually needed to address national threats are not priorities.
Government interventions have brought us to this point with Obamacare stumbling through the economy like a violent drunkard striking out at everything in the way, with Dodd-Frank throwing out half-baked regulations contorted by special interests to protect the Big Banks and screw everyone else, and with potential jobs in energy blocked by a government-sanctioned religion of environmentalism that sees Satan in every energy source that's not an economic loser.
It's this long history of insider political wrangling, compromising and central planning in our statist system that Scarborough says we have to protect and make whole by bipartisan cooperation. Even at the level of political realism and sophistication, Scarborough's position is foolish, unless his real purpose is Democratic party control over the House, the Senate and the Presidency. For Republicans, Scarborough's prescription is suicide. Obama is hoping Centrists follow the Smart Government philosophy, reject their base and start wheeling and dealing, thinking the public will reward them for their political maturity, because if the Centrists do so, and if they push the division in the GOP deeper, then 2014 will go to the Democratic Party. Constitutional Conservatives and Libertarians will not vote for a party that promotes taxing and spending like the Democratic Party. Why? Democrats are better at it, so why even bother with Republicans?