Sunday, February 8, 2009

How Will the 'Tsunami of Populist Rage' Play Out?

Frank Rich writes in the NYT this morning, under the Oscar-induced title, Slumdogs Unite!

"The tsunami of populist rage coursing through America is bigger than Daschle’s overdue tax bill, bigger than John Thain’s trash can, bigger than any bailed-out C.E.O.’s bonus. It’s even bigger than the Obama phenomenon itself. It could maim the president’s best-laid plans and what remains of our economy if he doesn’t get in front of the mounting public anger."

Good point, Mr. Rich. I simply ask, When and Where?

Last evening my wife and I watched the tape of the Inauguration ceremony for the very first time [as we were on The Mall during the events]. It was an interesting experience not only to see what we had missed, but, more importantly, to watch the 'call to the citizens to unite in our struggle to fix the economy' in light of the obstructionist posturing of the Republican Party of the past 18 days. The contrast between idealism and reality was vast.

Our host said afterwards, "When do we take to the streets?" He talks revolution; the always has. His was the idea of the Great American Stall-out many months and one president ago. He proposed a wake-up call to the sleeping masses by asking motorists to abandon their cars at the intersections of the major American cities all across this nation at 8 AM local time. Just turn the engine off, open the hood, take the keys and walk away.

That marvelous French Revolution painting, La liberté guidant le peuple, by Eugène Delacroi comes to mind. Barricades in the street, 21-century style. Liberty leads the people. .
 I ask, when and where? I'll be there.

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