Three articles today speak about American politics at a deeper level than the day-to-day partisan bickering and that warrant a careful reading.
The first two both focus on populism. George Will writes about the electoral limits of populism, noting that the last successful presidential campaign run on purely populist grounds was that of Andrew Jackson. Further, Will recognizes that populism can serve as a check on the ambitions of more mainstream politicians, but it can almost never convert itself to a governing philosophy.
Leon Wieseltier points out that the populism of former Governor Sarah Palin is fake at its core, that it is merely a new entry in the anti-elitism of some elites against that of others. After all, someone who has a best selling book, was elected to the governorship of her state, and mounted a campaign for national office is not exactly a political outsider no matter how often she repeats the word “rogue.”