Frank Rich in the New York Times:
That Republican leaders can pass off deceptive faux-populism as “pitch-perfect populism” is in part a testament to the blinding intensity of the economic anger and anxiety roiling the country. It also shows the power of an incessant bumper-sticker fiction to take root when ineffectually challenged — and, most crucially, the inability of Democrats to make a persuasive case that they offer anything better.
Frank Rich, "Palin's Cunning Sleight of Hand," New York Times, 14 February 2010.
On the rhetorical difficulties of contemporary populism, see also James Surowiecki, "The Populism Problem," The New Yorker, 15 February 2010.
Photograph: Ed Reinke/AP