Will Bunch, noting that reporters and pundits have been quick to claim that CNBC's Rick Santelli "sparked a populist backlash" with his recent rant about a proposal to assist homeowners, points out that polling suggests no such backlash exists.
If there are so many everyday people angry that the federal government wants to aid homeowners, let's hear from them! Yet none are quoted in the story, only a Beltway journalist babbling on the conservative, frequently Obama-bashing FNC. That's your populist revolt. You can't have a populist vote unless there's, you know, "people."
Bunch then notes that an ABC/Washington Post poll just out finds that 64 percent of Americans support "the federal government using 75 billion dollars to provide refinancing assistance to homeowners to help them avoid foreclosure on their mortgages," while 35 percent oppose.
Bunch concludes: "I don't think it's much of a populist revolt when it's backed by just 35 percent of the American people." But I think he's actually being generous to those peddling the "populist backlash" line: Only 23 percent strongly oppose the refinancing assistance.
In any case, it's clear that despite the media's relentless hyping of Santelli as some sort of populist leader, the populace is politely but firmly declining to follow him.