The Salon article titled "Here’s how Bernie Sanders could win: The one issue where Hillary’s vulnerable, and where the Tea Party might be right", discusses how corruption in government and the very closely related issue of crony capitalism could be the key to winning the White House in 2016.
From the article:
Our government is so corrupt it is odious even in the eyes of patriots. In a Gallup poll measuring reputations of professions, nurses finished first; 80 percent judged their integrity to be high. Members of Congress finished last at 7 percent, a full 14 percent
behind lawyers. Even these numbers don’t capture the depth of public anger. If the anger turns to cynicism millions will walk away from politics. Millions already have. If it finds a voice we may have an Arab Spring of our own, maybe as soon as 2016. If so, the less-prepared party will be blown away. As things stand now, that would be the Democrats.
Republicans are by nature better at ginning up anger, but lately it’s as if they had the patent on it. Progressives were first to oppose the 2008 Wall Street bailout. The first protest was hosted by TrueMajority, a liberal advocacy group founded by Ben Cohen of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream fame. But by 2009 Obama owned the bailout and word went out that to attack it would only undercut him. Enter the Tea Party, amidst cries of “crony capitalism,” to tap the rich vein of public anger. For the first time, economic populism was the property of conservatives. It was some gift.
As for the Democrats, Hillary Clinton may not be the worst person to fly the reform flag, but then again, she might be. Her first problem is her past. If the Clintons didn’t invent pay-to-play politics, with such minions as Rahm Emanuel and Terry McAuliffe in tow, they came close to perfecting it. Her second problem is her present: her special way of handling her email; the alleged conflicts of interest over at the Clinton Foundation; the pricey speeches she gave and Bill still insists on giving. Her third problem is how she handles questions about it all: her defensive tone; her far-too-clever syntactical evasions; her insistence on being praised even as she stumbles; and, yes, her seeming sense of entitlement.
In a June 2 Gallup poll, 57 percent of respondents said Hillary is not “honest or trustworthy.” In a Public Policy Polling survey of Ohio voters this week, she led Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) by a point and was tied with Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL). The first poll explains the others. This week, Bill Clinton said he’ll stop giving $500,000 speeches if she becomes president. Yesterday, Hillary went to New York City to deliver a populist-themed speech. Neither Clinton has a clue about the depth of public anger over watching big-money interests treat government as their personal toy. If Clinton loses the nomination or the general election, this will be the reason why.This is the very point I've been trying to make for so long. The economic populist positions of the Tea Party, which includes opposition to things like corporate welfare, taxpayer bailouts, and pay-to-play politics, resonate across party lines. Yet, by nominating the establishment Mitt Romney in 2012, the GOP gave up using those crony capitalism issues against President Obama who had come to embrace the policy of bailing out failed big business that began under former President George W. Bush.
It looks like in 2016 Republicans will again be handed a chance to win the White House against another anti-populist, Wall Street Democratic nominee. Will Republicans instead nominate a Main Street populist, someone who can connect with working men and women while demanding that politicians stop rigging our capitalist system to favor politically-connected big business? More specifically, will Republicans be foolish enough to nominate the 2016 version of Mitt Romney, someone like former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, to run against Hillary Clinton? Only time will tell.