One reason why “no populist politician has been able to deliver an agenda to match” is that there haven’t been many populist politicians on the right in the first place. When Ross says that Republican voters deserve “a better class of right-wing populist,” I agree with him. The first step in getting better populists is to distinguish between the politicians whose “populism” consists of folksy mummery and those interested in breaking up concentrations of wealth and power. Until there are Republican candidates interested in both of those goals, there is little chance that any of them will propose policies that will achieve them.
I had a conversation with a Tea Party-supporting friend who has been watching Fox News reports on the anti-Wall Street protests, and is just sick and tired of those idiots down there hating on capitalism. I pointed out that whatever the character of the protesters, it really is the case that there are problems with Wall Street and an imbalance of power in this country, and the protesters are right to object to that. I got nowhere. It is simply a fact that on the Right today, there is no constituency for breaking up concentrations of wealth and power, except government wealth and government power.
In the case of Rick Perry, his “populism” consists almost entirely of folksy mummery and playing to religious conservatives in Texas. But I repeat myself.