Have I mentioned that Ellen of the Tenth rules?
Go read on the progressivism vs. populism:
[I]n our time, populist rhetoric is accompanied by little genuine populism. Conservative populism was first appropriated by big defense and big government deficit under Bush and his doctrine of forever war. Lately, it has been further appropriated by corporationists using populist sentiments toward their own ends--that's the almost cartoon-like tea party movement. Tea partiers talk about freedom, the American Revolution and their fears of socialism, but end up fighting for insurance companies, defense manufacturers and security contractors, oil companies, coal companies, and Chinese manufacturers.
Progressives appear to have abandoned all but the slightest populist rhetoric. HCAN's slogan was "if the insurance companies win, you lose," a populist message. Then, they helped the insurance companies win. They ignored the "you lose" part because the only win they cared about was a political win for the Administration. One problem with the Senate health care bill and the perceived political win it represents is that they cede the populist argument to the tea partiers. It's pretty hard to argue that one is working for the masses against corporations while using the federal government to require the masses to buy insurance from the large and wealthy insurance corporations. It's a double populist lose, a win for big government and big corporation.
A second problem with the bill and "win" that abandon populism is that populism delivers a pretty important message. "If the insurance companies win, you lose" is a powerful message. It has the required villain and self-centered struggle Americans love. Corporations were ingenious to appropriate the populist message on both sides because it's the message that that most Americans take to the polls.
Relevant (and there's much more in the post) to our discussions on strategy.