‘N’ Roses at a Tom Harkin rally, butnthe musical tastes of faux populistsnhave certainly improved since the Wallacencampaign of 1948. Harkin’s presidentialncampaign theme song is BrucenSpringsteen’s “Born in the USA,” innwhich a jobless, womanless Vietnamnvet finds himself with “nowhere to run,nI got nowhere to go.” Senator Harkin,nhappily, can run to a partnership withnAkin, Gump should the voters desertnhim.nNebraska Senator Bob Kerrey, whilomncompanion of the flighty actressnDebra Winger, stumps to the accompanimentnof Springsteen’s “Born tonRun.” Great song, bad choice: “Babynthis town rips the bones from your backn/ It’s a death trap, it’s a suicide rap / Wengotta get out while we’re young /n’Cause tramps like us, baby we werenborn to run.” The Senator, one gathers,nhas outgrown Omaha.nNo one tried harder, or with lessnsuccess, to co-opt Middle Americannrockers than President Reagan’s handlers.nIn his 1984 campaign, Reagan’snflunkies implored John Mellencamp tonloan them use of “Pink Houses,” anbitter, sardonic song by a man who hasna healthy contempt for upward m_obility.nThe irony was delicious: RonaldnReagan, paladin of modern conservatism,nhad spoken of the “sleepy oldntowns where generation after generationnlived. And then the kids in thenMidwest left; there was nothing innthose towns — Lord, that’s why I left!”nJohn Mellencamp, by contrast, stillnlives in his hometown of Seymour,nIndiana. You tell me who the conservativenis.nIn its dying weeks, the Dukakisncampaign revved up its rallies withnGreedence Glearwater Revival’s “FortunatenSon,” a wonderfully resentfulnsong. (“Some folks are born silvernspoon in hand / Lord don’t they helpnthemselves? / But when the taxmanncomes to the door / The house looksnlike a rummage sale / It ain’t me, itnain’t me, I ain’t no millionaire’s son / Itnain’t me, it ain’t me, I ain’t no fortunatenone.”) The fact that Dukakis, hisnparents, and his running mate were allnmillionaires vitiated the tune’s effectnsomewhat.nPlenty of anthemic rock songs awaitna truly populist movement: Mellencamp’sn”Small Town,” Springsteen’sn”My Hometown,” Lynyrd Skynyrd’sn”Sweet Home Alabama,” the Rainmakers’n”Downstream,” Neil Young’sn”Keep on Rockin’ in the Free Worid,”nand, best of all, the Iron Gity Houserockers'”Don’tnLet Them Push YounAround.”nOf course an authentic populistnwould be an American Firster whontook on Wall Street, the military-industrialncomplex, newspaper chains, andnthe New York Gity-Washington-LosnAngeles power axis on behalf of thenSeymour, Indianas, of this land. AnBryan for the 90’s would be closer tonJohn Mellencamp than to TomnHarkin. Alas, no Democrat in thencurrent lineup fits that bill. TracynChapman, the Tufts graduate who isnmy generation’s folky-fakey Pete Seeger,ncould — and probably will — singnfor the lot of ’em.n— Bill KauffmannWASHINGTON public-relationsnand lobbying firms have begun tonaccept clients and staff from eithernparty and from any point on the politicalnspectrum, overcoming their formernone-party only tradition. The newestnexample of this trend is the firm ofnPowell and Tate, the first half beingnJody Powell, former press secretary tonthen-President Jimmy Garter, and thenlatter being Sheila Tate, who at onentime held the same position for PresidentnBush. This is only the mostnblatant example; all over the Beltway,nthe firms that help lower the level ofnpolitical debate of our nation to thenlevel of beer commercials are nownsloughing off their old loyalties andnaccepting business from all comers.nThere are two reasons given for thisnnew trend. The more important reasonnis simple old-fashioned political greed:nthe public-relations firms want contactsnin both parties. Ed Rollins, a formernGOP bigwig who has been hired bynthe formerly solidly Democratic firmnof Sawyer-Miller, puts it this way: “Tonsucceed in this business you have tonhave ties to both ends of PennsylvanianAvenue.” Rollins did not need to elaboratenon the meaning of success in thisnbusiness, but it is all too clear that by itnhe means something quite differentnfrom success as defined by the averagenAmerican voter, who still assumes thatna successful politician is one who helpsnhis country.nnnThe other rationale provided bynthese firms for their new policy is tonbetter aid their clients’ attempt to passnwhatever bit of legislation has caughtntheir fancy. “Legislation these days isnneither purely Republican nor Democratic,”nRollins explains. Instead, “itnreflects a combination of interests.”nThe nature of the legislation to benpassed does not seem to enter thenpicture, nor does anyone seem to considernthat the only interests being furtherednin this arrangement are those ofnthe public-relations firms themselves,nand the hordes of lobbyists who createnthe “interests” that their clients pursue.nIndeed, to hear the lobbyists tell it,n”public relations” seems a misnomer,nfor the public, except at election time,nhardly matters at all. These firms arentoo expensive for the politicians to usenthem for the mere purpose of influencingnthe common voter. No, they employntheir services for a different purpose:nto influence other politicians.nThe present officeholders no longernhave enough confidence in their beliefsn(such as they are) to feel that theynalone could influence others of theirnnumber. In place of the great statesmennof the past who once graced thenhalls of Congress, there are now onlynlobbyists, whose screeching and cacklingnresound in the chamber wherenonce Webster and Clay spoke. Rathernthan intelligent discourse, we now arengreeted with the picture of a congressmannwith a lobbyist at each ear; whoeverncan echo the loudest in the cavernnbefore him dictates the vote.nAlbert Jay Nock once described annelection as a situation wherein onenparty was in office and wanted to staynin, and the other was out and wished tonbe in. In American politics today, thendifference between the parties is negligible,nfor in our increasingly “unpartisan”npolitical atmosphere, the samenentities are running both sides of thendebate; the only loser is the electorate.n—]erry RussellonL>iONGRESS has cleared the way fornwomen to fly in combat missions, andnthere can be littie doubt that approvalnfor the use of women in ground combatnis not long in coming. If there arenmany who are disturbed by this aspectnof the New Wodd Order, they arenremaining quiet. Apparently, mostnJANUARY 1992/7n