…from the world economy. Alas, there is no link as I witnessed the crass appeal to economic populism first-hand. Speaking at the ALEC annual conference, the Presidential aspirant and former Arkansas Governor outlined a comprehensive plan to pull the US out of the world economy. His main points: 1. Tax reform (good idea) to get American corporations to repatriate the $10 trillion they have ‘parked’ overseas and ‘reinvest’ it in the US to ‘rebuild’ our manufacturing base (terrible idea) 2. A new big federal effort to develop domestic, alternative fuels so that in 10 years, ‘we don’t have to take a drop of foreign oil’ (terrible, horrible, no-good, very bad idea) 3. “fair trade” instead of “free trade” Now, this latest “man-from-Hope” has about as much chance of being sworn in as President in 2009 as I do. But the rapturous applause and standing ovation he received from the 1,000 or so conservativeÃ¢â?¬â??mostly republicanÃ¢â?¬â??state legislators in the room was ominous evidence that large segments of the right are retreating into nativism and fear. The recent demagoguery on immigration may not have been an isolated outlier.