Democrats’ Dangerous Allies


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President Obama’s plummeting approval ratings have made him an unlikely candidate to revive the Left, but Democrats think they’ve found a new savior: the angry and unwashed crowds of the Occupy Wall Street campaign.

The New York Times reported this week that the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, the Democrats’ fund-raising organ, is currently circulating a petition that aims to get 100,000 Democratic supporters to sign a pledge that “I stand with the Occupy Wall Street protests.” Top Democratic fundraisers, including those close to Obama, are also said to be seeking ways to make common cause with the Occupy Wall Street protesters. The thinking seems to be that Occupy Wall Street represents the Left’s emerging answer to the Tea Party. As such, it is exactly the boost the party needs as it heads into an election year led by an unpopular president and backed by an unenthusiastic base.

Overt support for the Occupy Wall Street protests is a risky strategy, however. For one thing, while Democrats may appreciate what the protesters represent, the feeling is not mutual. Though the Occupy Wall Street campaign lacks an organized agenda, its one consistent message has been that the political establishment, including Democrats, is to blame for the country’s grim economic prospects. Indeed, one of their main objections is to the government bailouts for Wall Street that the Obama administration pushed through. If what the protesters really want is a reckoning for those who presided over these taxpayer-funded transfers to hated Wall Street, Democrats and President Obama will have a hard time exploiting the protests for political gain.

Bringing the Occupy Wall Street protesters into the Democratic fold is also problematic because they seem unwilling to play the role that Democrats want them to. That role is primarily in fueling the mild class-warfare rhetoric that is the party’s perennial favorite and which President Obama has trumpeted in recent weeks. This explains why Democrats have tried to present the protesters’ concerns as primarily about economic disparities and, in Obama’s words, a general “frustration” with the economic situation in which only the rich benefit. That rationale may be convenient for Obama’s plans to raise taxes on the upper income brackets, but all evidence suggests that the demands of Occupy Wall Street are far more extreme. What a sizable contingent of them seem to want, if their “abolish capitalism” signs are any indication, is the wholesale elimination of the financial industry and the dismantling of the free market. Whatever else can be said of this radical message, it is not one primed to win over the American public, let alone Democrats’ generous Wall Street donors. Not for nothing was Goldman Sachs the largest contributor to President Obama’s election campaign.

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  • http://www.contextflexed.com Flipside

    Riiiight, Jacob. Right. Al Qaeda, the Neo Nazis, heroin addicts and lunatics from the asylum all got together with their canned goods and laptop computers to organize a fight against Israel. They are going to annihilate the Jew by forming focus groups and having sex.

  • StephenD

    This is a crisis they don't want to go to waste. All they have to do is get the focus of the grievance shifted to portray the Republicans as the instigator. Then they can sit back because the focus won't be on the failed policies of the Obama Administration. How many of these dolts realize that "Wall Street" gave more to Obama than any other Presidential Candidate IN HISTORY? His closest friends are the CEO of GE, his Chief of Staff was the #2 man at JPMorgan & Chase, and the list goes on. But the link will be established that big corporations ARE the Republican Party…they are the bad guys. This actually could work for them. But I see it blowing up in their face before long. After all, it doesn’t appear there are too many disciplined and clear thinking folks in these mobs who will be guided but rather will more likely need a cattle prod.

    • Anamah

      Democratic Party is dead. Openly the Supreme Leader became the Great Divider. Under this Administration America risks to be drowned. Soros network the Unions mobs and other are in charge of logistic…but while enough decency remains our exceptional country will be saved for our children.

  • mrbean

    Ann Coulter says that the protesters really arewingless, bloodsucking and parasitic. and refers to them as the flea party in her column today.

  • lscott

    If things remain relatively peaceful, OWS will eventually collapse on its own. The filth, the stench, the weather, and the lack of any coherent objectives will take their toll on the protesters' enthusiasm, and the public's attention will wander on to some other issue, and it will be over, having left a bad taste in everybody's mouth.

    What they need – and the true revolutionaries know it – is for some violence and conflict to erupt, and for the authorities to start cracking down. Now you've got what they really want – the start of a revolution.

  • dan

    I have the image of the Demo-Covet Party trying to somehow reign in and ride, not a Tiger, but a Wild Boar (essentially a Pig with horns). They'll have to both stroke it and get gouged. I wonder if the Demo-Covets are up to the "hunt".

  • MKS

    Which message do you prefer?

    "Please reduce taxes so that I may keep more of my paycheck, and use it as I think best."

    "Please take money from someone else to pay for my college education, and cancel my current debts."

  • Rifleman

    Never try to stop opponents from making fools or *sses of themselves. In a year or two the dp will be blaming the GOP, FOXNews, and Koch brothers for these fools. They make a wonderful contrast to tea partiers.

  • maturin20

    You forgot that Occupy Wall Street is secretly run by Count Chocula from the secret salt mines under Zurich.