Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Republicans See #OWS As Threat, Democrats As Opportunity

Several established Republican politicians and office-holders have made some rather wild statements about the Occupy Wall Street protesters amounting to "mobs in the streets," and they couldn't be more wrong. In the sense, however, that they see the movement as a threat, they couldn't be more right.

As for Democrats endorsing the movement and seeing it as an opportunity to restore their sagging political fortunes, they're about as wrong as they can be, although I've had several zealous progressives who are determined to re-elect President Obama in 2012 at all costs assure me I'm wrong.

I don't think so. One of the main reasons the movement's grown by leaps and bounds in just two-and-a-half short weeks, so that there are some 840 cities in towns across the country where "occupations" are either taking place or planned, is that the movement isn't for the Right or for the Left. It's for ending the plutocratic corporatocracy which we Americans have allowed to literally buy our government right out from under our feet, and both of the major political parties are equally guilty.

Progressive pundits and drum-beaters may cast all the scorn on that idea they want to, but there's no way on Earth that people would be marching in towns like McAllen, Texas, Wichita, Kansas, Rockford, Illinois, Indianapolis, Indiana, and hundreds of other cities and towns of "Middle America" if the people involved had any idea they were being brought out into the streets, in many cases facing arrest while trying to exercise their constitutional First Amendment rights, if they believed for a "New York minute" that this has anything to do with electing Democrats to Congress or re-electing President Obama in 2012. There's just no way.

Sure, it's possible they've been suckered. It's possible I've been suckered, although I've been following this thing closely almost from the day it began, but I don't think so. If it turns out that it is all a ploy by progressives to stir up the Left, I and tens of thousands of other Americans will not only be monumentally pissed: we'll drop it in a heartbeat.

A favorite argument why the movement should be for Obama and the Democrats is, "Look at the alternatives! Do you really think anyone the Republicans will nominate wouldn't completely ruin this country?"

There's some truth in that, I suppose, but unless this movement's able to embrace enough Americans to force some fundamental changes in our whole system of governance, the country's screwed anyway. Plus, Obama and the Democrats had their chance in 2008, and he and they blew it big-time.

Obama campaigned on change and on hope, and he's delivered neither. It's as if the minute the President finished taking the Oath of Office, he walked back up the Capitol steps, turned to the vast crowd still present, and said, "Fuck you." He brought the very people who brought down the economy in 2008 into his administration instead of seeing to it that they ended up in prison where they belong. He not only didn't end our two useless, horrendously expensive wars: he doubled down instead and even had the balls to throw military assistance for the Libyan uprising into the mix without the consent of Congress, something even George W. Bush wouldn't have had the stones to do.

When it was brought to the President's attention that polls showed that the American people were against any US military support for the NATO circus in Libya, Obama's comment was to the effect that, "Well, the American people are just going to have to get used to the idea . . ." and yada, yada, yada.

Just who the hell does he think he is? Who does he thinks pays to run the White House? Who does he think owns it? Who does he think pays his $400,000 yearly salary? Who pays for the cars and jets he rides around in? The man's arrogance is absolutely stunning. The President's not only kept our two decade-long wars going, he's also kept up our ridiculous (and patently unsustainable) so-called "defense" expenditures, which top those of the ten next most powerful countries on the globe all rolled into one. Perhaps most damning of all, not only did the President renew the noxious (and probably unconstitutional) "Patriot Act" and the other assorted villainous assaults on civil liberties which accompanied it, he's also arrogated to himself the right to have American citizens flat-out killed anytime he wants to, without trial and without even being charged.

Richard Nixon would have loved this guy. And now that his polling numbers are in the sewer, Obama's come up with this brilliant "American Jobs Act." Yeah, right. Suddenly he's decided he needs to be a populist, to "hear the voice of the American people." If you believe that, I own a nice, big, old bridge that runs from Manhattan to Brooklyn I'd like to sell you.

Sure, the Republican Party sold out to the big banks and big corporations decades ago. Saint Ronald Reagan was able to sucker the American electorate with his "trickle-down" economics, which really turned out to mean that the richest one percent got even richer while the rest of us in the ninety-nine percent got pissed on, but the Democrats are just as beholden to Big Money and Big Business as the Republicans are. They're just a little cagier about it, a little better at putting their makeup on so they don't look quite as much like whores as the Republicans do.

Zealous Democrats are using the #ows, #usdor, and #connecttheleft hashtags in particular (that last one's a dead giveaway) to tweet obviously partisan messages while attempting to connect said messages to the Occupy Wall Street movement as a whole in the public mind. This is insidious. At least the Republicans, for the most part, are more upfront about it. They just hate the whole movement and everything it stands for, and they're not at all shy about saying so.

So go ahead, Republicans. Wherever you're in power, try to stamp this thing out and just watch what happens. If you think what's happening now is "mobs in the streets," trust me: you ain't seen nothin' yet.

And Democrats? Good luck in 2012. Seriously. But if you're counting on the Occupy Wall Street movement to save your sorry asses . . . well, if I were you, I think I'd be looking for work in the private sector right about now. I hear good jobs are hard to find these days.

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