This is so rich, the Obama administration, as well as the national Democratic Party, is trying to harness the power of Occupy Wall Street for political gain. (Read and Read) The big question: will the tens of thousands of OWS protesters across the nation fall for this boob bait for Bubbas? (apologies to the late Democratic Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan ). President Obama is the man who received nearly twice as much big Wall Street money than John McCain in the 2008 election. He’s the man who appointed Wall Street-approved Tim Geithner to guide the economy. This administration bailed out Wall Street and agreeably gutted Wall Street reforms in the very mild Dodd-Frank financial services bill.
To put it succinctly, Trying to position Barack Obama as the ideological soulmate of Occupy Wall Street is like trying to argue that Jesus Christ is God to only prohibitionists. Read the books — the evidence goes against it.
Nevertheless, the party’s campaign committee wants 100,000 signatures in solidarity with OWS. Obama campaign leader David Plouffe is spinning it as kitchen table economics. The Democrats are busy trying to paint Mitt Romney as representing all of Wall Street’s evils and the president used and event to honor the late Martin Luther King to praise the protests. If this boob bait makes most of the protesters purr, it will be great political chicanery.
Obviously, the Democrats hope to get these protesters energized to re-elect the president, and other Democrats, in 2012. It’s an iffy effort, though. Huge swaths of the protesters don’t feel much warmth toward capitalism, which the last time I checked, the Democratic Party fully supports. It’s not a stretch to say that the far left has control of many of the rallies. Democratic campaign consultant and pollster Douglas Schoen did a poll of OWS protesters and his results show that too many protesters are comprised of radicals who are strangers to mainstream American political values. (Read) Schoen writes: “… Occupy Wall Street is a group of engaged progressives who are disillusioned with the capitalist system and have a distinct activist orientation. Among the general public, by contrast, 41% of Americans self-identify as conservative, 36% as moderate, and only 21% as liberal. That’s why the Obama-Pelosi embrace of the movement could prove catastrophic for their party.”
Schoen adds that President Obama’s decision to attach himself to a far left movement by attacking Wall Street and the rich, rather than devote energies to having the deficit reduction supercommittee be successful, risks further alienation of independents, who have cooled to the president considerably in three years.
According to Schoen’s polling, “Sixty-five percent say that government has a moral responsibility to guarantee all citizens access to affordable health care, a college education, and a secure retirement—no matter the cost. By a large margin (77%-22%), they support raising taxes on the wealthiest Americans, but 58% oppose raising taxes for everybody, with only 36% in favor …”
The term, “no matter the cost,” is the cry of a petulant child, rather than a mature adult. Affordable health care, a college education, and a secure retirement, are goals that are to be worked for, not handed out. I’m not sure that the Democrats can control the OWS movement with a generous handfuls of boob bait and meaningless rhetoric.