Friday, October 07, 2011

Obama and Occupy Wall Street

Democrats are hoping that they can join with the Occupy Wall Street (OWS) people and turn them into a left-wing Tea Party. This will be tough.

One big problem is that the Democrats in general and President Obama in particular have been co-opted by Wall Street. Democrats receive slightly more campaign contribution from Wall Street than Republicans do. Obama go a lot more than McCain. Obama also had several Wall Street insiders in the White House. According to Confidence Men, most of Obama's economic efforts were focused on keeping up confidence in Wall Street. That is why his finance reform ended up being toothless and promoting "too big to fail" instead of ending it.

OWS is calling for redistribution of wealth. While Obama talks the talk on this, the most that he has actually proposed is restoring the Clinton tax rates on a select part of the population. This will not cause the redistribution that OWS is demanding. I doubt that his December, 2010 deal that extends the Bush tax cuts won Obama any points with this crowd.

The biggest problem for the Democrats is that OWS has a lot of scary people. 9/11 Truther Van Jones is an organizer and International ANSWER has a strong presence. They are a subsidiary of the American Communist Party.

This is why OWS refuses to allow an official list of demands. They will lose America as soon as people find out how radical this crowd is. Many people have released unofficial demands. These not only demand an end to war and racial discrimination, they also call for forgiveness of all debt. That sounds nice until you realize that it would wreck the world's economy.

I'm sure that the OWS organizers are hoping that they can force Obama to the left. Groups like MoveON and the Daily KOS moved Kerry in 2004 but they have done as much as they can. Obama's own on-line organization made these obsolete in 2008. In order to move the Democrats to the left in 2012, they are taking to the streets.

This puts Obama in a bind. If he moves to the left he will lose independents. If he doesn't then he loses liberals. This worked for the Republicans in 2010 but the Tea Party is moderate compared to OWS. The Tea Party called for fiscal restraint after trillions were spent on bail-outs and stimulus. OWS is calling for unlimited spending.

If the economy was doing better then this would not be an issue but Obama needs every vote that he can get. Forcing him to choose between radicals and moderates will hurt him.

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