Skip to comments.Campaigns embracing 'Occupy' themes
Posted on 01/16/2012 1:24:29 PM PST by NormsRevenge
It came to prominence when demonstrators vowing to represent the 99 percent condemned corporate malfeasance, lopsided executive salaries and the distribution of wealth from the middle to the top. Four months later, the grievances of Occupy Wall Street have become a pillar of campaigns from Washington, D.C., to San Diego.
The amalgamation of deepening distrust in the American institutions of Washington and Wall Street, the sluggish job and housing markets and the growing prospect that former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney may become the Republican presidential nominee has helped thrust tenets of the Occupy movement into the political sphere.
On Thursday, President Barack Obamas chief economic adviser further indicated that the administration would make central to its re-election efforts the themes of escalating inequality and reforming a system viewed by many as favoring the wealthy. Others carrying the banner range from U.S. Senate candidate Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts to House candidate Lori Saldaña of San Diego. Both are Democrats.
It has totally changed the conversation about wealth inequality and economic disparity in this country, Saldaña said.
Obama summarized the sentiment in a speech last month in Osawatomie, Kan., saying inequality distorts democracy and gives an outsized voice to the few who can afford high-priced lobbyists and unlimited campaign contributions.
I believe that this country succeeds when everyone gets a fair shot, when everyone does their fair share, and when everyone plays by the same rules, Obama said. Those arent Democratic or Republican values; 1 percent values or 99 percent values. Theyre American values, and we have to reclaim them.
Many expect the president to return to that argument in his State of the Union address on Jan. 24.
Meanwhile, Republican presidential candidates Newt Gingrich, the former House speaker, and Rick Perry, the governor of Texas, have turned to populist rhetoric to bludgeon Romney for his work leading Bain Capital, a private equity firm. Perry was admonished by Fox News Sean Hannity for sounding more like an Occupy Wall Street demonstrator than the governor of a conservative state.
You can see the power in the movement by the fact that Republican presidential candidates are starting to adopt some of its language, said Roy Behr, a Democratic political consultant. It puts them in a terrible position of completely invalidating everything they stand for.
For Obama the advantage is a couple-fold: First, he gets to contrast himself with Republican leadership that has clearly built a record of defending the 1 percent. And second, he is a more credible messenger of the sentiment than any other potential candidate for that office.
While the president appears to be framing the election as Main Street versus Wall Street, the co-opting of Occupy themes is an attempt to close the enthusiasm gap between Republicans and Democrats, said Ron Nehring, former chairman of the San Diego County and California Republican parties.
Claiming to represent the 99 percent is a clever messaging tactic that is easily undermined when someone turns on the television and sees someone defecating on a police car, Nehring said. Most Americans find that offensive. Most Americans dont identify with that.
In the words of the great Kinky Friedman: “Occupy the kitchen and liberate the sink!”
And, of course, there is absolutely no relationship between the possibility that the Republican nominee will be a former investment banker and the “spontaneous” eruption of protests against “greed” on Wall Street.
when everyone gets a fair shot
plays by the same rules
central to its re-election efforts the themes of escalating inequality and reforming a system viewed by many as favoring the wealthy
he is a more credible messenger of the Socialist/Marxist sentiment than any other potential candidate Obama.
Obama took an oath of office for president of the USA - he has broken his oath to protect our Constitution and keep citizens safe through our military strength...Obama however, is reducing our defenses i.e., Navy, Air and Land forces making America weak and vulnerable. The "protesters" are just tools for Communist like Van Jones and Valery Jarrett who push them on creating unrest....a good thing for Obama so we won't pay attention to his life style or blunders in foreign affairs, or using MLK for political reasons or his sudden attention to small business's after tearing down industries to pay off his cronies in Unions...pouring tax dollars into failing companies for votes.....Obama's projected "brilliant leadership" never happened....you can't make a silk purse out of a community organizer.
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