Thursday, October 27, 2011
The President's Mob vs. The Cold Winds of Autumn
The days of the Occupation appear to be numbered, as residents and officials in occupied cities grow tired of the antics, noise, crime and sheer filth being generated by the new Utopians. That and the simple fact that living outside is not so much fun in the cold rain and snow leads me to guess that most of the current phase of this movement will have passed by Thanksgiving. Then again, who knows, maybe the Aleutian branch of Occupy will come to the rescue with helpful hints on outdoor living.
Meanwhile, the White House and Democratic establishment have been making noises of support for the movement while still keeping enough distance to make a clean break if things go wrong, like someone attending to a drunken friend who's likely going to puke all over himself. The President and some of his fellow travelers have made a point that they understand the frustrations of the Occupied group, and have been eager in attempting to link the motives of the Occupied with those of Tea Party types, a notion I haven't heard echoed by anyone who could seriously be described as part of the Tea Party movement (Newt Gingrich and Eric Cantor don't count, if you're wondering).
It seems to me that since their massive defeat in the elections of 2010, Democrats and the left in general have been in search of something that would allow them to revive their failing political prospects. From the attempt to silence conservatives with cries for "civility" after the Tucson massacre, to the failed mob action in Madison, to the simply ridiculous "Coffee Party," nothing has worked. Finally, for whatever reasons, "Occupy Wall Street" has caught fire, in spite of all its contradictions and frequent ugliness. The Democratic establishment has of course been eager to exploit this sudden appearance of political manna, while also recognizing the danger in being too closely associated with a phenomenon that has attracted more than its share of cranks and nutballs. Revelations about direct or indirect funding from Soros-linked organizations, the involvement in unions in organizing some events, and evidence that The Organizations Formerly Known As ACORN have been involved in drumming up support and paying demonstrators show that even if the President and official Democrats aren't directly involved in planning and funding this movement, groups that have provided the President support during and since the election sure as hell are. It seems to me that if the President had publicly expressed displeasure with what was happening the Occupy movement would have wilted away within a matter of weeks, if not days.
So assuming I'm correct that the coming of winter and eventual eviction by local governments will end this phase of the Occupy movement, where will it go? Does it have a future?
My feeling is that things will slow down for winter and the holidays, but that once spring has arrived there will be attempts to get this all going again, especially if there is a clear winner emerging in the Republican presidential field, which would supply a very convenient and specific target for invective. I think that if Obama's approach to the economy continues to fail, he's going to need any help he can get, including mobs on the street, with all the opportunities for distraction and polarization they provide.
Posted by Doug Fletcher at 7:40 PM