Even though the Occupy movements have many people who despise both political parties, there is a clear distinction between which party is a friend and which is an enemy to the movement.
The Democratic Party is clearly on the side of the 99%’ers and no amount of denial and blame shifting can change that. And yes, the Democratic Party has their share of elected representatives that act more like conservatives than liberals, but that fact shouldn’t diminish the hard working liberals in the party who are fighting for all of us in this country who don’t have lobbyists. When I hear or read people generalize and group all Democrats in with big business, they are ignoring reality and perpetuating false memes.
I had an exchange on Twitter the other day with a person who exemplifies much of that “head-in-the-sand” thinking. Here are a few of his tweets, with my responses.
Tweeter: The difference between a Democrat and Republican is the difference between a man and his mirrored reflection.
Extreme Liberal: How does the mirror reflect the repeal of DADT? Or health care for children? Or Lily Ledbetter? Or the Matthew Shepard law?
Extreme Liberal: Or who’s reflection is opposite Sotomayor or Kagan? Do you want a Republican picking the next nominee to the SUPREME COURT!
The Tweeter in question then sent a tweet that he has since deleted, probably had second thoughts about it, but he basically said that the issues I raised were “petty”, to which I replied…
Extreme Liberal: Tell my niece who now has health care that she is petty or over 60,000 LGBT people now serving openly in our military.
Extreme Liberal: And if you have any females in your family, are you willing to give up their rights to their own bodies? Supreme Court matters!
Tweeter: Bush might as well have been a Democrat, Obama a Republican for the similar aims and interests re: domestic/foreign policy.
President Obama spoke in Asheville, North Carolina this morning as part of his continued push to bring jobs to the American people. He laid waste to the Republican’s “plan” and did a little comparison for us that spells out a stark reality. It needs to be shared with the people marching in the streets across the country…(emphasis mine)
THE PRESIDENT: They said no to helping veterans find jobs.
Essentially, they said no to you — because it turns out one poll found that 63 percent of Americans support the ideas in this jobs bill. (Applause.) So 63 percent of Americans support the jobs bill that I put forward; 100 percent of Republicans in the Senate voted against it. That doesn’t make any sense, does it?
THE PRESIDENT: No, it does not.
Now, it turns out that the Republicans have a plan, too. I want to be fair. They call — they put forward this plan last week. They called it the “Real American Jobs Act.” The “real one” — that’s what they called it — just in case you were wondering. (Laughter.) So let’s take a look at what the Republican American jobs act looks like. It turns out the Republican plan boils down to a few basic ideas: They want to gut regulations; they want to let Wall Street do whatever it wants.
(Note from Extreme Liberal: As regular readers know, I think horse race polls this far out from an election are silly. But having said that, sometimes you just have to play along with the rest of the media who live by them.)
As much as the boobirds take any temporary drop in Obama’s numbers as proof he is in deep trouble, he continues to lead all GOP challengers. He leads Romney 46-43 percent among likely voters. He leads Perry 50-38 and the currently surging Herman Cain 49-37.
He also is doing very well with women with a 49-41 lead with women against Romney, 53-36 against Perry and 53-32 against Cain.
While the naysayers belabor his 44 percent approval rating, the large majorities that are concerned about the direction the country is going in and the economy, what they always ignore is Obama is personally liked by the public. I’ve pointed this out to FDLers who scoffed that this could be relevant, but what they fail to consider is how close likability is to trust or at least think of it this way: if you like someone you probably have a decent level of trust for him or at least think his heart is in the right place.
The numbers clearly show why the Republican party establishment quite desperately prefers Romney, he is clearly the only one who has a prayer of winning. Yet he still hasn’t put the primary race away. This is the latest the GOP has been open since Wendell Willkie. Normally the party would know who its candidate is by now. Yet the establishment is struggling. Cain is currently leading the field yet he trails Obama by the most. Rush Limbaugh attacked Romney this week as not a conservative-about as damning as it gets- pointing out that 70 percent of the GOP field is not interested in Romney.
I was at an editing conference early this week and had a chat with a friend. When I brought up politics with him and decried the unfair treatment President Obama has gotten from many on the left, the right and the our dysfunctional media, he started spouting the usual “he caved to the Republicans” and “he could have issued executive orders” and of course, “what about Guantanamo Bay, he didn’t close it like he said.” I asked him if he knew that we also had a congress and that they appropriate money — you know, reality. His response was something like, “those are just excuses.” It was at this point that the session we were in began, I think it was best for him that I had to shut up, I was about to get extreme on him.
It reminded me that a lot of people who either don’t pay a lot of attention to politics or are just blatant liars, continue to pin the blame for Gitmo still being open on President Obama. It’s time for a little “reality reminder.” On President Obama’s SECOND DAY in office, this was MSNBC’s headline on their website…
Obama orders CIA prisons, Guantanamo shut
WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama on Thursday moved quickly to undo a contentious Bush administration national security program, ordering the CIA to close down secret overseas prisons and the Pentagon to close down the Guantanamo prison within a year. The president also banned the harshest interrogation methods. […]
With three executive orders and a presidential directive signed in the Oval Office Thursday, Obama started reshaping how the United States prosecutes and questions al-Qaeda, Taliban or other foreign fighters who pose a threat to Americans.
The centerpiece order would close the much-maligned U.S. prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba — a complicated process with many unanswered questions that was nonetheless a key campaign promise of Obama’s. The administration already has suspended trials for terrorist suspects at Guantanamo for 120 days pending a review of the military tribunals.
I’m very encouraged by the energy being generated by the “Occupy” movements happening across the country. And even though it is made up of people with many different views on politics, I’m hopeful that it gets people involved and more people register to vote — because elections do matter. If you don’t think they matter, you must have been sleeping through President Bush’s 8 years in office. This movement has the potential to change the corporate hold on Washington and give voice to those who don’t have lobbyists, the 99% of us just trying to survive. Viva La Occupy!
Melissa Harris-Perry wrote a very thoughtful piece exploring the reasons why President Obama, with his many successes in the face of great opposition, is struggling in the polls with white liberals. It is something I’ve been frustrated with since before the President was sworn in — when people on the left began attacking him about his appointments to various cabinet positions.
At first, I didn’t want to believe that race was a large part of that equation and chalked a lot of it up to “bitterness” left over from the contentious primary fight with Hillary Clinton, John Edwards, Dennis Kucinich and the others. But as his presidency progressed and more evidence continued to pile up, I, as a white liberal, began to see that the source of a lot of that disrespect and vitriol clearly was coming from an elitist and superior attitude, much of it rooted in race.
If you haven’t been following the story, I recommend you read Joy Reid’s piece at The Reid Report. She gives some background on the reaction to some on the left to Harris-Perry’s powerful post.
My first instinct whenever I come across something that is clearly over-the-top rhetoric is to attempt to find out the source of that vitriol. Strong opinions don’t usually materialize out of thin air, they come from somewhere and I like to find out where. Using the Google machine, I decided to go back and read some previous writing by Gene Lyons as it relates to race and particularly, President Obama. What I found was quite shocking, in my opinion. You decide for yourself.
On matters of race, I’ve learned as a white, 49 year old male to listen and defer to those who have a closer connection to the effects of racism. What the hell do I know about suffering from racism, other than what I can learn from those who have suffered through it. It’s impossible for me to completely understand what it is like without having experienced it. I’ve accepted that fact and when a person of color speaks about it, I listen and try to internalize it.
One person that I listen to very intently is Melissa Harris-Perry, a very wise and thoughtful person who always makes sense to me whenever I hear her speak or read her words.
CNBC seems to be rather smitten with Cain as he has won some unexpected straw polls and his numbers have risen nationally. At present he is now ahead of presumed main challenger to Romney, Rick Perry.
Mr. Cain, who has had some very nice things to say about low income Americans and the Occupy Wall Street protests — like if you’re not rich it’s your fault and that the protesters are “un-American” — now claims that his tax proposal will benefit these same low income Americans who are so ignorant of their own interests.
His proposal-described apocalyptically enough as the only one that will “blow up the tax code” — he dubs the 9-9-9. Basically, it’s a flat tax. He claims that it’s not regressive which means that he is mistaken on at least one count. As a flat tax is inherently regressive it can’t be both flat and not regressive.
His rationale for saying it isn’t regressive is fairly spotty too it must be said, “No, it is not regressive,” he said. “First of all, by putting it on sales tax — that third ‘9’ — we are going to pick up revenue that we are not getting today. That helps to lower the rate for everybody including the people that are making the least amount of money.”
For his fully laid out proposal see http://www.hermancain.com/999plan
A sales tax, “that third “9” ” how does a sales tax make his plan not regressive? A sales tax is by definition a regressive tax. He also claims that it will raise revenue. Sure, it’s gonna raise revenue while lowering the corporate tax rate to 9 percent and eliminating the capital gains tax. The usual supply side delusions.
Only thing missing from his plan is a proposal to square the circle.
Cross-posted at Diary of a Republican Hater
Guest Blogger: Joan Ruaiz
Initially, the Occupy Wall Street movement was ignored by the corporate media. The networks and cable outfits figured that perhaps after a few days, the movement would simply go away. But it didn’t, and in fact, the movement gained more sympathy than scorn from various factions for different reasons.
It’s been almost humorous watching the media insist that OWS needs to “define” itself in order to “achieve” their (unstated) goals. They need to have a list of clear demands, news anchors on the six o’clock news bellowed. But once again, the corporate media misses the obvious mark. For one, “Occupy Wall Street” is a moniker that speaks for itself. No explanation is needed, if one reflects on the current turmoil that our nation is experiencing. In a Twitter-oriented society, it helps, not hinders, to label a movement with a general descriptive tag that is short and inclusive.
It is not a mystery that there is a general consensus that Wall Street’s gains have not alleviated the misery of those on Main Street. “The 99%”, which is a self-conferred name, has also provided a connective link to the general public. What could be so wrong about a movement that calls itself the overwhelming majority? After all, most folks know doggone well that they aren’t part of the 1%. So both the name of the movement as well as that of its participants have allowed a visceral kinship to ordinary Americans without even trying, something the media doesn’t quite yet comprehended. The OWS’s truth in labeling is its connective strength that could be key to its eventual success, however that success materializes.
Also, the recorded acts of police brutality perpetuated upon the young, peaceful protestors certainly helped foster public sympathy early in the movement’s plight. As YouTube provided visual footage of inexplicable police action against peaceful protestors, that pitiful sight allowed a large segment of the public to side with the defenseless. This has always been the case in prior successful movements. Americans who might have otherwise paid no attention realized that the young women being pepper sprayed could be their own daughter or granddaughter who showed up to protest their lack of finding a job after graduating from college. These events had an impact.
So, I have come up with a fun party game: The Nickname Game. You take a TeaPublican presidential candidate (and Huntsman) and make up a nickname that gives the candidate a new middle name! Here are a few ideas to get you started:
Herman “The Only Black Guy In America” Cain
Michele “Blackout Barbie” Bachmann
Mitt “Wonder Bread” Romney
Ron “Precious” Paul
Rick “Don’t You F-ing Google Me” Santorum (do it)
Rick “Yeehah I’m Scary” Perry
John “Jesus H. Christ, how crazy do you have to BE” Huntsman
Gary “I got a dog that makes poopy” Johnson
Newt “Patriotic Penis” Gingrich
See! It’s fun, and educational! Next time, we’ll turn the last names of the TeaPublicans into porn film titles!