If Occupy Wall Street protesters did not exist, the media would have to invent them; in fact, some are alleging they did precisely that. BigGovernment.com has published a series of e-mails it purports to be exchanges between reporters such as MSNBC’s Dylan Ratigan and Rolling Stone‘s Matt Taibbi on one hand and Occupy Wall Street (OWS) organizers on the other. The e-mails show, for instance, Taibbi stating “millions” would pour into the streets if OWS would articulate its case and offer a set of demands leaning toward socialism. Another seems to indicate Ratigan helped revise an OWS statement before it was submitted to the media. However, the media involvement is but one aspect of Occupy Wall Street’s unreality. The movement is largely a Democratic/far-Left/media/union creation whose design is to move the political spectrum far enough to the Left to make Barack Obama look like a centrist and mainstream his political agenda.
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As this author reported last year, OWS is the fruition of the goal set forth by the president’s most radical (and, unfortunately, most intimate) friends and advisers to create a new Popular Front, a pseudo-populist noise machine espousing undiluted radicalism. The Obamas’ close friend, Marilyn Katz, an unrepentant Sixties radical who organized “security” for the Days of Rage — she invented “guerrilla nails,” which protesters could hurl at Chicago’s finest — outlined the strategy in an article for the socialist magazine In These Times entitled, “What We Lost After We Won in 2008.” Katz instructed her fellow extremists they “must build the national grassroots vehicle” that “must be broad enough in scope to develop and promote a progressive agenda, and it should allow all types of involvement—whether online or in person, occasional or constant.” She concluded, “Crucially, the organization’s members would not only articulate a progressive agenda and interact with congressional leaders on the ground but also be broad and creative enough in their thinking to involve the ordinary, everyday people who found both meaning and community in 2008.”
One year later, enter Occupy Wall Street.
To the extent they have any discernible views, OWS protesters are on the radical Left. Democratic pollster Doug Schoen wrote in today’s Wall Street Journal they represent an “unrepresentative segment of the electorate that believes in radical redistribution of wealth, civil disobedience and, in some instances, violence.” “What binds a large majority of the protesters together,” he wrote, “is a deep commitment to left-wing policies: opposition to free-market capitalism and support for radical redistribution of wealth, intense regulation of the private sector,” and the like.
Like a plague of locusts sent from Alinsky’s grave to devour the substance of the land, the far-Left’s various “occupations” have caused property damage and drained state and local governments of desperately needed tax revenues. Michelle Malkin has totaled the cost to a number of cities and localities graced by an OWS mini-revolution. Under the watchful eye of Mayor Michael Bloomberg, New York City has spent $3.2 million on overtime for police alone since the radicals took to the Big Apple’s streets. Occupy Boston will cost the city $2 million by the end of the month. Philadelphia has already spent more than $400,000 because of the demonstrators.
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In time, the American people may be willing to accede to the protesters’ demands to stop the fiscal bleeding and restore order to the streets.
Cities and localities are not the only ones paying for the protesters. Many of the selfless rioters are being funded by the Working Families Party, an affiliate of ACORN. OWS is being fed by such ACORN fronts as New York Communities for Change, Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment, Organize Now, New England United for Justice, and Action United. Labor unions, too, have their role. The compulsory union dues of countless working men and women have gone to fund protesters drawn from the AFL-CIO, Transit Workers Union, SEIU, the Teamsters, United Federation of Teachers, Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA), United Auto Workers (UAW), AFSCME, Communications Workers of America, Professional Staff Congress – CUNY, National Nurses United, Writers Guild East, Legal Aid Society, Amalgamated Transit Union, and a host of other national unions and locals. Their support is understandable. First, they have an investment in Obama they need to protect. The AFL-CIO alone spent more than $200 million supporting Democrats in 2008, and the SEIU chipped in an additional $27.8 million. Obama has been most appreciative, stacking the labor departments, shutting down non-union plants in right-to-work states, and advancing national health care legislation (in favor of which they previously acted as Astroturf support).
OWS is but one front to redefine the political spectrum to include socialism as a permissible view. What OWS attempts on the Left, No Labels attempted from the faux “center”: to place Obama in the perceived middle of the political spectrum and claim the citizens uprising known as the Tea Party is beyond the pale. The president can now point to a large, well-financed “grassroots” organization and say his policies are not as extreme as those advocated by “the people.” Republicans are apparently not exempt. Rush Limbaugh has expressed alarm that House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-VA, is drawing up plans to address “income mobility” in direct response to OWS complaints over income disparity.
OWS may be the best investment Barack Obama and his political allies ever make.