With the exception of a few stories here and there, and of course apart from the fact that class warfare will never cease so long as the Left pulls the strings in the mainstream press from all appearances it looks as though the #Occupy movement as we saw it last summer and early fall may be reaching its natural end.
As it ends, the rhetoric from the conservative world appears to be growing. I was listening to a local radio station the other day and the local host went into a rather blunt, tough-guy rant about how the protestors are just a bunch of punks who need a bath and should be forced to work at McDonalds in order to get them to behave. This standard indictment of the movement, I’m sure, has been replayed around dinner tables across America over the past few months, especially since Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich–who is credited even by detractors with possessing above average intelligence–said on several occasions that the #Occupy protesters needed a bath and a job.
(The cynical reply to Newt Gingrich from the Left, of course, has been that he was responsible for NAFTA along with then President Bill Clinton, so what jobs is he talking about? The ones he shipped to other countries?)
As we reach a lull in #Occupy activity, which is sure to pick back up as temperatures warm and as the general election draws near, I believe there are some important political ideas to be discussed, ideas that go beyond name-calling and hygiene assessments. The fact remains that the hard left, which has tried to publicly embrace the Wall Street protests, is extremely dissatisfied with President Obama and the reigning Democratic Party. These differences are not trivial, and they point to the fact the Democratic Party is in the kind of condition that caused the Tea Party to be created within the conservative ranks.
There are people from both sides of the political spectrum who find the mainstream political world intolerable. The perfect example of this on the left is what has happened with regard to investment firm MF Global, which was headed by John Corzine, the multimillionaire ex-head of Goldman Sachs, former Senator, former Governor of New Jersey, and huge insider within the Democratic Party. Vice President Joe Biden had been quoted on different occasions praising the brilliance of Mr. Corzine.
MF Global has filed for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy protection, as as the news broke that billions of dollars are missing from private accounts, the implication has been that Mr. Corzine was a big investor in the European derivatives market and the whole mess went sour and he tried to cover his losses by raiding private accounts. An illegal act. In short, Mr. Corzine, it is alleged, was running a complicated Ponzi scheme.
This, you see, is what the hard left sees as the Democratic Party that President Obama has embraced. In the same way that many conservatives felt the Republican Party had lost its way in the first decade of the 21st century, many Democrats feel their party has done the same.
The political ramifications for each party, however, are not the same. According to the hard left, the Democratic Party is trying to weed out radical dissent that is against the Wall Street/pro-war Obama administration. Even President Obama has been known to complain that the hard left of the party is never satisfied with what he does. If Mr. Corzine is an example, it never will be. Republicans that complain about the Republican Party, on the other hand, argue that the Republicans are trying to weed out anyone in the party who is moderate. Some of the reactions to what Newt Gingrich said in many of the more substantive GOP debates could point to this fact. Gingrich said there were some things in the defense budget that could be cut, and this was described by some Republicans as leftist. It is hard to believe a budget the size of the Pentagon budget has nothing that cannot be cut. (This, is course, applies equally to the Democrats when it comes to cutting entitlements.)
In short, the Republicans seem to be embracing the extremes in its party, while the Democrats are trying to get rid of the extremes in its party. When President Obama tried to politically embrace Occupy Wall Street, I do not think this was seen as genuine. Overall, Republicans find it hard to believe that democrats are trying to get rid of the extremes in the party, since they depict President Obama in such extreme terms. Conservatives must remember that the current heads of the Democratic pPrty are playing a very duplicitous game. While they claim to be embracing socialism, the upper echelons of the party are making themselves fabulously wealthy. The Clintons, for example, love the common man but have made over a hundred million dollars for themselves. Nancy Pelosi is another example.
The question is whether anyone in the Democratic Party is listening to the hard left, or whether President Obama can continue to present himself as a man of the people while fostering and facilitating the success of Democratic operatives like John Corzine. As I have previously described, the followers of Ron Paul have to decide if they will stick with the Republican Party if he does not win the nomination. The hard left must decide if it will stay with President Obama no matter what.