December 1 2011
For those like me who’ve been waiting for the Democrats to come to their senses and condemn Occupy Wall Street, yesterday was full of delicious irony:
Yes, Occupy protested the president’s fundraising visit to millionaires and billionaires on the isle of Manhattan. As reported in the New York Times:
Demonstrators held signs that leveled some of the Occupy protest’s most pointed criticism to date of the president. “Obama is a corporate puppet,” one said. “War crimes must be stopped, no matter who does them,” read another, beside head shots of President George W. Bush and President Obama.
One man, wearing a mask of the president’s face and holding a cigar, carried a sign that read, “I sold out!”
“What Obama may not understand so well is the degree of frustration inspired by him specifically among the protesters and their prime movers. Or the extent to which OWS and its energy is, as one liberal strategist puts it, is ‘the rotten fruit of Obamaism’—an army of young people, many of them inspired and mobilized by his campaign in 2008, who feel betrayed by his performance since he has, er, occupied the Oval Office.
Occupy’s critique of a president whose policies I, too, regard as disastrous doesn’t endear these thugs to me. They are still repellent and they still would like to bring down the one system—capitalism—that has created the most comfort and prosperity for the greatest number of people in any period of history.
I’m just savoring the irony of a mob doing what mobs always do: turning on the sycophants who court their good will. The President should not have treated them as serious people with serious grievances. Before he did so, he would have done well to read a few Shakespeare plays to learn how fickle large groups of people can be.
Without giving an inch on how awful Occupy is, I can still appreciate their feelings of frustration with Mr. Obama. Here is how he spent his day yesterday:
Blending governing with re-election politics, President Barack Obama roused a cheering northeast Pennsylvania crowd Wednesday as he warned of a "massive blow to the economy" if Republicans block a payroll tax extension.
But hours later, addressing donors in New York, he toned his rhetoric down and declared progress was possible.
And then he got on his taxpayer-funded jet (somehow more moral than a corporate jet) and flew home.