Part 5 of my ongoing series showing Dems why the Occupy movement and its members are not our ally. If you read earlier posts in the series (and I hope you will), you’ll see in Occupy members’ own words that they despise Democrats and have no intention of voting with us. I’m urging Dems to stop wasting time on these haters and focus your efforts on ensuring our base votes.
In this post I’m focusing on complaints by those in the Occupy movement about the President; basically, that the President has to give them a reason to vote, he’s no different than Romney, he’s a corporate puppet, etc. Its as if, in their imaginary utopia, they think a President can actually please all Democrats.
Ok Occupy, let’s think about that …
- The President did not run as Dennis Kucinich, or Ralph Nader. Obama is a moderate Democrat on most issues. His mantra was “no more politics as usual”. He works well with others, he tries to build a consensus, and yes here comes that dirty word – he prefers to “compromise”. We heard all of that in the campaign. It should be of no surprise to anyone. The fact that Republicans decided early-on they would obstruct at every turn does not change the fact that President Obama is a moderate. He’s certainly not the first choice of those on the far-left, like many in the Occupy movement (and yes, on some issues we can all be far-left).
- Every president campaigns on what he’d like to do. Then the reality of the office hits him on the first day and he finds out that very few of his campaign promises will see the light of day in Congress. However, when all else fails, he still has the ultimate weapon: he can veto the crap passed by Republicans in Congress. So even in a divided government of gridlock, we need a Democratic President to block Republican efforts to shift more wealth from the poor and middle-class to the rich, to roll-back gains made by women and minorities, etc., etc.
- The Democratic Party is diverse. Sometimes it seems like our greatest strength and greatest weakness. Unlike the right-wing, who seems to have to read the bullet points to know what they believe, Democrats don’t agree on much of anything. And a moderate president can’t lurch to the left to please the Occupy movement without losing the majority of the base. As a matter of political strategy, the President needs to please the majority of Democrats and some moderate/left-leaning independents to get re-elected. That all but guarantees the exclusion of the far-left and the Occupy movement, which I believe is about 9% of the electorate (not 99%). Yes, the youth vote helped him in 2008, But, historically, we haven’t been able to rely on the youth vote to turn-out in any significant numbers so Democrats need to focus on the base, first.
In the past, I would have recommended to everyone on the far-left to think about softening their rigid positions for the sake of keeping control of our government away from the radical right. But Occupy isn’t flexible on anything. In fact, I think they scare most people. Not in a good way, like “power to the people”, but in a bad way, like soccer hooligans in Great Britain or gangs in Mexico.
In March, the Congress passed and the President signed a bill that essentially makes it a federal crime to protest around anyone the Secret Service is protecting. Occupy was up in arms, saying it would infringe on their free speech rights. But think about why Democrats and Republicans, in a rare show of bipartisanship, voted overwhelmingly for the bill; it passed the House 399-3. The last time we saw that kind of bipartisan support for a bill was the authorization for use of military forces against terrorists in 2001 (the vote to invade Afghanistan – Senate: 98-0-2, House: 420-1-10). And why is that? Simply put, because Occupy members have not only made it clear they despise both Democrats and Republicans, some members have made threats of violence. Unless you think this is not a threat:
Only fools and cowards believe that America’s plutocracy and fascist military machine can be changed let alone defeated, without blood. Anytime in history and around the world today, and terror and tyranny are replaced with justice and liberty, blood flows.
No, that’s not a crazy statement from a red-neck Teabagger with a sign that says, “We’re not armed, this time.” That’s a comment from an Occupy member. So, now the President and his family, the Vice President and his family, and many others in government have to be protected from the Tea Party, all the racists out there, and Occupy protestors. And Occupy insists the President must do things their way or they’ll vote third-party? Let me just speak for the President when I say, “piss off”.
Democrats, lets focus on our supporters, our base, and the moderate independents we need to win the Presidency and elect more Democrats across the country.
View the entire series, OWS Is Not Our Ally.