"With great power, comes great immunity."
That's the message we've been hearing from Wall Street, many Republicans on Capitol Hill and self-styled right wing pundits like Andrew Breitbart, Bill O'Reilly (who this year had replaced Christine O'Donnell as the Typhoid Mary of the publishing racket) and others who channel and filter their partisan passions directly through their rectums and bile ducts.
We've heard the amateurish, high schoolish smears: OWS protesters defecating on police cars; attacking the police; having sex in Zuccotti Park; women getting raped and told by the OWS movement not to report it; they're lazy, dirty, drug-taking, unemployed bums; they want a handout like Wall Street; the guy who took 2 potshots at the White House was an Occupy protester.
Basically the same propagandistic bullshit we heard about the hippies in the 60's from the right wing hard hat crowd when they were righteously protesting the war in Vietnam. Yawn. Each and every one of these charges had been shot down faster than John McCain over Hanoi.
Now, it's time to let the professionals take over.
Earlier today, Chris Hayes, host of MSNBC's eponymous Up w/Chris Hayes, revealed a corporate conspiracy involving a high-powered lobbying firm that employs two former John Boehner staffers and the American banking Association. The memo makes for some pretty eye-opening revelations (.pdf file), not the least of which is the fear that Occupy Wall Street is inspiring fear on not only Wall Street itself but also Capitol Hill.
While it would be very easy to envision an impotent and unpopular Democratic Party cynically "embracing" (read: exploiting) OWS in order to manufacture ground on Republicans who are hardly more popular than the GOP that'd exploited the Tea Party, this admission is extremely important in that it betrays OWS is getting under the thin skin of Wall Street.
To that end in their "opposition research" (read: propaganda), Wall St. is all but too prepared to throw one of their own under the wheels of progress: The right wing's billionaire boogey man, George Soros. The memo's proposed tactics, which the American Banking Association told MSNBC is it "did not solicit" and "chose not to act on it in any way (which sounds laughably disingenuous considering last month's revelation)", are tried and untrue right wing tactics right out of Richard "Defund the Left!" Viguerie's dog-eared playbook.
What the Republican Party fears more than anything, besides OWS pissing off Wall Street more than they already have with the completely discredited GOP hardly in a PR position to do anything about it, is that the Occupy movement may actually do something the flash mobs of the Tea Party never came close to doing: Physically closing the gaps and linking until it becomes an honest-to-God daisy chain of humanity stretching from coast to coast.
The memo to the ABA, quite justifiably, fears that OWS could become as potent, if not a more potent, political movement than the Tea Baggers ever were. And, with nearly a year before Election Day, it's only inevitable that the Occupy movement starts drafting, supporting and even funding their own candidates for 2012.
While it's screamingly obvious that since late this summer, with hardly any fanfare (of course) from the corporate MSM, there was actually a bill in Congress that almost gave civil and criminal immunity for Wall Street for crimes that haven't even been seriously investigated. But what may be even more troubling to these ex Boehner staffers is that the right wing may be capitalizing on #OWS and the populist fervor they're slowly but surely generating.
Without specifically mentioning Occupy Wall Street, Tom Coburn shocked the political blogosphere when his office issued a report claiming that the 1% should pay more in taxes. Rush Limbaugh proved that a stopped clock is right twice a day by hitting the bullseye on the absurdity of Chelsea Clinton getting a job as a top correspondent with NBC. Limbaugh tied this in to the frustration felt by the 99% when he said to a caller,
Let’s go down to Occupy Wall Street or wherever else that there’s an Occupy, or go wherever there is a collection of liberals. What are they mad about? They’re mad about the 1 percent, and what are they mad about about the 1 percent? The 1 percent’s got it all. The 1 percent has everything and they’re not sharing it with anybody, and they didn’t work for it. There aren’t any jobs for anybody else because the 1 percent are making sure they’ve got all the jobs and they’ve got all the money.
So here we come with Mr. Democrat Party, the highest ranking, biggest star, most respected member of the Democrat Party, and with pure nepotism and nothing else his daughter, who is unqualified for this job, gets pushed ahead of everybody that works at NBC and gets this job. This is the quintessential thing the 99 percent are fed up with, that they don’t have a chance, that the game’s rules are rigged, that everything’s stacked against them…
And most recently, Sarah Palin's ghost writer put out on the pages of the WSJ what actually amounts to policy proposals with some heft, a screed that actually seems to "get" what #OWS is all about. (Just to reassure you all that I'm not falling in love with Sarah Barracuda, I will point out that her ghost writer's approved script did ask this ironic series of questions that could've just as easily been turned on her: "How do politicians who arrive in Washington, D.C. as men and women of modest means leave as millionaires? How do they miraculously accumulate wealth at a rate faster than the rest of us? How do politicians' stock portfolios outperform even the best hedge-fund managers'? I answered the question in that speech." Obviously, if asked in Iowa how she herself could've left midway through her gubernatorial term as Alaska's governor only to see her own finances and stock portfolios dramatically improve, she would've had a considerably tougher time answering that.)
One can hardly stifle laughter at Palin's usual and disingenuous claims about fighting the "good ol' boy political class in Juneau" and how she'd "been fighting this type of corruption and cronyism my entire political career." But it's a huge step when a partisan pit bull like Palin can dredge up enough honesty to say that both parties have been occupying Wall Street long before the 99%.
The Republican Party, obviously, has no answers and are as a whole stubbornly resistant toward the idea of even looking for them. Asking the Republican Party to help rebuild this country is like offering a building contract to the same thugs that had trashed your house. And while Michael Bloomberg was engaging in gimmicks involving fictional heroes exactly a year ago to "combat" unemployment, Occupy Wall Street's 99% was gearing up to do the real thing.
The eminently quotable science fiction author CJ Cherryh once drew the invaluable distinction between the self-interested warrior and the (in an ideal world) soldier:
The warrior may fight for gold or for an immediate gain, or for something to take home for the winter to feed the family. The soldier is part of a more complex society. He's fighting for a group ethic of some sort.
Occupy Wall Street is a long-festering sore on the long-neglected hind end of America with the scab torn off, running with blood, pus and lymphatic fluid for all the world to see. Wall Street doesn't want you to know about that long-festering sore because it and the politicians they employ like doing what they do in secret. Bloomberg's NYPD may have physically exposed the OWS soldiers by depriving them of shelter. But Occupy Wall Street has more than returned the favor.