The Occupy Wall Street protest has gone political. It was already political, but now politicians are getting involved. The Democrats are rallying around the protest in order to syphon the movement’s energy toward more votes in 2012.
The dems hope that by sharpening their contrasts with Republican opponents of the movement they’ll win the confidence of the protesters and people like them. Senior White House adviser David Plouffe said, in a “Good Morning America” interview on ABC, that the president stands “on the side of consumers and the middle class.” He accused Republicans of wanting to return to the same policies that led to the Great Recession.
A letter published by the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee targets Republicans’ recent comments characterizing protesters as “growing mobs”. A portion of that letter reads: “Mobs? That must be what Republicans refer to as the middle class, or maybe the millions of unemployed Americans across the country.”
Added to that, President Obama commented last week that the protest reflects a “broad-based frustration” among Americans regarding the persistence of reckless practices on Wall Street, even after the financial crisis. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi agrees, saying demonstrators feel anger over the lack of employment opportunities and government actions “not relevant to their lives.”
A representative for the political action group moveon.org, which is heavily aligned with liberal Democrats, says that it’s not cuts that are needed, but jobs. He said the people know added jobs are affordable when the “big banks” and the “super-rich” pay what the Democrats have always called “their fair share.”
It’s been rumored that the protests – which started in New York City’s financial district and are now nationwide – could be an issue at tonight’s Republican presidential debate in Hanover, New Hampshire. The students of Dartmouth College, where the debate will take place, plan to hold a rally in support of the protesters before the debate begins at 8 PM ET. The debate is the first of the 2012 campaign to focus exclusively on the economy. It will be broadcast on Bloomberg Television, Bloomberg Radio and WBIN-TV in New Hampshire. There will also be a live stream on both Bloomberg.com and WashingtonPost.com.
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