As Occupy Wall Street's clamorous protests, which started in New York City, spread across the nation, prominent Democrats are starting to endorse the movement. Former Sen. Russ Feingold (D-Wis.) — a progressive hero who lost his re-election bid in 2010 — praised the demonstrators on Wednesday, saying they were "expressing the populist, genuine view that people have been ripped off." Members of the Congressional Progressive Caucus said the protesters and Democrats are fighting for the same things: To contain corporate greed and expand opportunities for the middle class. Will embracing the anger fueling Occupy Wall Street help Democrats — or will it backfire?
Democrats are flirting with disaster: The Occupiers' unhinged, anti-capitalist ranting is "a conservative's election-year dream come true," says Abe Greenwald at Commentary. The paranoid, self-righteous antics of these confused "police haters" is totally destroying the credibility of "modern-day Leftism." The protesters are an easy target for Republicans, and if President Obama doesn't disavow the "class-warfare rhetoric that the protesters have taken to heart," he will be, too.
"Occupy Wall Street could be disaster for Democrats"
C'mon. Democrats must support this movement: "Democrats — or at least those still with souls — need to take a stand and support Occupy Wall Street," says Cliff Weathers at OpEdNews. The crowds in the streets are affirming "one of the party's basic tenets... to look out for the well-being of 100 percent of Americans — the wealthy, the middle class, and the poor." This is the start of a revolution, and Democrats can either lead, or get left behind.
"Why Democrats must embrace Occupy Wall Street"
Who says the protesters even want Democrats' help? Democrats are forgetting, says James Downie at The Washington Post, that their party's "support for Wall Street was one of the major motivations behind Occupy Wall Street in the first place." Powerful Democrats, fueled by Wall Street money, fought to deregulate the financial industry before the 2008 crash, and to bail it out afterwards. If Democrats want to tap the movement's energy to attack Republicans as the party of the rich, they must first renounce "the influence Wall Street holds on them, as well."
"Why Occupy Wall Street and Democrats aren't natural allies"
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- The U.S. Marines are developing laser weapons. Here's why.
- Why the Supreme Court is allowing Texas to hold an unconstitutional election
- 3 horrific inaccuracies in Homeland's depiction of Islamabad
- How to be the most productive person in your office — and still get home by 5:30 p.m.
- 43 TV shows to watch in 2014
- How 1,000-year lifespans could remake the economy
- 6 things the happiest families all have in common
- Ban PowerPoint!
- Gamergate has backfired spectacularly on its nincompoop perpetrators
- Rise of the machines
Subscribe to the Week