Morris says that while conservatives don’t know what to do with all those dirty hippies out in the streets and whether to see them as a threat, what they really represent is the equivalent of what would happen if the Tea Party decided they hated the GOP nominee. He says the Occupiers think Obama is a sellout, that they represent a major loss of support for the president and that the longer the protests go on the worse it gets for Obama.
Morris might be right, but it’s pretty clear the Obama administration doesn’t see things that way.
From an electoral perspective, it’s true that the Hard Left activists behind the protests are not of much help. Obama isn’t being explicitly criticized by the Occupiers, but when there are semi-violent protests in the streets when you’re president it’s bad. After all, the chaos that went on all over the country in 1968 happened while a Democrat was in the White House, and that Democrat chose not to run for re-election because it was clear he had no chance to win (and his nomination for re-election wasn’t even assured). Richard Nixon ended up winning in a landslide on a campaign of law and order on behalf of the “silent majority” and against the wretchedness of the hippies in the streets.
This looks like an excellent opportunity for history to repeat itself.
Except that the ties between Obama and the Hard Left activists who are pushing this protest movement – Soros, Van Jones, Frances Fox Piven, Patrick Gaspard and several others – are too close not to see this as a creation of Obama’s. Somebody in Obama’s re-election campaign thinks this was a good idea. Maybe the strategy is to pressure the corporate world into paying protection money in the form of campaign donations; after all, Obama once told a group of big bankers that he was the only thing standing between them and the mob. Or maybe he thinks he can use the Occupiers to intimidate the GOP in Congresss into passing a second round of “stimulus” so as to fund salaries for unionized public employees until after the election; there are certainly enough AFL-CIO and SEIU types in the streets to lend credence to such a theory.
Or maybe this is just all Obama’s people know. After all, David Axelrod was a rent-a-mob specialist in Chicago before he caught on with Obama, and Alinsky teaches that you always stay within the capabilities and comfort of your people. The problem is that unlike the Tea Party, which had a specific message and a plan to mobilize that message into effective action – you almost never hear about Tea Party protests anymore, but you hear plenty about Tea Party-supported politicians who are driving the national discussion on lots of issues – this group has very little to offer in terms of doable reform or policy changes. There is a very limited constituency for American Marxism, after all. So the answer is for them to make life so uncomfortable for everyone else that some accomodation will be sought.
How that benefits Obama is something very difficult to ascertain. In that respect, Morris is probably correct that the Occupy movement is a disaster. He might not understand, though, that it’s a self-inflicted wound by the Obama administration.