The Occupy movement has officially become a liability for the Democrats. The New York Post reported: “Thousands of anti-Wall Street protesters clashed with cops [Thursday] across lower Manhattan, starting with a march on the New York Stock Exchange [in the] morning and ending with a crossing of the Brooklyn Bridge that snarled traffic.Cops responded in force, at one point [in the] afternoon sweeping into Zuccotti Park and arresting anyone inside. In total, at least 275 people were busted by cops; five of whom were charged with assault.”
And the New York Times opinion section is . . . well . . . entirely silent on the subject. Need we know any more about how the Occupy “movement” has become an unwanted bedfellow for the Democrats?
Meanwhile the Democrats’ favorite polling outfit, Public Policy Polling, reports:
The Occupy Wall Street movement is not wearing well with voters across the country. Only 33% now say that they are supportive of its goals, compared to 45% who say they oppose them. That represents an 11 point shift in the wrong direction for the movement’s support compared to a month ago when 35% of voters said they supported it and 36% were opposed. Most notably independents have gone from supporting Occupy Wall Street’s goals 39/34, to opposing them 34/42.
Voters don’t care for the Tea Party either, with 42% saying they support its goals to 45% opposed. But asked whether they have a higher opinion of the Tea Party or Occupy Wall Street movement the Tea Party wins out 43-37, representing a flip from last month when Occupy Wall Street won out 40-37 on that question. Again the movement with independents is notable- from preferring Occupy Wall Street 43-34, to siding with the Tea Party 44-40.
What does this mean for the left? Well, there are plenty of liberal pundits who look foolish, after concocting a “movement” out of the filthy rabble. And there may be some really embarrassing ads featuring House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and President Obama, among others, cooing over OWS, which eventually showed its true colors. By the way, does the president have nothing to say about the violence, destruction and fouling of American cities? Oh, he’s in Asia, hiding from the supercommittee debate.
The lesson for pundits and polls should be that Americans at heart are not radicals. They may be disgusted with Washington pols and they may be perplexed by the unseriousness of the president in addressing our fiscal problems. But they aren’t in favor of doing away with corporations or wiping out students’ loan obligations or, for that matter, ObamaCare. Trying to prove that fringe groups and mammoth pieces of statist legislation have currency with the American people is a losing gamble.
It may be satisfying for some on the right to pretend that support for Social Security is just AARP spin, or for some on the left to pretend that any attempt to reform entitlements will be rejected by the American people. On this I share Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels’s optimism that the American people are looking for grown-up leaders not extreme ideologues — and certainly not a mob that’s creating havoc in their cities.