Follow the money. That seems to be the mantra in the months leading up to the 2012 presidential election. Not that “follow the money” hasn’t been a mantra for a long time in Washington. But with anti-Wall Street protesters marching in some 60 American cities and in 1,300 cities worldwide, you’d think some of the people running the government would get the message.
Instead, we get the usual disconnect.
Occupy Wall Street spokespersons indicate that one source of their outrage is the fact that, after three solid years, the US Department of Justice has been DOA or MIA in that not one Wall Street fraudster or grafter or bankster has been even indicted.
Sure. There might be reasons for this. The Justice Department is investigating insider trading allegations and is making some headway, but as for incidents like A.I.G. rating “toxic waste” derivatives AAA when the company knew good and well that the CMO and CDO derivatives were essentially worthless, Americans are getting “the busy signal” from law enforcement.
In June, 2011, for example, President Obama began a campaign to win back Wall Street’s 2008 allegiance—by bringing-up the suggestion that his policies actually drug their butts out of the dirt. Not that anyone on Wall Street didn’t know beyond a shadow of any doubt that Washington would be compelled to act in a financial way when their half-baked schemes went South. What Obama is doing, by failing to go full steam at the malefactors who nearly brought the world’s economy down in just weeks in 2008, is angling for campaign cash.
This, in effect, shows that Wall Street millionaires and billionaires have captured and are now holding hostage politics in America. After all, and especially after the Supreme Court’s inane decision in favor of Citizens United, where in a 5-4 decision the justices (if they can be called that…) essentially ruled that “money talks” and that millionaires, billionaires and especially corporations have millions of times more freedom of speech than just about anyone else in the nation. This, too, is one of the reasons Occupy Wall Street is gaining steam.
Yes, while Republicans like Herman Cain show America just how out-of-touch they are with what might be called “the American Street” (Cain essentially told the OWS protesters to “get a job”), the thrust of Republican strategy, like that of the Democrats, is to listen to the moneyed interests rather than appealing to common sense—a quality that seems to be blindingly lacking in Washington right now.
The Republican strategy? Defend Wall Street, denigrate the Occupy Wall Street protesters, and try to win Wall Street’s blessing on their deregulation-crazed free market notions that, in effect, are nothing but Pollyanna-style whimsy. In other words, Republican politicians and commentators like those on Fox News actually seem to think the protesters and the mass of American citizens are simply too dumb to know what’s happened to them in the last three years.
For example, I watched on Fox News video clip called “Red Eye” in which some lame-o dude dressed in a red bandanna actively searched for and found the dumbest, most ridiculous-looking protesters he could find. As if one or two people represented the whole of the protests. Red Eye? What was he referring to with Red Eye? Could it be that the protesters are all stoners in Fox’s opinion?
Denigrate, denigrate, denigrate. Convince the truly hapless Fox viewers that, as Glenn Beck said on his radio show yesterday, the protesters are going to come into our houses and kill us.
Glenn Beck needs a straitjacket.
Obama, for one, knows full well he can’t win the election if he doesn’t get Wall Street on his side. As it is, Wall Street crybabies are already unhappy with the Obama Administration’s weak-kneed financial reform bill, mainly because many on Wall Street are part of several cults themselves. They’re all for Grover Norquist and his (anti)Americans for Tax Reform tactic of coercing Congressmen to ignore their pledge to uphold the Constitution and defend the dignity of the American people. Instead, he and his cult want no taxes at all. In other words, no financial underpinning for a government that, after all, made it possible for his family to make a fortune through Polaroid. Yes, Grover Norquist is a trust fund crybaby.
The other cult on Wall Street is the cult of Austrian School economics, which, like Grover Norquist, sees no reason for the government to regulate, intervene to protect individuals from graft and greed or—to some extremists—even exist. That’s right. A sort of corporatopia. They didn’t seem to be listening when it was revealed by Naomi Klein, a journalist who wrote The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism and showed how, everywhere free market tactics have been applied to economies, the result has been corporatism and outright fascism.
In other words, it should be obvious to the American people that Wall Street is living in a bubble much like the inhabitants of Gulliver’s Laputa, the people who lived in the clouds and had no connection with solid ground. The media, which is controlled by commercial forces, could be helping the American people to understand this dangerous thinking, but aside from a few reports on MSNBC and reports in progressive websites, the mainstream media is actually complicit in perpetuating Wall Street’s exclusive little bubble.
Occupy Wall Street is trying to shake some of those fraudsters out of the bubble and back to the real world. But when you’re a $4 billion-a-year hedge fund manager, you end-up totally removed from the day-to-day struggles of Americans. One out of five children go to bed at night hungry. But millionaires and billionaires don’t want to pay their taxes.
It took populist demonstrations in the 1930s to force FDR to act and instigate the New Deal. Obama himself has said the people are going to have to show him which way he should lead. But apparently massive protests in over 60 American cities aren’t enough. Today, Occupy Wall Street is going on what it’s dubbing “The Millionaire March”, stopping by at Rupert Murdoch’s house. Will it do any good?
What on earth is it going to take to shake the rich out of their self-deluded idea that they’re both above the law and somehow more special, more equal and more deserving of privilege than the lower 99 percent? What’s it going to take?