Daily Israel Report

Occupy Wall St Movement: Democrats Pro, Republicans Con

"Occupy Wall Street" now a campaign issue as Democrats line up behind the movement while Republicans harshly condemn it.
By Amiel Ungar
First Publish: 10/9/2011, 8:18 AM

After two weeks on the back burner. the "Occupy Wall Street's Movement" has become a partisan political issue.

President Barack Obama, Democratic Congressmen and the Democratic affiliated trade unions have voiced sympathy for the demonstrators; Republicans have denounced them.

According to Obama, the protestors, “are giving voice to a more broad-based frustration about how our financial system works…and that's going to express itself politically in 2012 and beyond.”

Obama accused Wall Street, which in the 2008 campaign contributed more to his campaign than to the campaign of his rival John McCain, of getting Americans into the problem in the first place and then trying to thwart the administration's extrication efforts.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi praised the demonstrators for their spontaneity, focus and effectiveness.

New York Times columnist Paul Krugman -- a liberal icon—wrote: "There’s something happening here...we may, at long last, be seeing the rise of a popular movement that, unlike the Tea Party, is angry at the right people."

Rep. Raúl M. Grijalva, D-Ari., and Rep. Keith Ellison, D-Minn., co-chairs of the Congressional Progressive Caucus praised the growing movement.

"We share the anger and frustration of so many Americans who have seen the enormous toll that an unchecked Wall Street has taken on the overwhelming majority of Americans while benefitting the super wealthy," 

AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka announced organized labor's support for the demonstrators and their agenda. “These demonstrations are truly spontaneous,” Trumka said. “We intend to be supportive of them.... We are going to support them in any way we can. We’re not going to try to usurp them in any way.”

The Republicans pushed back. Representative Peter King of New York called the actions disgraceful and Obama's statements providing credibility as "irresponsible".

Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain, who has recently been soaring in the public opinion polls, went even further and accused Obama sympathizers of organizing the demonstrations to divert blame from the administration's failure in the economic realm:

I don't have facts to back this up, but I happen to believe that these demonstrations (Occupy Together) are planned and orchestrated to distract from the failed policies of the Obama administration. Don't blame Wall Street. Don't blame the big banks. If you don't have a job and you're not rich, blame yourself!..

Republican front-runner Mitt Romney viewed Obama's support for the demonstrators as vindication for the Republican charges that the administration's political platform is based on nothing less than class warfare.

If anybody had doubts that the next presidential campaign is going to be unusually vituperative the debate over the Occupy Wall Street movement should dispel them.