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A Warning to Responsible Democrats

According to the New York Times:

Leading Democratic figures, including party fund-raisers and a top ally of President Obama, are  embracing the spread of the anti-Wall Street protests in a clear sign that members of the Democratic establishment see the movement as a way to align  disenchanted Americans with their party. The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, the party’s powerful House fund-raising arm, is circulating a petition seeking 100,000 party supporters to declare that “I stand with the Occupy Wall Street protests.”

The Center for American Progress, a liberal organization run by John D. Podesta, who helped lead Mr.  Obama’s 2008 transition, credits the protests with tapping into pent-up anger over a political system that it says rewards the rich over the working class — a populist theme now being emphasized by the White House and the party. The center has encouraged and sought to help coordinate protests in different cities. Judd Legum, a spokesman for the center, said that its direct contacts with the protests have been limited, but that “we’ve definitely been publicizing it and supporting it.”

He said Democrats are already looking for ways to mobilize protesters in get-out-the-vote drives for 2012. “What attracts an organization like CAP to this movement is the idea that our country’s economic policies have been focused on the very top and not on the bulk of America,” Mr. Legum added. “That’s a message we certainly agree with.”

The story goes on to say, “That’s the danger with something like this [Occupy Wall Street protests] — that you go from peaceful protests to throwing trash cans,” said a senior House Democratic official, who spoke on condition of anonymity. “Sure, there’s been some crazy anarchy stuff, but over all, the Democrats like their message about Wall Street and accountability,” the official said. “It overlaps with our own message.”

For reasons I explained yesterday, this is a very dangerous path the Democratic Party is on. They are embracing a movement that is comprised, at least in some significant part, of Big Government anarchists (something of a contradiction, I know). It is highly disorganized, dissolute, and made up of people who are deeply disaffected and who have found a home on the fringes of American politics. All of which means it has potential to go from being a controlled blaze to an out-of-control fire.

President Obama has spoken sympathetically of the Occupy Wall Street Movement. Nancy Pelosi has endorsed it. So have others. Let me therefore offer some counsel to my Democratic friends: A party that embraces a movement like this is asking for, and will soon find, trouble. This is not a movement to which you want to link yourself. As John F. Kennedy once warned,  “those who foolishly sought power by riding on the back of the tiger ended up inside.”

 



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