Saturday, October 8, 2011

Sawing Off the Limb You're Sitting On, and Other Tactics of Professional Politicians

Maybe I'll get one of those Union soldier caps myself.

Stewart has some good jokes there, at the expense of the right people. It has also occurred to me that Occupy Wall Street actually can claim to speak for a majority of Americans, while the Tea Party really only represents the lunatic fringe of the Republican Party and its Democratic collaborators.

Ian Welsh recently posted a critique of the liberal darling Elizabeth Warren, a reputed consumers' champion who was sold out by Obama but is now running for a Senate seat from Massachusetts. When asked about Occupy Wall Street, Warren reportedly said that people should obey the law, and (according to Welsh) she wasn't talking about the NYPD. Welsh wrote:

Leaving all else aside, this is awful politics in the most technical sense. Her statement, if she didn’t want to endorse #Occupy should have been something like “this movement shows that until we reform Wall Street and the Banking system unrest will continue to grow,” or something similar. As a politician, when asked about something, say it proves the need for your program. In Warren’s case it’s even plausible.

But let’s be frank, she is a stalking horse for Obama. She is deep in his pockets, supported strongly by his organization. She is the spokesman for “saving the Middle Class”, saying things which Obama can no longer say and pass the laugh test. The problem with “saving the Middle Class” is that for the people in #Occupy movement, it’s too late. Most of the core people are no longer in the middle class. Saving those still in it will do nothing for them, even if the policies suggested would work, which they wouldn’t.

But what this mainly reveals is that Warren is incompetent. She has just told most of the left, the very people who are reluctant to work for Obama, that there is no real point in working for her. She may believe in some consumer protections, but she’s still a conservative Democrat, who just wants to tweak the status quo. She regards the #Occupy people as illegitimate, as law breakers. She wants to keep the war on drugs going, even though, as a Law Prof, she has to know it doesn’t work and causes unimaginable suffering.

A few Obama apologists jumped in to attack Welsh, accusing him of telling people not to vote for Warren -- the usual crap. As you can tell from what I've quoted here, he was saying that Warren was telling people not to vote for her, just as Obama has been telling people in his base not to vote for him, by dismissing important issues and expressing contempt for them. (Saying in effect, "Just so you won't be surprised or disappointed, let me tell you in advance that I'm going to sell you out" is certainly helpful to voters, but not a good way to get their vote. Neither is "Only a deranged professional leftist would even expect me not to sell them out!") Answering a commenter who sought to defend Warren, Welsh pointed out that "this is a question she should have been ready for and prepped on by her staff. I mean, it was close to 100% it was going to be asked." (This is something I've noticed about Democrats generally, and Obama in particular: no one could have predicted that they'd be asked questions about hot-button contemporary issues! Who's screening these questions, anyway?)

Meanwhile, decent citizens and public servants continue to demonstrate their respect for the law, this time in Tennessee. Remember when I asked where the adults were when gay kids were being harassed and beaten up, and when antigay students wore t-shirts that read "SILLY FAGGOT, DICKS ARE FOR CHICKS"? Why, the adults were busy assaulting other students for wearing pro-gay t-shirts!