Less an overreaction than it is an exquisitely shrill adenoidal whimpering at the moon, the response from Republicans to the coalescing of indignation at America’s last thirty years of creeping feudalism exemplified by the Occupation Wall Street movement as well as other rising voices across the virtual political plaza has predictably gone over the top. This isn’t surprising, their pony essentially having the one trick. But it is amusing.
Having swallowed the maxim that ‘a good offense is the best defense’ without chewing at all, an accident Republicans are prone to having, Eric Cantor, always the rhetorical cutey pie referred to the OWS protesters as “mobs.” This is the same Eric Cantor who became a human totem pole for the teabagger crowd that carried Obama as Hitler signs, threatened “second amendment remedies” and spit on African -American members of congress. Those are mobs, sonny.
Herman Cain, apparently having no passing familiarity with macroeconomics blamed the jobless for their lack of a job. Glen Back and Ann Coulter competing for the trophy in the Bellevue branch respectively said, “That leads to gas chambers. That leads to guillotines. That leads to millions dead. That leads to Mao. That leads to totalitarianism, every single time,” and “the beginning of totalitarianism.” Sounds bad. Better get out while you still can, comrades.
Their alarm may be entirely justified however. One of the wonders of the world for the last three decades has been the obfuscatory success of Republican conservatism’s marketing and propaganda, allowing them to retain electoral viability while advocating and practicing policies adversely affecting 90% of the population. Noting the party’s reptilian amorality and loathsome cynicism, one still must acknowledge the relentlessness and effectiveness of their Orwellian pap. Two parts mythology, three parts corn syrup and seven part lies, it’s a heady swill.
So the source of the right’s heavy sweating may be the all too correct sense that Occupy Wall Street and its concurrent whirlwinds are the thinner that penetrates the veneer at last (or for the first time in far too long). This effectiveness has been a matter of necessity when essentially ramming it to the majority of the population while selling the reaming to them as golden sunshine, salesmanship being the only thing between them and true marginality as a political party. So the perceptible diminishment of that effectiveness could and should be existentially terrifying.
A study just released and reported today by the New York Times found that median household income from the beginning of the recession to the present had dropped 9.8 percent, an astonishing number. The study also found that employees who had lost jobs during the recession but since had been re-employed had taken an average pay cut of 17.5%. This dunning follows several decades of stagnant median household income and inert wages. It may be late, but Americans hearing that the CEO’s, hedge fund managers, corporations and the wealthy in general are doing better than even before the recession finally may be homing in on the correct target of their fury.
More Americans may be agitated enough to ask the corporate class and its Republican defenders where, since we have stalwartly protected those supposedly incentivizing delightful tax rates and tax loopholes for the mighty job creators, where exactly the damn jobs have been. Bush created the least amount of jobs of any president in modern history, and the scarcity of jobs now is obvious. All of this unseemly tax munificence for the wealthy remains in place. So where is the proof in the pudding of this economic model? That’s right, there isn’t any.
We continue to be stuck with an economically pampered and protected class even as the rest of America continues to pay the price for the risky and idiotic bonhomie of the financial class. And of course Republicans being Republicans can’t help themselves from clambering over one another’s heads to defend the banks. This is a particularly sweet reality at the moment, Bank of America signaling a charge for debit card use in order to recoup the loss of confiscatory fees charged to merchants for processing purchases made with debit cards. And here are the Republicans standing naked in the political wind compulsively defending the new charges, blaming the reigning in of the excessive fees on merchants for the reaming of banking customers. Few were any longer blinkered enough to believe Republicans cared about consumers at all, but some may actually still have bought the canard Republicans cared about small business. Au contraire.
Republicans are rightly fearful Americans will no longer retain the stomach for more obsequious flattery and idolatry of the economic elites we continuously hear from the Republican Party. Signs are that increasingly educated and alerted American voters no longer will abide policies protractedly exfoliating the middle class, as Republicans defend the economic hogs scarfing down the economic pie. It’s been an era of political and economic fraud, and it needs to end.