I have been predicting since 2008 that Barack Hussein Obama was, like the Pied Piper of Hamlin, going to lead all of the rats out of their hiding places and the swarm would take over the country. No true disciple of Saul Alinsky, no true community organizer, could possibly resist the temptation to, in the words of Rahm Emmanuel, "let no crises go unexploited." Obama's praise of the denizens of Occupy Wall Street had the desired effect. Rodents appeared in all the major cities of the United States and Canada and began what can only be described as the Obama Anarchy Revolution of 2011.
- Leo Rugiens
Early this morning, former ACLU staffer Lucy Billings, now a New York Supreme Court justice (the Empire State's odd designation for a trial judge), issued a temporary restraining order against the cleanup. According to the Times's account, Billings's order had the opposite effect: Bloomberg said police had begun allowing Obamavillians to return to the park, sans tents and tarps, but they closed the park altogether after receiving word of the injunction.
The Obamavillians, who style themselves "the 99%," plan to retaliate by making the lives of ordinary New Yorkers more difficult. A 2:30 a.m. email from Justin Ruben of MoveOn.org urged recipients to "call 3-1-1 and demand that Mayor Bloomberg respect the protesters' First Amendment rights." The mayor does not answer calls to 311, a nonemergency city information line. The MoveOnsters are urging their supporters to harass people who are just doing their jobs answering the phones for the city.
Leaders of the so-called Occupy Wall Street movement are "vowing to wreak havoc on Thursday by shutting down Wall Street and the subways," the New York Post reports:
According to their Web site, the day will include "Mass, Non-violent Direct Action" to "Shut Down Wall Street" at 7 a.m., "Occupy the Subways" in all five boroughs at 3 p.m. and "Take the Square," referring to Foley Square, at 5 p.m.
Foley Square is best known as the site of the U.S. and New York County courthouses. The plan to target the subways shows the true colors of this so-called movement. It is not merely about class warfare but about sowing chaos and intimidating ordinary people.
The Wall Street Journal reports that there were intimations of violence from some of the Obamavillians:
As police dealt with holdouts, hundreds of others scattered into the streets of Lower Manhattan, setting off marches and skirmishes with police that extended as far north as Union Square. Helicopters hovered low and shone spotlights on marchers who filled normally quiet streets with chanting.
Some appeared to provoke confrontation, while others went out of their way to avoid it. As one group marched through SoHo and NoHo, some knocked over trash cans and dumped them on the street. Others came behind them, righted the cans and put trash back in them.
One part of the group chanted "We are peaceful." Others responded with chants of "We're not peaceful."
What do you call a political movement that's half peaceful and half violent? A violent political movement.
Other cities have seen even worse violence. "One police officer was slashed by a razor and another had his uniform torn and cheek cut in a clash with 'Occupy San Francisco' protesters Saturday afternoon," NewsCore reports. A University of California press release announces that the Board of Regents was forced to cancel a meeting, scheduled for tomorrow and Thursday, because of reports "that rogue elements intent on violence and confrontation with UC public safety officers were planning to attach themselves to peaceful demonstrations expected to occur at the meeting."
The Portland (Ore.) Police Bureau cites "reports that nails have been hammered into wood for weapons." ABC News reports another Obamaville rape, this one in Philadelphia. In Denver, HotAir.com reports, thugs invaded a hotel where conservative bloggers were holding a conference. The Orlando Sentinel reports that two Obamavillians there had a knife fight over a drum circle.
Up in Canada, Obamavillians are threatening cyber war, the Toronto Star reports:
Mayor Rob Ford still wants the Occupy Toronto protesters out of St. James Park despite an ultimatum issued via YouTube video by a group claiming to be hacker-activists Anonymous.
"You have said that by next week the occupiers shall be removed. And we say by next week if you do not change your mind, you shall be removed from the Internet," proclaims the video's computer-generated voice, typical of messages from the loosely organized collective of hackers.
Even Donna Schaper, a hard-left clergyman whose sympathies are with the Obamavillians, is forced to acknowledge--though her awkward passive construction is telling--that "some sexual violence was happening" at Zuccotti Park.
At Penn State too, we hear.
"Occupy Wall Street Camp in Legal Limbo"--headline, CBC.ca, Nov. 15
You've Lost That Lovin' Feeling
Our friend Harry Siegel has done some excellent reporting on New York's Obamaville, but he's been way too impressed by the whole phenomenon. Writing for the Daily Beast, Siegel implausibly asserts that "the movement has emerged as a political force to be reckoned with," then, for emphasis, adds that it is "increasingly potent."
Siegel asked "Occupy Wall Street organizers" if they were "concerned" about re-electing President Obama "or at least [with] not electing [Mitt] Romney." In response, they "shrugged":
"Either way," said Jeff Smith of the occupation's media-team working group. "Obama has been able to pass legislation that John McCain never could have. Could McCain have extended the Bush tax cuts? I don't think he could have. And I think escalating the Afghanistan War would have been much more difficult for McCain. I don't want us to go farther right, but it's the same reason why I feel like CNN and MSNBC are more insidious than Fox news because they give the appearance of a choice or balance--it's when the Democratic Party sold out to the corporate forces that we lost our country, not when the Republicans did it."
In retrospect, 2000 may have represented something even bigger than Ralph Nader's ego.
"I don't think it would be catastrophic [to elect Romney] because the whole point of this movement is that there's no choice so on some level it doesn't really matter all that much who the next president is," Smith continued. "It's totally up to Obama how much this movement hammers him. If he wants to get on the right side of the issues we're talking about, I would say this would be a huge benefit for him." . . .
The movement seems determined to think in more ambitious terms than election cycles, which may just make them a potent force in the coming one as the cascade of economic bad news continues.
Siegel mistakes nihilism for ambition. As he acknowledges, the Obamavillians' approach has consisted in "tabling any specific demands and ignoring all present political realities to ask for the moon." Guess what the answer to that will be?
It's true that, inasmuch as the Obamavillians were Obama supporters in 2008 and are withholding support for him now, they will diminish his re-election prospects. But the Obamaville fad is merely an expression, not the cause, of that disillusion with the Obama fad. As the New York Times reports today from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas:
Across this state--and in others where young voters were the fuel of the Obama organization, voting for him two to one over John McCain--the enthusiastic engine of the 2008 campaign has run up against the reality of a deadened job market for college students.
Interviews here and across the country suggest that most of [the president's] college supporters of 2008 are still inclined to vote for him. But the Obama ground army of 2008 is hardly ready to jump back into the trenches, potentially depriving Mr. Obama of what had been an important force in his victory.
Politico reports that even minors, once entranced by the president's "big smile, big ears and bouncy personality," have lost interest in the president. Here's one anecdote:
Back in 2008, 7-year-old Aron Mondschein from Ellington, Conn., wrote a letter to Obama as part of his class's Flat Stanley project. When he got a response--complete with a picture of Flat Stanley in Obama's Senate office--he got really excited about the election.
"I think that it was the excitement that he was running for president, that he is African-American . . . that was a really big deal for my son; he felt that was important," said Aron's mom, Amy Mondschein. Aron, like most of his peers, has since tuned out.
"If Obama were to set a new law that every boy 10 years old could have Legos, you know, for free, you'd be hearing about it. But right now, he's kind of into his own things," his mother said.
We wouldn't put it past Obama to try a Lego stimulus, though we assume congressional Republicans would block it. But really, when you get down to it, what's the difference between Jeff Smith and Aron Mondschein, other than that Aron is a lot more mature for his age?