The strategy of the Democratic party has been to preach a populist message while serving the interests of the oligarchy, mollifying their supporters with support for social policies that the oligarchy does not care about. They have managed to play game successfully for some time but the Occupy Wall Street movement threatens to unmask that strategy and expose the harsh reality of politics.
The OWS movement has attracted wide popular support and the Democrats risk alienating their base if they go against it and so they have gingerly supported it. As this report says: “President Barack Obama and other top Democrats are parroting the anti-corporate rhetoric running through the Occupy Wall Street protests, trying to tap into the movement’s energy but keep the protesters at arms’ length.”
But even this tepid support has enraged the oligarchy, who do not take kindly to the people they view as their servants getting all uppity and criticizing them, They are demanding that the Democratic party disassociate themselves from the movement or face the cut-off of contributions.
After the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee sent a recent email urging supporters to sign a petition backing the wave of Occupy Wall Street protests, phones at the party committee started ringing.
Banking executives personally called the offices of DCCC Chairman Steve Israel (D-N.Y.) and DCCC Finance Chairman Joe Crowley (D-N.Y.) last week demanding answers, three financial services lobbyists told POLITICO.
“They were livid,” said one Democratic lobbyist with banking clients.
The execs asked the lawmakers: “What are you doing? Do you even understand some of the things that they’ve called for?” said another lobbyist with financial services clients who is a former Democratic Senate aide.
Democrats’ friends on Wall Street have a message for them: you can’t have it both ways.
It will be interesting to see how the Democratic party tries to walk that tightrope. I predict they will try to cobble together some cosmetic changes that will appease the protestors while leaving oligarchic interests largely intact.