Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Is the problem the protests? Or Beck's Wall Street?

IF IT'S NOT ONE thing it's another as conservatives recoil from the Wall Street demonstrations as if colonial America had been peacefully hatched from an ostrich egg. I can tell you the weathiest among us don't like it one bit despite their respectful silence over the rise of Tea Party protests. (We want our country back! Remember?)

So it's not surprising that one of the right wing's leading head cases, Glenn Beck, has assumed his familiar Paul Revere persona by warning his audience of the revolutionary intent of the protestors. Here's what he had to say about it, and if you're not a millionaire, you can stop reading now:
'Capitalists if you think that you can play footsies with these people you're wrong. They will come for you and drag you into the streets and kill you."
In his view, what else can you expect from "Marxist radicals"? Or "Robespierre." Whichever comes first, I guess. Actually, Beck was among those who came first in vigorously promoting the Tea Party rallies.

There have been many other warnings from the voices on the right (and middle in some instances) who are clearly troubled by any disruption that would cause Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley et al a good night's sleep. Caught with their free-speech notions down, some of the broadcast chatterers have had no trouble being quite picky about the thrust of the protests. They have complained that there is no defined purpose, no facile organizational structure, no homogeneous leadership - just noise in the streets. It is the media's way of saying Hang on, Sloopy, the protestors will go away. My hunch, however, is that this is more than a fleeting moment of dissent. And I also have a hunch that the movement's worried critics would privately agree with me.

We went through much of this during the Viet Nam protests that eventually dominated the narrative. Good Lord. Polite society then asked, should we be listening to anti-war hippies, Communists, stragglers and the misguided sons and daughters of corporate managers - a gathering that started spontaneously and raised the ante to the highest levels of government. (It forced LBJ to step aside from the race.)

Unsurprisingly, many of the media voices and pols have not said much about the target of the protests, Wall Street's malignant schemes that ignited the great economic dive that began back in the 90s. You don't bite the hand that feeds you, and the corporate media know that better than anybody else. Americans have been slow to respond to the perps of their loss of homes, jobs, income and optimism for a better future. At least they need to see why it turned out that way.

The real problem isn't in the streets, folks.


David Hess said...

No one ever said Beck was not a hypocrite. As much as any of the right-wing demagogues given the stage by Fox News, he was a cheerleader for the "spontaneous" uprising of the Tea Party movement. I reckon it's fine if grass-roots protests arise from the Right but not so fine if outraged citizens raise their voices against the instigators of the nation's financial woes. The Tea Party protest began in opposition to the Obama administration's efforts to mitigate the social and economic miseries wrought by the burst of the housing bubble (caused in large measure by the fast-buck hucksters of toxic mortgages) and then against the president's plan to expand health care protection for millions of the uninsured. Both efforts were honorably intentioned. The Occupy Wall Street crowds are resisting Republican efforts in Congress to repeal tougher new regulations of the financial services industry, enacted to prevent a replay of the shenanigans that sparked the economy's collapse. I'd call the folks in those crowds heroes. As for Beck and his ilk, when confronted by the unwanted facts of an issue, they resort to name-calling and derogatory shibboleths.

Jack said...

As a Marxist (Groucho), I am deeply offended by the remarks of Mr. Beck. Any club that wants me as a member, I would not want to join.