Occupy Wall Street

Finally the lid has blown off the pressure cooker. The left has needed a protest cause du jour for some time now.

The left just can't find it within themselves to protest the continuation of the (so called) incompetent Bush/Darth Vader Cheney policies under Obama. Their tongues have been tied over Guantanamo, rendition, drone attacks, collateral damage, increased troops, blood for oil, colonialism, imperialism, globalization, no-bid contracts, habeas corpus, civilian court/tribunals and the Patriot Act. There are no movies, personal interest stories or news stories on the horrors of war, families left behind, increased alcoholism and homicide rates, post-traumatic stress disorder or casket cavalcades.

Protesting is hobby for many on the left. And having their guy in office greatly curtails the amount of hobby horse riding they can engage in; they have to ride less, with less whooping and hollering and they can't kick up as much dust.

Since the left places the majority of the blame for the ills of the world on external circumstances, they are predisposed to marches and fist-shaking at those forces that muck up the world. Grievance politics is a natural outcome of this vision. Capitalism, greed, racism, sexism and any number of other external evils are the boot on the neck of the proletariat and if not for that impediment, the land of milk and honey would spring forth.

Those on the right more readily look inward which in part explains why they don't need to march nearly so much as those on the left. And personal responsibility marches against oneself lack the telegenic appeal of "taking the bridge", likely explaining why even if these personal accountability marches are occurring, we don't see much of them on the nightly news.

But "Wall Street" is an evergreen villain that they can circle the wagons around and around which they can kick up as much dust as they like. Since President Obama has gerrymandered the issue by championing nonsense like the Buffet brocard and increased tax rates for $200,000 millionaires, this is safe territory for dust raising and other "highest form of patriotism" activities. (I am sure Jefferson – or whoever actually said that since he didn't – would be proud. Unless, of course, Tea Partiers are kicking up a little dust, then it is unpatriotic rabble-rousing.)

It is surprising that it took so long for the left to find something to shout about. Apparently WTO hasn't been to town recently. But clearly, with their man at the tiller, they had to be careful to make sure that what they grouse about did not bring harm to their man or cause.

Enter the practiced complainant Barack Obama. He crafted a complaint against the wealthy Wall Street elites (from whom he derives a lot of financial support) while avoiding the disdain of those he attacked. It is as though he accused his spouse of infidelity, proposed to imprison her for the offense, and did it with such conviction and enough magician's patter that the spouse took up his cause and marched on behalf of her own incarceration. Skillful indeed.

But this slight of hand created the opening the protesters needed. It was now safe to rally against jack-bootery while wearing jack-boots. Even Michael Moore was probably tiring of the blame Bush mantra and was anxious for a more current event to wag his finger - and tongue - at, especially given the strange documentary topic drought that has devastated his industry as of late.

But finally, the gnawing angst that the left should be marching against the continuation of Bush-era policies overseas has been blown away by the patchouli scented breeze of protest and bridge taking. A villain has been found. Fingers can be pointed. Blame can be assigned. Everything is comfortable once again.

And they lived happily ever after.

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