You know that famous picture from the Westboro Baptists protests and counter-protests? This one?
Thousands of people are in the fucking streets. Thousands. In New York, Boston, Cali, Philly. Thousands.
Yet Washington Democrats cower in the corner for fear of joining them.
I can see why. What if one of the hippies has a rude shirt?
And doesn’t it make Obama look bad to point out that the earth is caving in on his watch?
What if somebody at the rallies compared Republicans to Satan? What would Chris Matthews say?
What if somebody at the rallies once sold his food stamps on Facebook?
Won’t that give Republicans and the pundits who hold Washington hostage cause to say mean things about us? Won’t that give them cause to talk about how we’re all about the smelly kids and faggots and welfare cheats and others who are anathema to America? Surely they wouldn’t be doing that anyway so I’d best stay over here, and pretend those protesters don’t speak for me.
Surely I’d better not note that these are my people, my constituents, the middle class workers for which my party is supposed to have fought, once upon a time, in a land far, far away. Surely I’d better not concede that even if they are just “college kids,” they’re goddamn citizens of this country whose concerns deserve a voice and whose voice is a vote. Surely I’d better not worry that where there are ten of them today there will be sixty tomorrow, because when in history has that ever happened?
Surely it’s safer to stay indoors, keep my powder dry, and hold off having this fight until things get just a little bit worse. Surely, when the right moment comes along, someone will let me know.
In case it’s escaped anyone’s notice, the Occupy All That Shit protests aren’t going away. They’re growing. They’re going from city to city. They’re getting louder. They’re gaining friends and allies. They’re becomingmore.And I don’t know how much more, how many more people it’s going to take before somebody supposedly on the side of the middle class takes fucking notice and gets his ass down to the microphone.
Isn’t there a single strategist in Washington yelling that there are thousands of votes out there to be won by actually acting like a Democrat? I know that hasn’t exactly been in high favor the last 10 years, but do thousands of people in the street express anything BUT a deep hunger for a world that isn’t going to screw them over? And isn’t that a political opportunity of which someone should avail himself?
Yes, the Tea Party was funded, and marketed nonstop by Fux News. You know what else it was? Supported by every major Republican candidate, who looked at the racist signs and the ignorant-ass ‘necks in attendance and said sure, some of them are gaping assholes but all of ’em are gonna vote and they might as well vote for me. That’s part of how that movement gained legitimacy. If tea partiers held a march against Obama’s wars, they wouldn’t lack for grand marshals.
Our leaders, even among those who do nothing but comment, just snipe about hippies and kids, as if they have any economic or demographic data on these crowds at all. That’s if they notice; most are too busy figuring out how much to cut from Social Security. I want to grab them by the shoulders and shake them. Yes, everybody’s tired, but eventually your exhaustion is just self-indulgence, and it doesn’t matter what’s on the back of the trustafarian’s shirt at this point.
You go to the revolution with the revolutionaries you have.
I’ll be at Occupy Chicago tomorrow with food and coffee for the demonstrators. Where will our leaders be?