In his Washington Post column, Eugene Robinson says that Democrats should move boldly, not timidly, to embrace the Occupy Wall Street movement. He says that siding with the movement could help improve the party's standing with voters. He cites a recent poll showing that 54 percent of Americans have a favorable view of the protest.
"Defend Wall Street" is not likely to be a winning campaign slogan in 2012. For Republicans, this is an obvious problem. For President Obama and the Democrats, it's a golden — if largely undeserved — opportunity.
The biggest impact of the Occupy Wall Street protests has been to provide a focal point for generalized economic and political discontent. Frustrated voters on the left and the right may disagree on, say, immigration policy or health care reform. But they can agree on a critique of the financial sector — and, potentially, on specific measures to bring about necessary change.
No, Wall Street shouldn't be made the scapegoat for all the nation's woes. But it was the financial Masters of the Universe whose shocking irresponsibility and unbounded greed triggered the 2008 crisis, which almost sent the global economy into the abyss. We're still dealing with the resulting devastation: massive unemployment, an epidemic of foreclosures, severe fiscal strain on governments at every level.
Read Eugene Robinson's entire column at the Washington Post.