In any conflict, war, or battle it is crucial to know who the enemy is and what their strengths and weaknesses are to ensure victory. Political observers and the Occupy movement understand that Republicans, Wall Street, and wealthy corporations are the enemy in the class war being waged against 99 percent of Americans, and why the movement poses a significant threat to Wall Street. Now, there is unassailable proof that the forces arrayed against the American people are willing to go to any lengths to dominate political and public policy that will guarantee economic disaster for this country and its citizens for a generation. A memo from a lobbying firm to the American Bankers Association (ABA) has surfaced that outlines plans to discredit the Occupy movement in key battleground states by doing, among other things, “opposition research” on the Occupy movement to help construct “negative narratives” about Occupy protesters and the politicians who support them. Republicans can no longer claim they are not waging war on behalf of the financial industry because besides the lobbyists memo, Michael Bloomberg stated, “We need to defend Wall Street. The banks deserve support;” the memo verifies his claim.
The memo, dated November 24, 2011 from a Washington lobbying firm, Clark Lytle Geduldig & Cranford (CLGC), affirms that Democratic victories in 2012 will be injurious for Wall Street and specifically targets races in Florida, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Wisconsin, and Ohio which it says Wall Street would benefit by electing Republicans. The memo claims Democrats will adopt “extreme positions and movements to increase base voter turnout,” and will mean “more than just short-term political discomfort for Wall Street firms.” It also asserts that, “if vilifying the leading companies of this sector is allowed to become an unchallenged centerpiece of a coordinated Democratic campaign, it has the potential to have very long-lasting political, policy and financial impacts on the companies in the center of the bullseye.” Apparently, Wall Street is frightened of the Occupy movement and Democrats, but their real concern is that Republicans will stop defending Wall Street companies and may begin running against them to tap into the anger of the populist movement.
The notion that Republicans will stop defending Wall Street is highly unlikely. As the failure of the super committee to reach an agreement to reduce the deficit showed, Republicans will tank the economy to maintain the status quo, and have promised to repeal financial reforms President Obama and Democrats enacted last year if they win the White House and both houses of Congress. However, the bigger issue is that the Occupy movement is having success at arousing public sentiment against Republicans and their Wall Street masters to the point that the financial lobbyists propose the ABA spend $850,000 to discredit the Occupy movement and any Democratic representative who supports OWS. Republicans cannot claim ignorance in this particular case because two of the memo’s authors previously worked for House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH), and a third partner is reported to be close to Boehner according to CLGC’s website.
The CLGC memo lays out a sixty day plan to conduct surveys and research on the Occupy movement and its supporters so Wall Street can concoct a campaign against the movement. Dirty campaigns and smear tactics are nothing new for Republicans, but this time they face an uphill battle because there is nothing they can devise to quell the populist anger being directed at Wall Street and corporations who have subverted Democracy in favor of corporate rule. Apparently, Wall Street does not understand the depth of commitment of the occupiers, or that it is not yet organized as an electoral movement. The memo’s authors said, “Media reports have speculated about associations with George Soros and others. It will be vital to understand who is funding it and what their backgrounds and motives are. If we can show that they have the same cynical motivation as a political opponent it will undermine their credibility in a profound way.” It sounds as if the authors are unaware that the Occupy movement is a true populist uprising and does not have wealthy backers with political objectives except to bring the unfair income inequality into the public’s consciousness. In large and small cities across the country, Americans are gathering to protest undue corporate influence on the government. So far, the only organization appears to be announcing when and where protestors can meet to have the maximum effect at informing the public that the wealthy are controlling government policy with their army of conservatives in Congress.
The class war Republicans are waging on behalf of the wealthy, Wall Street, and corporations has been ongoing since Reagan was president and as long as the public fell for the conservative agenda that protecting banks, corporations, and the wealthy was tantamount to protecting America, there was little need for an all-out offensive. But now that the public comprehends that conservative priorities of lower taxes for the wealthy are robbing them of their rights and economic security and are mobilizing to mount a campaign to preserve their dominance, the war will escalate further than they could ever imagine. The problem for Republicans that support Wall Street at the cost of 99% of America is that no amount of money or dirty campaigns will blunt the anger of occupiers or the public in general.
If the financial lobby, Wall Street, or Republicans think a campaign to undermine the Occupy movement will create jobs, provide economic security, or help grow the economy, then they are deluded and underestimate the populist anger that was thirty years’ in the making. The French Revolution did not happen overnight, but after years of the wealthy and religious elite taking everything from the masses, it did not take long for ordinary citizens to bring down the culture that robbed, oppressed, and starved them into violent revolution. Now more than ever, the Occupy movement must continue a measured approach to alerting the general public that America’s economic malaise is the result of conservative favoritism for the richest Americans and their vile corporations. Democrats have fought for the 99% throughout President Obama’s term, and now they have an opportunity to convince occupiers the only way to win the class war is to transition the populist uprising into an anti-corporate electoral movement that can affect real change that favors the people over the 1%.
Republicans have waged class war on behalf of the one percent for three decades, and judging from the financial sector’s fear and willingness to spend more money to undermine the movement, they see their dominance slipping away. The Occupy movement did not start the class war, but by representing the 99% against Wall Street and the 1%, a victory for America and its people looks imminent. Now that Americans know exactly who the real enemy is, Republicans, Wall Street and corporations are doomed and no amount of money or dirty tricks will alter the outcome.