I planned to write about this anyway but luckily a smarter guy beat me to it.
If the Republicans inherit the White House amid continued economic weakness, they’ll be lucky if the left gives them the nine months they gifted Nixon. The better bet is that we’ll hear a cacophony of “Romney’s recession” (or some appropriate alliteration should Perry win) from the liberals at the first hint of bad economic news in 2013. The mainstream media won’t be very far behind. All in all, it could be worse than it was for Nixon in the late 1960s. And to put the idea of “worse than Nixon” into perspective, it’s worth remembering what Charles Colson once said about being at the White House in the 1960s – “like living in a bunker.”
Why should we expect it to be worse? For starters, the left is much more partisan now. That is, the ideological goals of the left are now completely intertwined with the partisan goals of the Democratic party. It wasn’t always this way: Vietnam as an issue split the Democrats, with the AFL-CIO, for instance, coming down on the pro-war side. But those days of a divided Democratic coalition are long gone – the left and the Democrats are now one and the same, meaning that we should expect a much quicker reaction to a GOP administration. Additionally, the left is a much broader alliance now than it was in the late 1960s – African American, Latino, feminist, environmentalist, and consumer rights groups have all now joined the traditional labor-liberal alliance. That means we should expect a better financed, better coordinated, and more effective set of protests than what Nixon saw. Right now, the broad network of left wing groups is dispirited and unsure of itself, but that’s just a temporary condition. Rest assured, it will go all out to mobilize against the GOP, almost as soon as the 2012 election is over.
The most ridiculous (and, if you’re sympathetic to them, tragic) thing about OWS is that they’re trying to mobilize the left against “the system” at the very moment the left is mobilizing to re-elect the guy who’s in charge of the system. In an alternate reality, state senator Obama would be giving a speech today at Occupy Chicago about how greed is the cancer of America or whatever; in this reality, President Obama needs to watch his mouth and stay on the good side of those Wall Street one-percenters who helped bankroll his campaign last time. The whole dynamic is a cosmic joke, amplified by the reality that millions of liberals have eschewed protests over the last few years out of allegiance to the current ruling Democrat and/or the perpetual fear of the imminent wingnut apocalypse that’ll surely unfold if their own party leadership is weakened. That’s why the anti-war movement has faded into nothing; that’s why there’s apprehension but no outrageously outrageous outrage over The One ignoring his own lawyers to wage war in Libya or relying on a secret national-security panel that can place Americans on a “kill list.” Those sins, committed by a Republican, would signal the end of the republic per standard left-wing blather. Committed by a Democrat, they’re merely … “troubling.” Or maybe not even that.
All of this changes, obviously, if Obama is ousted in favor of Perry or, heaven forbid, Mitt Romney, whose patrician air and banking pedigree would give the left the cartoon villain that thoughtful sophisticates like them require. Then war can be bad again, as can money from financiers flowing into a candidate’s pockets, and suddenly that lost moment of liberal utopia after they won everything in 2008 can begin anew. I really do believe that’s what’s driving their fascination with these protests — the conviction that the Great Liberal Realignment of 2008 did happen and the permanent Democratic majority is there waiting to be born, but somehow the Lightbringer wasn’t enough of a liberal in office to unleash the magic. Maybe Mitt Romney will be enough of a conservative to unleash it for them instead. And even if he isn’t, they’ll caricature him as one to maximize their populist chances. In fact, the lower The One’s polls sink (and they’re pretty darned low as I write this), the more I think you’ll hear the left make this argument overtly next year to console themselves over an impending loss. “Bummer about Obama, but now we can stop pretending that we’re kinda sorta satisfied.” When your attempts at dissent have come to this, there’s nowhere to go but up. Look at it this way: They’re living through the worst downturn since the Depression, a crisis/opportunity ripe to be exploited in the name of their economic agenda, and they’ve had to mostly sit on their hands for the duration in the name of hack partisan solidarity. No wonder they’re frustrated. Wouldn’t surprise me if Romney gets a few votes from their side simply in the name of having a proper enemy again to galvanize the Cause.
Two videos for your entertainment. One is of protesters waxing eloquent at Occupy Sacramento; the second, via Breitbart TV, is of Andrew Breitbart’s tour through the Occupy LA protest. These people all look genuine to me, but based on what one of the organizers at Occupy D.C. told the Daily Caller, looks might be deceiving. Exit quotation per John McCormack: “If Tea Partiers attacked the police, it would be the biggest story in America, right?”