Republicans in the U.S. Congress on Tuesday threw their support behind a payroll tax cut extension, trying to blunt charges ahead of 2012 elections of favoring wealthy Americans over middle-class workers.
Until Tuesday, Republicans had been lukewarm on extending President Barack Obama's payroll tax cut for workers, indicating they were open to negotiating it but never explicitly backing a measure, which the White House says will boost the country's sputtering economic recovery.
In the world where Occupy had never happened, Republicans would've held these tax cuts hostage without suffering any ill repercussions. Why would they? The chattering class and Beltway media would be droning on endlessly about deficits and other things that didn't matter.
In this world, Occupy has thrust income inequality to the forefront of the political debate -- so much so that typically immovable Republicans are afraid to feed that narrative.
In other words, a ragtag bunch of hippies with supposedly no demands have done what Democrats have never been able to do -- get Republicans to cry "uncle".