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The re-election of President Obama does not rest on any one thing or person.  There is much credit to go around, from Obama himself, to Biden when he said Malarkey and galvanized Obama after that first debate, to Bill Clinton and his rousing speech at the DNC, to all the efforts that have been made by our side for the last four years, doing what we can do to turn the tide,

And credit to the Republicans for having  a set of amazingly poor candidates, from a clown show primary with Bachman and Perry and Gingrich, and a presidential nominee so tone deaf that he dismissed 47% of the electorate without even noticing that some of the people in the room – the wait staff – might not agree with him.  The absolute wretchedness of these candidates is a symptom of their positions, for when you espouse ignorance and selfishness, well, you’re going to get ignorant, selfish candidates.  

But we were fighting an uphill battle, folks.  

We were fighting a media, which, for the most part, was parroting right wing talking points and lies – and then, with a meta-lie, kept claiming that the media had a liberal bias.  (Truth does, but not the media).  

We were fighting  gerrymandering and voter suppression.  We’re still going to have to fight these battles, as witnessed by the actions that are happening these days in Pennsylvania and Virginia.

We were fighting against the ruling of Citizens United, with billionaires trying to buy themselves a president and a portion of Congress.

We were fighting against racism, from the blatant to the insidious to those who are racist without even realizing it.

We could have lost, folks.  We have lost in these circumstances before, because so much of what was true in 2012 was also true in 2010, and we lost a lot in the mid-terms.

I remember how frustrated I was before the mid-terms, when the conversation was getting away from us.  I remember how Rachel Maddow  kept trying to tell the Democrats who were timid going into the 2010 mid terms, who were afraid to pit one class against the other.  She kept talking about how the Democrats had a perfect issue - it polled well, and the country needed it to be addressed - but the party would not go there.

What changed?  I think we owe a lot to Occupy Wall Street.

Occupy Wall Street (OWS) is the name given to a protest movement that began on September 17, 2011 in Zuccotti Park, located in New York City's Wall Street financial district.

The main issues raised by Occupy Wall Street are social and economic inequality, greed, corruption and the perceived undue influence of corporations on government—particularly from the financial services sector. The OWS slogan, We are the 99%, refers to income inequality and wealth distribution in the U.S. between the wealthiest 1% and the rest of the population. To achieve their goals, protesters act on consensus-based decisions made in general assemblies which emphasize direct action over petitioning authorities for redress.

I remember my RW SIL sneering at OWS – and even I, though sympathetic, wondered what exactly it was that they had in mind.  If they weren’t interested in being in charge, then how did they plan to effect change?

They did it by changing the dialogue.

By their protests, they finally got the people noticing that the 1% were ripping off the 99%.

They emboldened our politicians.  I believe they also emboldened Obama, who has said, “make me do what you want me to do.”

They made it something that was addressed, seriously, in the 2012 election.

Not all protests make a difference.  Many take a long time.  Before the Iraq War, there were many protests that were basically ignored.  There have been many others where the struggle has taken a long time (Seneca Falls, Selma and Stonewall).  On the other hand, some protests take hold and change the course of history.  Occupy Wall Street is one that did.

We still have lots of work to do, and we should not be faint-hearted, because we can make a difference.

My thanks to the Occupy Wall Street movement.

Tired of politics?  Need to escape?  Try my Greek mythology based novels, either the story of Oedipus from the point of view of Jocasta, or a trilogy about Niobe, whose children were murdered by the gods - or were they?

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Comment Preferences

  •  they picked a terrible candidate (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Aquarius40, exlrrp, johnny wurster

    a mormon. a disconnected uber rich white guy who wore magic underwear. the christians down here had to pull mormonism off their list of cults.

    they had loud mouthed knuckle draggers talking about self aborting rape babies.

    they spent tons of money and had very little return.  

    and it wasn't because of OWS.

    -You want to change the system, run for office.

    by Deep Texan on Tue Jan 22, 2013 at 07:20:47 AM PST

    •  they basically sat silent over the summer (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      and let their candidate be defined by the opposition.

      they created their own reality, throwing out the data that didn't reflect their bubble mentality.

      we should not make the same mistake.

      -You want to change the system, run for office.

      by Deep Texan on Tue Jan 22, 2013 at 07:22:54 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Willingness and desire to grab complete credit... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        johnny wurster

        .....for everytbing good was their hallmark as was blaming everyone else for what was bad and you will see a lot of this in this diary.
        Occupy was the only ones demonstrating at the Demcratic comvention, thats why you saw  no Occupy people inside the convention.
        For them to claim later that  they had a big influence on th Democratic Party, which they scorned and insulted at every step is just more fatuous grandstanding. You'll see that in this diary too.
        Democratic politicians like Gavin Newsom, Jean Quan and Sam Adams originally stood with Occupy and see what happened to them. They don't stand with them any more, for sure. For Occupy to say they were influential in getting Democrats elected is just incredibly stupid.
        Speking as a Democrat I can say they were no help to us at all, anywhere.  They were an embarrassment to us, we got blamed for them while they badmouthed us eternally. Still do, you can see it right here.
        This diary will be an orgy for them to tell themselves how great they were/are but thats the way things sound in an echo chamber. OUtside of kos and other places on the net, theyre no place at all.

        Happy just to be alive

        by exlrrp on Tue Jan 22, 2013 at 08:04:34 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  It's both/and, not either/or (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        chloris creator, ask, PhilJD

        Did the GOP blow the 2012 election in almost every way possible?  Of course they did.  From their clown car cavalcade of candidates to Thurston Howell III as their nominee w/ Eddie Munster as his running mate to the disastrous RNC, they shot themselves in both feet and in both arms, too.

        OTOH, OWS pushing class issues to the front surely helped.  In fact, while we'll never know who took the infamous "47%" video of Romney, that videotaping was very much within the spirit of Occupy.   Class issues are always a winner for Dems, and OWS was the only outside force vigorously pushing class issues into the debate.

        A national election has so many moving parts that one can never analyze or appreciate all of them.  In this election, however, both GOP incompetence and Occupy were clearly 2 of the moving parts.  

        Some men see things as they are and ask why. I dream of things that never were and ask why not?

        by RFK Lives on Tue Jan 22, 2013 at 08:10:56 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  ^^This.^^ I have no doubt that OWS (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Deep Texan

      helped to change the narrative from deficit fetish to the plight of the and that was for the good. But, ultimately, by the time 2012 rolled around, the GOP was suffering from their own self-inflicted wounds while OWS was pretty much forgotten in some circles.

    •  ALL their potential candidates were terrible. (0+ / 0-)

      Odd as it may seem, Mittens was the best of a bad lot . . . who would have run better . . . Newt?  Perry?  Paul?  

      I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just; that his justice cannot sleep forever. ~Thomas Jefferson

      by bobdevo on Tue Jan 22, 2013 at 07:27:46 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Indeed it was. #OWS directly affected the convo. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      chloris creator, spaceshot, jayskew

      Granted, #OWS had our asses handed to us early and often, effectively snuffing the "movement" by Christmas 2011.  The One Percenters kicked our asses and kicked us off the streets by then.  But, no matter.  By then the conversation was all about the 1% vs. the 99% and that convo carried throughout the 2012 campaign.  That never would have happened without the effort of #OWS in the Fall of 2011.  The average Joe didn't give a damn about the "issue," and politicians cared even less.  I would argue it was one of the main issues hampering Mittens' campaign.  Had he not have had to deal with that issue - having to justify his business practices - that it was the new capitalism - get used to it - he would have been left to deal with Obama's crappy Economy.  And likely would have made his case.  If #OWS did nothing else it kept Mittens from attacking Obama on his crappy economy.

      •  OWS changed the awareness of enough people to (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        spaceshot, jayskew, winkk

        change the national conversation. Or at least expand it to consider income inequality and 21st century debt slavery.

        Occupy the Debt is a beautiful thing. And talking about saving young Americans, and middle age Americans, from crushing education and housing debt is a tremendous contribution to have made.

        Getting driven from the camps is no bigger a disaster than the colonists getting driven from Bunker Hill. What is fatal is no act II. As long as inspiring people in the name of OWS do things as important as helping Sandy victims and paying off peoples housing debt, they deserve respect and support from the Progressive community. And debt jubilees that we can contribute to, and apply for if need be, can't be disrupted by cops, Black Blocks, or cops pretending to be Black Blocks the way camps and marches can.

        Time to camp out in an OWS office and organize, organize organize. I'm getting a little long in the tooth to march in any situation where there might be violence from idiots or cops. But I can help pay down other peoples debt and support people trying to help other Americans stay in their homes.

        99% of us should be grateful for that park camp out in the maw of the beast. And we should back OWS is the efforts  that camp and others inspired.

  •  I think it helped a lot. (9+ / 0-)

    Onward, OWS!

    Be the change you want to see in the world. -Gandhi

    by DRo on Tue Jan 22, 2013 at 07:21:08 AM PST

  •  I owe them nothing (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Deep Texan, johnny wurster

    Hope that answers that question

    Happy just to be alive

    by exlrrp on Tue Jan 22, 2013 at 07:31:27 AM PST

    •  they wouldn't let John Lewis speak (0+ / 0-)

      -You want to change the system, run for office.

      by Deep Texan on Tue Jan 22, 2013 at 07:50:19 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  That's wrong (10+ / 0-)

        John Lewis didn't have enough time that day to get on stack, put his name on the list of people lined up to speak.  Everybody gets a chance to speak at OWS general assemblies.  People are not denied the chance to speak.

        This is another zombie lie.  

        "Justice is a commodity"

        by joanneleon on Tue Jan 22, 2013 at 08:05:39 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  it's a rally not a city council meeting (0+ / 0-)

          the optics that day were bad.

          the video is pretty bad.

          -You want to change the system, run for office.

          by Deep Texan on Tue Jan 22, 2013 at 08:53:32 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  One of the many things that hampered #OWS (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Deep Texan

            was it had no clue what it was or what it wanted to accomplish.  And, it had almost zero support from blogs like this one.  I found the General Assemblies a stupid way to accomplish anything.  "Mic Check!" this.  It needed to be better organized.  Was epic fail.  Still, I haven't totally given up.  The "movement" has morphed into better organized entities.  It may emerge from the ashes stronger via those new entities.

            •  OWS reminds me of the "councils" formed in post (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              WWI Germany. Workers, soldiers, artists, rural workers, students, everybody wanted to effect change, mostly in a Democratic direction. But the Social Democrats, who had finally come to power, allied themselves with the establishment conservatives and what can only be described as right wing death squads. This alliance brought about the end of the councils, but also won social and economic change, worker rights, and voting rights, but it left the capitalists and army looking for more suitable partners than the Socialists. Which is a caution to centrist Democrats, Wall St and corporate CEOs, will always choose real conservatives over conservadems when they can, its just a cleaner organizational chart.

              Democrats shouldn't be so dismissive of OWS's beginning, or the embarrassing chaos that most camps degenerated into. Much should be forgiven because of the state force brought down on them. This force wasn't just about clearing out dirty hippies from green space, it was also about the power of what OWS gave voice to.  If the organizations that OWS has been morphing into have staying power, they could become very welcome allies for the Democratic Wing of the Democratic Party. Those who support economic justice and equality of opportunity can always use friends.

              And the election wasn't just won by the Democratic party, however well they played the game. The national attention brought to the inequality and tyranny foisted on our country by financial elites really helped the Democrats achieve a better position on the election battleground.

              I am 99% grateful to OWS.

              •  I still think we need to get our asses (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Grabber by the Heel

                back on the streets if for no other reason than to draw the Storm Troopers.
                Good "visuals" right there!  It is great that #OWS has morphed and claimed some real estate on Social Media.  But that by itself won't git 'er done.  I'm a tad long in the tooth as well, but will march in the streets 'til I can no longer draw a breath or can no longer put one foot in front of another.
                What is sad is that the 20-somethings, 30-somethings and 40-somethings won't join the party.  They seem to think that this "new normal" has always been the norm.  It wasn't.  It wasn't 'til Reagan and his Reaganomics trickle down Supply Side voodoo economics b.s. that the "new normal" replaced what had been our economic system for 200 years.  So, what you 20-somethings, 30-somethings and 40-somethings have grown up with is Reaganomics horse$h!t.  George Bush 41 called it voodoo economics.  He was right.  It is.  The 2007-08 Meltdown was the end result of Reagan's voodoo economics.  The manifestation of 27 years of Reaganomics.
                So, what are you going to do about it??  You can do what you have been doing and pooh pooh "movements" such as #OWS.  Or, you can get off your dead butt and get involved in the local effort to put an end to corporatist rule.  It's your future.  Not mine.  Personally, I ain't got a nickel invested.  I start collecting S.S. checks in two years if Obama doesn't screw up and give them away to the corporatists.  So, I really don't give a flying fuck.  Except my conscious won't let me snuggle back in that barcolounger.  I can't rest there long without my conscious asking me what the hell I'm doing in the barcolounger when I should be out on the street kicking some corporatist ass.  I hope your conscious bothers your butt as much as it bothers mine.  Get off it and get involved!  It's your future, not mine.  It's not my future I #Occupy.  I #Occupy yours.

      •  I was personally disgusted by that (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Deep Texan, IamNotaKochsucker

        just saying.

        Regulate banks, not vaginas

        by MinistryOfTruth on Tue Jan 22, 2013 at 08:25:30 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  That's bullshit, hyped by wingers who detest Lewis (7+ / 0-)

        and everything he stands for, for the sole purpose of discrediting OWS.

        Is that really the company you want to keep?

        I'd rather let John Lewis speak for himself on this, before leaving the Atlanta park:

        I support the protesters in New York and here... It is the right time and the right place to be… It is the will of the people. When I was young we did similar actions. It is grassroots democracy at its best. I think something good will come of the moment.

        When you triangulate everything, you can't even roll downhill...

        by PhilJD on Tue Jan 22, 2013 at 08:52:15 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  the video is pretty bad (0+ / 0-)

          and it speaks volumes to the opportunities lost.

          lessons to be learned here.

          -You want to change the system, run for office.

          by Deep Texan on Tue Jan 22, 2013 at 08:55:42 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  I think not letting Lewis speak was a mistake... (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            I seem to remember the organizers of the Atlanta event saying as much after the fact, though I don't have a link and might be misremembering.

            It was a mistake made for reasons of democracy however, out of a belief that the bottom-up decision-making process of Occupy was a basic part of its political message.

            There was no intent to disrespect John Lewis.

            When you triangulate everything, you can't even roll downhill...

            by PhilJD on Tue Jan 22, 2013 at 09:18:08 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

  •  A timely diary (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    chloris creator, jck, PhilJD, jayskew

    OWS changed the dialogue.

    If not for OWS even a terrible candidate with magic underwear would have beaten PBO with the massive help of the corporate media and CU. OWS put us over the top.

    Paranoia strikes deep. Into your life it will creep. It starts when you're always afraid. You step out of line, the man come and take you away. - S. Stills

    by ask on Tue Jan 22, 2013 at 07:38:13 AM PST

  •  OWS kept the Dem Party from going full (8+ / 0-)

    republican (old school).

    Obama: self-described moderate Republican

    by The Dead Man on Tue Jan 22, 2013 at 07:40:00 AM PST

  •  Exactly right. (7+ / 0-)

    Before OWS Democrats were absolutely terrified of talking about raising taxes on the rich, and budget-cutting completely obscured rampant unemployment in the national dialog.

    You can tell Monopoly is an old game because there's a luxury tax and rich people can go to jail.

    by Simian on Tue Jan 22, 2013 at 07:49:02 AM PST

  •  OWS found my keys this morning. (0+ / 0-)

    And the sun rose this morning, which I can only assume was due to them.

  •  Before OWS it was all deficit all the time (7+ / 0-)

    with the Beltway class. OWS brought income inequality and jobs into the debate.

    I don't know if we would have President Romney without  them, but SS and Medicare benefits would have been cut by now.

  •  You are most welcome! eom (0+ / 0-)
  •  Without Occupy... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Grabber by the Heel

    even if the President had won reelection, his speech yesterday would have been very different. The welcome and overdue populist and progressive notes in it would have been wholly absent.

    OWS changed the narrative, very much for the better, no matter how much the "elections-are-all-there-is" centrists wish that weren't the case.

    When you triangulate everything, you can't even roll downhill...

    by PhilJD on Tue Jan 22, 2013 at 09:00:14 AM PST

  •  We owe them an enormous amount!! Before (3+ / 0-)

    OWS there was NO widespread awareness re: the 98% v. the 1% and people forget that. Just bringing those terms into the public's consciousness changed everything. OWS totally rebranded the "haves" vs. the "have nots" problem that is so rampant in this country. OWS has my deepest respect.    

    "Southern nights have you ever felt a southern night?" Allen Toussaint ~~Remember the Gulf of Mexico~~

    by rubyr on Tue Jan 22, 2013 at 09:12:34 AM PST

  •  Not a perfectly run movement (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Grabber by the Heel

    and it could not be as it was more grass roots than many others - a consequence of being run more bottom up is that there may be some bad decisions

    but it changed the conversation

    by chloris creator on Tue Jan 22, 2013 at 09:50:28 AM PST

  •  They changed the conversation (3+ / 0-)

    After OWS many politicians used the shorthand of the 99% to talk about raising taxes and changing policies.  OWS made everyone ready to understand Romney's 47% for what it was.  Even the media picked up the new math.

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