Rightbloggers Work on the Nixonization of Occupy Wall Street
The Occupy Wall Street movement has spread nationally and internationally, making it hard for even the American media to belittle it.
This reality seems to have caught up to the rightbloggers who, as we saw a few weeks back, were at first eager to dismiss the phenomenon as a silly hippie effusion that was totally not as serious or important as Republicans marching around dressed like Patrick Henry.
Their response was something we should have anticipated: calling the Occupiers hippies turned out to be just the first step in what we might call the Nixonization of Occupy Wall Street.
Rightbloggers are now talking about the Occupiers pretty much the way their conservative forebears talked about Vietnam protesters -- that is, as soldier-hating pinkos who ought to go get a (mostly non-existent) job.
For example: as in olden times, there were various attempts to re-define the protesters as communists.
"Marxist Occupy Wall Street," snarled Go Lucky Donald. "Occupy Wall Street: The Red Menace Ain't Dead Yet," claimed Libertopia 2011 ("The males [not men] and women that people the protests are consistently collectivists..."). "ACORN: Puppet Master of Occupy Wall Street," said Thoughts of a Conservative Mom, who explained that ACORN's purpose is to "pave the way for a Communist revolution in America."
"Communists Lead 'Occupy Los Angeles' Movement - Nationwide Takeover Planned," claimed Trevor Loudon. His proof: some alleged commie "is active in the Occupy Los Angeles protests and has acted as a moderator for the organization's nightly core group meetings"; another is a "city liaison." Thin end of the wedge, indeed! Prepare for the dictatorship of the proletariat, comrades, just as soon as we can pass out enough Little Red Books.
"THOUSANDS Of Obama-Endorsed 'Occupy Chicago' Protesters CHEER the Communists," cried Gateway Pundit's Jim Hoft. The accompanying video showed a brief cheer for a communist speaker by what was clearly far, far fewer than thousands of people, but so what? Tricky Dick took out Helen Gahagan with less.
Even communists and Nazis saying nice things about the Occupiers, without any reciprocity, was offered as proof of redness and black-shirtiness of the movement. "But of Course... Communist Party USA 'Solidarity with #OccupyWallStreet,'" said Ironic Surrealism. "American Nazi Party & the Communist Party USA Just LUV the Occupy Wall Street Movements," said Okie On The Lam.
At Renew America, Alan Caruba called the Occupiers "communism's clueless foot soldiers." Among his proof points: "The Occupy Wall Street protesters are the result of government schools whose purpose is to create a docile work force that, along with various government 'entitlement' programs provides for a cradle-to-grave submissive workforce." Just like Russia!
Caruba acknowledged that the Occupiers "hardly seem submission," but countered that "the protesters are being embraced by the Democratic Party and unions," which are communist themselves. Also the protesters are "spoiled brats befouling the walkways, streets, and alleys of New York and other cities," as explicitly mandated in Marx's 18 Brumaire.
If that doesn't work for you, would you believe they're all anti-Semites? Someone at libertarian site Reason found a protester blaming banksterism on "Zionist Jews"; word was duly spread that the Occupy movement was anti-Semitic.
"Israelis Shocked By Anti-Semitic Flavor of Occupy Wall Street Protests," wrote Weasel Zippers. "And the same anti-Semitic protests have the full support of the Obama administration." "It isn't just a few crackpots engaging in anti-Semitism incidents at the Occupy Wall Street protests," claimed Alana Goodman at Commentary. "Apparently, the main organizer behind the movement - Adbusters editor Kalle Lasn - has a history of anti-Jewish writing." Wow, another movement leader no one at the protests has heard of! We wonder if George Soros knows they all hate Jews.
"At the Occupy protests, [anti-semites] are, at best, allowed to push their hateful messages," wrote William Teach. "At worst, the Occupyers agree with the messages." And at very worst, they're all space invaders plotting to colonize our planet. Use your imagination!
But the mother lode of their this-guy-is-you-guys schtick came from a report that somebody had spit on a Coast Guard servicemember in Boston -- a neat revival of ancient stories about Vietnam protesters spitting on returning vets.
"Many liberals to this day maintain that it is a myth that anti-war types spat on our soldiers during the Vietnam era," raged Patterico. "So I guess this is mythological, too, eh?" "And here we were, being skeptical that the Occupy Movement was anything like the 1960s," said Hot Air's Ed Morrissey.
"So the following is what they condone, eh?" fist-shook Scared Monkeys. "Of course the Occupy crowd is quick to deny that the party responsible was affiliated with their protest group. Really, because they are such a peaceful and respectful group." (We believe that last sentence was meant sarcastically.)
There's no video of the alleged spitting -- though there is "video on the assault," which Jim Hoft may have hoped readers would take for the same thing -- but that could be easily turned around. "A spokesman for the protest says it was probably infiltrators trying to make them look bad," said The Lonely Conservative. "If that was the case, wouldn't it have been caught on video?" You must admit, aside from "what?" there's really no answer to that.
At the Washington Examiner Kurt Schlichter did the usual thing about "spoiled, incoherent clowns" and "pierced protesters" with their "anger at society's selfishness in failing to satisfy their every want and desire," but then bade readers compare these wastrels to Our Fighting Men, who had just "marked the 10th anniversary of war on battlefields where their next step could make them triple amputees." And that's if they're lucky! Ashamed, hippies? Apparently not; "In Manhattan," Schlichter wrote, "a 22-year-old from Scarsdale shares a bong-load of killer weed with a guy sporting dreadlocks and a Che T-shirt he got at Hot Topic." The nerve!
Dave in Texas at Ace of Spades applauded this stark picture of "the difference between your average life-coddled 'occupy' whatever ninny, with his or her apparent dental care, privileges of upbringing, friggin clothes and iPhones (THANKS MOM!), and education, and the American Soldier." We bet he'd put on a hardhat and beat up some hippies if there were some way he could do that with a computer.
CNN commentator Erick Erickson started up something called "We Are the 53%," meaning he and his buddies represented the majority of real Americans whom, they believe, pay the taxes for the rest of us bums. There's your new Silent Majority, America -- instead of talking, the 53ers put pictures on the internet of placards saying things like "I'm proud of working hard + being self-sufficient. I am NOT your 99%." There are literally dozens of them, and you can tell they're the real majority because they're mad at the other people who say they're the real majority.
The 60s nostalgic got thicker when President Obama appeared to allude to the Occupation at at the MLK Memorial dedication on Sunday. Obama said, "If [King] were alive today, I believe he would remind us that the unemployed worker can rightly challenge the excesses of Wall Street without demonizing all who work there."
At Hot Air, Tina Korbe denounced Obama's temporizing statement: "the excesses of the OWS protest are precisely what would surely have been objectionable to Dr. King," she asserted. How so? "The great Civil Rights leader led an intentionally moral movement," she said, while the protesters were having "sleeping-bag sex, in drugged-out meltdowns, in litter-filled spaces." Why, if Dr. King caught anyone having sex in a sleeping bag, he or she was drummed out of the Movement. And King considered litter almost as immoral!
Korbe added, "MLK Jr. might at times have used rhetoric later in his life that suggests he would be sympathetic to the OWS protesters' redistributive aims" -- yeah, that's putting it mildly -- "but my best guess is he'd also have a few exhortations for them," presumably to not do drugs and to stay in school, like Mr. T, who may be the black leader Korbe was actually thinking of when she wrote this.
"Obama Uses MLK Dedication To Sell #OccupyWallStreet And Vow He's Not Done Transforming America Into A Marxist State," yelled Pat Dollard. "MLK Dedication Hijacked By Theme of Social and Economic Justice and Support of Occupy Wall Street Mob," said The Party of Know (Yeah, King hated all those things!).
At RedState, Ridiculous Pseudonym said, "Liberal Democrats occupying America betray MLK legacy" (briefly: the left "eschews religion," and Obama won't prosecute Black Panthers), and plumped for Herman Cain: "That pro-life conservative Southern Christian is the true legacy of the MLK's Dream." (If, when King got to the mountaintop, he saw Herman Cain, we suspect he would have died by his own hand rather than by James Earl Ray's.)
They still called them all hippies, of course. James Joyner actually asserted that "Occupy Wall Street Dirty Hippie Meme Won't Go Away," and showed why, laying on the usual yap about "bathing in the sinks of fast food restaurants" and so forth.
There were those who kept up a lighthearted, dismissive attitude toward these hippie funsies, just as they did in the days when Bob Hope wore longhair wigs and love beads for laughs. Reason's Tim Cavanaugh, for example, said the protests were "essentially a chance to go camping without having to leave town." And now, Joey Heatherton!
Some of the laughing-off had an edge on it, though -- as with clean-cut young Daniel Foster at National Review, who ingratiated himself with his Dad's friends by asserting that "it is every conservative's God-given right to (rhetorically) punch hippies, and far be it from me to tell anybody to stop."
But theirs was at least a more comfortable and more sustainable response than the shit-fits of the more aggro rightbloggers. The original hippies faded away, after all; why shouldn't these? Once these sprats grow up and get a job, they'll calm down.
Of course, the job-getting isn't so easy these days, so they'll probably have to find another way to end these noisome protests. There's a Nixon-era model for that, too.
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you’ll never miss Village Voice's biggest stories.
- Group for Homeless LGBT Youth Moves a Step Closer to Buying Terrible Anti-Gay Church...
Fri., Feb. 12, 7:00pm
Sun., Feb. 14, 12:30pm
Sun., Feb. 14, 2:00pm
Sun., Feb. 14, 7:30pm
- Voice Letters: Readers Share Their Energy Service Company Horror Stories
- Landlords Can't Stop Evicting Latino-Owned Businesses in Washington Heights