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Obama’s Reelection Strategy And #OWS’s True Purpose: Party Like It’s 1936?

Obama’s Reelection Strategy And #OWS’s True Purpose: Party Like It’s 1936?

The conservative movement in America may have been had. #OWS is easy to attack, but the right’s demonization of #OWS, even if successful, may be playing into Obama’s hands by failing to address the real reason why the Democrats and their special interest allies have cultivated this movement.

The Financial Times provides the final piece of the puzzle, noting that Obama has chosen an FDR-style strategy of campaigning against the wealthy. Brookings historian William Galston, who has been researching the similarities between the Obama 2012 and Roosevelt 1936 campaigns and analyzing speeches from both, found numerous parallels surrounding a common strategy: running on attacks against the wealthy and corporations:

“Roosevelt wasn’t just saying: ‘I am fighting for you.’ It was: ‘I am fighting against them.’”

Critics of #OWS may be targeting the patsies rather than the true threat. #OWS is run by the usual Mos Eisley Cantina of far-left groups, so of course there will be plenty of extremism, criminality, anti-semitism, and generally disgusting behavior to point out. The right predictably adopted the same Alinskyite strategies that the left used to demonize the Tea Party, and by extension, those politicians associated with it – point out extremist connections, generalize from offensive signs and bigoted statements, accuse them of being astroturfed, and condemn them as dangerous due to violent rhetoric. Rightist critics will have virtually-endless ammunition on these points, because it is the nature of the extreme #OWS coalition to provide it, and its opponents will not relent due to an understandable but emotionally-charged urge to pay the left back in kind for their campaigns against the Tea Party.

While conservatives can demonize #OWS and try (despite MSM resistance) to harm Democratic politicians’ electoral chances through their association with the movement, this is a hit the Democrats can afford to take, because all the while, #OWS is serving its true purpose:

Changing the subject.

Van Jones, Richard Trumka, and the rest of Obama’s far-left allies propping up #OWS aren’t stupid. Neither is the National Federation of Teachers, the union from whose office space #OWS is operated . They are successfully reframing the debate over the economy to be about the rich vs the rest of us. It doesn’t matter if people think they’re crazy – it matters that people internalize the 99% vs. 1% way of thinking and begin hearing and talking about statistics concerning income inequality in America.

“The rich” and big corporations are deeply unpopular, and by turning Democrat vs. Republican into the common people vs. the corporate fat cats, Democrats can win elections. The discussion is no longer the national debt, no longer the president’s sorry stewardship of the economy. Instead, the topic of the day is inequality and class. The right may defeat #OWS, but without addressing this problem, Obama and his allies will have accomplished their objectives.

Before the backdrop of war and economic ruin, the Democrats are resurrecting the social forces of the analogously-situated interwar period to win elections by railing against bankers, the wealthy, and the perils of free and competitive markets, as well as promoting the utopian idea that experts and intellectuals can centrally manage society. From these forces, communism and Fascism rose and spread, and while I have more faith in America than to believe that they could ever get particularly far today (to out credit, it didn’t even get that far back then), it is important to remember where this path led, and what Roosevelt’s 1936 campaign was about.

FDR arose from some of the same forces that created the authoritarian socialist regimes of the time, but lionized as he is, many forget that Roosevelt towed a line better described as between the trendy Communist and Fascist ideologies of the world at that time, rather than standing in diametric opposition. Though far more benign than so many leaders of his day, Roosevelt was a tyrant by modern American standards.

When Roosevelt was running for reelection in 1936, he has already passed the National Industrial Recovery Act (NIRA), an unconstitutional command economy policy similar to and arguably based on Mussolini’s fascist economics. The NIRA was designed to encourage a centrally-planned economy in which (unionized) government-business cartels would run the economy, setting prices, wages, working conditions, and other policies to avoid the supposed negative effects of cutthroat competition. Those who did not comply were portrayed by state officials as akin to traitors, and not permitted to bear the blue eagle marking that identified state-approved products. Roosevelt had also intimidated the Supreme Court into allowing him to enact unconstitutional polices by threatening to set a precedent that would permanently end its ability to reign in unconstitutional excesses from the other branches. He opposed anti-lynching laws after even Virginia had passed them. Later, he would go on to ignore the Holocaust (and turn back its refugees) while rounding up an entire ethnicity of Americans and imprisoning them in internment camps.

The Democrats are playing with fire, recklessly bringing fringe elements into the mainstream. They have cultivated a nationwide Anarcho-Socialist movement that has rallied Communists, Nazis, and other far-left extremists, some potentially violent, to a unified banner – and fully intend to double-cross them. In reality, there will be no dismantling of hierarchy, merely more government spending to buy votes with money confiscated from other voters or borrowed from China. There will be no dismantling of corporate power, though perhaps there will be some transfer of power from big business to equally self-interested big labor, or from some businesses to others that are closely tied to the Democrats, such as GE and next year’s Solyndra.

Many radicals are likely expecting results more in tune with their ideologies, but more realistic leftist leaders might be satisfied with the opportunity to achieve mainstream status. And while the Democrats’ gambit might leave America with emboldened and angered extremists, it may also move the Overton Window to include serious socialism as an acceptable option by legitimizing previously-frowned-upon radical socialist movements.

The full consequences of mainstreaming this extremism are unknown. While these forces are not as dangerous as they were the first time, Obama’s divisive, scapegoating, campaign charts new ground in modern America. As Galston told the Financial Times “In normal circumstances, this pitch might be suicidal. But these are not normal circumstances.”

Yes, the current campaign against #OWS is still useful to keep Anarco-Socialism and its cousins outside the American mainstream, but the right must keep its eye on the ball. Winning next November’s election – defeating Obama and painting the Senate red – is job one, and right now, Obama is successfully controlling the discussion. The right must find ways to blunt this attack, and/or to change the subject. How to do so is the topic of another post altogether.


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When you burn down your neighbor’s house, all you get are ashes.

    (sarcasm) But if you burn down their house, put a fence around their yard, claim the land as your own, keep them off of it and hold it for 20-30 years (depending on statute), you get their land. (/sarcasm)

      Yes, but, once you’ve established the precedent, someone will be busy burning your house down too. You will be spending all of your time trying not to get torched yourself.

Will it actually work the same way? Obama should have an easier time than Roosevelt. People were not as accustomed to bureaucratic life, from factory or other city work to community zoning rules and regulations. Roosevelt’s was about getting people bureaucratized, Obama’s will be about keeping them that way. Are people sick of a government worker telling them what to do, when and where?

Obama has to keep the major scandals away, and in that regards, he seems more Nixonian than New Dealer. Republicans need a Herman Cain personality with a Romney organization. Roosevelt’s opponents were weak in both 36 and 40.

    Owen J in reply to Mich. | October 31, 2011 at 10:57 am

    “Obama should have an easier time than Roosevelt.”

    That’s actually backwards. The 30’s was a very different mindset and what we are going through now is trivial compared to what people went through in the Depression. People were willing to cede the gov’t extraordinary power.

    Roosevelt was an excellent politician — there has been a lot of revisionism about him in recent years, some deserved, some merely ignoring the context of the times to score partisan points.

    Obama is not a politician at all — or anything else. He has an agenda, but not a plan.

    Of course, the voters will, as always, get what they deserve. They did the stupidist thing in the history of this country in 2008 and they have either learned from it or they haven’t.

    If they have, Obama loses, no matter what. If they have not, we go in the tank. And we will deserve to.

Not sure I agree with either the changing the subject line or the notion that Obama is successfully controlling the discussion.

It’s still early and I expect that when it matter — next spring and summer — this will be just one more peice of evidence.

People give Obama too much credit and spend too much time out-thinking themselves. Obama is not smart or clever or politically astute; he certainly is not FDR, nor is this 1936.

Obama is acting the way he is because that’s all he can think to do — he’s has no strategy; he’s just reacting, trying to do the “community organizer” thing.

Don’t over-think this — it’s just a distraction when facing an opponent who does not think.

    alan markus in reply to Owen J. | October 31, 2011 at 11:05 am

    I have to agree with all the points you make. At some point, this “movement” will be yesterday’s news. Who can predict what will be “top of mind” three months, six months, one year from now? We all tend to have short attention spans. In 2008, Obama gained momentum pretty late in the game – beat Hillary for the nomination, became a phenomenon (a legend in his own mind) and rode that wave to election. It was luck as much as strategy, and luck isn’t something that can be replicated. Now, if this movement was being started later in the game, I might think it could be some brilliant strategy put into play. At this point, I tend to think it’s an attempt to forestall the dynamic where Obama aquires the “stink” of being a loser, the danger being that stink doesn’t ever go away. So yes, it is an act of desparation.

I’m not so sure these ideologies can’t get far today.
Young people are ripe for misleading, after 30+ years of miseducation.

The mainstream media, to their eternal shame, are not willing to provide the historical context to rightly shame these folks off the national stage.

Interesting to be happening just as our last WWII vets are dying.

Speaking of reframing the debate, the birth certificate controversy was created for the same purpose. What do I mean? First, Obama and his acolytes deliberately ginned up a controversy by feeding misinformation to the public to make them doubt his birthplace. The Soviets were pretty good with this type of tactic, as well. Obama et al knew that conservatives would run with the eligibility issue. Then, they invented a useful pejorative, “birther”, with which to ridicule anyone who questioned Obama’s eligibility. A perfect storm was set in motion to serve as a distraction from something more sinister, and it has worked quite well up to now.

This tactic resembles the left’s claims of racism against the right and the left’s class warfare rhetoric, which our Agitator-in-Chief uses repeatedly to pit one American against another. In all cases, the tactics are meant to change the subject in order to distract from the agitators’ malevolent intent. In this case the intent is to transform America from a constitutional republic to a form of government our founders would never recognize. To succeed, they needed to change history as well.

Case in point: Leading up to the 2008 election, someone tampered with the database of to hide Supreme Court references to 25 cases which cited Minor v. Happersett (1875). This precedent-setting case addressed both a voting rights issue, and the definition of a natural born citizen. The justice stated that a child born on US soil to parents who are BOTH US citizens would qualify as a natural born citizen, as opposed to one born of foreign parents.

Who cares? Obama does, because he doesn’t meet the definition due to his dual citizenship status through his father.

You’ll find a series of investigative articles by a New Jersey attorney which includes screenshot evidence of the sabotage, and explains how and why Obama has attempted to change history at .

From one of the articles:


The tampering exhibits a very noticeable pattern.  Below, I will include screenshots as well as links to the Wayback Machine which illustrate this pattern clearly.

In most of the cases scrubbed at Justia, the Wayback Machine evidence shows that the very first snapshots taken of Justia URL’s for these cases was in 2006, with a couple of snapshots taken in early 2007.  In all of the cases, the first snapshots exhibit that Justia originally published the cases correctly as they appear in the official US Supreme Court reporters.  However, by November 2008, all 25 opinions had been sabotaged.

Some cases scrubbed the words “Minor v. Happersett” every time they appeared, and some left it in one time, but removed it in other places.  References to The Slaughterhouse Cases, Scott v. Sandford, and Osborn v. Bank of United States (citizenship cases which prove troublesome for Obama’s eligibility) were also scrubbed along with full sentences from majority opinions (as was done in Pope v. Williams), and dissents (as was done in U.S. v. Wong Km Ark).  The scrubbing was surgically precise as to the issue of POTUS eligibility.  The Wayback Machine snapshots prove that the tampering stayed in effect through the final snapshots taken in 2010.

Within an hour after I published that report, had re-instated the opinions to include the missing references to Minor and the missing text without commenting or noting the revisions. Justia then further covered the trail of deceit by placing robots on their URL’s for Boyd v. Nebraska, and Pope v. Williams, so that access to the Wayback Machine’s snapshots is no longer possible for those cases. (Should they now scrub the robots, here are screenshots for Justia’s Boyd and Pope opinions which show the robot blocking.)

The real question is how does this influence Independents? This is not a winning formula to capture the middle, which has never been animated by class warfare. Instead, this is a classic strategy to activate the base. To get indies, Obama will move to the middle and embrace small populist bipartisan wins as the winter turns to spring while keeping the big differences alive to drive turnout. He is starting already by making what populist changes he can by fiat in mortgages and student loans. Don’t expect major concessions like Clinton on welfare reform but more symbolic acts like accepting some delays in EPA regs. There will also likely be an education bill he can tout as bipartisan. His advisers are not deluded. They know they need the middle to win, or at least a rough split. The current us vs them attack the rich campaign is to juice the base, not an attempt to mainstream radical elements.

I would reframe the question.

I read “Revolution for the Hell of it” in grade school, and “Das Kapital” in high school. I recognize these nostalgic antics, and so do many other people I have found on the ‘Net.

We are within the decision curve of people who are at least 50 years behind the times. For them, the Civil Rights Acts and all the rules and regulations we put into place to assure transparency and control over our government, never happened.

It takes a certain intellectual inflexibility to deny to seismic changes to our nation, especially the replacement of public physical demonstrations with letters and now email. They have to maintain that ignorance in order to enjoy the revival of the 60s feeling of frustration and helplessness they think they need for a revolution. That inflexibility is their weakness.

This administration is comprised of people who have a Soviet-level distrust of individual decision-making, and they keep proposing old, Soviet-style solutions with the predictable contempt for human nature and perverse results. They are trying to use these outmoded models to govern a country full of active people with effective cr@p detectors.

There will be an American-style revolution in one year. The Republicans must be prepared to govern.