Badly does an enemy treat his enemy, a foeman his foe: worse is the havoc wrought by a misdirected mind (Buddha)
President Obama appears, as of today, the winner of the 2012 election a year from now. Republican bigwigs committed a terrible faux-pas that surely will haunt them long past Halloween. At the beginning, they berated, insulted, ridiculed, scolded, and belittled the OWS movement (Occupy Wall Street). Some right-wingers accused the crowds of being communists, imagine that! Anybody who is against Wall Street bankers and financiers, the ones responsible for the financial meltdown, must be a closet Socialist, hell-bent on nationalizing the largest corporations. For these Republicans, there is nothing in between; it is black or it is white, no grays allowed!
The protesters simply want justice; the manipulators of toxic instruments must be tried and go to jail. The laws have to be changed to prevent banks from speculating on Wall Street with their customers' resources. Big corporations and millionaires must pay their fair share of taxes. Calling this "class warfare" is simply stupid or simple-minded (Right, Mr Cantor?). Yet some Republicans fail to see the danger to their cause, including the main White House candidates such as Mitt Romney, Rick Perry, and Herman Cain. Ms. Bachmann is already out of contention, even though she has tried to re-direct the OWS movement toward the White House, a clumsy effort that exhibit the limited thinking process in the Minnesotan Representative.
In all the brouhaha caused by the accusations of sexual harassment against Mr. Cain, the umpteenth flip-flop by Mitt Romney, the bumbling performance in New Hampshire by Rick Perry (they even asked him if he was under the influence of pain killers), President Obama is emerging as the clear winner of the first rounds in this heavyweight fight. He also picked up a lot of points during his trip to the key voting states by showing up Republicans as denying jobless Americans much needed help from the federal government. He kept harping on the fact that his opponents reject his proposal of increasing taxes on millionaires as class warfare, and yet..
In one of the recent polls, most Americans support taxing millionaires more: "The Elon University poll found that two-thirds of the people polled support raising taxes on Americans with incomes over $1 million per year, an idea Democrats have floated to pay for job stimulus and debt reduction."Even though I would like to see Mr. Huntsman win the primaries, his numbers are still very low compared to, for example, Ron Paul and Newton Gingrich. The former Speaker of the House under Clinton has surged recently both in preferences and money, a fact that may convert Mr. Gingrich into a severe threat for Mitt Romney and Cain. He is a brilliant orator, a quick witted debater, and possesses a great analytical mind. He is however handicapped by his past relations with women while still married. The religious right wouldn't like it one bit.
At the end, the populist manifestations against Wall Street have lasted longer than anybody had suspected. Just like the Tea Party, these protesters will exert a strong influence on next year's elections; whether this will help the Democrats or their opponents remains to be seen. But I suspect that given the present improvement in the economy, however slight it may be, voters will conclude that Mr. Obama can perform better than anybody else until 2016.