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Center for American Progress’ Outreach to Occupiers: Conservatives Are Against the 99%

John on November 22, 2011 at 12:50 pm

Greg Sargent at the Post notes (via Hot Air headlines) that Democrats continue to align themselves with Occupy. He posts a fundraising email signed by Nancy Pelosi which highlights an anti-Occupy strategy memo first brought to light, where else, on MSNBC. So it appears senior Democrats are continuing to use Occupy for fundraising. But that’s not all they’re doing.

Yesterday the Center for American Progress, which is tightly allied with the White House, published a new position paper titled “The Right-Wing Assault on the 99 Percent: How Conservatives in Congress Are United Against Proposals to Help Ordinary Americans.” If the Occupiers have been long on slogans and short on substance, this looks like a clear attempt by CAP to fill in some of those gaps. In fact, it looks like an another attempt to co-opt the Occupy movement into the Democratic party by casting Republicans as defenders of the 1%:

It’s long past time for these politicians to heed the legitimate gripes of regular Americans who are fed up with rising economic inequality and congressional assaults on the middle class. Conservatives in Washington must:

  • Stop obstructing job-creating policies such as the American Jobs Act
  • Stop defending special tax privileges for America’s wealthiest citizens
  • Stop attacking the federal safety net
  • Stop sabotaging efforts to make our financial system safer, fairer, and more efficient

This column details the ongoing efforts by conservatives in Congress to obstruct proposals that would provide relief to the ordinary Americans participating in spontaneous protests around the country—and to the mass majority of people they represent.

This is purely an attack on the right in terms that occupiers might find appealing. I’m not going to hash through all these stale arguments, but consider the phrasing in the paper:

  • conservatives are instead pushing policies to expand tax giveaways to the top 1 percent
  • Conservatives carried their fight for America’s wealthiest 1 percent into the summer months
  • Right-leaning presidential candidates are also promising to keep fighting for tax policies that privilege the wealthiest 1 percent at the expense of the rest.
  • Herman Cain’s widely panned “9-9-9” tax plan would cut taxes by $238,422 for the average 1 percenter
  • The top 1 percent can fend for themselves.
  • Conservative politicians aren’t just carrying water for the top 1 percent tax privileges; they’re also actively defending and undermining attempts to rein in the big banks and financiers responsible for driving the U.S. economy into a ditch.
  • The other 99 percent are still waiting.

My favorite line in the entire paper is this one:

Reasonable people might also question the fairness of a system where financial institutions run by the wealthiest 1 percent collapse, get bailed out by taxpayers, and then use bailouts to fund bonuses worth more than what many in the bottom 99 percent earn in a lifetime.

In other words, (say it with me) banks got bailed out, we got sold out. This is an embarrassingly transparent attempt to turn Occupiers into a Democratic voting bloc. It’s a bit surprising to see this rolled out even as support for the movement has been waning. Is this a progressive Hail Mary pass for 2012?

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Category: Politics |

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