Monday, October 10, 2011

Merkel and "Occupy"

Exceeding Hitler’s Grasp!!

It appears that Germany’s President Angela Merkel, with a little help from France’s President Nicolas Sarkozy, may be poised to exceed Adolph Hitler goal of occupying most of Europe and subjecting it to his whims and plans.

Of course Hitler used his armed forces, blitzkrieg bombings, Panzer tank divisions and looked as if he would pummel every major European nation, from 1939 until 1945, when the Allies finally defeated Nazi Germany.

Ms. Merkel “merely” has the German banking system and its history of high quality economic and financial policies fronting for her, so who needs Panzers?

Merkel's Germany—and Sarkozy's France—seem to be leading an effort to boost and support the European Union’s “Euro” currency and to force feed Portugal, Ireland, Italy, Greece and Spain (PIIGS) a thinning diet of reduced spending, federal cost cutting, greater savings and self sufficiency, all using the carrot of German financial support and backing of the PIIGS sovereign debt.

Germany and Merkel are the real players here, with a chance to turn most of that continent around, if the Germans can summon the requisite courage and fancy. And, unlike Hitler, she and her country are being invited in and asked for this core financial support, which also will help many US banks, too, which were pigs themselves in buying Greek government IOUs.

Merkel may need Sarkoxy for some sort of political cover, but—next to the Russians—the French are the most feckless and unreliable of the European nations.

If the Russians are “courve and gonif” (“thieves and whores”), then the French, whose armies “went on strike" in World War I, surrendered to Hitler and fought with the Axis in WWII, and whose military vehicles have five reverse gears—to rapidly leave the field—and one forward gear, in case the enemy gets behind them, are barely more

Look Out, Here Come the American People!

My advice to Democrats and Republicans alike, ignore the nationwide “'Occupy” protests and protestors at your own political peril.

Cast them as reprobates and losers and you’ll find yourself sitting at home after the 2012 doing self flagellation “shoulda, coulda, wouldas.”

I think these demonstrations will grow and, like the conservative Tea Party advocates and sympathizers, today’s angry Americans are frustrated and disappointed, too, at a system which won’t provide them gainful employment.

Many are college graduates (recent and older), who desperately want and need jobs where few exist when businesses are not hiring.

We’ll soon find out whether their numbers grow to the level of the Vietnam War protests, 50 or so years ago. Those were the last large public demonstrations which forced major American policy changes.

But, with millions out of work or wanting more than mere minimum wage jobs, it's possible that the current protests could mushroom, especially if local and state officials don’t panic and start “busting heads” or arresting those who peacefully picket.

Like minded sympathizers and their families could add to the marcher numbers. At the end of the day--despite the GOP rhetoric--the broad complaint is not opposition to “the wealthy” as much as it opposition to federal economic policies which either don’t exist or fail to secure political consensus because of opposition.

Great Safety Valve

To me, these early rallies represent a cathartic and healthy demonstration of the First Amendment rights. That’s why I hope more and more people join the effort--as long as they stay peaceful and non-destructive.

Speaking up and demonstrating is Democracy’s perfectly acceptable outlets for policy unhappiness and could be just the activity to make Americans feel better about their lot in life, especially if their efforts produce the desired change.

At times, we’ve all complained about people failing to register to vote or being too uninvolved after they’ve registered. We just may be seeing a large group of Americans shrug off their complacency and begin to enter the political process in a loud and unmistakable manner.

It also can be seen as a message to the GOP congressional obstructionists. “Work on something which addressees our broad economic/employment concerns, not just the 2012 defeat of Barack Obama or more for those who already have gotten financially fat from federal benefits.”

It’s ironic for Republicans to suggest today’s demonstrators are left wing kooks, rather than individuals desperate for regular jobs and employment income.

The initial GOP criticism and dismissal of protestor’ issues sounds to me like false bravado and “whistling past the graveyard.”

The putdowns makes it’s easy for the Right to dehumanize and distort the protests rather than seeing them as a natural expression of angst over America’s economic dislocation and the GOP’s responsibility for much of that. (Anyone remember President George W. Bush and his phony Iraq War, eight years of deficit spending and tilted-to-the-well-off tax cuts?).

Before rushing to judgment, the GOP should remember its chosen “opening day of Congress exercise,” when House Republicans read aloud the United States Constitution (conveniently skipping the sections which could be tied to racial equality), especially the First Amendment.

The American people, now participating in “Occupy” demonstrations, merely are exercising their First Amendment rights, which Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) and Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va) and their allies chose to venerate on their first day controlling he chamber.

I am sure that with some labor unions adding their strength and numbers to the protests, Republicans will engage in new forms of name calling and denigration.

Get Micro

But, far more important—I hope--will be the American public’s reaction when the protesters get more debate and attention on issues that should resonate with the public, like GE earning almost $15 Billion in 2010 and paying no federal taxes because of the variety of tax breaks available to corporations, which the congressional GOP refuses to close.

Or when “Occupy” participants discuss bank profits versus bank lending activity. The former—given unconditional help by the federal government—last year were up over 100% and the latter down by 9%.

Eventually, protestors will develop a common agenda and demand that Congress—and the Obama Administration—address their concerns.

“Class warfare” –the current GOP epithet used against the “Occupy” crowds, is such a catchy and ugly term, but when the protesters expand their economic brief, I believe that policy makers will see that a pretty broad range of Americans have suffered major financial setbacks, including total family unemployment, access only to sub-minimum wage positions, loss of their homes, diminished shelter, food stamp use, and entry to public welfare rolls.

The political protests are in their incubation stage. I believe that more and more people will march and protest the deaf ear that many in Washington (not just the congressional R’s) show toward the problems facing the poor, middle class, and a ton of recent college graduates who wish only to work and make their own mark in our society.

When the Tea Party types, two years ago, were “hating on Obama,” claiming that was a socialist and wasn’t born in America, few Republicans or Democrats questioned their patriotism or their right to picket and protest.

Why do those TP supporters and their congressional friends now accuse the current protestors as anti-American or engaging in class warfare?

The answer is because the protest message is antithetical to the GOP’s political objectives, might attract millions of voters to the same cause, and stimulate a large--heretofore moribund—Democrat leaning contingent toward political action which likely will see lots of Republicans lose their seats in 2012 elections.

Maloni, 10-11-2011

1 comment:

Bill Maloni said...

I think Glenn Beck has a slightly different take on the "Occupy" protests then I do. But a death or two among demonstrators wouldn't surprise me.

See Beck "link."