By Matt Taylor

Howard Dean, Dems And Unions Back Occupy Wall Street

October 5, 2011 5:41 pm Category: Memo Pad, Politics 14 Comments A+ / A-

Unlike the Tea Party on the right, the Occupy Wall Street protests have thus far lacked any supporters in Congress. But with labor unions and the Working Families Party getting on board, that may be about to change — and with it, just maybe, their ability to shape the agenda on Capitol Hill.

“I think it has become a vehicle for people to vent their frustration with the economy,” Senator Kirsten Gillibrand told The National Memo on Tuesday. “Everywhere I travel across New York State I meet with every day families and small businesses, and they are deeply worried about the economy. I share the frustration at how broken Washington has become in forging solutions. We must act and I hope we can rally around the bipartisan ideas I’ve outlined today to get people back to work.”

Off-the-record conversations with other members of New York’s congressional delegation suggest sympathy for the cause, though few have gone on record backing it as of yet. More on this as it develops.

But if Democratic members of Congress remain hesitant to express public backing, some party stalwarts do not.

“I’ve been waiting for something like this to happen,” Howard Dean, former Democratic National Committee chair and governor of Vermont, told The National Memo. “Wall Street is an institution that is not serving the country well. Because of their financial practices, money’s not getting invested in the long-term creation of jobs. They basically have turned Wall Street into a gambling casino. Credit default swaps, about 95 percent of that is speculation. So I’m glad to see all these young people on Wall Street.”

He suggested the protesters were law-abiding citizens who deserved to be heard, and that we might see additional Democratic Party backing in the future. The Wall Street protests speak to the massive and growing gap between rich and poor in this country, Dean argued, and the political class ought to take notice.

“I think this country’s in a lot of trouble and I’m glad someone’s finally standing up and talking about it. The danger of having a situation where the gap between the top and the bottom is so great is that people stop believing in the system. There are a lot of young people who I’m not sure believe in America anymore. That’s a very dangerous place to be. This is about unfairness, about society becoming an unfair place.”

He insisted this is a youth-based struggle for justice that defies traditional political typology, and is fundamentally concerned with fairness and equity.

“I don’t consider it to be a political movement, which is why I think they have trouble articulating their demands. What they want is an America that’s fair to everyone again, where there’s really equal opportunity.”

Dan Cantor, executive director of the Working Families Party (WFP), which supports progressive Democrats in New York through fusion voting (a vote for a Democrat on the Working Families line is just as useful as one on the Democratic line), expressed support in advance of Wednesday’s solidarity march where the WFP and unions joined the Occupy Wall Streeters.

“This is the more established progressive movement following the youth of America,” he told The National Memo. “And it’s a good thing, too. I think people understand that we owe the Occupy Wall Street people a huge debt of gratitude. Because they have shined a light where it needed to be shined. We are no longer talking about whether poor people caused the subprime crisis. We’re talking about people who committed fraud and have thus far escaped responsibility.”

Likewise, national head of the AFL-CIO Richard Trumka lauded the protestors as many of his subsidiary union members joined the fray.

“Occupy Wall Street has captured the imagination and passion of millions of Americans who have lost hope that our nation’s policymakers are speaking for them,” he said. “We support the protesters in their determination to hold Wall Street accountable and create good jobs.”

Even Barack Obama, asked about the protests at a press conference Thursday morning, seemed to offer tentative support, despite Wall Street being among his top campaign contributors in 2008.

The new institutional backing showed when thousands came out for the march Wednesday. Less clear is whether the new momentum can be sustained, and whether the protests — which have spread to other large cities but not to many small ones — can bring a more sizeable chunk of the population into the fold, as the labor protest movement did in Israel this summer. Only then might we start to see swing votes in Congress take notice.

Howard Dean, Dems And Unions Back Occupy Wall Street Reviewed by on . Unlike the Tea Party on the right, the Occupy Wall Street protests have thus far lacked any supporters in Congress. But with labor unions and the Working Famili Unlike the Tea Party on the right, the Occupy Wall Street protests have thus far lacked any supporters in Congress. But with labor unions and the Working Famili Rating: 0

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Comments

  • Shaun Costello

    WHEN ARE AMERICANS GOING TO WAKE UP AND SMELL THE COFFEE? THESE WALL STREET DEMONSTRATIONS ACCOMPLISH NOTHING. WANT TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE? READ THIS:
    http://shauncostello.wordpress.com/2011/10/02/make-government-work/

  • Shaun Costello

    AMERICA – YOU’RE GETTING MACED, YOU’RE GETTING HOSED, AND YOU’RE GETTING NOWHERE!
    WANT TO MAKE A REAL DIFFERENCE? READ THIS:
    http://shauncostello.wordpress.com/2011/10/06/the-macing-of-america/

  • RGaryK

    CREATING JOBS – IT’S NOT BRAIN SURGERY
    Resolving our unemployment problem is not brain surgery. The biggest demand in this country today is the need to repair and/or modernize our crumbling infrastructure. When we start repairing our infrastructure and building things. The architects and designers go back to work. The contractors will hire. Presto – new jobs in America that can’t be outsourced. Money from the taxes on the new wage earners will flow into the treasury to pay down the debt and at the same time, we will be investing in our future. It is amazing what full employment does to economic projections

  • RGaryK

    Taxes? Taxes? Damn straight, Raise Taxes! Check the history.
    Bill Clinton’s 1993 Economic Plan raised taxes on the wealthiest Americans. The GOP condemned it and predicted an economic disaster would follow if the plan became law. So the bill passed w/o a single GOP vote and the greatest economic expansion in my lifetime followed. Not only was the budget balanced; we actually started to retire the National Debt. The GOP was wrong then. They were wrong again in 2001 and again in 2003, when they cut taxes on the wealthiest Americans. They were dead wrong in the thirties. The GOP is always wrong when it comes to economics! Why does anyone take their economic policies seriously?

  • Ellenie Ash

    The Corporations and Financial institutions are not thinking of anyone but their bottom lines. They are there to make money and not to serve the people whose money they take.

    The People are Who they should serve, not just their Shareholders and Executives.

    Their Employees are used, abused, and thrown away. The Pensions of their Employees are Plundered to fill the Executives Peionsions. It is time for them to wake up and see that the American People are not afraid of them anymore. We are not going to Take It Anymore!

    It is also time that the Elected Officials wake up to KNOW that City, State, and Federal Legislators are Put in Office to Serve the People and not the Corporations and Financiers who fund their campaigns.

    We the People put them in office and We the People can remove them just as quickly.

    If they don’t listen we will occupy the streets of our cities and towns and make them listen to our demands as well as Our Needs. We the People need to be heard and not just the Money Mongers. WAKE UP The People are MAD AS HELL AND ARE NOT GOING TO TAKE IT ANYMORE!

    STAND UP for What YOU Believe. This is a Democracy where we have the Constitutional Right to be heard. Don’t be afraid anymore.

    Join Occupy Wall Street wherever you live and let the Peoples’ Voices be HEARD.

  • ANTONIO

    Why does it have to be either or? A hugely complex problem needs complex multifaceted solutions. Some people can watch Congress voting records, others can demonstrate, camp out, others can write letters, some can even go farther into more questionable areas. The system must be changed, and trying to stop those who have chosen a particular path of action is particularly counter productive. Shame on you.

  • peteserb

    The USA has lost it’s work ethic. Now mobs of moochers are taking to the streets, backed by union thugs. What ever happened to the ethic where one was responsible for himself and family. The”progressives are destroying this nation! Go back to the day where the welfare state doesn’t breed more and more moochers!

  • PEPPERMINTPATTY

    ACCORDING TO WILL FINLAYSON IN “THE PUBLIC FORUM” OF THE SALT LAKE TRIBUNE ON OCTOBER 4, 2011 …

    “FROM 1930 TO 1980, THE USA CAME OUT OF THE GREAT DEPRESSION, ENACTED SOCIAL SECURITY, FOUGHT & FINANCED OUR SUCCESSFUL WORLD WAR II EFFORT, BUILT THE INTERSTATE HIGHWAY SYSTEM AND WENT TO THE MOON. ALL DONE WITHIN A TOTAL NATIONAL DEBT OF LESS THAN $1 TRILLION.

    THIS WAS ACCOMPLISHED WITH MAXIMUM INDIVIDUAL INCOME TAX RATES BETWEEN 70 & 94% FOR THE VERY RICH. WE ALSO HAD 13 BILLIONAIRES.

    SINCE 1980 THE GOP INITIATED A DRASTIC TAX REDUCTION EXPERIMENT WITH THE MAX INCOME TAX RATES CUT FROM 70% TO 50% TO 30%. OTHER TAX CUTS FOR THE RICH ARE TOO NUMEROUS TO LIST.

    THE RESULTS OF THIS 30 YR EXPERIMENT ARE IN AND THEY ARE UGLY! THE NATIONAL DEBT HAS INCREASED TO MORE THAN $14 TRILLION, THE BUSH ERA ECONOMIC COLLAPSE WAS FELT WORLDWIDE, UNEMPLOYMENT IS ABOVE 9% AND THE RECENT DEBT CEILING FIASCO IS A NATIONAL EMBARRASSMENT. THE ONLY NOTABLE USA ACCOMPLISHMENT SINCE 1980 WAS THE CREATION OF ANOTHER 400 BILLIONAIRES.

    THE CAUSE AND EFFECT RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN TAX CUTS FOR THE RICH AND THE NATIONAL DEBT CRISIS SHOULD BE OBVIOUS. THE FIX SHOULD ALSO BE OBVIOUS.”

    NO WONDER THE “OCCUPY WALL STREET” MOVEMENT IS GAINING SO MUCH MOMENTUM.

  • renwhitney

    tHIS STATE OF BAD ECONOMY HAS BEEN BROUGHT ON BY THE (reverse robin hood action of the Republicans. Take from the POOR and give it to the RICH for ten years now and for how much longer I don’t know. You can’t continually take out of a system and not take in any money without it going KABOOM like this economy did after years of taking out and not putting in anything back except RED INK.

  • Rlseigle

    My name is Robert
    In all that is being said about wall street and big business I have previously said to the people that represent the fifth district of texas (Congress & Senate). There has been a total disregard for America and the American people. This country is set to self distruct from of all places “With-In”. Wall street and corprate America would rather see the fall of their own counrty than to take a little less profit to benefit themselves in terms of continued profit for themselves and a chance to stablize our country’s economy. Their actions are purely self serving and a sad attempt to discredit our current government. They refused to allow the economy to grow by not reinvesting in the country that bailed them out on the backs of American that look to them as source of strenght, compassion and leadership, but instead have become a pack of wolves feeding on their own, lending credence to the words “AMERICA EATS IT’s YOUNG”. They feel safe from behind their millions without any love for their brother or country. They also do this for a political position at the expense of all that we as Americans hold so dearly. The most horrifing thing is they feel that they are entitle to and so what can they do about it anyway. These things happen when we as a people fall away from the love of GOD. This is when we loose love for our fellow man. How far have we fallen as a nation. Surely this will not go unseen by the American people nor by our havenly father from which nothing is hidden.

    Sincerely
    Robert L. Seigle
    robertseigle@hotmail.com

  • offshore

    Slovenly looking 30 year old students, big labor goons and assorted victim groups from the George Soros stable of hate America websites makes this mainstream? It looks more like the same riff raff that trashed the Wisconsin state capital earlier this year.

  • Marty2011

    We the people a term many in Congress & the Senate have forgotten. The Senate and Congress of the United States are elected to work for the people of this country by working as one body and this Senate and Congress have failed. WE the people need to bring about a change in Washington and in States and Local governments to adopt TERM LIMITS in all areas of government. I purpose that TODAY, WE the people need to start a movement to have Term Limits attached to all ballots in November and to be voted on by the citizens of this country not the Congress and Senate. I feel that all candidates who run for public office should be given a 5 year term in office. When the candidate has completed his time in office he or she can not run for another public office,Federal, State or Local. This method will keep individuals from becoming intrenched in a position and monopolizing that position where as they make it a political profession. Candidates in this country were not supposed to make politics a profession. Term Limits will help candidates to govern for the people and not for the party. Term Limits will also make it impossible for Congressman & Senators at the Federal & State level to receive a State or Federal pension. If you serve your 5 years you receive only the wage set forth by that position during the 5 years.
    I would also like to see the Local, State & Federal governments tax all religions in this country. I’m feed up with churchs putting their thoughts and noses in political business and not paying their fair share of taxes. Think of all the money we could generate from all the religions in this country.
    TERM LIMITS will help to stablize America and give back the country to WE THE PEOPLE. Have a good day!

  • Newfriend

    I could not have said it better Marty2011
    It might need a few tweeks here and there lol
    But one of the better ideas.
    Thanks

  • RobynBloise

    Each new day is ypur chance to introduce change..Think.. When you go to Market,do you bring your own bag.?? Each day is our vote to undo some of the travisty consumers face.The Big Lie is on your market shelves..When you get in the car? Another vote choice day. Every few years we are given the feast of pretending a vote in America counts..LOOK at our choices ? Wee need to rethink….so far I have not found any President doing anything but get elected then race toward again elections..Information in this age is not forthcomming.. What is the TRUTH//? Are we so indoctrinated in the myth led to us that we can not reconize these capitol pearsons we put in office never look at a rose much less us little triffle earatents,only to open their gaping fog minds around election time. Foolish are we ..and we I sence are NOT NOT STUPID THE veil is off..EXSPORSURE at hand.. LET THEM SPEAK do not throw them off stage we need to listen very carefully what is spuing forth,,Give them rope.. Cath them the ones who promiss zero.. at their own lies.. Let them talk then we answer with the truth facts.. facts.. HEY do we trust the Media..Look how they are interperting ssome of the process we are shinning the light on the whole truth and nothing less will be.. watch what you say we are all apart of this greater truth and those idiots who have not realized our eyes are open will drop by the way side.. this is not confrontational.. but a simple righting a awakening of the people by the people and for the people. so people keep calm love and bend like a willow tree.. HARSHNESS IS HOW THEIR SANDBOX BULLIES.. AND REMEMBER THET USE FEAR to disconect us..

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