Why Occupy Wall Street Was Right in Not Focusing on Washington: The Challenge to Moderate and Liberal Local Leaders

And try saying “Liberal local leaders” three time fast. Anyway, much of the chattering class, which has had its irrelevancy pointed out by the Occupy protest (note to pundits: the people supporting these protests don’t care what you think), has been arguing that these protests need to focus on Washington. But, whether by design or accident, focusing on multiple areas has been very helpful. One thing I’ve noticed is that virtually all of the protests are happening in left-leaning, Democratic urban areas. Even in ‘red’ states (Republican strongholds), the protests are usually in the more liberal regions of those states.

This presents a serious problem for moderate-liberal local politicians who typically govern these areas, as most law enforcement responses are being conducted at the local level. A troglodyte, like Republican governor Haley Barbour, would have no problem with shooting the protestors. But the mayor of Boston? Or many other areas? How many of you think the mayor of Oakland will have an easy re-election? In Boston, Mayor Menino, who is a liberal, was widely criticized for his response to Occupy Boston (and his defense of decrying civil disobedience was absurd, as the protest site is under a half a mile from the site of the Boston Tea Party. Then again, Mumbles isn’t exactly what you would call a thinker).

This is not only smart tactically, but strategically. Local Democratic politicians, who typically have tried to play footsie with local business interests and their Democratic base, will be forced to choose up, and some will choose to rail against the accommodationists in the Congress and the White House. This is a good thing.

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