Jane Chastain is a Southern California-based broadcaster, author and political commentator. Despite her present emphasis on politics, Jane always will be remembered as the nation's first female TV sportscaster, spending 17 years on the sports beat. Jane blogs at JaneChastain.com. She is a pilot who lives on a private runway.More ↓Less ↑
The occupiers of Wall Street were silent as the president of the United States approached the podium in downtown Manhattan and began to speak. Obama was expected to embrace the protesters, but much to their surprise, he delivered a stinging attack.
“You have disgraced yourself by your public displays of indecency, the disrespect for your fellow citizens who live and work here and by trashing this park and the restrooms of nearby merchants. Just look at some of the signs you are carrying. ‘Jump you F—ers,’ pigs in police uniforms and ‘Shoot Sperm not Bullets.’ Is that who you really are?
“I know that many of you are worried and frustrated with this economy, but don’t take it out on the job creators. While some in my party have expressed solidarity with you, I cannot condone a group that blocks traffic and defecates on a squad car. You should be ashamed of yourselves!
“Go home and make this country a better place. If you don’t have a job, take advantage of one of our programs to retrain for the jobs that go unfilled. While you are collecting unemployment checks, do something positive with your time. Begin cleaning up your neighborhood or work as a volunteer at a local hospital.”
The alarm clock jarred me from my sleep. It had all been a dream!
In reality, the president and many Democratic leaders have gone bottom fishing, throwing their support to the Wall Street mobs along with Socialist Party USA, the Communist Party USA, the Democratic Socialist of America, the Islamic Republic of Iran, labor unions and the usual communist sympathizers like Michael Moore, Roseanne Barr and Ben and Jerry’s.
By throwing his support to these demonstrators, Obama missed a golden opportunity to identify with average citizens who, in the worst of times, are tightening their belts and doing their best to live up to their obligations. Many have lost their homes, but they aren’t buying into the class-warfare argument. What about them?
Bill Clinton, the master politician, has given Obama just the blueprint he needs. In 1992, candidate Clinton, giving a speech to Jesse Jackson’s Rainbow Coalition, took on black hip-hop political activist Sister Souljah. During the L.A. Riots, Souljah had suggested it was OK for black people to kill white people. Clinton carefully chose this venue to call her out, thereby distancing himself from Jackson and his extreme base. Suddenly, this liberal Democrat appeared moderate.
To be sure, Obama would be criticized by some in his party who have crawled out on this scrawny limb. It would be a stretch, but his carefully crafted statements on the protests have left some wiggle room. Last week, he called the demonstration a “broad-based frustration about how our financial system works.”
So far so good. Then, he lost it by going into hyper campaign mode.
“… and yet you’re still seeing some of the same folks who acted irresponsibly trying to fight efforts to crack down on the abusive practices that got us into this in the first place.”
Was he looking in the mirror?
Obama regularly rails against “The Street” while cutting sweetheart deals for his biggest supporters – fat-cat bankers. His so-called Dodd-Frank financial reform bill is making it harder for smaller banks and investment firms to compete.
Need proof? Pre-crisis, the top 10 banks in the U.S. Held 55 percent of total assets in the sector; today its 77 percent. What a deal! Squash, squash! That’s the sound of the little guys being crushed underfoot. What can you expect from a bill that bears the name of the two men chiefly responsibly for the housing crisis that caused the financial meltdown?
Is it any wonder the average citizen is confused? Is it any wonder why voters yearn for a simple, easy-to-understand tax system where there is no incentive to lobby, where everyone is treated equally and everyone has some “skin” in the game?
It is not surprising that the harshest words for the demonstrators came from presidential candidate Herman Cain: “If you don’t have a job and you’re not rich, blame yourself. It is not someone’s fault if they succeeded, it is someone’s fault if they failed.”
As a black conservative who worked his way up without government handouts, Cain has been called every name in the book. He is not without sympathy for those who are struggling, but, like Clinton, Cain isn’t afraid to call out those who are out of line.
It’s called leadership. Anyone in the White House listening?