Tuesday, October 18, 2011

$300,000 Is Not Flexing Muscle

Yesterday a news story made its way through the wires without question or analysis. It even ended up in the Washington Times. It claimed that OWS was flexing its muscle because it raised $300,000 in a month.

Wow. A nationwide, nay, we are told, worldwide movement raised $300k in a single month?

That's not muscle flexing in the world of political fundraising. The worst president in one and a half centuries raised $300,000 in the past hour. That is nothing.

Truth is that OWS and its related movements are losing steam. The Howard Stern Show on Monday claimed to have interviewed over 150 people who could not identify any coherent reason why they were in New York protesting. DC protesters are somewhat more intellectual, but the lunchtime exercisers have started crowding their dwindling numbers out. Most of the remaining die hards are anti-war protesters, who could not have been thrilled with the recent deployment to Uganda.

Many on the conservative side counted on this movement to discredit leftism through stupidity and foolish acts. Since Obama backed it, they reasoned that he would be tied to their behavior. It turns out that they are inept and incoherent, much like Obama himself. The brightest ones in the protests, not any better informed, but better able to articulate a philosophy of some sort, are the old timers.

A few beacons of reason are sprinkled among them, but very few. I saw an interview with a true old school Truman type liberal. He described the loss of pensions and secure jobs in the past few decades without really understanding why those things disappeared. But he was older, reasonable, rational, generally not anti-capitalist, and an unabashed lover of his country. He was not sure how to fix things, but believed that labor unions could provide the answers. Again, not a bad or a stupid guy, just misguided. He was rare, though.

As badly as some in the media and the Obama Administration want this to continue, it looks to be fizzling. The Tea Party has a pretty coherent idea of what it wants economically and politically, a little less coherence socially. But they have a much tighter focus and are more effective. OWS is all over the place.

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