The Democrats’ aims were further spelled out in a column by Paul Krugman in the New York Times Friday. Citing gestures of support from unions and Democratic officials, Krugman wrote, “Occupy Wall Street is starting to look like an important event that might even eventually be seen as a turning point.”
A turning point to what? Essentially, a second term for Barack Obama.
“Democrats are being given what amounts to a second chance,” wrote Krugman. “The Obama administration squandered a lot of potential good will early on by adopting banker-friendly policies that failed to deliver economic recovery even as bankers repaid the favor by turning on the president. Now, however, Mr. Obama’s party has a chance for a do-over. All it has to do is take these protests as seriously as they deserve to be taken.”
What, precisely, is Obama to “do over?” The agenda for a second term has already been set by a $4 trillion deficit-reduction program that will be translated into devastating cuts to core social programs such as Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security, continuing record unemployment, and even deeper reductions in real wages for the working class.
What the Democrats really want to “do over” is their 2008 election victory, using populist demagogy to mask policies that uphold the interests of the banks, corporations and super-rich. This is where they see the Wall Street protests as potentially useful. If they can somehow identify themselves with popular protest against these conditions, they hope to mask the real record of the Obama administration.
They are desperate to breathe new life into the illusion that the Democrats are somehow a “lesser evil” and a means of combating the Republicans and Wall Street. With the aid of the unions and pseudo-left groups like the International Socialist Organization, they are trying to promote this fraud within the Wall Street protest movement itself.