October 15, 2011

#Obamiacs leaders of #OWS? Political whores are, too

First of all, let's repeat. If you have an inner circle, if you have that inner circle patrolled with security guards, you have leaders. If one of your major websites has been around since June 2010, and is deliberately obfuscating who's behind it, you have leaders. (Meanwhile, there's falsehoods being told by either leaders or myth-believers, like the claim that the 1960s civil rights movement was "leaderless." Twould be news indeed to the NAACP, SCLC, SNCC and others. The same story includes a claim that civil rights leaders didn't come out with a "laundry list" early on. Again, simply not true.)

And, are at least some of the leaders Obamiacs? Still delusional about Dear Leader?

Well, it's possible, and it's not just me saying that, per this excellent blog post.
Overwhelmingly the people most involved in the General Assembly – the people who facilitate, who offer reports from working groups and who pose questions, are clearly of the professional classes, which is betrayed instantly by their appearance and communication style, their savviness in directing discussion and giving instructions, and by the preening, extroverted style that marks many of today’s professionals from both working stiffs and their stodgier predecessors. In other words, they look exactly like the kind of people who went literally insane for Obama in 2008 and many, if not most, probably did.
The narrative that you get from liberals all over New York, that Obama means well but has been bullied by the right-wing or The System, is not at all uncommon among people who have embraced #OWS including its founding members.  One occupation resident I spoke to estimated that about 3 in 10 people in the movement are very much in favor of Obama. Furthermore, the movement is on extremely friendly terms with Moveon.org – a top-down partisan Democrat campaign organization – and the most Dem-friendly factions of organized labor. Both the 10,000 strong march of a few weeks back and the marches to billionaires homes (which, by the way, only make stops at Republican bogeymen like Rupert Murdoch) were Move On/labor events with what managers would call a dotted line to #OWS.
Glenn Greenwald wrote earlier this week on the Center for American Progress, as well as the Democratic Party, also seemingly wanting to co-opt OWS as a Democratic movement. He cites this NYT story:
The Center for American Progress, a liberal organization run by John D. Podesta, who helped lead Mr. Obama’s 2008 transition, credits the protests with tapping into pent-up anger over a political system that it says rewards the rich over the working class — a populist theme now being emphasized by the White House and the party. The center has encouraged and sought to help coordinate protests in different cities.
CAP and MoveOn are both political whores, no less than Ralph Nader is, in a different way, and no less than Gang Green environmental organizations are for ultimately focusing on "Democratic Party access" as  being so vital. And, while I've railed about Glenn not touting third-party voting, this link indicates maybe he will soon?

Repeat: CAP and MoveOn are both political whores. (And, Amy Goodman is either a political whore or clueless.)
It's possible that, per the Adbusters part of OWS backing, the "hey, look at me be young, cool and hip, why didn't you ad agencies hire me?" part of OWS backing, though, that many "everyday" OWS protesters don't care. Per the top link:
Hence, for the moment, #OWS is, like the Obama ‘movement’, very much more about itself than about anything else.
 That would be partly behind the pretentiousness to claim this is really like Tahrir Square.

Oh, there's commonalities. Per my deliberately snide take on Adbusters, a take I've had for about ... 15 years ... "branding" is a huge commonality between these folks and Dear Leader and his team.

Again, this is the Obama who gets plenty of campaign money from the 1 percenters. This is the same Obama who has time to "worry about" busting medical marijuana in California, promoting "free trade" deals and many other things, besides legitimate OWS complaints.

So, you have a mix of political whores and Obamiacs intermixing with a group that's primarily politically naive with a sprinkling of largely nonviolent anarchists. Well, the civil rights movement got things done by having both an actual leadership and organization that formulated actual strategy and tactics.


JM said...

Hang on, are you mad at OWS here or something else? I know you were skeptical of adbusters,but surely the occupation has spun off into its own thing? And they did have a list of demands at least.

Oh Tarzie said...

Hi there:

I think you may be misinterpreting my post, which did not suggest that #OWS had been co-opted. Rather it was simply an observation of the kinds of people there and some tendencies they might have.

I also have no beef with Adbusters. I was simply noting that one of the founders espoused the hamstrung-by-the-right-wing alibi for Obama, a view shared by several protesters.

Gadfly said...

@JM ... Not mad at the "real ppl" at OWS. But, I've consistently said that Adbusters, IMO, tends to be .. uh, solipsistic, to be polite, and that Anonymous sometimes likes hacker-type action for hacker-type's sake.

As for "spinning off into its own thing"? Let's rethink. Per a FB friend of mine, the "general assembly" has said any "list of demands" coming from outside itself doesn't speak for the general assembly. There's that "leaders" vs. "leaderless" again.


@Oh Tarzie: No, your blog post wasn't the only thing I had linked. So, I was "going beyond it," rather than misinterpreting. Not saying you feel that way about Adbusters in particular, but was riffing on some general ideas you mentioned about a certain element of the protesters.

As for co-opted? I'm not saying it has been by MoveOn or CAP either, but am noting that's what they're attempting to do. Given what you note, that many of the "everyday protesters" are too willing to believe, still, the myths about Obama, it might not be that hard to co-opt a fair amount of them, though.

JM said...

Okay, I think I'm slightly more optimistic about this demonstration but has made me nervous
Although the author is going along with the idea that these demonstrations are "leaderless" However, it seems to me that there isn't so much a leader, as it is an organizer.