Republicans paint Brown bright red: attack Warren’s support for Occupy movement

Democratic Senate candidate Elizabeth Warren told The Daily Beast in an interview published yesterday that she supports the Occupy movement: “‘I created much of the intellectual foundation for what they do,’ she says. ‘I support what they do.’”

Scott Brown’s Republican Party, which has already positioned their candidate as a Red State champion, attacked immediately. Glenn Johnson in the Globe:

“Warren’s decision to not only embrace, but take credit for this movement is notable considering the Boston Police Department was recently forced to arrest at least 141 of her Occupy acolytes in Boston the other day after they threatened to tie up traffic downtown and refused to abide by their protest permit limits,” NRSC spokesman Brian Walsh wrote.

Brown’s campaign, led by self-confessed Internet dirty campaigner Eric Fehrnstom, has apparently endorsed these slash and burn tactics.  It recently purchased the attack site.

The problem with positioning Brown as a Red State radical is that a majority of Americans support the Occupy movement: 54 percent according to Time, including 56 percent of non-college-educated whites, according to the National Journal. In New York, which has voted with Massachusetts in the last several national elections, 87 percent of the population is fine with the Occupy protesters, and 81 percent of Democrats and 58 percent of Republicans and Independents agree with their general complaints, according to a survey on 17 October.

Greg Sargent of the WaPo’s Plum Line sums up the politics:

“[N]ational Republicans are placing their bet. They are wagering that the cultural instincts of the working class whites and independents who will decide this race ensure that the excesses of the protesters will make them less inclined to listen to her populisteconomic message, which is also directed at those voters. This is an old story in American politics, of course. Conservatives have for decades been mining the tension between blue collar whites and liberal middle class activists who resort to outsized protest tactics and occasional violence.

Has Scott Brown become a candidate for an Oklahoma Senate seat, accidentally running in Massachusetts? What a story that woud be.



13 Comments . Leave a comment below.
  1. So Brown and Warren have traded places?

    Brown from MA running for an OK seat and Warren, originally from OK, running for a MA seat!:)

    Actually, Brown as a Senator from OK would be refreshing compared to the two that state has now.

  2. except that...

    “Warren’s decision to not only embrace, but take credit for this movement is notable considering the Boston Police Department was recently forced to arrest at least 141 of her Occupy acolytes in Boston the other day after they threatened to tie up traffic downtown and refused to abide by their protest permit limits,” NRSC spokesman Brian Walsh wrote.

    … the 141 protestors were arrested in the middle of the night when, ahem, traffic is less of an issue.

  3. Admit it, folks.

    She put her foot in her mouth. Keep whistlin’ in the dark.

    • Nope.

      She’s refreshingly honest. Remember her quotes (that the GOP likes to pretend they find offensive) about throwing rocks, and blood and teeth on the floor? She meant it (though not literally, of course, as we’ve discussed previously). Unlike just about any other politician, she’s actually serious about taking on the power of Wall Street and restoring an appropriate balance to our economy.

      • Unlike other Democrats?

        She’s bucking her own party and President on this? Does Barney Frank know he’s not serious about taking on the power of Wall Street? Does Obama? Harry Reid, and Nancy Pelosi, they all are unlike Elizabeth Warren on this?

        How is a freshman Senator going to run against her own party and President and then expect to accomplish anything if she somehow succeeds?

        • Actually, yes

          Actually, yes, Barney Frank, Barack Obama, Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi are all unlike Elizabeth Warren on taking on Wall Street. Had those Democrats used their majority status to actually do something about the abuses of Wall Street, we might all be in better shape.

          I think you’ll find that the aforementioned Democrats will fall over themselves to somehow get the energy of the Occupy Everything movement working on their behalf instead of against it. I don’t think Ms. Warren will have to “run against her own party and President” at all — I think they’re all happy to have her run point, so that they can line up behind her. They will enthusiastically support her candidacy, and declare that they’ve been supporting her all along.

          This is a pivotal moment in American politics. The New York Times today reports that “almost half of the public thinks the sentiment at the root of the Occupy movement generally reflects the views of most Americans”, and (emphasis mine):

          With nearly all Americans remaining fearful that the economy is stagnating or deteriorating further, two-thirds of the public said that wealth should be distributed more evenly in the country. Seven in 10 Americans think the policies of Congressional Republicans favor the rich. Two-thirds object to tax cuts for corporations and a similar number prefer increasing income taxes on millionaires.

          Elizabeth Warren has, by simply doing the right thing, positioned herself perfectly to lead the way into the re-alignment — of both parties — that will result from the energy of the Occupy Everything movement.

    • Again

      an assertion based solely on claiming that your point is already obvious.

      Could you maybe find a new rhetorical device?

  4. Out of the academy and into the street

    I regard to Ms Warren’s claim that she “created the intellectual foundation for OWS.” Well, yes–she and countless others, many of whom were fighting the good fight while she was still a Republican in the 80s. A tad hubristic, if you ask me, and she should bear in mind Al Gore’s infelicitious remarks about birthing the Net, as hers are being similarly misreported (I’m seeing headlines reading “Warren Claims to Have Founded OWS.”)

    I also daresay that claiming this mantle will rankle more than a few. Without in any way downplaying Ms. Warren’s credibility on issues economic, she’s not really a poster-face for OWS. Getting big money out of politics is a paramount issue for many of us, and candidates who accept serious $$ from hedge fund operators and establishment PACs are NOT going to be darlings of this movement. I think she’s overreaching here. This crowd isn’t going to be moved by mere rhetoric.

    I’m pleased to see she “supports” the OWS movement; her response to the question at the Lowell debate began with her insistence that “the protesters obey the law,” which sounded school-marmish at the time, and which has some real implications after what went down in Boston and, especially, in Oakland last night. I’d like to know whether her support extends to those who were jailed for standing up for their right to free assembly and petitioning for the redressing of certain grievances. And I laughed out loud this morning when I came across the GOP brain trust’s brain-dead response.

    BUT… I’m not sure what voicing support actually means. Saying “I support OWS” is rather like me saying “I support the troops.” How about some public statements decrying the attacks on the camps?

    …Or even more. Have to say that I was very pleased, last Saturday night at 10pm, to find myself marching in the streets alongside and talking with another candidate for Senate–Marisa DeFranco. It wasn’t a photo opp or a perfomance stunt–she was unadorned, and I’m sure 90% of the folks there had no idea who she was. That’s REAL support; that’s walking the walk, and this former supporter of Bob Massie was genuinely moved and duly impressed. Intellectual foundations are one thing, but this thing isn’t an intellectual movement. Bodies matter.

    Thow Brian Walsh’s brain-dead criticism right back in his teeth by making your next statement of support right there in Dewey Square, Ms Warren. March with us. That would speak volumes.

  5. Bet you a buck that

    Elizabeth Warren doesn’t back down from what she said, nor should she.

    The Right Wing is doing everything in its power to characterize the movement as incoherent and out of touch, though it’s certainly no less coherent than the Tea Party (and it’s certainly better aimed).

    These demonstrations are good, not particularly effective or clever yet, but good. (We’ve forgotten a lot since the Sixties). We need mass movements and protest. I hate to say that the Tea Party, given its “ideas” and corporate “support” system, was good for America, but inasmuch as it preserved or advanced protest and demonstration as a form of public speech they were good.

  6. 1968

    For Republicans, it’s perennially either 1968 or 1980. These are the two default settings, whether the actual facts on the ground support applying such 1968 or 1980 framing. This story about Elizabeth and Occupy Wall Street is classic Republican 1968 framing. Republicans say: “We’ll convince working folks to support us by portraying the street protesters as dirty, lawless, privileged and culturally foreign.”

    Here’s the bad news for my Republican friends: they’re victims of their own success. Over the last 40 years, they have built a country in which there is less opportunity, less economic security, less class mobility and more risk than at almost any time since the Gilded Age. The folks out in the streets for OWS aren’t lawless Yippees, but rather they are the children of working folks who: are saddled under the crushing burden of student loan debt, can’t find jobs, can’t afford health insurance and have been forced to live at home. They are justifiably out in the street protesting the fact that America has two sets of rules: one for criminal bankers who blew up the economy with no personal consequences, and another for everyone else who keeps falling hopelessly further and further behind. Working people know that their children are going to be worse off than they were and that their children will have fewer opportunities and a great deal less economic security than any generation in decades.

    If these jackass Republicans want to portray OWS as a band of Abbie Hoffman acolytes, go ahead. This isn’t 1968, and protesting excessive, grotesque Wall Street greed isn’t the same as protesting Vietnam. Let the Repubs flog this 1968 message. They’re full of poo and the truth will set us free.

    Elizabeth will be the only politician in this general election speaking to scandalous economic inequality and restoring some basic economic fairness to our country. I’ll knock on every door in Essex County to get her elected…and then I’ll start on the doors in Middlesex County if there’s time.

    • Even more not 1968

      As a culture, we’re also a whole lot less conformist than we were in 1968. Back then, hippies were easier to demonize. Then, it shocked a sense of what was appropriate for men to have long hair; these days, with many men wearing tattoos and earrings and with hugging a standard form of greeting among friends, it’s hard to understand what the fuss was about.

  7. polling here is fluid

    Also, it’s important to separate whether voters identify with the “1% vs 99%” meme versus what they actually think of the protests. Those can be different numbers.

    The CBS/NYT poll today has:

    Asked specifically what they think about “Occupy Wall Street” as a movement – as opposed to the ideas behind it – Americans were more reticent to offer an opinion: 25 percent said they had a favorable impression of the movement, 20 percent said they have an unfavorable impression

    It will be interesting to see when and how more “undecideds” see enough news coverage to offer an opinion.

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Sat 29 Apr 11:33 AM