Part II: The Right Wing Playbook On Occupy Wall Street
This is the second part of our five-part series on right-wing attacks against Occupy Wall Street.
Even as the Right slams Occupy Wall Street as a communist movement bent on revolt, they also claim that the demonstrators are lazy, jobless complainers who don’t have political goals.
Strategy Two: Call The Protesters Bums
The Washington Times mocked the movement, calling the protestors “the Wall Street whiners,” “losers” and “crybabies,” and teasing that “[t]hese products of the most left-wing institutions in America have discovered that expensive degrees in useless fields don’t deliver instant wealth.” Rush Limbaugh slammed the protesters as “perpetually lazy, spoiled rotten, 99 percent white kids who don’t have anything else to do except sit around and be told how rotten their lives are.”
Concerned Women for America president Penny Young Nance said that the protesters are people simply looking “to panhandle,” writing, “It occurs to me that perhaps they would have a better grasp on the American dream if they simply got out of bed.” Star Parker likened the protesters to a “screaming infant” with a “list of demands that wouldn’t pass muster in an average kindergarten class.”
Fox News host Eric Bolling called the demonstrators “petulant little children” and suggested that instead of protesting, “how about going out and trying to find a job instead?” Ann Coulter ridiculed the demonstrators and brushed aside comparisons to the tea party movement, saying, “The tea partiers have jobs, showers and a point.”
The prominent right-wing blog RedState started a counter-movement called “We Are The 53%,” which supposedly amplifies the voices of the 53 percent of Americans who pay income taxes. But the movement conveniently ignores that people who don’t pay income taxes still pay taxes, including sales taxes, excise taxes, payroll taxes, state and local taxes and property taxes. RedState’s editor Erick Erickson kicked off the 53% movement when he lamented, “I work 3 jobs…But I don’t blame Wall Street, suck it up you whiners, I am the 53% subsidizing you so you can hang out on Wall Street and complain.” Erickson’s three jobs, of course, are as a CNN pundit, radio talk show host and editor of the blog. Erickson has also dubbed the protesters “damn dirty communists” and another RedState blogger called them “a slothful and dirty bunch.”
GOP presidential candidate Herman Cain blamed the unemployed for not having jobs and said the Occupy Wall Street protesters were simply resentful of the rich: “Don’t blame Wall Street, don’t blame the big banks, if you don't have a job and you’re not rich, blame yourself!” Later, during a Republican presidential debate, Cain stood by his comments, adding that Wall Street was blameless in the financial crisis.
But Newt Gingrich upped the ante with his scorching attack at the Thanksgiving Family Forum, telling demonstrators: “go get a job right after you take a bath.”
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