On the Occupy Wall Street protests:
The arguments I heard from the often-articulate protesters in the park were economic, not partisan. None of the posters depicted Romney, House Speaker John Boehner or any other Republicans. Instead they said things like “Top 1% Want Everything,” “Listen to the Drumming of the 99% Revolution,” “Stop Off-Shore Tax Evasion,” and “Protect Medicare, Not Billionaires.”
It’s easy to denigrate the movement for simplistic sentiments that lack a clear agenda. But as the Tea Party demonstrations showed in 2009, that very shapelessness is a huge asset (to use the Wall Street term). If “We’re the 99 percenters” catches on, and the crazies can be marginalized, then the challenge will be to move from the streets to the ballot box, as the Tea Party did in 2010.
On the undemocratic GOP:
Today’s Republican Party is not just anti-Democratic but anti-democratic. The Brennan Center for Justice at New York University just released a disturbing report showing that changes in state laws could make it much harder for more than 5 million eligible voters to cast ballots in 2012. Some states are putting barriers in the way of early voting and student voting, both of which are used heavily by the liberal base.
The most appalling laws make it almost impossible to vote without a driver’s license, which 11 percent of U.S. adults don’t have. College ID cards are not an acceptable substitute in several states. Texas Governor Rick Perry recently signed a bill saying you can vote with a concealed-handgun permit but not with identification from the University of Texas.