No, you weren’t imagining the strident class warfare in Obama’s SOTU speech.

We tend to find what we’re looking for.  Since conservatives know that Obama comes from a socialist background, has advanced policies that are antithetical to capitalism, and has defeated opportunities and initiatives that are supportive of capitalism, we’re going to assume that, in any speech he gives, ordinary statements are actually code for a socialist agenda.  Having this predisposition (“to a hammer, everything is a nail”) can damage ones credibility.  Monomania is not normally associated with reliable analysis.

Except that, with regard to Obama’s recent State of the Union speech, I can tell you with a certain amount of assurance that all those conservatives who saw in it a strident call to class warfare, the end of an American system based upon equality of opportunity, and the destruction of the free market were probably right.  Or, if they weren’t right, they’ve met an equal, although completely opposite, monomania that manages to read the same message into Obama’s speech.

(Come on, Bookworm, spit it out!  What are you saying?)

What I’m saying is that the Occupy crowd is thrilled with Obama’s speech, which they see as a high level articulation of their beliefs and agenda:

Linking the dominant themes in Obama’s nationally televised address Tuesday to the mantras of the Occupy Wall Street movement would have been unthinkable five months ago. But in having its message echoed in the State of the Union address, the Occupy movement reached a milestone in changing the national conversation.

“Once you say the definition of my campaign is fairness, you don’t have to say anything else,” said Lawrence Rosenthal, an expert on social movements who directs UC Berkeley’s Center for the Comparative Study of Right-Wing Movements. “It is the central tenet” of the Occupy movement, he added.


Obama never specifically mentioned Occupy – and probably won’t, analysts said, because the term remains politically divisive. For some, the dominant images of Occupy are of street activists confronting police and committing vandalism, as has occurred several times after Occupy demonstrations in Oakland.

“He won’t, because given half a chance, the Republicans would try to link him to everything that’s gone on with the Occupy Wall Street demonstrations,” said James Miller, a professor of politics at the New School for Social Research in New York.

Still, analysts found Obama’s speech full of several Occupy-related themes: The president said he would not reward multinational corporations who “remove jobs from this country” and demanded “no bailouts, no handouts, no copouts.” Obama even outed himself as a member of the monied class when he said that “we need to change our tax code so that people like me, and an awful lot of members of Congress, pay our fair share of taxes.”

“Tax reform should follow the ‘Buffett rule,’ ” Obama said, referring to billionaire Warren Buffett, who has volunteered to pay more taxes. “If you make more than $1 million a year, you should not pay less than 30 percent in taxes.”

When Obama said Tuesday that “if you make under $250,000 a year, like 98 percent of American families, your taxes shouldn’t go up,” Rosenthal said, “it’d be hard not to say that he was alluding to the Occupy movement.”

(Read the rest here.)

Apparently while Occupy the White House was a bust from the sidewalk point of view, it worked perfectly when it came to occupying the Oval Office.


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    The Buffet Rule: [see below] –  also recognized as the Bluffett in accounting circles and various crime organizations.

    Berkshire Hathaway, the eighth-largest public company in the world according to Forbes, openly admits to still owing taxes for years 2002 through 2004 and 2005 through 2009, according to the New York Post. The company says it expects to “resolve all adjustments proposed by the US Internal Revenue Service” within the next year.

  • Tonestaple

    This is all just one more bit of evidence that that “church” that Obama went to for 20 years was strictly a political organization with nothing more than a disingenous relationship with Christ.

    The entire Occupy movement, and all of Obama’s policies are based on violation of the 10th commandment:  thou shalt not covet … anything that is thy neighbor’s.  It’s always, now, and forever the politics of envy, just like every other source of hostility to capitalism. “Waaahhhh, he got my money.  If he weren’t so rich, I would be better off.  Waaaahhhh.”

    Well, envy, and an astonishing amount of ignorance including the notion that there is a fixed amount of wealth in the world and someone accumulating more means others get less.  If the population really has gotten this dumb, is there any way to fix it?

  • jj

    This is class warfare that doesn’t rise to the level of strident; it’s just stupid.
    Note to Warren Buffet: Hey, Warren – this is a pretty bold stretch on my part, a bit of a reach, but I’m going to assume that you pay capital gains taxes, rather than straight income, because that’s the way you set yourself up.  Tomorrow’s Friday, a weekday; spend the morning on the phone with your accountants, and by next Monday you can be paying taxes on straight income – and I bet you’ll be doing it at a higher rate than your secretary!  OMG!    For a smart guy, you’re kind of not too bright, are you Warren?  Who’s your accountant, Geithner?  If it bothers you, Warren it’s fixable – and it’s a quick and easy fix.
    Lawrence Rosenthal, deep thinker from Berserkley’s Center for the Comparative Study of Right-Wing Movements  (really?  You’re not kidding? That’s an actual discipline at that intellectual midden?) is another beauty.  “Once you say the definition of my campaign is fairness, you don’t have to say anything else.”  This guy doesn’t know much history, does he?  In their own minds the whole point of Lenin, Stalin, Khrushchev, Brezhnev, Mao, Kim, Hitler, and the happy warrior himself, Ho Chi Minh – and every other famous political mass-murderer from the last century – was fairness.  Certainly the whole stated point and driving ethos of communism – at least for public consumption –  was “fairness.”  300 million deaths later… oh, well.  Larry doesn’t get out much.  Nor should he be allowed to – unless it’s on a leash.
    James Miller, registered genius at Nuthouse East failed to notice Obama identifying himself with the Occupiers weeks ago – but he did notice that such allegiance didn’t figure in the speech.  Did Obama have to identify himself with it?  He’s already proudly identified himself with it.  Maybe James forgot.  A brain like that is so active it doesn’t retain much, it’s always on to the next thing.  However – give the man a handful of peanuts and a pat on the head, he noticed that there was no such mention in the SOTUS.
    It’s getting to be time to hit the bar.