In 2008, Barack Obama and the Democrats won the Wall Street sweepstakes by a nose. In 2010, Republicans won it by a length. In 2012, Wall Street may not let Democrats into the gates at all. After the DCCC urged its e-mail lists to start signing petitions in support of Occupy Wall Street, the financial community told Democrats not to bother knocking on their doors at all:
After the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee sent a recent email urging supporters to sign a petition backing the wave of Occupy Wall Street protests, phones at the party committee started ringing.Banking executives personally called the offices of DCCC Chairman Steve Israel (D-N.Y.) and DCCC Finance Chairman Joe Crowley (D-N.Y.) last week demanding answers, three financial services lobbyists told POLITICO. …Democrats’ friends on Wall Street have a message for them: you can’t have it both ways.President Barack Obama and other top Democrats are parroting the anti-corporate rhetoric running through the Occupy Wall Street protests, trying to tap into the movement’s energy but keep the protesters at arms’ length.But many bankers aren’t buying the distinction. And some financial services lobbyists and industry insiders say the liberal line will make swing givers think twice before opening their checkbooks this year.
In fact, many of them have already switched away from Democrats even before OWS appeared on Wall Street. Politico interviewed a handful of fundraisers who have switched from Obama to Mitt Romney as part of their reporting on the subject. That comes in reaction to Barack Obama’s regulatory adventurism and failed Keynesian stimulus efforts, but the sudden cheerleading for anarchists and nihilists almost literally at the gates of the financial sector is apparently the final straw.
My question is this: just who did these financial wizards think Democrats were, anyway? They have been beating the class-warfare drums for years now, especially Nancy Pelosi in the House as Speaker and John Edwards in two successive presidential campaigns. Both Obama and Hillary Clinton co-opted Edwards’ class-warfare populism in 2008, espousing confiscatory, predatory, and punitive policies towards capital even before Obama won in 2008. The sudden adoption of full-blown class warfare by Obama was not a transformation, but the removal of a thin veil of reasonableness that had always been pretense rather than reality.
Glad to see that the wizards of finance have finally begun to realize who they backed, but it’s hardly impressive. They clearly deserve an award that speaks to their cluelessness, if not their disingenuity, at their shock, shock at class-warfare cheerleading in the Democratic Party: