By Graeme MacKay, The Hamilton Spectator, Thursday January 26, 2012
Obama’s speech echoes Occupy movement themes
The Crown-First Nations gathering in Ottawa was a classic example of a failure to communicate.
President Obama’s State of the Union speech was widely described as populist for its focus on economic fairness and demand that the wealthiest Americans pay their fair share of taxes.
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.
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.”
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.
The movement is also influencing the GOP presidential primary race.
If not for Occupy, said Miller, it is doubtful that former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and others would attack fellow Republican Mitt Romney for layoffs at companies run by Bain Capital, the private-equity company Romney founded. But such attacks became more palatable after Occupy took hold, Miller added. “For the Republicans to say that was extraordinary,” Miller said. (Source: San Francisco Chronicle)