With the violent and oppressive crackdowns on numerous Occupy camps across the nation, and the constant talking heads claiming that OWS protesters are dirty, unorganized and a bunch of lazy hippies, you might think that the 99% is losing the media war against the establishment. You would be wrong.
Republicans in the U.S. Congress on Tuesday threw their support behind a payroll tax cut extension, trying to blunt charges ahead of 2012 elections of favoring wealthy Americans over middle-class workers.
Until Tuesday, Republicans had been lukewarm on extending President Barack Obama’s payroll tax cut for workers, indicating they were open to negotiating it but never explicitly backing a measure, which the White House says will boost the country’s sputtering economic recovery.
You need look no further than the current debate over extending the payroll tax cuts for the working class to see Occupy’s influence on the national narrative over income inequality. Because of the group’s constant efforts to keep the debate in the public eye, Republicans on Capitol Hill have finally blinked on their refusal to extend the tax cuts, finally realizing that their defense of the wealthy tax cuts over the 99% is no longer acceptable or tolerated.
Markos Moulitsas, founder of The Daily Kos, writes:
In the world where Occupy had never happened, Republicans would’ve held these tax cuts hostage without suffering any ill repercussions. Why would they? The chattering class and Beltway media would be droning on endlessly about deficits and other things that didn’t matter.
In this world, Occupy has thrust income inequality to the forefront of the political debate — so much so that typically immovable Republicans are afraid to feed that narrative.
In other words, a ragtag bunch of hippies with supposedly no demands have done what Democrats have never been able to do — get Republicans to cry “uncle”.