It’s a mistake, I argued HERE the other day, to see the 99 Percent movement as just an arm of the campaign to re-elect President Obama.
Rather, the movement is far beyond Obama’s control and actually poses a challenge to his leadership.
Liberal journalist Peter Beinart is out with a column today that puts the movement in historical perspective and sees its emergence as a WATERSHED MOMENT for the political left:
Today’s Wall Street protests represent the left’s decoupling from Obama and the Democratic Party, something that the global nature of the movement will only reinforce. That doesn’t mean the movement has a clear critique of unregulated capitalism yet, let alone a concrete agenda for reform, but it means that the left finally is forcing those questions onto the public agenda. By confronting Wall Street, it is creating the populist energy that Obama himself has not.
What we are witnessing in Zucotti Park actually represents an improvement over the Obama campaign. That campaign was largely about faith in one man. The Occupy Wall Street movement, by contrast, represents a direct reckoning with the most powerful forces in American life, forces that are not voted in and out of office every two or four years. And it represents a belief that young Americans must force that reckoning by themselves. No politician will do it for them. Those instincts are exactly right, and we’ve never needed them more.