Fox Flunky Frank Luntz Says “Fox News Viewers Ought To Be Outraged”

If you were to look for a political pollster or analyst who spent more time manufacturing a false narrative about the presidential election than Frank Luntz, you would probably give up in despair.

Luntz is a Fox News fixture who appears on numerous programs flaunting his phony focus groups that invariably swayed to favor Mitt Romney. He was also called upon to review campaign ads, some of which were produced by his Fox colleague, Karl Rove. Those reviews always seemed to rate the GOP ads better, which further affirmed his assessment that Romney was the favorite to win. And to top it off, Luntz is a consultant for hire to the Republican Party, so anyone expecting anything like objectivity from him is terminally naive.

Now that President Obama has decisively won reelection with an electoral landslide, Luntz has crawled out from beneath his wretched rightist rock to make what may be the most hilarious, deceitful, and self-serving statement of the whole campaign season:

“The published polls that the Romney campaign and the Republican establishment were trashing day after day turned out to be accurate. […] This is a bad day for establishment pollsters and it’s something they should be held accountable for. You have to tell your clients the truth. And you have to be accurate. And to miss so many states and to be this far off – Your Fox News viewers ought to be outraged, because day in and day out they were told that Mitt Romney was going to win.”

Indeed, Fox News viewers should be outraged – At Luntz and Fox News! After all, that is where conservative voters were fed the most conspicuously dishonest misinformation about the election and the projected outcome. They are the reason that Romney and his supporters were described as “shell-shocked” when they realized that he had lost. They are the ones who promoted nonsense like “Unskewed Polls” that ironically sought to skew published polling so that Romney came out ahead.

Fox News was so brazenly hypocritical in their reporting of election surveys that they chose to only publish polls that had Romney in the lead. They ignored or disparaged any poll that put Obama on top – even their own Fox News commissioned polls.

Fox News Polls

If election day was “a bad day for establishment pollsters,” it was a bad day for Luntz, because you don’t get more establishment than him. He was as much a part of the problem as anyone. Just a couple of weeks before the election he appeared on Fox to say that it was time to “take Florida off the swing state list,” because it had swung clearly and irreversibly to Romney. Of course, Florida went for Obama, as did all but one of the so-called “swing states.”

The disingenuous babble on Fox News has only one purpose: advance the political interests of conservatives and Republicans. That fact was illuminated by none other than Luntz himself when he told the Los Angeles Times that his airtime has previously been cut on Fox because “his findings didn’t comport with the outlet’s orthodoxy.” That’s an admission that Fox requires their contributors to toe a partisan line, and Luntz has obviously complied.

For Luntz to come out now and tell Fox viewers that they should be outraged is typical behavior for a propagandist who calls himself the “Word Doctor.” He is a professional flack who counsels his clients to lie by distorting language. It was Luntz who coined the term “government-run health care” as an alternative to the Affordable Care Act (or ObamaCare). It didn’t matter that the legislation was only aimed at health insurance and was not in any way a government takeover of medical services. The phrase itself was awarded the “Lie of the Year” from PolitiFact.

Frank LuntzIt’s what Luntz does. In one of his more infamous efforts to distort public discourse, he delivered a speech before a group of Republicans wherein he offered a series of rhetorical replacements for words he thought were damaging to the GOP cause. Words like “capitalism, compromise,” and “middle-class.” This screed was served up after first declaring his abject fear of the Occupy Wall Street movement, saying that he was “so scared of this anti-Wall Street effort. I’m frightened to death. They’re having an impact on what the American people think of capitalism.” And his approach to countering it was not to formulate a policy response, but to change the wording of the GOP rebuttal in the hopes of confusing the public.

So, should Fox News viewers be outraged? I’ll say. But, sadly, they will probably just sink back into their stupor and continue to believe whatever falsehoods Fox throws at them going forward. Fox is already trying to sell the myth that Obama’s victory was insignificant and comes without a mandate. They are soft-peddling an electoral blowout and the fact that Democrats won even more seats in both the House and the Senate in a year where they were expected to lose seats. They are fostering the notion that the GOP should resist tax increases on the wealthy, despite the fact that Obama ran (and won) on that platform and exit polls show that 60% of voters favor it.

This further demonstrates that Fox is doing precisely the same things that ought to have enraged their viewers, and when they lose these arguments as well, their audience will be similarly shell-shocked. But they are getting exactly what they deserve by being foolish enough to keep watching a network that deliberately lies to them.

Andrew Breitbart vs. Occupy: Behave Yourselves You Filthy Freaks

Every year at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) there are demonstrations of ludicrous and hateful behavior by the nation’s rightist luminaries. Already this year we have seen three of the candidates for the Republican nomination for president take the stage to throw red meat invectives at President Obama and other Democrats, to the delight of the ravenous crowd.

But nothing has yet come close to the maniacal tantrum thrown by Internet mogul wannabe, Andrew Breitbart. And it was all caught on tape:

Breitbart often tries to present himself as someone who wants to be taken seriously by the media. He thinks he is a credible journalist and media critic. But his behavior belies even the notion that he is mentally stable. By repeating incessantly, at high decibels, his demand that Occupy protesters behave themselves, he is not exactly a model of civil behavior. But then he escalates his tirade to inexplicably accuse the protesters of rape and murder. He becomes so completely unhinged that security guards intervene to remove him from the scene.

It boggles the mind that so-called respectable news networks provide Breitbart with a platform to spew his bile. When CNN, for instance, puts him on the air they are validating him as a credible commentator, despite his resume that is replete with hostility and brazen dishonesty. This latest episode of frenzied derangement ought to put an end to his media exploitation but, unfortunately, that will probably not be the case. Too many media executives (like CNN’s Ken Jautz) are more concerned with ratings generating controversy than they are with professionalism or journalistic ethics.

U.S. Falls to 47th Place On Press Freedom Index

Reporters Without Borders released their annual Press Freedom Index today that ranks 179 countries for their treatment of journalists and respect for a free and independent press. There were some points of light internationally, but as their report notes:

“Crackdown was the word of the year in 2011. Never has freedom of information been so closely associated with democracy. Never have journalists, through their reporting, vexed the enemies of freedom so much. Never have acts of censorship and physical attacks on journalists seemed so numerous.”

The United States performed particularly poorly, dropping 27 places this year to 47th worldwide. When compared only to the 20 largest nations (by GDP), the U.S. came in at #11, behind countries like Taiwan and South Korea.

The precipitous decline was attributed to the surge in arrests of reporters at Occupy Wall Street demonstrations. There was a notable pattern of both arrests and assaults by law enforcement of journalists covering the events. Last November the Society of Professional Journalists issued a condemnation of such practices and called on…

“…city administrators across the country to drop charges against journalists arrested while covering the Occupy Wall Street and related protests.”

Josh Stearns of has been tracking the arrests and harassment of journalists across the country. To date he has identified 36 victims. But this list is not comprehensive. One incident that was left out involved reporters from a Fox News affiliate (of all places) in New York who were covering the protests when they were embroiled in a chaotic scuffle that resulted in the photographer getting maced and the reporter getting struck by a police baton.

This is an embarrassing development for a country whose Constitution explicitly protects freedom of the press. It indicates that we still have some work to do and that eternal vigilance is not just a figure of speech..

Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Case Of The Tea Party Smoke Bomber

If there is still anyone who wonders where Fox News gets the information it publishes, let there be no mistake – They make it up. Take, for instance, this article featured on Fox Nation with the headline, “Occupier (Not a Tea Partier) Throws Smoke Bomb Over White House Fence.”

Fox Nation vs. Reality

The Fox Nationalists linked to an article on their own about the protest in Washington by Occupy Congress. Nowhere in the article was there any evidence that the smoke bomb was thrown by an Occupy protester. There are no witnesses, no suspects, no statements from the authorities – nothing that implicates a protester.

Nevertheless, Fox makes a declarative statement of fact that the smoke bomb was thrown by an “Occupier.” They also make a similar statement that the smoke bomb was not thrown by a Tea Partier, an assertion for which they also have zero evidence. And we already know that Tea Partiers have conspired to create disruptions at progressive events and blame the progressives. Here are just two verified examples:

Patrick Howley, an assistant editor for the uber-conservative American Spectator magazine, admitted to infiltrating OccupyDC for the purpose of undermining it. He then attempted to lead a group of protesters into storming the National Air and Space Museum in Washington. The protesters, being much smarter than Howley, did not play along. Howley stormed the museum alone and was pepper-sprayed by security.

Mark Williams, former spokesman for Tea Party Express, told his radio listeners that he was planning to sabotage union rallies with the intention of making them look “greedy and goonish.” And he beseeched his listeners to do the same. Williams was the one-time spokesperson for the Tea Party Express, but was dismissed for publishing a virulently racist article on his blog.

Given their history of attempts to implicate Occupiers for crimes they did not commit, it is entirely possible that a Tea Party, or other right-wing activist, was responsible for the smoke bomb. But I’m not leveling any charges because there is no evidence one way or the other. That, however, doesn’t stop Fox from inventing news stories that advance their agenda. Fox News has always been more interested in disseminating propaganda than in upholding ethical standards of journalism.

Occupy Reality: Americans Concern About Income Inequality Surges

The Pew Research Center has conducted an inquiry into the degree of divisions within American society and found that conflicts between rich and poor now outpace other sources of group tension.

That result can only be interpreted as a success for the 99% and those who participated in the nationwide Occupy movement. They decisively altered the national dialogue from one that was obsessed with government spending and debt, to one that focused on economic justice and corporate abuse of power.

This is a terrible time for the GOP (Greedy One Percent) to be coalescing around Mitt Romney as their nominee for president. A multimillionaire, corporate raider who specializes in bankrupting companies and outsourcing jobs may not be the ideal candidate in this political environment. But, fortunately for Democrats, they are stuck with him.

The Wealth Gap in American is currently larger than it has ever been. It is larger than it was in the Great Depression. It is even larger than it was during the ancient Roman Empire that collapsed from the weight of its own injustice and oppression.

Click to enlarge
Decadence Index

The Republicans know all too well that their class war on behalf of the rich is toxic to their electoral aspirations. Their top strategist and pollster, Frank Luntz, has been counseling them to steer clear of debates on economic justice and free market capitalism. In a seminar for the Republican Governor’s Association he told them that he is “so scared of this anti-Wall Street effort. I’m frightened to death.” Even fellow Republicans are bashing the corporatist tendencies of Romney and his Bain Capital pedigree.

Not to be left out, Fox News joined the club by posting an article about the Pew survey on their Fox Nation web site. Consistent with their inbred bias, they mocked up a graphic that pastes Obama in front of the “Mission Accomplished” banner that George Bush made to pretend that the Iraq war was over, implying that Obama is responsible for the class tensions.

Fox Nation Rich/Poor Conflict

The problem with Fox’s characterization is that Obama was a late-comer to the issue. The people were way out in front of this and they overwhelming support the goals associated with the Occupy movement. And that includes many of the rich people we are supposed to be in conflict with. Notice how they never called it a class war until we fought back.

But more importantly, in their rush to smear the President, they are implicitly conceding that income inequality is a significant problem in America and that it is reaching an historic level of risk. Thanks Fox.

Carnage Capitalism: When Mitt Romney Came To Town

“You have to ask the question, is capitalism really about the ability of a handful of rich people to manipulate the lives of thousands of people and then walk off with the money?” (h/t TPM)

You might be wondering which ultra-progressive enemy of conservative, free market, American principles uttered that indictment of capitalism and the GOP (Greedy One Percent) model of the economy. It wasn’t Michael Moore or Nancy Pelosi or George Soros. It was former Speaker of the House of Representatives, and current floundering Republican presidential hopeful, Newt Gingrich.

Seriously. Gingrich is so obsessed with cutting off his nemesis, Mitt Romney (or R*Money as his Highlife Homies call him) at the knees that he has adopted the platform of Occupy Wall Street to expose Romney’s Carnage Capitalism that permits him to profit extravagantly from the suffering of others and the destruction of businesses and jobs. There is even a devastating new video produced by a pro-Gingrich Super-Pac, Winning Our Future, that could easily be used by the Obama campaign against Romney this fall:

This is precisely the strategy that should be implemented against Romney and the rest of the congressional GOP establishment in the upcoming elections. Gingrich knows that this line of attack will be effective or he wouldn’t be using it himself. He has surely done focus groups and other polling to affirm that. Even the GOP’s top pollster/strategist, Frank Luntz warned a meeting of the Republican Governor’s Association that…

“I’m so scared of this anti-Wall Street effort. I’m frightened to death. They’re having an impact on what the American people think of capitalism.”

It isn’t really the word capitalism that is the problem, but the corruption of it by people like Romney (and Gingrich, for that matter). But when the far right is embracing our arguments, you know that the tide has turned. And that is not a sign to relax or declare victory. It is a call to redouble our efforts and march on until our goals are achieved. This concession by Gingrich, and the video by his pals, are just the most recent indications that progressive values are on the ascendancy.

The Decadence Index: How The Wealth Gap Is Hastening The Fall Of The American Empire

If there is anything that history teaches us about empires, it is that they are temporary and often fall of their own decaying weight. Ancient Rome is notorious for a descent that was widely speculated to have been driven by a massive class disparity. The aristocratic patricians devolved into a morass of immorality and obscene opulence. Meanwhile, the other 99% of the empire’s subjects were burdened by lives of oppressive labor or slavery.

The parallels to contemporary American class division are striking. We have our own aristocracy that arisen to a place of privilege and power, while working families are working harder for less, if they’re fortunate enough to be working at all. The 400 richest Americans control more wealth than the bottom 150 million of their fellow citizens – combined. And they exploit the power that comes with that wealth to further enrich themselves. Between 1979 and 2007, average after-tax incomes for the top 1% rose by 281%, compared to a 16% rise for the bottom 20%. The Roman elites would have felt right at home.

There is one difference, however. An historical study published by the Cambridge University Press looked at the Roman economy and calculated the measurement used by the CIA to rank the wealth gap of the nations of the world. What it found was that the United States actually ranks lower on income inequality than Ancient Rome.

Let that sink in for a moment. History’s most conspicuously ostentatious society of Bacchanalian excess had a less severe chasm between its rich and poor subjects than contemporary America. That astonishing fact led me to wonder where the U.S. stands when compared to its modern counterparts. So I consulted the CIA World Factbook and ranked the twenty richest nations by the index that represents income inequality. What I found was that the U.S. ranks 18th out of twenty. I call it The Decadence Index, and countries like Iran, Russia, and India are all less decadent than the United States in terms of economic disparity.

Click to enlarge
Decadence Index

The CIA collects this sort of data because it can be useful in predicting where civil unrest might flare up in the world. So what does that say about the stability of our social structure going forward? It certainly explains the Occupy movement. The question now is what are we going to do about it?

The solutions are not all that difficult to comprehend. Those who have benefited so lavishly by exploiting the system for their own enrichment should now be required to share a fair portion of the sacrifice necessary to restore economic health and balance. It’s not rocket science. Malcolm Gladwell offers a compelling explanation as he demolishes the rightist fable that taxes on the wealthy impede economic growth:

If we want to raise our position on the Decadence Index above that of the Ancient Romans (or the Russians or the French, for that matter), we need to reject the reckless and insensitive agenda of the right-wing patricians whose sole purpose is the accumulation of wealth and power. These patrons of plutocracy unabashedly advocate cutting, even eliminating, taxes on themselves, the rich, and intensifying the tax burden on everyone else. They falsely portray themselves as “job creators,” but this InfoGraphic shows who The Real Job Creators are. They pretend to fret over a class war that they themselves are waging. And because they know that the people overwhelmingly support the principles of economic fairness and justice, these conservative elites are conspiring to suppress the votes of average Americans, particularly seniors, minorities, students, and low-income voters.

Make no mistake, this is a coordinated campaign financed and managed by shadowy, but powerful, business and political entities like the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC). Their mission was aided by the Supreme Court’s odious decision in the Citizens United case that opened the floodgates of corporate money into the electoral process. And, of course, they have the propaganda power of Fox News to advance their greedy, magisterial interests. But the people are fighting back against ludicrous notions like “Corporate Personhood,” and the Upper Crusters are afraid. Even Republican strategist Frank Luntz is admitting as much:

“I’m so scared of this anti-Wall Street effort. I’m frightened to death. They’re having an impact on what the American people think of capitalism.”

So keep up the fight because Corporations Are Not People. Here are some ways to contribute and participate:

Move To Amend is organizing a national action on January 20, 2012, to oppose and reverse Citizens United: Occupy the Courts!
Public Citizen is organizing a national action on January 21, 2012 to oppose and reverse Corporate Personhood: Occupy the Corporations!

Get up. Get involved. Get mad. And get to work.

Occupy The Media: Progressives Rule – Republicans Drool

A new study by the Pew Research Center for the People and the Press explores the public’s attitude toward their elected representatives and the ideological viewpoints that divide our culture. The results reveal a surprising discordance between what the people want and what our representatives think we want.

If a neutral foreigner were to be deposited in America and asked to describe the aspirations of the American people based on his observations of politicians and the press, he might describe a populace consumed with conservative values, evangelical fervor, and personal greed. It’s an appraisal colored by the inordinately excessive volume of congressional Tea Partiers, moralistic spokespeople, and Republican anti-tax crusaders.

However, the true character of the American people has only recently been demonstrated via the actions of Wall Street Occupiers and their protests against the undemocratic usurpation of power by wealthy corporations and individuals, and their benefactors in government. We are a far more tolerant, charitable, and forward thinking people than we are portrayed to be.

Pew Survey - Political TermsThe first, and perhaps most notable, revelation in the Pew survey is that, contrary to the conventional so-called wisdom, when Americans are asked for which term they have a more positive impression, “progressive” ranks highest (at 67%) and significantly higher than “conservative” (62%).

This reverence for progressivism will come as a surprise to many in the media who seem to have bought the persistent complaints of conservatives that Americans lean to the right. That has never been true. There has just been a concerted effort to demonize the liberal label, which has been successful to some degree. Glenn Beck tried to do the same thing to “progressive,” but obviously that didn’t work at all. He must be scarfing down Prozac by the handful right about now. And even with the decades-long bashing of liberals, the term still ties with “capitalism” at 50%. Meanwhile, socialism fares pretty well at 31% for a nation that once blacklisted anyone who expressed sympathy for workers or the poor – a nation to which today’s GOP would like to return.

In addition to the disconnect on ideology, the media has presented a pitifully shallow analysis of the public’s affinity (or lack thereof) for Congress. It has been widely reported that the approval rating for Congress is at historic lows (11%). However, that number has not been broken down to reflect the specific object of the public’s disaffection – until now.

The Pew survey reveals that the nation’s mind is firmly made up as to who is responsible for our national woes. When asked who is to blame for the “do-nothing” congress, respondents chose Republicans over Democrats by almost 2-to-1 (40% to 23%). Republicans were also seen as more extreme in their positions (55% to 33%), and less willing to work with the other side (25% to 51%). Meanwhile, Democrats were viewed as better able to manage government (41% to 35%) and more honest and ethical (45% to 28%).

Fox Nation - CongressThis places media reports of low congressional approval ratings in context. What people hate about Washington are its GOP inhabitants. November 2012 can’t come soon enough for Democrats. And, as can be expected, Fox News leads the pack of truth-distorters by publishing an article on low congressional approval with an accompanying graphic that features Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, but no sign of the Republican Speaker of the House, John Boehner, or his cadre of lieutenants and committee chairmen who presided over the least productive congress in 60 years.

A similar contextual perspective can be applied to reporting on the Occupy Wall Street movement. While right-wing propagandists have gone to great lengths to insult the protesters as unfocused, unclean, and un-American, the Pew poll paints a very different picture. A plurality of 44% support the movement. Even more (48%) agree with its goals. An overwhelming majority (77%) believe that there is too much power in the hands of a few rich people and large corporations. That includes majorities of Democrats (91%), Independents (80%), and even Republicans (53%).

This information ought to be a part of every story broadcast or published about the nation’s moods and preferences. The low opinions expressed in media polls do not exist in a vacuum. Those numbers have no meaning without digging further to understand why they are what they are. If you were to put Gandhi in a room with a coven of neo-Nazis and poll the public as to their opinion of the people in that room, it would certainly yield a poor result. The inscrutable press would then report that America hates Gandhi. Of course, a more detailed survey would show that it was only the Nazis that brought the polling down.

That’s precisely the sort of deception that the media is engaging in with regard to Occupy Wall Street and Congress. And it’s why we have to be continually vigilant in monitoring the media and correcting it when necessary. In the meantime, we, as progressives, can be proud that the people are on our side, and we can keep reminding the world that it’s the other guys in the room who are stinking it up.

Time Magazine: #Occupy Wall Street #1 Story Of 2011

The editors of Time Magazine have selected the Occupy Wall Street movement as the top news story of 2011. This was a year that featured a contentious primary race for the Republican nomination for president, a bitter congressional battle over the debt ceiling, and a trial of staggering importance to the nation that found Michael Jackson’s doctor guilty of manslaughter.

Nevertheless, Time managed to make the right choice. The Occupy movement is an unprecedented expression of the First Amendment rights of free speech and the redressing of grievances. This country has never before seen a protest that planted itself in a public square and remained there long after most other rallies would have dissipated and gone home. And this phenomenon replicated itself in hundreds of cities across the nation.

As a result, the public debate over policy and governance flipped 180 degrees from the phony discourse over debt and the size of government, to the far more relevant subject of economic fairness and the abuse of power by the wealthy, the well-connected, and the giant multinational corporations who have no allegiance to America or its citizenry. It shoved the AstroTurf Tea Party out of the headlines and caused the Republican establishment to admit that they are “frightened to death” of Occupy and the 99%.

While Time got the top spot right, there were a couple of glaring omissions in the remainder of their top 10. Somehow they left out the killing of Osama Bin Laden which, after a decade of consuming a major portion of the national consciousness, ought to have earned a spot on this list. It is likewise curious that the News Corp phone hacking scandal was overlooked. That affair resulted in the closure of Britain’s largest circulation newsweekly, 17 arrests (and counting), numerous resignations of top management, Parliamentary hearings that compelled the appearance of Rupert Murdoch and his son James. This was not only a huge news story, it was the biggest news story about the news in decades.

These omissions might have been excusable if the crush of major events simply pushed the stories further down the list. But Time saw fit to include the “Penn State Sex Abuse Scandal,” and “Freak Weather” in the list. Do they really believe that those stories rank higher than the downfalls of the world’s top terrorist and top media propagandist?

[I’ll leave it you to decide which is which]
Rupert MurdochOsama Bin Laden

Obama’s Kansas Speech Owes A Debt To #Occupy Wall Street

President Obama traveled to the site of Teddy Roosevelt’s “New Nationalism” speech in order to deliver an address on the economy. The most striking thing about the President’s remarks was the extent to which they appear to have been influenced by the Occupy movement. Obama segued from one assertion of economic inequality to another as he insisted that “in America, we are greater together – when everyone engages in fair play, everyone gets a fair shot, everyone does their fair share.”

That is the call of the Occupiers in a nutshell. It is a campaign to restore fairness and justice and to take back control of the government from the wealthy special interests it has come to serve. If you missed the speech, I’ll save you twenty minutes by posting the one paragraph that summarizes the core of the message:

“Now, in the midst of this debate, there are some who seem to be suffering from a kind of collective amnesia. After all that’s happened, after the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression, they want to return to the same practices that got us into this mess. In fact, they want to go back to the same policies that have stacked the deck against middle-class Americans for too many years. Their philosophy is simple: we are better off when everyone is left to fend for themselves and play by their own rules.”

Indeed, the Collective Amnesia Ward is overflowing with patients who not only are suffering from the malady, they want to infect every American with the disease. In fact, the only way that they can prevail next November is to spread the amnesiac virus beyond the community of conservative Republicans who are most susceptible to it. And if that one message is effectively communicated by the Obama reelection committee, the President will serve a second term.

On the other hand, the paragraph following the one above reiterated one of Obama’s most severe flaws. He still believes that there is a commonality of interest between his principles of inclusion and the Republican obsession with power. He believes that that by embracing a universal American togetherness the GOP will cease to demonize him and join the effort to rebuild the nation. It starts off well enough, but crashes and burns at the end.

“I’m here to reaffirm my deep conviction that we are greater together than we are on our own. I believe that this country succeeds when everyone gets a fair shot, when everyone does their fair share, and when everyone plays by the same rules. Those aren’t Democratic or Republican values; 1% values or 99% values. They’re American values, and we have to reclaim them.”

To argue that the 1% and the 99% share common American values is evidence of a dangerous blind spot. What Obama is missing here, and what he has missed for the past three years, is that there is a massive chasm between Democratic and Republican values. Whereas Democrats aspire (at least rhetorically) to empower the middle-class, the Republicans freely admit that their top objective is destroy Obama. That simple truth ought to be enough to convince the President that he is not going to recruit any allies in the fight for fairness and economic renewal from the ranks of the establishment GOP.

To illustrate the determination of the right-wing to throw every available obstacle into Obama’s path, Fox News cut away from the speech about half way through. Apparently they wanted to protect their fragile viewers from this subversive philosophy. By tonight Fox will be castigating the speech as a paean to socialism owing to its praise for working together. And the pressing news that demanded the interruption of the President was that Megyn Kelly had an interview with Michele Bachmann, who has about as much chance of becoming the Republican nominee as Miss Piggy.

On the whole the speech was another validation of the Occupy movement. This speech would not have been written a year ago. The public debate has been utterly transformed in the two and a half months since an unruly rabble encamped in a park in Lower Manhattan. Today the Republicans are “frightened to death” of the prospect of average Americans ascending to the top of the political food chain. And the President of the United States of America gave a speech honoring the notion that “We still have a stake in each other’s success.”