Mayor Bloomberg is really upset. In an interview with the Village Voice today, He claimed that #OccupyWallStreet is trying to destroy jobs for working people in New York City. Funny, I had the impression they were protesting because so many Americans don’t have jobs.
“Everyone’s got a thing they want to protest, some of which is not realistic,” Bloomberg said. “And if you focus for example on driving the banks out of New York City, you know those are our jobs … You can’t have it both ways: If you want jobs you have to assist companies and give them confidence to go and hire people.”
“The protests that are trying to destroy the jobs of working people in this city aren’t productive,” Bloomberg said in his weekly radio appearance with John Gambling. Taking a swipe at “some of the labor unions participating,” Bloomberg added that “their salaries come from – are paid by – some of the people they’re trying to vilify.”
I guess as far as Bloomberg is concerned, the bottom 99% don’t pay any taxes, and bankers are “working people.” That seems like a pretty skewed view of reality to me. But what do I know? I’m in the bottom 99%. And where did he get the idea that anyone is trying to drive the banks out of New York?
Bloomberg says the protests could affect tourism, but it seems to me that a lot of those protesters are from out of town and probably spending whatever money they have in NYC. But of course they aren’t wealthy or bankers, so they probably don’t count in Bloomberg’s world.
Bloomberg also issues a couple of not-very-subtle threats. He says “we’re not going to be able to pay our municipal employees,” presumably because all the bankers will leave town and there won’t be any tourists. I don’t get the logic there, but the threat to unions who have joined the protests is clear.
Finally, Bloomberg said that he’s letting the protesters “express themselves,” but he hinted that a crackdown could come at any time. I wonder if he realizes how much he sounds like Hosni Mubarak?
“The one thing I can tell you for sure,” he said…”is if anybody in the city breaks the law we will arrest them and turn them over the district attorneys.”
Hmmm…does that include bankers who broke the law? Or does the warning just apply to the bottom 99%?
And then there’s Rep. Eric Cantor (R-VA). Today spoke at the “Values Voters Summit,” which, according to MSNBC, is
an annual gathering of the religious right…[that] provides Republican politicians and presidential candidates an opportunity to display their conservative bona fides.
In the speech, Cantor expressed his fear of the #OccupyWallStreet protesters:
House GOP Leader Eric Cantor decried the protests that started several weeks ago in New York, and have spread to major cities across the country. Cantor said in a speech at the Values Voters Summit in Washington that he is “increasingly concerned” about the “growing mobs” represented at the protests….
“Some in Washington have actually condoned the pitting of Americans against Americans,” Cantor said of the protests after accusing the Obama administration’s policies of being an “assault on many of our nation’s bedrock principles.”
Here’s a clip from the speech:
The hypocrisy almost takes your breath away, doesn’t it? Cantor speaks to a group of people who are segregated by their religion and political party and who as a group hate gays, women, and anyone who isn’t their kind of “Christian,” and he accuses the Occupy protesters–a very diverse group–of dividing Americans against each other.
Oh and Cantor loves the Tea Party, because they aren’t trying to divide Americans against each other. /snark
The good news is these two powerful politicians–and probably many others as well–are running scared. Let’s keep them that way!