Last fall, when the Occupy folks were gracing Dewey Square with a semi-permanent encampment, I observed that most normal working people were incensed by the squalid joblessness of the denizens, and they were put off by the snooty high-handed manner in which the Occupiers' grievances were dispensed. Nevertheless, many folks felt the need to add, after making their repugnance clear, that they "understand" their "message" or "why people are angry". Evidently some of the precepts on which the Occupy case was founded, such as the purported culpability of large financial institutions in the mortgage debacle of '08, or the notion that "greed" (a human emotion) is warping wealth distribution resulting in average people "getting the shaft" are generally accepted as factual by large numbers of otherwise sensible citizens.
These and other leftist suppositions became accepted axioms, spread from person to person, with the help of media, like a thought virus or meme, worming their way into the national psyche as established truths with little attention paid to the actual validity of the doctrines. In this way, while people rejected the messengers and their anarchic, fetid and crime-ridden barracks, the underlying deep cynicism of the Occupy creed infected much of the populace, who then transmitted it orally and otherwise like a virus.
Now comes Elizabeth Warren, a cleaned-up intellectualized version of the Occupy grudgemiesters, a self-styled White Knight who is supposed to ride to the rescue of "the middle class", somehow (we know how actually - with redistributionist taxes and entrepreneurial unfriendly regulatory schemes), protecting folks from the hoggish hammerers of Wall St., their rascally Republican enablers, and the greedy clutches of corporate America's bloated plutocrats and corrupt moneybag capitalists. Ouch.
But now the would-be Lioness of the Senate, the paladin, is tainted with scandal. While it would be a service to the people of Massachusetts, the U.S., nay, the world, if Ms Warren's Senatorial bid went down in flames, to take her out simply because of the breathtaking hypocrisy of the grubby way she climbed the career ladder as a "woman of color" would be a failure. It would be curing the symptom while letting the disease fester.
Warren spokes-mouth Alethea Harney, when questioned about the role false ethnic claims played in her employer's meteoric career rise told the Herald that "Scott Brown is trying to distract people from his voting record for Wall Street, big oil and big increases in student loans (sic)".
Here behind Ms Warren's Indian-gate idiocy, is a trio of tropes that badly need debunking, lest they further worm themselves into the public psyche, becoming solidly ensconced as accepted truths:
1. I assume Ms Harney meant to refer to "doubling the interest rate", as this is the distortion Warren referred to when asked about her fake Indian claims. The Democrat congress passed the "College Cost Reduction Act of 2007" with this scheduled reversal cleverly planned to exact future political mileage tarring any attempt to let it (the small rate break) expire. Once again, lessons that should have been learned from the housing bubble go unheeded. Just as the feds forced banks to lend big bucks to shockingly unqualified borrowers, this time around it's the government pushing millions of high school "graduates", many of whom can barely read and write, to attend colleges where they are destined to wash out or be pushed through with useless degrees and then default on said loans. The default rate for "two year proprietary" colleges has been 47% or higher for five years. It's a trillion dollar bubble coming down the track.
2. As for those big bad oil firms and their evil speculator buddies, of course the truth is turned exactly backwards. Subsidies for energy companies? Wrong. Exxon-Mobil, for example, pays about $100 billion in taxes per year, more than their profits, which incidently go to pension funds and 401k's all over the country. The subsidies we supposedly lavish on big oil turn out to be ordinary deductions and depreciation allowed for capital equipment. (The President relies on public innumeracy when he maligns traders - for every "speculator" who bids the price up there is a bearish "speculator" who takes the opposite side of the trade - where is The President now that they've run the price [of oil] DOWN to $78/barrel?)
3. For politicians such as Ms. Warren, the mere utterance of the words "Wall Street" suffices to smear the target. Those well versed in the technology of negative writing know that the more left to the readers' imaginations, the better.
Demagogues such as Ms Warren and President Obama foment hatred, class envy and deep cynicism, while they should be telling the American people the optimistic truth: that our energy, financial and technology companies are the best on the planet, and should engender pride and excitement, not suspicion, shame and fear.