November 10, 2011 11:15 am ET - by Alan Pyke
Karl Rove's Crossroads GPS, apparently convinced that it can make Occupy Wall Street into political poison, is out with a new attack on progressive Wall Street reformer Elizabeth Warren. Rather than engage the ideas Warren or the Occupy protesters actually hold, the ad smears Warren and the entire movement as violent druggies and degenerates, the kind of silly stereotypes of progressives that populate Glenn Beck's imagination:
14 million Americans out of work. But instead of focusing on jobs, Elizabeth Warren sides with extreme left protests. At Occupy Wall Street, protesters attack police, do drugs, and trash public parks. They support radical redistribution of wealth, and violence, but Warren boasts: "I created much of the intellectual foundation for what they do. I support what they do." Intellectual foundation for what? We need jobs, not intellectual theories and radical protests.
If you haven't had time to pay attention to what's actually happening at Occupy protests from New York to Oakland, maybe this whirlwind montage and foreboding voiceover will convince you they're violent drug orgies of redistributionist greed. Otherwise, you've seen Oakland cops shooting peaceful protesters in the head with tear gas canisters and tagging cameramen with rubber bullets for fun. You've seen New York cops punching young women in the face, and groups of angry but thoughtful people talking about how to fix our broken economic system.
The best part of the Crossroads smear video, though, is the lone citation that appears on-screen. Karl Rove's group cites his Fox News colleague Doug Schoen's hilariously dishonest Wall Street Journal op-ed claiming to demonstrate that Occupiers want "radical redistribution of wealth and...violence." Schoen was simply lying about his own findings, though, as Capital New York's Azi Paybarah found: His numbers show a whopping 4 percent of respondents want "radical redistribution," and only 3 percent see capitalism as the real problem.
If Crossroads thought they could beat Elizabeth Warren and the Occupy movement on the merits of their arguments, they would do so. Instead, they're making stuff up to change the conversation.
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