You know, I have always known that Glenn Greenwald is a opportunistic, dishonest, fact-ignorning blowhard. But today we get to add ironic to that. See, Greenwald recently wrote a column accusing the SEIU, a union that has endorsed President Obama for re-election, of attempting to "co-opt" the Occupy Wall Street movement. Why? Well because apparently, an admittedly leaderless, specific-policy-goal-less, decentralized movement is actually so centralized that they have trademarked and copyrighted the phrase "99 percent."
SEIU officials have long been among Obama’s closest and most loyal allies in Washington — but what was notable here was how brazenly [SEIU National President] Henry exploited the language of the Occupy movement to justify her endorsement of the Democratic Party leader: “We need a leader willing to fight for the needs of the 99 percent . . . .Our economy and democracy have been taken over by the wealthiest one percent.” [emphasis his.]Right, because, you know, no one had ever used those phrases before OWS, and Glenn Greenwald has now appointed himself the spokesperson of a movement that has, well, that has no spokespersons! Also, Glenn is very mad and pouty that SEIU and a few other unions are organizing Occupy Congress on Dec. 5-9, targeting Republican members of Congress for their obstructionism against raising taxes on the wealthy and the president's jobs bill. Yeah, yeah. I know what you're thinking. Doesn't targeting members of Congress who will not let taxes on the wealthy go up at any price and are stopping job creation line up with the expressed grievances of OWS? Not if it's done by someone that supports President Obama, damnit! Uh, what? Shut up. Glenn Greenwald said so!
But this irony doesn't stop there. The very same Glenn Greenwald who is accusing the SEIU of trying to use OWS' language (heaven forbid!) for their own purposes (which, as a union, just happens to be supporting working people), penned another column earlier last week trying to sell (and promote) winter gear for the OWS protesters being disbursed by the notorious Firedoglake. But of course, Greenwald fails to mention that he stands to financially gain from donations to FDL, as the treasurer of FDL's PAC, Accountability Now, and his company, DMDM Enterprises, is used to taking money for "administrative expenses" from Accountability Now.
An examination of FEC reports shows that Greenwald's DMDM Enterprises received more than $40,000 from FDL's Accountability Now from 2008-2010, and of course, we have no idea how much more he has received as salary as Treasurer. (For those interested, yes, I have been working on a story on this with some help, and it keeps getting pushed back for different reasons - but expect a campaign finance story on Greenwald, Hamsher et al. to drop soon).
You would think the self-promoting epitome of virtue would bother to mention that he holds financial interest in the success of a campaign he is selling through his column on Salon. Something about disclosure and all.
But you know, when it comes to think of it, Glenn Greenwald might not be too far off in trying to appoint himself the head of this headless OWS thing. If what a recent survey found of the Occupy Chicago group is even remotely true across the spectrum for the rest of the occupy groups, you can see the reason why Greenwald would think that he can con them easily.
Though the group of 139 respondents identified themselves as liberals who voted most often with the Democratic Party, members were not happy with President Barack Obama's policies, particularly the handling of the economy, which they acknowledge Obama inherited. Approximately 84 percent of Occupy Chicago members polled said that Americans making more than $250,000 should pay more taxes and 75 percent said Obama's policies favor the rich.Come again? Obama's policies favor the rich how, exactly? Is he favoring the rich by giving, for the first time in recent memory, a tax cut to the working poor (the payroll tax cut that the Republicans are trying to get rid of)? Is his policies favoring the rich because he has put in place the most significant regulations on Wall Street since the 1930s and created the first ever federal agency focused on consumer protection? And health care? Yes, I suppose giving 32 million additional Americans health insurance, providing the largest middle class tax break for health care ever and massively expanding Medicaid and the Community Health Centers are all very pro-rich policies. If OWS doesn't learn quickly who is on the side they claim to be on, they are done. And I'll give them a hint: It's not going to be Glenn Greenwald sticking by them when there's no more money to be made by selling their name.
With the presidential election less than one year away, President Obama will be challenged to translate his sympathy for Occupy protestors into reciprocal votes for him. Occupy Chicago respondents gave Obama a 33 percent job approval rate. Obama's handling of the economy and health care were major disapproval points.