The Corner

Senate Democrats Cheer Wall Street Protests

Senate Democrats, in interviews today with National Review Online, roundly praised the “Occupy Wall Street” movement. Sen. John Kerry (D., Mass.), for example, identified himself as an ally of the cause. “I’m very, very understanding of where they’re coming from,” he said. “I think there’s a lot of frustration and a lot of anger, and I’d been sort of anticipating that before long, people were going to start demonstrating it in various ways.”

Sen. Ben Cardin (D., Md.) also mounted a defense. “Look, Americans have the right to express themselves,” he said. “It’s been very peaceful and that’s what America’s about — people who want to protest should have the right to protest, as long as it’s peaceful and doesn’t interfere with the lives of people in the community.”

Sen. Bob Casey (D., Penn.) went a step further, telling NRO that the message from the rowdy rallies echoes the concerns of Pennsylvanians. “They’re a substantial demonstration of real frustration and anxiety that people feel across the country, and I think it’s consistent with a lot of what I hear back in Pennsylvania, especially when we were more on the ground in August, when people said to me two things: Do something about jobs and work to get something done.”

Still, not everyone on the left seems completely convinced. Sen. Joseph Lieberman (I., Conn.) did not claim to understand the movement. “I’m watching it with interest and trying to figure out what they’re saying,” he said. “Obviously there’s a generalized unhappiness in the country about the way the economy’s going and about the way the government’s not working. So I think it’s important to listen.”

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