Is that a pitchfork or are you just happy to see me?

by digby

The royals commission an anthropological expedition:
I had gone down to Zuccotti Park to see the activist movement firsthand after getting a call from the chief executive of a major bank last week, before nearly 700 people were arrested over the weekend during a demonstration on the Brooklyn Bridge.

“Is this Occupy Wall Street thing a big deal?” the C.E.O. asked me. I didn’t have an answer. “We’re trying to figure out how much we should be worried about all of this,” he continued, clearly concerned. “Is this going to turn into a personal safety problem?”

As I wandered around the park, it was clear to me that most bankers probably don’t have to worry about being in imminent personal danger. This didn’t seem like a brutal group — at least not yet.

But the underlying message of Occupy Wall Street — which spread to Boston, Chicago and Los Angeles on Monday — is something the big banks and corporate America may finally have to grapple with before it actually does become dangerous.

What’s the message?

At times it can be hard to discern, but, at least to me, the message was clear: the demonstrators are seeking accountability for Wall Street and corporate America for the financial crisis and the growing economic inequality gap.

And that message is a warning shot about the kind of civil unrest that may emerge — as we’ve seen in some European countries — if our economy continues to struggle.

I love how these Masters of the Universe are shocked that there is growing unrest over their antics. It's as if they thought they could continue to profit at the expense of the rest of the country even as they whined and blubbered like little babies at the mere suggestion that they might want to cool it a little bit.

This behavior has not gone unnoticed. From the beginning, I have been astonished by the inability of these supposedly smart people to see that they needed to rein in their worst impulses, if only to preserve their golden goose, (I did personally scare one by using the pitchfork metaphor.) But they couldn't shut up, couldn't stop publicly justifying their excesses couldn't refrain from strutting around like a bunch of entitled aristocrats even in the face of widespread suffering.

A backlash was inevitable. They should be glad that it's a bunch of peaceful protesters. They have acted with such arrogant impunity it could have been much worse.