The protesters' grievances, as far as one can understand them, have a radical edge. (I assume the White House is aware that the occupiers are bitter critics of the administration.) Militancy, civil disobedience, and outright anti-capitalism are unlikely to appeal to mainstream voters. Such confrontations always have the potential to turn nasty: they often involve a minority that wants them to turn nasty. Democrats probably shouldn't condemn the protests, but they certainly ought to keep a safe distance.
Pollster Doug Schoen has been asking the Wall Street protesters about their views. His findings are roughly what you would expect:
What binds a large majority of the protesters together--regardless of age, socioeconomic status or education--is a deep commitment to left-wing policies: opposition to free-market capitalism and support for radical redistribution of wealth, intense regulation of the private sector, and protectionist policies to keep American jobs from going overseas...
Thus Occupy Wall Street is a group of engaged progressives who are disillusioned with the capitalist system and have a distinct activist orientation. Among the general public, by contrast, 41% of Americans self-identify as conservative, 36% as moderate, and only 21% as liberal. That's why the Obama-Pelosi embrace of the movement could prove catastrophic for their party.
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