Zero Hedge is the last to cut Wall Street, with its rampant criminality, conflicts of interest, and corruption, any slack - in fact we are often the first to expose it. That said, we have long found it surprising that popular anger is focused on this particular group of individuals, instead of targeting the just as, if not far more, culpable for the current economic collapse enabling focal point known as Washington D.C. As has been discussed previously, it is no surprise that none other than the president has been quick to embrace the Occupy Wall Street movement and its offshoots as his own: after all it cleanly and efficiently deflects attention from his own near-3 year performance as president. Surely Obama is neither the first (nor last) to recognize that the scapegoating of a "minority" group (as the Wall Street "1%" clearly is) and use it as a catalyst for class warfare, is a historically very successful tactic. Well, while thousands of people may express their displeasure with their plight openly before the traditional symbols of Wall Street, it would appear that Obama is failing in his attempt at global diversion from the place where popular anger should truly lie: Congress, Senate, and of course, the White House, without whose (and by 'whose' here we clearly envision Tim Geithner, Hank Paulson and Ben Bernanke) blessings Wall Street would not exist in its current form. Yet it does, and many have figured that out. According to a brand new poll by The Hill, "in the minds of likely voters, Washington, not Wall Street, is primarily to blame for the financial crisis and the subsequent recession. The movement appears to have struck a chord with progressive voters, but it does not seem to represent the feelings of the wider public. The Hill poll found that only one in three likely voters blames Wall Street for the country’s financial troubles, whereas more than half — 56 percent — blame Washington. Moreover, when it comes to the political consequences of the protest, voters tend to believe that there are more perils than positives for Obama and the Democrats." Sorry Obama, your attempt to demonize bankers (who richly deserve the public pariah status they have achieved, not least of due to the in vitro world they occupy, where anything less than $1 million is pocket change) has failed, and the people recognize that real social change, one that must and will impact Wall Street, has to begin with the commodity most often purchased by Wall Street: politicians... such as yourself.
From The Hill:
A plurality believe that the Occupy Wall Street movement will hurt Democrats and Obama in the 2012 election. Even those whose sympathies lie on the left of center seem unsure about the likely political repercussions. Just half of all liberal likely voters — the group most likely to blame Wall Street for the recession — and fewer than half of all Democrats believe the protests will help their side next year.
The split on the question of apportioning blame for the nation’s economic travails corresponds closely with voters’ political ideologies: More than 7 in 10 conservatives blamed Washington for the recession, while more than 5 in 10 liberals blamed Wall Street.
But self-identified centrists, importantly, appear to be siding with the right on economic issues, with nearly half blaming Washington for the recession.
The difference also reflected voters’ views of Obama: Among those who “strongly” or “somewhat” approve of the president, most blamed Wall Street, while those who “strongly” or “somewhat” disapprove of the president blamed Washington.
Interestingly, those who described themselves as “not sure” about Obama nonetheless blamed Wall Street over Washington by a more than two-to-one margin, 55 percent to 23 percent.
The poll was based on the responses of 1,000 people and has a +/-3% margin of error. The full poll results are below.