Yesterday was: 1. The 1-year anniversary of the Occupy Wall Street protest movement, where the chant was "We are the 99%," and 2. The day we got the video of Mitt Romney talking to his affluent donors and saying "There are 47% who are with [Obama], who are dependent upon government, who believe that they are victims, who believe the government has a responsibility to care for them, who believe that they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing, to you name it. These are people who pay no income tax."
The percentages are different, but the us/them attitude is similar. It's a way of speaking politically: There are X% of us and Y% of them, and the recognizing the comparative size of the 2 groups tells us what our politics should be.
The people within group X and group Y aren't all alike, but the speaker is choosing to portray them as alike, because it's a step in an argument about what supposedly needs to be done. The claim of representing 99% is especially ludicrous, but the effort is to focus anger on the evil 1%, who elicit no sympathy at all. But it doesn't make sense for other people near the top not to worry that the greedy mob — the takers — are coming after them... which is why the 99% can't possibly be the 99%, because the top end of the 99% can see that it too is under attack, and they won't want the bottom end of the 99% speaking for them.
That's the flaw in the 99% chant: There's no credible threat that all 99% will vote together. Some of those Occupy protesters dreamed of revolution, but we've still got a democracy, and the only serious question is how many of the 99% will vote for the Democratic Party's candidates. The Democratic Party used a modified version of what the protesters were saying. That's what Elizabeth Warren articulated in her famous "underlying social contract... take a hunk of that and pay forward" rant. Obama was trying to make the same move when he inelegantly said "You didn't build that" — the 4 words the Republicans built their whole convention around.
Romney supporters can hardly complain when Obama supporters seize upon his 47% quote and use it any which way they can.
It's the most knuckle-bustin', gut-wrenchin', brain-scramblin', butt-bruisin', lip-splittin' brawl of all time.