The Left’s Tea Party?

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Move over Tea Party, there’s a new populist movement in town. Such has been the hype that has greeted the nascent “Occupy Wall Street” campaign, whose youthful partisans most recently made headlines when, for no obvious reason, some 700 of them were arrested this past weekend for blocking the Brooklyn Bridge.

So, what is the cause for which these protestors are willing to defy the NYPD and inbound traffic? That depends on who you ask. According to sympathetic media accounts, Occupy Wall Street represents an emerging strain of left-wing economic populism, one that will become a counterweight to the fiscal conservatism of the Tea Party cadres. Media accolades apart, though, Occupy Wall Street is unlikely to replicate the Tea Party’s success.

One problem is the campaign’s agenda. In short, it doesn’t really have one. Click through the Occupy Wall Street website and you find grandiose invocations of “using the Arab Spring to achieve our ends,” but little edification about what precisely those ends are. Participants in the campaign have been no more helpful on this point. As one protestor at this weekend’s rally instructed another, “It doesn’t matter what you’re protesting. Just protest.”

Occupy Wall Street’s existential unclarity is in stark contrast to the Tea Party’s raison d’être. While it took time for the Tea Party to become an organized political force, from the very beginning it set itself against a clear problem and culprit: the ballooning federal debt and the irresponsible political class that had made it possible. Occupy Wall Street’s driving narrative is much more dubious. The campaign declares that it “will no longer tolerate the greed and corruption of the 1%.” Exactly who makes up the 1% is not explained. Presumably, though, it’s the top one percent of income earners, who also happen to pay 38 percent of all federal income taxes. Whatever one makes of that fact, it’s hard to muster outrage about the “greed” of the country’s most-taxed bracket.

But perhaps the “1%” is intended to be a metaphor for Wall Street and the financial industry. If their signs are any guide, the Occupy Wall Street protestors seem to think that Wall Street’s elite have committed some crime in “stealing” the billion-dollar taxpayer-funded bailouts. Whatever one’s view about the wisdom of these bailouts, though, it’s absurd to claim that they were in any way stolen by Wall Street. If anyone is to blame for misallocating taxpayer money, it’s the Bush administration that passed the Troubled Asset Relief Program, the Obama administration that extended, and the Congress that approved it.

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  • maturin20

    "Wall Street and the financial industry remain the country's economic engine"?

    Seriously? Number crunchers are the driving force of our economy? The people who actually do work and add value and create things of worth get no credit?

    • SHmuelHaLevi

      I understand your feelings as I invested all my life to work for and with the electronic industry and in particualar with US DoD Programs.
      Yet. Without macro economic plans and the finacial engines to fuel that, much as we may work, the results will be local at best.
      What is needed is to focus on doing what was done to Ma Bell many years back.
      The smart working folk has tools to wedge into and re arrange the sectors above.
      That must start by attending to the "in" political parties.
      But this is another subject…

      • maturin20

        What is wrong with results being local? Everywhere is local if people live there.

  • crackerjack

    Why isn't the Tea Party occupying Wall Street ?

    It does seem strange that those who claim to be fighting "crony capitalism" and its manipulation of administration and goverment, suddenly back down when it comes to confronting the manipulators on their home ground.

    This apparent contradiction is due to the fact that the Tea Party's main financiers and organizers, like the Koch's, come from Wall Street.

    • davarino

      That, and most Tea Partiers have jobs and would only be able to spend and hour or two at best down at Wall Street. All the while being accused of being racist, homophobic, mean spirited, not nice, ….etc.

      I'm sorry you didnt mention the financiers of these young skulls full of mush. Who are they? Anybody, anybody……..

      • Loupdegarre

        Maurice Strong and George Soros, the two who started the economic crash through the strategy of shorting Mortgage Bonds and going long the Credit Default Swap they collapsed the Mortgage Industry and the housing market along with it. George Soros along with John Paulson and Goldman Sachs stole up to $100 bilion in equity from the home owner and are now using these little morons to collapse Wall Street and steal the Boomers retirement.

        • howdydowdy

          and UFO's too!

    • bingo_gringo

      Koch Industries is privately held! You want a mulligan crackerjack?

  • ApolloSpeaks


    It's finally here, after two and a half years, the long awaited Obama Effect-the offspring of his class warfare rhetoric. The leftist analogue of the Arab Spring: the anti-capitalist FRINGE SPRING. Don't ask me for analysis. Half my brain disintergrates just thinking about it………..

    Click my name to continue reading this short, widely linked, and much commented on satirical piece.

  • StephenD

    "I don't know what I want, but I know I don't want what I have."
    This is a pretty pathetic reason to "protest" wouldn't you say? Against whom are they protesting and why? I see them as the "Useful Idiots" Lenin spoke about and they are being used to create anarchy. The goal of the organizers behind the scene seems to be to disrupt our system by whatever means they can. They do not wish to improve it but only to destroy it. These are what is referred to in the oath one takes to "defend the Constitution against ALL enemies, both foreign and DOMESTIC…."

    • tagalog

      The kind of thinking you're talking about is endemic to Leftist revolutionaries. They don't have the least clue about what they want, they just know they don't like the way things are. So their revolutionary plan is overthrow what exists, then…then… Well, it will just work out. It happened in the French Revolution and it happened in the Bolshevik Revolution. It probably happened in the Chinese Revolution. It always seems to happen when a revolution occurs, that ends up focusing on equality instead of liberty.

      No wonder their revolutions always end in tyranny, totalitarian government, and slaughter.

  • BS77

    Read Ann Coulter's DEMONIC for a thorough analysis of the mindless mob mentality…especially the portion contrasting the American Revolution with the hideous French Revolution.

    • scum

      No, DEMONIC is just Coulter's rehash of Gustave le Bon's 19th century classic, but thoroughly outdated (and racist, sexist) book on mob mentality. Just as le Bon attacks the 'mob' for the type of irrational behavior that we find in 'women, savages and children,' so does Coulter argue that the mob should be 'crushed.' Hardly a legitimate strategy. They tried that in Seattle and the tax payers are still paying the bill wracked up by the police when they were sued in court for their own 'mob-like' behavior. Coulter, in addition, argues that suffrage should be taken away from women. In short, she's a crude monarchist who yearns for an Ancien Regime with dictatorial powers and institutionalized torture.

      • BS77

        You should read ;more carefully. No where does A Coulter argue for an end to women voting……Ann is no monarchist….far from it. She is a fiscal and social conservative; I think she looks forward to more educated voting public….and a more intelligent and efficient economy and society.

      • Rifleman

        If the authorities in Seattle had crushed the riot, there wouldn't be any protestors alive to sue, or grounds to sue on, since they would have declared martial law.

      • mrbean

        Put zem all in zee extermination camps! Machen zee ein HCN gas und Stoking up zee ovens! Culling of the undesirebles! Jawold!

  • scum

    The top 1% SHOULD pay 38% of our federal income taxes. Remember, income taxes are based on….wait for it….income. If you don't have an income (we enjoy an unemployment rate of approximately 19% today), you don't owe. Tax on zero is….zero.

    • mrbean

      Ah yes,,,, what one man is unwilling to or incapable of providing for his own needs shall become the forced burden of another, and that forced burden shall be according to the another's abilities. The threshold for the top 1% is $381K who pay 38.3% of the taxes and of the top 5% the threshold is $159K who pay 59% of the taxes and the top 10% withthe threshold is $114 K who pay 75 % of the taxes, Those below $67K rest are almost on the government dole.

  • BLJ

    Loserpalloza 2011.

  • guest

    Van Jones and 'Obama's Love Army' is behind this whole thing. This is his "moment."

  • Moishe Pupick

    W., 10/05/11 common era

    The Wall Street sit-iners consist of many of the 1960's hippy anti-warriors. They are trying to "Bring it all down, man!", a la Cloward and Pliven. While it's true that some Wall Street bankers are partially responsible for the housing crisis, the lefties shouldn't forget that it was their beloved ACORN who pressured institutional lenders to grant mortage loans to people who didn't qualify by standard financial criteria. These lefties cry "Racism!" at every turn and ignore their own animus toward even ethical capitalism.

    • WilliamJamesWard

      It was the Clintonistas who pushed for these loans and threatened the banks
      who would not go along…………..the history is forgotten and lost on the demonstrators.
      They want but produce nothing and remain as valuable as used dental floss.

  • crypticguise

    It's a shame and very obvious that these people, young and older are miseducated and don't understand the basics of business, economics, government, and have no specific "demands". Why? Because they don't realize that the problem is not Wall Street, Corporations or Business. The Problem is Big Government.

    • WilliamJamesWard

      The problem is people who are ethically challenged and morally bankrupt
      leading and to irresponsible to make honest decisions while stealing what
      they can to get more and more and destroy everyone……………William

  • Jacques

    Some cold weather will quickly send them back to their internet occupations in their mother's basement.

  • Asher

    Yes, People need jobs so blame the government, they have bailed out, regulated and stuck their progressive noses into everybody's lives and into successful businesses. All of Obama's spending policies are trying to prop up the failed policies of the Federal Reserve too. The Progressive Socialist Democrats would rather see America and its economy and people destroyed rather than admit their policies and Ideologies of Socialism and Communism do not work! You can spot Cloward and Piven and Saul Alinsky's Rules for Radicals in everything this government is doing to us. They are collapsing the system!

  • WilliamJamesWard

    The economy will never return to a semblance of normalcy while the government
    has it's hands in all financial transactions. Business can not function with
    regulation designed to strip it of profit rather than regulation to insure honesty.
    Government has been taken over by dishonest people, the criminal class of
    well educated, morally bankrupt individuals have reached their zenith in the
    Obama administration. The rot in our population has reached epidemic
    proportions with unreliable people strangling our systems of business and
    wealth generation, they go from government to industry and back again.
    Unless the schools are reclaimed from the leftists, Americanism revisited,
    Civics and true History brought back into the classroom where standards are
    demanded we are done as the day may only be saved through Divine intervention.

  • Ellman

    These protestors want the government to provide for all their needs, whatever they may be. They are saying that the top 1% must pay for their gratification because it's not fair that they must go without while the rich have all they want. People like Bernard Baruch became rich by their efforts and sacrifices. These people don't want to rely on themselves. They think it's their natural right to have all needs provided for whether they work or not. It is a frightening mentality but its existence cannot be denied. They and the protesters in Greece are spiritual bretheren and 'austerity' is a word which they refuse to hear. The true irony is that they support the very politicians who have created the cirmustances which they find so abominable.

  • Asher

    I don't see how we are going to survive all the attacks from within. The politicians have been just as complacent as some of the people, and Thats what Islam and Obama are counting on!

  • Wesley69

    The Tea Party was and is a grassroots movement that is sick of government spending and control. It has no formal structure or leader. It came about due to the policies of this administration. It wants to replace this administration with a more conservative one that respects the Constitution and prizes individual liberty.

    The Leftist Tea Party is not a grassroots movement. It is funded and sponsored by Media Matters and the trouble-maker George Soros. Naturally, the usual suspects are involved: SEIU, ACORN (under a new name), Teacher's Unions. Not only that but Van Jones is stirring the pot with his take back the American Dream week of discussions. (The only dream Jones would be happy with is a Communist one where he is the Leader of the Proletiart) It does seek to keep Obama in power and make good on his radical agenda. it calls for collective action to cause civil unrest and provoke a response.

    These two movements have nothing in common. Those that are unemployed are being used by Soros and his alliance, not to create jobs, but to keep Obama in power, period. They need to realize 3 years of Obama's economic policies have not made the country better. They should be supporting the Tea Party movement, not Soros's false creation.

    All tyranny needs to gain a foothold is for people of good conscience to remain silent.
    Thomas Jefferson

    • howdydoody

      you know nothing.

      • Wesley69

        Is that all you got???? Don't have the brain to make an argument??? I will be looking for your response. If it is like the previous one, you are pathetic, howdydoody.

  • bingo_gringo

    I get the feeling these folks have a romantic vision of protest. Thank God we live in a country where protest is permissible. There are still a lot of places around the world where this type of display would NOT be tolerated.