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mygif

The Tea Party mostly sees the decline as something happening to other people. This is part of the reason OWS’s narrative is aggressive and the Tea Party’s is defensive.

I’m not sure what you mean here. I’m pretty sure that the Tea Party actually does see the decline as happening to themselves (that is, they see themselves, or people very like them, as the victims of it). And even if you’re right or I’m reading you wrong in the first sentence, I’m not sure how that would make them defensive.

Other than that, well put overall. There seems to be a certain class of people, including at least a few people who seem to be otherwise intelligent and unorthodox, who seem to believe that in many different situations, a bipartisan compromise grassroots movement is possible and good. That idea has very rarely been right so far, and the Tea Party/OWS will probably not be the first time.

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mygif

I’m not sure how that would make them defensive

Because they’re trying to DEFEND (what they perceive to be) the ways things were and ought to be.

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mygif

Because they’re trying to DEFEND (what they perceive to be) the ways things were and ought to be.

OK, sure. What does that have to do with whether they see “the decline as something happing to other people”, though? Personally, I get more defensive about things that happen to me than about things that happen to other people, not less.

Maybe I’m just getting too hung up on wording, but I honestly didn’t get what that part meant.

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mygif

@ Cyrus: Because a lot of what the Tea Party is about when you strip away all the vague mumbling about tax issues is that they themselves are TRUE Americans standing up for TRUE American values but EVERYONE ELSE is forgetting/throwing those values aside. Immigrants, homosexuals…*gag*…SOCIALISTS. No, the Tea Party sees (and promotes) themselves as “real” Americans standing in solidarity against a tide of unwelcome change. THEY aren’t the ones giving in to un-American ideas like health care for people who can’t afford it and maybe increasing taxes on the wealthy and gays being gay and foreigners bringing their foreignness over HERE where it doesn’t belong. That’s everyone ELSE.

Basically, the Tea Party really, really, really wants to be the “Told You So” movement.

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mygif

No, I think Cyrus has it. The Tea Partiers genuinely think the decline is happening to them. Of course, what they see as “decline” I might call “progress for other people” (poor people who can get health care, unemployed people who would benefit from government spending, people underwater on their mortgages who would benefit from cramdowns, etc.), but to say the Tea Partiers are worried about a decline that’s happening to other people implies, wrongly I think, that they are worried about anyone other than themselves.

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mygif

@ Marc: Not “worried about” so much as “frightened of and/or disgusted by.” The Tea Party sees themselves as noble preservers of American values surrounded by a growing tide of Bad Things. OTHER people may give in to this rising tide of un-American values, but not THEM, no sir.

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mygif

OWS are anti-capitalist(anti status-quo) Tea Partiers are pro capitalist(pro status-quo).

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mygif

I don’t think that OWS is entirely anti-capitalist, YiG, unless you want to argue that capitalism is inherently corrupt. And personally, I don’t. I think trying to do away with capitalism completely is as completely stupid and hopeless as the quest to do so with government. Both are broken, both can be fixed, neither neccessarily need be destroyed to do that.

The defensive aspect of Tea Party philosophy, at least at its inception, is that they were formed to counter proposed change- that is specifically the extension of the federal bailouts to non-billionaires. From there to the preservation of the Bush tax cuts, their message in regards to corporate America has been “Things Are Fine The Way They Are,” and there is not a more defensive statement than that.

The fact that the Tea Party became a safe haven for the usual obnoxious social conservative causes is another story.

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Michael B. Sullivan said on October 11th, 2011 at 7:51 pm

Neither movement is incredibly coherent, particularly OWS, which is of course brand spankin’ new (and, let’s be clear, untried. It may be that come January, nobody will remember OWS). As a result of neither movement being incredibly coherent, attempts to say that “this is what OWS/The Tea Party believe” are kind of doomed to, if not failure, then getting niggled to death with lots of exceptions.

That said, I think that there is a large element within each group that could potentially make common cause. They’re both populist groups and they see an elite as taking advantage of them (even though many Tea Partiers are fairly wealthy, and even though many (though fewer) Occupiers are fairly wealthy). The Tea Party tends to envision that elite as “government bureaucrats and Democrats,” while the OWS tends to envision that elite as “corporate plutocrats and Republicans.”

The thing is, they’re BOTH right. The elite is both of those things, and that elite, while it has its intramural quarrels, is broadly self-interested. There is room for useful — if limited — collaboration between the OWS and the Tea Party, if both sides can get over their fears that criticizing the government/big business makes them seem like corporate stooges/dirty hippies, respectively.

I don’t think, however, that such a collaboration will occur. It’s hard to get past both the rhetorical differences and the areas of legitimate disagreement. Perhaps particularly for organizations which are themselves loose coalitions. So I don’t expect any Tea Party Occupiers soon.

But if the OWS movement can establish itself as at least as independent of the Democratic party as the Tea Party is of the Republicans (or, preferably, more independent), then both movements will be doing some good.

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mygif

“Neither movement is incredibly coherent, particularly OWS,”

Have you actually been to a rally? There is a central message (about how big business is running America, which they are) with a few dozen side causes orbiting because, well, they can be. Like most rallies in fact.
The NEWS, owned by big business, are the ones telling you the message is “muddled and unclear” (FOX news quote from any show at all, take your pick)
And you’re swallowing it and regurgitating it just like they want you to: http://wonkette.com/454202/new-york-times-quickly-learns-cops-are-right-protests-wrong

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mygif

“But if the OWS movement can establish itself as at least as independent of the Democratic party as the Tea Party is of the Republicans (or, preferably, more independent), then both movements will be doing some good.”

If anybody wanted an example of the mistaken centrism MGK was talking about, here it is.

The Tea Party isn’t independent of the Republican party: its funders are Republican donors, its promoters are Republican media organizations, its members are the Republican base. It’s not just rhetoric separating them from the Occupy Wall Street movement.

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Michael B Sullivan said on October 12th, 2011 at 10:55 am

Eric: Driven past Occupy Oakland, that’s all. I’ve followed news coverage (not on Fox or any other television network, thanks) reasonably closely. Naturally, OWS has a central message: dissatisfaction with big business. But that’s a vague, non-policy-centric premise. Trying to get from there to actionable policy prescriptions, and you’ll quickly run into “they’re a large leaderless coalition.”

It’s not a bad thing to be incoherent, particularly at the age that OWS is.

Marc: The Tea Party made the incumbent Republican power figures profoundly uncomfortable and shook up its internal structure. If you think that John Boehner is happy with the rise to prominence of Paul Ryan, for example, you’re insane.

I never suggested that there is only rhetoric separating OWS and the Tea Party. That would be insane. But there are areas of overlap that could support a limited tactical alliance between them. There’s nothing wrong with coalitions between people who have differences that go deeper than rhetoric.

But I don’t think that such a coalition will actually happen.

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mygif

There’s nothing wrong with coalitions between people who have differences that go deeper than rhetoric.

That line certainly worked for Nick Clegg.

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dangermouse said on October 12th, 2011 at 2:27 pm

Tea Partiers are primarily well to do assholes who got real angry as soon as it looked like someone might do something to help people who were taken advantage of the banks’ predatory lending schemes. OWS, as far as I can tell, is angry at – among others – the banks who fucked people over with predatory lending schemes. Claiming some kind of common ground between them is vacuous at best.

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mygif

Michael B Sullivan: So “No, I’ve never been to a rally but I do go to a source you just specifically pointed out I shouldn’t go to so I am an expert.”
Actually go to a rally and then we’ll talk.

Now if you’ll excuse me I have to go try to operate on someone, after all I HAVE driven past a hospital so that’s the same thing as actual experience right?

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mygif

“The Tea Party made the incumbent Republican power figures profoundly uncomfortable…”

Much as the anti-war movement made the Democratic party leadership circa 2003-04 profoundly uncomfortable; that doesn’t mean that, say, Howard Dean supporters (like me) were/are independent from the Democratic party. Nor does it therefore follow that activists in the liberal base should make common cause with activists in the conservative base just because they both worry their respective leaders. (Although it’s hard to see much daylight between the GOP leadership and the Tea Party at this point; Boehner can be as unhappy with Paul Ryan as you care to imagine, but he still lined his caucus up to vote for Ryan’s budget plan. The party votes the way the Tea Party wants them to vote; anything else is just wishful thinking from a pundit class that leans conservative but is appalled by the Tea Party.)

A Gallup poll this summer suggested that 80% of Tea Party supporters are Republicans; a study that was publicized in the New York Times this August found that Tea Partiers self-identified as Republicans long before there was a Tea Party (oh, and they also hated “immigrants and blacks,” too). To pretend that they have any independence from the Republican party is to buy into their own deceptive branding; they are the Republican party now.

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Wally Kovacs said on October 13th, 2011 at 2:29 am

“The Tea Party isn’t independent of the Republican party: its funders are Republican donors, its promoters are Republican media organizations, its members are the Republican base. It’s not just rhetoric separating them from the Occupy Wall Street movement.”

The Tea Party isn’t independent, it’s membership is largely made up of the old Religious Right/Social Conservative movement (by this point).

However, they were able to become a powerful enough group within the GOP to be able to hijack their agenda to some extent.

The idea of a Ron Paul is not to win (it’s unlikely he’ll ever be nominated), but push his agenda so that those that do run will advance it, basically. The Tea Party was able to position themselves to make their agenda heard (or at the very least, they have enough House members running around to screw up votes even if establishment GOP want to pass something).

So, while it’s unlikely there would be any GOP candidates that would embrace the Ocupy movement (the one exception is some that want to fix the campaign finance stuff the Courts screwed up … it was a bipartisan issue, with Dems wanting restricted spending and Reps wanting accountability, but with neither, it becomes very easy for Congress to be bought and paid for by big business without even having it be public knowledge who is paying for them).

So, one thing they COULD agree on would be campaign finance reform so as to reduce government corruption leading to hand outs for businesses (which should make the Tea Party happy) while also shutting down the same corruption that prevents regulation or gives tax breaks (which Occupy Wall Street could get behind). However, the Tea Party doesn’t actually seem to care about corruption, they either think the government is inherently corrupt (and therefore unfixable), or just should be shrunk/eliminated/etc whether or not it’s corrupt.

However, it is possible that Occupy Wall Street could cause change within the Dem party in a similar way (such as primarying the Blue Dog Democrats to try and get more Democrats that actually vote for progressive things instead of making it look like the Democrats can’t even get their own people on board, and giving Republicans cover for fillibusters or voting against stuff.

Independence isn’t the right word to describe the Tea Party, but it was a vocal section which dictated to the GOP what agenda they wanted, instead of just helping them win an election, and then going with the establishment agenda. (That will probably hurt the GOP in the long run, but for the short term, the group is getting their agenda catered to, which they weren’t really getting before, when they would be pandered to without much to show for it.)

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mygif

It would be funny if it wasn’t so successful but the Tea Baggers are more damaging to the Republican party they splintered off of than the Democrats because they have the Republican media machine behind them.
The Republicans, who have always pandered to their base, all have a choice: go even FURTHER to the right, or fight for their jobs without the base they rely on so much.

The Tea Baggers are a party of fear, they fear the future, they fear things moving forward, they want America to “return” to magical, imaginary past that never existed half remembered from when they were children. To them these problems are all new because they simply didn’t know about them.
They saw a glimpse of reality and, instead of fixing things, they held rallies to demand that we, as a country, go back to ignoring the problem, “We demand to be ignorant” is the Tea Bagger slogan.
OWS seem to want to face reality and FIX things. Unfortunately, as we’ve seen, without the machine behind them, they’ll be safely ignored or dismissed until they, and their actual important message of “we need to fix this”, goes away :(

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mygif

Well since people are now looking at the people who started the OWS movement (adbusters) they are seeing that they are a anti-semitic group that believes that a secret cabal of jews runs EVERYTHING I suspect it will slowly die off. Basically it’s a cycle with them that has diminishing returns. As news coverage die down they’ll start getting violent till they provoke a confrontation with the cops then they’ll get in the news again. That can only lasts so long.

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mygif

Briareos,

Your links are broken. At least, I assume you means to provide some kind of evidence of your assertions, right? I don’t care to defend every editorial choice made by Adbusters, but as far as I can tell there’s no serious evidence of anti-Semitism any better than the boring old “anyone who criticizes Israel is an anti-Semite” meme. Regardless, an ad hominem attack on the OWS movement is unconvincing, and this particular ad hominem attack – the idea that it’s just astroturf – is simply absurd without evidence. And the idea that these protesters will get violent, especially deliberately, is not supported by the evidence of how things have gone so far. Google “20 minutes to shift the blame” to see who’s been provoking whom.

Also, you’re an ass.

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mygif

Adbusters definitly came up with the OWS protests and started them. A few years back they had in their magazine an article claiming that jews were secretly rampant in the Bush administration which explained their pro-israeli forign policy. Reuters has a direct quote from an adbuster cofounder:
http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/10/14/us-wallstreet-protests-origins-idUSTRE79C1YN20111014

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Fred Davis said on October 14th, 2011 at 10:43 pm

FYI briareos, most of the people here can in fact read fast enough that throwing around silly links that in no way support your assertions doesn’t actually waste all that much of our time.

Though seeing Reuters’ poor quality of journalism has now sunk to the level of actively peddling Glenn Beck’s odd Soros Conspiracy Theory of Everything does not exactly fill me with the joys.

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mygif

… George Soros is a Holocaust survivor. I’d like to hear your reasoning actually, Briareros, for why somehow an article claiming he is behind the protests (like he’s behind EVERYTHING, GLENN’S CHALKBOARD PROVES IT) shows they’re anti-semitic. But mostly because I enjoy the deranged ramblings of conspiracy theorists.

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mygif

I know that many here disagree with the Tea Party, but please try to tone down the insults ‘Tea-Baggers?’ Really?

As for the charges of racism in it, as someone pointed out above, 80% of the Tea Party is Republican, and the vast majority of African-Americans are Democrats. It follows that there would be very few, if any in the Tea Party Movement. Thinkprogress.org put out a video to ‘prove’ that the Tea Party is racist here http://thinkprogress.org/politics/2010/07/14/107722/tea-party-racism/.
They show a grand total three protesters. The first was seriously confused, as he had no problem marrying a black woman, but didn’t want a black prez. WTF? The third guy was just crazy. Notice the LARGE empty area around him. He was also big and scary.

The second is the most telling as he was actually run out of a Tea Party rally as shown here: http://thinkprogress.org/politics/2010/04/17/92243/bloggers-nazi-racist-tea-partier/

On their very own site, they use this video to show that the tea partiers are paranoid, but they confront racists, but thinkprogress turns around and uses the same footage to accuse the Tea Party of racism.

There’s a brief clip of a man saying “we can fight Al Qaeda, we can’t kill Obama.” I heard many of my classmates make jokes about killing Bush. One even wrote a short story about it. But he was white so it’s ok right?

One last point, in a video meant to prove racism in a national movement, I would use as many different examples as I could possibly get my hand on. Thinkprogress found 3. I really think that main reason racists kept showing up is that the media said that the Tea Party was racists, and they assumed that they would be right at home.

anyway….

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mygif

“This is the core reason why OWS and the Tea Party can’t band together. The Tea Party looks at OWS and sees them as either a symptom of what’s wrong with the country (“elites working to give those hippies my stuff”) or actually what’s wrong with the country (“those hippies tell the elites what to do!”). OWS looks at the Tea Party and sees them as either a symptom of what’s wrong with the country (“elites working to give old raccists my stuff!”) or actually what’s wrong with the country (“those old racists tell the elites what to do!”).”

Fixed for you.

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mygif

Occupy does have a clear motivation and a clear goal. They want a constitutional amendment to state that the Bill of Rights applies only to individual citizens, not corporations. They want to overturn the damage done by FEC v. Citizens United, and they want to go back to the culture of regulation and prosperity we had before Nixon, then Reagan, then Clinton, then Bush, then Obama all rolled over belly-up and removed too many regulations on the financial sector.

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