It’s messy. It’s disorganized. At times, the message is all but incoherent.What's murky about the origins of the Tea Party. It stands for "Taxed Enough Already" and if the media did their jobs they would clearly know the movement stemmed from resistance to the outrageous levels of government spending, especially the original stimulus in February 2009.
All of which makes Occupy Wall Street, the loosely organized protest in lower Manhattan now in its second week, a lot like the rest of the current American political discourse.
"It's democracy - real democracy," said Micah Chamberlain, 23, from Columbus, Ohio, who sat behind a makeshift table where organizers maintain a schedule of daily events. “It’s slow and it's tedious and it's complicated, but everyone has a voice. No one’s voice gets marginalized.”
The organizing theme, such as it is, centers on the influence of large corporations in shaping government policy. Many here blame the paralysis in Washington on a campaign finance system run amok. In that sense, the Occupy Wall Street movement seeks to “take back the country” no less than its Tea Party counterparts on the other end of the political spectrum. The two movements (if that's what this is) also share a common sense of despair and disgust with the two-party system now gearing up for another election cycle.
Like the Tea Party, the origins of Occupy Wall Street are a bit murky. The idea for the protest apparently originated with a Vancouver-based magazine called Adbusters, which in a July 13 blog post called on a handful of unaffiliated groups to “flood into lower Manhattan, set up tents, kitchens, peaceful barricades and occupy Wall Street for a few months.” The purpose of the protest, according to the post, is to end “the influence money has over our representatives in Washington.”
Comparing these lawless and sometimes violent anarchists to the peaceful, well-organized tea partiers around the country is a disgrace. When have we seen tea partiers blocking traffic, getting into fights with police and sleeping on the streets?
By Monday morning, the protester's weekend reinforcements were back at work and the ranks of hard core park occupiers had thinned. As the stock market opened, a parade of protesters, corralled by cops on motorcycles, wound through the barricade maze up Wall Street, waving signs, shouting slogans, blowing horns, banging drums and tambourines while tourists snapped pictures of loved-ones posing in front of the throng.How often do we see tea partiers banging drums and blowing horns? Answer: We never do. So why on earth is this motley band of far-left kooks being compared with them?
The rest of the story is a total puff piece. Funny, but I don't recall seeing the nascent Tea Party movement receiving such favorable coverage back when it started. Nope, from day one they were portrayed as a bunch of raucous and angry racists, and it persists to this day. Yet now we see a sometimes violent angry mob being portrayed as peaceful.
You can't make this stuff up.