Opinions are like bandwagons, everybody has one. Almost all opinions have a grain of truth at their core, but you have to winnow through a lot of crabgrass to get to it.Many people like to compare the Tea Party to Occupy Wall St. I’m sure it’s a delight for the pundits to debate themselves on innumerable news programs and shout fests, but it doesn’t mean much right now. The situation is simply too fluid to predict where it will go.
One notion says the Tea Party is a laser-focused group of very loud Stepfords harping on taxes, healthcare many of them already accept, and the Obamunist. They applaud anything that agrees with their Pollyanna view and boo anything that doesn’t. By contrast, OWS (there’s an unfortunate abbreviation for you) is a complete rabble of hippies and drifting malcontents that don’t have a cogent message, much less a strong organization culture. They might possibly be Communists or, worse yet, liberals.
The profile of your average Tea Bagger is quietly in flux. Some of them want limited protest and unquestioning adherence to their own ideology. Some are hammering in a religion plank and are thrilled with Rick Santorum and Michele Bachmann, the goofiest two candidates who have personal speed dials for God. Mitt Romney, of course, can’t stand on that plank because he belongs to a cult/non-cult called Mormonism. They’d vote Muslim before they’d vote for that quasi-Christian poseur. At least Muslims look different so you can always see their evil or require their papers.
The Tea Party is a-changing as they’ve been co-opted by more mainstream Republicans and corporations. Many have become disillusioned as they’ve seen their champions behave like the carpetbaggers they threw out in the midterms. Some have even joined the Occupiers in protest. The national GOP has struggled to keep them in line – sometimes at great risk to themselves – but it’s been a chore that lost lots of revenue and fractured what might have been a solid voting wall.
Campaign Contributions Are OK, Tax Hikes Are Job Killers
BTW baggers, how come revenue from a campaign donation is pure, but a federal tax hike is strictly verboten at pain of death? What’s up with that?
On the other hand, OWS is a whole different animal. They carry the recessive gene of many Democrats, liberals, and moderates that precludes them from making cohesive decisions. You can’t always get things done if every decision must be so egalitarian it’s talked to death in committee – which sort of makes the Baggers’ point. It’s the Herding Cats Principle. But, many like it just the way they are.
There’s little money (so far). There’s little governance. There are no demands – yet. Many 99 Percenters don’t have jobs, so there are the lunchtime protesters and a smattering of 1 Percenters lost on the way to the executive bathroom, or oddly enough, siding with the Occupiers. And, the Occupiers sometimes party in full view while whizzing on the grass one is not supposed to walk on. Still, their attitude is better than a bunch of lunkheads trying to shout over one of their own candidates in the stuff local high school cafeteria. Give me a rousing rendition of Imagine any day (even if I do hate the song).
Occupy the Bastille!
The general lack of discipline makes it easier for their opposition to prattle nonsense about them. They’re everything from an unruly mob on the way to “occupy” the Bastille to basically good kids who just didn’t get enough discipline as kids.
Serious co-opting hasn’t begun yet, so their mostly free and easy manner is still a foreign concept for the banks they picket – then again anyone who’s not a banker is just as foreign a concept too. Daddy One Percentbucks doesn’t know what to do with them. Neither do those wildly boiling tea pots on the other side of the equation. “C’mon out and fight like non-homosexual men, damn you,” they might say.
But, the tiny shoots of co-option are creeping in. The Occupiers are already getting some donations from The Man. Companies see a movement that’s growing from a marginal protest carried out by people in tie-dye shirts. So, they want to be on the heftiest bandwagon as early as possible. If the Occupiers aren’t careful, they’ll be the Clydesdales that will eventually pull that bandwagon. Paying off both sides is a time-honored tradition of Wall St., and Washington swells. It will continue now.
There’s far too much wiggling going on. Many Occupiers are still kids. The corporations and politicians are still the parents. But, they’re abusive parents and one day the 99 Percenters will have to follow the maxim, “Someone has to do something, it’s just incredibly sad it has to be us.”
Here’s to hoping the new La Manchas hit the windmill this time.
Cross posted at The Omnipotent Poobah Speaks!