The Tea Party versus the Occupiers

 

On this Thanksgiving Day, a brief photo essay–and a word of thanks to all the members of the Tea Party for their selflessness, patriotism, and sheer determination to return this Republic to its founding principles.

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A tip of the hat to Prof. Todd Zywicki.

There are 50 comments.

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  1. Publius Inactive

    I was at the 9/12 March on Washington and I was impressed with how well everyone behaved and how we essentially left the place like we found it. The relationship with the police was also quite different. The only issue that I could see that the United States Capitol Police had with us was making sure we kept off one of the streets that was just south of the Capitol grounds so that ambulances and the like could get through as necessary.

    I had a nice conversation with a US Capitol Police Captain about the crowd size. He figured it was about 75k based on what he could see and I had no reason to doubt him since he was an experienced police commander. Since I was a former police officer, I was curious about how they would handle such a large crowd and it just seemed like another day at the office for them. The biggest issue that they seemed to have with us was to just make sure we didn’t do anything silly like walk across a light and get hit by traffic.

    • #1
    • November 24, 2011, at 10:38 AM PDT
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  2. John Peabody Member

    Showing an individual-any individual-with a silly sign or an ugly message (such as a desecrated flag) does not make an argument for the thoughts of the group as a whole. How is this different than the Tea Party photos of ‘wacky’ nuts with tricorn hats, or holding laughable signs saying “keep government hands off of my Medicare”? If we shake our heads when the other side does it, we should avoid the tactics ourselves. By focusing on these extremes, little progress can be made.

    • #2
    • November 24, 2011, at 11:02 AM PDT
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  3. MLH Inactive
    MLH

    “A job is a right.” ???

    • #3
    • November 24, 2011, at 11:03 AM PDT
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  4. MLH Inactive
    MLH
    • #4
    • November 24, 2011, at 11:03 AM PDT
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  5. Profile Photo Member

    For all the aesthetic and tactical differences between the Tea Party and Occupy Wall Street, they share certain common goals — no more Wall Street bailouts — and an overlapping world view: both think that DC has been captured by special interests.

    Those are important areas of agreement. In a mature politics, they’d be the basis for a limited tactical alliance. In our politics, everyone focuses on the aesthetic differences, cherry picks the objectionable images from the other side, and idealizes their own side.

    I don’t see what this accomplishes. Occupy is much less clearheaded about the first principles that motivate it than the Tea Party. Another way of saying that is that a lot of people sympathetic to it are persuadable that government has failed them already and libertarian solutions are the answer.

    The Tea Part already seems open to libertarian solutions. But its partisans are so immature and driven by cultural resentments that the managed to keep Daniels and Christie out of the race, and instead elevated Palin, Bachmann, Perry, and Cain. I don’t care how many flags they have. If those sorts of pols are their impact on America they’re of no use to me.

    • #5
    • November 24, 2011, at 11:14 AM PDT
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  6. Profile Photo Member
    Conor Friedersdorf:I don’t see what this accomplishes. Occupy is much less clearheaded about the first principles that motivate it than the Tea Party.

    Hi Conor. If OWS is less clearheaded than the Tea Party it is not because there are no clear goals or “first principles”, it is because those leading the movement have found little reason to share those principles with their footsoldiers. This is a fundamental difference. When one delves into the broad coalition of Socialists and Anarchists who planned the OWS movement before it ever happened, one finds that there are two competing and not particularly mutually comfortable “first principles” sets at work, neither of which has common ground with the Tea Party. The business of protesting WS bailouts, crony capitalism and special access to special interests is common ground, but it’s superficial common ground. That Socialists and Anarchists can work together on it only shows that these are universal grievances. But the Tea Party is intrinsically constructive in its approach; both ideological OWS streams want the destruction of America as we know it.

    Anarchism indeed looks like libertarianism at a superficial level, but think again.

    • #6
    • November 24, 2011, at 11:34 AM PDT
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  7. AmishDude Member
    Chimay: Showing an individual-any individual-with a silly sign or an ugly message (such as a desecrated flag) does not make an argument for the thoughts of the group as a whole. How is this different than the Tea Party photos of ‘wacky’ nuts with tricorn hats, or holding laughable signs saying “keep government hands off of my Medicare”? If we shake our heads when the other side does it, we should avoid the tactics ourselves. By focusing on these extremes, little progress can be made. · Nov 24 at 10:02am

    I agree. “Data” is not the plural of “anecdote”. Except in social science.

    But I think that the antics of OWS comport pretty closely with those preprinted Worker’s World Party signs. Indeed they do much of the organizing.

    As for me, I’m still astounded at how Leftists treat public property. When you “occupy” public lands, you steal them — making them inaccessible to the public.

    • #7
    • November 25, 2011, at 1:11 AM PDT
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  8. Publius Inactive
    AmishDude

    Indeed, the media is more responsible for people not entering the race for the nomination than any particular conservative faction and I think the evidence is clear.

    Agreed. The wages of “borking” (where the Democratic Party and the media worked in concert to destroy the reputation of Robert Bork) is that a lot of very reasonable people who would excel at public life have, not unreasonably, decided not to serve. I can’t fault someone like Mitch Daniels not wanting to put his family through through the abusive process that running for President has become.

    • #8
    • November 25, 2011, at 1:14 AM PDT
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  9. David Williamson Inactive

    Happy Thanksgiving!

    It’s time to gird our loins and remember Mr Reagan – “we win, they lose”.

    • #9
    • November 25, 2011, at 1:42 AM PDT
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  10. Sisyphus Member
    Conor Friedersdorf: …

    Dave Carter, here is my contention: any political movement that elevates obviously unelectable AND unqualified candidates in a crucial presidential election year is immature. The Tea Party has elevated Bachmann and Cain. Do you think that signals maturity? Granted, maturity ain’t everything, butit matters.

    Wow. Skate right past the substantive issues of impending federal bankruptcy and the financial collapse of the West and latch immediately onto the unelectability of anyone David Axelrod and the Chicago machine can manufacture allegations against. Real mature. The alternatives:

    A Romney so dirty he had to destroy the email records for his administration on the way out the door in Massachusetts?

    A Newt whose seven figure consulting fees are suddenly becoming public record now that he has positioned himself as the reform candidate?

    A Perry who, well, I forget, but I’m sure it was a really devastating point.

    An Obama who transparently destroys jobs at every turn and rockets the misery index ever skyward while becoming the poster child for dishonest federal numbers and policies?

    When will someone at the Atlantic take an interest in solvency and liberty, and understand the Tea Party as well as they do the cocktail party?

    • #10
    • November 25, 2011, at 2:27 AM PDT
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  11. Dave Carter Contributor

    So let’s see if I have this right, Conor. Occupy Wall Street is “much less clear headed,” while Tea Party “partisans” are “so immature and driven by cultural resentments.” The former is a tad fuzzy on the particulars, but the latter has some serious issues. Trying to help improve our side again, Conor? Ya know,…..oh never mind. Happy Thanksgiving, Conor.

    • #11
    • November 25, 2011, at 4:59 AM PDT
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  12. Daniel Perez Inactive
    Chimay: Showing an individual-any individual-with a silly sign or an ugly message (such as a desecrated flag) does not make an argument for the thoughts of the group as a whole.

    One has to focus on the summary and not on details, and when you sum up both “renditions of discourse” the conclusion becomes quite obvious.

    Anyway, I believe this is really not of importance. I´m going to be quoting Christopher Hitchens on this one, “I do not object to their method, but to their objective.”

    There is quite a difference between saying “Give me what I want. Do more for me.” (OWS) and “Leave me alone. I´m fine without you.” (Tea Party). It´s quite telling that at the end of the movie Sicko, Michael Moore (one of the OWS champions) is walking up to the U.S. Capitol demanding that the government should do his laundry.

    • #12
    • November 25, 2011, at 5:27 AM PDT
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  13. CoolHand Inactive
    Conor Friedersdorf:If those sorts of pols are their impact on America they’re of no use to me.

    Well then, it’s a happy coincidence that I don’t give two [redacted] whether my actions are of use to YOU or not.

    [Redacted] and I shall go to another Tea Party.

    Ed.’s Note: Comment redacted for violations to the CoC

    • #13
    • November 25, 2011, at 6:03 AM PDT
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  14. Scott R Member

    Conor: OWS is, yes, a reaction against “bailouts” for banks, yet it very much embraces a bailout mentality: “bailout me”, that is. Not so the Tea Party. Fundamentally there is a right/left divide. Ignoring that divide is “we all share the same goals” feel-good-ism.

    Is the Tea Party a blunt instrument that has hampered us at tactical levels here and there, as with Sharron Angle or Christine O’Donnell? Sure. But on balance it has sent a transformative message to D.C., and consequently the entire debate is now centered on how to achieve the scaling down of gov’t — such that even Obama needs to give it lip service.

    OWS has no such victory to trumpet, and in fact has done its cause great harm. Long live the Tea Party.

    • #14
    • November 25, 2011, at 6:57 AM PDT
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  15. Profile Photo Member

    R. Craigen, there are certainly anarchists and socialists helping to organize some Occupy Wall Street Rallies, just as there are Freedom Works employees helping to organize Tea Party rallies. But I tend to think that the 99 Percent Tumblr, or the opinion of the average person who sympathizes with Occupy Wall Street, is the most useful measure of the movement’s message.

    Mollie, to be clear, the Tea Party demands fiery rhetoric from its candidates in the mold of talk radio and Fox News, as evidenced by every pol they’ve elevated in the presidential race. If you’re Christie, Daniels, Barbour, or many others, you look at the political landscape and think, “My personality is conciliatory, and if I can compromise to advance my agenda I think that’s wise — clearly this isn’t my moment to run for president.”

    Dave Carter, here is my contention: any political movement that elevates obviously unelectable AND unqualified candidates in a crucial presidential election year is immature. The Tea Party has elevated Bachmann and Cain. Do you think that signals maturity? Granted, maturity ain’t everything, but it matters.

    • #15
    • November 25, 2011, at 7:42 AM PDT
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  16. John Marzan Inactive
    Conor Friedersdorf: For all the aesthetic and tactical differences between the Tea Party and Occupy Wall Street, they share certain common goals — no more Wall Street bailouts — and an overlapping world view: both think that DC has been captured by special interests.

    the diff between OWS and the Tea Party is that OWS blame Capitalism for income inequality while the Tea Party blames crony capitalism (Solyndra, Insider Trading).

    OWS is upset about the wall street bailouts but will be appeased if they got one of their own (Student loans). The Tea Party is against any bailouts period–whether wall street or union bailouts.

    • #16
    • November 25, 2011, at 8:09 AM PDT
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  17. John Marzan Inactive
    Mollie Hemingway, Ed.

    Conor Friedersdorf:

    The Tea Part already seems open to libertarian solutions. But its partisans are so immature and driven by cultural resentments that the managed to keep Daniels and Christie out of the race, and instead elevated Palin, Bachmann, Perry, and Cain. I don’t care how many flags they have. If those sorts of pols are their impact on America they’re of no use to me. · Nov 24 at 10:14am

    Conor, I hadn’t heard someone blame the Tea Party for Daniels not being in the race or give the credit to the Tea Party for Christie not running. What’s the basis for that? · Nov 24 at 11:43am

    Daniels is not running because the Obama admin has the oppo research on his wife i think. Christie is not running because he said so since early this year (and last year). It was actually Peter Robinson (when he was still a perry supporter) and Troy Senik who kinda opposed Christie for a variety of reasons.

    • #17
    • November 25, 2011, at 8:17 AM PDT
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  18. Publius Inactive

    I can only speak for my own Tea Party involvement and that was inspired by the gross fiscal irresponsibility of the entire political class regardless of political party. I think the seeds of the Tea Party were planted during the most recent Bush administration. The seeds were aggressively watered by President Bush at the end of his last term and by Obama at the start of his.

    The core issues of the Tea Party from my observations have been fiscal responsibility and a return to a constitutional form of government. We don’t have either right now and that’s why there is a Tea Party movement.

    I’m certainly sympathetic to a OWS movement that rightly seems to understand that something is very wrong with crony capitalism, but the messages that they have been articulating have been pretty straight forward Marxism. The seem to mistake that they have a right to pursue happiness rather than a guarantee of happiness.

    • #18
    • November 25, 2011, at 8:52 AM PDT
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  19. Dave Carter Contributor
    Conor Friedersdorf: … Dave Carter, here is my contention: any political movement that elevates obviously unelectable AND unqualified candidates in a crucial presidential election year is immature. The Tea Party has elevated Bachmann and Cain. Do you think that signals maturity? Granted, maturity ain’t everything, but it matters. · Nov 24 at 6:42pm

    Well, several candidates on the GOP side have enjoyed their moment in the sun, during which they’ve been evaluated and found wanting in one area or another and seen their poll numbers slide. That’s not immaturity, but rather a careful consideration of many factors in a continuing search to find a constitutionalist that is knowledgeable and able to effectively advance a conservative agenda.

    The Tea Party is composed of ordinary Americans who gather peacefully, conduct rallies and protests within the law, and then go back to work. They don’t camp out and demand other working Americans support them, they don’t poop in public, or provide safe havens for rapists. They are the reason Republicans took the House, and without them, no Republican is electable. Looking at it pragmatically, it might be something less than mature to denigrate them.

    • #19
    • November 25, 2011, at 8:58 AM PDT
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  20. Aaron Miller Member

    There’s nothing mature or pragmatic about electing representatives who demonstrably refuse to take the necessary steps to stop spending and government expansion at a time when the acceleration of government growth and corruption threatens the very existence of our nation.

    Better to gamble on wackos than to hand the wheel over to drivers intent on crashing with only slightly less lethal force.

    • #20
    • November 25, 2011, at 10:48 AM PDT
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  21. AmishDude Member

    Conor, I have recently come to a basic realization about human nature, that most people think that others view the world in the same way they do. Hence, they engage in a lot of projection. Let’s take a look:

    they share certain common goals — no more Wall Street bailouts

    You oppose Wall Street bailouts, so you project this onto OWS. Besides the fact that, compared to the bailouts of banks and unions, whatever was provided to “Wall Street” was small potatoes, this reads like projection on your part. I see no evidence other than opposition to Wall Street itself.

    a lot of people sympathetic to it are persuadable that government has failed them already and libertarian solutions are the answer.

    When a writer uses “a lot of people” he usually means “I” or “me”. Like the journalist who starts the question with “some people say”, she means “I say”. So, again, I call projection.

    • #21
    • November 25, 2011, at 12:35 PM PDT
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  22. Mollie Hemingway Contributor
    Conor Friedersdorf:

    The Tea Part already seems open to libertarian solutions. But its partisans are so immature and driven by cultural resentments that the managed to keep Daniels and Christie out of the race, and instead elevated Palin, Bachmann, Perry, and Cain. I don’t care how many flags they have. If those sorts of pols are their impact on America they’re of no use to me. · Nov 24 at 10:14am

    Conor, I hadn’t heard someone blame the Tea Party for Daniels not being in the race or give the credit to the Tea Party for Christie not running. What’s the basis for that?

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    • November 25, 2011, at 12:43 PM PDT
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  23. AmishDude Member
    Conor Friedersdorf: But its partisans are so immature and driven by cultural resentments that the managed to keep Daniels and Christie out of the race, and instead elevated Palin, Bachmann, Perry, and Cain. I don’t care how many flags they have. If those sorts of pols are their impact on America they’re of no use to me. · Nov 24 at 10:14am

    This is not true. Christie is a half-term governor with a prickly personality. Daniels did not want to put his family through the humiliation that, say, Cain or Bachmann has endured.

    Indeed, the media is more responsible for people not entering the race for the nomination than any particular conservative faction and I think the evidence is clear.

    Your choice of Palin was interesting inasmuch as she didn’t choose to run. Bachmann, Perry and Cain can’t have been elevated too much, given their current numbers.

    Moreover, the Tea Party did not prevent either Romney or Huntsman from entering the race.

    Certainly this is projecting the fault of an undesirable outcome upon people you don’t like, but I don’t think they’re “driven by cultural resentments” quite as much as you project.

    • #23
    • November 25, 2011, at 12:54 PM PDT
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  24. Profile Photo Member

    Dave,

    There’s a lot to like about the Tea Party, and I appreciate it anytime regular people take time out of their busy lives to participate in the civic process. But the good intentions of a group can be separated from their effectiveness. To me, it’s obvious that a backlash against Obama was coming in 2010 with or without the Tea Party — and that the Tea Party helped change the character of the Republicans who ran in that general election, sometimes for the better, as with Rand Paul, and sometimes for the worse, as with Christine O’Donnell.

    You’re right that Republicans can’t get elected without the Tea Party, but neither can they get elected without defense hawks, or without voters in the mold of David Frum or David Brooks (you’d perhaps call them RINOs).

    It’s misleading to compare the Tea Party protests, where organizers tightly controlled, for example, the sorts of signs displayed, to Occupy Wall Street, which is ideologically committed to welcoming everyone, including homeless people and the mentally ill and anarchists. There is, of course, a lot to dislike about Occupy Wall Street, and I’ve criticized it in print.

    • #24
    • November 26, 2011, at 2:28 AM PDT
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  25. Profile Photo Member
    Scott Reusser: Conor: OWS is, yes, a reaction against “bailouts” for banks, yet it very much embraces a bailout mentality: “bailout me”, that is. Not so the Tea Party. Fundamentally there is a right/left divide. Ignoring that divide is “we all share the same goals” feel-good-ism.

    Scott, I think you’re right that a substantial part of OWS embraces a “bailout us out” mentality. And I am with you in opposing that element. I don’t think saying, “you’re message is partly right and partly wrong — let’s cooperate on the stuff we agree on” is the same as ignoring the divide.

    Left and right wing populists are always going to be at odds with one another on all sorts of issues. They’re going to agree on some stuff too. Why not cooperate on the narrow issues where they agree?

    • #25
    • November 26, 2011, at 2:34 AM PDT
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  26. CoolHand Inactive
    Conor Friedersdorf

    Actually, I think that Tea Partiers are more likely to police themselves — they don’t have the same ideological commitment to being inclusive, reaching decisions by consensus, and letting everyone speak. But I also think it is more centrally organized. There are a handful of Tea Party groups that claim leadership of the movement. And particular groups tend to sponsor the rallies, get permits, etc.

    That just isn’t the case with OWS.

    OK, you’ve fully passed from “misinformed” into “liar liar pants on fire” territory here.

    You’re just making stuff up at this point.

    Please stop.

    You say the Tea Party was centrally planned and policed, and OWS was not.

    Having been to several Tea Parties (none of which had any organization past the little old lady or housewife who pulled and paid for the permit), and having seen the money trails from OWS, I’m going to have to ask you what color the trees are in your world, because you obviously live in a different one that the rest of us.

    Why is it that you “inclusive middle of the road” fellows are always so condescending, insulting, and factually challenged?

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    • November 26, 2011, at 2:48 AM PDT
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  27. AmishDude Member
    Conor Friedersdorf: but neither can they get elected without defense hawks, or without voters in the mold of David Frum or David Brooks (you’d perhaps call them RINOs). · Nov 25 at 1:28pm

    FrumForum, the Army of One? I don’t think he could deliver his immediate family as voters. Probably not even himself. Brooks enthusiastically supported Obama’s pantcreases even though the Republican nominee was John McCain, the prototypical Republican moderate.

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    • November 26, 2011, at 2:53 AM PDT
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  28. CoolHand Inactive
    John Marzan: will the tea party people primary allen west in 2012? hope not. · Nov 25 at 6:20pm

    Always gotta get that kick in there on a Tea Party thread, huh?

    I’m so glad that you get yet another chance to tell us all how stupid and useless our half of the party is.

    But we’re the hateful and uninclusive ones, right?

    Right.

    We so need a rolleyes smiley here. . .

    • #28
    • November 26, 2011, at 2:54 AM PDT
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  29. AmishDude Member
    Conor Friedersdorf: It’s misleading to compare the Tea Party protests, where organizers tightly controlled, for example, the sorts of signs displayed, to Occupy Wall Street, which is ideologically committed to welcoming everyone, including homeless people and the mentally ill and anarchists. · Nov 25 at 1:28pm

    Now you’re just making stuff up without evidence. There was no tight controlling of signage. Perhaps some peer pressure was brought to bear, but when I went to a Des Moines tea party, I just…showed up. Nobody was controlling anything.

    I don’t get your point. Are the pictures now accurate because they show OWS’s inclusiveness? There is really a steadfast refusal of the Left to own their own. The communists, rapists and public masterbators didn’t bother to show up at the Tea Party, so there was something about OWS that appealed to them and something in the culture of OWS that made them think it was permitted.

    And let us not forget the moment of silence at OccupySD “in solidarity” with the nut who was hanging out at OccupyDC and shot at the White House. That’s some official conduct there.

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    • November 26, 2011, at 3:01 AM PDT
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  30. Profile Photo Member
    Sisyphus

    When will someone at the Atlantic take an interest in solvency and liberty, and understand the Tea Party as well as they do the cocktail party? · Nov 25 at 1:27am

    This is absurd. And evidence that you read neither The Atlantic generally nor my work there.

    • #30
    • November 26, 2011, at 3:01 AM PDT
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