Two good reads on Occupy Chicago, one from Achy Obejas, “Why There Will Be No Occupying the Elections,” about the differences between the Tea Party and the Occupy movement, which people are regularly trying to hook up on blind dates:
The comparison of these two movements has always baffled me. Other than that they are both expressions of grassroots dissatisfaction, there’s not much in common.
The Tea Party is about trying to bring back an imagined American past of glory, prosperity and global superiority. That’s why the Tea Party dovetails so neatly into elections, particularly local ones. It’s not against the system. Its gripe is that the system has been co-oped by the less patriotic, the less American. It’s trying to rescue the system.
I’m not exactly sure I agree about an idyllic past being the main thrust of the Tea Party (maybe the Reagan administration?), but this is key: particularly local ones. It really emphasizes a significant structural difference.
Joe Macaré of In These Times takes on Joe Moreno and the local press by way of explaining the non-partisan nature of the Occupy movement, which dovetails with Obejas’s piece:
Here’s the other thing about the Anti-Vietnam War movement: Its goal wasn’t to ensure that Democrats were elected in perpetuity. Its goal was, oddly enough, to end the Vietnam War (started under a Democratic president, ended under a Republican). It succeeded, eventually – but only after years of toiling away being ignored or actively reviled by the liberal class, many of whom thought that those who objected to the war shouldn’t dare reproach that nice progressive LBJ. Sound familiar?
Occupiers see the struggle to get money out of politics and resist the dominance of corporate power as more important than party politics. I am not leaking some secret truth or imposing my own agenda when I say this. It’s Occupy 101: In Chicago, for example, the disclaimer that this is a non-partisan movement is said at the beginning of every single General Assembly.
To reduce the difference between the Tea Party and the Occupy movement (to almost nothing, but here goes): the former wants government’s paws off of money; the latter wants money’s paws off of government. Whether or not the Tea Party and #Occupy shares common ground or completely opposing ground not depends a lot on how you read each movement.
Finally, a big thanks to Rasmussen for trying to get the real news back ahead of The Onion:
Rising Republican presidential contender Newt Gingrich made news recently when he suggested that the Occupy Wall Street protesters should stop protesting and get jobs after taking a bath. Voters are evenly divided over whether that’s a good idea.
A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 43% of Likely U.S. Voters agree with the former House speaker and think the protesters should take baths and get jobs. But an identical number (43%) disagree, and 14% more are undecided.
If there’s any justice in the world, this will be a debate question (via).
Photograph: mariogarciabaeza (CC by 2.0)
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