From early last fall through early this year, Occupy Wall Street looked like a group on the rise, and some commentators dubbed it the left-wing equivalent of the tea party.
But now Occupy has faded away, while the tea party remains ascendant, with many of its candidates scoring victories in Republican primaries.
One of the Occupy admirers was MarketWatch
columnist David Weidner. “About a year ago I called Occupy Wall Street a ‘tea party with brains,’” he now writes. “Today, I’m the one who needs his head examined. Occupy . . . failed to live up to its promise as an important social and political force.”
While Republicans of all stripes are working hard to ingratiate themselves with tea partyers, only hardcore liberals, such as Democratic Massachusetts Senate candidate Elizabeth Warren and independent Vermont Bernie Sanders in Vermont are kowtowing to Occupy Wall Street.
“The biggest problem with the Occupy protests is the movement itself,” Weidner writes.
Occupy has five big problems, he says. “It has no message, it’s too weird, it’s outspent, it’s threatening, and it’s a leftist, socialist, union-driven, Obama-driven, Democratic party-driven effort.”
The biggest issue is that Occupy simply doesn’t have a workable plan. The tea party has a clear goal of cutting taxes. But Occupy wants everything from a halt of home foreclosures to a more equal distribution of income.
Weidner remains sympathetic to Occupy’s criticism of the financial system. “But understanding what ails us and delivering that message are different things,” he writes. “The tea party’s anti-tax view may be oversimplified, but it’s clear. That’s why the tea party is effective.”
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