Some have suggested that the Occupy Wall Street movement is just a Tea Party movement of the left. Editors at The Nation say, “Wrong.” Occupy Wall Street is something entirely different.
Occupy Wall Street isn’t like the Tea Party. For one thing, it’s a lot younger, both demographically and historically: it has not been gestating since the Goldwater era, honing its talking points in local school boards and churches. For another, it’s independent: it lacks the explicit links to a partisan Beltway infrastructure that comes with sponsorship by right-wing billionaires. But most important, whereas the Tea Party feigns indignation at Washington while finding itself well served by its corruption, this movement is a genuine protest against politics as usual.
Stay tuned. Occupy may have some real legs. As The Nation editors say,
The beginning really is near. The occupation of Wall Street has grown from hundreds to thousands, and more than 115 parallel occupations have cropped up in cities around the world, from Occupy Boston to Occupy Los Angeles to Occupy Finland. Crucially, labor and civil society groups like the SEIU, the Teamsters, the Transit Workers, New York Communities for Change and others have come on board.
The big question is how and to what extent this true grassroots movement (not the fake kind like the Tea Party) will impact the 2012 election. Will it help Democrats? Will it hurt Republicans? Will there even be a Occupy movement come next year, or next month for that matter?