The Difference Between #OccupyWallStreet And The #TeaParty

As the “Occupy” movement continues to grow and expand across the country, some in the media have been trying to make comparisons between it and the Tea Party. In fairness, there are some similarities. Both are comprised of Americans who are angry about unfairness and corruption in politics and business. But the similarities are mostly on the surface. The differences are far more abundant and disturbing. For instance…

No critic of the Tea Party ever infiltrated it in order to instigate violence as Patrick Howley, an assistant editor for the conservative American Spectator, has admitted doing. He bragged about posing as a protester to “mock and undermine” the movement.

No critic of the Tea Party ever accused the Tea Party of plotting mass murder as Glenn Beck has done – twice. Last week he said that this protesting “leads to gas chambers” and to “millions dead.” This week he claimed that the protesters “will come for you and drag you into the streets and kill you.”

Tea Party SignsNo critic of the Tea Party ever made wild, unsubstantiated assertions as to the motives of Tea Party members. Certainly there was strong opposition based on evidence provided by Tea Party members themselves. Their rhetoric and signage expressed some unsavory opinions. But the Occupy critics are inventing criticisms that they cannot support.

No critic of the Tea Party ever encouraged others to break the windows of Democratic offices with rocks and baseball bats as right-wing militiaman Mike Vanderboegh did.

No critic of the Tea Party ever had their own cable news network to hype their agenda and events. The Occupy movement has had to struggle to get the press to pay them any attention, and when reporters did show up they were hostile and insulting. The Tea Party, of course, had Fox News which literally branded the Tea Party as a part of Fox News and gave them hours of valuable air time. Fox praised Tea Partyers as brave and patriotic, but that’s not how they portray the Occupy protesters:

The Occupy movement has been peaceful and focused on communicating a message of fairness and accountability. It is fighting for the rights of the 99% of Americans who have been rolled over by corrupt corporations and politicians. It is not the beneficiary of dedicated news channels and billionaires with vested interests. Other than that it exactly like the Tea Party.


25 thoughts on “The Difference Between #OccupyWallStreet And The #TeaParty

  1. The New York Times reported 95% of the “tea party” were John McCain supporters. I think they were like many Republicans, unable to accept losing. I’ve even heard some of the more respected members of the party, like Nicole Wallace, blaming Acorn for “30,000 acts of voter fraud!”, which is so inaccurate I won’t even bother to explain why. This election must have been even harder for the poor little crybabies to handle – losing to a black man. There was never a tea party (with the exception of Ron Paul’s little band of insane followers). It was never a movement. It was a bunch of old white disgruntled John McCain LOSERS.

  2. I sorta agree with Beckerwood on this one – this sort of thing CAN lead to roundups and arbitrary detention: namely, by fascist bootlickers LIKE BECK and his teahadi army…

    See also the stormtroopers in Boston rounding up protesters and tossing the American flag on the ground. Even Hollywood would consider that to be a bit of an over-dramatic touch.

  3. Here’s another difference, tea party people – I’m surprised you’ve accepted it exists – expect they will need to earn a living and have no one give it to them. They also don’t act jealous of the “rich” – that you make your own happiness and your own opportunities through hard work and determination.

    • I don’t understand this line you guys love so much. Work hard and it’ll happen. Cause everyone that works hard is doing well and is living a happy life. Cause everyone that works hard doesn’t live in a constant struggle. Cause all people that make a lot are hard workers. You sound like the government would empty the bank accounts of the rich, and write me a $40,000 check. Why do you think that all people that need help are lazy? The way you talk about em you would think they make themselves poor so they don’t have to work and live off of welfare. Cause welfare is big bucks huh? It’s almost like you think living in a constant struggle and in poverty is a choice they made cause they think it’s better than working hard and living the dream. Do you? If not, than why do you talk like that? ‘Its only so they can continue to take welfare and food stamps.’ Why would they want to continue to live a shit life? I…..don’t understand you’re reasoning in that. That cliche hinges on mass self imposed poverty and consciously settling for a life of squalor. I don’t dispute that crack heads and heroin addicts exist in that life, but it seems you think that’s what they ALL are. I dont know how to say this without being a dickhead, but it seems like you haven’t thought about this all very hard.

      • I wouldn’t suggest life won’t be hard regardless. I can tell you that blaming outside factors as a primary reason for someone underperforming is not anything that will get you where you want to go.
        I’m not sypathetic to those who appear to blame “the system” for them not having what they want or getting where they want in life -it’s ALWAYS the responsibility of the individual. Sorry if I have no tolerance for that kind of excuse. No one gave me anything easily – including my parents. I paid for my college education and did the work required to earn a degree. No one wispered the answers in my ear to make it easy.
        I just can’t feel sympathy for these people protesting – in fact I feel contempt for them when it comes to protesting individual americans for having too much. I’m sure some of what they desire is good – like the buying of influence with our politicians, but protesting as they are doesn’t look like that is the goal. They should be in Washington DC where the real scum of the earth works – in the capital.

        • You conceded and made my point for me in the very first sentence. What else could it be if not outside factors? What the hell do you call 2008?!?!? My fault??? You think you can work hard and underperform at the same time? How does that work, in America? Should that happen in America? If someone starts out in an unsound financial situation, chances are really good that that’s where they’ll end up, and not because of being lazy or a shitty worker. If you can’t afford college, don’t qualify for scholarships and financial aid, you’ll probably struggle for a long while. Should you have to get a degree in America in order to make it? And again, try not to constantly think that these people make a conscious choice to live a shit life. You CONTINIOUSLY show a shocking lack of thought in you’re outlook. I don’t dispute that very, very, VERY few Americans have lived the cliched American dream. I’m not sure a lot of those made it cause of dumb luck, but I’ll give it to you, it’s not impossible. Also remember that the middle class isn’t in the greatest shape right now, I’m referring to making it to the point where one can raise a family without ever needing help or having to struggle, I’m referring to be able to live without financial worry which is earned by simply working hard. You know, the American dream.

          • Can you define “the american dream” to me – or at least what YOU believe it is? You seem to give the average person no credit for being able to figure out how to live a decent life without some kind of help. No wonder you’re so down on everything, if I thought the way you did, I wouldn’t be able to get out of bed every morning.

            • Are you being deliberately obtuse?

              You keep trying to accuse people of being lazy freeloaders who want a handout. That is an absurd notion and no one in the Occupy movement is saying it. It’s just you putting words in their mouths.

              There is a difference between asking for handouts and asking for accountability and fairness. You seem to approve of unscrupulous corporations, banks, and politicians knee-capping our economy and getting off scot-free.

              We want those responsible to bear the burden of their responsibility. We want to be able to reach our own potential without powerful elites pushing us down so that they can enrich themselves. As Desdinova said, the economic collapse of 2008 was not our fault. Nobody’s looking for a handout, but we do want the powerful to take their boots off of our necks. Then we can achieve for ourselves. But right now the deck is stacked against us and in favor of the elites who control the wealth and the political process.

              I would think that as someone who advocates self-reliance you would agree with all of this. But you seem to be too wound up in your rightist, Randian rhetoric to see clearly.

            • ……Seriously? Define it?? ……I did…more than once…even specifically at the very end. So did you in the first comment I replied to here. At least I thought you did, I mean….it doesn’t differ too much to people. Work hard and you’ll make a comfortable life for yourself, which is bullshit for most Americans. Most Americans work their asses off their whole lives and never get out of poverty or never live a life free of financial worry. Why is that?

              I hope you don’t resort to redefining the American dream here, and you know damn well I defined it and that you know what it is. It’s the same for everybody dude, pretending to be stupid doesn’t do you any good.

            • I’m not being “deliberately obtuse” – I’m completely rejecting – maybe not so well – this belief that MOST people don’t or can’t control their own success – whatever that means to a given indvidual. We have someone here – desdinova – that comes up with a lot of excuses for why people – in this case most people – can’t actually live a comfortable life vs. living in poverty. Based on those responses, the deck is stacked against everyone and i don’t believe that at all.

              With respect to these protesters – you clearly state what you believe is their purpose better than they do, maybe you should do their speaking. If trying to call for some accountability is their goal, I’m not sure NYC is the place – I would think Wash DC is more appropriate – if anyone is criminal, it’s our political leaders from both parties – they love money more than anyone.

            • You obviously didn’t read much of what I said, reread it and see if that last comment still stands. You still think it’s cause they’re lazy or just bad workers, you didn’t read any of that did you? Stacked against most people indeed, that’s why there’s what, 4000 of them and 200 million of us? It’s not hard to see that success solely through hard work and determination doesn’t happen for the vast majority of Americans. They would rather employ mexicans and chinese than to pay me a livable, comfortable wage. I didn’t kill the American dream, and neither did the govt through taxation. The free market did, greed did. I’m done here.

  4. This is too easy.

    You know that idiot in the Texas T-shirt and the misspelled N-word on his protest sign? Here’s the rest of the story: His name is Dale Robertson. And he has been KICKED OUT OF EVERY TEA PARTY PROTEST THAT HE HAS SHOWN UP AT! So once again, your attempts to spout the Tea-Partiers-are-racists song-and-dance have failed miserably.

    “No critic of the Tea Party had their own cable news network…”

    Lie. Hilarious lie. What, you think MSNBC is no longer on the air? It only seems that way, son, given their ratings.

    You are embarassing yourself more than usual this time.

    • If this is so easy, why did you fail so badly?

      Robertson is still an active Tea Partier and the president of And you didn’t even bother to address the other pictures (or the many that I didn’t post but are readily available to anyone who knows how to Google).

      And MSNBC hardly fills the role that Fox played in promoting the Tea Party. Fox had reporters ride along on the Tea Party buses, speak at the rallies, and defend their every activity. Fox even branded the Tea Party as a Fox event. Even if MSNBC gives the Occupiers some positive press it doesn’t compare with the fluffing that Fox gives to the Tea Party.

      The only embarrassment here is your sorry excuse for a rebuttal.

      • You’re the one who is belching forth a worthless rebuttal. The fact that Robetson proclaimshimself a Tea Partier means nothing. The other Tea Party organizations have condemned him and told him to get lost. This illustrates one of the downsides of having a leaderless movement (yes, both Tea Party and OWS have this same problem). Furthermore, the teeny tiny amount of tasteless and disgusting posters at Tea Party events pale in comparison to the evil, violence-filled signs at anti-war protests. Do I really need to remind you again?

        And your lie about MSNBC could cause a guy to choke on his soda if he was reading it while drinking. They have been singing the praises about OWS as much as Paul Krugman and Eugene Robinson have been, and they have been doing it non-stop.


        • Why do you think that’s a rebuttal? Saying someone else did it too isn’t an excuse or a counterpoint, it’s changing the subject. I don’t believe mark has ever condoned making threats toward….anybody. They did it too huh? What’s your point? Again, REREAD what you replied to. Msnbc never (or hasn’t yet) put there name on the movement and actually sponsored it. They don’t have producers there to rile people up just before they go on camera and still call it a grass roots protest and call it JUST news coverage. Of course there’s a difference, and it’s not difficult to see it. You’re correct that they probably give it positive coverage, but they also have plenty of people to disparage it, it’s not exclusively one sided.

  5. The people in New York that all of the NEWS OUTLETS are showing on TV look to me like a bunch of nasty losers,druggies,drug dealers,whores,sluts,drunks,and just plain lazy idiots !
    If any of them are seriously looking for work and are decent and respectable human beings, why are they there ? Why are they not sending out resumes, going for interviews, ect. ? WOULD YOU HIRE ANY OF THEM ? PINK HAIR, NASTY HAIR, NOSE RINGS, TATOOS, SMELLY AND STINKY, ETC.
    They don’t want a job, they don’t want to go to college or business schools and learn how to cope in life. They want everything for free.
    Now, if I am wrong, prove to me that these folks are in school, working, or looking for work, or if they are even wanting a job ?
    To be jealous of succesful people who went to school, made good grades, dress like a human, have morals, are clean and decent looking IS JUST PLAIN WRONG. The people they call rich are rich because they WORKED HARD TO GET WHERE THEY ARE ! No one gave it to them.
    So just shut the F up.

    • Thank you for demonstrating how ignorant, closed-minded, and prejudiced you right-wing losers are.

      • You’ll never get the energy and time back that you spent to read and type a response to that ever again, Mark. Not worth it.

      • I checked out the Communist party website to see their take on this group of people and they are quite supportive and express solidarity with them. You’re in good company – well done.

        • Thanks. And I guess that you are proud of having white supremacist and KKK leader David Duke endorsing the Tea Party. That obviously means that you and all the rest of your gang are racists, right? Well done.

    • A college professor told me an interesting story once. There was a young man who flunked high-school. He was terrible at math; fractions were impossible. His parents gave him an incentive. If he could acquire his GED, he could go to Hawaii for the summer. He passed with a C.

      While in Hawaii, he lived the good life surfing of all things. There he met his girl friend. She was the daughter of a wealthy cocoa bean farmer. He eventually married her after learning the business. Now, he is busy telling my professor, his friend, how much he is worth, even though he could not possibly count that far.

      Now, you tell me how you know rich worked hard for their wealth.

      The only way one could truly account for one’s success is to live as a hermit with no human contact. We live in a community where actions have reactions. No one’s success or failure while living in a community is wholly due to just one’s own activities. It took the interactions of countless individuals drive one’s causality.

      In a word, the rich are rich due to the people in their lives who helped make them rich. This took some doing on their part, but they only succeeded by the grace of others.

      • And yes, this must be how everyone who has money has gotten it – thanks for the enlightenment. Why did I waste my time and money getting a college degree when i could have just married into money.

  6. Mark, I re-read this article and I just don’t see much difference between the Tea Party and OWS – except for ideology. The tea party is clearly right wing and pissed off. OWS is clearly left wing and pissed off. So everyone is pissed off – only ideology separates everyone.

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