The pundit class has largely ignored, dismissed or mocked the Occupy Wall Street protest (the Wall Street Journal's editorial page, for example, calls the protesters "a collection of ne'er-do-wells raging against Wall Street, or something"). We too find it hard to get especially worked up over a series of small demonstrations in a handful of cities, including Los Angeles, involving mostly disaffected people who have trouble expressing what it is they're against. But isn't that how the "tea party" started out?
The political left has been searching for the last couple of years to find an answer to the tea party. Some hoped last year's rally in Washington led by TV comedians Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert, a response to right-wing rallies attended by such conservative media celebrities as Glenn Beck, would spark a national movement. That didn't happen. Now they're pinning their hopes on Occupy Wall Street, which in many ways is a mirror image of the tea party. Both groups are motivated by frustration over the rotten economy and are vague about causes and solutions, though if their positions could be summed up in a one-line manifesto, it might be: The tea party, dominated by elderly conservatives, blames government overspending and overreach for our economic problems and would therefore like to cut federal spending, while Occupy Wall Street, dominated by young liberals, blames corporate greed and would therefore like to tax the rich and decrease corporate political power.