Tea Party and Occupy – Some Common Ground? UPDATE

B-Daddy B-Daddy 27 Comments


Update below the fold.

Temple of Mut has a great round up on the Occupy (insert your city here) events yesterday. Fellow SLOBs W.C. Varones and Left Coast Rebel both attended the San Diego event yesterday. W.C. has great video and LCR has revealing pictures. They are worth a review, because this movement is complex and even self-contradictory at times; see Thor’s Assistant’s comments on a related post, where their demands are listed.

Pictures from LCR’s blog of yesterday’s San Diego rally:

What are the red and black flags in the background? Glad to see the U.S. flag.

I am sympathetic to many of the complaints that motivate the Occupy Wall Street. Indeed, bailing out Wall Street and the banks with federal money was the initial event that inspired the tea party movement’s beginnings in 2009. Unfortunately, OWS appears to be getting hijacked by the usual suspects on the left, the socialists, communists, labor unions and the Green party. This results in fundamental disagreement with those in the tea party on the means by which to end the injustice of government support for privileged corporations. When OWS protesters start talking about confiscation of wealth and trampling property rights, it reminds me of the horrors of the Russian revolution. However, the outrage that all citizens feel with a political class that looks first to the interests of itself, then of its large contributors is poignant and a basis for common ground.

Here is an agenda that we might all agree upon, because it attacks the root causes that led to both movements.

  • End the bailouts for financial firms and indeed all the failed corporations. Disabuse corporate CEOs of the notion that they can jet to Washington to save their companies.
  • Eliminate the special dispensations for favored groups and corporations in the tax code. Simplify the corporate tax code so that simple profit and loss, as measured by generally accepted accounting principles form the basis of taxation. No more special breaks because you lobbied Congress. Ethanol comes to mind.
  • End the secret bailouts by the federal reserve, which seem to involve more than just banks. Audit the fed.
  • While we are at it, restore the gold standard for our money so that banks can be held accountable and not get federal reserve bailouts.
  • Investigations and possible prosecutions for fraud in the manner in which mortgage backed securities were represented.
  • Prosecutions when banks foreclose on homes when they don’t even own the mortgage.
  • End all government loans to corporations.

That’s my short list, I hope those on the left can find some agreement.


I was alerted to a blog post by left of center, peak oil and “new urbanism” activist James Howard Kunstler, in the comments section of W.C.’s post. I am quoting one paragraph, because it shows that we can perhaps come to agreement with the left on some key issues.

For instance, what is Attorney General Eric Holder’s program for prosecuting CDO swindles, the MERS racket, the bonus creamings of TBTF bank executives, the siphoning of money from the Federal Reserve to foreign banks, the misconduct at Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the willful negligence of the SEC, and countless other villainies? What is Barack Obama’s program for restoring the rule of law in American financial affairs? (Generally, the rule of law requires the enforcement of laws, no?)

In case you can’t follow the acronyms he uses.

CDO = Collateralized Debt Obligation. Similar in structure to a collateralized mortgage obligation (CMO) or collateralized bond obligation (CBO), CDOs are unique in that they represent different types of debt and credit risk. In the case of CDOs, these different types of debt are often referred to as ‘tranches’ or ‘slices’.

MERS = Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems. A electronic registry designed to track servicing rights and ownership of mortgage loans in the United States. But consider this little gem in an appeals court ruling from Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems v LISA MARIE CHONG, LENARD E. SCHWARTZER, BANKRUPTCY TRUSTEE, et al.

Instead of presenting the evidence to the Bankruptcy Court, MERS attempted to withdraw the Motion from the Bankruptcy Court’s consideration, citing the failure of a MERS Certifying Officer to demonstrate that a member was in physical possession of the promissory note at the time themotion was filed. The only evidence provided by MERS was a declaration that MERS had been identified as a beneficiary in the deed of trust and that it had been named nominee for the originallender. Since MERS provided no evidence that it was the agent or nominee for the current owner of the beneficial interest in the note, it has failed to meet its burden of establishing that it is a real partyin interest with standing. Accordingly, the order of the Bankruptcy Court must be affirmed.

TBTF = Too Big To Fail. The doctrine that we can’t allow some banks to fail or it will crash the whole economy.


Comments 27

  1. The Tea Party relies on PERSUASION to achieve
    its goals.

    That other movement relies on Force, as clearly
    stated in its very name.

    Methods matter a great deal.

  2. Jim,

    Please explain what “force” is being used? OWS appears to be a relatively peaceful protest (there will always be isolated instances) completely in line with Constitutional rights and principles.

  3. The OWS types could reduce the power of Wall Street simply by registering Republican and voting for Ron Paul.

    If they’re really 99 percent of the country, it’d be a slam-dunk.

  4. Most of the people I talk to do not see the bigger picture. The Democrats focus on social programs, the Republicans on cutting spending and limited government.
    Pres Bush signed Agenda 21/ICLEI in 1992 – handing over America’s sovereignty to a global entity – for a fundamental transformation and a massive redistribution of wealth. ie -green cities are to be built (modeled after – Masdar City) with population control, etc all in the name of climate change.
    Let’s focus on the bigger picture of stopping their agenda and to honor and defend the Constitution of the United States.
    These demonstrations can be the right start if we can focus on the right stuff – like ending the Federal Reserve and starting the investigation into our ineligible President who is changing our country as fast as he can
    Remember that radical Patrick Henry? – “Bring us liberty or bring us death.” –
    If you want America to remain free – read-and then join -“A Declaration to Restore our Constitutional Republic” – http://thepatriotsnews.com/indx.php

  5. “…starting the investigation into our ineligible President” — As I said in a previous comment “clowns to the left of me, JOKERS TO MY RIGHT.”

  6. “Occupy”

    What part of that word does Alger not understand?

    This is the late 1960s recycled in which campus
    radicals would “occupy” a Dean’s office, or that of
    a President, before then issuing the inevitable
    “non-negotiable” demands.

  7. Jim Sillis nails it. “OCCUPY.”

    Here’s a picture worth a thousand words comparing the two: http://ow.ly/i/iVa0

    This Occupy group has no clear structure of an agenda that could have anything in common with the Tea Party. They consistently advocate more government. The list proposed has some enticing points, but that seems cherry-picked from the other more vocal objectives such as tax the rich more. Today I watched some protesters demand that banks “infuse” 2 trillion dollars into the economy and “hire more people.”

    One can only assume these guys would love for the Federal Government to mandate that banks pass out cash to whatever liberal causes they want.

    Their credibility is illustrated by their bogus claim of being the 99% of the population. Clearly they need to recheck their math.

    Tea Party has some crazy characters, but for the most part they kept a pretty focused goal. Less taxes. Less government expansion into our lives such as health care.

    Tea Party also, didn’t break the law with violent protests requiring massive arrests and pepper spray.

    If you want to watch a creepy video, watch this Occupy group in Atlanta that continually repeats what the equally creepy speaker says. Ironically they are refusing to let a Democrat speak: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3QZlp3eGMNI

  8. Post

    To those critical of OWS, I want to make clear that I am not defending everything they have done, nor am I equating them with the tea party movement. However, we should separate the wheat of legitimate complaint from the chaff of tactics and socialist infiltration. I wish to be part of a movement that builds successful coalitions to effect legitimate change in America. That means reaching outside of my normal comfort zone to others willing to agree on specific issues. It is unfortunate that the change we seek is to restore the constitutional limits on government that were once taken for granted. Please see the update on Kunstler’s comments, who is definitely left of center, as proof we can find common ground.

  9. @ Algers – good comment there. I was one of those apathetic liberals who believed Obama when he said that he was born in Hawaii. I believed him when he said his father was from Kenya.

    I did not want any part of the ‘birther’ movement – thinking those people were right wingers. However, I decided to read more on the subject .
    The Constitution clearly states that a President must be a natural born citizen – meaning born of 2 U.S. citizens. The founding fathers were concerned about the allegiance of the child would be that of the father.
    – that – according to the book – The Law of Nations.
    What is the source of our problems? the Fed, NAFTA agreement,, UN Agenda 21/ICLEI – get rid of those 3 problems along with instisting on the resignation of all socialists, marxists, communists in the White House and Congress, then America will start fixing itself.

  10. Jim,

    The first three definitions from the Encarta World English dictionary:

    oc·cu·py[ ókyə p ]TRANSITIVE VERB
    1. live in place: to live in or be the established user of a place such as a home or office
    2. engage somebody’s attention: to take up somebody’s time or attention ( often passive )
    “something to occupy his leisure hours”
    3. fill space or time: to take up a space or an amount of time ( often passive )
    “His rambling speech occupied a good part of the hour.”

    Not much in the way of force and certainly no violence there. Now can you address my point about this group simply exercising their Constitutional rights, or do those rights only apply to those you agree with?

  11. Looking for “common ground” between the Occupy Wall Street and the Tea Party?
    Perhaps, there is a basic fear of what these protests may mean for the GOP in 2012, just like the Tea Party meant for Democrats in 2010. The “99%” who are Occupying San Diego are giving voice and focus for frustration of the middle class sold out by Wall Street. Both parties have been bought by Wall Street.

  12. This thread is about whether there is a similarity between
    the Tea Party movement and the Occupy flurry.

    Steve Rider and I say they have nothing in common,
    especially in the methods they choose to employ.

    The familiar ‘Straw Man’ technique — let’s imply that
    critics of the Left’s agenda oppose the right to protest
    — is as predictable as it is tedious.

  13. Thor says the two groups nearly have a common name:

    The TEA PARTY believes in the free market, individual responsibility and the reduced scope and size of government.

    Occupy believes in increasing the size and responsibility of government so as to provide significant hand-outs to large numbers. The “members” believe they are owed something by government and are reliant on such, like mother’s milk to an infant… the TEAT PARTY, if you will.

  14. Jim,

    Your very first comment to this thread tried to point out a difference in methods between the Tea Party and OWS.

    You stated “That other movement (OWS) relies on Force, as clearly stated in its very name.” My response was simply to disagree with that contention. I believe I even documented my reason for disagreeing.

    I am sorry that you feel that is “tedious.” I am however glad that at least you don’t have the authority to close comments for this post as you generally do when you disagree with comments that you cannot refute.

  15. Authors do have a right on this blog to close comments as they see fit. However, Alger’s contention that Mr. Sills or any other blogger chooses to close them because of an inability to refute a comment, is complete opinion and conjecture. In our experience, bloggers here have closed comments when the discussion has completely run its course, or the comments have moved off subject. Some readers may disagree with comments being closed in either case, but it is still up to the author to choose.

  16. Oh, and further, it is pretty clear that what Mr. Sills was referring to as tedious was the false implication that conservatives, while disagreeing with the Occupy bunch, somehow don’t believe they have a right to protest. Quite frankly, that kind of implication — never stated by any blogger here — is tedious.

  17. At the risk of belaboring the point and maybe even becoming tedious, Mr. Sills did clearly state that he thought that the OWS relied on force to make its point and I don’t believe using force would be a Constitutionally protected form of protest. That is why I asked whether Mr. Sills believed that this protest was within the guidelines of the Constitution. I wasn’t implying anything about what Conservatives may or may not think; I was asking Mr. Sills, in light of his previous comment, what he thought.

  18. Another comparison of the Tea Party and Occupy Wall Street:
    The Tea Party in large part was and is funded and trained by the Koch Brothers.

    As far as I know the Occupy Wall Street is not funded by anyone, or any corporations. They do receive donations, such as water, food, etc. from local businesses who sympathize with their cause. Occupy Wall Street as well as Occupy San Diego are not beholden to any corporation, unlike the Tea Party funded by Koch Industries. (http://www.nytimes.com/2010/08/29/opinion/29rich.html?pagewanted=all). Lately, that support has become tarnished due to a revelation that the Koch Bros. were doing business with Iran (http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-10-02/koch-brothers-flout-law-getting-richer-with-secret-iran-sales.html.)

    So, there is a huge difference between the Tea Party, their motivations and Occupy Wall Street. One funded by the 1% and the other supported by the 99%.

  19. Dear Thor’s Assistant:

    FACT CHECK-since you need it:

    Tea Party supported by the 1% (the super wealthy). – Financial support. – KOCH BROS. et al. They are also supporting current candidates and issues that reflect their super conservative bent.

    Lately, that support has become tarnished due to a revelation that the Koch Bros. were doing business with Iran (http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-10-02/koch-brothers-flout-law-getting-richer-with-secret-iran-sales.html.)

    Occupy Wall Street supported by 99% (the shrinking, frustrated middle class) with enthusiasm to bring attention to the need for change, moving toward fairness in our economy. Wall Street got bailed out, we got sold out.

    FYI: Occupy London Stock Exchange is now going to be taking place in London, October 15th. “Occupy” is growing.

    Got it now? Thanks for giving me the opportunity to say more….although I think this will not be posted.

    From Admin (8:25 pm):

    The nearly exact same comment above was posted twice by Gwendolyn, so we have posted the longer of the two.

    Let’s make something very clear — most of the comments here go into a pending filter, with some of them going into spam. It’s either that or have hundreds of inappropriate automated spam comments, many with offensive language, appearing on the blog. All of the comments are vetted to approve the pending ones and to ensure legitimate, real ones haven’t gone into the spam file. We can’t have immediacy in this process, although we do our best. So, please be patient when you post a comment and it doesn’t appear right away. Most of all, stop berating us over it and assuming the worst.

    Those who include references in their comments such as “You probably won’t post this” are not assisting in the process. That is the game of nine-year-olds and downright silly, speaking of silly. Newspapers have seen such “challenges” in letters to the editor for hundreds of years and typically choose to not print that portion of the letter, if they print it at all. We certainly know of no credible newspaper editors that have ever felt challenged by those types of sophomoric inclusions. They could reply with, “You’re probably too dumb to know that won’t help you get published,” but we haven’t ever seen that either.

    Oh…and yes, we will post our comments in bold right at the end of a reader comment from time to time as the need arises — just as we have done here — as we damn well please. Got it now?

  20. So, Thor’s Assistant, like Alger mentioned:
    “I am however glad that at least you don’t have the authority to close comments for this post as you generally do when you disagree with comments that you cannot refute.”

  21. On the closing comments reference… Huh? (As in not getting it…this is B-Daddy’s post.) Speaking of silly, you actually believe that 99 percent of the public supports the Occupy WS group? Really? That’s not just silly, it’s downright laughable. You’d be hard pressed to find 80 percent supporting even the most popular groups and causes in this nation. We would encourage you to go talk to some average people on the street and determine what percentage supports OWS. We don’t mean political activists, of any stripe. If you really believe that percentage, you have proved yourself to be as silly as anyone on this blog.

  22. Gwendolyn,
    You say the Tea Party is supported by the “super wealthy.”

    I support the Tea Party, but I’m not wealthy in any sense at all.

    Since you know so much about the subject, when do I get the check? Do I have to petition the Koch Bros?

  23. A fact check isn’t just restating an opinion, as Gwendolyn has done here. If she can, she needs to prove that the entire Tea Party movement is financed by the 1%, and that all of the 99% percent support the Occupy movement. Bet she can’t. That’s not silly, it’s ridiculous.

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