FRIDAY, OCT 21, 2011 8:00 AM EDT
Two very different movements with common roots in the failing center
BY ARUN GUPTA
One month into the Occupy Wall Street protests, many are asking if this new movement is just a “left-wing Tea Party.”
Definitely not. This is not a party, like the Tea Party, that seeks to directly shape the policy and electoral process. Because it is explicitly leaderless, it is difficult to imagine a Michele Bachmann or Eric Cantor emerging as a standard bearer of the Occupy Wall Street movement. Given their reliance on Wall Street money, as well as radical demands from many protesters, the Democrats will find it almost impossible to channel “the 99%” into an electoral tidal wave next year, the way the Republicans rode the Tea Party to victory in 2010.
But that does not mean comparisons to the Tea Party should be dismissed. There are striking parallels between the two movements when viewed through the lenses of politics, society and history.