A few years ago some old folks got together, put on a few tricorne hats and revolutionary costumes and marched on Washington. They said some crazy stuff and got really great media coverage. Their numbers grew and, with that, their political influence. Liberals made jokes while the propaganda wing of the GOP (FOX) lauded them as the crusaders against big, evil government. And a few demonstrations later, they essentially took over the Republican party, caused gridlock in Washington, blocked bills that would have saved or created countless jobs, and successfully blamed it all on President Obama.
Now that the mainstream Republicans are beginning to wake up, they see the mess the Tea Party has wrought and are trying to figure out what to do next. With a strong Tea Party caucus in the House, a Republican base loyal to the movement, and a Tea Party sympathizer in the lead for the presidential nomination, at the moment they are still caving. But don’t think that top Republican brass are missing the problem because they understand that, ironically, the Tea Party that was essentially created to defeat President Obama may be in fact what saves him — especially if Herman Cain wins the nomination.
This may be the reason that the Democrats are so slow to support the Occupy Wall Street movement and the Republicans are so quick to link them to it. It’s a political gamble for both parties that, because of the fickle nature of the movement, can easily play out either way. In truth, Occupy Wall Street is certainly not the “Left’s Tea Party” in either tone or content. While the Tea Party openly endorses Republicans, Occupy Wall Street is backing away from political affiliation and an endorsement by the Democrats is dangerous and can easily backfire causing some nasty collateral damage on the President less than a year from the election. By the GOP labeling them as a “mob” and “hippies” they are hoping to create a bogeyman of the Left just as the Tea Party is of the Right.
Only time will tell what the smart move is for the Democrats, but the Tea Party’s effect on the GOP is still fresh in their minds. Yes they may be wary to play with fire, but if the Republican’s scare tactics fail and the Occupy Wall Street movement gains momentum and support from the middle, the movement could be a great asset to the Democrats, only if they get their act together.