Hypocrisy Versus Hypocrisy

Andrew Sullivan posted a photo illustrating the dual hypocrisies of the tea party movement and the OWS protests. You might recall the curbside tea party protest photo in which all of the government-run taxpayer financed items in the scene are marked with orange arrows.

Now there’s a companion OWS photo pointing out protesters and their corporate-purchased items. But it isn’t an accurate portrayal of OWS hypocrisy.

I’m sure there are OWS people who are completely anti-corporation and anti-capitalism, and some of those people are tweeting about it from their iPads while eating Cranberry Orange Scones that were charged on their Capital One cards, but that doesn’t represent the vast majority of the movement.

But I always believed OWS was about the crimes and malfeasance that created the current economic mess and how government needs to reinstate Glass-Steagall and enforce laws like the Sherman Anti-Trust Act in order to roll back the conditions that allowed all of this to happen. While we’re here, why not create an environment that builds the middle class instead of killing it?

So it’s entirely consistent to support corporate accountability while simultaneously using corporate products. Or as the president said yesterday:

“At this moment, when our politics appear so sharply polarized, faith in our institutions so greatly diminished, we need more than ever to take heed to Dr. King’s teachings. If he were alive today, I believe that he would remind us that the unemployed worker can rightly challenge the excesses of Wall Street without demonizing all who work there. That the businessman can enter tough negotiations with his company’s unions without vilifying the right to collectively bargain. He would want us to know that we can argue fiercely about the proper size and role of government without questioning each other’s love for this country.”

On the tea party side, you absolutely can NOT be anti-wealth-redistribution, anti-socialism and anti-tax while also being on Medicare and using public schools/roads/parks etc. That, and the original Boston Tea Party was a protest against a corporate tax cut — an idea that the modern tea party supports.

Sorry.

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  • mikecz

    It was more an anti-cronyism protest at the Boston Tea Party. They were against the subsidy to East India. So in a way, they were sort of like the OWS.

    I think a small fact is overlooked, of all presidents elected in the last 20 years, W. included, President Obama received more money from Wall Street then any other president. In some ways, it would have been difficult for him to be elected without the Wall. Also noting Pres. Obama voted for the bailout, as did most repub’s, which is exactly, I believe what the OWS is so up in arms about. Oh, and allows GE CEO to head up the jobs czar position, and lets the corp. get away with not paying “their fair share” in taxes. On the surface his credibility towards this group seems a little hypocritical.

    Also noting, roads/parks/some schooling/some safety net are all wonderful, but the Tea Party I think wants to limit it to that, the bare essentials. Were not talking Anarchy here, as some in the OWS demand, were talking limited gov’t, I think that point is commonly misstated.

    • JackDaniel07

      Do you read what you type before you click “Post”?

    • GrafZeppelin127

      No one believes that the TP in the aggregate is even the least bit interested in “limited government,” nor even understands what that might mean. They’re only interested in “limiting” government to the extent of having only Republican presidents; they’re only “against” government and they only call for it to be “limited” during Democratic administrations. They’ve been programmed to believe the “big government tax-and-spend liberal” meme that dates back to Nixon but hasn’t been true, if it was ever true at all, since Nixon.

      This is the same cohort that in 2004 enthusiastically elected an administration and a congressional majority that had together blown up a balanced budget, created the largest new bureaucracy in over half a century, and enacted the most sweeping curtailment of individual liberty since the Alien and Sedition Acts. In other words, everything they say they’re against today, they voted for in 2004, and did so with vehement enthusiasm.

      The Tea Party is nothing more or less than a GOP Fan Club. Everything else is made-up post hoc justification for voting Republican. That the GOP has never actually practiced “limited government” nor made any actual attempt to “limit” government while holding the White House is immaterial.

    • dildenusa

      Corporatists like the Koch Roaches are using the tea party republic to neuter government and make it irrelevant. They are the ones talking anarchy. These sleazy corporatists want a totally lawless business environment so that they can take over all aspects of infrastructure that citizens count on the government to implement. The tea party republic doesn’t comprehend what is happenning because they are disconnected from reality.

  • GrafZeppelin127

    I saw that the other day. I thought for a moment that they might have a point, except that I don’t think the OWS protesters have a problem with corporations making and selling products. That’s what they’re supposed to be doing, after all; that’s their function. I don’t think that in the aggregate OWS is against the very existence of corporations, or absolutely everything that corporations do.

    Then again, by the same token, a lot of Tea Partiers are probably not against government building roads, maintaining sidewalks, installing and powering streetlamps and traffic lights, and so forth.

    Naturally, it’s up to the individual just how categorical and generalized his “protest” or “opposition” is. My impression is that the TP’s anti-government protests are more generalized than OWS, but I certainly can’t speak for everyone in either OWS or the TP. Everyone has to decide for himself what he’s “against,” and whether the expression jibes with the behavior.

    I think what’s more pertinent here is that, generally speaking, OWS is protesting something real while the TP came out to protest, inter alia, nonexistent tax hikes and imaginary death panels in a fictitious health-care law. Not to mention that, again in the aggregate, the TP is made up of the same cohort that in 2004 enthusiastically re-elected an administration and a congressional majority that had together taken a balanced budget and purposefully thrown it grotesquely out of balance, created the largest new federal bureaucracy since the New Deal, and passed the most sweeping curtailment of individual liberty since the Alien and Sedition Acts. That’s the hypocrisy.

  • http://twitter.com/beckykutz Becky Stinson Kutz

    There are a good bit of Ron Paul supporters at OWS. Quite a few “tea partiers” do get it and are on the same side. Ending the Fed-type-stuff especially. But I got into a great discussion on Facebook with my good friend and financial adviser who happens to be on the same page politically as Marco Rubio. As I explained from my own POV what OWS was really about, he said (and I quote) – “You sound like a Tea Partier. There’s hope for you yet.” Many of the die-hard Tea Partiers really want to Get Money Out.

  • dildenusa

    Well said Bob. We can’t go back 500 thousand years to the dawn of modern humans and change things. We can only move forward.

    Adam Smith and Karl Marx both viewed economics as part of the social fabric of society and each in his own way viewed the government, the owners of production, the workers, and consumers as principles in a social contract. The contract evolved into the corporation. An entity that wishes to incorporate must file articles of incorporation and bylaws. These spell out rights and responsibilities.

    Problems occured almost immediately as governments and corporations over reached. Two prime examples here in the US were The Whiskey Rebellion and The Civil War. In 1792 the excise tax on whiskey production hit poor producers harder than wealthy producers. The attempt by southern states to spread slavery to the west caused the civil war.

    Now, the corporations have won. Capitalism as we know it is gone and has been replaced by corporatism. The social Darwinists and their minions are trying to subvert the will of a majority of the people. How did this happen? The corporations over reached and nobody stood up to say stop. Now, we have the tea party republic enabling the corporatists in their final push to make governement irrelevant. How disconnected from reality can people be? The idea behind Occupy Wall Street is too restore the social contract that Adam Smith and Karl Marx espoused.

  • burbank_burt

    This is exactly the thought I had when I first saw that image… though of course you articulated it in a much better fashion Bob.

    “But I always believed OWS was about the crimes and malfeasance that created the current economic mess and how government needs to reinstate Glass-Steagall and enforce laws like the Sherman Anti-Trust Act in order to roll back the conditions that allowed all of this to happen. While we’re here, why not create an environment that builds the middle class instead of killing it?

    So it’s entirely consistent to support corporate accountability while simultaneously using corporate products.”

  • D_C_Wilson

    The picture of the OWS implies that they are against the very existence of corporations. I haven’t seen anything to support that. What they are protesting is the imbalance of power between citizens/voters on one side and the corporate interests on the other. I would guess that the vast majority of the OWS don’t want to destroy corporations, just curtail their influence other the political process so that government serves the interests of real people, not fictitious ones.

    The TPs, on the other had, are just angry that a democrat is in the White House.