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The Tea Party and #OccupyWallStreet compared

The Newark Star Ledger has a fine editorial:

Occupy Wall Street, a protest against bank bailouts and corporate greed, is what the tea party should have been — probably would have been — if the movement hadn’t been hijacked by savvy conservatives, bankrolled by billionaires and fictitiously portrayed as an everyman revolt.

Instead of channeling the anger and helplessness of everyday Americans, the tea party instead has argued for spending cuts that have hurt them.

Rather than calling for stricter controls on reckless Wall Street financiers, tea party members (and mainstream Republicans) have knelt at the altar of the super rich — calling them "job creators" and defeating every proposal to increase their tax rates, which are at historic lows.

Meanwhile, the gap between the wealthiest 1 percent of Americans and the rest is wider than it has been in 90 years — and it’s growing.

The group cannot be dismissed as twentysomething, nothing-better-to-do protesters. Among them are former white-collar workers who, for the first time in productive, tax-paying lives, are unemployed, with no prospects of a job. Curiously missing, however, are labor unions, which have been made scapegoats by tea partiers and Republicans.

The nation should listen to this small Wall Street encampment, which arrives just as the president appears ready to stop coddling the rich.

For one of the few times since the meltdown, there’s a group of Americans speaking on behalf of the other 99 percent.

Well, except that "the president appears ready" doesn't mean that the president will actually do anything. He appeared ready in 2008, after all, and look how much good that did.

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