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Why OWS Failed

Here’s a lengthy and interesting analysis of why the Tea Party is succeeding and Occupy Wall Street has failed. Basically, it comes down to both organization, and the culture of the American left. Excerpt:

In a perfect world, OWS would have had a clearcut message such as “Break up the too big to fail banks that own 60% of US financial assets, and write down the debt”. This is a twin mandate as once you break up the banks (and clear out the derivatives), the sold off pieces would be written down by the purchasing banks. It’s normal banking bankruptcy practice. That message taken to Dems in Congress either would have to have been adopted or they would have been primaried this year. With a good face of that movement, say Howard Dean, he could have lent credibility to it and fostered the OWS primary candidates this spring.

I have a friend who was an organizer for OWS in NYC and some other cities. His website (subscription sorry) had updates, times, etc. and he solicited feedback. many of us reported on the events, and some even participated. The overwhelming response was “You need to filter out protestors and control the riff raff”. The organizers response to that constructive criticism, “It’s CIA operatives”. He wouldn’t listen to anyone, and he considered all of the publicity good. This was a lost moment on the left. It is over 3 years since the first Tea Party gatherings. The TP movement sent many candidates to Congress, pushed Scott Brown into the US Senate in Massachusetts, helped elect multiple governors in 2010, and even forced a Dem Gov (Cuomo) to immediately tackle the govt ee issue when he entered office. Their candidates recently defeated establishment names for seats to the US Senate (Indiana + Texas). Occupy Wall St started in the fall of 2011. What has it done? Are there any OWS candidates? Are they still selling t-shirts? It’s 99% done.

Steve Sailer says Howard Dean ought to emerge as the institutional leader of American liberalism. Excerpt:

As you’ll recall, Dean was the Democratic frontrunner for all of 2003 due to his opposition to the Iraq war, but when he finished 3rd in Iowa and gave his supporters a high school coach-style war whoop to keep them motivated, he was immediately discarded in favor of the big stiff John Kerry. As a consolation prize after Kerry lost, the Democrats made Dean chairman of the party for 2005-2009, where he did, by all accounts, an excellent job, bringing his campaign’s Internet sophistication to the party in the service of tying the liberal base to the Democratic brand and helping the Democrats win the House in 2006 and 2008.

To me, Dr. Dean looks like the natural leader of the liberal wing of the Democratic Party. I suspect other people think so, too, which may be why he’s on the shelf.

about the author

Rod Dreher is a senior editor at The American Conservative. He has written and edited for the New York Post, The Dallas Morning News, National Review, the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, the Washington Times, and the Baton Rouge Advocate. Rod’s commentary has been published in The Wall Street Journal, Commentary, the Weekly Standard, Beliefnet, and Real Simple, among other publications, and he has appeared on NPR, ABC News, CNN, Fox News, MSNBC, and the BBC. He lives in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, with his wife Julie and their three children. He has also written four books, The Little Way of Ruthie Leming, Crunchy Cons, How Dante Can Save Your Life, and The Benedict Option.

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