Occupy Wall Street vs. The Tea Party

FreedomWorks has this right, I’d say, except they’re leaving some things out…

With a few exceptions, the Tea Party was made up of people who participate in the economy in productive fashion – small business people, professionals and so on. The Occupiers are wastrels, drunks, stoners, cranks, college kids and gutter punks with an occasional union goon thrown in. Socially, the two couldn’t be any further apart – Tea Partiers generally speaking are Christians, though not necessarily evangelicals and not politically motivated by social issues, while the Occupiers appear not only to be irreligious but anti-Christian.

And one group is patriotic while the other is anti-patriotic.

Count the American flags in these two pictures…

One little bitty flag.

Meanwhile, the American public has an opinion on these two groups. Doug Schoen…

What we found is that the Tea Party movement — despite having lost support since last year — has more influence, more credibility, and more effect.

Indeed, an in-depth look at the data suggests that on balance, the Tea Party is more representative of a broader constituency of the American electorate.

Overall, 31 percent of likely voters say the Tea Party movement comes closer to their views, while only 19 percent are more in line with the position of the OWS movement.

Voters are favorable to the Tea Party movement by a narrow plurality (42-39 percent) while they have an unfavorable impression of the Occupy Wall Street movement (43-35 percent).

And while one-third (32 percent) of likely voters are supporters of the Tea Party movement, they oppose OWS by a narrow (33 percent) plurality.

In terms of effect, the Tea Party movement is more likely to have a greater lasting effect on the political system.

One-quarter of voters (25 percent) believe the Tea Party will have more influence over who wins next year’s presidential election. Only 12 percent say the OWS movement will have more influence.

By a margin of 44-36 percent, voters say the Tea Party movement has had a real effect on the political process. Meanwhile, half (50 percent) say that OWS has not had a real effect on the political process, while only 21 percent disagree.

It’s going to come down as a huge mistake for the Democrat establishment to have embraced the Occupiers. They’re chasing away a lot of the Wall Street dollars which led to their election in 2008, and at the same time they’re setting themselves up for a 1968-style hammering next year at the hands of a GOP “silent majority” campaign. It’s certainly a defensible analogy that Newt Gingrich circa 2011 could be a Richard Nixon circa 1967; as an historian, one would hope that Gingrich could copy the parts of Nixon’s story which were successful and discard the things which brought him to disgrace, but Newt’s broadsides against the Occupiers sound a lot like Nixon in 1968 and as an irascible, cranky comeback kid of sorts he does resemble Tricky Dick.

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