Occupy Wall Street: The Hypocrisy Experiment
Nothing gets the hypocrisy flowing like a counter protest. As Jon Stewart pointed out earlier this week, there is no shortage of hypocrisy about the Occupy Wall Street crowd on the Right. Sean Hannity was called out for having defended free speech when it came from the mouths of retirees and small business owners calling themselves the new Tea Party, but criticizing the OWS protestors for doing (roughly) the same thing. To be fair, not every Republican is as knee-jerk hypocritical. To his credit, Rick Santorum expressed sympathy for the frustration of the protestors.
But the hypocrisy is flowing deep and rich on the Left. For years the Left has been calling the Tea Party a mob, racists, snidely referring to them with a derogatory term, and even a sitting Speaker of the House comparing them to Nazis. Now, they are reacting with umbrage when GOP politicians and conservative pundits refer to as a “mob” a group of unemployed, disenfranchised (and miseducated) twenty-somethings who are violating laws, picking fights with cops and reporters and getting arrested. ThinkProgress (two misrepresentations in one name), even called it a “smear.” Calling 700 people who are arrested for disorderly conduct a mob is not a smear. It’s the textbook definition of a mob: “a disorderly or riotous crowd of people.”
The Left seems to swim in hypocrisy, so it’s not surprising that they are feigning outrage. Earlier, we pointed out liberal hypocrisy in savaging Governor Christie over his weight, then rushing to criticize Senator Scott Brown for implying no one wants to see Elizabeth Warren naked. Similarly with OWS, liberal elites are rushing in to defend their own side when they perpetrated much worse attacks on their opponents.
The reality, of course, is that the OWS protestors have a right to protest, just as the Tea Party does. Just because you may disagree with, or, frankly have no idea, what they want, does not mean they don’t have the right to speak. There are some telling differences, however. The Tea Party protests are usually organized, rarely is anyone arrested, and perhaps most importantly, there is a consensus demand: keep the government out of our way.
In contrast, the OWS seems to be protesting the mere existence of corporations and has trouble articulating any coherent policies they support, or even why they are there at all. The organizer of a similar protest in California couldn’t even answer the question: “Why are we here? We have a team working on that, and should have an answer for you tomorrow.” I’m sure that, now that Van Jones and the unions are involved, the message will crystallize. Though I doubt many of the protestors will appreciate the help.