The Tea Party
For two years, the Tea Party has been a controversial force -- a grassroots movement with insanely rich benefactors (such as the Koch brothers) and establishment leaders (such as Dick Armey) -- loud and proud in its disgust of free-spending Washington, Obama's "socialist" agenda, and mandates on business and individuals. Welfare and entitlement programs, as well as foreign aid, were hot-button issues at rallies throughout the nation.
In 2010, candidates associated with the Tea Party proved a primary headache for Republicans and Democrats alike in midterm elections. Even though only about one-third of those candidates ultimately prevailed, it was clear the movement was forcing mainstream politicians to adapt to their message or face the wrath of voters.
But how effective was the message this year? Without national elections, would the freshman class live up to its potential and promises, especially in a year much of the political dialogue was right in its wheelhouse -- a bitter debate over raising the debt ceiling and related budget-cutting and revenue-raising conflicts?
The economists' grade: D- (two gave grades, one gave an "absent" and one gave a grade of "mixed")
Why: "They raised many of the right issues but got sidetracked by barely disguised racism and then taken over by the right wing of the Republican Party," Wray says.
The managers' grade: C+ (all five gave grades)
Why: The Tea Party has "energized a part of the Republican party that has dug in its heels on tax increases . . . and that's had an impact on the raising of the debt ceiling and the supercommittee. There's been an influence, but it's negative," Nolte says.
The advocates' grade: C (three gave grades and one gave an "incomplete."
Why: Moss enthuses that the group has good ideas and "clear economic principles" -- smaller government and balanced budgets, for instance. However, Van Slyke says the group is too interested in cutting services "that help everyday people" in the name of a balanced budget, when austerity "does nothing to help the economy."
The Occupy Wall Street movement
Opponents of radical economic imbalance started marching on Wall Street on Sept. 17 -- then sat down and started occupying it. A tent city went up in Zuccotti Park in downtown Manhattan, complete with a lending library and media representatives as well as drum circles and free food. With initial tolerance on the part of city officials and law enforcement, Occupy movements sprang up around the country, then the world.
The occupations and marches drew attention, and soon everyone was talking about the 1% and the 99%. In mid-November the evictions began, and now Occupy's physical presence is gone from most major U.S. cities. But as Adbusters' Kalle Lasn expected, that doesn't mean the end of the movement, just a shift indoors, with more decision-making by social media and less by finger-wiggling at general assemblies.
Did someone say decision-making? The main slam against Occupy has been that its anarchical approach to activism produced muddy manifestos lacking in solid objectives.
The economists' grade: A- or C+ (three gave grades, one gave an "incomplete" and one gave a tentative grade of either A or F "depending on which activist you talk to")
Why: The economists say the Occupy movement started out well (with a belief "in creating a just society, whatever that means," Frank says) -- and "correctly identified the problem of big business benefiting from crony capitalism coming from big government handouts and favors," as Powell says -- but faltered.
The managers' grade: C- (all five gave grades)
Why: The movement is right to call the country on its income inequality, they say, but Hodges thinks "they have no clue about how capitalism works" and Dailey said the "movement has been co-opted by the anti-G-20 anarchists who are up for a protest at any time."
The advocates' grade: B- (four gave grades)
Why: Morran says Occupy started out as a muddle and gained focus, including helping power Bank Transfer Day. Its very public and persistent protests mean that "at least people are actually discussing the problems," Morran says, "and that's never a bad thing." That's not enough for Moss, who finds the movement's lack of clear leadership and imperatives flunkable offenses.
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NOVEMBER 6th, 2012 is almost here...then, I plan to vote out ALL D.C. incumbent politicians. Heck, I can balance my budget, so maybe I should run for office!
Seriously, the folks in D.C. DO NOT know which way is up!
Yeah... 'F's all the way around... corruption (Solyndra, Fast & Furious), Healthcare disaster, Libya invasion, Egypt screw up, proIslam dermolition of NASA, economic ruin, death to the US currency supply, multiple million dollar vacations, continued secrecy on his background as he out everyone else. The worst president in history. Out with the facist, marxist, redistributionist. The class warfare was started BY Obama, and HE IS one of the 1%ers.
Before we can blame or hold accountable anyone we need to look at ourselves first. By all means I am in agreement we need a change with the politicians...
Spending money we do not have, not their problem.
Buying a house you can not afford, not their problem.
Driving expensive cars you can not afford, not their problem.
Living above your income, not their problem.
Why not put an effort into buying your own products....(made in USA).
We all need to wake up and quit blaming everyone else for our problems, we have the ability to make changes, so let's start now......Hold everyone accountable.
Our government makes it way to easy.....Let's fix welfare abuse......why are our tax dollars supporting people that do not help themselves? Get something in return like working for it!!!!! Fix our social security, how in the heck can someone collect without contributing???? Fix unemployment, there are jobs out there just check monster, career builder and others. Use the money to make up the difference if you are taking a lower paying job than previous for the 26 weeks or so, use the rest to train for people new positions. Let's all look in the mirror and start holding ourselves accountable for our actions. We are always wanting someone to bail us out of our poor choices. Yes people will always need help, help the ones that need it and deserve it like our veterans and elderly as an example.....it is sad to know we have these individuals living in poor conditions while we keep giving to others to do nothing....
Then we need to look hard at our present leaders an start holding them accountable for their actions......we all would get fired if we did not do our jobs...why should they keep theirs for not doing theirs...take the open check book off of them.
Having obama for president is like having a premed student perform open heart surgery.
(black Alfred E. Newman (Mad Magazine) or black Howdy Doody) LOL Doesn't look like one of 'em?
it's sink or swim time when half of this country just fell below the poverty line...is it necessary for both parents to work 2 or maybe even 3 jobs each to survive?...we used to be a country that worked to live, we are now a country that lives to work, no time to enjoy our "freedom", we work for the government and insurance companies now, plain and simple (look at your paycheck, how much is social security? taxes state and federal? and the rest is insurance, it's at least 1/3 if not more) ...so far the riots have been peaceful, if they keep failing to act and keep spending, History shows us the people will push back
A poor excuss for human flesh.
Obama is not a leader, he is a bleeder of this economy!
Congress is not helping out by trying to control Obama, but someone needs to do it so he will not
any more screw ups and dig this country into a deeper hole.
We need to freeze his assets and put him up for trial of treason!
Fix our social security, how in the heck can someone collect without contributing????
....well Steelerguy, I don't know, everything I've read says you must work and contribute for a minimum for 40 calendar quarters (that's 10 years) in order to collect SS benefits, and that's right in the SSA website. Perhaps you can explain to us how you can get SS benefits without earning them.
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