In the first post, entitled “The Stupid Party”, Peter Wehner considers it stupid for the Democrats to associate themselves with people who think like this:
Another 37 percent [of Wall Street protesters interviewed] say capitalism can’t be saved; it’s inherently immoral. And when asked to explain how they would fix Wall Street, New York magazine received the following responses: “A maximum-wage law.” “President Elizabeth Warren.” And “Burn it down.
A few posts later on, John Steele Gordon is writing about Herman Cain’s 9-9-9 plan and says:
... as I suspect the people know and the chattering classes don’t want to know, the tax code cannot be reformed. Any changes just add to its monstrous and deeply corrupt complexity. It will be a dead weight on the American economy until it is replaced with a brand new tax system.
I agree with Steele and disagree with the OWS view of capitalism. But the same sense of helplessness in the face of an existing structure can be seen in both views: this can’t be fixed; we need to wipe it out and start over. Imagine the OWS position being stated as:
... as I suspect the people know and the chattering classes don’t want to know, the current economic system cannot be reformed. Any changes just add to its monstrous and deeply corrupt complexity. It will be a dead weight on the American economy until it is replaced with a brand new economic system.
Sounds a lot more reasonable, doesn’t it? In fact, it sounds kind of like what the Tea Party is saying. Now, the Tea Party means “get rid of crony capitalism, hack back the socialist elements, get government out of the way of business”; OWS means “get rid of crony capitalism, hack back the capitalist elements, get business out of the way of government”. But they’re both responding to the same sense that something has gone very, very wrong and, specifically, gone very, very wrong in the nexus of Big Business and Big Government.
I don’t think OWS speaks for - or represents - 99% of the people in the United States. But I strongly suspect that much of their anger resonates with much of the country. Instead of deciding OWS is stupid, those on the Right should be pointing out that what the protesters are angry about is what all Americans should be angry about - and then go on to lay out why the Tea Party’s solution of less government is a better way to fix things than is the OWS solution of more of the same.