At Commentary, Abe Greenwald asks, “Does anyone recall how hard the media worked to portray the Tea Party as bigoted?” Well, yeah. But in case you’ve forgotten, Greenwald takes us on a trip down CNN and MSNBC’s memory lane:
The false accusations of racial slurs, the cropped photograph of the gun-wielding Tea Partier—who turned out to be black, the tortured racial interpretation of the Tea Party’s desire to “take the country back”?
Despite the press’s efforts there would be no denying that in the 2010 midterm elections the Tea Party supported a multi-ethnic set of candidates straight out of a Benetton ad. And while Occupy Wall Street enumerates classic anti-Semitic conspiracy theories in the name of progressivism, Herman Cain has become a Tea Party favorite, beating Mitt Romney by 41 percent to 7 among the movement’s supporters.
Where the Tea Party couldn’t be tagged as racist no matter how hard liberals tried, Occupy Wall Street protesters are literally boasting of their Nazi credentials. This striking distinction speaks to the core asymmetry of the two phenomena. The Tea Partiers held up signs that read, “Don’t Soak the Rich”; Wall Street Occupiers’ placards counter: “Soak the Rich.” The purpose of the Tea Party was to get government out of all Americans’ lives. The point of Occupy Wall Street is to scapegoat fellow Americans. And wherever political scapegoating takes place, anti-Semitism is sure to follow.
Read the whole thing. And then check out this cartoon by William Warren, as found by HolyCoast.com on the media’s blatant double-standard between the two groups of protestors:
Greenwald concluded his post at Commentary by noting that “What we’re witnessing is dumb, ugly, dangerous, and very old. And we will see a lot more anti-Semitism as this toxic swarm grows.” At the Wall Street Journal, James Taranto adds that what we’re witnessing is “The Left’s Nervous Breakdown — Obama has failed, and his supporters are turning to nihilism:”
The left got what it wanted in 2008: a liberal president with a sweeping agenda and big Democratic majorities capable of enacting it. The result has been a great and failed experiment in progressive politics and governance. In due course, one hopes, the left will absorb some lessons–but for now, they seem to be suffering a nervous breakdown.
That is one way to understand why so much of the liberal establishment is rallying behind Krugman’s Army, as the “Occupy Wall Street” protests are known. Everything they believe in has failed, so they are turning nihilistic.
Sometimes the nihilism is good-naturedly goofy. The Washington Post’s Eugene Robinson: “Occupy Wall Street and its kindred protests around the country are inept, incoherent and hopelessly quixotic. God, I love ’em. I love every little thing about these gloriously amateurish sit-ins.” Vaginal monologist Eve Ensler, at the Puffington Host: “What is happening cannot be defined. It is happening. It is a happening.”
But there are menacing themes and tactics too. “We may, at long last, be seeing the rise of a popular movement that, unlike the Tea Party, is angry at the right people,” wrote former Enron adviser Paul Krugman last week. Krugman’s New York Times colleague David Brooks notes that Adbusters, the magazine credited with the idea of the protests, was “previously best known for the 2004 essay, ‘Why Won’t Anyone Say They Are Jewish?‘–an investigative report that identified some of the most influential Jews in America and their nefarious grip on policy.” The demonization of “bankers,” “plutocrats” and “the 1%” echoes age-old anti-Semitic tropes.
Which brings us back to Abe Greenwald’s post at Commentary. And as Taranto concludes, pointing out the Mobius loop that the Occupy Wall Street gang are trapped in, and highlighting their radical measures — to preserve the Establishment, (as it was invariably capitalized in the late 1960s), “What’s their slogan going to be, ‘Smash the system–re-elect the president?'”
Related: “News Unions Support ‘Revolution’ of Occupy Wall Street.” The nexus between Old Media unions and the various arms of the Ancien Regime is something that the Professor has noted from time to time in recent months, and bears repeating.