NY Times: GOP’ers sounding more like Occupy Wall Street, scaring business leaders

posted at 12:31 pm on June 15, 2014 by Noah Rothman

As the fallout from Rep. Eric Cantor’s (R-VA) stunning primary loss continues to settle, one of the many entrenched interests feeling suddenly insecure about their position in the American hierarchy is big business. For some, like the aviation giant Boeing, Cantor was a reliable friend. With his loss, that company’s prospects, along with its share price, have crumpled.

“Mr. Cantor’s loss is much more than just symbolism,” the Times reported on Saturday. “He has been one of Wall Street’s most reliable benefactors in Congress. And Mr. Brat used that fact to deride the majority leader as someone who has rigged the financial system.”

What has concerned many businesses with a stake in federal policy is a growing anger on the right from people who can sound more Occupy Wall Street than Tea Party.

The Times quotes Potomac Research Group strategist Gregory R. Valliere who said that it is not unreasonable to make a comparison between tea party conservatives and “Elizabeth Warren liberals” in terms of the rising tide of economic populism. He declined, however, to make that direct comparison.

If businesses are truly sensing that an element of Occupy’s disaffected populism has begun to characterize the tea party’s rhetoric, they have only now started listening. Among the organizing principles which drew grassroots conservatives to the tea party movement in the first place was its willingness to attack Republicans as well as Democrats who facilitate what they view as crony capitalism. In the sense that both groups are suspicious of celebrated practices in Washington which enrich the well-connected and expand the state, but which never seem to directly or even indirectly benefit average Americans, Occupy and the tea party do share a common ideological bond.

But that’s about where the similarities end. It is difficult to believe that business and financial interests see the likely ascension of an economics professor from Virginia with an affinity for laissez-faire markets to the House of Representatives represents some horrible portent. The tea party seeks, and has always sought, to reduce the distortion in markets created by the collusion between politicians and moneyed interests. As an extension of the perennial squabble between Jeffersonian and Hamiltonian philosophies, the tea party’s rise to become a functional wing of the GOP is a most uniquely American political expression. Occupy, meanwhile, would have liked nothing more than to lead the American financial class to the gallows. There is nothing in the American political tradition which serves as a precedent for that virulent form of populism.

The difference may be that few Americans of influence ever took Occupy that seriously. When, in 2011, Occupy encampments were sprouting up across the country and a variety of leading Democrats in the majority were doing their best Bane impression, financial professionals did not seem especially concerned.

“[There’s] two things they generically complain about I agree with,” J.P. Morgan CEO Jamie Dimon said in March of 2012 when asked about the Occupy movement. “The average American [can] look at the institutions of America and [say] they’ve let me down: these are Washington and Wall Street.”

When business interests did express genuine concern over the Occupy movement, it was because they believed they were in danger of being targeted for both physical and cyber-attacks by members of that seemingly anarchist movement.

“In connection with the continued economic uncertainty, groups such as Occupy Wall Street and Anonymous, have targeted the financial services industry as part of their protest against the perceived lax regulation of the financial sector and economic inequality,” read a 2011 10-Q filing from the CME Group, which operates the Chicago Mercantile Exchange.

Does anyone really believe that tea partiers and their representatives are capable of, or even interested in, this manner of societal disruption?

The message of economic populism a winning one; it has been for some time. Growing dissatisfaction with the state of economic affairs, as growth languishes in the fifth year of a supposed recovery, is going to shape American politics on both sides of the aisle. It is, however, a stretch to believe that the business community is so distraught over Cantor’s loss that they would equate the mild populist correction imposed by the tea party with Occupy’s rebelliousness. The business community is probably aware of this particularity, though it seems to elude the Times.

For all its interest in internecine skirmishes, the philosophical foundations of the tea party were and remain largely constructive. Occupy, on the other hand, did not seem to be interested in building up much of anything. Much to the distress of The New York Times.


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Comment pages: 1 2 3

Meow, you angry?

Bmore on June 16, 2014 at 8:32 PM

So the crony capitalists / corporate Fascists feel faint? Good.

Corporate Fascism has always been a Progressive dream. They hate small businesses — too difficult to control.

The Occupy leftists get an F- on History although they excel on smelly-dirtbag and issues of violating laws of civilized people.

Feedie on June 17, 2014 at 4:20 AM

You would be wise to spend a wee bit of time on issues you have no familiarity with before raising questions of doubt.

Bmore on June 16, 2014 at 7:55 PM

And yet, still nobody able to point me to BG’s big transgression that demonstrates why all of these alleged conservatives feel the need to act like such childish assholes.

maybe you would do good to grow up?

Monkeytoe on June 17, 2014 at 7:38 AM

You would be wise to spend a wee bit of time on issues you have no familiarity with before raising questions of doubt.

Bmore on June 16, 2014 at 7:55 PM

As I said, you are one of the childish people.

Interestingly, the only thing I know about you is seeing you think it is funny, over and over and over again trying to get the first comment on the page change.

boy, that never gets old.

What are you, 13 years old?

Monkeytoe on June 17, 2014 at 7:40 AM

OK, thanks for being honest.

blink on June 17, 2014 at 12:27 AM

I did go back out of curiosity and looked at yesterday’s QOTD and saw, again, people being nasty and rude to BG but saw nothing in BG’s comments that was nasty or rude or unreasonable (admittedly, I only skimmed the last 300 or so comments, but assumed that if BG said something truly outrageous earlier, it would have been quoted by one of those attacking her).

If she is so nasty and rude, I suppose someone could link me to the comments to prove it (for my own personal curiosity – I’m not implying anyone owes me that)?

I’m just wondering what this bullying gang-up is all about. I admit I could be wrong and someone could link something truly nasty and evil by BG that makes me realize she deserves it, but so far, I haven’t seen it.

Her major crime appears to be criticizing MKH, Ed, and the new guy Noah. Not sure why that is such a crime. I agree with her that they are more GOP apologist and less conservative than I would like. hardly a crime to say so.

I guess the next knock on her is she is repetitive. And? Plenty of commenters are repetitive.

This is one of those things where I am just honestly interested in the dynamics of it. From an outside perspective it looks like the “cool kids” at school decided this is the person they are going to pick on and a mob mentality developed where everyone is joining in.

I’m trying to figure out the catalyst. What did she do that was so bad? Simply stating she is nasty does nothing for me as I have to take your word for it – so if possible, link to something showing what you are talking about.

Monkeytoe on June 17, 2014 at 7:51 AM

Monkeytoe on June 17, 2014 at 7:40 AM

Meow? I have been told you are a sock. Seems you got confused one afternoon as to which nom you were commenting with. Any truth to that? P.S. I’m very pleased I bother you. Lolz!

Bmore on June 17, 2014 at 8:45 AM

Meow? I have been told you are a sock. Seems you got confused one afternoon as to which nom you were commenting with. Any truth to that? P.S. I’m very pleased I bother you. Lolz!

Bmore on June 17, 2014 at 8:45 AM

Bark bark. Bark. See, funny. Ha ha. Lolz. ROFLMAO.

You are an idiot. You don’t bother me – I just find you inane and childish. Obviously, I bother you as I did not address you first, you addressed me and then responded again.

I was just pointing out that I have never seen you offer anything intelligent or worthwhile on this site. Just silliness that you apparently think is funny, but is really sophomoric at best.

I’m a sock? Ok. I’m a sock if you say so. And? How does that disprove a single point I’ve made? See, here’s the thing, people of low intelligence, such as yourself, think calling me a sock somehow wins an argument. It doesn’t. It merely shows you to have no argument and are an idiot.

funny. As always, can’t respond with any substance, so just throw a lot of garbage at the wall.

Anyway, you and every other commenter here knows I’m not a sock. I’ve been commenting since 2002 and have taken on almost every liberal troll that comes along on one thread or another, as well as arguing with GOP apologists and pro-amnesty shills. So, maybe try and think for a change rather than going straight to your go-to “argument”. If you want to play with the big boys, you need to put on your big-boy pants and try and use your noodle. Something I’ve never known you to be able to do.

That you resort to such nonsense off the bat shows your lack of a) originality and b) coherent thought. Maybe you should stick to the turn of the page “comments” “First” wow – real substance there asshole.

Keep coming back and trying though. Maybe next time you will offer something with some thought behind it.

Monkeytoe on June 17, 2014 at 9:15 AM

Meow? I have been told you are a sock. Seems you got confused one afternoon as to which nom you were commenting with. Any truth to that? P.S. I’m very pleased I bother you. Lolz!

Bmore on June 17, 2014 at 8:45 AM

Bark bark. Bark. See, funny. Ha ha. Lolz. ROFLMAO.

You are an idiot. You don’t bother me – I just find you inane and childish. Obviously, I bother you as I did not address you first, you addressed me and then responded again.

I was just pointing out that I have never seen you offer anything intelligent or worthwhile on this site. Just silliness that you apparently think is funny, but is really sophomoric at best.

I’m a sock? Ok. I’m a sock if you say so. And? How does that disprove a single point I’ve made? See, here’s the thing, people of low intelligence, such as yourself, think calling me a sock somehow wins an argument. It doesn’t. It merely shows you to have no argument and are an idiot.

funny. As always, can’t respond with any substance, so just throw a lot of garbage at the wall.

Anyway, you and every other commenter here knows I’m not a sock. I’ve been commenting since 2002 and have taken on almost every liberal troll that comes along on one thread or another, as well as arguing with GOP apologists and pro-amnesty shills. So, maybe try and think for a change rather than going straight to your go-to “argument”. If you want to play with the big boys, you need to put on your big-boy pants and try and use your noodle. Something I’ve never known you to be able to do.

That you resort to such nonsense off the bat shows your lack of a) originality and b) coherent thought. Maybe you should stick to the turn of the page “comments” “First” wow – real substance there meow.

Keep coming back and trying though. Maybe next time you will offer something with some thought behind it.

Monkeytoe on June 17, 2014 at 9:16 AM

Thanks for the critique. If I only cared what your opinion was of me personally or for that matter professionally it might matter. Keep typing. I like watching you.

Bmore on June 17, 2014 at 9:37 AM

Lolz! The irony always escapes them when they go full spittle mouthed.

Bmore on June 17, 2014 at 9:47 AM

Lolz! The irony always escapes them when they go full spittle mouthed.

Bmore on June 17, 2014 at 9:47 AM

Indeed. Perhaps a mirror.

I like how you claim not to care, but keep responding. Of course, your responses are still sophomoric snark.

As always, you lack intellect and substance.

Here’s some more spittle from a sock. See – you win!

You called me a sock – so you win! You say I have spittle. So you win!

You claim to understand irony, but you clearly do not.

Keep trying. Every time you respond you prove my point.

Monkeytoe on June 17, 2014 at 11:56 AM

Monkeytoe:

You are obviously a female. Men know when to shut up or drop a fruitless argument. I nominate you for the most inane thread killer of this month – and maybe the last month also. Oh, you say you are not a female. You better recheck that; you are acting like one. Are all you girls now properly insulted?

Old Country Boy on June 17, 2014 at 12:42 PM

You are obviously a female. Men know when to shut up or drop a fruitless argument. I nominate you for the most inane thread killer of this month – and maybe the last month also. Oh, you say you are not a female. You better recheck that; you are acting like one. Are all you girls now properly insulted?

Old Country Boy on June 17, 2014 at 12:42 PM

I love it. Truly great arguments.

the intelligence. the persuasion. I am a woman because I asked what it is that BG did that caused people to attack her so relentlessly.

Rather than tell me, lots of personal attacks and snarky comments. You guys surely are a brain trust.

Well, gee, since you looked at ONE qotd thread, then I’m sure you’re now an expert.

You’re only making yourself look bad by running to bluegill’s defense, but you have the right to make yourself look bad.

blink on June 17, 2014 at 12:52 PM

I admitted that I looked at one and said that I didn’t see the kind of stuff you described. And on all of the threads I initially notice the attacks against BG I didn’t see any nastiness on her part precipitating the attacks.

Then I asked someone to link me something so I can see if for myself. I’m asking because I’m genuinely interested. Usually, if someone is getting attacked so much by so many, the reason is obvious (and usually it is a lefty troll). Here, I don’t see an obvious reason.

I’m not sure why it is so upsetting to everyone that I am asking these questions. Unless, of course, people realize their behavior is less than it should be?

Yet you’re criticizing others of crimes on here.

blink on June 17, 2014 at 12:54 PM

Blink – in all honesty, I see your comments a lot and you seem like a thoughtful, decent person. this does not fit with that.

I asked the questions I asked because I was genuinely interested. You actually were engaging in real discussion about this.

My snark to other people is based on their silly attacks on me because I asked questions. I tend to respond in kind. Not sure why you are suddenly deciding to get huffy.

Again, in all honesty, I want to know what it is that BG did to incite such hatred, because I’ve never seen it. Obviously, as I stated above, I know you don’t owe me anything and don’t have to give me any satisfaction.

But why keep arguing with me then? If you refuse to provide evidence of BG’s conduct that deserves the attacks, why bother to engage with me at all? That seems kind of childish, no?

Monkeytoe on June 17, 2014 at 1:59 PM

Monkeytoe on June 17, 2014 at 1:59 PM

Like Mother Mary speaking words of wisdom, “Let it be.” You really don’t have to have the last word, “madam.” 500 years from now, nobody will know the difference.

Old Country Boy on June 17, 2014 at 4:30 PM

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