New York Times columnists Gail Collins and David Brooks talked about “The Long Stagnation” in their weekly online chat posted Wednesday.
When Brooks, the paper’s idea of a conservative columnist, said he wasn’t impressed by the numbers participating in the Occupy Wall Street protest, compared to the figures generated at Tea Party rallies, Collins, the paper’s former editorial page editor, indignantly replied the Tea Party had no principles besides a "crazed" refusal to accept the idea of Democrats in power:
It’s two different things entirely. The Tea Party, whatever it pretends, is just the latest manifestation of the right wing’s refusal to accept the idea of Democrats running the government. Every time one gets elected, there’s this crazed right-wing upheaval. The Wall Street protests are a cry of pain from a generation that feels it’s been cheated, and for good reason. But the one thing I learned from my own misspent youth is that a movement without any clear political principles is better at producing music than change.
Brooks didn’t challenge Collins’s characterization of the Tea Party.