George Will really lets the Occupy Wall Street protesters have it in his Washington Post column on Thursday. He began by noting their events compare to Tea Party events "as Pittsburg, Kan., is to Pittsburgh, Pa. So far, probably fewer people have participated in all of them combined than attended just one Tea Party rally, that of Sept. 12, 2009, on the Mall."
Then he lowered the boom: "In comportment, OWS is to the Tea Party as Lady Gaga is to Lord Chesterfield: Blocking the Brooklyn Bridge was not persuasion modeled on Tea Party tactics."
There is an important distinction between amassing a crowd to make an argument about overweening statism and government debt, and blocking a bridge to gain maximum attention from the police. Will mocks the contradiction in its vague platform: "Hence its agenda, beyond eliminating one of the seven deadly sins (avarice), is opaque. Its meta-theory is, however, clear: Washington is grotesquely corrupt and insufficiently powerful."
Demands posted in OWS’s name include a “guaranteed living wage income regardless of employment”; a $20-an-hour minimum wage (above the $16 entry wage the United Auto Workers just negotiated with GM); ending “the fossil fuel economy”; “open borders” so “anyone can travel anywhere to work and live”; $1 trillion for infrastructure; $1 trillion for “ecological restoration” (e.g., re-establishing “the natural flow of river systems”); “free college education.”
And forgiveness of “all debt on the entire planet period.” Progressivism’s battle cry is: “Mulligan!” It demands the ultimate entitlement — emancipation from the ruinous results of all prior claims of entitlement.
Will concluded with a swagger about how police-bashing protest could lead to GOP victories:
From 1965 through 1968, the left found its voice and style in consciousness-raising demonstrations and disruptions. In November 1968, the nation, its consciousness raised, elected Richard Nixon president and gave 56.9 percent of the popular vote to Nixon or George Wallace. Republicans won four of the next five presidential elections.
Meanwhile, the Post's Style section is trying to tease "news" out of the tiny protests in DC. Emily Wax pitched it as Occupy, the Love Story:
It’s lunchtime in McPherson Square in downtown Washington, and a young couple who met at the ongoing Occupy D.C. protests are cuddling on an air mattress and talking about corporate greed.
Kathy Elliso, 22, and Steve Hartwell, 23, have started dating, so to speak, in the 10 days since the Occupy D.C. demonstrators set up their tents and their “Tax the rich” placards in this park along the lawyer-and-lobbyist-dense K Street corridor...
She liked how the underemployed construction worker who builds pools described America as “broken.” He respected how the petite protester with braided sandy hair still spends time here even though she has to commute to Whole Foods in Reston, where she works in the prepared-foods section...
“Mostly I just like how we have created a community here for all of the isolated, unemployed youth in America,” says Hartwell, who resembles an unwashed James Dean with eyebrow piercings.