Our founding editor strolled down to the site of the Occupy Columbia, S.C. protests last week with video camera and notepad in hand … hoping to write a big expose on what he saw.
In the end, it just wasn’t worth his time.
“Occupy Columbia,” as we’ve noted previously, is a dud. In fact at this point it’s basically nothing more than a highly-visible soup kitchen. Also, the only real press the movement has received – other than “news columnist” John Monk’s blow-by-blow in La Socialista – is a story about its followers marching down Main Street to protest the wrong building.
Still, during our visit to the State House grounds last week we were able to see evidence of a broader theory at work – one that’s being advanced by leading limited government advocates in an effort to explain (rather than unilaterally dismiss) the Occupy movement.
In a column published earlier this month on FITS, Americans for Limited Government chairman Howard Rich noted that in addition to highlighting the economic failure of the Obama administration, the Occupy movement was also exposing “a fundamental disconnect between the individuals who are doing the protesting and those seeking to advance a narrow agenda on their backs.”
Rich added that “this disconnect is eerily similar to the one that continues to exist between the Tea Party and certain establishment Republicans whose addiction to crony capitalism and obscenely big government resulted in the GOP being routed from power in 2006 and 2008.”
That’s incredibly true …
Whether you agree with the Tea Party movement or the Occupy movement, the fact is that members of both groups are facing tremendous economic pressures – which has been brought about by the failed policies of Republicans and Democrats. And while the Tea Party might not embrace some of the welfare state ideals supported by the Occupiers – there is a shared contempt for Wall Street bailouts and the larger practice of government picking winners and losers in the marketplace.
In fact, a lot of the comments we heard from the “Occupiers” would have been right at home at a Tea Party rally.
“We had a Tea Party guy here earlier this week,” one of the protesters told our founding editor. “We’ve got Tea Partiers, Republicans, Democrats, Socialists … we’re an ideological rainbow.”
Anyway, we did get some footage and photos from Occupy Columbia – such as it is – but in the meantime here are some pics of the event taken by the lovely and talented Laurie Giarratano (who did such a nice job for us two weekends ago photographing the Gamecock football team in Starkville, Mississippi).
(Click to enlarge)
Pics: Laurie Giarratano