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CPAC/Occupy Beer summit
February 13, 2012 1:40 PM   Subscribe

Tea Partiers and Occupiers meet over beer. There's been much discussion about what the Tea Party and Occupy Wall Street many, or may not, have in common. At CPAC (the Conservative Political Action Conference) a CPAC attendee interrupts an argument between another CPAC attendee and an Occupier to tell the CPACer how much they have in common. He then invites some Occupiers to join him at a local pub, where they have been talking for hours. This video shows some of that meeting.

Not all interactions between CPACers and Occupy have been so amicable.
posted by Philosopher Dirtbike (46 comments total) 17 users marked this as a favorite

 
This doesn't surprise me at all. There were many things when the tea party started that I thought to myself "Yes, that's exactly right, so why are you supporting the republicans?"
posted by [insert clever name here] at 1:52 PM on February 13, 2012 [17 favorites]


Hunh. You know, if the two groups most mad about how fucked up everything is actually got together and found some common ground that would make for, at the least, a much more I interesting election season. Interesting to see who attempts to grab that tiger by its tail...
posted by Diablevert at 1:54 PM on February 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


I can't watch the video at work, so can anyone answer the most pressing question? Which bar are they at?
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 1:57 PM on February 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


Beer is the opiate of the masses.
posted by perhapses at 1:58 PM on February 13, 2012 [3 favorites]


Beer is the opiate of the masses.

But beer is uniting them in their common goal of reinventing the government!

Besides, everyone knows that opium is the opiate of the masses.
posted by asnider at 2:02 PM on February 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


Beer is the opiate of the masses.

Hey, at least we upgraded from religion.
posted by invitapriore at 2:02 PM on February 13, 2012 [17 favorites]


Walking down 18th St. in Adams Morgan last Friday, I overheard a CPAC attendee refer to DC sneeringly as the "District of Communism".

The guy interjecting in the video is, very charitably, an outlier - CPAC attracts, almost exclusively, 1%ers, and their fawning wannabes.

I can't watch the video at work, so can anyone answer the most pressing question? Which bar are they at?

They're at Harry's Pub in the Marriott Wardman Park.
posted by ryanshepard at 2:03 PM on February 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


CPAC discovers hip hop.
posted by Burhanistan at 2:03 PM on February 13, 2012


But beer is uniting them in their common goal of reinventing the government!

And someone will wake up regretting that stand.
posted by perhapses at 2:05 PM on February 13, 2012 [2 favorites]


There is an awful lot that right wing anarchists need to learn about anarchist history, theory, etc., despite anarchy's roots being "rural". And more centrist that the communist who occasionally deposed them.

These roots are afaik basically understood by OWS, well OWS certainly still looks like a Spanish protest, and the organizers know some history when they speak. I'm afraid however that Libertarians and Randroids have gone decades without learning anything.

We don't need coming together so much as a course on understanding OWS for right wing anarchists, let them time internalize all the theory they've missed, notions like the real anarchist view of government legitimacy, not the cheesy libertarian platitudes, and tools like consensus decision making, ranked voting, deliberative democracy, etc.
posted by jeffburdges at 2:05 PM on February 13, 2012 [14 favorites]


Yes, for all the stupidity in the Tea Party movement, there are definitely legitimate grievances, many shared by the vast majority of us. And for all the stupidity in the OWS movement, there are definitely legitimate grievances, many shared by the vast majority of us.

It's too bad that there is so much misogynist, racist, and xenophobic BS coming from Tea Partyist "leaders." I suspect a lot of people are/were attracted to it because of their reasonable issues before it became clear it was really a front for the American Taliban.
posted by wierdo at 2:06 PM on February 13, 2012 [5 favorites]


They'll never get along because they disagree as to the means to achieve the few ends they sort of share. The Tea Partiers (at least early on, the term means fuck-all now*) want the government, which is perceived as having been taken over by various corporate interests, out of their lives. The OWS folks want those corporations out of their lives, but want to use the government to do so. They're never going to agree on anything.

*e.g., When you hear about a percentage of self-proclaimed Tea Party voters going to Romney, or that Hermann Cain, a former Federal Reserve branch chairman, was getting a large portion of Tea Partiers' votes, you should know the term means nothing.
posted by resurrexit at 2:08 PM on February 13, 2012 [3 favorites]


totally unrelated, but i was just wondering what the fuck happened to the PNAC (did it implode in disgrace?) ... apparently now it's the FPI
posted by mrgrimm at 2:11 PM on February 13, 2012 [2 favorites]


Occupy Movement Regroups, Preparing for Its Next Phase
posted by homunculus at 2:13 PM on February 13, 2012 [3 favorites]


Yes yes, so much in common. One of the groups has bought the oft-repeated right wing lie that government is taking over our entire lives and developed an ideological system that is basically a slightly repackaged form of modern GOP 'conservatism.' And believes crackpot theories like the one about how the federal income tax was never really ratified, or the one about our president is a secret Kenyan Muslim who was programmed by socialist professors from Columbia aiming to bring down American society as we know it. (No, seriously.)

The other group sees such disturbing trends as the greatest concentration of wealth and corporate power since the Gilded Age and believes we should do something to address massive inequality and the dismantling of the social safety net brought about by...modern GOP 'conservatives' who only want more tax cuts for the rich.

Yup, it boggles the mind how these two groups haven't hung out more often.
posted by jsr1138 at 2:27 PM on February 13, 2012 [9 favorites]


It is always important to realize that most groups do have some core of reasonable folks with valid and legitimate opinions. When the TP first started up I was pretty frustrated and derisive of some of their antics but some of what they where saying at least made sense. That pretty quickly got overtaken and co-opted, by birthers and other seriously!-what-the-fuck-are-you-thinking-ers.

There are still folks who (for whatever reason) believe in the Tea Party and who are not flaming assholes, but they are had to shift out from the never ending grain of Libertarians, Racists and naked political opportunists
posted by edgeways at 2:28 PM on February 13, 2012 [2 favorites]


Well, for anyone who hasn't gotten there yet, this is an interesting moment – the moment when the Occupier behind the camera meets the leader of the Tea Party Minutemen is intercut with a photo of said leader at a protest holding a sign with an... interesting inscription, which seems to be attempting to make the intriguing point that taxpayers today have the same relationship to congress that black people once had to slaveowners.
posted by koeselitz at 2:30 PM on February 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


Can't we all just agree that Opie is the opiate of the masses?
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 2:49 PM on February 13, 2012 [2 favorites]


the moment when the Occupier behind the camera meets the leader of the Tea Party Minutemen is intercut with a photo of said leader at a protest holding a sign with an... interesting inscription, which seems to be attempting to make the intriguing point that taxpayers today have the same relationship to congress that black people once had to slaveowners.

Yeah, that was an interesting moment. I'm not entirely sure what to make of that. I've seen the photo in question many times, but didn't realize that the guy had any sort of prominence until now. I'm not entirely sure what to make of it.
posted by asnider at 2:50 PM on February 13, 2012


I was at the General Assembly at Occupy Seattle back in November, and one of the protesters started a conversation with me. She told me about how she had been in the Tea Party movement with her (now ex) husband; that was back when she was married to a man making a decent amount of money. She identified as a conservative.

She then got divorced, and married a man who didn't make a whole lot of money. They lost their house and couldn't afford health insurance. It was then that she realized how close many Americans are to catastrophe. She joined the Occupy movement, and was working in many of the smaller communities around Seattle to try to start local Occupy movements. She still identifies as a social conservative, but her views on economic policy have become liberal.

On the one hand, it sounds like she just changed her beliefs when it suited her. But that's too simplistic. There are people without clearly defined policy views, whose policy views can be shaped by things that happen to them. Their political orientation is largely determined by identity. If you're an Occupier, it seems like it would be good not harshly dismiss the Tea Party - this just encourages identity politics, and may discourage people from later joining your camp after learning a bit more.

I remain skeptical that there's a large degree of overlap between the values of Occupy and the values of the Tea Party, but that doesn't mean there can't be flow from one to the other, due to the susceptibility of peoples' values to change.
posted by Philosopher Dirtbike at 2:58 PM on February 13, 2012 [14 favorites]


I don't find it really strange that disgruntled people are able to find common ground and or at least be willing to hear each other out when they meet face to face.

I've heard on a number of occasions from dem and rep congresspersons that the gulf between the parties has as much to do with their lack of meeting and interacting these days with those on the other side as it does with the ideological gulf between the parties. I guess the web amplifies a lot of this.
posted by peacay at 3:13 PM on February 13, 2012 [2 favorites]


Can't we all just agree that Opie is the opiate of the masses?

Sorry. That would've been Floyd.
posted by telstar at 3:13 PM on February 13, 2012


What??
posted by Floydd at 3:30 PM on February 13, 2012 [6 favorites]


OWS vs. Tea Party
posted by yoyo_nyc at 3:48 PM on February 13, 2012 [3 favorites]


Lawrence Lessig at Occupy;

and more interestingly...

Lawrence Lessig Interviews Jack Abramoff (yes, THAT Jack Abramoff) about how to fix the system.

Being that they're both tending towards the conservative path instead of the traditional left-wing approach, I would argue that we might want to heed some of what they say in how to go about removing money from politics in the sense it might be more workable than something like pure public financing, and would bring more credibility across the political spectrum (and thus more chance for success).
posted by symbioid at 3:51 PM on February 13, 2012 [3 favorites]


I think this speaks more to the fact that everyone has something in common and in bars it's easier to find middle ground than when making policy. On one hand, we are all facing the same problems and both the Tea Party and the Occupiers know what it is. On the other hand, the means are so different I don't know how much the two groups can work together. The authoritarianism of the hard right is anathema to the anarchism of the Occupiers, we might all be able to agree on the symptoms but not the cure. If we toss out our mutual enemy, will we still be talking?

At least there is more public dialogue between the two sides. That's good for everyone for now.
posted by fuq at 4:23 PM on February 13, 2012


There are people without clearly defined policy views, whose policy views can be shaped by things that happen to them.

True, that. The old line used to be that a conservative is a liberal who's been mugged. No reason the equation can't run the other way around.
posted by IndigoJones at 4:51 PM on February 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


Could this lead to some kind of beer hall putsch?
posted by Pruitt-Igoe at 6:09 PM on February 13, 2012 [3 favorites]


Whenever I hear someone say that OWS types and Tea Party types have absolutely nothing in common and there is no need to even think about trying to talk to the other, I wonder what their interest is in keeping people apart.
posted by Snyder at 7:48 PM on February 13, 2012 [3 favorites]


If the Tea Party and the Occupy movement leaders were smart, they would agree on one clearly defined goal (ending one specific type of corporate welfare, stopping senators from becoming lobbyists, ending earmarks, whatever) that they can both agree on. Then they would push that one goal above all else. We'd have that issues solved within 6 months. If you don't believe me, see how the Tea Party influenced the mid-term elections in 2010. When done, they would identify and tackle the next goal.

That would be meaningful change, instead of yelling at each other from the top of the barricades.
posted by Triplanetary at 8:22 PM on February 13, 2012 [4 favorites]


Well the original original call to found the "Tea Party" was by Rick Santelli, who was actually bitching about home mortgage modifications for people underwater or whatever. They were the "losers" in his mind. But his message about not bailing out individual home owners was also taken as a message about bailing out the banks.

So that's the common root of what OWS an The Tea Party were about. But the Tea Party was Co-opted right from the beginning to serve the interests of the rich. And republican talking heads always go on TV and say "Oh, the tea party is all about cutting spending" or whatever. I don't think that's really true, it's just people who care a lot about whatever republicans typically complain about.
posted by delmoi at 8:42 PM on February 13, 2012 [2 favorites]


Okay totally random, I was just looking at some TYT videos and came across this one which sort of jived with the topic in the thread: Andrew Breitbart ranting like lunatic at some OWS protesters.
posted by delmoi at 8:57 PM on February 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


Pop quiz, who said the following quote:

"We think there is strength in decentralization and spreading out rather than in being concentrated and centralized."

A. A Tea Party Leader
B. A Libertarian Christian Business Owner
C. An Occupy Movement Leader

Yes, it's B, specifically Joel Salatin, who was featured in Omnivore's Dilemma and has been talked about here before.

I kind of see him as a figure symbolic of the shared grievances both movements have. Both groups feel the government has abused it's power, is untrustworthy and is controlled by corporate interests.

While I wouldn't want to live in a libertarian wonderland, the idea that the government has been co-opted by big corporations and it's harmful to small businesses doesn't seem that unreasonable.
posted by formless at 9:34 PM on February 13, 2012 [2 favorites]


One notable difference between Tea Partiers and OWS people is that the Tea Party people have yet to cost the taxpayer millions of dollars in cleanup costs and pay to police officers who had to remove said OWS people from their hovels (and likely force them to take a shower, too).
posted by CountSpatula at 10:56 PM on February 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


delmoi, that was in the OP :)
posted by Philosopher Dirtbike at 11:08 PM on February 13, 2012


Count Spatula, thank you for bringing up the shower issue, because I really don't think it's been explored enough. Leaving that aside for the moment (don't worry, I'm coming back to it), I will be very grateful for the millions spent on cleanup if the change in the national dialogue brought about by the Occupy movement actually leads to something. Even if not, I'll still be very grateful for the attempt.

Now, about those showers...hell, I got nothing. You win.
posted by Ducks or monkeys at 11:32 PM on February 13, 2012


CountSpatula - One notable difference between Tea Partiers and OWS people is that the Tea Party people have yet to cost the taxpayer millions of dollars in cleanup costs and pay to police officers who had to remove said OWS people from their hovels (and likely force them to take a shower, too).

Should they have stuck to just marching? Marches cost police pay money too. I can't think of many significant protest forms that don't cost someone money somewhere. Should we shun all protest now? Maybe Occupy should have pooled some money together and rented a nice shiny office building on Wall Street and protested from there; I'm sure that would have worked!
posted by Defenestrator at 11:56 PM on February 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


One notable difference between Tea Partiers and OWS people is that the Tea Party people have yet to cost the taxpayer millions of dollars in cleanup costs and pay to police officers who had to remove said OWS people from their hovels (and likely force them to take a shower, too).

Those Tea Partiers, they're so clean! But look at those dirty liberals...
posted by Philosopher Dirtbike at 11:57 PM on February 13, 2012 [2 favorites]


Woohoo, the Tea Party and the Occupiers agree on something.

This is better than just one side agreeing with it, because, whatever the message was, it will now be associated with racist fearmongering AND taking shits on police cars!

Yay for extremist movements!
posted by unigolyn at 4:55 AM on February 14, 2012


Yay for extremist movements!

Eh, you think the Tea Party (made up of mainline conservatives) and the Occupy movement (made primarily out of the traditional American Left) are extremist? That word, "extremist"...I do not think it means what you think it means.
posted by Philosopher Dirtbike at 5:40 AM on February 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


Pruitt-Igoe: "Could this lead to some kind of beer hall putsch?"

Put the idiots together, empower them with legitimacy and that's the only thing it will lead to.
posted by falameufilho at 7:18 AM on February 14, 2012


But beer is uniting them in their common goal of reinventing the government!

And someone will wake up regretting that *KEG* stand.


But yeah, of course the two groups have very similar complaints about some things. The difference is that OWS folks are sick of being lied to, and teabaggers actively enjoy and encourage being lied to.
posted by FatherDagon at 7:54 AM on February 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


Occupy protesters sue New York City over pepper spray incident.
posted by Obscure Reference at 8:46 AM on February 14, 2012


Both sides say they want more personal freedom, but when the OWS side talks about freedom, they're talking about drug laws, abortion, gay rights, and the TSA. When the Tea Party talks about freedom, they're talking about guns and taxes.
posted by rocket88 at 9:13 AM on February 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


Occupy defends the Volcker Rule: Radical protesters are reborn as policy analysts; they tell the SEC to curb Wall Street speculators
posted by homunculus at 1:04 PM on February 15, 2012


Cop Identified in Scott Olsen Incident?
posted by jeffburdges at 10:40 AM on February 22, 2012


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