A Tea Party for the Rest of Us?

We're entering week three of demonstrations from Occupy Wall Street in Lower Manhattan, intended to protest the abuses of the financial sector. After being mocked as a silly, purposeless movement, the group has in the past few days garnered the support of labor unions, giving it a boost of legitimacy. Even a reluctant media paid them some attention this weekend when New York City police arrested 700 protestors on the Brooklyn Bridge. The trick is to turn these events into a movement. As many have noted, currently the protests don't seem to have a concrete goal or agenda in mind. Of course, getting really specific about policy—a financial transactions tax, for example—probably won't win the widespread support the group needs. Just as the Tea Party pushes Republicans to the right, the left has been looking for a way to push Democrats and President Obama to the left. There's a jobs bill sitting in Congress along with a suggestion to raise taxes on the wealthiest Americans, the SEC is suing several Wall Street banks, Dodd-Frank is still crystalizing, and the Super Committee is trying to decide if the poor or the rich should bear the brunt of deficit cutting. As Occupy Wall Street begins to expand to other cities, there are plenty of issues it could orient itself around to become a political movement.

The Latest

Reason to get out of bed in the morning

A Florida judge found the state's plans to privatize its 30 prisons unconstitutional. The suit was a success for the unions trying to save the jobs of several thousand correctional officers.

What the Candidates Say

Rick Perry: "Now the president is offering a second round of massive spending cloaked as stimulus, expecting better results with the same strategy. But we know the definition of insanity is doing the same thing all over again and expecting different results. You don’t stimulate the economy by growing bureaucracy. You stimulate the economy by growing the take-home pay of American workers and American enterprise." — RickPerry.org

*Perry says workers need higher wages, but Texas's jobs growth was mainly in low-wage jobs.