Yes, that's right. What we need is some form of collaboration between the Occupy movement and the Tea Party. That seems to me to be the best way--perhaps the only way--to have a good chance of fixing the status quo of dysfunctional partisan politics.
At first glance, Occupy Wall Street and the Tea Party seem like the Hatfields and the McCoys--no way would they ever work together. But they actually have quite a lot in common. Both are vehemently against the status quo. Both argue that the American people are being screwed over by a small minority of powerful people at the top. Both have widespread popular support. And in my view, both of their main points are extremely valid.
For the Occupiers, the enemy is the so called "1 percent," Wall Street in particular. For the Tea Party, the enemy is a different 1 percent: politicians and lobbyists and their ilk. They're both kind of right. Wall Street took lots of foolish risks that led to the 2008 financial crisis--but did so in large part because government gave them huge incentives to do just that. The government gave Wall Street massive bailouts and refuses to pass meaningful financial regulation, in large part because so many people in Congress and in the Obama cabinet are either bankrolled by Wall Street or former Wall Street employees.
Unfortunately, both movements have a tendency to go off the deep end as well. Occupiers tend to view government as the solution to the problem rather than a co-conspirator in the plot. In an era where trust in the government is as low as during Vietnam and Watergate, calls for more government are not going to be well-received by the majority of the people. Besides, given the government played a big part in causing the problem, more government will almost certainly make things worse. The Occupy movement also tends to have a negative view of business in general, also counterproductive during an unemployment crisis.
On the other hand, I am baffled and a bit disturbed by how often GOP candidates have railed against the so-called "47% of Americans who don't pay taxes," and by the continued support for Cain's 9-9-9 plan even though analysis has shown it will raise taxes significantly on lower-income people. I don't really know how much this is attributable to the Tea Party, but given the significant Tea Party influence in recent GOP politics, and the popularity of the 9-9-9 plan among GOP voters, I have to think there is a connection. Calling for more taxes on the poor is an almost surefire way to turn off large swaths of American voters. For two years I made less than $14,000, which put me among those despised 47% who paid no federal income tax. But payroll tax and sales tax still ate up about 7-8% of my income. That's quite a bit.
I really think that the Occupy movement and the Tea Party could find a common cause and become a considerable force for real reform in Washington that limits the power of both government and their Wall Street cronies. Given the polarized partisan nature of politics today, though, it probably won't happen.