You're about to get a big helping of moderately informed ranting, so tuck in.
My understanding of the Tea Party is that they were frustrated racists with no polite way to express their distaste for a black president. They felt they were losing "their" country. So they took to protesting. Which is great. You can do that. They were ideologically loose until they had that one banner under which to fight: NO OBAMACARE. While their protest made no sense and actually worked against their best interest, they bitched. Because you can't just say, "I don't like his face, nor the faces of the citizens who voted for him." It was very McCarthy, their adoption of the word "socialism."
Obama caved to their demands because their astroturf ideals were manufactured by the corporations that bought his presidency. He met them halfway. I was always waiting for the boom to drop, for Obama to simply say, "I understand you, but this is why I was elected."
He didn't. Always the diplomat, he played both sides and reached a compromise that left no one happy.
The Occupy movement was similar to the Tea Party only in that it had no clear manifesto. Soon it became clear, however, that like the Tea Party's "Obamacare", the Occupiers had a banner they could bongo under: fix the fucking banks. "We're tired of being screwed by giant, irresponsible banks." Pretty simple.
So you'd think maybe we'd get some kind of half-assed compromise like Obama did with the Tea Partiers. Nope. We get tear gas and secret mayoral meetings, where nervous men in suits decide how violent they can be without looking bad. We get nothing. So far, at least. Obama met the crazies more than halfway, and he has met the Occupiers not at all.
I am ashamed. I'm wearing my Obama t-shirt today because it's comfortable, one of my favorites. But every time I wear it I get really fucking mad. Because he is failing, has failed. He's a corporate puppet in a different way, but he's still got strings.
It frustrates me that he'll still get my vote in 2012, because who the fuck else am I going to vote for?