Media coverage of Occupy Wall Street has dominated the news lately, supplanting stories about the Tea Party movement and the grassroots uprising that took Washington by storm. For one of the movement’s early leaders, it has come as no surprise. Jenny Beth Martin is a co-founder and national coordinator for Tea Party Patriots. Today she continues to fight against big government, albeit while fending off comparisons to Occupy Wall Street.
In an interview with Ginni Thomas at The Daily Caller, Martin talked about the early rise of Tea Party and two of its champions in Washington — Republican Study Committee Chairman Jim Jordan (R-OH) and Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC). But her most profound comments came on the subject of Occupy Wall Street, a movement she complained was “manufactured” by the media in search of an alternative to the Tea Party.
“The distinctions between Occupy Wall Street and the tea party movement are so vast that it really becomes insulting, the comparisons,” Martin said.
I wasn’t surprised when the president or the Democrat leadership embraced Occupy Wall Street. Even with the press, they have been clamoring … for the past two-and-a-half years they couldn’t find any comparison between the Tea Party movement and anything they had going on their side. And so I think that they’ve manufactured something. They’re trying to say this is the equivalent of the Tea Party movement and it’s not. But they need that so desparetely on their side, they’re willing to embrace lawlessness just so they can say that there’s a comparison.
That’s a similar message to the one Heritage Foundation President Ed Feulner and First Coast Tea Party co-founder Billie Tucker delivered in a commentary earlier this month. They noted that Tea Party activists respect the values set forth by the Founding Fathers, while the Occupy Wall Street protesters want to dramatically change America.
“Any comparisons between the Tea Party, which desires to liberate ‘We the People’ from big government, and the Wall Street occupiers, who want more government regulation,” Feulner and Tucker wrote, “is either misguided or made to intentionally confuse Americans.”