If you Google that question, "Should Occupy Emulate the Tea Party", you'll get more than a million hits. It seems like a lot of people have an opinion about this. I still hear pundits (and even some of my friends) suggest that "Occupy" should take a lesson from the Tea Party and infiltrate politics. Personally I think it would be a really bad idea. Those who propose it point to the great success the Tea Party had in sending their choice of candidates to Washington but was that success? Did the Tea Party rank and file really send a troop of like minded patriots to Congress or were they just duped into supporting a host of opportunists with dubious motives? I'd suggest it's the latter. As Thom recently pointed out, the entire Tea Party Caucus has taken money from Wall Street bankers and they have lined up to support the policies that those bankers desire. Between the debt ceiling debacle and their crony, Washington insider behavior the Tea Party freshmen class has only distinguished itself as an epic failure.
In my opinion "Occupy Wall Street" should avoid the pitfall that the "Tea Party" rushed headlong into. As a movement that does not endorse a party or particular candidates it will not tie itself to a rigid structure and it will not make itself dependant upon the loyalty of people who's loyalty has been put on the auction block by our Supreme Court. OWS can remain free to press for results from the system as a whole rather than relegate itself to acting as an arm of one party or the other as the Tea Party has with the Republican party. Because the Tea Party behaved in a "knee jerk" reaction sort of way the movement betrayed itself as nothing more or less than disaffected Republicans (who can blame them after Dubya) and its rank and file membership squandered any real opportunity at reform by letting themselves be manipulated into putting all of their energy into electing the above described gang of opportunists.
So, that's my opinion but what do you think? Should OWS emulate the Tea Party and rush into electoral politics or should it continue to consolidate popular support and pressure all of our societal structures from the outside?