The O.W.S. protesters, on the other hand, haven’t even settled on concrete political objectives. As two of the movement’s more perceptive conservative critics — Matt Continetti in The Weekly Standard and James Panero in The New Criterion — have said, many protesters seemed more interested in founding a kind of Paris Commune or Oneida Community in Zuccotti Park than in actually participating in public-policy debates...
But there’s a sense in which the pipeline protesters and Midwestern unions are exactly the people that the O.W.S. crowd should not learn from, if they aspire to appeal to a wider audience than left-wing activists usually reach. ....
- The Wisconsin protests didn’t defend American workers’ right to bargain for their fair share of company profits, as traditional union protests have. They defended government employees’ right to negotiate with elected officials over the division of taxpayer dollars — a recipe for profligacy that even liberal icons like Franklin Roosevelt and the A.F.L.-C.I.O.’s George Meany once opposed.
- Likewise, the Keystone protesters haven’t been defending “the interests of wage-earning Americans,” to borrow the historian Michael Kazin’s description of the historic purpose of the American left. They’ve been harnessing the power of the Democratic Party’s wealthy environmentalist donors to actively kill off American jobs.
- Stopping the pipeline won’t drive down demand for fossil fuels, or prevent Canada’s oil from being extracted and shipped around the world. But for a small group of activists and donors, keeping the pipeline out of their national backyard is all that counts, even if American workers pay the price.
Funny, the NYTs, is telling the children, don't act like us. What we did doesn't work.