By Ishaan Tharoor, TIME
With the Occupy Wall Street protests gaining steam in the U.S., it seems obvious to link the movement with the other grassroots movement that recently shook up American politics: the Tea Party. President Barack Obama did it this morning, telling ABC that the protesters in downtown New York are "not that different" from the Tea Party: both the right and the left feel "that their institutions aren't looking out for them."
My colleagues' pieces number among a flurry of others pondering the parallel. Michael Scherer recast Occupy Wall Street as the Tea Party of the American left. Roya Wolverson suggested how the two movements, coming from diametrically opposed sides of the political spectrum, could find common ground (and perhaps policy influence) in their mutual distaste for a Washington dominated by the vested interests of corporations. But while the similarities are noteworthy, they obscure more relevant truths about Occupy Wall Street, the supposedly inchoate movement that has transfixed the American media in recent weeks. I enumerate these truths after the jump.