What’s going on in the park these days is something that defines its target not so much as a who, but as a what. There’s no sign at all that many national Democrats — with the possible exception of Elizabeth Warren up in Massachusetts, who’s built a career on many of the same issues that have brought people to the park — are willing even to co-opt the message here. The national media largely have blown off the protests because none of the people on their speed-dials have had anything to do with it. Surely, in a presidential campaign year in which the effects of a savage economic downturn are the primary issue, an ongoing protest against the people largely responsible for that downturn is as worthy of inclusion in the national debate as something as useless as the Iowa Straw Poll.
Instead, we get snotty New Republic reporters on play dates among the hippies, and insufferable Chaunceys from the conservative press exercising the half of the wit they have, and Erin Burnett, who’s never met a hedge fund she didn’t adore, launching her new CNN show with video of a longhaired guy with funny glasses. And everybody else gets on the bus to drive around New Hampshire, mourning the loss of the transformational figure that is Chris Christie. Unlike the Tea Party, which ultimately became a vehicle for electing fringe Republicans, and, thereupon, a vehicle for instituting policies that the corporate class has been swooning over for decades, the people in the park are praying far outside the camp.