Protests in France against changing the retirement age, from 60 to 62 have so far not succeeded in derailing the legislation. Indeed the senate in France voted to move forward with these changes. Like America, France has a divided government, and while the conservatives do not have to deal with filibusters, the shutdowns of the street protests, organized by labor and other groups with more progressive leanings, put the U.S. Tea Party movement to shame.
The tea party riff-raff here can be impolite and their extremists make accusations that are alternatively wacky, dumb or bigoted, by they do not rally the working class. To think of these people as populist, when most of their money comes from billionaires, is the height of absurdity.
Their goals, for the most part, seem to be to win seats at the table, so they can be in charge. That is politics not populism. If the Republicans take over the US senate as well as the house, they will then be the “government” that the tea party has begun to protest, when Democrats run it. Then there will be some real populists in the opposition, and progressive populists may make things a little less comfortable for the wall street banks. I wouldn’t be surprised to see marches against foreclosure, and some real protests akin to the 60’s.
Our government in the US is broke, but not for the reasons the Tea Party harps on. It is because we did not heed Eisenhower’s warning about the military industrial complex, and have let defense contractors, banks, and insurance companies purchase unprecedented power, and neither political party has an interest in stopping them.