NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- As the Democratic Party convenes in Charlotte, N.C., this week, Occupy Wall Street demonstrators were gathering blocks away, corralled behind police lines and largely ignored.
But that's not the most telling indication of how far the Occupy movement has drifted from its early promise as a counterweight to the Tea Party. All you have to do is examine the Democratic and Republican platforms, and there it is all laid out: the takeover of the Republican Party by the Tea Party, and a Democratic Party that at best pays lip service to Occupy principles, and at worst is screamingly hypocritical.
It's not news by now that the GOP has been hijacked by the radical right -- the selection of Ayn Rand acolyte Paul Ryan was proof enough of that. But the real takeaway from the GOP convention was not its radicalism as much as its dishonesty. When it comes to sheer gall, how can any public figure in world history beat Ryan's declaration that "a Romney-Ryan administration will protect and strengthen Medicare," and that "the truest measure of any society is how it treats those who cannot defend or care for themselves."
But the Democratic platform, which was released on Tuesday, comes awfully close to Ryan in the dissembling department, even if it does not rise to the Olympian heights of sheer lying that he and his running mate have achieved.As can be expected, the platform gives heavy weight to the economy. If anything is going to make President Obama a one-term chief executive, it is the dismal economy, Republican obstructionism notwithstanding. It's hardly surprising that the only living one-term ex-president, Jimmy Carter, has been omitted from the list of speakers. The Democrats' job is to show that Obama, like Carter in 1980, is the least bad of the two alternatives, and that shouldn't be a difficult task. After all, the Republicans didn't even try to justify their position that somehow cutting taxes for the wealthy and slashing programs for everybody else will energize the economy. They just sort of assume that voters are dumb enough to think that way.