"What does taking over a park really achieve?"
Precisely my question about the Occupy Movement over this past year. Bill Maher's critique of Occupy resonates with Barney Frank's sarcastic comment about the gay march on Washington in 2009: "The only thing they're going to be putting pressure on is the grass."
As someone who used to work on political campaigns and who studied politics and government at Harvard (yes, H-BOMB!), in addition to watching president after president circulate the same stodgy economic advisors out of Harvard to, say, "save" the banks or what-have-you, I can say that I agree with both Maher's and Frank's assessment of how "change" works.
And unless there's some kind of massive campaign finance reform that overhauls superpacs and works to disband special interest groups from essentially puppeetering politicians (in both parties; or, just think about why the Democrats' base is no longer union workers but techies, homos (gay homos, nb), and celebrities), the only "change" that will occur is through the use of dollars and cents. Well, maybe just dollars—and a whole lot of them at that.
Maher's advice to Occupy'ers is to mimic the Tea Party—to become politically active, to win seats in Congress and command attention.
Does doing so irrevocably change the Occupy movement? Undoubtedly. It demands that Occupy conform to the (political) system instead of changing it. But, then again, not much is being changed by smoking pot and having random sex in parks, ammi right?