House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., has expressed concern about the "growing mobs" that are engaged in "the pitting of Americans against Americans."
Cantor's condemnation of members of Congress who are rooting the protesters on echoes conservative commentators who are belittling and delegitimizing the protests. "Occupy Wall Street" hasn't matched the Tea Party when it comes to numbers, or to concrete goals, though neither movement could ever boast of being monolithic.
Others have gone farther in denouncing the current round of protests. Tea Party Rep. Paul Broun, R-Ga., last week labeled the "Occupy" protests as an "attack upon freedom," and suggested that labor unions have hijacked the movement to boost the president's reelection prospects.
"They don't know why they're there. They're just mad," Broun said of the protesters, on ABC's "Top Line."
Anger, of course, respects no political boundaries these days. Many of the Republicans who are now critical of "Occupy" were cheering the Tea Party movement on.
Now it's Democrats who get to learn the lesson: Channeling the emotions of anger in politics is seldom as simple as it seems.