Coffee Party USA takes on the Tea Party
America’s conservative Tea Party movement may be on the boil, but the left is brewing up its own version in The Coffee Party USA.
The movement has launched itself on the social networking site Facebook where it has acquired more than 50,000 fans over the past month. You can see some news reports and commentary about it here and here and here.
Under the battle cry “The Coffee Party USA: Wake Up and Stand Up” it is asking people to host a Coffee Party event on their March 13 “kick-off.”
“What’s your favorite spot for a cup of coffee or Sunday brunch? Enter it here along with what time on March 13th you plan to meet, and you are a Coffee Party coordinator! We are volunteers, working to restore our capacity as Americans to engage a civil and respectful conversation about public policy. As with any disagreement, the first step is sitting down to talk,” it says.
Like the Tea Party — a conservative movement opposed to big government and President Barack Obama’s agenda which takes its name from an 18th century American revolt against British colonial rule — the Coffee Party claims to be “100 percent grassroots.”
“No lobbyists here. No pundits. And no hyper-partisan strategists calling the shots in this movement. We are a spontaneous and collective expression of our desire to forge a culture of civic engagement that is solution-oriented, not blame-oriented,” it says.
And like the Tea Partiers it evokes America’s 18th century founders, with a feminist twist: “Our Founding Fathers and Mothers gave us an enduring gift — Democracy — and we must use it to meet the challenges that we face as a nation.”
“We are an alternative to the Tea Party,” says Coffee Party movement founder Annabel Park — identified as a “concerned citizen” — in her YouTube pitch, coffee in hand, which you can see here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lO_5HvnFEv0&feature=player_embedded
Conservative critics will no doubt find some red meat here: what could be more elitist and out of touch than the coffeehouse, latte and Starbucks crowd?
The Coffee Party also has some catching up to do. The Tea Party movement is diffuse but it has morphed from a protest movement marked last year by angry rallies and heated townhall meetings into a political machine that plans to make an impact in state primaries this year with an eye to the November congressional elections and ultimately the 2012 White House race. Essentially, it is working to get out the vote for (mostly Republican) candidates who subscribe to its view of limited government and low taxes and deficits.
Do you think the Coffee Party can mount a credible alternative from the liberal left?