WaPo Highlights 'Progressive Alternative to the Tea Party', with Nascent 'Coffee Party'

February 26th, 2010 12:00 PM

Washington Post's Dan Zak devoted a Style section front page feature today to liberals who are "[b]rewing a progressive alternative to the Tea Party."*

But as one reads Zak's article, it becomes clear the nascent "Coffee Party" movement is a decaf brew of mostly liberals whining about how the rabble are roused by the Tea Parties while they, the sophisticates "have real political dialogue with substance and compassion":

Furious at the tempest over the Tea Party -- the scattershot citizen uprising against big government and wild spending -- Annabel Park did what any American does when she feels her voice has been drowned out: She squeezed her anger into a Facebook status update.

let's start a coffee party . . . smoothie party. red bull party. anything but tea. geez. ooh how about cappuccino party? that would really piss 'em off bec it sounds elitist . . . let's get together and drink cappuccino and have real political dialogue with substance and compassion.

Friends replied, and more friends replied. So last month, in her Silver Spring apartment, Park started a fan page called "Join the Coffee Party Movement." Within weeks, her inbox and page wall were swamped by thousands of comments from strangers in diverse locales, such as the oil fields of west Texas and the suburbs of Chicago.

I have been searching for a place of refuge like this for a long while. . . . It is not Us against the Govt. It is democracy vs corporatocracy . . . I just can't believe that the Tea Party speaks for all patriotic Americans. . . . Just sent suggestions to 50 friends . . . I think it's time we start a chapter right here in Tucson . . .

The snowballing response made her the de facto coordinator of Coffee Party USA, with goals far loftier than its oopsy-daisy origin: promote civility and inclusiveness in political discourse, engage the government not as an enemy but as the collective will of the people, push leaders to enact the progressive change for which 52.9 percent of the country voted in 2008.


The Coffee Party is not so much a party or movement as a slow-drip ripple through online nano-politics...

So that's it? It's basically NPR without the taxpayer subsidy or the airwaves, over a cup of [decaf?] coffee. As Mike Meyers's Linda Richman would say, it's "no big whoop."

*That was the print edition headline. The online version headline reads "Coffee Party activists say their civic brew's a tastier choice than Tea Party's"