First came the fiscally conservative Tea Party movement. This weekend, its liberal counterpart, the pro-government Coffee Party was officially launched with dozens of quiet gatherings in coffee shops around the nation. (See an Instant Guide to the Coffee Party.) So far, Tea Partiers aren't impressed. Brendan Steinhauser of Freedomworks, a conservative nonprofit with ties to the Tea Party, said the tiny Coffee Party gatherings looked more "like a weak attempt at satire" than a serious grassroots answer to the Tea Party movement. Does the fledgling Coffee Party movement have any chance at disrupting the anti-tax Tea Party's growing power? (Watch a CNN report about the rise of the Coffee Party)
No, the Coffee Party is just a sham: Don't let the "fawning media coverage" fool you, says Lee Doren in Big Journalism. The Coffee Party is not a real grassroots movement with any real momentum. Founder Annabel Park and other Coffee Party leaders are "simply former Obama campaigners upset that the Tea Party has been able to thwart their Leftist agenda."
"Weak brew: Potemkin 'Coffee Party' no match for real Tea Party passion"
The Coffee Party is as legitimately "grassroots" as the Tea Party: Tea partiers insist the Coffee Party is "Astroturf," says Patrik Jonsson in Truthout, but they're forgetting that the ostensibly "grassroots" Tea Party has received plenty of help from local Republican committees and activists. Ultimately, though, both movements are about a "communal search" for answers to the country's deepest problems.
"Coffee Party" movement: Not far from the 'Tea Party' message?"
The Coffee Party is too polite to suceed: The group means well, says Drew Grant in Mediaite, but its founder Annabel Park told Rachel Maddow she wants Coffee Party wannabees to "sign a civility pledge" and "leave our party affiliations at the door." That idealism, "however well-intentioned," will doom the Coffee Party, as the relatively crass Sarah Palin-endorsed tea partiers gain influence and steal headlines with their angry antics.
"It's national 'Coffee Party' Day!"
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- This is what happens when Republicans actually enact their radical agenda
- How to be the most productive person in your office — and still get home by 5:30 p.m.
- 43 TV shows to watch in 2014
- The science of sex: 4 harsh truths about dating and mating
- 6 things the happiest families all have in common
- The Obama administration's nonstop incoherence on ISIS
- 6 super-helpful iOS8 tricks you probably don't know about
- Why so many Christians won't back down on gay marriage
- How I dug myself out of debt — and stayed that way
- Russia is stealthily threatening America with nuclear war
Subscribe to the Week