Saturday, April 10, 2010

Dropping the Mask - Coffee Party Update

My reporting from the first San Diego Coffee Party meeting generated my most comments ever for a post. It also caused me a bit of anxiety, because I was criticized by some of the people I had met for treating them unfairly. I have always cared deeply about the tone of this blog. Their actions since have only eased my conscience. Today, I received a follow up email from the national leadership about what the Coffee Party had decided were the most important issues facing the country. Anything about looming and ever growing debt and deficits at all level of government? No way, down with corporations is our motto. From the email:
Hello B,

We have some exciting announcements to make.

Take the Coffee Party Priorities Poll in the next 48 hours.

Based on reports from Coffee Party USA meetings and online discussions, Money in Politics and Wall Street Reform have emerged as top legislative priorities for our community. Before we consider various solutions to these issues as a community, we ask for your direct input. There will be other issues and priorities as we go forward. This poll is to select our first actions to impact legislation at the national level. So please take the poll before NOON ET on Monday April 12th.

After you take the poll, go to and join a local Coffee Strategy Session on Money in Politics and/or Wall Street Reform in your community.

In the coming weeks, we plan to vote online about whether or not we support specific legislation on Money in Politics and/or Wall Street Reform (depending on results of the Priorities poll. So please take time to engage in informed deliberation -- in coffee shop meetings and our newly organized online forums.

As a community, let's show Washington how we create positive solutions together.

For Local groups: You can also choose your own issues to work on as well. We encourage you to go through a democratic process and take the time to make an informed decision.

-Annabel, and your Coffee Party Team
Can't you just smell the fertilizer of the grassroots activism?

I removed some of their HTML coding in the above quotes so that you wouldn't click the link and get a cookie intended for me. Also, Anabel's return email address is at And to think I was excoriated for suggesting that this might be a top down political organization directed from a national level.

Most importantly, the web site is actually hosted by the owners of domain. Here is what a Google search turned up when I type in
A non-profit organization, DIA offers a web-based tool that progressive organizations to send emails to Congress [sic].
And nothing says non-partisan, coming together as a community like "progressive;" DIA standing for democracy in action in the above quote. So there you have it, my hard evidence that the coffee party is just a masquerade for typical lefty astroturfing. They have no doubt, sucked in a number of innocent victims. I figured out that little nugget about the web hosting because I turned off "display html" in my email, which I suggest to everyone for the safety of their online experience.

I can't resist one more quote from the coffee party; after reviewing all these facts what do you think about their "about us" page:

We are 100% 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.

We demand a government that responds to the needs of the majority of its citizens as expressed by our votes and by our voices; NOT corporate interests as expressed by misleading advertisements and campaign contributions.

And where is the lame stream media, who called the Tea Party astroturfers? I don't normally complain, because at some point an issue like the lefty bias in the news media ceases to be a problem and becomes just a fact; but sometimes the hypocrisy is a bit overwhelming.


  1. Right on the money! Will share tomorrow when traffic is higher...

  2. My first priority is to get rid of the designated hitter rule. I think I'll pop over and vote!

  3. Liberator: Thanks for this analysis, which I will also share. I am posting this piece from on the Coffee Party from my political editor, for your review and information. I would love your thoughts on it.

  4. Greetings Liberator,

    First, Mr. Liberator I was the one behind the camera of the video you posted of the first Coffee Party meeting. I enjoyed our short conversation and hope to continue it in the future. SarahB I thought your remarks for the SDNN article were fair and "civil." Thank you.

    I don't want this to be "Us against them." Of course the media would love that.

    The consensus at most of our meetings is to address the issue of Campaign Finance Reform . I believe that will be the first priority of the Coffee Party.

    This issue should be non-partisan. Both Democratic and Republicans politicians are influenced by money from corporations, PAC's and Unions.

    We all want to be heard, we want our politicians to be accountable.

    Gerrymandering is another area to explore. The lines have drawn in California to where incumbents need not listen to all sides of an argument.

    Think of the results, if citizens from differing sides of the political spectrum can come together on this issue.

    O.K. maybe I'm a disillusional, but a guy can dream can't he.

  5. B-Daddy, Have appreciated your words and efforts to try to rid the Tea Party movement of racists and homophobes. It's gonna be a long uphill battle. But it's worth a try.

    Not sure, of course, where you got all your anti-left sensibilities from, but no matter what our political affiliations are, we're still treated like peasants and paycheck slaves by the big banks and corporations.

    So, it could be that around campaign finance reform and reform of Wall Street could be some areas we could work with you on.

  6. OBRag,
    Thanks for commenting. You pose an interesting philosophical question as to where I get my anti-left wing sensibilities from, I may try a blog on that some day. With respect to corporations, they are neither inherently good nor evil, but opportunistic. The free market is the disciplining force that is most effective at keeping their behavior under control. I think that many corporations today have become incredible forces for good in the world. American corporations help feed the world for example.
    The most egregious corporate abuses occur when big government teams up with big business, see Kelo vs New London. In general, if someone is a wage slave, then they need to get new skills and find new work. With respect to the banks, they are subsidized under too big to fail, when many should have just gone bankrupt. There is deposit insurance to protect the little guy. It is the government intervention that encourages the risk taking that led to the financial collapse. The answer is to punish the stockholders with bankruptcy and the corporate executives with loss of their jobs.
    As I have said before, if we want an anti-corporate agenda, then let's end the subsidies, bail outs and tax breaks that go to corporations. But that would mean vast simplification of the tax code not seen since Reagan and Rostenkowski worked out a deal. In general, it means we have to renounce government interference in the economy to achieve a true anti-corporate agenda. But politicians of both parties can't resist the temptation. This is where the Tea party comes in, we educate the public on the negative impact and demand a smaller more accountable government. I'm not talking laissez-faire but just minimally intrusive policies.
    For example, on health care, wouldn't it have been good enough to just subsidize the lower income brackets to purchase health care and guarantee portability so that pre-existing conditions can be covered? No, now we have goodies provided for all sorts of industry groups with a huge new bureaucracy to decide winners and losers in the industry, that will only cause more corporate cash to flow into elections. In my view, the left wing agenda just fed the very beast it purports to be trying to slay. Peter Senge talks about this in a different way in The Fifth Discipline, we create the very reality that causes the problem we are trying to deal with, because we fail to apply systems thinking to the problem. Big government turns out to be the cause of big business abuse not the cure.