Tired of the Tea Partiers? We’re brewing up a Coffee Party alternative

There is an old Chinese curse: "May you live in interesting times." I don't have to tell anyone that we definitely do. We see all these problems facing us as a nation and are rightfully concerned, often frustrated and sometimes angry. Some folks see these problems and say, "No! Don't try to fix anything, you'll just make it worse. We need to cut taxes and get government out of the way; the free market will fix everything." These people are Tea Partiers. They appear to be motivated largely by fear, anger, resentment and a profound misunderstanding of history and economics. They have made a lot of noise in the course of the last year, and they have received even more attention in the news media.

But there are those of us who see these serious problems and say, "These problems need to be addressed, now. These are complex problems that didn't appear overnight, but we need to put our heads together to come up with some serious solutions. We need to reevaluate our national priorities — we need a federal government that functions. And we need legislators in Washington to understand that we sent them there to work for us, not for special interests, and that it is time to get things done for the people."

We are the Coffee Party USA and we need you to help us send this message to Washington. And we will be having meet-ups at several locations in Asheville on March 13. Check the Calendar section in the Mountain Xpress for more details or go to www.coffeepartyusa.com.

It is our government, and we already have all the power we need to demand change, but in order to use our power we have to be active participants in the political process. Tag — you're it.

— Matt Rawlings
Weaverville

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84 thoughts on “Tired of the Tea Partiers? We’re brewing up a Coffee Party alternative

  1. UNaffiliated Voter

    Oh boy! More parties equal MORE choice on the ballot IF your group focuses on NC EQUAL BALLOT ACCESS, which is the worst in the nation. NON
    demopublican ballot access in NC is dang near impossible…thanks mostly to a Century+ of
    total democrat domination.

    Good luck to the CoffeeKlatch!

  2. hr1207

    Yea, you’re right. I’ve never seen a historical sign about the Constitution or the founding fathers at one of these crazy TEA Parties. And certainly no economic insight like that of Von Mises or the ills of fiat currency.

    Nah, never…

    Here’s a quote that pertains to history and economics… please pay attention:

    ” … a wise and frugal Government, which shall restrain men from injuring one another, shall leave them otherwise free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from labor the bread it has earned.” -Thomas Jefferson.

    Also, since I have a “profound misunderstanding of history and economics” please enlighten me on some action the US Government has taken BEYOND it’s enumerated powers that was good for this country.

  3. Dionysis

    ““Can’t the left come up with anything original?” -Tammy Bruce

    You’re funny. If it wasn’t for Ayn Rand, you’d be like a sputtering fouled spark plug trying to come up with anything, much less anything “original.”

  4. Dionysis

    “Hmmm. Another brilliant ‘ad hominen’ personal attack.

    Are you really bereft of valid arguments?”

    You constantly denigrate whole groups of people (such as the quote offered). Evidently that’s swell, but let a comment (even if clearly true) that you perceive as negative be posted, then your skin becomes as thin as tissue. Poor widdle fella.

    And to the original point, cite something original from your fertile mind that you’ve posted. Certainly it’s not “just do away with all regulations and the world will be fine” or “government exists only to allow full, unfettered expression of its citizens pursuit of whatever they want” (or words to that effect). In other words, you haven’t offered any valid arguments in the past that weren’t cribbed from your favorite greedy Russian. If that’s incorrect, prove it so.

  5. who

    With respect to free market libertarianism and it’s philosophy, which has good ideas, and in consideration of good “socialist” policy like social security, public education, and, hopefully, healthcare, why not an acceptance of hybrid policies that try to address all the complexities? Not one socio-political philosophy could withstand all variables. Would an enacted social healthcare system cancel out the aspirations of libertarians? Would it be dark and gloom for those wanting to excersize self determination?

  6. rowafe

    “bereft” huh? what kinka wurd iz dat?
    the way I figure it, if you be so confused
    that sometimes you be on the right,
    and then other times you be on the left,
    then I’m thinkin you must bereft.

  7. rowafe

    And while we’re on the subject of counting
    all the ‘ad hominen’ arguments on the reft,
    there are actually no ‘ad hominen’ arguments at all,
    because there is no such phrase as ‘ad hominen,’

    So I guess that makes you 0 for 1.

  8. rowafe

    I think the Coffee Party is a great idea.
    After all, it’s coffee, not tea, that is
    the overwhelming choice among Americans.
    As for tea, I think I remember hearing
    something about all the tea being in China.

  9. JWTJr

    You have to admit that ‘Coffee Party’ is a lame knock off on a bigger idea. I am a tad disappointed in the creative ability of the left.

  10. MattR

    I thought so too. I was working on starting a group with a more profound name, but hey my wife is a business consultant and she thinks it’s a brilliant name. The proof is in the pudding. But in today’s soundbite culture, a snappy name can be a big boost in the media.

  11. Piffy!

    “Hmmm. Another brilliant ‘ad hominen’ personal attack. ”

    sort of like your dismissal of any possible points or issues raised here by merely claiming its ‘astroturf from Obama”? Yes exactly like that.

    (added irony of course being your own affiliation with known astroturf facade of the gop: the tea party)

    now, dismiss my points by calling my an anonymous coward.

  12. JWTJr

    Mistaking the Tea Party movement with the GOP is an easy first assumption to make, but the GOP has not been able to harness them. You know they have tried.

    If you were to lump them together as a national group, which they really aren’t, their primary message is fiscal responsibility. Abortion, gay marriage, immigration and health care issues are way down the agenda. Financial sustainability over the multi-generational long haul.

    Getting all your news from NBC isn’t the way.

  13. Matt Mercy

    The GOP/NeoCons have tried to hijack the Tea Parties to bring them into the right-wing fold. The Coffee Party was created to keep others on the left side of the fake spectrum…all of it designed to keep people from coming together and forming a consensus on how our government itself has been hijacked decades ago by fascists.

  14. JWTJr

    There is a spectrum .. however the media and the most politically active are trying to polarize everyone. Its not good for America.

  15. pff

    [b]Mistaking the Tea Party movement with the GOP is an easy first assumption to make, but the GOP has not been able to harness them. [/b]

    Yeah, it’s only their direct connections to major GOP players like Dick Armey that lead to such notions, along with Fox News’ obvious trumpeting of the ’cause’.

    I know such pesky facts ruin your little fantasy that the “Tea Party” isn’t entirely manufactured by former GOP operatives, but they are still the facts. Calling the news ‘liberal’ doesnt make it any less true, and only makes you look like a raving lunatic.

  16. The Asheville Tea Party is independent and has no connection, direct or indirect, to Dick Armey.

    You don’t listen to 880 AM do you?

  17. Betty Cloer Wallace

    Timpeck wrote: “The Asheville Tea Party is independent and has no connection, direct or indirect, to (whomever).”

    But, of course, isn’t the “Asheville Tea Party” a tiny cell of the “National Tea Party”?

    So, then, let’s get creative and give our own independent “Asheville Tea Party” its own independent moniker that represents our own independent local AVL party cell.

    How about something like “Asheville White Lightnin’ Party” or perhaps some other representative liquid designation?

    We want our independence to be obvious, don’t ye know?

  18. “But, of course, isn’t the “Asheville Tea Party” a tiny cell of the “National Tea Party”?”

    No. The Asheville Tea Party is not a “tiny cell” of the National Tea Party. There is no “national tea party.”

    The Tea Party Movement is a grassroots initiative that has attracted a lot of interest nationwide. Some of us are attempting to work together in a decentralized bottom-up fashion, rather than a centralized top-down fashion; like the one you wish for.

  19. Betty Cloer Wallace

    Timpeck wrote: “There is no ‘national tea party.’ Some of us are attempting to work together in a decentralized bottom-up fashion, rather than a centralized top-down fashion; like the one you wish for.”

    Alas and alack, Timpeck, “a centralized top-down fashion” is the exact opposite of what I’m wishing for–ergo, let’s peg our local effort “to work together in a decentralized bottom-up fashion” with our own local liquid moniker so that we are not mistakenly identified with that national “grassroots initiative” movement, i.e. those people who stood and cheered in unison for Sarah Palin at the recent national tea party meeting.

    The “Asheville White Lightnin’ Party” is my recommendation for a grassroots movement to get big government off our backs, lower our taxes, and such. If not that, how about the “Asheville Corn Squeezin’s Party”?

  20. Edward

    I’ve read a number of the local news and political blogs and come to realize that hypocrisy is a Asheville Tea Party value.
    The tea party movement has lauded the efforts of anomomous bloggers and equated them with colonial era writers who published under pseudonyms. Note Peck’s response here. “Ad hominen personal attacks” are a regular with Peck on the blogs he tries to dominate.
    Originality? Most of Peck’s postings are rehashes of Asheville Tea Party leader, Franzi. Often they are word for word. Here’s a fine example from the Citizen Times:
    http://www.citizen-times.com/article/20100306/NEWS01/303060027

    Does it really matter that the Coffee Party didn’t “come up with anything original?” Peck is “bereft of a valid argument” as the “Tea Party” name is certainly unoriginal. Any catchy name will do.
    It’s not even worth sorting out the small differences between the GOP and the Republican Party. Both groups claim that their “message is fiscal responsibility”. Leaders from both groups dangle issues like “Abortion, gay marriage, immigration and health care” before their followers to whip them into action.

    The Republican Party doesn’t really need to “harness” them. The tea party is a puppy on a leash. Yes, sometimes it bites its Republican master. The Tea Party will calm down when the master lets it empty it’s tea filled bladder. For the now, it is more useful to leave the puppy whining at the door. Does anyone REALLY expect the Tea Partiers to vote for anyone but a Republican?
    The Asheville Tea Party does have ties to Dick Armey/FreedomWorks. Their event were promoted on the ATP blog and their leader Franzi, spoke at the Raleigh rally.
    Way to go Matt. I was hoping someone in WNC would start a local Coffee Party. It’s time to take a stand and counter the yapping from this small but noisy group.

  21. Edward

    Sounds like you could use some caffeine, Tim.

    MattR- saw your interview today, great job.

  22. Piffy!

    [b]rather than a centralized top-down fashion; like the one you wish for.”[/b]

    And that conclusion is based on…. nothing.

  23. self

    I am trying so hard to be interested in this topic of discussion, but i find myself wanting to rather watch paint dry on my wall.

  24. National Tea Party Convention is the name that the organizers gave to that particular event.

    Thanks for enjoying my speech, and for making this thread about me.

  25. Betty Cloer Wallace

    Tim Peck wrote: National Tea Party Convention is the name that the organizers gave to that particular event. Thanks for enjoying my speech, and for making this thread about me.

    Oops, Tim Peck, I didn’t know this thread was “about (you)” or about any “speech” of yours. (Mmmm, rather reminiscent of Carly Simon, isn’t it?)

    Actually, I thought this thread was about the newly organized “Coffee Party,” which I want to know more about.

    But, anyway, since you mentioned the “National Tea Party,” who exactly were the “organizers” of the National Tea Party to whom you referred and who gave the name “to that particular event” (the one you called “the National Tea Party Convention”)?

    Thanks for the information.

    And, for clarification, is the Asheville Tea Party affiliated with the National Tea Party or not? And if so, what exactly is that affiliation? And who organized the recent National Tea Party Convention? And when and where is the next Asheville Tea Party meeting?

  26. “is the Asheville Tea Party affiliated with the National Tea Party or not?”

    There is no national tea party. There are many tea party groups around the country who essentially agree on issues, concerns and values.

    The convention event that was held in Nashville was termed The National Tea Party Convention to invite participants from Tea Party groups from across the nation. This is a perfect example of grassroots, bottom-up coalition-building. If any national coalition is ultimately established, it will be due to an undirected agreement among individual local groups to work together.

  27. Piffy!

    if you disagree with tim peck you hate liberty!

    [b]The convention event that was held in Nashville was termed The National Tea Party Convention to invite participants from Tea Party groups from across the nation. This is a perfect example of grassroots, bottom-up coalition-building.[/b]

    But wait, you said there was NO “National Tea Party”. Also, how is something created by Former GOP operative Dick Armey actually ‘grassroots’?

    [b]If any national coalition is ultimately established, it will be due to an undirected agreement among individual local groups to work together.[/b]

    Does whisky flow like water in magical libertarian land?

  28. Piffy!

    [b]Thanks for enjoying my speech, and for making this thread about me. [/b]

    Well, that is your point isnt it, peck?

  29. ” Also, how is something created by Former GOP operative Dick Armey actually ‘grassroots’?”

    The claim that Dick Armey created the Tea Party Movement is false.

  30. Piffy!

    [b]The claim that Dick Armey created the Tea Party Movement is false. [/b]

    No, your claim that there is ‘no national tea party’ is false.

  31. Do you two REALLY think that you command all of this attention?

    [Siging off from this rabbit hole due to extreme f.r.e.a.k.i.n.g a.s.s boredom.]

  32. UMMM, Matt…
    It is REALLY not a good way to begin a new activist group by stating: “Tired of the Tea Partiers?”. I consider myself very liberal, probably a socialist in some areas. It does not matter if I do not have any desire to go to a Tea Party. The Tea Party, in all its forms, will keep doing its thing. I would like to attend a few of your Coffee Parties, to see if its right for me. But there is no need to express a sentiment that you wish the Tea people will get off the tv news shows and go away.We, as liberals, progressives need to just stay focused on our ideas, hopes, and goals for the U.S. No need to engage the Tea Party folk and get drawn into “discussions” that really lead nowhere- and just keep us from working full time on putting our ideas into creating meaningful actions.

  33. JWTJr

    pffy – Just because Army was one of the first clinger-onners to the upheaval, doesn’t mean it was all his idea … as much as you want it to be.

    What’s wrong with fiscal responsibility? Why are you so against it?

  34. Piffy!

    [b]pffy – Just because Army was one of the first clinger-onners to the upheaval, doesn’t mean it was all his idea … as much as you want it to be.[/b]

    Sorry JW, but he has been connected to it since it’s inception and has been one of the principle founders behind the movement. This is well-documented and no spin of your can change that.

    Sometimes i wonder how Bush won 2 National elections when NO ONE apparently voted for him. Or at least NO ONE connected with this so-called ‘conservative thought’.

    All the people at the tea party apparently were vehemently against big spending under Bush, and yet i dont recall ANY of their rallies prior to his last few months in office. Hmmmmm, i wonder why that is?…..

    [b]What’s wrong with fiscal responsibility? Why are you so against it? [/b]

    What an absurd comment. As if pointing out that the Tea Party has known, direct connection to major GOP players is an attack on “fiscal responsibility”.

  35. Piffy!

    What is wrong with puppies? Why are you so against cute little puppies?

  36. JWTJr

    Explain the NYTimes article.

    Just because you hate puppies, doesn’t mean we all do.

  37. Piffy!

    [b]Explain the NYTimes article.[/b]

    “Explain” it to you? It’s an article. It doesnt debunk proof that FreedomWorks actively funded and effectively created the Tea Party, so I’m not sure how you think it is profe of anything.

    “Explain” FreedomWorks website.

    Look, JW, when the 2012 election rolls around and the TEA party folks actually vote for a non-republican candidate, I’ll believe they aren’t just Republicans who are embarrassed to admit they supported Bush. Until then, I’m going to believe the large, transparent paper-trail heading directly back to Dick Armey’s FreedomWorks. Until you can “Prove” he didn’t entirely manufacture it, I’ll believe the evidence you continue to dismiss with some hyperbole and opinion.

    Shad, whose edward?

  38. Betty Cloer Wallace

    If it quacks like a duck…..

    http://thinkprogress.org/2010/03/15/tea-party-signs-rnc/

    Signage provided by the Republican National Committee at the Tea Party’s “Take The Town Halls to Washington” rally to lobby against health care reform: The Tea Party movement claims to be an independent, grass roots coalition unrelated to either party, but this is not the first time activists have been caught using materials or logistical support provided by Republican operatives or Republican-aligned corporate front groups.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/03/16/march-16-tea-party-protes_n_500591.html

    But on the eve of their final coordinated push to kill health care reform, one of the Tea Party movements key leaders and funders — former Republican leader and lobbyist Dick Armey, head of the group FreedomWorks — said the battle was likely lost.

  39. JWTJr

    Think Progress and the Huffington Post are the best sources you have?

  40. Betty Cloer Wallace

    Pick any “source” you want. The wire services are alive with them. The message is what’s important, not the messenger, and Dick Armey is all over the wire services this week talking about his “Take The Town Halls to Washington” rally.

  41. J

    Betty, I like what you’re saying. “The message is what’s important, not the messenger”.

    Shouldn’t that mean it doesn’t matter what group the Tea Parties belong to, but what their message is?

    Good insights Betty, glad you could straighten everyone out.

  42. JWTJr

    The only issue with that position J is that the messenger is defining the message instead of actually letting the group do it.

  43. Piffy!

    [b]Think Progress and the Huffington Post are the best sources you have? [/b]

    Attacking the messenger is the only tactic you have when the truth contradicts you, huh, jw?

    So, is the link to FreedomWork’s own website i provided above also just liberal propaganda. jw?

    Face it, the tea party is as much an extension of the GOP as this new coffee party is an extension of the DNC. Nothing you say can change that fact.

  44. Piffy!

    [b]Shouldn’t that mean it doesn’t matter what group the Tea Parties belong to, but what their message is?[/b]

    Except that a big part of their message is “We’re not Republicans”. And the rest is just vague platitudes with no realistic, practicle real-world application.

    From what i can tell, no one affiliated with the coffee Party is pretending they wont vote Democrat.

  45. jimmytwotimes

    If the Coffee Party can truly bring a little diplomacy and reason to politics, as they claim, then what is the problem? The moment it becomes a single (or double, whatever) issue anti-“them” forum as has the tea parties then it will be exposed.
    For now, I like what I’m hearing. Maybe Mr. Peck would be a little more accepted if he refrained from vilifying the left and tried to have a conversation like a normal person. This, I think, is the point of the Coffee Party.

  46. Betty Cloer Wallace

    Tim Peck speaks for the Asheville Tea Party. Dick Armey makes the rounds of talk shows as the front man for the National Tea Party fight against health care reform. The Republican National Committee name is blacked out on Tea Party signs. The highly touted Tea Party “Take The Town Halls to Washington” has disappointingly low attendance.

    In the meantime, the ultra-conservative Republican-dominated Texas Board of Education rewrites their history curriculum to replace Thomas Jefferson with John Calvin and Thomas Aquinas; declares that the U.S. is a “constitutional republic” rather than a “democracy”; requires that schools teach “the Judeo-Christian influences” of our nation’s founding rather than “the philosophical rationale for separation of church and state” and the notion that the Constitution prevents “the promotion of one religion over all others”; requires that McCarthyism be included to show how “the Venona papers confirmed suspicions of communist infiltration in U.S. government”; requires that the “conservative resurgence” of the 1980s and 90s includes “Phyllis Schlafly, the Contract With America, the Heritage Foundation, the Moral Majority and the National Rifle Association” but not any “liberal minority rights groups”; eliminates a standard about the difference between “sex” and “gender” because it would lead students into the world of “transvestites, transsexuals and who knows what else”; eliminates Senator Edward Kennedy and Justice Sonia Sotomayor but elevates President Ronald Reagan to more prominent coverage; and removes Tejanos from among the fallen heroes of the Alamo.

    So, unless health care reform is passed soon, the most the Democrats have to show for this week is a Rielle Hunter photo spread with inside scoop about John Edwards.

    All politics is local, albeit far-reaching.

  47. Edward

    JWTJr said: “Explain the NYTimes article.
    Just because you hate puppies, doesn’t mean we all do”.

    The NY Times article suggests that the Tea Party avoids divisive social issues (abortion, gay marriage etc.) and “gives them little attention in their manifestos”. Just because they don’t put them into “manifestos” doesn’t mean they don’t care about those issues or rally their followers with those issues. I can back up my statements with quite a long list of links to our local tea party leader’s blogs. Do to really think they’d be so foolish to put all their “issues” into writing—like their discomfort with the president’s race/supposed religion?

    The best thing the Coffee Party movement can do is counter the lies of tea party with facts. Notice that TP dropped out when presented with facts…

    Oh, I don’t hate puppies.

  48. Edward

    Nice Betty. So the natives are fighting amongst themselves. Thunder Pig should be careful- Franzi is known for her barbeques. I’m predicting a cannibal feast…

  49. kanda

    I thought I was following the discussion pretty well. I have one question. If Tea parties are right wing and coffee parties are left wing what are Tupperware parties?

    Where does Ron Paul the libertarian wingnut fit into this discussion?

  50. dhalgren

    They are fabulous opportunities for meeting new friends! Personally, I would love to go to any party with Tim or Travelah. They are my right wing heroes.

  51. Piffy!

    [b]More evidence that Army is just a clinger-onner. I know you hate this puffy, but your position is incorrect.[/b]

    That article ‘proves’ nothing. It’s opinion.

    He has been a part of it since the beginning, there is a clear paper trail to his organization, and the most recent major tea party gathering had signs supplied by the RNC.

    No one believes your desperate attempt at revising recent history.

  52. Piffy!

    BTW, JW, did you even READ the article you posted a link to? It actually PROVES my point, not refutes it.

    FAIL so hard, dude. Stop trying.

  53. JWTJr

    If that is your idea of proof, I’ll not be hiring you as my lawyer.

  54. jimmytwotimes

    I’ll not be hiring a lawyer that uses terms like “clinger-onner.”

  55. Piffy!

    [b]If that is your idea of proof, I’ll not be hiring you as my lawyer. [/b]

    Dude, it YOUR article that YOU posted that keeps referring to Dick Armey’s FreedomWorks as being the main architect of the Tea Party as we know it today.

  56. JWTJr

    The Tea Party energy started as a grass roots outcry from regular folks. Of course there will be those who want to jump on board and claim credit. Giving the media or a politician or any other group credit for ‘starting’ the whole thing is wrong.

  57. Betty Cloer Wallace

    JWT JR wrote today (4/07/10): “The Tea Party energy started as a grass roots outcry from regular folks. Of course there will be those who want to jump on board and claim credit. Giving the media or a politician or any other group credit for ‘starting’ the whole thing is wrong.”

    So, JWR Jr, as you wrote earlier on this thread (3/11/10)–and you were so correct: “There is a spectrum … however the media and the most politically active are trying to polarize everyone. Its not good for America.”

    Ergo, who exactly did light the match to start the whole Tea Party thing? Was it Rick Santelli of CNBC as Brendan Steinhauser of Freedom Works so stated in that Thunder Pig video last March, the rally in Franklin where Carl Mumpower the Psychologist was the featured speaker?

  58. JWTJr

    A match lights nothing without fuel. The angst of a lot of people started this, not some guy’s idea. They were going to organize regardless.

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