Does the thought of drinking the tea make you gag?
March 13, 2010 12:39 PM   Subscribe

"Fed up with government gridlock, but put off by the flavor of the Tea Party, people in cities across the country are offering an alternative: the Coffee Party. Growing through a Facebook page, the party pledges to “support leaders who work toward positive solutions, and hold accountable those who obstruct them.” (from the New York Times article) posted by Daddy-O (62 comments total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
 
Wake me up when someone forms the Beer Party.
posted by planet at 12:45 PM on March 13, 2010 [4 favorites]


Elaborated, and better constructed, but still a double.
posted by idiopath at 12:46 PM on March 13, 2010


I prefer THE COCKTAIL PARTY

*Nationalize the banks
*Soak the rich with high taxes
*Abolish the Senate
*Abolish the Electoral College
*Free public education through college for all
*Free day care for elders and children
*National health care
*Universal accessibility
*Abolish all student loan, credit card and mortgage debt
*Withdraw from Iraq and Afghanistan, shift resources to the Arts, and to an independent Haiti
*Forgiveness of all debt of developing countries
*Outlaw invidious discrimination
*Abolish prisons for all non violent crime, prioritize community rehabilitation for all crime
*Decriminalize sex work and drugs
*Open borders
*Abolish marriage

posted by R. Mutt at 12:56 PM on March 13, 2010 [42 favorites]


Well it's linked in the FPP, but I couldn't figure out why this new FPP was still posted.
posted by cashman at 12:57 PM on March 13, 2010


Don't forget the Decaf Green Tea Party.
posted by fixedgear at 12:58 PM on March 13, 2010 [1 favorite]


I was doing my normal thing a couple days ago, and stumbleupon gave me this.

I wasn't really sure what to think of it.
posted by ArgentCorvid at 1:04 PM on March 13, 2010 [1 favorite]


I actually would prefer this to remain up. It has a double link in it, but it isn't the whole of the post, whereas the previous post was just three links to different "alternative" "parties".
posted by edgeways at 1:04 PM on March 13, 2010


I feel informed.
posted by b2walton at 1:10 PM on March 13, 2010


Daddiy-O asked if a more substantial post about that one element would be okay, I said sure. As you were.
posted by cortex at 1:11 PM on March 13, 2010 [2 favorites]


So that's what the new thing everyone in my FB stream is joining is.
posted by immlass at 1:18 PM on March 13, 2010


Looks like they're still for Don't ask don't tell, or at least for partially keeping it, as opposed to a full repeal.

The problem is, they don't actually have any positions on anything, other then how politicians should talk to one another, which about the least important thing imaginable for the lives of real Americans.
posted by delmoi at 1:23 PM on March 13, 2010 [7 favorites]


Wow, a Facebook page and people meeting in coffee shops? Sounds like a real revolution!
posted by Lukenlogs at 1:25 PM on March 13, 2010 [5 favorites]


Shorter the Coffee party: "We are going to stand up and say to our leaders: 'Don't bother us with all these details, just work it out amoung yourselves. Whatever you come up with will be fine, I'm sure.'"
posted by delmoi at 1:25 PM on March 13, 2010 [4 favorites]


I love tea and coffee and hate to see them steeped in politics like this. Honestly, all this partisanship just looks like trouble brewing to me; we should do our best to keep our tempers from boiling over, else in our opposition we further divide people and end up as the pot calling the kettle black. A populace that works itself into such a froth may descend into mob rule.

Still, our current crises are grounds for vigorous political debate. It is no longer the time to sugarcoat our language for fear of stirring the pot. Wall St. and Main St., from the poorest to those born with a silver spoon, must split the sacrifice half and half, with none allowed to skim the cream off the top. We must hold the bean-counters responsible and milk the stimulus for all it's worth.
posted by Grimp0teuthis at 1:35 PM on March 13, 2010 [24 favorites]


Anyway the whole thing is, just, so vapid there is zero actual policy advocacy at all. I had to dig around on the forums to find the Good Ideas to promote change forum, on which someone had posted the DADT compromise idea.

There is no policy advocacy at all. These people don't stand for anything. It's like people who like the form of policy and engagement without actually any of the messiness of real disagreements -- so they avoid it by not actually advocating for anything.
posted by delmoi at 1:37 PM on March 13, 2010 [4 favorites]


I understand what you are saying delmoi, but process does matter. If someone disagrees with you there is a big difference between arguing about the issue and going batshitinsane and calling your mother a pockmarked whore, even if that is what the person across from you is doing. One of the worse things an asshole can do to you is turn you into another asshole.

Yeah, you know, I'm right there with all y'all in skepticism about if this would have any affect on anything. But, it is something worthwhile and I think I'll avoid the cool disdainful mocking for now.
posted by edgeways at 1:39 PM on March 13, 2010 [6 favorites]


I guess a DADT compromise would be to let people join if they lie that they're straight, but then let them come out and stay in the military? That's the best I can think of, and it's disappointing for both sides.

I agree with Delmoi. Compromising for the sake of compromising isn't policy. These people are saying "Wouldn't it be nicer if we made the sausage factory prettier, and used less gross things to make the sausages? Yes, the sausages wouldn't be the same, or even good, but what about the aesthetics?"
posted by mccarty.tim at 1:46 PM on March 13, 2010


I prefer the lemon party.
posted by gyc at 1:53 PM on March 13, 2010


Lemon Party

not what you think
posted by mccarty.tim at 1:57 PM on March 13, 2010 [4 favorites]


I prefer the Real Coffee Party.
posted by thescientificmethhead at 1:58 PM on March 13, 2010


One of the worse things an asshole can do to you is turn you into another asshole.

I can think of worse things. Like raising taxes on 90% of the country but somehow lowering revenues and making the deficit bigger. Or privatizing Social Security. Or filibustering literally everything that comes before the Senate, even though you wind up voting for it in the final analysis. I would much rather every single person involved in government and politics be turned into assholes than any of those things happen.
posted by aaronetc at 2:00 PM on March 13, 2010 [2 favorites]


I think the "compromise" in the process is the in-fact sausage making. And there is no way around that, whatever process is involved. Whenever you have hundreds of people involved in decision making the end result will not satisfy anyone completely.

Someone recently wrote that an element of the problems we currently having is because Congress people go home so often. Instead of building relations with their community (congress) they maintain close provincial ties and hold close the regionalism that engenders.
This, in effect, means they are more prone to rapid changes in local public sentiment and the more visible the outrage that is able to be manufactured the better. The Senate is not a "deliberative body" anymore, partially because of communication and transportation technology makes them continually vulnerable, even with a 6 year term.

The concept of Congress being continually directly responsible to it's constituents sounds noble, and sounds like it is something worth supporting. Sometimes I really question this though. Upon reflection it seems a complicated issue, because neither should a Senator be left to his own devices without oversight, or be so "in tune" that he is unable to do anything but vote exactly the way his constituents want him to every step of the way.

Congress means, literally, to come together, what we have now.. well we may as well just let congress members stay home and vote from there.
posted by edgeways at 2:01 PM on March 13, 2010


It's beginning to look a lot, like, Red-dit.
posted by cashman at 2:02 PM on March 13, 2010 [2 favorites]


I'm going to start the Black Tar Heroin Party, for those of us that just don't give a fuck anymore. We could show up to counter-protest tea party rallies with signs saying "SCREW YOUR GOD WE'RE ON THE NOD".
posted by DecemberBoy at 2:04 PM on March 13, 2010 [8 favorites]


I like a lot of the Cocktail Party platform, but abolishing marriage is just stupid. Forcing the government to recognize many different kinds of marriages and to treat all people wishing to enter into a marriage contract fairly and equally is great. Abolishing the institution entirely is cutting off your nose to spite your face.
posted by oddman at 2:05 PM on March 13, 2010


The natives are indeed restless.
posted by Cranberry at 2:06 PM on March 13, 2010


Like junkies would ever get around to finishing signs...
posted by Artw at 2:18 PM on March 13, 2010 [1 favorite]


I like a lot of the Cocktail Party platform, but abolishing marriage is just stupid. Forcing the government to recognize many different kinds of marriages and to treat all people wishing to enter into a marriage contract fairly and equally is great. Abolishing the institution entirely is cutting off your nose to spite your face.

And about as popular as, well, the Cocktail Party.
posted by codswallop at 2:26 PM on March 13, 2010


As someone who misspent his youth playing D&D, I am hoping for the Adventuring Party. The deficit problem will be solved by hauling back the hoard of gold the hobgoblins of Thunder Mountain are guarding. Medicare will be handled by the clerics.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 2:34 PM on March 13, 2010 [7 favorites]


Thanks for reminding me that it's 5 PM EST, and I have a martini glass in the freezer.
posted by Ella Fynoe at 2:37 PM on March 13, 2010


I think what this country needs most is a Donner Party.
posted by Legomancer at 2:37 PM on March 13, 2010 [6 favorites]


Planet, look at the link that idiopath posted to the previous. You will find that my friend and I have already discussed that. :)

"Beer Party, cuz Tea is for Sissies" (yes, I know it's pretty homophobic *sigh* but it's kinda mocking them in their own game)
posted by symbioid at 2:44 PM on March 13, 2010


"Like junkies would ever get around to finishing signs...
posted by Artw at 4:18 PM"


As a junkie, I
posted by symbioid at 2:52 PM on March 13, 2010 [4 favorites]


Wow--some groundbreaking work by the NYT. That's how you deliver the truly newsworthy. Give me more--tell me what was said by the 30 people at the last coffee party meeting. I just love this stuff--reading about the tea party and Sarah Palin definitely proves Reublicans are idiots.


Thing is though, there are about 100 million Republicans in the US, so what are the other 99.99997% of the Republican party up to these days?
posted by stevenstevo at 3:00 PM on March 13, 2010


One of the worse things an asshole can do to you is turn you into another asshole.

If you turn into an asshole who passes legislation, then no, I disagree. This kind of thinking is part of the liberal retreat from politics proper and into psychologizing every issue. CNN has a quote from the founder that made my head asplode:
[The two-party system] encourages people to think of politics as a kind of game, like a football game, in which there are two sides, and it's a zero sum situation. If one person wins, the other person loses. That's really not a healthy way to conduct collective decision-making. That's not a democracy.
No, that's exactly what democracy is--your side wins and the other side loses, and then you get to pass whatever legislation you like as long as it's constitutional. But no, this is "telling people how to live" and we can't risk that. Instead, let's psychologize everything, talk about hate and intolerance and understanding each others differences until magically, a consensus emerges, and no-one wants to filibuster any more.

This is the Romantic position that Hegel called the "beautiful soul", who claims to have exited the evil world, and focuses on their own moral and psychological purity so that winning at politics is an intolerable corruption. Far from the solution, this is everything that weighs the Left down.
posted by AlsoMike at 3:10 PM on March 13, 2010 [4 favorites]


Process is more important than policy, because with the right process you can get to the right policies, but the reverse is not true. It's like (any other) science - if you apply the good ol' scientific method, you will do far better with any new question than if your previous method was, say, shaking tealeaves and interpreting the patterns they form. By sheer luck, and moderated by the basic common sense you presumably have, the tealeaves may have led you to answers that aren't too horribly bad (although I would argue that in fact, the answers provided by the tealeaves of democracy are mostly bad, if not horribly so) in the past, but there is no guarantee of that in the future without a good process for finding new answers.

The policy formation process of the Tea Party seems to me to be "whatever bigoted and stupid assholes think, that's the policy." That of the Republican Party seems to be "whatever will most benefit the people who are currently most wealthy and most evil, that's the policy". As far as I can tell the Democrats don't really have a policy formation process other than "if it looks like it might get us elected, that's the policy, although if we actually get elected, it may turn out that it's not the policy after all". Next to these, this Coffee Party sounds pretty good.
posted by aeschenkarnos at 3:12 PM on March 13, 2010 [2 favorites]


Wow--some groundbreaking work by the NYT. That's how you deliver the truly newsworthy. Give me more--tell me what was said by the 30 people at the last coffee party meeting. I just love this stuff--reading about the tea party and Sarah Palin definitely proves Reublicans are idiots.


Thing is though, there are about 100 million Republicans in the US, so what are the other 99.99997% of the Republican party up to these days?


There are 55 million Republicans. 72 million Democrats and 44 million Independents. And like it or not, Sarah Palin and the Teabaggers are setting GOP policy for now.
posted by stavrogin at 3:32 PM on March 13, 2010


Speaking as an outside observer, isn't what you really need a Democratic party willing to fucking sack up already?
posted by mhoye at 3:34 PM on March 13, 2010 [3 favorites]


I like the idea, but a google banner ad for Ann Coulter scared me away from their website.
posted by sswiller at 3:54 PM on March 13, 2010


I like a lot of the Cocktail Party platform, but abolishing marriage is just stupid.

I agree with the abolition of marriage as a state-endorsed institution. Allow churches (or other organizations) to perform marriages, and allow the state to only hand out civil union certificates.

That way, any church could agree or refuse to marry anyone to anyone else, allowing these groups to exercise free expression. You want to enter into a homosexual marriage? Find a church (or chapel or guru or etc) that'll do it. Want to marry a fish or a car or an idea? Fine, but the legal rights that are attached to marriage are attached to the civil union, which has certain guidelines (i.e. "you must both be adult humans"). You won't get to visit your fish in the hospital.

Sure, a state like Texas could abolish civil unions for gay couples, or someone could carry out child-marriages that are recognized by their deity but not the state, but how is that different from what we have now?
posted by maus at 3:57 PM on March 13, 2010 [2 favorites]


Speaking as a Democrat, we are incapable of sacking up already. We are still waiting for the bell to ring that indicates when the pizza is ready.
posted by localhuman at 3:58 PM on March 13, 2010 [1 favorite]


I think what this country needs most is a Donner Party.

We will have that when the republicans turn on each other at their convention.
posted by R. Mutt at 3:59 PM on March 13, 2010 [1 favorite]


A Coffee Party sounds like holdovers from the '90's bemoaning how everything has gone downhill since Nirvana and Friends...
posted by Alexandra Kitty at 4:01 PM on March 13, 2010 [1 favorite]


Speaking as an outside observer, isn't what you really need a Democratic party willing to fucking sack up already?

Yes. Many liberals think of Republicans as the staunch defenders of laissez-faire capitalism and of the Dems as quailing, but surely sincere, proponents of regulation and a fair shake for all. But whenever the chips are down, the Democratic Party demonstrates every time that it, like the GOP, gains more from preserving the status quo than effecting any real structural change. The Dems are just as deeply bought as the GOP, and what is there in their policy record, over the last several decades, to suggest otherwise?

I'm not even asking for radical change; just living up to their rhetoric would do. Example: Do we have the votes for adding a public option in the Senate, through reconciliation? It would appear so. Has the Democratic leadership been advocating for a public option for the past year? Yes. Are we going to pass a public option? Of course not! Now the Democratic leadership is actually whipping its members against the public option. It was never about Lieberman or Nelson; the Democratic leadership simply doesn't want it.
posted by cirripede at 4:17 PM on March 13, 2010 [1 favorite]


What would the Democrats be "sacking up" for? Their particular share of representation of the rich?

"As a British person trying to understand American politics you have to know that there are two main parties. There are the Republicans, who are the equivalent of our Conservative party, and the Democrats, who are the equivalent of our Conservative party."
posted by howfar at 4:19 PM on March 13, 2010 [7 favorites]


Of course, in order to understand British politics, you need to know that there is the Labour party, who are the equivalent of our Conservative party...&c.
posted by howfar at 4:20 PM on March 13, 2010 [2 favorites]


@cirripede, what you said.
posted by howfar at 4:22 PM on March 13, 2010


Mark my words. The Democratic leadership are going to use the public option like the Republicans use abortion. Promise your constituents you're going to fix it, and then stop just short of fixing it every time. It's too valuable as a recruiting and motivating tool to lose by actually executing policy.

But yes, we need more parties. We need bigger Libertarian and Green parties, and a bunch of others. The first step toward making this possible is eliminating gerrymandering. Districts should be drawn up by computer to include equal populations in as compact regions as possible. Maybe it would output three or four possible configurations and a panel of politically insulated judges would pick the best one.
posted by vibrotronica at 6:02 PM on March 13, 2010 [2 favorites]


[The two-party system] encourages people to think of politics as a kind of game, like a football game, in which there are two sides, and it's a zero sum situation. If one person wins, the other person loses. That's really not a healthy way to conduct collective decision-making. That's not a democracy.

No, that's exactly what democracy is--your side wins and the other side loses, and then you get to pass whatever legislation you like as long as it's constitutional.
Are you familiar with the phrase in corporate environments, "disagree and commit?"

Look, decisions need to be made, one way or the other. The third option -- endless gridlock -- is actually worse than nothing. Like, not in terms of morals, but in terms of actual wealth generated / success achieved / raw survival. All shared power structures require some degree of cooperation, or almost by definition they are no longer shared.

At the point where you have a senator asked why he's fiibustering the nominee to run the Air Force, and his reply is "I don't know", something is broken. A vacuum has formed, and frankly, nobody is in charge.

There is too much money at stake for there to be nobody in charge.

Anyway, the Coffee party is ridiculous unless there's some sign it's attracting Republicans. It's not a competitor to the Tea Party. It's just a reflection of the underlying complaint of the Democrats, which is that the system is too broken for them to wield any power.
posted by effugas at 7:35 PM on March 13, 2010


Anyway, the Coffee party is ridiculous unless there's some sign it's attracting Republicans. It's not a competitor to the Tea Party. It's just a reflection of the underlying complaint of the Democrats, which is that the system is too broken for them to wield any power.

Okay. Stop here. Let's try this. The Map is Not the Territory.

Or in this case, the "party" is not the people. This equivalence does not exist. Except in the media.

In this specific sense, people are drawn to an idea. But then the idea is twisted by the people who, well, twist these things.

I have a friend that actually believes some of the things that the "Tea Party" is supposed to believe. But if I dig deeper he isn't a mindless drone trumpeting what the party is supposed to believe.

He is certainly interested in it. And from my point of view he's way off base.

But he is still a friend, and he is just worried about things that he can't control.

So am I.

But I haven't linked my mental wagon to any particular imaginary horse. While he has found support in the people, the fucking people that he has met at these meetings.

Fuck, I'm way beyond labels. I am not a Democrat anymore. But I like some of their ideas. I'm way over being a Liberal, but I was, back in the fucking 70s.

But back then I was a kid who believed in a lot of shit.

For instance I believed that politics were black and white.

HA! Back then, I actually believed in politics.

Now that is a joke if I ever heard one.

When politicians speak they lie. When the followers of political concepts speak they usually repeat lies.

I guess that makes me a rationalist anarchist.

But then labels piss me off.

So I'm just me, with a voice that's drowned out by morons and their followers. And a bad attitude fueled by alcohol.

Hey. Now that I like.
posted by Splunge at 8:17 PM on March 13, 2010 [1 favorite]


Are you familiar with the phrase in corporate environments, "disagree and commit?"

Corporations are run for the benefit of the people on top. (And before you start in: in theory they are run for the benefit of shareholders, in practice, not really)

Look, decisions need to be made, one way or the other. The third option -- endless gridlock -- is actually worse than nothing.

That's debatable. Certainly the world would have been better off if the Democrats had filibustered the Iraq war.

Also Glenn Greenwald had a good point about the Filibuster and the "powerlessness" of the democrats:
In response, advocates of the public option kept arguing that the public option could be accomplished by reconciliation -- where only 50 votes, not 60, would be required -- but Obama loyalists scorned that reconciliation proposal, insisting (at least before the Senate passed a bill with 60 votes) that using reconciliation was Unserious, naive, procedurally impossible, and politically disastrous.

But all those claims were put to the test -- all those bluffs were called -- once the White House decided that it had to use reconciliation to pass a final health care reform bill. That meant that any changes to the Senate bill (which had passed with 60 votes) -- including the addition of the public option -- would only require 50 votes, which Democrats assured progressives all year long that they had. Great news for the public option, right? Wrong. As soon as it actually became possible to pass it, the 50 votes magically vanished.
The democrats were never powerless. They were trying to use the republicans as cover for selling out to big health care. Had they (as a group) actually wanted a public option, for example, they could have done it with 50 votes at any time. Some of the things in HRC (like Mandates) couldn't have been done that way, but now it's a question everything reconcilable + everything in the senate bill.
posted by delmoi at 8:19 PM on March 13, 2010 [2 favorites]


From one of the local meetups listed at the site: "Join us to help launch the Coffee Party Movement at the starbucks in Target!"

Nothing says "enact progressive change" like meeting up at a Starbucks inside a Target.
posted by Alt F4 at 8:21 PM on March 13, 2010 [2 favorites]


Out of curiosity, how many of you making fun of the idea are actually involved in some manner in political activism of any kind? Because there are many people who love to sit at their computer, indulge in their cynicism, and poke holes in every effort others make, without actually doing a damn thing themselves. I want to know how many people here are actually involved in attempting to change things.

I went to a gathering today. I have no idea if it's going to go anywhere, or exactly what the goal of the Coffee Party is going to be. But I know sitting on my ass and mocking isn't going to change a single god damn thing.

Sure, go ahead, make fun. I'm not under any illusion that a short drive to sit in a bookstore for a couple hours to talk about the issues that are most important to me (real election reforms such as serious campaign finance reform, and approval voting to break the two-party system) counts as real activism. But it's more than I've ever done before, and it's a way to try and break the inertia of doing nothing. Would you rather those thousands of Americans today that went out and got involved, even in a small way, just went and bought themselves McDonalds, rented a video, and went back to being good consumers instead?
posted by evilangela at 9:59 PM on March 13, 2010 [2 favorites]


Ok, I wrote my meandering frustration and explanation of why a party of Meh is something that scares me first (now below)... but want to address the question that just came in seriously before that, because I think that the many of the critiques above are interesting; I personally dislike "new&improved" repackaged versions of the same old things, "new and improved" versions which further fragment progressive social movements... this idea seems to be one of those things. (no historical significance, or deeper meaning to the name, just a joke that only makes sense in this short time span, and it allows "teapartiers" to "own" the "tea party" concept... we just look like followers to a bad idea party.)

Also Coffee party sounds like a joke, an easy shot play on the 'tea party'... but I don't simply want another group that can accrete power without plainly stating their goals... and without having anything to speak to. But again, criticism will only break something that is poorly constructed, and if there are ideas here that are valuable; we need to share them; and allow them to be criticized and commented upon ... I can't find those ideas. I don't think we need another social activism group that sits on it's hands rather than stepping into the big issues brains first, with a powerful message, and answers... There is nothing that makes for a scary and easily uncontrollable political movement like "mystery meat policy platforms" {see; tea party}

Meaningful critique, and public debate of our ideas are the only way a society can move towards that which is closer to expressing and representing the much sought ''general will''.

_______
Yeeeah, we vitally need more nebulous groups with uncertain goals representing abstract concepts for us to join; exactly whot we need, we need to do what we haven't done in DECADES... WE the progressive communist red party members need to learn how to compromise... Less belligerence from progressives... the Left has been WAY too aggressive... just look at how health care has been shoved down our throats, now we have people getting care THAT THEY NEVER PAYED FOR...the horror! (why is there an "anti-healthreform" ad on the coffee party page?) and not just health care... also the banks have had regulation put back onto them, and also we have reformed how we treat people we disagree with in the world (we could never go back to "cold-warring" again) , and also we have never tortured people, and also we have brought forth legislation to bring about equal rights for ALL people in this great nation... er,wait. Looks like that was an alternate time-line. But sure... I'll bite... why don't we make all of our political parties be symbolized by various confections.


Two wars that we kinda are just "in" {read, no "goals" [and worse, the 'modern right' acts like to "set goals" is to tell "them" how to "beat" us... like all it will take is a good game of double and triple fake out, and thennnnn we will win...], no "definite strategy to achieve those goals", no "looking back" to see "why" we are over there}, undeclared further expansions of drone attacks... honestly; how many people can we attack from drones before someone(see; international community) says... nope... not sitting for it anymore. And we will be back full circle, 'rallying 'round our base'.

Taxes (cut for some wickedly wealthy people, bottom line being; generations of needless debt.)
Fist-cull conservatives who get to spend our entire savings account on things that benefit society 0.000%...(in fact harming our society, and our credibility as a non-insane nation {see; a nation that does not attack people before they have attacked us}, and even when people do inevitably do eventually attack us again... we should, nay, we must have a stronger sense of self than to do what was done, to turn around and say it's a galactic battle of good and teh evil... and consequently give in our most fundamental and basic Rights... because when that wider scaled battle comes (see; how our invasion of Afghanistan destabilized the balance of understood power between Russia, China, Iran, and in fact all of the Middle Eastern States...let's go with the whole globe) we will certainly be getting called on having cried Wolf... which removes our ability to react swiftly and justly and with powerful and broad coalitions when in fact we DO need to mobilize for the common defense.
And after draining our collective communal bank account; our patriotic fist-cull conservatives get to turn around and call everyone and their mother socialisticfascists who eat soylent people... and other similar non sequitur.

yeah... they will SHIRLEY listen if we had just stopped being so MEAN to them... I mean... the way we let them call us "loons" for opposing wars of choice... that was sure mean of us.

Then when we tried to get money and aid distributed to the victims (voluntary heroes, the rescue workers) of 9/11 {who have been dying at a heartbreaking pace, ignored by the government, and pushed out of the public's minds}, and Katrina, and we got to be lumped and labeled as the highly loaded and obviously derogatory "truthers" &/or "traitors" &/or "terrorists" for speaking and fund raising on behalf of those people (there is a serious and growing contingent of people who loved when President Bush used 9/11 to tell us to go shopping at Disney, but when people come along trying to raise money for the real heroes of the day... they have nothing but a bad aggressive attitude. And then we defended ourselves by explaining that we love America also, and we are not traitors, as they accused us of being...

Don't even get me started on allowing the Legislators of our nation to know that Gay people existed, and that those gay people didn't like the way they get treated like possessions of the state, incapable of knowing love, and thus not "allowed" by our infallible governments to get a marriage... well that was just cruel of us to do... maybe we should have kept pretending that everyone was JUST LIKE THEM. (rightwingerz)
Then we would be better off today... it was too much opinioning in the 2000's... THAT'S what was wrong. THAT'S why the Banks failed.

In a world where the most "posh" republican just made an Ad that literally equates LAWYERS of criminals to the PERPETRATORS of those crimes... so, well, yeah... bottom line-- it's a dirty fight a brewin'...
Sounds like this is an "EXTRA-FINE ground specialty coffee with steamed milk party" here... How bout a "the whole coffee bean in a cup of scalding water" party... some progressive people who will fight (with our pens.) for a future that doesn't include billions of pages for a piece of legislation that should look like this;
1Public administration 2Comprehensiveness 3Universality 4Portability 5Accessibility.

Why bother... I oppose aspects of the patriot act (another billion odd page document that should rather read thusly... 1: "Find, Capture, and put to justice those responsible for planning and perpetrating the reprehensible and disgusting acts of that day."... so obs. I can't be a patriot. My bad. I forgot that you need a thousand pages to say all that.


Also; Tea is amazing... this is getting ridiculous. Let's have an IDEAS PARTY.
I mean, I like what she's saying, that we need civility... but we also can't shy away from strongly and powerfully speaking to the outright manipulation of fear that have been the tactics of the party of insults and negativity. There are companies with massive budgets ex. fox, which do nothing but make manipulative fear mongering propaganda... this needs to be countered... it is not well countered by "other media groups", nor is it well countered by not addressing issues and policy directly.
We already have a whole party that sits on its hands even at times of vital importance to how this nation is governed.
We may or may not be progressive. We also roar.
I think we should Take back Tea before we give up and move onto Coffee.
THIS is our line... this is where we draw a line in the sand... you will never take the greatness that is the real Tea Party away from us; this is where we will do brain battles... because this. is. America.
/removes tongue from cheek; looks around. Giggles. Performs a drive-by Hugging of the tea party, and tries to think about planning for a more sensible co-operative future. ( shirley that's what they are deficient in at their parties... quality hugs at a reasonable price... I mean ever since they started hiring private contractors to do all their hugging for them, efficiency rates have gone up... but the quality of service has fallen off the map. )
posted by infinite intimation at 11:11 PM on March 13, 2010


lol @ the clever alternative parties.
posted by crystalsparks at 12:01 AM on March 14, 2010


Are you familiar with the phrase in corporate environments, "disagree and commit?"

Corporations are run for the benefit of the people on top. (And before you start in: in theory they are run for the benefit of shareholders, in practice, not really)
Well, this is true, in the sense that you're dying, or that World War II can be explained as the interaction of a great many number of quarks.

But it's not particularly helpful.

One thing I've been telling people is: "Anyone who thinks a large company, is just one company, has never worked at a large company." The reality is that corporations are, uniformly, collections of fiefdoms that hopefully work together, and certainly can impact one another, but do not by any means think with one mind.

That's what's wrong with thinking, "well, it's all about what the guy on top wants". This is Captain Picard syndrome, the thought that all problems could be solved if only the guy on top pointed his finger and said, "Make it so." Doesn't work like that.

How things do work -- in real world fiefdoms -- is that a group of small kingdoms will need to cooperate to do something. Whatever they do needs to get worked out, but if nothing is done, everybody loses. So you have this interesting negotiating requirement where decisions need to be made, and then executed on, because the marginal value differential between the best decision and the worst decision exceeds the cost of the decision making process itself.

If it wasn't for disagree and commit -- the process by which you go along and implement even the things you disagree with -- nothing would get done.

The Democrats allowed disagree and commit during the Bush years. The Republicans aren't even letting through Air Force generals they don't even know why they're blocking. It's a very expensive problem.
posted by effugas at 1:35 AM on March 14, 2010 [2 favorites]


Whether it is thus far very well thought out or not, that a Coffee Party is needed is a statement not as hard to argue.
But the conversation ran aground when he asked a fundamental question: Shouldn't the government help low-income people afford basic health insurance?

"No!" most of the visitors shouted.

"Some of you are never going to agree with me," Altmire said.

The tea party group, he knew, didn't fully reflect his district...

Will the 'Blue Dogs' hunt for Obama?
Whether this nascent Coffee Party ever takes wing and serves a purpose beyond a mere call to political arms, at least, it does that. These are volatile, momentuous times and people very much need to wake up and, ahem, smell the coffee.
posted by y2karl at 12:20 PM on March 14, 2010


Starbucks at work?
posted by notreally at 5:39 PM on March 14, 2010


This Tea Party thing is, I think, the GOP's attempt to pull the rightmost of the independents off of Obama's bandwagon by constantly pounding the drum of socialism and complaining about the deficit. The democrats could probably outflank this by serious financial reform, but I don't see that happening.
posted by atchafalaya at 7:09 PM on March 14, 2010 [1 favorite]


My impression of who the tea parties represents is still evolving. If I had to form my opinions on any social demographic using individuals I met on the bus as typical representatives of said groups, I would really be a misanthrope. So, I try to keep in mind that the yahoos photographed at tea party rallies are more likely the exceptions than the rule.

From the polling results I have seen, it seems a large portion are more well off than the average bear--which tends to make me see the movement as being primarily a bunch of Screw-You-I've-Got-Miners, for whom it's all about the money and more specifically, their money. They want to keep theirs and to hell with any concept of any social contract whatsoever. See here, for example.
posted by y2karl at 10:05 AM on March 15, 2010


Well, this is true, in the sense that you're dying, or that World War II can be explained as the interaction of a great many number of quarks.

But it's not particularly helpful.
Not helpful to what?
That's what's wrong with thinking, "well, it's all about what the guy on top wants". This is Captain Picard syndrome, the thought that all problems could be solved if only the guy on top pointed his finger and said, "Make it so." Doesn't work like that.
That's not what I said. What I said was that the corporations are run for the benefit of those on top. They make decisions in order to maximize their own personal utility. Whether that's wealth, power, prestige, whatever. Ultimately that could mean doing things like laying off entire departments if they think it will boost share prices. Should you "disagree and commit" to implementing layoffs? In a corporate setting, that would be reasonable. There's no equivalent to 'layoffs' in a government, but imagine that there was.

Like say the federal government wanted to condemn an entire town and force everyone to move out in order to do something that would only benefit a few people. Would you expect a governor, or the representatives from that town to support it? Obviously not.
bla bla bla fiefdoms, etc
Well, you did get one thing right, in the corporate world, the vast majority of us are serfs with no power whatsoever. That's not a good way to run a democracy.
posted by delmoi at 8:03 PM on March 16, 2010 [2 favorites]


delmoi,

What you aren't seeing is that power at the top doesn't extend all the way down, even if -- especially if -- people at the top wish it did.

Corporations aren't run for the benefit of those on top. They're run for the benefit of one or two levels of management up. There's a difference. Just because my boss's boss is dong the bidding of his boss's boss, does not mean I am doing the bidding of my boss^4. The further away someone is in the organization, the _less_ -- not the _more_ power they have.

Budgets and the like are used to try to exert control across such intra-organizational boundaries, but they only work so well.

The point I'm trying to make is that, just as shareholders have only loose control over management, upper management has only loose control over middle management, and middle management has only loose control over the peons. The precise amount of control varies from company to company, division to division, and (most tellingly) market segment to market segment, but yeah, things are so much more complex than you think.

To address a specific point you're making, government has layoffs all the time. They're called budget cuts. Stand back and watch the upcoming evisceration of NASA if you don't believe government does that. And you may have noted the recent Kelo decision from the Supreme Court, which held that a town could absolutely force a bunch of people to move, in order to benefit a few developers and its own tax stream. Government has its own rules, but they aren't that different.
posted by effugas at 6:26 PM on March 18, 2010


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