Think that the fledgling Coffee Party movement wants bigger
government, more social welfare programs and the higher taxes that
inevitably accompany them? Well, think again. On CNN
yesterday, we learned that simply isn't accurate.
Anchors T.J. Holmes and Brooke Baldwin set up a report from one Coffee
HOLMES: All right. TEA party might have some competition
out there. This time yesterday we were telling you about the national
kickoff of a new political movement calling themselves the Coffee party.
BALDWIN: Well, they were heading out to coffee shops across the
country yesterday. And apparently the turnout was pretty strong, but
still we are asking, what is this group really about? Who are these
people? These coffee drinkers?
CNN's Pat St. Claire (ph) takes a look at why some activists prefer
their politics with a jolt of java.
After a couple of participants at the event identified themselves:
PAT ST. CLAIRE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The folks gathered at
this Washington coffee house Saturday came for more than just a cup of
Enter the Coffee party. A new organization that also says it wants
smaller government and lower taxes, but builds itself as a more civil
alternative to the better known TEA party movement, a group known for
it's boisterous rallies.
D.C. area documentary filmmaker, Annabel Park, started the group on
The report continued with a comment by Park and mention of her
working for Barack Obama's election.
This isn't the first time the media have asserted
the Coffee Party favors smaller government and lower taxes. That's
belied in part by Annabel Park's own statement
during a February 26, 2010 Washington Post online discussion:
Many of the people who have found refuge in the Coffee
Party community are among the 53% of America who supported candidate
Obama's vision for our nation's future. They are disconcerted by the
vision that is being expressed through some of the Tea Party activities
and some of their leaders' statements.
I don't know of many people who voted for Obama because he supported
the concept of smaller government. And people "disconcerted by the
vision" of Tea Parties don't sound like folks eagerly embracing lower
In a Saturday Christian Science Monitor piece, staff writer Patrik
this difference between the activist groups:
Even if the messages sound the same, the two movements
differ in substantive ways. Tea partyers tend to berate the federal
government as a whole (or most of it). Coffee partyers seem to be more
in favor of government involvement – as in envisioning a greater role
for government in the future of healthcare – but denounce the
"corporatocracy" that holds sway in Washington.
And what of anchor Brooke Baldwin's statement that "apparently the
turnout was pretty strong" at Saturday's coffee parties? That's vague;
all she needed do was toss in an "allegedly." But what does "pretty
strong" mean? In Peoria,
Illinois, six people showed up at the coffee party there. The Pocatello,
Idaho event "drew more than a dozen citizens." In
Naples, Florida, it was a "small group that met at Burkett’s
vitamin store." According to The Daily Caller, one meeting in Washington,
D.C. drew five activists. Coffee parties attracted "about 40" people
Georgia, and Kansas
City, Missouri. A New
York City participant was disappointed to arrive and find only five
people - one was a reporter - there. Thankfully, others arrived
although fashionably late and they ended up with about 25 in
attendance. A picture of an event in Stowe,
Massachusetts features only three people, with the comment "Small
gathering given rain, last minute call, and busy lives."
Looks like some of the folks at CNN have something new to drink. In
addition to the usual Kool-Aid, they're favoring some steaming hot
coffee these days.