It had to happen. The left has reacted to the Tea Party movement with its own version, the Coffee Party USA. Their statement of principles, if that’s what they are, is remarkably vague. The movement’s main point is that they are for “cooperation,” whereas the Tea Party movement is about “obstructionism.”
This is not a political platform. Its thinly disguised purpose is to hector and shame Republicans into letting the Democrats in Washington, D.C. do what they want. The Dems are not getting things done fast enough for the left, so it’s time to pressure the Republicans to get out of the way. I guarantee that if the Republicans won back the presidency, Senate and House , and if they began to dismantle big government — I know, this is a fantasy — these same people would be shrieking for the Democrats to stop the right. You would hear everywhere, “They stopped the Democrats, now the Democrats must stop them!” The dream of “cooperation” would be conveniently forgotten.
This movement is typical of the New Left, in that it cannot be honest about what it wants. If these people were honest, and capable of thinking in principles, they would say they want socialism. Of course, they can’t say that because it would make the Democrats a party of, I would guess, 15-20% of the population. Honesty on the left means electoral suicide.
When I listen to the Coffee Partiers in their videos, I’m struck by their economic ignorance when they make the rare specific point. One woman argues that socialized medicine — no, of course she doesn’t call it that, but calls it something like, “health care like they have in France” — is cheaper than the slightly freer system we currently have. These people seriously need to read Ayn Rand, Henry Hazlitt, Fredric Bastiat, and then if they got that far, they could go on to Mises. But if they were of the disposition to read these authors, and possessed of the motivation and discipline to study them at length, they wouldn’t be in the Coffee Party movement in the first place.
The woman in the first video (the one standing in the snow with a coffee cup) says at one point that Tea Partiers are motivated by fear of changing demographics. In other words, they are racists. The Tea Party movement has nothing to do with race — it’s about less government and more freedom. But I must admit that it is too bad the anti-immigration Congressman Tom Tancredo had a prominent speech at a recent Tea Party convention, as that makes it seem as if fear of brown people is important to the movement.
The woman in the snow also brings up the old distortion of anarchism — although again, she doesn’t use the word. (Do they consciously conspire to be vague and undefined, or does it just come naturally to these people?) She makes it seem as if Tea Partiers want no government, when most of them want Constitutional government. To leftists, if you think Obama should not be running General Motors, then you’re a wild-eyed, bomb-throwing anarchist.
This movement is based on such uninspiring ideas that it will be interesting to see how long it lasts and how big it grows.