Last Saturday The Coffee Party launched its first set of meetings, but as described in Newsweek, Annabel was shocked to discover the tone was not all that she had imagined. She had anticipated a coming together of engaged, intelligent citizens who had tired of the angry rhetoric and accusations she felt represented the Tea Partiers. She imagined people of all political persuasions joining in a spirit of equanimity to discuss the nation's problems, and maybe even share a laugh. That's not quite what unfolded down at Busboys and Poets, a hip bookstore in Washington DC.
"But from the moment folks in the crowd stood up to speak their minds, Park knew these people had not come to sip cappuccinos and set an example of civility for an overheated nation. They were angry. They hated the Tea Party, and the Republican Party. They wanted to get even. "
Wow, that's a lot of hostility, man.
"Park, a 42-year-old Korean-American with a smile that can only be described as "kind," regularly tried to steer the talk back to the group's more centrist principles. But when someone asked how many people in the room were Republicans, all 80 hands remained down. "I like the civility idea, but I hate the Tea Party people," said attendee Karen Anderson."
Hate? Hate is a pretty strong word, Karen. And Annabel isn't really into hate. That's what this protest, or counter-protest, was all about...you know, an anti-hate movement.
"By the end of the event, some in the crowd had decided the movement, barely two months old at the time, needed a new leader. China Dickerson, a 26-year-old community organizer, said the Coffee Party wouldn't last "unless we get someone a little more powerful to head it." She wanted a rabble-rouser, "not someone that says we can all work together." Park seemed a little rattled after the meeting. "If they want to fire me, this may not be the group for them," she said later. "We don't want conflict and confrontation."
Well, you may not want conflict and confrontation, but the people that are anti-teaparty...they're all about conflict and confrontation. And their first collective action will be to initiate a little change. That's where China's 'community organizer' skills will come into play, and her first item of business will be to give you the axe.
Stace has written an insightful assessment of the reality of politics.