During the dark days of the Bush Administration, the collective mood on the Left could not have been more pessimistic and discouraged. Believing ourselves to be utterly ignored and summarily discounted, our anger was palpable and copious. I wonder why we on the Left didn’t form a series of spontaneous demonstrations, venting our frustration at a government we saw as illegitimate and destructive. While it is true that protests were plentiful then, no self-proclaimed movement sprung up, one then dutifully covered exhaustively by the media. That we did not resort to Teabagging tactics was itself a very good thing, but I think also that many of us placed complete faith in the mechanization of the system itself. When things began to turn around at long last in 2006 and then, two years later when a compelling candidate articulated our desire for change, we believed that working tirelessly to secure his election was wholly sufficient.
Tag: coffee party
Mar 29 2010
From the video, below:
A lot of you have written to us and asked us why we haven’t put forth a very clear platform of issues that the Coffee Party stands for. It’s not that we don’t have opinions. It would have been very easy for Annabel and I and the other early members of the Coffee Party to decide what our opinions were on the issues, and put that on the website and say tat “This is Coffee Party – take it or leave it.” But if we’d done that, we would have missed the opportunity to bring so many new people into the process. and so many diverse voices – we really, really benefited from the wisdom, the expertise, the creativity, we’re experimenting with how we can use new technology to empower the maximum number of Americans to communicate how they feel about the issues. We want you to complete your Coffee Party sphere. This is in the left column of our website, and it’s a very sophisticated tool that’ll helps you create a visual representation of how your see yourself, your future, how you see America’s future, and how you see the issues.
Mar 28 2010
I went to a meeting, today (very late, unfortunately), and it was much larger than the previous one. The people were positive, and if what I saw was typical, not only were they not the OFA shills that some armchair blog posters made them out to be, but most of their concerns seemed to be the same as those of the armchair critics.
Mar 12 2010
The drupal software used to create their website is opensource.
We just need some webspace, and some people willing to do promotion on the other blogs like metamars does only in a less condescending way. We also need someone to start a youtube and facebook group for us. http://drupal.org/
I thought the green tea party would be a good name. No you don’t have to be a green, or a democrat. You just have to be a progressive. Our goal will be results on things like government supported universal healthcare, ending the wars, and civil rights. We don’t advocate violence, but our main concern is not civility, either. Our slogan would be something like “real change!” or “results not hope!” I don’t think the ofaers or the kossacks could coopt something like that.
Let’s work together on this. Many people here have different talents. I have already created one drupal website for my linux disto u-lite. http://u-lite.org . I don’t have the time to write though, and I know nothing about making youtube videos.
Lord knows I’m not village party shill, so it would be real grassroots, unlike the tea or coffee parties!
Oh, I guess in order to get attention on this blog one needs a music video!
Mar 10 2010
I thought that an answer I posted to in a diary I started, called Coffee Party Hits 100,000 members, deserved it’s own diary. IMO, over-consumption of blogs actually prevents action. Also, most of the most important activism (such as peace activism) never seems to accomplish much of anything. So, even when action is attempted (in preference to endless arguments and opinionating on blogs), the actions tend to be a complete FAIL – except in the spiritual sense.
There needs to be more thinking about what I have called democratic efficiency (small ‘d’ democratic; nothing to do with the Democratic Party, per se). To that end, I am posting my tongue-in-cheek theory, hoping to expose superficial thinking which would obscure the sorts of analyses, research, and (frankly) democratic experimentation that we should be eagerly pursuing.
Mar 10 2010
Oh man I just had the most horrible dream! You see I went to this diary, wherein I was told, join, join, join them, and you can change it. Learn the joys of coffee… then I went to this facebook page…..
Then I found myself somehow whisked to this town. It was a strange town where people wore these strange clothes, like it was the 1800’s, but underneath the 19th century duds and bow ties and hats they all had on instead of a button downed white shirt and blouse, an Obama T-Shirt.
No sooner had I appeared, than a man with a vacant grin approached me.
"Civility and reason to you, friend!", said he.
“Uh, civility and reason to you!” I replied, my eyes widening at this odd greeting.
“Coffee hour approaches,” the man went on, as if in the same vein. “What will you have? Mocha? Latte? Frappucino? Maybe a triple espresso cappucino?”
Well, I was getting a bit wigged out at the cognitive dissonance, you understand. Little alarm bells were going off in my head, but I couldn’t place it. “Uh, maybe some decaf?” I evaded, hoping to buy time.
"Isn’t Obama the best president evah?" The man prompted me.
“Uh, yeah, he’s great,” I answered, trying not to sweat too much. The man nodded and walked on, seeingly forgetting he had offered me coffee. “Coffee hour approaches,” the man mumbled, apparently to himself. “It is the will of Obama.”
“Hey!” I shouted at the man. He turned. “Aren’t you supposed to be a grass roots organization?”
“Yes,” the man smiled. “Civility and reason, and accountability, and equal justice for all. All together in the grassroots. Obama knows all, he sees all. You will see. Are you not of the body“? Suddenly the man’s expression changed. From vacant and pleasant to suspicious and demanding.
“Yeah, I’m of the body, dude. Whatever you say!” I smiled back weakly, then ran.
Mar 09 2010
Not bad! I don’t have much more to say about this, but I will quote myself, from OpenLeft, about one of the most significant things – perhaps THE most significant thing – that the Coffee Party is doing. The Coffee Party is creating democratic infrastructure – a means for people of diverse beliefs to meets, on items of mutual concern, even if of different perspective.
hopefully, they will not even try to enforce conformity at the local level, where policies would be decided by the local members. (According to my reading of their website, they don’t have a top-down structure, except for some basic principles such as civility, and the principle that government is a necessary part of the solution of many of our problems. Thus, they can’t enforce conformity across chapters.)
What intrigues me most is that they are creating democratic infrastructure – whether they realize it, or not. Corrupt politicos and lobbyists have extensive infrastructure already in place to corrupt Congress – e.g., K-Street. But where are the meeting spaces – which is part of the infrastructure – that citizens who share similar concerns can meet? Even if those citizens, like the Ancient Athenians, have radically different perspectives on how to deal with those concerns? Where can such citizens in modern day America meet and start to forge alliances, unfettered by a corrupted Democratic or Republican machinery?
Ancient Athens had what I can only view as a vigorous democracy (for eligible citizens, anyway). It certainly was not vigorous because citizens would share separate spaces, and just make snide remarks about opposing groups. There was plenty of head-butting, which could even lead to formal ostracism as a means to tone down any perceived threats to stability, but the head-butting was face-to-face and everybody knew that, at the end of the day, they were most all in the in the same boat. (Indeed, the small size of the polis, coupled with the ancient Greeks’ penchant for fighting with each other, made cooperation a life-and-death matter.)
It remains to be seen if the originators of the Coffee Party will make any attempt to co-opt the enormous potential they are tapping into, for the sake of Democratic Party purposes. IMO, independents and of course Republicans will immediately revolt if this is attempted. But note that, as long as the movement takes off before any such attempt at co-option, it will actually become well nigh impossible to co-opt, later on.
I think this is the best thing to happen in American civic life in a long, long time.