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Coffee Party looks to challenge the Tea Party

by Ryan Jaroncyk, published

It looks like the Tea Party has some competition.  In a bid to offer an alternative to the burgeoning Tea Party movement, the Coffee Party kicked off its first, coordinated meetups on Saturday.  Billed as a counter to the more conservative Tea Party, the Coffee Party originally launched a Facebook group about six weeks ago, and in less than two months, the group has already attracted more than 141,000 fans.  Yesterday, Coffee Party leaders held between 350-400 events at coffee shops across the nation.  Attendees from across the political spectrum discussed healthcare reform, divisive partisanship, and a media that is seemingly out of touch with ordinary Americans.

Brendan Steinhauser, a Tea Party director for FreedomWorks, criticized the new Coffee Party movement, stating "This Coffee Party looks like a weak attempt at satire or a manufactured response to a legitimate widespread grassroots movement."  Coffee Party founder and Democratic activist, Annabel Park, responded, "It's a response to how they are trying to change our government..It's their methodology that we are against.  We may want some of the same things, but their journey is so alienating to us."

The Coffee Party plans major national action on March 27, when members across the country will discuss how to engage members of Congress over Easter recess.  On CNN's 'American Morning', Annabel Park said, "Just like in the American Revolution, we are looking for real representation right now.  We don't feel represented by our government right now, and we don't really feel represented well by the media either."

Readers, what's your take on this new Coffee Party?

Will it unite independent-minded voters or deepen the partisan divide?

Will it lead to genuine political reform or be assimilated by the two-party system?

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