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Coffee Party and Tea Party confront internal and external challenges

by Christopher A. Guzman, published

As the midterm elections draw near, both the Coffee and Tea Parties are striving to guard against other movements seeking to compromise their overall message.  While both parties are radically different in an ideological sense, both grassroots factions must deal with respective obstacles. 

The Tea Party, for instance, has had to address various charges, mostly having to do with racism.  For one, there was NAACP’s call for the Tea Party to denounce all racist elements within its movement.  The Tea Party responded promptly. At a meeting organized at the National Press Club in Washington DC, the Tea Party Express featured blacks who defended the movement against the NAACP’s accusations. 

The movement must also deal with infiltrators sabotaging it to make the Tea Party appear radical, as well as racist.  In April of this year, the AP reported that a group of opponents planned such an infiltration in a series of Tea Party events.  As recently as last week, a so-called Rand Paul supporter who was protesting illegal immigration was really found out to be a anti-Paul fan. 

On the other hand, the Coffee Party doesn’t seem to have as many intense obstacles to face as the Tea Party. If there’s anything that the Coffee Party struggles with at this point, it's getting the much-needed exposure to broadcast their message that government can accomplish good.  The group, after all, hasn’t really made any significant progress in getting substantial media coverage. 

With little mainstream media coverage, their intended message of civility in politics is confined to social media outlets like Facebook and Twitter.  In fact, the Coffee Party just called out the media regarding their coverage of the trivial. In an open letter to the media, members of the Coffee Party wrote

     “Dear Media, please inform us instead of trying to entertain the 5th grader in us. We don't need any more stories about Lindsay Lohan's troubles. We need an informed and engaged public in this time of two wars, multiple environmental catastrophes and an economic crisis.” 

Seeking to get their audience engaged, the Coffee Party has made the letter a petition which its followers can sign. 

Additionally, the Coffee Party faces a competing faction from a new group on their end of the political spectrum that believes a more aggressive approach should be taken in confronting the Tea Party.  The name of this competing faction, the "F*ck Tea" Party Campaign, believes that civility in discourse is ineffective. 

     "Set aside your good manners, your tolerance, your measured understanding of policy differences, and your earnest do-gooder ideas for a just a moment to join me in telling the Tea Party what you really think of them," Agenda Project founder Erica Payne said in a press release. 

The Coffee Party now faces the challenge of showing that the message of civility wins out over the message of attacking opponents head on. 

With the factional picture all the more complex, whose message will resonate louder with voters in the upcoming midterms?

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