Death of the Coffee Party

It all began with great fanfare in March 2010 as an alleged alternative to the massive popularity of the Tea Party. Under siege, bewildered Obamatons desperately tried to stay relevant. “I’m in shock, just the level of energy here,” said the founder, Annabel Park, a documentary filmmaker who lives outside Washington. “In the beginning, I was actively saying, ‘Get in touch with us, start a chapter.’ Now I can’t keep up. We have 300 requests to start a chapter that I have not been able to respond to.”

It was the next big thing, a massive groundswell destined to leave those radical teabaggers in the dust. “Just as the Tea Party organized to remind the Republican Party what its conservative base stands for, the Coffee Party movement is organizing to represent citizens who believe in government solutions for national problems but aren’t necessarily enthralled with Democratic leadership. After gaining steam online over the past few months, the Coffee Party is launching its first national event this Saturday: National Coffee Party Day.”

They even garnered international notice.  The founder was widely lauded and gaining unprecedented attention. “All of a sudden Park was a political leader—of what, she didn’t quite know—and the target of right-wing fury. Conservative bloggers unearthed—scandal!—that she had once briefly worked for The New York Times and supported Sen. Jim Webb, a moderate Democrat from Virginia. One online commenter accused her of being a “Chinese agent.” The notoriety didn’t really hurt: the group now has more than 200,000 members, and every status update Park posts gets about a million views.”

And then it all collapsed.

Fast forward to Sunday in Chicago, home of our Dear Community Organizer-in-Chief. You have to figure a protest jointly sponsored by the vaunted Coffee Party would draw tens of thousands to the cause, looking to counter recent Tea Party rallies around the nation.

They drew 20 people. No, that’s not a typo. Twenty people.

Somehow they managed to get the media to attend and the Chicago Sun-Times put their best possibly spin on the pathetic gathering, calling it a small but vocal group:  “Most people don’t know how little these corporations pay in taxes,” said Eric Pynnonen, a security and risk manager from Chicago who was part of the small group of about 20 people. They included members of the Coffee Party, which is positioning itself as a nonpartisan alternative to the Tea Party, and U.S. Uncut. Last week, U.S. Uncut took credit for a hoax press release saying that General Electric was returning to the treasury its $3.2 billion tax refund.”

So here you have two groups that surely don’t suffer from a lack of media attention and all they can manage to muster up are 20 people?

As to their cohorts in this meager gathering, this U.S. Uncut group doesn’t exactly come across as a bunch of independent thinkers. More like a Democratic Party front group. “Meanwhile, Republicans are using their new House majority to slash spending even more brutally. The GOP has made it clear that they are bent on raiding funds for Social Security, Medicare, education; determined to kill health care reform; and gut needed investments in infrastructure, climate change and job creation, at a time when America needs it most.”

They’ve also apparently not received the memo from the new Department of Civility and New Tone, as they’ve got a Target page listed on their site.