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Tea Party Knockoffs: Watered Down, Bitter

A possibly fake Tea Party candidate may be looking to help Harry Reid, and a blatantly Astroturfed "Coffee Party" gets a smattering of attention.
Update: Zombie shows just how easy creating an Astroturfed knockoff can be: "Join the Cocoa Party!"

by
Bob Owens

Bio

March 2, 2010 - 12:00 am
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Not content to wage false flag operations to save their Senate majority leader, some desperate Democrats seem to have decided that mimicking the tea party movement may blunt its effect on the 2010 elections. Annabel Park seems to have started the so-called “Coffee Party” movement, a group of disaffected liberals that want to “end obstructionism” in Congress and find a way for the people to work with their elected officials. Following a refrain that has become common among left-wing bloggers and the more radical liberals of the Democratic Party in recent weeks, Park and her allies claim that Congress is “broken” because legislative rules do not allow the Democratic majorities in the House and Senate to ram through favored bills, such as ObamaCare, cap and trade, and similar destructive legislation.

You can read all about Ms. Park and her movement at http://coffeepartyusa.com/.

Is the Coffee Movement a real grassroots effort, or simply another attempt by Democratic politicians to drum up the semblance of support for a sputtering agenda that the majority of Americans are against? Frankly it is difficult to tell, but it is perhaps not surprising to find out that the grassroots effort involving Parks also involves her boyfriend Eric Byler. Byler filmed Parks for the Coffee Party’s How We Began video and registered the Coffee Party website.

But he didn’t register it just as an individual.

Byler registered “Real Virginians for Webb” as the registrant organization. Real Virginians for Webb is the organization Byler founded to help elect Jim Webb as senator of Virginia. Like the Coffee Party movement, RVFW also claimed to be a real grassroots organization, as did their now defunct follow-up, Real Americans for Democracy.

The Coffee Party movement seems to be merely the latest entrant into Byler’s parade of “authentic angst.” How many “grassroots” organizations can get started by the same people servicing the same agenda before they start looking like the public-facing end of an organized astroturfing (fake grassroots) campaign?

But despite these desperate and perhaps too-late attempts to blunt the momentum of the various formal and informal tea party groups, tea party supporters and candidates do seem to be making a run on establishment politics.

You don’t have to look very far to see the impact of tea party politics, either in the aforementioned runs of Hoffman and Brown, or in the exploding popularity in Texas of Debra Medina, a small-town girl from Lytle, Texas, with a Palinesque profile and revolutionary message. She is running a tea party candidacy to unseat incumbent Rick Perry and Senator Kay Bailey Hutchinson for the Republican nomination for the governorship of Texas. Professional pollsters will tell you that odds are strongly against Medina pulling an upset victory in the primaries, and Guardian reporter Paul Harris may have very well hit the mark when he found a political science professor who likened the populism of the tea party movement to the sort of outrage that fueled Ross Perot’s presidential runs in 1992 and 1996. Perhaps future historians will look back on the tea party movement one day as a flash of outrage that only amounted to a minor “politics as usual.”

At the moment, however, it sure seems like a lot of folks want to be the next Ross Perot.

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Bob Owens blogs at Bob-Owens.com.
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