June 24, 2011

WASHINGTON POST: Can Liberals Start Their Own Tea Party? Well, we’ve had the Coffee Party, the Brownbaggers, The Other 95%, A New Way Forward, the One Nation Movement — am I leaving any out? I can’t remember — and none of them has gone much beyond a spot of initial positive coverage from the NYT. So, probably not. But apparently, Van Jones is going to try again with the “The American Dream Movement.” I hear he’s got a catchy slogan, too: From Each According To His Abilities, To Each According To His Needs. Or maybe it’s Death to the Kulaks! I’m not sure . . . .

UPDATE: A reader emails:

Liberals have their own Tea Party. Witness the events in Madison, Wisc. and other state capitals earlier this year. Liberals were able to gather significant numbers of passionate protesters in a short period of time. Public sector unions are the liberal Tea Party. The problem for liberals is that they need to extend their appeal beyond that narrow base. The Tea Party’s success is driven by the fact that it has gathered people with diverse viewpoints and united them on the single issue of government spending and taxes. As long as the battle lines are public sector unions vs. everyone else, liberals will continue to lose the debate.

Indeed. And another reader emails: “You left out the ‘No Labels’ crowd. A bigger bunch of liberals would be hard to find.” Oh, right. It’s hard to keep track.

Meanwhile, from Jim Treacher, my favorite Coffee Party headline: The schism in the Coffee Party is so bad, they split up into two different booths at Denny’s.

ANOTHER UPDATE: Reader Richard Samuelson writes: “But can the Left, which for a couple of generations now, has argued that progress ought to be made by officially sanctioned, government approved and organized organizations take on a movement that is truly voluntary, truly spontaneous, and not organized from above? If part of the fight is civil society v. central planning, then, by definition, the Left is going to have a hard time competing for the grassroots, outside of unions, democratic activists, and the rest of the professional Left.”

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