Monday, March 15, 2010

fearless vk talks about the Coffee Party and looks for something stronger

With a hat tip to STP, I found fearless vk's column on the Coffee Party, and I like what she has to say.  Here's a snippet:

I am highly skeptical of the Coffee Party. No, scratch that, it doesn't quite communicate my feelings accurately. In fact, the Coffee Party viscerally repels me. Of course, I reserve the right to do a complete 180 and change my mind entirely if this really turns into a meaningful, substantive movement for change. But all signs point to NOT A CHANCE. Why the bitter sarcasm? Because the Coffee Party just doesn't get it - they don't get politics, they don't get democracy, and they don't get what ails us today. Here is the opening paragraph to their platform, if we may call it that:

Coffee Party USA aims to reinvigorate the public sphere, drawing from diverse backgrounds and diverse perspectives, with the goal of expanding the influence of the People in America's political arena. We do not require nor adhere to any preexisting ideology. We encourage deliberation guided by reason amongst the many viewpoints held by our members. We see our diversity as a strength, not a weakness, because we believe that faithful deliberation from multiple vantage points is the best way to achieve the common good. It is in the responsible and reasonable practice of deliberation that we hope to contribute to society.
Compare this placid, polite statement to what the Tea Partiers are doing - taking to the streets and the White House lawn, protesting loudly and uncivilly, engaging in raucous street theater, and demanding specific political objectives. The problem, of course, is that all of this sound and fury is in the service of completely incoherent goals, on the one hand, or utterly terrifying, borderline fascist goals, on the other. As the country (and perhaps the world) goes down the drain of plutocracy, financial malfeasance, environmental destruction, endless war, and the crumbling of the last tattered remains of any public goods, it's not the time to sit around in coffee shops and have a polite conversation with centrist Republicans and Democrats about our differences. At least the Tea Partiers, for all their wackjob conspiratorial John Birch-esque insanity, understand that the times call for direct-frickin-action. 
Go read the rest here. 


callmeishmael said...

Yep, civility is a horrible idea. Yep, reason in our political discourse is to eschewed for a another screaming banshee, this time in the name of God Knows What. Yep, even the great left wing buzz words of "diversity" and "common good" are flushed down the Inner Party's linguistic suction tubes (see the film _1984._). Yep, instead of a democracy, we are encouraged to take to the streets and literally outfight, outgun and outshoot not our "fellow countrymen"--in Mr. Lincoln's words from his First Inaugural when he said the issue was "civil war"--but our sworn enemies as we descend into a world that Thomas Hobbes would love. Yep, all that for an ideology, a party and a "movement."
Movement to and for what? People? What if, in all our howling, everyone is killed? Justice? How is it "just" to kill our opponents simply because they disaagree with us? Even if they want to kill you, why does that, in the name of "diversity" and "inclusion" give you the right to "do it to them before they do it to you" (as Michael Conrad used to say on _Hill Street Blues_). Are we living in a nationwide inner city with rival gangs of Tea Partiers and "Liberals?" Does the right to disagree not still exist under the Constitution? Or have "liberals" and your "living Constitution" conveniently "lived" that out of the way?
What you are advocating is essentially another Civil War. Need I remind both you and the Cracker that we already had one. It was not pleasant. Since, however, you want to bring one upon us, how many people are you willing to see killed, maimed and psychologically damaged? How many trillions of dollars are you willing to spend in caring for "the soldier, his orphan and his widow" (to paraphrase Mr. Lincoln's Second Inaugural Address)? What finally is the price of purity?
These are not questions you can simply sweep under the rug of ideological inconvenience. They express the logic of your posting and suggest the need for a clear answer.

Vvixen said...

Ugh, I don't think fearless vk or the Cracker are calling for another civil war. And even if they were, the Coffee Party would be so out-gunned by the Tea Partiers, it wouldn't be much of a fight.

I think by "direct action," fearless vk is calling for progressives to get more active and engaged in the political process. The left of the political spectrum has been pretty complacent since the 1960's and 70's. It would be refreshing to see young people stand up for something the way the Babyboomers protested the Vietnam War. I doubt the Coffee Party movement will be able to inspire that kind of political action, but I'm willing to give them credit for trying it.

callmeishmael said...

VVixen expresses the civility that is so much needed and I was proud to read the response. I continue to disagree as to the logical implications of fearless vk's piece, but VVixen demonstrates that differring perspectives can be expresed without resort to the war of all against all. Kudos!!

Brad Watkins said...

Actually i agree with alot of what Vk said...and I do not think she was calling for some sort of "Civil War"

She was calling for Direct action and standing firm on ideological principles. a historically tried and true method that political movements have used to advance causes and ideas. I think we can all safely assume that she was referring to non-violent direct action of course.


It was not Michel Conrad on Hill Street Blues it was Sgt. Stanislaus Jablonski (played by Robert Prosky) his replacement who said "Let's do it to them, before they do it to us." He also clarified that he meant.."Let's do our jobs before the bad guys do theirs." He implicitly said that in an episode and cautioned the officers to follow the rule of law and proper procedure.
Michael Conrad's line was "Let's be careful out there."