Coffee or Tea? Either Way, It's a Party | NBC4 Washington

Coffee or Tea? Either Way, It's a Party

The Coffee Party says it's about civility



    Don’t label them liberals – not all of them voted for President Barack Obama, and two even call themselves conservative.

    But unlike the Tea Party, the Coffee Party says it wants to be a “game-changer” with civility. And they're not too keen on some of the Tea Party's tactics.

    Too often they resort to signs and shouting better left to rowdy college basketball fans during March Madness, Bob Settle of Manassas told The Star Exponent. Recently, a few Tea Party members' behavior even turned abusive.

    “Why can’t we sit down and discuss issues in a civil manner?” asked Settle, coordinator of the Coffee Party movement in Prince William County.

    So what is the Coffee Party all about? Locally, its leaders said they're still trying to decide its ultimate direction, but they want to bring about change on these main issues: health care reform, financial reform, voter education and transparency and the process of governing.

    During an interview on "Washington Unplugged" recently, a spokesperson for the party said his movement, like the Tea Party, just wants to be heard.

    And while the Coffee Party may seem like a "liberal" version of the Tea Party, "the fact is, everybody's welcome," said Alborn, who identifies as a fiscally conservative independent.

    Left-leaning or not, the national Coffee Party has almost 180,000 fans on its Facebook page and members organized 350 events around the country last weekend. 

    On Monday, the Prince William County branch of the party said it plans to join "a sea of white coats and scrubs on Pennsylvania Avenue" to hand out a very anti-Tea Party message: pass health reform now.

    And who knows? Maybe the Coffee Party will even continue the conversation later at the Health Professionals' happy hour at Lounge 201 on Capitol Hill. Sounds like a great place to talk with civility.