The “coffee party” had about 29,000 Facebook “fans” on the morning of March 1, according to this New York Times story. By the same afternoon, that number was up to 40,000. Late last night, it was more than 110,000.
It’s not the Tea Party in reverse (no Limbaugh-as-Hitler signs in answer to the magic-marker swastikas that Tea baggers use to depict a modest change in national laws about medical insurance). The Coffee Party aims to restore the country’s civic religion: free speech, deliberative government, and loyalties that put nation above party. That’s the point of the group’s “civility pledge”: “As a member or supporter of the Coffee Party, I pledge to conduct myself in a way that is civil, honest, and respectful toward people with whom I disagree. I value people from different cultures, I value people with different ideas, and I value and cherish the democratic process.”
What they lack in goofy hats, they seem to make up for in seriousness of purpose.