Ron Radosh wrote an article on Van Jones‘s attempt to build a left wing version of the Tea Party movement. They are calling this one the American Dream Movement and I suppose they will be building a grassroots progressive movement to counter the Koch brothers funded astroturfed Tea Party.
You remember Obama’s departed Green czar, the once self-proclaimed revolutionary Communist Van Jones? Well, the man is back. According to Michelle Goldberg, writing in The Daily Beast, on July 23 Jones threw a Washington, D.C., party to announce the creation of what he predicts will be the left-wing’s Tea Party, which he calls the “American Dream Movement.” Goldberg writes:
Launched at a July 23 event in New York City that was part rally, party dance party, the American Dream Movement aims to restore the fight for economic justice to the center of progressive politics. On Aug. 9, the movement put out its crowd-sourced “Contract for the American Dream,” a 10-point economic manifesto that called for new investments in education and infrastructure; higher taxes for corporations, Wall Street and the wealthy; and curbs on lobbyists. The next day, it was published as a full-page ad in The New York Times. Democratic Rep. Jan Schakowsky of Illinois will soon introduce the Emergency Jobs to Restore the American Dream Act, legislation based on the document.
Here’s a little more from the Daily Beast.
Like the Tea Party, the American Dream Movement is intended to be open-source, meaning that all sorts of different groups planning all sorts of different actions are encouraged to unite under its banner. But it will also have an umbrella organization, called Rebuild the Dream, which Jones is creating in concert with MoveOn.org. “If the American Dream Movement is the Tea Party, then Rebuild the Dream is Americans for Prosperity or the Tea Party Express,” says Justin Ruben, MoveOn’s executive director.
That’s not the only parallel. The American Dream Movement is intended to put a name on a preexisting political force, just as the Tea Party did. Part of the inspiration for the movement came from the demonstrations against right-wing economic policies in Wisconsin and Ohio. Since then, there have been protests nationwide, some in unexpected places. In April, Montana saw one of its biggest rallies ever when 1,500 people gathered in front of the capitol to protest budget cuts. In July, 800 people demonstrated on behalf of public-school teachers in Ogden, Utah. These protests have received far less attention than the Tea Party. “There’s been an unprecedented wave of activity that’s had no common banner, and so nobody noticed,” says Ruben.
I am not sure that a rally of 1000 or so bussed in union goons is quite the same as the Tea Party, but at least they’re trying. But, I thought the Coffee Party was the Left’s answer, or the One Nation movement, or whatever else they’ve been trying.
- Rebuilding the American Dream: Why Starting a Liberal Antidote to the Tea Party Movement Isn’t Going to be Easy (alternet.org)
This link is far from sympathetic to the Tea Party. I gather the writer feels that Progressives are just to well-informed and sophisticated to follow a movement so simple-minded. They are right about the cultural differences though. The reason the Tea Party is unlikely to be matched on the left is simply because the Tea Party does a much better job of expressing American values and ideals. Most people on the Left, the kind who go in for the Coffee Party, etc. sound like they just emerged from a time warp from the 1930’s Soviet Union.