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Thursday, February 04, 2010

A new party? Go Green?

Here's my response to this and to this:

There was a time when Richard Nixon said "We're all Keynesians now." Krugman outlines this in his book The Conscience of a Liberal: On economic issues, the bipartisan consensus used to be well to the left of where the Democratic party is today. How did it change?

Not by going the third party route.

The right wing nutsos -- the Friedmanites, the libertarians -- did not say: "We're not getting what we want from the Republicans, so let's form a new party."

Actually, I tell a lie. Before the great takeover occurred, and during the days of Nixon, some right-wing ultras did go down the third party route. A Libertarian party was formed, and the American Independent Party did well in the '68 and '72 elections, under George Wallace and John Schmitz.

George is the one who made that remark about there not being a dime's worth of difference between the two major parties. John is the one who said "If you're out of Schmitz, you're out of gear. And if someone doesn't get that kid get to shut up, I'll do it myself."

Apologies for that digression. (If you weren't alive at that time, you may be confused by the references.)

The reactionary element within this country achieved much greater success when it decided to take over the Republican party. They have now commandeered it to such a degree that John Schmitz' son Joseph has a comfy place in it. (Joseph used to help run Blackwater and he was the DOD IG under W.) The fanatics not only took over the party, they also commandeered the national debate. They set the limits of permissible thought.

The Libertarian party and the American Independent party are still around. I suspect that they have stayed alive due to monies from the Democratic ratfucking fund.

The bottom line is this: Everything that people are now recommending has been tried before. There is nothing new under the sun. It therefore behooves us to look at history.

The "third party" trick was tried and it failed. Unless you call this a success. You want to end up like that? Will that make you happy?

The "take over the old party" trick proved a spectacular success.

Those who are now counsel you to do the exact opposite of what history teaches may have an agenda. The Republicans have an even larger ratfucking fund, you know.

Update: I'm putting a stop to all comments.
While I'd love to see an actual viable third party in the US, I just don't think it's a viable option at this point in time. The 2 major parties have amassed so much money and power and they are so ingrained into the culture now, that the more promising option (at least to me), is to take over (back?) the Democratic Party a la what the nutters have done with the Republican Party. I would think that option would also have the possibility of prompting a split in the party, and possibly the creation of a new party that way; that way, there's a better possibility of it being more in the public eye, garnering more funds and publicity by the news media.

On a somewhat "older" topic... the Supremes' ruling on corporations being "persons"... you mentioned in your post that the only way you see of getting around this ruling is a Constitutional Amendment. I agree. But what if instead of just limiting corporations in the amendment, we define an what a "person" is? If, for example, the amendment read: For the purposes of this Constitution, a person/citizen of the US is defined as an individual who belongs to the species homo sapien. (or something like that in legalese) That way, there are a number of things taken care of in one fail swoop. Takes care of any individual (not a group) who is a citizen (such as women, gays, transgenders, and other minorities not currently protected explicitly by the Constitution) as well as establishes a rule that when talking about a citizen, we're talking about a singular person. I'm sure there are other countries who have laws similar to this that we could... um... borrow from. Anyway, I'm interested in hearing the pros and cons of something like this...
Oh, keeee-rist, Krye. You miss the fucking point.

Thanks, Joseph. The Turd Party cult is getting on my last nerve. Nader failed, Obamacrats which do you Turdists think is more viable? Turd parties or reclaiming an existing party?
Joe, it is inescapable. Cleaning out the democratic party requires protest votes. Rather than give those protest votes to the do nothing republican party, I would rather the protest votes go to a third party candidate who in theory will be less beholden to EITHER the republicans or the democrats.

It is the age of the internet, so anything tried before is new again.

If Reid and Pelosi go, and some third party candidates win as well, the democrats can look over at the third party winners and be constantly reminded that they, the democrats blew it by back stabbing their most popular 2008 candidate, Hillary Clinton, so they could be "hooked on a feeling" instead.

The republicans will feel the sting equally when they realize they did not even get the rebound vote from an unhappy country.

I believe Hillary Clinton is less about being either a democrat or a republican, and more about coming up with intelligent ideas and solutions that revolve around the american people, something that George Bush and Barack Obama seem woefully inept at comprehending.

My Third Party
Kyre, whether you mean to or not, your first two sentences sound like a concern troll.
Yes, but they had billions of dollars in funding from right-wing anti-tax multi-billionaire families, as has been documented by Eric Alterman and David Brock.

Where are we going to find any of those?

Carolyn Kay

I believe you're a contrarian so my apologies for agreeing with you but rest assured the majority are currently too fearful or inactive to precipitate coordinated change to their party so you too will have lots of work going forward.
I think it depends on what you're looking for a third party to do. If you mean win, then yes that's probably not going to happen (unless outside forces split one of the major parties ala the Whigs). However, third parties can play a big role in shaping the direction of the big two. George Wallace had an impact on the GOP as they moved to pick up his votes and bring them into the conservative movement. The socialists, communists, and populists affected the Democratic Party platform and the New Deal as Democrats moved to pick up those voters.

Third parties don't have to be a "viable" alternative in the sense of winning the presidency. They can affect the directions of the parties simply by being a threat for enough voters to possibly swing elections and by building farm teams and organizations for more liberal candidates at the local level.

Greens and third party advocates on the left are the liberal Democrat's friend, IMO. Because there are lots of ways to pressure and change political parties. The biggest social movements have not come from inside any party (Civil Rights, Suffrage, Abolition), but have pressured the parties.

Right now there are simply not enough outside forces to pressure either party to move left. That has got to change or else the outside forces - corporations - moving them right will continue winning.
The NSA and Google, redux.

If O wants non-partisanship, this should accomplish the goal. It is not often Alex Jones agrees with Krugman, as one of these things is not like the other, but always guaranteed entertainment results. I look forward to you analysis.
Hi, Joe. Thanks for the link.

I'm not optimistic about a third party's near-term chances, nor am I a shill for the Green Party.

I'm not optimistic about the chances for the Democratic Party to be better than rancid red wine in hopey blue bottles, nor am I (any longer) a (voluntary) shill for them.

I'm simply not optimistic.

But it's plain as day that the Democratic Party is fully convinced that it can and should flagrantly disregard its base.

The Republicans changed (not for the better, of course, but for the more successful in terms of getting votes and wielding power) in the face of electoral failure.

Whether a better, worse, merely different, or completely unchanged Democratic Party rises from the ashes, the first step is to go Lysistrata on a party that nominally owns the progressive mantle but which outright despises liberals and liberal policy.

Going third-party, doing write-ins, etc., helps create the vacuum in which change will likely come. Waiting for the Democrats to give a fuck about their base is a proven loser in its own right. Make them do it, or give 'em up for good. Plugging efforts into legitimizing a liberal third party moves things in the right (i.e., left) direction, either way.

The GOP boogeyman doesn't cut it anymore, when the Democrats -- as they have -- perfect their Reagan impersonation well enough to get the lead in "Rap Master Ronnie." That's an old movie you're playing. Nader may have been wrong in 2000 (I think he was), but he's 20/20 now. Maybe he's a time traveler, or maybe I'm wrong about 2000. But today the Democratic Party stands for nothing beyond Republican policy with sprinkling of good intentions.

If they wanted my vote, they'd act like I wasn't a dirty hippie piece of shit, a "liberal bleeding heart" for demanding policies that aren't a Bill Kristol wet dream.

Call me a "Naderite" if you will. In 2000, I would have been scandalized by such a label. At this point, it's a badge of honor.

But, loyal trooper that I am, I'll throw my lifetime party a bone. Here's a new slogan they can use: "The Democratic Party: proving Nader right since (at least) 2006!"
I think Joseph is mistaking a creative ferment for a concrete political strategy. Violet, for example, advocates the simultaneous creation of new structures, and the infiltration of existing ones.

It's true that IN GENERAL, the Versailles talking point that third parties always fail has a certain truth. However, parties do not have infinite life spans. If they did, there would still be a Federalist Party. And at times of great ferment, third parties come into being and exert great influence. The Republican Party in the 1850s, or the Populist Party in the Gilded Age, for example.

What is clear to me is that both legacy parties, as presently constituted, deserve to die (and are indeed rotting inwardly). We should hasten their demise by any means possible.

* * *

Personally, I think the "turd party" rhetoric, as well as the Nader hate, and the accusations of ratfucking, are beyond absurd, and say a good deal more about the people hurling them then they do about the questions a hand. I mean, really. Many of us fought in the trenches at Kos. A little abuse is nothing.
I will never go back to the Democrat Party as currently constituted. And I will spend my remaining (I hope) 20 years of voting in my life to doing everything I can to take back my old party.

That means I will never vote Dem again. Never. And I will never fall for the "they have no place else to go" bullshit again. Never.

I will seek out any and all ways to send my message and "hope that the dopes" in the Democratic Party get the point.

I agree with Lambert and Vast Left and Violet.
Ned Lamont is a lesson for any rebellion in the ranks of the Democrat party. He won the primary and then Lieberman, with the help of the establishment and timid voters, did an end run. You knew the Good Old Boy fix was in when he got to keep everything he had, seniority and committees.
Any take over of the party will be thwarted first by the patronage votes then by the RBC. If any candidate, FDR Democrat or Third Party, makes it in spite of all that, House and Senate rules can be gamed so that person is relegated to ineffectiveness.
I think the only thing that will shake up the current leaders are more Massachusetts 180's. If Nancy and whoever gets to be Senate Majority Leader, sees their power, and all those perks, slipping through their fingers they might see the light. It's time to choose the greater of two evils.
Well, maybe, lambert. But BDBlue's comment on the use of third parties as a way to "affect direction" and Vastleft's horrendous suggestion that the *Dems* are somehow proving Nader right is infuriating. And also completely moronic. If Nader ratfucked anyone it was the Green Party, which had a chance to become viable until he screwed them over, too...and it was *Nader* and the Naderites who affected the direction of the country all right. They put Bush in power. They paved the way for Obama. They are the ones who ruined the Dems. It's Obama and the continued rise of the right that proved the rest of us correct--- Nader was a lying tool to say there was "no difference" between the Dems and Republicans.

We should've had the Dems' back. And then maybe they wouldn't care so damned much about the moronic "independents." Really, tho, they and the Turd Party Cult aren't as much to blame as the Naderites and Obots. "Naderites/Obots: screwing inevitable and incremental progressive change since 2000." The Corporate Right Wing depends on their being predictable tools far more than they depend on the rightwingers....or at least as much, anyway.
@ Carolyn makes an excellent point, and one I cant understand. We DO have that kind of money just laying around.

Seen an awards show lately?

We mint our very own zillionaires handful over fistful, by the Emmy, Oscar and Grammy. Why exactly do we let them keep all that money?

Every other country with an oligarchy has Noblesse Oblige for one reason only: well founded fear that the unwashed masses will take their pretty money away.


Our Entertainment Princes and Princesses stand and fall on OUR CONSUMER DOLLARS. How about standing up on our hind legs and demanding some big time participation from them? How about reaching out and hauling some of that money back?

They live in this crumbling country too, much as they pretend to float above it on a sea of money and cover stories.

The cash is there. Oceans of it. We actually have an enormous cadre of wealthy resources who are not 100% republican roach people. So what exaxtly are we doing to forcibly rope them into the fight?

Nothing. Why?

We are just too conditioned to curtseying before celebrity. Might be a good time to think about unlearning that particular habit.
Agreed. The anti-third party folks are starting to sound like the anti-Nader and anti-Dean screechers from elections long past (I won't even bring up the most recent one).

What people fail to realize is this: The Democratic Party already HAS been taken over. Only it's been taken over by corporatists and moderate Republicans who wouldn't make it in today's whacked-out lunatic GOP. It's too bad we liberals missed the boat (no dobut being outgunned by money didn't help), but there it is.

I know, I know, the GOP wins because it has such tight party discipline. Even moderate Republicans who despise the Christianists and torturers currently leading their party will still go to the polls and pull the R (although this election, the Republicans I know -- who really are moderate Repugs -- voted for Ron Paul; one wrote in Mitt Romney,hey don't ask me). These reliable GOP voters probably think they have to vote R for the same reason Democrats think we *have* to vote D, because the alternative is so terrifying.

Problem is, the Democrats have lost the ability to terrify us. They cant't scare us with SCOTUS because they keep confirming right-wing justices. They cant' scare us with abortion rights because they keep giving key positions to pro-lifers. They can't scare us with LGBT rights because, well, Donnie McClurkin, DOMA, etc etc.

I think it's time to get over the "lesser of two evils" thinking.
hmm... sounding like a troll was certainly NOT what I had intended. when I have time, I'll go back and figure out what I missed during my first read. Thank you Alessandro for pointing out that I must have missed something.
Horrendous, moronic, and infuriating, eh? And that's my good side!
Our non-parliamentary system makes third (or fourth) parties impracticable. The only historical examples of third parties in the US are actually *new* parties replacing an old one, as when most Whigs split off to form the Republicans.

It's pure naivite to believe a centrist Tea Party can rise from grassroots, especially when it is an astroturfed movement created & funded by rightwing republicans.
What we need is a news network, a la Fox, to spread our talking points the same that the right does. We think these entities must be money making. The right has no such illusions. Both the New York Post and the Washington were/are(?) money losers. But why quibble about losing $20m a year when the legislation that's enacted because of your ability to convince average Americans to vote on your behalf saves/earns you and your buddies billions a year?

Liberals don't do that. we don't bother to make sure that ordinary Americans understand how our policies help them, and help the nation. We don't explain the basics over and over again. The right gets a talking point and everyone uses even if it doesn't make a lick of sense. Conservatives accept that they are too stupid to understand everything that the party brass tells them. They say it anyway, confident because someone much brighter than them told them to say it and so they think it makes them look smart. We leave the left with no such ability. So the average Democrat, stcuk in a debate with a Limbaugh supporter, has no response to the idiocy they spew.

We don't need think tanks to develop the policy as the right did. We simply need the megaphone and someone with the resources and will to lose money. Crack that nut, and our entire national discourse can and will change.
Kyre, I wrote "concern troll". There is a big difference.

Concern trolling means you have sympathy towards a cause, but "it" will never happen.

Do you see the trollishness of that position, whether intentional, or not?


You said it could not be done and by doing that, you stand in the way of those who are already trying to make it happen.

But you are not alone, many times people concern troll without realizing it.

It will take a huge advocacy of third parties in general just to get a couple of third party politicians elected this fall, but that will send a HUGE message.

That and the ouster of Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid.
So you're not going to approve my comment calling out Lambert for his priggishness?

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