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View Diary: The "real" Republican party is dead (200 comments)

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  •  Yes, but ... (0+ / 0-)

    The impediments to a real third party are huge.  This is not by accident - our best political minds have made it so over centuries.  I suspect that OWS organizers (which is sort of an oxymoron itself) deliberately chose anti-partisanship for that reason.  At some point though, the unsustainability of the duopoly itself will be the issue, and insurgents will have to take on one or both of the legacy parties from the inside.  Given the response of the Democratic leadership to OWS, I am quite sure they think the next iteration of OWS's revolutionary spirit is coming after them.

    •  I think it's doable (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      salmo

      Ross Perot got half way home, and that was after a false start (not to mention the fact that he was an assclown himself).

      I've always been skeptical of third parties, and not just because of the real world, mechanical impediments that you mention.

      It just seems like humans tend toward the two poles,
      it's much easier to process our thoughts that way.

      Being in the "middle" is a much tougher mental trick to pull off, it requires a lot more effort.

      "Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain!"

      by jkay on Fri Aug 03, 2012 at 09:46:58 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Here in Maine (0+ / 0-)

        Here in Maine, we have a history of successful independent challengers to the legacy party standard bearers.  A simple partisan/non-partisan recital of the results over the last 35+ years reads: Longley (I), Brennan (D), McKernan (R), King (I), Baldacci (D), LePage (R).  I do not know what the pattern means, but it's there.  By a numerical standard, independents have been pretty successful.  In LePage's election, the combination of a strong Independent and an incredibly weak Democrat resulted in electing the Republican with 38% of the vote.  It is safe to say that Independents play a large role here.  

        How did that work out?  Well, Longley would have been a tea partier if we had had that term then.  He was remarkably irresponsible, an utter disaster.  King governed as a corporatist with just enough of that moderate centerist magic dust to get consistently positive press coverage by the equivalent of the Villagers in our state capital.  Karl Rove's Crossroads ads against him weave that record negatively from a right wing perspective, but they are not wrong.  Democrats are not going to attack him from the left, for fear of another Republican victory.  If they did, the criticisms would be at least as damning.  And then we get to the current loon sitting in the Governor's chair.  All the while, the Republicans have shifted to the right, and the Democrats have shifted right along with them.  To be a successful independent, you have to be a corporatist.

        This is just a comment, so I'll keep it brief: the Independents have left no positive legacy.  To the extent that LePage is Cutler's fault (which is a bit of a stretch), they have contributed to one doozy of a negative at the end.  The overall effect, despite decades of Democratic dominance in the Legislature (now lost), has been adverse to progressive goals.  

        What to do about it?  In the interest of brevity, let's just keep it at: We don't need more independents until we get instant run-off elections.

        •  I think in the past... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          salmo

          ....the people with the (I) in front of them were pretty much from the libertarian nut squads, Ron Paul wannabe types, whose grasp on reality is very tenuous at best.

          The libertarian crap that they fall back on totally falls apart once they have to apply it to the real world and not on some term paper.

          I think the more likely scenario would be that just by dint of the inevitable demographic shift in the population, we are able to cobble together a statistically significant majority in the next ten years (maybe 53-55%). Once we do that, it's game over unless the system has been totally rigged by then.

          That's what their play is now, it's an all or nothing, throw the kitchen sink at the democrats in a last gasp to save their crumbling empire.

          Although that analysis seems too easy to swallow for me.  I've heard dozens of pundits on tv repeat the demographic stuff, that the pendulum is swinging in our favor.

          The problem is I have a feeling people have been saying that same shit for thousands of years and we still can't seem to get over the finish line!

          "Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain!"

          by jkay on Fri Aug 03, 2012 at 03:39:10 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Mostly I agree (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            jkay

            You are absolutely right about one of Maine's two recent independent governors.  Jim Longley sprang from that same libertarian strain of crazy animating Ron Paul.  It doesn't account for his decisions driving up the cost of Maine's government as long as it hurt those he thought of as his enemies.  But, we're not going into that here.  

            Maine's other independent governor, Angus King, came from the corporatist center, nominally Democratic.  Other independents, and we have seen a bunch of them, seem to have similar backgrounds.  These are the same sort that populated the "No Labels" movement.  They are emphatically not getting into this to advance progressive goals.

            It is useful to examine the results.  The practical effect is to make a challenge to Democratic politicians from the left all but impossible.  Everybody creeps to the right.  The Overton Window is not being moved rightward by the Republicans alone.  Maybe demographic trends will change this, but I think that we should be cautious about accepting that as an accurate prediction on faith alone.  If we want to make progressive campaigns possible, we need to let progressive vote for their candidates without raising the potential for an outcome like that we got in Maine's 2010 election for governor.

            •  The big hurdle for many democrats as I see it.. (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              salmo

              ...mostly what we would call "lefties", is that they do have a real animus towards corporations.

              I can live with a "corporatist" if they a socially liberal and  don't have insane notions about the "evils" of government regulation.

              Believe me, I understand this. I worked in a Fortune 500 corporation for a decade, and there is a hell of a lot to dislike about them.  I saw stuff that literally made me sick to my stomach.

              We need to make the corporations be better citizens and not just pander to us about how their executives are taking business ethics at some Harvard off site retreat.

              But, and it's a big but, WE NEED THE FREAKIN JOBS!

              That's the conundrum.  

              "Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain!"

              by jkay on Fri Aug 03, 2012 at 04:39:58 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  I called King a Corporatist, meaning Corrupt (0+ / 0-)

                Maybe I should have been clearer.  I saw the King Administration through a narrow lens, and it wasn't pretty.  His campaigns depended on people who could raise big money quickly, based on a few personal connections.  You don't need three guesses to figure out who that is.  The normal payback for those big money contributions is 10:1.  They did better than that.  Care to guess what that cost the rest of us?  That is what you get when people who don't have the option to raise money and use the organization of a legacy party decide to run for high office.

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