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After getting my nose bloodied up pretty good on Sunday I guess I will try again. It's funny, we all agree that President Bush seeing the world in black & white and missing nuances has been a disaster for this nation. And yet, here we are among his biggest critics, and they can only see the world in blue & red.

For some of you it does not matter what I write. I'm a Green, therefore I must be given a troll rating and chased away as soon as possible. Better yet if it comes after lots of shouting and belittling.

But some seemed willing to engage and not crucify and asked some good questions. For those interested in nuance, I am happy to answer them. Specifically, why did the Greens run candidates against Paul Wellstone in 2002, and why are they running one against Bernie Sanders this year.

The Minnesota Greens had ballot status in 2002, meaning anyone could walk up and claim at least a primary ballot line with a handful of signatures and a nominal fee. Even someone who did not represent Green values.

When the Minnesota Greens met to decide what to do in the Wellstone race, that was the topic: Keeping control over their own ballot line. The state party decided to endorse someone because they feared if they did not, someone who did not share Green values might claim that easy-to-get ballot line. Think Pat Buchanan and the Reform Party.

Greens were torn by this decision. A significant number disagreed with it and even formed a Greens for Wellstone group. It also hurt the national party, as a lot of progressive Democrats who donate stopped doing so, especially big donors. But this is a grassroots organization and the national party cannot dictate to the state party what it can and cannot decide. So the national party had to make due with less contributions.

If Wellstone had lived I really doubt the Green candidate would have had any impact on the race whatsoever. It was a weak campaign, even by Green standards. That said, many Greens did have problems with Wellstone.

We expect Rick Santorum and Mitch McConnell to vote against us. When they do so, we barely notice. What we don't expect is for a senator we all admire to side with them over progressive values. And Wellstone had done just that a number of times, including voting for the Defense of Marriage Act.

If we can't get a senator like Paul Wellstone to vote in favor of marriage equality for all Americans, then what chance do we have convincing a Santorum or McConnell?

So in addition to keeping control of the ballot line, a little reminder that his left was pissed wasn't a bad thing either. It wasn't a serious challenge, but it was a reminder that there is a price to be paid for drifting to the center and hurting the people who got you there.

Now, Bernie Sanders this year. I'll let you in on a little secret, the Vermont Green Party is the ugly step-sister of the national Green Party, the one most Greens wish we could dump.

National Greens now realize that it would have been better to affiliate with the Progressive Party in Vermont, the one Sanders started. But, they didn't want to be part of a national group. So instead of working with sane progressives, it was the guys and gals who were too fringe for even the Progressives who were left to start a Green Party chapter in that state.

For some of you, this will no doubt be funny. But the Greens don't all march on the same beat. We have about 30 percent of the membership who think we are too closely tied to Democrats and do their bidding. They were against David Cobb and wanted Ralph Nader and a strong challenge in 2004, instead of the weaker challenge put up by Cobb.

They think the national party is too far to the right and are sell outs. The Vermont Green Party is one of the leaders of this camp.

Am I shocked they are running a candidate against Bernie Sanders? No way, I would expect nothing less from them. In short, they are pain in the butts and that appears to be their only election strategy, to annoy people.

But in the Green Party it is the state parties that tell the national party what to do, not the other way around. So the rest of us Greens will likely support Sanders and look forward to him taking a Senate seat.

And hope for the day when we can convince the Progressive Party to align with the national Green Party and try and figure out how to dump the current loons running the Vermont Green Party.

I don't expect Democrats to agree with those decisions. Bush is right, it would be much easier if we were a dictatorship and could make others do what we wish.

But one of the Greens founding pillars is grassroots democracy. And I know of no Green eager to change that. It can be a pain and drive us all crazy at some point, but we think it beats the alternative.

Originally posted to Mavor on Mon Oct 02, 2006 at 04:35 AM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  The problem comes with those who wish (6+ / 0-)

    to throw the baby out with the bath water.  I've dealt with a few reasonable Greens and many more unreasonable Greens.  Those are the ones who would make out the Democrats to be worse than the Republicans.  Those who put some so-called principle above being pragmatic. Unfortunately it's those Greens that give that whole party a bad name.  Particularly when they allow Republicans to help them to gather names to get on the ballot, many of which are fraudulent.

    I appreciate that you wrote this to bring better understanding of the whys.  I just hope you are encouraging your brethren to vote with the Dems this year so we can throw the bums out -- those Republicans walking in lockstep with Bush.

    •  But they won't (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Mia Dolan

      The only reasonable greens are those off ballots.

      I have never spoken or discussed things with reasonable greens.  

      What is a "reasonable" green, anyway?  It's usually one who wants to look less of an insane nut.  And why do they want to do that?  So that they can get more votes on the progressive side, of course.

      So, greens want to get into a dialog with Democrats, so that they can look more reasonable, so that they can take more Democratic votes.

      I'm not cooperating in a one-sided pact in which the Greens ask progressive Dems to commit suicide.

  •  The problem is not with, nor in, the Green Party (5+ / 0-)

    It is our de facto two-party system that provides no voice to alternate views.  There's no way for a third party to operate with positive effect within such a system, and that's why I'm a dem.  But I don't fault you for making the other choice.  I choose power that compromises my values; you choose values that compromise your power.  I can't call either one of those the "right" choice, but they're all we've got.

    -7.50 -6.56 | Why is it that those who can remember that those who forget history are bound to repeat it are bound to repeat it?

    by cmanaster on Mon Oct 02, 2006 at 05:44:42 AM PDT

  •  Fuck the greens (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    phenry, Mia Dolan

    Nader and the Greens are responsible for Bush.

    Say whatever you want.  This is truth, and we on the left who are progressives and have spent 6 years PROSTRATE WITH GRIEF AND ANNOYANCE WILL NEVER FORGET.

    Greens are total idiots.  The present diarist is NOT EXEMPT from that truth.

    •  Complain all you like (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ignorant bystander, Naniboujou

      It still won't make Greens vote Democratic. We need to extend a welcome to all progressive minded voters and we need to stay true to the progressive ideals of the Democratic Party. We do that, and we won't have to worry about the Greens being spoilers.

      •  No (0+ / 0-)

        Again, the Wellstone race shows that the Greens will be spoliers no matter what the Democrats do.  All you get from them in response is a bunch of lies like those being peddled by this troll diarest.  

        Chuck Norris and Mr. T walked into a bar. The bar was instantly destroyed, as that level of awesome cannot be contained in one building.

        by Mia Dolan on Mon Oct 02, 2006 at 08:04:48 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Look... (0+ / 0-)

          ....the only people who vote for the Green candidate where you have a progressive Democrat like Wellstone are the true believers. They're not going to vote Democratic anyway. They are not numerically significant. We need to stop worrying about that.

          •  I agree (0+ / 0-)

            We need to stop worrying about the Greens.  We should appeal to progressive voters, but when it comes to the Green party, we need to tell them to fuck off.  There is nothing redeeming about the Greens.  

            Chuck Norris and Mr. T walked into a bar. The bar was instantly destroyed, as that level of awesome cannot be contained in one building.

            by Mia Dolan on Mon Oct 02, 2006 at 09:00:48 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  How about... (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Zack from the SFV

              ....saying nothing at all? We don't complain about the Socialists or the Working Families Party or Peace and Freedom or any other left-wing third party. Let's just not take lefty/progressive voters for granted and let's bash the Republicans and things will fall into place nicely for us.

              •  Great idea (0+ / 0-)

                That's why I don't go to websites dedicated to the Socialists or Working Families or other third parties to convince them to vote Democratic.  I stay on my on Democratic website, DailyKos.

                My comments on this thread are merely responding to a green troll, who apparently has not realized that the Green party works hand in hand with Republicans to secure the Republican agenda.  

                Chuck Norris and Mr. T walked into a bar. The bar was instantly destroyed, as that level of awesome cannot be contained in one building.

                by Mia Dolan on Mon Oct 02, 2006 at 09:38:37 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

    •  not even close (0+ / 0-)

      The Republican party, the money machine, and a corrupt Florida state government are responsible for Bush.
      And Bush is responsible for Cheney.

      How many miles per soldier does your SUV get?

      by kamarvt on Mon Oct 02, 2006 at 06:49:00 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  An admiral gesture, Mavor (6+ / 0-)

    Your civil tone and patient discource shows that all Greens aren't just trolls on Dkos. The problem arises, I think, when kossacks and other dems see the militant Greens who don't care, or even take pleasure in, the demise of a progressive (or moderate) Democrat and the election of a Republican. I really disagree with the notion that electing Republicans is better than electing centrist Democrats. What is the real message here? Republicans can say that the people have spoken for them and can continue an agenda that is antithetical to both our parties.

    I think an excellent solution would be instant runoff voting, so progressive third party members can vote for their party's nominee and mark the Democrat as the second choice. It would also end the Republican's efforts to fund Green candidated and with it the perception that Greens are in the Republican's pockets (which, at least in Penn., has been to an extent true).

    Greens, however, should unequivocably support Democrats this year, there's just too much at stake.

    •  But greens WON'T support Dems (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Mia Dolan

      They continue to insist that splitting the vote on the left advances both parties.

      It is simply insane.  They argue, basically, that losing elections for Democrats and Greens makes both parties stronger.

      This is simply stupidity and idiocy.

    •  Bad solution (0+ / 0-)

      Instant Runoff voting is a terrible idea.  The last thing we need is to make the ballot more complicated so that Greens can express their feelings at the ballot box.  How about taking some responsibility for your vote.  Lets stop trying to suck up to these Green losers and just tell them to fuck off instead.

      Chuck Norris and Mr. T walked into a bar. The bar was instantly destroyed, as that level of awesome cannot be contained in one building.

      by Mia Dolan on Mon Oct 02, 2006 at 08:01:49 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Uh...complicated? (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Zack from the SFV

        Ireland and Australia have been using instant runoff for like 90 years. How stupid do you think Americans are?

        I agree that there are hopelessly cynical Greens who have done nothing but sabatogue progressive Democrats, but I understand, especially after the passage of S.3930, why some fair-minded people will vote for a third party. Why should we not institute a process that allows these people to vote for their candidate while not hurting the Dem nominee? It'll certainly stop the Republicans from gaming the system and funding Greens.

        In any case, my loyalty is more to progressive idealogy than the Democratic party. The Democratic party happens to be the best and most effective champion for those ideas. Without that fact, "Democrat" is just a word.

        •  Well (0+ / 0-)

          Look what happened in Florida - a better ballot and the last six years never happened. When they tried IRV in San Francisco, over ten percent of voters said they didn't understand the ballot.  Those who had the most trouble were the poor and minorities.  So IRV not only disenfranchises voters, it is also racist.  

          Elections are for electing people - not for letting Greens validate their feelings.  If you aren't willing to accept the consequences of your vote, then you are a fucking coward.

          Fortunately, neither of the major parties is interested in IRV and it will never pass.  Unfortunately, a lot of fuckheads on the left waste their time and effort on this garbage.

          Chuck Norris and Mr. T walked into a bar. The bar was instantly destroyed, as that level of awesome cannot be contained in one building.

          by Mia Dolan on Mon Oct 02, 2006 at 10:06:26 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  You wrote a well-thought diary. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ignorant bystander

    Instant run-off voting is what needs to happen.  The fact we do not have this in the U.S. is the fault of both the Republicans and the Democrats.

    I also appreciate the insight into the Green's running a candidate "against" Paul Wellstone.  It didn't make sense at the time to me, but I understand your very real fear of being taken over by wingnuts.

    They call it pollution. We call it life.

    by Naniboujou on Mon Oct 02, 2006 at 06:16:03 AM PDT

  •  Why waste all this effort? (0+ / 0-)

    W/ all due respect, what are the Greens accomplishing?  Nader didn't get the 5% he needed to get federal funding in 2000.  He did help elect W.  His 2004 race was a joke.

    The Greens will never elect a MOC, and there's currently no rational basis to ever expect them to elect someone to statewide office. So they can elect a councilmember here and there at a time when the fundamentals of our system of govt are under assault.  Is that worth the effort?  Is that worth being used by the Rethugs in PA to try to get Romanelli on the ballot?

    Some men see things as they are and ask why. I see things that never were and ask why not?

    by RFK Lives on Mon Oct 02, 2006 at 07:02:46 AM PDT

  •  Dirty Fucking Troll (0+ / 0-)

    This dishonest piece of shit diary is about par for the course for Greens.  The Greens did not need to run a candidate against Wellstone to stay on the ballot - they just needed one statewide candidate to reach five percent, and the Senate race was the race is which they were least likely to get it.

    If the Greens were really dissatisfied with Paul Wellstone, that shows exactly what a bunch of fucking jerkoffs Greens are. What is the point of even trying to reason with these losers?

    The funny part is that the guy they nominated to run against Wellstone, Ed McGaa, was a pro-war candidate who made a living dumping toxic waste on reservations.

    In the mid-1980s, McGaa was president of a company called Cinagro, an affiliate of Consolidated Management Corp., which got a $7 million contract from the Metropolitan Waste Control Commission (MWCC) to haul incinerated sludge to South Dakota.

    The incinerated sludge was a gray, powderlike substance that collected at the bottom of incinerators that burn the solid waste, or sludge, from the sewer system. The sludge was mostly human waste. It was not classified as hazardous but Minnesota laws prevented the commission from disposing it in landfills. Environmentalists, though, had raised concerns about high levels of cadmium and lead as well as other metals. McGaa said he was looking for opportunities for 6,000 acres of land that he and his sister owned on the reservation. He said he became aware of the sludge as an employee of the Metropolitan Airports Commission when the ash was used to keep dust and dirt down at regional airports. After learning that the Waste Commission was trying to get rid of its sludge, McGaa said he approached tribal leaders, who expressed an interest in a project that would create jobs.

    But Dave Pourier, director of the Oglala Sioux tribal land office and who at the time was chairman of the tribal council's subcommittee, said that some members feared that the recycled waste might be toxic. Pourier said that when McGaa approached the committee in 1988, members decided not to pursue the idea. The ash ended up getting stored in warehouses in nearby Igloo, S.D., and it was buried in 1989.

    That's your Green candidate?  That is your better alternative to Paul Wellstone?

    Take your troll garbage elsewhere you lying sack of shit.

    Chuck Norris and Mr. T walked into a bar. The bar was instantly destroyed, as that level of awesome cannot be contained in one building.

    by Mia Dolan on Mon Oct 02, 2006 at 07:57:45 AM PDT

    •  Please read before jumping to conclusions (1+ / 1-)
      Recommended by:
      Zack from the SFV
      Hidden by:
      Mia Dolan
      I did not say they needed the campaign to maintain ballot status.

      I said that they already had ballot status and that pretty much anyone could come along and claim it, and their concern was make sure the candidate had Green values.

      Ed McGaa was endorsed by the Greens at their statewide meeting, but he lost the primary election to Ray Tricomo.

      Here's the story.

      It was specifically because he didn't seem to have Green values that he lost the support of most Greens and the election.

      My facts are correct.

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