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From today's Virginia results, a whiff of Nader 2000.  Webb leads by about 7,000 votes. Glenda Parker, the Green candidate, got over 26,000. If we lose Virginia in a recount, and thus control of the Senate, we'll have Green Glenda (NOT the good witch) to thank.

The problem of Green spoilers, a la Nader 2000 and still perhaps Glenda 2006, is not going to go away.  Saying more loudly, "Hey people, don't vote Green" is, it strikes me, not likely to do a damn bit of good.

How to deal with this?  A proposal below the fold.

From today's New York Times[] :

Early this afternoon, with 99 percent of precincts reporting, Jim Webb, the Democratic challenger, led Senator George Allen, a Republican, by less than 8,000 votes out of more than 2.3 million cast -- a difference of about one-third of a percent. . . .

The races in Virginia and Montana were both complicated by the presence of third-party candidates who drew more votes than the margin separating the two major-party candidates.

In Virginia, Glenda Parker of the Independent Green Party had slightly more than 1 percent of the vote this morning. Ms. Parker, a former Pentagon budget analyst, had no affiliation with the national Green Party. She ran on two issues, calling for cuts in the federal deficit and the construction of a high-speed rail network to cut dependence on oil. Late in the campaign, when she was attracting about 2 percent support in opinion surveys, she considered dropping out and endorsing either Mr. Webb or Mr. Allen, but then changed her mind.

Bear in mind, the main difference between progressive Dems and Greens isn't policy, it's tactics.  Survey 100 progressive Dems and 100 Greens about the things most important to Greens -- energy policy and the environment -- and you'll get doggone similar answers.  (OK, I admit this is an assumption on my part.  If anyone is better informed about this, please chime in.)

No, where Greens and Dems part ways is on how to get the policy implemented. Greens think Dems are too timid and too sold-out to a corrupt system to accomplish anything meaningful.  Dems think Greens are too naive and impractical  to accomplish anything meaningful.  

How to bridge the gap?  Is there a way to get the POLICIES we agree on enacted, by resolving our tactical differences?

I think, perhaps, there is.  And I think there's a bonus for both sides -- a factor that would make the whole greater than the sum of the parts.  

First the tactical plan, then the bonus.

The tactical plan.

For 2008 and every Presidential election thereafter, the Greens and Dems could make an alliance on the following terms:

1. Until mid-October, the Dem Pres nominee and the Green Pres nominee will pursue their separate campaigns.

2. In mid-October, whichever of the two candidates is trailing in the polls will withdraw and endorse the other candidate.

3. In return for the endorsement, the withdrawing candidate will be allowed to name a certain number of cabinet secretaries if the remaining candidate wins the election.  (Say, two cabinet secretaries for the first 4% of poll support, plus one other secretary for each 2% or 3% or whatever.)

Of course, in 2008 the Green candidate would withdraw and endorse the Dem.  But because the Green campaign would matter to both election outcome and post-election policy, people would pay attention to the Greens.  They would have a real opportunity to expand their support in each election.  After several election cycles, it might be the Dem who has to withdraw -- or to "greenify" his (or her) platform to compete for Green votes.

AND -- most importantly, of course -- this would strengthen everybody's chances of BEATING THE DAMN REPUBLICANS.

Similar rules could apply in Senate, House, and governor races.  The withdrawing-and-endorsing candidate becomes a member of the winner's staff, or gets to name the head of the state EPA, or something meaningful.

The bonus.

The Republicans didn't just suddenly rise from the dead in 1994.  They slowly and methodically built an intellectual foundation that shifted the terms of the debate. Their think tanks, opinion magazines, pundits, Newts, Blooms, etc. kept injecting hard-right ideas into the public debate until the shock of how far-right they were wore off. By moving the limits of acceptable ideas rightward, they moved the general public's perceived center rightward as well. What had once been right seemed center, and what had once been moderate-left seemed far-left. This is how they made "liberal" a dirty word.

If we play our cards right, the Greens could be our chance to reverse the process. Let the Greens advance the really radical energy, environmental, social, whatever policies. Let them be taken seriously by the general public. Let them pull the margins of acceptable debate leftward, and with it the perceived center will shift left as well -- until it's where the Democrats already are. Result: Democrats win more elections. Greener policies become law. Everybody's happy except the Republican bastards.

If we don't find some way to deal with the Greens, their presence will bite us -- and America -- in the ass.  


Originally posted to HeyMikey on Wed Nov 08, 2006 at 02:36 PM PST.

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Comment Preferences

  •  The way (10+ / 0-)

    to deal with the "Green problem" is to win elections by more votes than they get.  No IRV, no alliances.  Just win voters.  

    •  That's a good Plan A. (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      exNYinTX, snakelass, G2geek, merrinc

      But Plan A didn't work in 2000, still might not work in Virginia 2006, and is bound not to work again in some important race, sometime.

      Don't you think we need a Plan B?

      -4.25, -4.87 "Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler." - Albert Einstein

      by HeyMikey on Wed Nov 08, 2006 at 02:41:52 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I don't think so. (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Odysseus, mayan, kaye, red bed head

        Win with good ideas and candidates.  The Greens are marginal to the vast majority of American voters.  Environmentalism is not.  

        I prefer Dean's change the Democratic Party from within strategy.

        •  I don't get it. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          phenry, merrinc

          Those "marginal people" cost us the Presidency in 2000.  Florida was NOT the only state in which Dubya's margin of victory was smaller than  Nader's vote.

          And you propose to do NOTHING to prevent this from happening again?

          -4.25, -4.87 "Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler." - Albert Einstein

          by HeyMikey on Wed Nov 08, 2006 at 03:01:08 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Those that did not vote cost us (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Grand Poobah, bnasley, TomP, red bed head

            and those that voted Republican cost us.  Why blame the Greens?  Peel off votes from the independents and get non-voters to actually vote but stop blaming the Greens.  

            Arlington, Virginia

            by ScienceMom on Wed Nov 08, 2006 at 03:03:49 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  Gore (4+ / 0-)

            cost the Dems the presidency because he did not get enough votes to prevent the Florida debacle, which was exacerbated by a disingenuous Supreme Court ruling.  

            We (the Dems) don't get awarded Green votes.  We have to win them.  Gore failed to get enough votes (greens, independants, or otherwise) and that is why he lost.    

            I think scapegoating the Greens prevents us from the real task, which is winning because we convince voters.  Making the Greens irrelevant by winning is a far better strategy.  

            •  Must I resort to a sports analogy? (0+ / 0-)

              (A) Receiver drops touchdown pass in end zone.

              (B) Placekicker misses field goal.

              (C) Running back fumbles on 1-yard line.

              Team loses game by 1 point.  Coach proposes to work with running backs on fumble-prevention drills.  

              Running backs say, "No, the fumble didn't matter, it was the placekicker's fault???????"

              -4.25, -4.87 "Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler." - Albert Einstein

              by HeyMikey on Wed Nov 08, 2006 at 03:49:42 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

      •  Actually Implement Environmental Policies (0+ / 0-)

        and co-op the Green Party's call to environmentalist.  The Green Party is mostly funded by Republican donors who are drawing votes away from the Democrats.

      •  Mikey, YOUR plan A is brilliant (0+ / 0-)

        I'm with you 100%, you've got a brilliant plan there, and it deserves all of our support.  I posted the reasons why I disagree with Tom (above) and that set of facts is the foundation of why I agree with you.  

        The Greens will have to come to understand, that getting a post as Secretary of Transportation or EPA or FCC for that matter, will be a huge gain to them.  

        If the Democrats offer such a thing and then renege on the promise, the Greens can declare war in the next round and cause major damage.  Everyone knows this.

        The only problem I can see with your plan is, if there is a formal arrangement or even a hint, that there might be a Green at a cabinet level post, you will see corporate money going Republican as if they're trying to save themselves from being tortured slowly to death.  You will see the Democrats painted as anti-worker, and that's just the beginning.  You will see results similar to what happened after Chevron threw a metric ton of money at that oil tax ballot measure in CA.  If you thought that the phrase "San Francisco Values" was nasty, just wait until the Rs get hold of a promse to appoint a Green head of EPA.  

        Thus, the entire plan has to be handled with the absolute utmost of secrecy.  Think of Roosevelt & Churchill discussing Enigma decrypts.  Think of the Manhattan project.  This whole thing needs to be TS from top to bottom.  

        I would suggest you start talking with people in appropriate positions but do it quietly and do not publicize any of it.  As far as public consumption is concerned, the issue began and ended with this one "speculative" diary.  

        And I say this as someone who believes that we are about to reap the proverbial whirlwind ecologically, with catastrophic consequences.  Achieving sustainability is the most important task for the rest of this entire century.  And that task is so important that it deserves the secrecy and the care that will be needed to assure that it can begin and move toward completion.  

        •  Hmmm. I was thinking the opposite. (0+ / 0-)

          Remember, I was hoping both to win individual close elections, and to shift the terms of public debate, so mainstream Dems are perceived as the center.  The debate-shifting bit only works if Greens are taken seriously by a good chunk of the broad electorate.  This won't happen unless the broad electorate realizes some Green ideas stand a real chance of becoming policy.

          As some other posters have pointed out, one thing the Greens have accomplished is to draw some people into politics who otherwise wouldn't bother.  Surely there are a bunch of Green-leaning people who have remained nonpolitical because they don't see greener policies as POLITICALLY viable.  Some of these folks will actually start voting once that viability appears.  And you can bet they won't vote Republican.  I know, a political movement that depends on new voters is a loser.  Remember, I'm not looking for the basis of a party or campaign --  just a small edge, a percentage point or two.  As I type this at 7:30am ET Thursday, says 10 House races are still undecided, as is the Va. Senate race.  These are the situations I'm looking to address.

          The public is already shifting towards greener policies.  "An Inconvenient Truth" was well-received; hybrid vehicles sell for over sticker price; Willie Nelson is hawking biofuel.  There's a political market looking for the right political product.  We have to figure out how to make that market work for us.

          The corporate outlook is shifting, too.  Here's an article from today's NY Times on ADM looking to biofuels for major profits.  Just read another article recently about one of the big chemical companies (Dow? wish I could recall, sorry) saving big $ internally and  developing profitable new products by getting greener.  I don't mean to imply there's no longer any big corporate opposition; of course there is.  But the corporate picture is no longer one-sided.

          -4.25, -4.87 "Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler." - Albert Einstein

          by HeyMikey on Thu Nov 09, 2006 at 04:30:12 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  interesting.... (0+ / 0-)

            I agree, going green is also better for the bottom line and this will become a more and more substantial source of profit as we hit the limits to growth (i.e. the end of growth-based economics will force a shift to efficiency-based economics or something like that; I'm still wrestling with this issue).  

            If you want to go the public route instead of the TS route, then what needs to happen is, we need to start doing this one immediately.  "The Greens were right about X, the Greens were right about Y, and about Z..." and start mainstreaming Green ideas from day one.  

            The Greens will have to help here by becoming a bit more pragmatic in tone: stop the corporate-bashing, embrace the science even when it doesn't mesh with ideology (example: nuclear power is actually good from the climate perspective, and new technologies solve both the operational safety issues and the waste disposal issues), change the theories as new facts come in (i.e. behave like good scientists), and shift Green culture from a "counterculture-ish" appearance/attitude toward something more mainstream & middle of the road.  

            And also, we have to come up with Green initiatives that the private sector will embrace.  Major tax & financial incentives geared toward the construction of wind and nuclear installations, are an obvious case; but we also have to find ways to do this without worsening the national debt, which is difficult but not impossible.  New science & technology incentives, and incentives for technology entrepreneurs and for new ways of financing the necessary development.  

            At the same time we need to reform intellectual property law based on the national security interests involved in this.  For example, the patents on large-format NiMH batteries are presently locked-down by Chevron who have no plans to release them until the patents expire in 2014.  Yet Panasonic & Toyota were ready to go with electric vehicle technologies based on those batteries, and can't do so.  Chevron should be forced to license those patents on market-viable terms or lose the patents.  This is just one case, there are many more.  And this case has to be made to the public, because "takings" are wrong unless there is a compelling state interest, which there certainly is in this instance.

            So we have quite a task ahead.  Time to roll up our sleeves....

    •  disagree. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Tom, face the facts:

      If it weren't for Nader, we wouldn't have wasted nearly a decade of precious time dealing with the climate crisis.  

      In races with slim margins, the Green vote can make the difference between a Republican and a Democratic victory.  

      Ours is not a proprotional, pariliamentary system.

      Therefore we either find a way to capture every one of those votes, or we will lose critical races, as we did in 2000 and 2004.

      Mikey's plan is brilliant.  The important question is "how," and he's answered it.  If you can operationalize yours, I'm all ears, but at present, Mikey has done so and you haven't.  

  •  Some good points except... (26+ / 0-)

    Everyone keeps ignoring the fact that the Virginia Independent Green Party has nothing to do with the national Green party, and is instead a single issue party focused on more rail options in the state and reduction of big government by more Pentagon accountability.

    In their websites they are called Independent Conservatives, Common Sense Conservatives, and they quote conservatives prominently. In short, I think most of this party would have gone Republican, not Democratic.

  •  Instant run-off voting. (15+ / 0-)

    I hope someone will work on some legitimate campaign finance reform also.  The electoral system here is totally ridiculous.  Everyone hates it.  Let's scrap campaign contributions from any entity that can't actually vote.  Let's also limit the amounts that can be spent.  Let's also do away with the electoral college.

  •  my way of dealing with the Greens (5+ / 0-)

    Just ignore them.  They're not interested in helping Democrats win; it's an ego trip.

  •  Tip jar. (22+ / 0-)

    Still have never troll-rated anybody, but I suppose there's honor in keeping my newly-restored TU status.  Thanks for any spare mojo.

    -4.25, -4.87 "Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler." - Albert Einstein

    by HeyMikey on Wed Nov 08, 2006 at 02:40:22 PM PST

  •  Third parties pose no threat to democracy (11+ / 0-)

    voter suppression and vote fraud do.

    Gore "lost" in 2000 because of the latter, not the former.

    Dems polarize potential allies by blaming Greens for their own inability to retain votes. Over 30% of ALL registered voters are Indies. Neither the Dems or the GOP win without us.

    Third party candidates are NOT the problem and are certainly not the reason why Dems have lost elections they should not have over the past 6 years.

    A true democractic process welcomes ALL comers.

    A true democratic process guarantees and protects the rights of ALL voters to vote and have their votes counted.

    If Dems want to keep winning elections, they need to adopt platforms that resonate with voters and have clear plans to impelement them.

  •  Green vs. Libertarian (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    HK, rmx2630, TomP

    Looking around the country, Libertarian candidates have also been getting 2-3% in a lot of races. If they peel off a similar fraction of R votes then we come out pretty even. When the Greens have a stronger candidate than the Libertarians, the spoiler factor comes up, like Nader 2000. In comparison Nader 2004 was a non-factor.

    •  So, let's exploit their weakness. (0+ / 0-)

      Look at the house results around the country today.  There were many races that we won AND lost that were really, really close.  Any advantage is worth having.

      -4.25, -4.87 "Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler." - Albert Einstein

      by HeyMikey on Wed Nov 08, 2006 at 02:48:49 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  That thesis is flawed. (6+ / 0-)

    You assume that all or most of those 26,000 votes would have gone to Webb. Or, in the case of 2000, to Gore.

    I disagree. I believe that most of those 26,000 votes would have gone to no one. Most of those 26,000 voters would have stayed home.

    Why does someone vote third party? Because they are disenchanted with the two major parties. If someone's that disenchanted and there's no third alternative, they don't go to the poll and vote for the lesser of two evils. They stay home.

    Conservatives love America like four-year-old kids love their mommies. -Al Franken

    by leftilicious on Wed Nov 08, 2006 at 02:43:16 PM PST

    •  Talk to Nader 2000 voters. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      tankej, retLT, snakelass

      I personally know several people, NOT navel-gazing cynics, who agonized over whether to vote Nader or Gore in 2000.  There must have been enough of those people to shift the result in Florida.  If Nader had withdrawn and endorsed Gore on 10/15/00, we'd have President Gore today.

      -4.25, -4.87 "Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler." - Albert Einstein

      by HeyMikey on Wed Nov 08, 2006 at 02:50:49 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Thank You! (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Odysseus, red bed head

      In 2000, without Nader on the ballot I would never have bothered to vote in the election. In the end it didn't matter as Gore carried my state.

      Now, of course, I realize two things, first, that that election mattered, and two, the Gore is a much better politician than I initially assumed. Maybe he needed the years in the wilderness to figure that out.

      However, I, and I knew at least another two dozen, mostly young, mostly left-wing folks, who never would have voted in 2000 except for Nader. And many of those, once in the ballot booth, voted for Gore anyway.

      Nader sent them to the polls, and they voted for Gore.

    •  Right (0+ / 0-)

      You can't assume that Green voters would otherwise vote Democrat.  Instead they would probably stay home and kick puppies or molest children or whatever they do when they are not working to enact the Bush agenda.  

  •  Greens are ... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Turkana, justCal

    interested in self promotion just like Nadar was.

    Just like Liberman is still.


    I'm sick of America being covered by conservative crap

    by emsprater on Wed Nov 08, 2006 at 02:43:18 PM PST

    •  yet I don't hear anyone crying (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ScienceMom, merrinc, red bed head

      about how Joementum running and now winning as an Indy hurts Dems.

      Somehow since he was one of their own, his third party status seems acceptable to most Dems.

      So I would caution people not to demonize the GP.

      Most GP voters I know would not vote at all if they only had two choices. Most GP activists I know had dropped out of voting for years before 2000. From my experience the GP has not siphoned voters from Dems, it has brought disenfranchised citizens back to the polls.

      That should be a good thing, regardless of who wins or loses.

      When people vote, democracy wins and that is supposed to be what this is all about (Democracy, not just winning for the sake of winning).

      •  Brought them back -- for what? (0+ / 0-)

        How long will they stay involved if the GP loses, loses, loses, and never gets any of its ideas implemented?

        -4.25, -4.87 "Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler." - Albert Einstein

        by HeyMikey on Wed Nov 08, 2006 at 02:53:31 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  how about participating in the democratic process (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          red bed head


          That is not a victory in itself?

          From where I, and many other Indies sit, it most definitiely is.

          •  Not victory enough. Results matter. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            The "mere participation" of Nader voters in 2000 is why we're stuck in Iraq today, and why my kids will be paying off the Dubya deficit for the rest of their taxpaying lives.  Mere participation ain't enough.

            -4.25, -4.87 "Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler." - Albert Einstein

            by HeyMikey on Wed Nov 08, 2006 at 03:03:13 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

    •  See my comment above: (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      "Maybe the candidates. Not the voters."

      -4.25, -4.87 "Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler." - Albert Einstein

      by HeyMikey on Wed Nov 08, 2006 at 02:51:59 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Well... (0+ / 0-)

    It sounds like a nice idea, but I don't see it happening.  Cabinet posts are big mojo and giving up even one post to someone not of your party means you can't use it to reward someone of your party.  More to the point, a sizable percentage of the Democratic leadership is still terrified of Republican talking points, and the Republicans act as if the Greens were just a new face of the Communist party.  I don't think you can get the big Democratic outfits to agree to do anything but say "Oh, we're not like those nasty Commie^H^H^H^H^H^H^HGreens".

    From a purely practical standpoint its a good idea, but I don't see it happening.  And thats ignoring the rank and file Democrats who see Greens as traitors.

    "Mission Accomplished" -- George W. Bush May 2, 2003

    by gaijin99 on Wed Nov 08, 2006 at 02:43:30 PM PST

    •  Chicken-and-egg problem. (0+ / 0-)

      You raise a problem of perception by the general public.  I'm talking about how to change that perception.

      -4.25, -4.87 "Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler." - Albert Einstein

      by HeyMikey on Wed Nov 08, 2006 at 02:55:06 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Independent Conservative Candidates (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    I'd like to see us good guys encourage independent conservative candidates.  Let those guys cannibalize each other.  If the Republican party can work with the Greens in PA, why can't we do the same in the purple states.

  •  mistake found for allen (0+ / 0-)

    According to david schuster Allen already found a some votes that went to webb that should have gone to him and would bring the lead down to around 4,000.
    He said the chances are slim that Allen could come up with 7,000 votes because the chances are they will also find mistakes that favored webb , so this could get intereting.

  •  Those are very constructive ideas (0+ / 0-)

    and they would also serve the Green Party's goals, and perhaps... even make them relevant to the political landscape.

    Then, perhaps the green party could really be green (G), instead of BROWN (S) - for spoiler)

  •  Reaching out to Greens is a good idea (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    tankej, wild salmon, HK, red bed head

    Global warming is on everyone's minds nowadays - if not, it will be soon.  It behooves Dems to get their heads into the game regarding the environment.

    Yes, there are still FEMINISTS on Daily Kos! Join the fabulous Supervixens every Thurs. night.

    by hrh on Wed Nov 08, 2006 at 02:47:50 PM PST

  •  This assumes Greens are rational (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    phenry, TomP

    With some exceptions, Greens are on the ballot only to engage in a bit of political theater and the occasional ballot blackmail.  Glenda Parker's candidacy was a joke - it wasn't about transportation and deficits, but train sets and some accounting software at the Pentagon.  Our local county Green in  Arlington?  Doesn't even understand that VA law prohibits half of his proposals.  What a waste of time.  

    They never actually expect to win, and if one ever did, I suspect he/she'd be stunned into silence.  The above scenario gives them entirely too much credit (and is really too generous - naming of cabinet secretaries?).

    We might not be able to ignore them, but I'm certainly not going to take them seriously until they take the idea of governing seriously.

  •  some people say we need accomodate the greens (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    phenry, justCal, Mia Dolan, roycej

    i say we bury them. they can join us, or they can exist on the margins- no voice, no power, no relevance.

    © 2006 "we've done the impossible, and that makes us mighty!" -malcolm reynolds

    by Laurence Lewis on Wed Nov 08, 2006 at 02:48:15 PM PST

  •  Eye on the ball folks (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    wild salmon, HeyMikey, HK, red bed head

    Would you just quit with the Green bashing troll diary (my term).  This woman isn't a green, she's an attention seeking, single-issue egomaniac.  There are more important indictments than this here - including the POTUS, the Vice President, and his remaining syncophants.  Fact is, I'm a "prenader" green who has worked my ass off for the democratic cause, and I just get sick of all this crap.  Can we just focus on the Repub's, or even the repub's disguised as greens, but lay off the damn greens as a whole - it's like picking on Christians - yeah there's some out there who just wrap themselves in the cross and abuse the power - but, there's a lot more that are potential allies.  Please stop alienating good people with this vitriole.  

    If you want to read my comments, you can see what kind of participant I am in this community, but I'm just sick of the pie-fights started by "blaming the greens".  Friggin cut it out - you're no better than those you judge when you do that.  

  •  About the Greens (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    phenry, fou, Mia Dolan

    I don't pretend to speak for anyone but myself, but as far as I'm concerned the Greens are dead to me. They can vote however they want, but the fact that even after the 2000 debacle many continued voting Green made it obvious to me that they are zealots who like many zealots, will not accept any incremental solution to their issues, they want it all or nothing.

  •  Greens DID vote Dem (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    wild salmon, HK, turthlover, TomP, red bed head

    Greens did vote Dem this election cycle, not a single Green affected a race this year.  Note: Glenda was an Independent Green--a conservative group...) As long as the Democratic party continues to demonstrate progressive values, they'll vote Democratic.  If Dems waffle, as they did in 2000--they won't.

    •  Yebbut . . . (0+ / 0-)

      . . . it's made a HUGE difference to our country that we ended up with Dubya instead of the waffling, mediocre, sniveling Gore of 2000.  Get over this idea of what the Dems "deserve."  It's right, but so what?  If the Dems don't win, regardless of what they deserve, then we're ruled by Republicans.

      -4.25, -4.87 "Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler." - Albert Einstein

      by HeyMikey on Wed Nov 08, 2006 at 03:07:34 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  The Independent Green Party of Virginia (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    HK, fou

    from the Wikipedia

    The Independent Green Party of Virginia is a political party in the Commonwealth of Virginia, United States, formed in early 2004. The party is completely independent of the national Green Party (United States), which does have their own official affiliate in Virginia. This strip party holds a different platform from the Green Party in the respect that they claim to be fiscally conservative.

    Homeland: as in Bantustan, or as in home of the brave and land of the free?

    by homeland observer on Wed Nov 08, 2006 at 02:51:21 PM PST

  •  The Answer is Simple (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Odysseus, wild salmon, HK, red bed head

    Instead of discouraging democracy and whining about Green Party candidates - who, one have every right to run and two, this year, were generally magnanimous, realized the stakes, and withdrew from close races - Democrats who are sooooooo worried about the "Green threat" need to push for things like Instant Runoff Voting (IRV), the Working Families Party set-up in New York State (where a Party can endorse another party's candidate without ceding their ballot line) and other mechanisms that allow democracy to bring in third party voices without threatening spoiler-effects in close races.

    So what do you say? Democrats have been whining about this since 2000 - why not put your whine into an effort to push through these badly-needed reforms?

    •  I don't think the system needs reforming. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      I see IVR as nothing more than a system designed to allow greens to cast a vote without feeling guilty.

      If they want a party they can build it on their own.  They don't need my help.

      We will not distinguish between sexual predators and those who harbor them.

      by clonecone on Wed Nov 08, 2006 at 02:54:56 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Actually, I think IRV is a great idea. (0+ / 0-)

      Don't quite understand the bit about endorsement and keeping the ballot line.  How does that work?

      -4.25, -4.87 "Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler." - Albert Einstein

      by HeyMikey on Wed Nov 08, 2006 at 03:09:04 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Its Called "Electoral Fusion" (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        red bed head

        The Working Families Party has a ballot line. This year rather than running their own candidates, they endorsed the entire Democratic slate. So you could vote for Hillary Clinton not under the Democratic line, but under the Working Families line.

        Because of this, the WFP gets credit and support for party building. It also forces New York Dems to court the WFP for their votes. The WFP is a progressive, left party backed by unions and other progressive forces, with a politics somewhere between New Dealism and democratic socialists like Bernie Sanders.

        Because votes can be "fused" that allows third parties here a voice in the Two-Party system.

        The same works for the Conservative Party on the right in New York.

        I think its great. I voted straight WFP ticket, backed a party whose politics I believe in, and still sent the Repukes packing.

        •  Nation article on Electoral Fusion, and the WFP (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          red bed head
        •  What Will You Do (0+ / 0-)

          When someday the Working Families Party gets taken over by somebody like Ray Harding - the monster who took over the Liberal Party and turned it into a patronage factory thay was responsible for making Al D'Amato a Senator and Rudy Giuliani a Mayor.  You are working on naive assumptions about the good-will and integrity of the people involved in the political process.  Such naivete inevitably leads to disaster - as was the case of the election of George Bush in 2000, or the election of Adolph Hitler in '33 (which was the result of the refusal of the German hard left to align itself with the German SDP).

          •  The Nazi Hyperbole (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            suggests that there is little need to take your commentary seriously.

            First, in the German election of 1933, the KDP (German Communist Party) had already been made illegal. Despite the objections of the SDP.

            Second, the WFP is supplied with most of its working budget by trade unions that are accountable to their members. If the WFP went off the deep end, the money would dry up. As it stands now, the WFP is a progressive, effective, well run, and conscientious third party.

            I cannot understand where your fear mongering is coming from. If you do not believe the progressives are more principled than the way you portray them, well, I guess there is no hope for you.

            To flip it, what if the Democratic Party is completely taken over by Heath Shuler/Bob Casey Jr. type Democrats?

            Must I be compelled to vote for people who I almost completely disagree with?

        •  Sounds pretty good, actually. n/t (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          -4.25, -4.87 "Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler." - Albert Einstein

          by HeyMikey on Wed Nov 08, 2006 at 03:58:22 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  They ran against Wellstone (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    phenry, justCal, Mia Dolan, UneasyOne

    and said there was no difference between him and Coleman.  Most greens live outside of the reality based community.  

    We will not distinguish between sexual predators and those who harbor them.

    by clonecone on Wed Nov 08, 2006 at 02:52:23 PM PST

  •  I think... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    ....that this candidate was not a classic spoiler candidate that we're used to. She was sort of a protest candidate who got support from people on a single-issue basis. These are probably people who didn't much care for either Webb or Allen and probably would have stayed home, otherwise.

    •  She's a warning. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Pithy Cherub

      Her particular issues or party affiliation is not really the point.  The point is, she demonstrates (again) that the right (rather, wrong) third-party candidate has the potential to throw the election to the Repubs.

      I don't like losing to Repubs.  Anything that increases the odds of that happening is something Dems should be concerned about fixing.

      -4.25, -4.87 "Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler." - Albert Einstein

      by HeyMikey on Wed Nov 08, 2006 at 03:13:13 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Do the math. Please. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        clonecone, red bed head

        Your reply is not addressing the point.  If voters who voted Green otherwise would have stayed home, they would not then have thrown the election to anyone.

        What we need are solid surveys, solid research and data to tell us what percent of Green voters would have voted Dem, what percent GOP, what percent would not have voted at all.  

        With solid evidence, if it shows a significant number of them would have voted Dem, you would have a solid argument.  I agree that I think -- but only think, without other than anecdotal evidence -- that this was true in 2000, but Nader pulled a larger percentage.

        One percent of the electorate is not the same as the problem in 2000.  But if it turns out that -- say -- a third of one percent could have made the difference yesterday, and research shows that a third of Green voters would have voted Dem, then you have got a start toward a conversation to be begun.

        But you want to start the conversation without the evidence that it would make a difference -- and we have a lot to do in the next two years.

        "Let all the dreamers wake the nation." -- Carly Simon

        by Cream City on Wed Nov 08, 2006 at 03:26:41 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  There's more math to do... (0+ / 0-)

          how many moderate voters would you lose if you pandered to the demands of the green purists? Is that number greater than the number you would gain?  A net loss does much more harm than good.

          We will not distinguish between sexual predators and those who harbor them.

          by clonecone on Wed Nov 08, 2006 at 03:29:53 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Bullet whizzes by my head. (0+ / 0-)

            Which is the right response?

            (a) Duck behind cover.

            (b) Assume because this shooter had lousy aim, next shooter will also.  Go about my business as before.

            -4.25, -4.87 "Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler." - Albert Einstein

            by HeyMikey on Wed Nov 08, 2006 at 04:01:56 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

  •  I'll never vote for a green n/t (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    phenry, fou, UneasyOne
  •  Sorry Greens (0+ / 0-)

    We have no choice but to try and keep you off the ballot.  You have become Republican-enablers.  We can't afford to bleed close races.  Perhaps one day when we have IRV we can welcome you back...but as of now all you are doing is hurting both your and our cause.

    •  I would urge you to lose this attitude (6+ / 0-)

      I don't think many of you devoted partisan dems do not realize how much hearing this exact sentiment turns of MANY MANY potenital Indie voters to your party.

      When you claim to have exclusive rights to determine who gets to run for elected office in our country, you sound elitist, power hungery, desperate, and not the least bit interested in our democractic process.

      Just saying.

      Look at Doctor Dean. Many GP ers migrated to DFA- why? Because Dean respects the right of all Americans to vote, run, hold elective office.

      The rest of the party could take a lesson from the good Doctor.

      •  mangled the first sentence but you get my point (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        red bed head
      •  I disagree (0+ / 0-)

        There's nothing inherently good or bad about being an Independent, Republican or Democrat.  In my mind, it's not enough to be Independent for the sake of being 'above the fray'.  What matters is the ability to build genuine consensus for real change.  Both Democrats and Republicans have proven they can do that, and this election proves that the Independent voter can be a potent force for change.

        However,  Independent third-party advocates have yet to create a viable third-party.  If you're interested in a third-party, then make it viable.  Don't just talk about it.  If someone says they won't vote Green, telling them they're elitist doesn't go a long way toward achieving that objective.  I'll never vote Green until the Green Party becomes more than a Democratic vote siphon.  Thankfully, most independents see it the way I do.

        •  I agree on viability (0+ / 0-)

          which is why I say that a viable third party needs to be built from the ground up.

          Local elections first, and demonstrate that you can lead and govern.

          I never have been a GP member and I have voted GP on a couple of local, local elections but never on a national election.

          But I will always defend the right of any party or any candidate (no matter how kooky, or counter to my values) to jump in and join the game that is the democratic process.

          That was my point.

      •  sorry (0+ / 0-)

        Nader caused the Iraq War.  What other great things do you Greens have on your to-do list?

        How exactly by putting Greens on the ballot are we going to get more people in our party???  Explain that one to me again.

        Please try, try, try to think strategically.  All you are doing is electing Rs and killing yourselves.

        Dean is my hero.  Where is he helping Greens?  Give me an example please.

        I don't claim the exclusive right to determine who gets to run.  I'm suggesting that we enforce current laws to the letter.  When you have Rs collecting signatures for you that should be your first clue.

        Ultimately I would love to have a much larger number of parties and IRV voting...until then join us or become irrelavant.

        •  Oh please (0+ / 0-)

          Nader did not vote yes on the IWR but plenty of Dems did- even when millions of Americans were smart enough to know that Bushco was lying their way into Iraq.

          So get a grip. Really.

          Greens in large numbers have joined DFA ONLY b/c of Dean and his message.

          PS. I am not a GP member and never have been but I know plenty of them and respect all the ones I know because of their passion for the environment.

          And right now our planet needs all the help it can get in that arena.

          How many GP do you really know? I wonder.

          I am on the left coast and there are plenty of GP supporters- the party IS growing in the west. The only places wher I hear such vitriol about the GP are are from states where there is no organized Green Party active in govt. So, I think alot of this anti-GP rhetoric is based out of fear and ignorance, not reality.

          My point is that Dems will need all the Indies they can recruit to vote for them in the future they can get. Same goes for the GOP. You might note that this election went Blue (yay!!) BECAUSE of the Indy vote.

          My point is- it hurts YOUR party to attack third party candidates and parties, and it particularly hurts your party with Indy voters- a voting block your party needs to win elections.

          Candidates need to be able to win campaigns on their own merits, and can't blame others for their losses.

          Third parties are not a threat to the Dem Party unless the Dem Party moves so far to the right that they are simply GOP-lite.

          •  Kyoto (0+ / 0-)

            Kyoto would have been signed by Pres Gore.  Good job Greens!  <clap> <clap>

            There would never have been an IWR without Bush!!!

            Your logic is like stabbing yourself in the hand with a giant knife and then blaming the bandaid for not being good enough at stopping the bleeding.

            Yes we need indies and we need them to vote dem.  voting indy is voting R.  get it?

            I live in CA.  I know plenty and I tell them all the same thing.

            You have to work within the system to enact change.  Ultimately we are going to get IRV and then things will be better.  Right now there are only two choices and you have to go with the better choice.  

            Please answer this question:  Why do you think republicans are donating money and collecting signatures for green party candidates???

            Look I don't know why you are calling this vitriol.  I don't hate greens.  They are right on the environment.  The only thing I am suggesting is that we need to keep greens off the ballot in close races.  It's been proven.  They can cost us elections.  I don't like the taste of it, but strategically it's the only thing to do.  Ideally, the green party would be smart enough not to accept help from Rs and would not field candidates in close races.  But apparently they aren't that smart.  Not everywhere...and so we need to stop them when they do.

  •  Green suck. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

      Libertarians help.  People are overlooking Missouri.  Currently, the Libertarian candidate has more votes than the difference between McCaskill and Talent.  Those are Talent voters or non-voters.  Libertarians would not be voting for McCaskill, I'm sure.  It works both ways.  But keep in mind we picked up 3 senate seats this cycle with less than 50% of the vote.  That's fortunate.

    P.S. I love McCaskill!

    •  I noticed that also. (0+ / 0-)

      I'm not sure how many would have voted for Talent, though.  You're right.  Some may not have voted at all.

      In some ways, the Republicans have been trying to fund the Greens to balance votes they lose to the Libertarians.  Republican funding does not necessarily mean that the Greens are "tools" of the Rs."; I think it means that the Greens just have their own agenda and take money where they can get it.  My experience is that many, but not all, Green voters would support left-wing Dems.  When the Dems move too far right, some voters move to the Greens.

      We need to focus on the Dems and let the Greens do their thing.  

    •  You're making my point. (0+ / 0-)

      Right now, there are some Talent fans thinking, "How can we co-opt those Libertarians next time around?"  If a third party can cost the Repubs an election, one can cost the Dems an election.


      -4.25, -4.87 "Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler." - Albert Einstein

      by HeyMikey on Wed Nov 08, 2006 at 03:16:24 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  How to Deal With the Greens (0+ / 0-)

    Finally, a way to put extraordinary renditions to good use!

  •  Fuck the Green Party (1+ / 1-)
    Recommended by:
    Hidden by:
    Cream City

    Who the fuck was that bitch?  Because of her, we have to have a fucking recount in VA.

  •  Your Plan (0+ / 0-)

    fails to take into account the fact that Greens are dirty Republican Whores who only care about hurting the Democratic party.  Promising cabinet positions to paid Republican operatives?  Um, that would be no.

    •  Oh, Mia . . . (0+ / 0-)

      . . . those are other Greens.  Everyone here means well. :)

    •  Pull your head out of your navel. (0+ / 0-)

      Some are exactly as you describe.

      Some are the opposite -- idealistic, naive, want to make the world a better place, don't realize they're beating their heads against a wall.

      Some think like Margaret Mead: "A small group of thoughtful people could change the world. Indeed, it's the only thing that ever has." (Isn't that more or less the premise behind DailyKos?)

      Think back to 2000.  Surely you had a friend or two who was thinking of voting Nader.  Is this friend a dirty Republican whore?

      -4.25, -4.87 "Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler." - Albert Einstein

      by HeyMikey on Wed Nov 08, 2006 at 06:05:41 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  There is a difference (0+ / 0-)

        between people who get sucked into the Green lies, and those who perpetrate them.  Its the perpetrators that are the dirty Republican whores.  

        The problem with your Margaret Mead quote is the word "thoughful."  That is missing from the Greens.  

        •  One of the things we hate about Republicans . . . (0+ / 0-)

          . . . is their inability to recognize the essential humanity of people who aren't like them.  They have a long history of convincing themselves and the public that their problems are the fault of some "other" -- blacks, Jews, commies, hippies, liberals, gays, illegal immigrants.  "We don't need to change.  We just need those OTHER people to change."

          Don't fall into that trap yourself.

          -4.25, -4.87 "Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler." - Albert Einstein

          by HeyMikey on Thu Nov 09, 2006 at 02:36:23 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Still missing the distinction (0+ / 0-)

            I don't think I'm missing anything when I can't recognize the essential humanity in Rick Santorum.  Or Ralph Nader.  Bad, bad people.  

            •  Santorum, Nader, us, etc. (0+ / 0-)

              I am glad Santorum lost, probably for the same reasons you are.  But consider this:

              For there has been at least one constant in Washington over the past 12 years: almost every time a serious piece of antipoverty legislation surfaces in Congress, Rick Santorum is there playing a leadership role. . . .

              More recently, he has pushed through a stream of legislation to help the underprivileged, often with Democratic partners. With Dick Durbin and Joe Biden, Santorum has sponsored a series of laws to fight global AIDS and offer third world debt relief. With Chuck Schumer and Harold Ford, he's pushed to offer savings accounts to children from low-income families. With John Kerry, he's proposed homeownership tax credits. With Chris Dodd, he backed legislation authorizing $860 million for autism research. With Joe Lieberman he pushed legislation to reward savings by low-income families.

              In addition, he's issued a torrent of proposals, many of which have become law: efforts to fight tuberculosis; to provide assistance to orphans and vulnerable children in developing countries; to provide housing for people with AIDS; to increase funding for Social Services Block Grants and organizations like Healthy Start and the Children's Aid Society; to finance community health centers; to combat genocide in Sudan. . . .

              Bono, who has worked closely with him over the years, got it right: ''I would suggest that Rick Santorum has a kind of Tourette's disease; he will always say the most unpopular thing. But on our issues, he has been a defender of the most vulnerable.''

              Sure, the above is by David Brooks, whom you may not consider human either, and whom I certainly consider generally too conservative.  Still, facts are facts.

              And before Nader went off the deep end, he got a lot of good stuff done for a lot of people.  I suspect there are hundreds or thousands of people alive and healthy in America who have NOT been injured or killed thanks to consumer-protection laws Nader and his allies helped push through.

              We Democrats will not always be in charge. Even now, we don't have enough votes to override a veto or break a filibuster.  We'll simply get more of what WE want if we learn to find common ground with others.

              -4.25, -4.87 "Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler." - Albert Einstein

              by HeyMikey on Fri Nov 10, 2006 at 09:47:06 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

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