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No Labels gathering
Is there anything more grassroots-y than a few dozen lobbyists pretending to be regular citizens?
In case you are wondering who is behind the cyclical (and cynical) attempts to launch "independent" and "moderate" third parties ahead of presidential elections, just look to the folks who have gained the most from our dysfunctional capital. Mark Schmitt explains:
These third-party or independent projects usually have three characteristics in common, with one exception to be noted below. First, the people stoking these initiatives are rarely outsiders—typically, they are the very people for whom the existing political system has been most lucrative. They are lobbyists, fundraisers, political consultants. If there is, as is often alleged, a continuous cocktail party that runs the country from Georgetown salons, this is it. No Labels, for example, was founded by Nancy Jacobson, a legendary Democratic fundraiser, co-founder also of the Democratic think tank Third Way, and a Georgetown doyenne whose husband, Mark Penn, masterminded Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign and runs the third-largest public relations firm in the world.

In other words, if NY City Mayor Michael Bloomberg runs, lots of consultants will get very rich.

the second characteristic of these imaginary third parties or independent candidacies is that they invariably invoke a banal litany from the business world to explain how they will break the “duopoly” of party politics. Since no one does that rap better than New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman, let’s turn it over to the master: “What did to books, what the blogosphere did to newspapers, what the iPod did to music, what did to pharmacies, Americans Elect plans to do to the two-party duopoly that has dominated American political life—remove the barriers to real competition, flatten the incumbents and let the people in.”

So Connecticut Sen. Joe Lieberman and Bloomberg will flatten the incumbents? As Mark Schmitt notes, they are the incumbents!

Third, these efforts are always deliberately vague about policy. While alluding to various sensible goals like clean energy, there’s really just one policy problem that they get passionate about and foresee the imaginary president solving: the federal deficit.

If there was ever any evidence that these "centrist" third parties are nothing more than a Beltway fantasy, this is it. First of all, you already have an entire Republican Party pretending to care about nothing more than deficits (so long as it doesn't get in the way of a tax cut for Paris Hilton). Then you have half the Democratic Party pushing a destructive policy of austerity, and a president who is similarly obsessed with deficit cutting.

Really, the problem with our nation isn't enough focus on the deficit—it's too much focus on the deficit. But it's telling that for deficit-obsessed insiders (everyone must suffer pain, except their friends!), they believe that the issue is a ticket to national excitement and relevance.

It's not, which is why they must go through charades like this one to pretend to be grassroots-y.

Schmitt's conclusion:

Here’s Politico’s Allen again, with executive editor Jim VandeHei, explaining their online primary: “Voters have watched first George W. Bush and then Barack Obama promise to reach out to the other party—then not only fail spectacularly at bipartisanship but make the city’s divisions even deeper.” But the failure here was not principally Obama’s. Nor was it entirely the fault of congressional Republicans. It was the system as it has evolved, a system with too many veto points and too much entrenched power, and one in which money carries too much weight. It’s a system that can be reformed, in ways large and small, but a third party or independent candidacy, absent other reforms, won’t do a thing to the system. And the fact that many of the leading advocates for a third party or independent candidate are so deeply embedded in the system, and are its winners, should make us all even more skeptical about the fantasy.

Atrios has another reason to be skeptical.

Originally posted to kos on Thu Dec 15, 2011 at 11:04 AM PST.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  I've always looked at third party (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    tytalus, jan4insight

    candidates as those kids who 'took the ball and went home' because they weren't getting their own way.

    As if it is the fault of the parties that the people chose not to vote for them.

    But it would be oh so much fun if Trump or Bloomberg did decide to run. But I wouldn't hold my breath.

    Growing old is inevitable...Growing up is purely optional

    by grannycarol on Thu Dec 15, 2011 at 11:13:10 AM PST

    •  That might be reasonable assessment (0+ / 0-)

      if we were dealiing with civil liberties and economic populism, but it' certainly doesn't apply in this case of beltway hacks looking to form consummate The Bipartisan Party.

      Narrating in alternate chapters—Lenny through old-fashioned diary entries, Eunice through her online correspondence—the pair reveal a funhouse-mirror version of contemporary America: terminally indebted to China, controlled by the singular Bipartisan Party (Big Brother as played by a cartoon otter in a cowboy hat), and consumed by the superficial*. Shteyngart's earnestly struggling characters—along with a flurry of running gags—keep the nightmare tour of tomorrow grounded.

      *Emphasis mine.

  •  Thanks for pulling back the curtain... (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    tytalus, TomP, sc kitty, BarackStarObama

    and exposing the people working the levers....

    OK. And now we begin the part of the show where we pull out individual words and phrases of the commenter to try to determine the "real" meaning of the comment.... let the games begin.

    by hillbrook green on Thu Dec 15, 2011 at 11:13:42 AM PST

  •  Here's (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    wu ming, eataTREE

    a secret: I called independents in my district the last few days of the Franken/Coleman race. They vote the man rather than the politics so they said . Which translated to my ears, "I want to hear about the personal foibles of norm Coleman". And I obliged.

  •  Oh for fuck's sake! (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    sc kitty, journeyman, ItsaMathJoke
    “Voters have watched first George W. Bush and then Barack Obama promise to reach out to the other party—then not only fail spectacularly at bipartisanship but make the city’s divisions even deeper.”

    Exactly what did Bush do to create bipartisanship? Get the Iraq vote scheduled right before an election to try to punish any Democrat that stood in his way?

    Obama stopped just short of a full Lewinski to get the GOP on board with his proposals and was still treated the way he was and yet these jackasses still act as if he never tried to give an inch.

    I'm embarrassed for my profession.

    I was Rambo in the disco/ I was shootin' to the beat/ When they burned me in effigy My vacation was complete. Neil Young

    by Mike S on Thu Dec 15, 2011 at 11:31:53 AM PST

    •  It's the he said/she said, both-sides-do-it false (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      sc kitty, jan4insight, Mike S, murasaki

      equivalency that the right wing has drummed into the media and benefits the most from.

      Another feature of the media that benefits the right: its collective amnesia of anything older than three months. The only time the media mentions Bush now is to say "Obama can't keep blaming things on Bush!"

      •  Yep, the "MSM" beats the drum hard (0+ / 0-)

        for whatever narrative they want to push. Including outright falsehoods about Obama.

        Often they let deceived "average voters" be the mouthpieces of this non- "truthiness."

        Democrats promote the Common good. Republicans promote Corporate greed.

        by murasaki on Thu Dec 15, 2011 at 04:05:35 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Allen talks like a drug addict (0+ / 0-)

      not that there's anything wrong with...wait a minute...

      what a self serving dose of bullshit, Politico, spit!

      Jin VandeHie should work for NPR.

      ..squinting all the while in the glare of a culture that radiates ultraviolet consumerism and infrared celebrity...Russell Brand

      by KenBee on Fri Dec 16, 2011 at 05:47:10 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  agreed on the centrist "independents" eg. nolabels (0+ / 0-)

    but what do you make of rocky anderson, kos? it looks like a pretty quixotic run, but his platform's pretty different than the bland bipartisan angle the well-funded groups tend to push.

  •  A few months ago, I got stopped by an Americans (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    sc kitty, murasaki

    Elect signature gatherer outside of a Trader Joe's. He was very well dressed for a signature gatherer (especially one outside TJs) and his pitch was basically "there are too many barriers to third parties, which makes it hard to get the money out of politics; sign this petition the help out". It was the first I'd ever heard of it and asked him for some detail and background behind Americans Elect and their petition. His answers were vague but loaded with buzz words, which raised a flag with me. So I begged off signing it and went home and googled "Americans Elect".

    Sure enough, it's a Mike Bloomberg front group working to make it easier for him to get on state ballots. But I think most people would've just heard "get the money out of politics" or, when they hear "third party", think Green Party (and not a fucking billionaire who the gatherer went out of his way to avoid mentioning) and sign the petition.

    •  yeah, its a bit tricksie (6+ / 0-)

      I stumbled on the website a couple of months ago whilst watching The Twitters for OWS news, It looked interesting so I registered and answered a whole bunch of questions. It seemed too polished to be a genuine grass roots thing though. grass roots movements generally don't have the resources to put together that kind of website before they even start to gain momentum. A little digging turned up the Bloomberg connection and I promptly deleted the bookmark and discontinued use.

      "There is one rule for the industrialist and that is: Make the best quality of goods possible at the lowest cost possible, paying the highest wages possible." - Henry Ford

      by sixeight120bpm on Fri Dec 16, 2011 at 05:26:43 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  my experience to a t (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      KenBee, James Kresnik

      only my guy wasn't dressed that nice and it was at OWS here in portland.  i asked for more info, there was none.  googled it when i got home and found a bunch of trust fund babies.

      My goal is to make the world safe for anarchy. - 4Freedom

      by Cedwyn on Fri Dec 16, 2011 at 05:29:39 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Until and unless systemic electoral reform (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    G2geek, Musial

    occurs--both to remove or minimize the impact of private money in our public elections and to remove the lock on process the two sides of the same for-the-one-percent party have--any third-party effort must be looked at as either being: a) as noted in the diary, a tool of one or more insiders to exploit the existing system or b) an exercise in futility.

    In the second case, it's no more or less futile to vote for any particular candidate at the presidential level, regardless of proclaimed party affiliation.

    •  67% anti-incumbent, 10% approval of Congress (0+ / 0-)

      should be enough leverage for a movement to remove incumbents who do not pledge to  sponsor already proposed legislation to get private money out of public elections.

      •  I'm skeptical. Congress consistently has (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        low approval ratings, and high anti-incumbent ratings. These ratings are almost always of the "other congressmen suck, but mine is pure effing awesome" variety.

        •  Skepticism is healthy, but Occupy has given (0+ / 0-)

          anti-incumbents a place to go with a  developed program to demand money out of politics. The 33% who will not vote for their incumbent (today's Pew poll) would be added to 20% who will vote on the basis of the single issue. The incumbent either pledges to sponsor the bill or risks losing their job. This takes some online organization, as for example, at the link cited above.

          •  Too complicated (0+ / 0-)

            Unless it's simplified, MOP just won't make much great a proposal as it is.

            - If you don't like gay marriage, blame straight people. They're the ones who keep having gay babies.

            by r2did2 on Fri Dec 16, 2011 at 05:22:20 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

  •  though, we should certainly support... (0+ / 0-)

    .... right-leaning third parties for the pragmatic reason that they siphon votes from Republicans and make our job easier.

    The best thing that could happen in America today would be for a rightie party to run candidates in a bunch of key Congressional races.  

    Hell, I'd donate.  

    "Minus one vote for the Democrat" equals "plus one vote for the Republican." Arithmetic doesn't care about your feelings.

    by G2geek on Thu Dec 15, 2011 at 01:33:29 PM PST

  •  don't need a third party (5+ / 0-)

    Need Democrats to act like Democrats more consistently, and/or get people elected who will act like Democrats.  I like Elizabeth Warren.  Let's have more like her running.

    Corporate money has not infected only one party.

    •  To get more Dems like Elizabeth Warren, (7+ / 0-)

      which is certainly a worthy goal - we need to start at the school board, town council, and dogcatcher level. And support them consistently as they work their way up.

      'I'm The 99%' T-shirt: Will donate from income on sales.

      by jan4insight on Fri Dec 16, 2011 at 04:58:36 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  It's too late for a ground-up strategy. (0+ / 0-)

        It would be nice to pull that off. Unfortunately, the end-game is now so waiting multiple election cycles to build a farm-team isn't going to work anymore.

        Insurgent tactics at practically every level - both within and without the political apparatus and the parties - are absolutely necessary. The goal should be to 1) kneecap the disaster capitalist Bipartisian Party,  2) to open up a space in the political process for more responsive and honest politicians to get elected 3) to implement the deep structural reforms necessary to pry the wealthy special interests from the government teat.

  •  It's hard to understand this, considering they (6+ / 0-)

    already have a third-way pro-corporate president.  Until you get to the money quote:

    "These initiatives are like company unions, designed to redirect discontent into safe, controlled forms that don’t threaten existing power structures."

    Both parties are now controlled by corporate forces, yet they are fearful of the growing dissent, and thus must create a third pro-corporate outlet to neutralize that dissent.

  •  Are you just counting "Americans Elect, et al. " (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    devtob, James Kresnik

    Or actual Third Parties?

    Libertarian/Green/Progressive (VT), et al..

    Greens and Libertarians have some lower level elected officials..

    Or do you mean the "President Only" third parties?

  •  I still am not used to posts I've read (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    angelajean, Cedwyn

    hours/day ago from Kos reappearing on the front page.

  •  This country has moved so far to the right, (8+ / 0-)

    I'm not interested in a "centrist" party at this time.

    Only a good leftward yank on the rope is going to get us back to the so-called "center."

    The most violent element in society is ignorance.

    by Mr MadAsHell on Fri Dec 16, 2011 at 05:07:14 PM PST

    •  These days, the national Republicans (0+ / 0-)

      are far-right, the national Democrats are center-left.

      So any "independent" party that splits the difference would be center-right.

      And, given its sponsorship so far, devoted above all to limiting taxation of billionaires.

      Which is overwhelmingly unpopular.

      So, what are we worried about?

      A public option for health insurance is a national priority.

      by devtob on Fri Dec 16, 2011 at 05:55:55 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Kos, this particular third party effort (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    kindofblue, KenBee

    Bloomberg/whoever (are you kidding me?) is a symbol of something deep that all of us need to heed.

    There is such distrust and unhappiness with the present two party system that there may just be traction for ANY crazy third party effort with the average voter.  Knee jerk voting is not unknown in the country.

    So, we can mock the efforts without examining the underlying need for the efforts for many voters.

    There is an 'opportunity' for a crazy third party which was made by the failures of the two parties that are in power (or fighting for power).


    •  You sort of missed the point. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      bythesea, James Kresnik

      The very people responsible for the failures of the two parties in power, are also behind this third party push.

      It's corporate astroturf, designed to MITIGATE the concerns and actions of voters who are angry with the system.

      Bloomberg/whoever (are you kidding me?) is a symbol of something deep that all of us need to heed.

      The greed of the 1% and their willingness to do anything to stay in power? Yes.

      The undercurrent of discontent among voters in this country? No. Americans Elect makes itself LOOK like it provides an outlet for that discontent, but it's all a scam of the most cynical sort.

      Corporate Dog

      We didn't elect Obama to be an expedient president. We elected him to be a great one. -- Eugene Robinson

      by Corporate Dog on Fri Dec 16, 2011 at 05:51:52 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Tell that to my neighbors... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        James Kresnik

        who are vulnerable to ANYONE who may appear to provide relief...however specious their claims may be.

        My point is NOT that they miss the's that they are vulnerable to efforts by creepy people because they are quite sure that they have been abandoned by the people, both Democrat and Republican, who they feel have failed them....

        ...and look around... many of our fellow citizens have indeed been failed.

        'Scams of the most cynical sort' can work very effectively in the right environment...and it has been the Republicans and Democrats (of the two major parties) who have provided that environment.

  •  A perfect companion piece to this post (5+ / 0-)

    is this one by David Atkins, subtitled: Why Third Way is the greatest enemy of American democracy

    But the Democratic Party--the only vehicle in the two-party system capable of carrying progressive policies forward--is in the thrall of consultants who constantly tell Democratic politicians that the only way to win election and re-election is to suck up to conservative-leaning "independents".

    Politics is the art of the possible, but that means you have to think about changing what is possible, not that you have to accept it in perpetuity. @DavidKaib

    by David Kaib on Fri Dec 16, 2011 at 05:19:18 PM PST

  •  Forget Bloomberg.....Worry About Rocky Anderson (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    KenBee, barleystraw

    from Colorado.  He's on the ballot in all 50 states as a third party candidate.....the Justice Party.  He's the new Ralph Nader.

    Anderson will pull from Obama.  On top of the 5 MILLION voters who are expected to be disenfranchised due to new voter ID laws, Progressive Democrats are in deep trouble.

    •  Anderson is not on the ballot (0+ / 0-)

      in every state.

      Not even one, AFAIK.

      A public option for health insurance is a national priority.

      by devtob on Fri Dec 16, 2011 at 05:32:11 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Haven't seen Rocky on anywhere yet.. (4+ / 0-)

      He will be on is some states, and

      Americans Elect will be on in at least 7.  If Trump makes good on his idea of running, he should be on too..

      As Far as the major third parties...

      As of 12/1, Libertarian on in 29, Green on in 15 and DC,  Constitution in 12.

      There are others, Socialism and Liberation and Prohibition have announced their tickets..

      •  Just for completeness.. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        James Kresnik

        For 2008,

        Non-Write ins,

        On at least one ballot, there were 23 candidates for President, and Nevada's None Of the Above.

      •  Would multiple parties be able to consolidate (0+ / 0-)

        and increase the number of states?

        •  Different Views.. (0+ / 0-)

          There are 2-3 Socialist parties, but different goals, etc..

          •  I'm not asking if it is likely, (0+ / 0-)

            I'm asking if it is legally possible.

            •  Well, Some stated have fusion, (0+ / 0-)

              And a lot of the smaller parties don't have access everywhere..

              Just as an example, of one who would not be effective..

              The Peace and Freedom party in CA should nominate nominate either Jill Stein, Candidate for the Green Party nomination, or Stewart Alexander, the Socialist Party USA Candidate.   That would give him CA access on the P&F line..

              Another party has a different problem.  the Party of Socialism and Liberation nominated 2 people who are constitutionally unable to be elected.  They'll need placeholders in states that have the requirement that one must be able to take the job if elected.  

              •  Here's what I'm thinking. (0+ / 0-)

                99% sympathizes run the same stunt that Buchanan pulled on the Reform Party and target certain extant parties for take over to access ballots, infrastructure and funding. We simply show up during the assemblies and meetings for the target parties, vote ourselves into leadership and take over the orgs. Then, we run our own slate of candidates and write-ins where appropriate. The idea is that hacking existing parties is the fastest way to spin-up a truly independent political infrastructure.

    •  Will he be the new excuse for depressed votes? (4+ / 0-)

      I guess the "mean liberal bloggers said bad things about the President before the 2010 elections and THAT'S what sank us at the polls" excuse only gets you so far?

      Corporate Dog

      We didn't elect Obama to be an expedient president. We elected him to be a great one. -- Eugene Robinson

      by Corporate Dog on Fri Dec 16, 2011 at 05:54:11 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  He's in in all fifty states? (0+ / 0-)

      It could well be a siphon, but there are some interesting ways to upset the center-right / right axis there for leftist groups with the right amount of cutzpah and a well thought-out hit list.

      Anyway, if Anderson pulls anything worth pulling will all be due to Obama's fealty to the 1% and their disaster capitalist, austerity agenda. He and the Dem Party need a 'Come Home To Jesus' moment, like, sometime nowish.

  •  Two exceptions (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    birdboy2000, James Kresnik

    Ross Perot and John B. Anderson.

    Otherwise, I fully agree...and then some.

    How many of the clearly-unqualified-to-be-president GOP candidates are on the stage because some consultant convinced them to run?      Rick Perry has to be in that category.

  •  No. 1 Sign it's a real 3rd party effort: (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Cedwyn, barleystraw, James Kresnik

    The MSN first ignores it, then falls all over itself in demonizing it.

    So if ever ever a third party emerges (apologies to Green) and you don't have time to do due diligence, just wait and see if the chattering class starts yammering that said 3rd party is a bunch of poopy heads.

    That would be your first clue to look into the mythical party to see what it's doing right to twist the Beltway's panties.

    •  That's a sign that you'll never see. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      The press eats up this mythical notion of a political center in our politics. With the exception of a few OpEd outliers, Bloomberg's group is the political pundit equivalent of a crack/catnip sandwich.

      Corporate Dog

      We didn't elect Obama to be an expedient president. We elected him to be a great one. -- Eugene Robinson

      by Corporate Dog on Fri Dec 16, 2011 at 06:07:11 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Bloomberg (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    devtob, mightymouse

    Since elections are often bought, and since Bloomberg has the money--and the media--it seems his Dem/Rep background might appeal to many voters.  Did I mention he has the money?

    Apres Bush, le deluge.

    by melvynny on Fri Dec 16, 2011 at 05:25:38 PM PST

  •  There's a lot of stooges here who believe... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    ...the third party fantasy.

    The revolution will not be privatized.

    by Bush Bites on Fri Dec 16, 2011 at 05:28:22 PM PST

  •  So we're screwed if we attempt to unscrew (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    most.. depressing.. Kos.. post.. ever.

  •  Mad AMC concoction. (0+ / 0-)
  •  thanks for an excellent analysis - it resembles (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    structurally the problems presented by left-leaning organizations in terms of preying on oppositional needs for autonomy and authenticity with cynically entrepreneurial motives

    Präsidentenelf-maßschach; Warning-Some Snark Above"Nous sommes un groupuscule" (-9.50; -7.03) "Sciant terra viam monstrare."

    by annieli on Fri Dec 16, 2011 at 05:30:09 PM PST

  •  I could see voting for a good third party (4+ / 0-)

    One willing to challenge the democrats and republicans alike on issues I actually care about, such as the national security state, internet freedom, and campaign finance, while not being too odious in said other policies.  

    (The latter being my reason for not even considering Libertarians: dismantling the safety net loses my vote no matter how good one is on other issues.  We don't need to bring back the gilded age.)

    Unfortunately, no such party exists and is able to seriously challenge for electoral victory.  (There might be small splinter parties, but I'm not interested in casting protest votes unless SOPA passes.)  And these consultants who want Bloomberg to run sure as hell aren't interested in creating one.

  •  Mark Penn (4+ / 0-)

    If Mark Penn is a 'mastermind' then the bar is permanently lowered.  He['s the guy that thought primaries were 'winner take all' and told HRC that she could focus on Cali.  What a doof.

    •  Beat me to it. Masterundermined is more like it. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      James Kresnik

      Mark Penn was a reason not to support Clinton.  He's...  I have nothing nice to say about him.   I mean, people like him are The Problem.  

      The rich are eating the world. The Republicans are their teeth. The Democrats are dentists who refuse to pull those teeth because they are so beautiful and sharp.

      by Leftcandid on Fri Dec 16, 2011 at 06:52:08 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  we has an indy gov here in RI (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Liberal Republican Chafee

    and you know what - he gets it from BOTH parties and has no political allies

    its the worst of both worlds

  •  Real independents are no more (0+ / 0-)

    than 20 percent of the electorate.

    So they cannot win a national race, no matter how much Bloomberg would spend on this fool's errand.

    It's a free country, and they're welcome to try, but never gonna happen.

    A public option for health insurance is a national priority.

    by devtob on Fri Dec 16, 2011 at 05:40:57 PM PST

    •  That's way too high n/t (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Politics is the art of the possible, but that means you have to think about changing what is possible, not that you have to accept it in perpetuity. @DavidKaib

      by David Kaib on Fri Dec 16, 2011 at 05:43:07 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  I wouldn't say never. (0+ / 0-)

      When they finish their disaster capitalist austerity stunts, the economy will implode and the population will want to see all incumbents and both parties die in a fire.

      They're hedging their bets, playing both sides and the middle. These parasites are very good with the hustle and will cover all the angles, if they can.

  •  In a winner-take-all system 3rd parties don't work (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    If ours was a parliamentary system then there would be room for multiple parties.  But in a winner-take-all system like ours it makes no sense.  You need 50%+1 to win, and no upstart party can manage that.  Instead they merely draw voters away from one of the two major parties, thus assuring that the other party wins.  

    "We must move forward, not backward, upward not forward, and always twirling, twirling, twirling towards freedom." - Kodos

    by Jon Stafford on Fri Dec 16, 2011 at 05:44:08 PM PST

    •  when outsiders come up with something (0+ / 0-)

      When outsiders come up with something which turns out to have mass appeal, one or both duopoly parties will co-opt it.

      The Tea Party is a rightwing extremist movement, but the Republicans have proven themselves more than eager to take it over.  Indeed,the Republicans and the Tea Party are now almost one and the same (aside from a few main-street RINO's who are being hounded out of the party.)  We will doubtless could see something similar happen with the Occupy Movement--- although it is harder for us Democrats.  Our side's  radicals are a threat to the established corporate order, and a threat therefore to our major funding sources.  This is not the case (except in rare instances) with right wing radicals: Tea Partiers & the like are careful to direct their wrath at targets which have little or no real power and/or not much extra money to give away.

    •  Not if thrid-party displaces an existing party. (0+ / 0-)

      Such swaps have happened, during exceptional circumstances, twice in this country's history and it looks like it could well happen now.

      I bet you didn't learn that part in your PolySci 101 class.

      •  Oh, sure we did (0+ / 0-)

        But what would be the difference?  Any "new" party that supplanted an existing one would probably -- hell, almost by definition -- have all the same weaknesses and problems as the one it replaced.

        "We must move forward, not backward, upward not forward, and always twirling, twirling, twirling towards freedom." - Kodos

        by Jon Stafford on Tue Dec 20, 2011 at 01:45:34 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Bipartisanship didn't fail (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    devtob, OneCharmingBastard

    In the political system where only money talks, it's a ridiculous concept--that Obama has learned.

    If anything was clear, it's that today. The government cannot continue running if the Keystone Pipeline (Koch Bros) isn't in the bill. It's stupid. It's unconstitutional. And it's happening.

    Here's my real test of Obama. He can sign the bill, then get the "balls" to say "No" to the pipeline. Will he?

    Quidquid latine dictum sit, altum viditur.

    by MrMichaelMT on Fri Dec 16, 2011 at 05:44:16 PM PST

  •  3rd party cooties scare (0+ / 0-)

    wearing glasses with spirals and swinging a pocket watch might work with some people but at least wind the watch first and turn off Democracy Now.

    I can't get lulled into this stupor while Amy Goodman's perking up my autonomous reasoning skills.

  •  What is wrong with my account? (0+ / 0-)

    Appears I am only allowed to rec. this diary once. Lame, really lame.

    H'mm. I'm not terribly into this, anymore.

    by Knarfc on Fri Dec 16, 2011 at 06:15:29 PM PST

  •  I just read the No Labels plan to "make congress (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Leftcandid, James Kresnik

    work", and there wasn't even a mention of lobbyists and the fact that Congress is bought and paid for.

    Don't worry though, they've got real "progressives" like Kirsten Gillibrand shilling for them.

  •  Never confuse "third party" with "bipartisan", (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bornfdup, James Kresnik

    which is what these groups are all about: bipartisanizing the desires of the 1%.

    The lack of a consistent, principles-oriented platform that would occasionally be at dramatic odds with the status quo is the major giveaway.  These No Visible Labels/Some Americans Select/Turd Way Beltway fuckers are are cynics of the highest order, preying on whatever hope and idealism remain in caring American voters.  

    The rich are eating the world. The Republicans are their teeth. The Democrats are dentists who refuse to pull those teeth because they are so beautiful and sharp.

    by Leftcandid on Fri Dec 16, 2011 at 06:57:04 PM PST

  •  if , like Australia, it was law everyone votes (0+ / 0-)

    or gets fined - - the media would go nuts.... they make mega-bucks on election money all around

    Texas Rep. Ron Paul laughs when asked if throwing thousands of federal employees out of work in the current down economy is a good idea. "Let `em go to work at McDonald's they should have a REAL job"

    by anyname on Fri Dec 16, 2011 at 08:08:24 PM PST

  •  Third Parties only matter as spoilers (0+ / 0-)

    The fact is that both major parties are owned by the same Powers that Be.  Like Lawyers, they have rigged the game so that you really can't play without them - thereby assuring their livelihood.

    As I recall, John Anderson used to draw high single digits in the late '70's and early 80's, and didn't make a hill of beans worth of impact in any election.  Ross Perot and Ralph Nader were spoilers for GHWB and Al Gore.  Without Nader, Gore becomes president.  Then again, without Perot, Gore never becomes Vice President, so,...he could never have been spoiled by Nader.  Weird, huh?

    As things are going, someday, the Democratic Party will be the center-right mainstream party of the establishment.  It will be made up of centrist conservadems and all of the sane republicans from everywhere but the deep south.  It will be run by, and for, the Powers that Be, to preserve stability and the status quo.  The GOP will have gone too far to the right fringe and will have become unelectable everywhere but the deep south - which won't be good enough to ever win the presidency or the Senate.  When that happens, the Powers that Be will jump ship and complete their take-over (re:  buy-out) of the Democratic Party.  It will be a socially tolerant (with some homophobia and subtle racism), and economically Darwinist party.  The progressive wing will jump ship and start a third party to the far left of center, which will also be rendered unelectable by the MSM and the establishment powers.

    This is not what I want to see, but it's where I see this going barring some tectonic shift like a major war (think WWII) or complete financial meltdown (think Great Depression) that can cause a major realignment.  

  •  I'd be willing to look at a third party candidate (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    ...when, and only when, private money and corporate money is out of campaign finance.  As it is today, any third party candidate for president, in order to be even slightly competitive, must be either: a self-funded multi-millionaire or billionare, or a corporation-funded tool of big business.  The people pushing these third party efforts need to explain how either of those two choices would possibly change anything from the current status quo.

  •  How does he conclude that the "City" is (0+ / 0-)

    the government?

    Just as prostitution is the world's oldest profession, religion is the world's oldest scam.

    by Agent420 on Sat Dec 17, 2011 at 08:28:12 AM PST

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