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Americans Elect: a real question mark.
Do you know about Americans Elect? If not, you should, because they could have a profound impact on the 2012 presidential election. If you've visited online news sites or read about politics, likelihood is that you've seen their advertisements asking you to sign up for their website and help choose a presidential candidate besides Obama and whoever wins the Republican nomination. The privately-funded group has already gotten itself on the ballot in California, has filed the requisite paperwork to petition in Texas, and has already secured appearances in major swing states such as Florida, Michigan, Ohio and Nevada.

The Americans Elect Party hopes to appear on the ballot in all fifty states, but their presidential nomination process isn't like most others: Instead, they will select a presidential nominee through successive online votes by the people who have signed up to participate. That presidential nominee must then choose a vice-presidential nominee of a different party. Why? Because the people that are funding Americans Elect seem to be a group of postpartisan fetishists who believe that the major problem in our political system is too much partisanship, as opposed to the fact that we have a permanently broken Senate and a House of Representatives that has turned into a hornet's next of radical reactionaries.

How will the Americans Elect Party affect 2012? It's hard to say until we know who their nominee is, though I have a hard time imagining how someone with a dedicated and zealous internet base like Ron Paul would not win a primary based successive rounds of voting by internet users, though who knows. Maybe Mayor Bloomberg really does have a silent internet majority waiting in the wings.

Paul and Bloomberg would seem to be the two likeliest choices, should they choose to seek the nomination. In either case, how would that affect the 2012 race? There's little shot that either Bloomberg or Paul could win the presidency, much less a single electoral vote. But having either one of them on the ballot could swing a crucial state one way or the other, depending on which one of the two it is, and who wins the Republican nomination. In the absence of actual polling, we have nothing to rely on but pure speculation, gut feelings and our best estimates at common sense—but that's good enough for now.

If, as seems likeliest right now, Mitt Romney wins the nomination, having Bloomberg as the Americans Elect Party nominee might be nothing but beneficial. The 2012 electorate is very disaffected, and given the state of the nation and the weak economy, one could have expected President Obama to be in a worse position to win reelection than he is right now, which is a testament to the weakness of the Republican field. While Mitt Romney certainly doesn't excite conservatives—if he did, he would have had the Republican primary race locked up well before today as we approach the Iowa caucuses two days hence—he also is not as abhorrent to voters who are looking for something different as, say, Newt Gingrich might be. Consequently, he polls better against Obama in many states, including swings states like Michigan, New Hampshire and Nevada.

A well-funded Bloomberg candidacy could have a serious impact on that by providing a plausibly sensible alternative to those who are looking for an alternative to Obama but don't trust Romney. In such a theoretical scenario, the president's reelection campaign could have the luxury of focusing more heavily on base turnout while Romney would have to fight against Bloomberg and Obama for the swing voters he would need to have a shot at winning with the Republican Party's theocratic base perhaps less energized than normal.

A Ron Paul candidacy on the Americans Elect ballot line—which I view as a more likely outcome—would also be the more problematic for the Obama campaign. Even though Paul has policy platforms on the economy, health care, women's rights and the role of government that are anathema to progressives, he does have positions on foreign policy and drug policy that fall in line with what many people, especially anti-war and pro-marijuana college students, want to see. This could present a challenge, as the Obama campaign would need to not only get these students to vote in higher numbers, but also turn them into a reliable source of volunteers as well. California, for instance, has always been a provider not just of money, but of campaign volunteers. If the campaign feels the need to shore up its base in California, for instance, it could harm the effort in Nevada, Arizona and Colorado. Romney, however, would not be immune: Evangelical states such as Texas or South Carolina, whose Republican bases would not be very enthusiastic about his candidacy, might be within striking distance for Obama if Paul siphoned off a significant portion of their radical anti-government electorates.

If, on the other hand, Newt Gingrich is the Republican nominee, a Bloomberg candidacy on the Americans Elect line would be distinctly unhelpful for President Obama. Even for many swing voters who would like an alternative to Obama, Newt Gingrich is not an acceptable alternative, which is why his poll numbers versus Obama in swing states have usually been lower than those of Romney. Bloomberg could be problematic in this scenario because he represents a plausibly palatable alternative to Obama that Gingrich does not, which might make the reelection campaign a little more arduous.

Now, if Gingrich is the Republican nominee and Ron Paul takes the American Elect ballot line ... then President Obama will be laughing all the way to his inauguration in 2013.

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Comment Preferences

  •  I get the feeling (14+ / 0-)

    that the sort of people who don't trust Romney wouldn't trust Bloomberg either.

    27, white male, TX-26 (current), TN-07 (originally), liberal-leaning independent

    by TDDVandy on Sun Jan 01, 2012 at 06:47:54 PM PST

  •  No Labels/Unity 08/Americans Elect (24+ / 0-)

    All the same people, all the same ideas:

    We're the 1% and we're here to take all your money.

    "I'll believe that corporations are people when I see Rick Perry execute one."

    by bink on Sun Jan 01, 2012 at 06:50:23 PM PST

  •  This is a sign of the Republican Party imploding (8+ / 0-)

    just as Ron Paul is another.

    Education is a progressive discovery of our own ignorance.

    by Horace Boothroyd III on Sun Jan 01, 2012 at 06:52:38 PM PST

  •  Given its reality show-like nominating process.... (15+ / 0-)

    Donald Trump would seem to be the perfect candidate for "Americans Elect."

  •  The Spoiler Party... (2+ / 0-)

    ...and I don't think anyone will vote for Bloomberg enough to affect Obama. The Republican nominee, OTOH, may have problems.

    And AE may have a problem getting on the ballot in some states, so they may not have an even effect, overall.

    Float like a manhole cover, sting like a sash weight! Clean Coal Is A Clinker!

    by JeffW on Sun Jan 01, 2012 at 06:57:36 PM PST

    •  Rec'd for the name, but ur wrong on how it hurts. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Serious 3rd parties always take disproportionately from the incumbent historically, and usually end up electing the challengers. See, 1912(Taft/TR/Wilson), 1948(the Dixie-crats voters whould have voted D or not at all), 1968(Wallace elected Nixon), 1980(Anderson took from Carter, though was so insignificant it didn't matter), 1992(Perot), 2000(Nader).  

      I can not think of a single modern Pres election where a serious 3rd candidate helped the incumbent.  And I'd bet my bottom dollar the the $ behind 'A/E' knows and intends it to have just that effect on BO - i.e., defeat him.

      Hell, just the hubris of the name: a cabal claims to be the 'electors' for American despite tens of millions of actuall voters actually voting in actual elections, i.e., actually Electing nominees.

  •  I don't foresee any of what you write (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    djbender, JeffW, bythesea

    Any of the 3rd party candidates help Obama, it's just that simple. Paul and Bloomberg play to very specific parts of the Republican base and some independant. No, regardless of what you and some in the media try to convince themselves of, there aren't a ton of liberal "hippies" yearning for Ron Paul's libertarianism, regardless of his isolationilist nihilism.

    There are only 2 things in life I believe about religion: There could be a God and I'm sure as heck not him.

    by Irixsh on Sun Jan 01, 2012 at 06:58:10 PM PST

  •  This is for wimpy centrists (9+ / 0-)

    like some friends of mine to feed into their false equivalency universe.

  •  Isn't the nominating process... (12+ / 0-)

    not based entirely on online voting?

    I thought that there's some sort of board that makes the final decision... like way reality competition shows contain a disclaimer about how the producers have input into the judges' voting.

  •  I simply do not understand why women (8+ / 0-)

    Especially those with otherwise progressive votes, could possibly support Ron Paul.  He would turn every single one of us who's even theoretically capable of bearing a child into a second class citizen, yet this is brushed aside as irrelevant to his anti-war and anti-PATRIOT Act positions.

    The hell it is.  Even if I were a college student and not a middle aged office worker, I could not possibly support him on those grounds alone.  

  •  Chairman Peter Ackerman (3+ / 0-)

    The Americans Elect Party

    Chairman Peter Ackerman - The Americans Elect Party

    He is a member of the Board of the Council on Foreign Relations.

    Mitt Romney Would Buy The Election If He Could. - Newt Gingrich

    by anyname on Sun Jan 01, 2012 at 07:09:48 PM PST

  • really don't think there's a connection? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    as opposed to the fact that we have a permanently broken Senate and a House of Representatives that has turned into a hornet's next of radical reactionaries.

    Sounds to me like you're describing exactly the kind of Congress one would expect when a country has only 2 political parties, both of which have long abandoned anything that might resemble principles to focus on gathering up seats and rewarding financial backers.

    Unless, of course, you think SOPA and PIPA are good things.

    LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

    by dinotrac on Sun Jan 01, 2012 at 07:11:00 PM PST

    •  Do you think MORE political parties is the answer? (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Mecadalphia, akeitz

      If you look at Israel (or at Italy or France in the post-WWII years), that would suggest that more parties would only make the paralysis worse.

      PROUD to be a Democrat!

      by leevank on Sun Jan 01, 2012 at 07:46:58 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Or you could look at Germany, Great Britain, (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        JeffW, Maverick80229

        the Netherlands, Canada, etc, etc, etc.

        The one thing more viable parties does is give voters a place to go to get representation.  In the US, parties seem not to care about silly little things like the electorate.  Might be kind of nice to see them have to cobble together some coalitions.

        Might also make life a heap harder for the folks spreading all those dollars around in DC.

        LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

        by dinotrac on Sun Jan 01, 2012 at 08:51:39 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Look at Israel or Italy (4+ / 0-)

      Then tell me that lots of political parties will prevent gridlock and lead to an effective government.

      •  Dozens of political parties (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        JeffW, akeitz, Ellid

        is the main reason why extremists have so much power in Israel today.

        •  Exactly. And Shas knows it. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          That's why the haredim are able to get away with forcing women to sit in the back of the bus, walk on opposite sidewalks, and (now) harassing an eight year old as a whore because even though she dresses modestly, she doesn't dress in their style of modestly.

      •  Or any European country. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        They all have at least 3 or 4 political parties, but they all have a Parliamentary system with proportional representation.

        We have a rigid two-party system with a couple Independents caucusing with the Dems.  The Pub and Dem leaderships have locked out any 3rd party.  It's very troubling because few members of Congress really fit their Party's mold.  There are a lot of different opinions on a lot of different subjects that really demand more than two Parties.

        What about an OWS Party?  ;-)

        •  If OWS wants to make a difference (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          ajwagner, merrylib

          They need to vote either Democratic or Green (in local elections) this fall.  Anything else will be a waste of their time and energy, and that would be tragic.  Starting small and establishing a Green party on the local level is the only way that a third part with a progressive tone will succeed.

    •  Exactly the opposite. We don't have TWO parties. (0+ / 0-)

      We have the Lib/Progressive Ds (NE and West Coat mostly), the Conserva-Ds (and their 'moderate' stooges, er, allies), the Hard -Right Thugs, the Harder-Right Thugs, the God'sParty Thugs, the Teaheadist Thugs, the Ron Paul Thugs, and the Rump-Not Totally Crazy Thugs.

      The duopoly construct has been obselete since at least the 1970s, and is perpetuated by inability or non-desire to deal with the complex tapestry that US politics actually has become. (Or pushed by 3rd party fetishists, but that another pathology entirely.)

      Consider, we don't even have a national D party.  We have Democrats who tend to be the more liberal candidates in their regions (and I means voters as much as candidates).  But, e.g., southern non-urban Ds are conservative when compared to NE Ds (Blue dogs anyone?), Western Ds likewise  -though they are often called more 'moderate' (Feinstien is a perfect example).

      Thugs a likewise divided, though more along ideological/religious grounds that just happen to coincide often with regions (e.g., southerns tend to be more evangelical but not always, see Iowa).

      Thinking the problem is two parties is just a intellectual lazy as thinking it is partisanship (as if this country hasn't been extremely partisan since the Federalist/Anti-federalists).

      •  Sounds like you're arguing against yourself. (0+ / 0-)

        As to lazy thinking, what do you call it when somebody purports a panoply of parties without a corresponding panoply of candidates, conventions, and caucuses?

        LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

        by dinotrac on Mon Jan 02, 2012 at 05:15:31 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Really? Missed the Blue dog caucaus? Progressive? (0+ / 0-)

          Western? Etc.

          Yes it is intellectual laziness.  WHY do we have only 2 umbrella organizations?  Stopped to ask that?  Its not exactly a secret among political scientists, and has been widely published (as have the observations in my prior post).  Too many pundits, though, seemingly don't bother to actually read the data or analysis of the folks who actually study this.  And note: I don't blame voters or posters necessarily, as I assume they are mostly repeating pundits stupidity for lack of contra knowledge.  GIGO, as they say.

          Simply put: We have 2 umbrella organization/parties b/c of the nature of our government & electoral structure: the winner take all by-state, President/congress system.  It forces creation of electoral coalitions, which then use the brand of one party or the other. (Parliamentary systems use governing coalitions, i.e., it doesn't matter who the parties are, only what #s they win and deals they are willing to make after the elections.  See, Brit LibDems getting in bed with Tory's despite being ideologically anathema to each other.  Related in the winner-take-all vs. proportional voting systems, which tend to reinforce 2 party vs. multi- models. See, Brit system vs. most European).  This is the reason serious 3rd parties have never flourished in this country (they take over one or the other 'brand' parties) and are usually ad hoc single election and candidate driven (TR, Thurman, Wallace, Perot).

          The duopoly model requires a degree of cohesiveness and discipline (and disciplinary power) that hasn't existed for decades.  The parties haven't had much real power since the post-Watergate campaign finance reforms and Buckley began the process of making them irrelevant in the only game that really matters: money.  Rather than the party wagging the candidate, as the 2 party meme would require, the tail now remakes the dog every 4 years in his image.  Yes, the general ideology of each party is more one or the other of the lazy left/right division perpetuated by the media.  People seek out likeminded folks.  But, do you really think Clinton was anywhere as liberal as the overall D voters?  Do you forget that Dukakis ran against ideology?  Do you really think GHW was anywhere near as con as Thug voters?  Or even that W was in other than rhetoric?  Much of the non-idiotic criticism of BO has been based around the argument that he is not sufficiently partisan.  (Note: idiotic means most pundits, not diarist or commentors here.) Do you really think the majority of Thug voters share Wallstreet Robot's positions (whatever they are today?  

          Now, the effect of Presidential visibility/power in our system tends to create a false appearance of cohesion for the party that has the Presidency.  When W was Pres, all Thugs were 'W Thugs', b/c he cracked the whip if they weren't.  Democrats are less inclined to either use (BO) or follow the leader, but they too are generally willing to vote for 'their' President's policies even when they don't agree with them (See, Clinton: welfare reform, NAFTA, gun control) inter alia to avoid 'bringing down their President', recognizing that significant numbers of voters will transfer identification of the POTUS even to ideologically opposed members of his own party (See most recently Blue Dogs).  

          But, when the party does not have the Presidency, cracks between Congress-party members become chasms.  Witness the disintegration of Thugs in the House.  It is no coincidence that Cantor appears constantly poised to do to Boehner what was done to Gingrich, who was toppled by a coup in his own Thug ranks.  What little cohesiveness Congressional Thugs have seems mostly a product of 1) common hatred of BO, and 2) fear of being Tea-primaried.  The first is neither proof or product of a 'duopoly', merely a natural result of having a non-coalition executive.  The second shows the lack of party cohesion even in the often believed more monolithic Thugs, i.e., broadly speaking, it demonstrates the existence of 3 actual Thugs parties (business-, hard-right-, crazy-hard-right-) even while showing why those divisions perpetuate (Tea-evangelist only have majorities of voters in certain regions and so generally their office-holders come from those regions, while other regions favor other factions, e.g. the NE is generally business-thug).

          Finally, as you don't bother to explain how I supposedly 'argue against' myself, I can neither directly address it, nor am I dissuaded from thinking you simply do not want to deal with the complexity of the actually parties in this country.

          I summarize: We do not have 2 national parties.  We have 2 brands (D/R), which are umbrellas for various factions, which may claim the same ideological labels but in fact mean very different things and are often divided along regional lines.  Thus, for example, while non-urban southern Ds may be considered 'liberal' in the region, their 'liberal' positions are generally considered 'con' by majorities of Ds in other regions.  Since we have a coalition political/governing structure (with 350 million how could democracy be otherwise?), ths explains in large part why Ds sometimes seem 'spineless' or in 'disarray'.  Finally, this same structure explains why 1) viable 3rd party movements get absorbed into one or the other brands and thus cease to exist as independent parties, and 2) why a viable liberal 3rd party only damages real chances of liberal candidates to win governing majorities.

          Clear now?

          •  Can't help but argue against yourself, right (0+ / 0-)

            on down to your conclusion, even if you want to substitute the word "brand" for party.

            We shouldn't have two national parties because, as you correctly point out, the assorted colorations of thought and philosophy in this country is not a binary phenomenon.

            Three or four or five parties that can actually win Congressional seats -- now that would be interesting.

            LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

            by dinotrac on Mon Jan 02, 2012 at 02:51:26 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  You don't seem to understand there is a big (0+ / 0-)

              difference b/t 'party' and 'brand'.  A party exercises control over its members and their actions.  The parties used to do that by denying $ and organizational ('machine') support and thus often defeating waywards in elections.  They have not been able to do so for many years.  I don't consider the hyjacking of the Thug primary by a rump of loonies as 'party' discipline and I can pretty much guarantee the Thug Powers That Be don't either.  Anymore than when it was just the evangelicals.  And there is no similar group in the Democratic party.

              I understand the differences are subtle and require looking behind surfaces.   That doesn't make it any less true.

              As for the idea of more than 2 Congressional parties, that would only work if the Presidency were replaced with a parlimentary system.  Once you have a single person who 1) has so much real powers, and 2) becomes symbolic head (tho not true head, for the Ds at least) of the party, then the stakes are two great not to form electoral coalitions, which rapidly become parties and only 2 - which is exactly how it developed in this country. See, 1789 - 1860.

              •  Awfully condescending for your understanding. (0+ / 0-)

                There is one very big thing that parties do if you are a voter:

                The offer up candidates.

                We don't get to go the closed-door meetings or "in" cocktail parties.  We get to vote.

                All of those lovely niceties you mention are meaningless if we can't vote for them.

                It's the difference between poly-sci class in school and what we dumb schmucks out in the real world have to live with.

                LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

                by dinotrac on Tue Jan 03, 2012 at 05:11:35 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  Oh yes, how condescending. Since I've been working (0+ / 0-)

                  in electoral and governing politics since I was able to vote, 36 years ago, one of my majors 37 years ago was poli-sci, I worked with polling pioneers, in campaigns from local to President, in governance, for elected officials and in groups that tried to work and refrom those from the outside.

                  so, of course, you no doubt have superior... intuition?  

                  You sure don't have any data.

                  And as I said in a prior post, and as you continue to willfully ignore, there a literally libraries of books written from gigatonnes of real world data that support my position.  Yours.. not so much.  Go read some.  It would do you good.

                  P.S. Your 'definition' of party is so narrow and so perfectly tailored to support your argument to that exclusion of all else, even contrary data and history, and so foreign to how it is actually defined, that I am tempted to think you simply don't know what you're talking about and just chose to try a cheap - and sophomoric - debating trick.  But, you'd no doubt call that 'condescending'.

                  PPS: I would also suggest that your frustration at the results of the system might be due to your self-defeatingly narrow definition.  If you think parties or politics ends on election night... boy are you doomed to be forever disappointed.

  •  I see them as centrist spoilers (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JeffW, atana

    as much insuring that we don't have a pull to the left, as they are claiming to offer something new.

    I don't like that it's closed.  Sure, they are asking people stuff, but there is no real open process.

    Like, "hey, pull the lever you think best fits", then "X Americans pulled lever A", how does anyone know?

    Could be all snake oil, and nobody will be the wiser.  Reeks of some ploy.

    ***Be Excellent To One Another***

    by potatohead on Sun Jan 01, 2012 at 07:13:59 PM PST

  •  A Big Part of the High Economy is War. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Andrew C White

    None of these corporate indie machines is going to take Paul.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Sun Jan 01, 2012 at 07:14:38 PM PST

  •  Ron Paul druggie supporters probably (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    don't understand that Paul cannot change the laws- it's a Congressy thing.

    Nothing would change.

    Well, I been around the world, and I've been in the Washington Zoo. And in all my travels, as the facts unravel, I've found this to be true.... ...they don't give a f^ck about anybody else

    by Zwoof on Sun Jan 01, 2012 at 07:15:19 PM PST

  •  A Bloomberg candidacy... (0+ / 0-)

    ...could cost us the electoral votes of NY.

    People scoff at Bloomberg and call him a corporate tool. Maybe he is, but he has won election multiple times in the very liberal city of New York.

    All he needs to do is get enough New Yorkers and upstate Rockefeller Republicans (if they still exist) to swing NY State to the Republicans.

  •  WHO are THEY? Lotsa gabber about what might be (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    and how it might happen "if," but who's behind the mask and why not ignore them like Ron Paul is to be ignored?

    Seems like very concerned concerns, but I wonder why why?

    They are puppet wannabe-masters -- draw back the danged curtain.

    It seems curiosity has killed the cat that had my tongue.

    by Murphoney on Sun Jan 01, 2012 at 07:19:31 PM PST

  •  The billionaire wife who funded the PUMA movement (13+ / 0-)

    Lady Lynn de loaded of the Rothschild is behind "Americans Elect".

    They are nothing more than a front to destroy any chance of the Democratic Party winning the election, they are much better funded Naderites, without the concern for working people.

    I saw my role in 2008 as an outside observer who exposed the PUMAs. At great cost to me and unrelated bloggers, and even unrelated scientists I was reasonably successful. In 2012 I will do the same to "America Elects".

  •  Where is the Donald going to fit in this picture? (0+ / 0-)
  •  Ladies and Gentlemen... (3+ / 0-)

    ...our duty is clear.

    We must all register for this Americans Elect thing...and make sure they nominate someone who will split the Republican vote.

    •  indeed (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      "A decision of the Candidate Certification Committee can be nullified by a majority vote of all registered delegate"

    •  I've been thinking of joining (0+ / 0-)

      ...out of self-protection.

    •  I "joined" if you want to call it that (0+ / 0-)

      You go to their website, answer dozens of policy preference questions, and choose who you want to be President out of hundreds of possibilities.

      I clicked on the most liberal choices they had for every question, and chose Obama as the only candidate I'm "tracking."

      Sample question:  "Do you think the following real or proposed campaign finance rule is acceptable or unacceptable? Wealthy individuals should be allowed to spend as much of their own money as they want on their own political campaigns."

      or:  "In order to address the country's growing energy needs, do you favor or oppose drilling for oil in places the U.S. currently protects for environmental reasons?"

      Yeah, we should all join, and make sure they nominate Obama...

  •  Maybe we need this. (0+ / 0-)

    Look, we all know that we have a system that is fatally flawed from both sides. When we had Democratic control of congress and the white house there was little effort to bring about real reforms that would make big differences in the status quo. Now that we are the minority party in congress you hear a lot of lip service being payed to how the rethugs have prevented any progress. (A point which is true.) However if they were going to make radical changes they had the chance and declined to do so. This President has even carried on some of the war policy from the Bush years.

     What if Americans elect come up with a semi-viable enough candidate that really puts the two party system on notice? How would that be bad? The two party system is a joke and all we get are choices between two candidates that likely are unwilling or unable to free government from the clutches of big business. Maybe it's time to overturn the apple cart....

    •  I think there are aspects to this (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      blacksnake, Wes Clark Democrat

      that are not being considered.

      Sure, from within the two-party context, Americans-Elect seems like just another hurdle to surmount.  Moving x's and o's around the polling numbers....

      But, to independents and those disaffected by the two-party system, A-E may seem like a way to fundamentally reform the corrupt American political system:  remember all the corporate money, Citizen's United, special interests, etc. etc.

      A-E is getting ballot access in 50 states.  All someone has to do is to win the online poll, and jump through whatever hoops the A-E politburo puts up and they are good to go.  

      This is a fundamental challenge to the party process that dominates American politics, and it uses the Internet as its organizing principle.  There are aspects to this that could be game-changers for the political parties, and I think a wider discussion at this point is warranted.

      Help new teachers to grow and love their work at

      by Mi Corazon on Sun Jan 01, 2012 at 07:43:22 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  AE is a trojan horse of sorts (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        if you ask me. It could be a game-changer allright, but not a good one.

        See this diary

        and also this from Michael Medved at

        While expressing the frustrations of many patriotic Americans who feel deeply disgusted at the current state of our partisan gridlock, honest advocates for a fresh insurgent party ought to acknowledge that they can’t possibly advance their agenda without first abolishing the Electoral College.
        The worst possible outcome for new Third Party initiatives would be to generate enough support to worsen, not cure, the dysfunctional and divisive operation of our federal government. The best conceivable outcome (and by far the most likely result) would be another irrelevant and distracting race that abused the faith of dedicated followers and contributors in one more complete, pathetic waste of time.

        the article has a thorough analysis that I think is pretty much spot-on. Would be curious to know if anyone thinks A-E is still helpful after reading M Medved's assessment.

  •  The fallacy of third party movement is without (9+ / 0-)

    like-minded Senators and Representatives, there is absolutely NO support for the executive branch.  A Lone-Wolf President can not accomplish anything.

  •  I kind of disagree with you. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    I think Bloomberg wouldn't have much effect on a Romney candidacy.  Most people still think Romney's a moderate, so having essentially two moderate Rs who are both stupidly rich wouldn't either hurt or help Obama much.  A Paul candidacy with a Romney nomination would probably take a good number of people from both sides, but moreso Republicans.

    A Bloomberg candidacy with a Gingrich/Santorum nomination would help Obama, as moderates would be among the only people voting for Bloomberg, and most moderate Democrats are satisfied with Obama, or at least moreso than moderate Rs would be with Santorum/Gingrich.

    I changed by not changing at all, small town predicts my fate, perhaps that's what no one wants to see. -6.38, -4.15

    by James Allen on Sun Jan 01, 2012 at 07:35:24 PM PST

  •  Just a thought (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JeffW, TDDVandy, blacksnake, DemSign

    We complain about how if the Republican field weren't so mind bogglingly incompetent, this weak economy would be the death of Obama's chances for reelection.  I want to propose that it is the very incompetence of Republicans that is keeping the economy in the tank, that their belief in the best way to be in power is to destroy the country, is what is both causing the economy to suck and preventing them from being ahead of Obama.  

    Occupy the voting Booth!

    by anonevent on Sun Jan 01, 2012 at 07:42:56 PM PST

  •  The BEST source of information on Americans Elect (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Otto Pilot

    is the Irregular Times.

    "I wish I could tell you, in the midst of all of this, that President Obama was waging the kind of fight against these draconian Republican proposals that the American people would like to see. He is not." -- Senator Bernie Sanders

    by Sagebrush Bob on Sun Jan 01, 2012 at 07:45:09 PM PST

  •  I signed on to Americans Elect, (7+ / 0-)

    via the ad on DKos, and went 70 or so questions into its screening.

    From my experience, most AE types are liberal on social issues, the environment, and labor/employment, and conservative on the deficit and taxes.

    That's roughly where Obama is.

    So what's the point of running a third-party candidate against Obama?

    Other than protecting the outrageous tax benefits enjoyed by AE's 1-percent hedge fund funders.

    The corporate media love AE, so we'll be reading a lot more about it.

    But if AE's billionaires nominate something like Bayh/Christie, that ticket will probably hurt Romney more than Obama.

    A public option for health insurance is a national priority.

    by devtob on Sun Jan 01, 2012 at 07:46:18 PM PST

  •  Americans Elect (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Mecadalphia, devtob

    has candidate eligibility rules that appear to be written to insure that Ron Paul cannot take their nomination.  They are somewhat subtle but visible if you know what to look for.

    There is intermittent discussion of this issue on

    On the other side, AE appears to have the money etc to make very sure that their candidate is actually on the ballot in every state and D.C., and have collected many of the signatures needed to guarantee this.

    In a fair number of states, an outcome of the process is that AE gets to run candidates for lower office, e.g., U.S. Senate,and the process of choosing those candidates is not always under the control of their New York City leadership.

    We can have change for the better.

    by phillies on Sun Jan 01, 2012 at 07:52:39 PM PST

  •  Facebook generation nominates Bernie Sanders (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    orange dog

    Socialist for President.

    We really do get health care reform, close Guantanamo, cut greenhouse gases, green economy jobs, get our due process back (no Obama military death squads on Main St), no US troops overseas, real tax reform, SS funding restored, Wall St working for Main St.

    Facebook generation dominates online and latest Gallup noted a liberal bias in the Facebookers so any online voting should go liberal.

    •  See heein regarding lone wolf Presidents... (0+ / 0-)

      ...unless you have a lot of people in Congress who would agree with Bernis Sanders, he'd make a poor choice.

      Float like a manhole cover, sting like a sash weight! Clean Coal Is A Clinker!

      by JeffW on Sun Jan 01, 2012 at 07:58:20 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  We could use some princpled lone wolf prez (0+ / 0-)

        Remember the recent DKOS graphics as Obama pushed for doubling down of his SS and Bush tax cuts?  

        The "do nothing" scenario of letting the Obama tax cuts die, letting the Obama $1.3T defense budget get cut in half, vetoing the Obama military death squad accomplishes a lot to have a president who just lets the evil stuff die off.

        And it gets back to rallying the American people to do the right thing, something we haven't seen from a president in the last 12 years.

        •  He can't veto the defense budget (0+ / 0-)

          while we have troops in a war. He did not want that arrest power and has said so when signing it.

          Do you realize the affect of raising middle class taxes in just two weeks would have had on people? There would not have been sufficient withholding so it would all be due by april 15th.

          What a dumb thing to say.

          Get some Democrats in to take back the Senate and house!

          I'm asking you to believe. Not in my ability to bring about real change in Washington ... *I'm asking you to believe in yours.* Barack Obama

          by samddobermann on Tue Jan 03, 2012 at 03:32:27 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  which is precisely why A-E is a problem (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      bythesea, Mecadalphia, charliehall2

      Bernie Sanders as president would be great, but it is a delusionary fantasy, and a dangerous one at that as the most likely outcome of many people following this delusion would be a republican president

  •  Looks like a ood way to make sure we get an (R) (0+ / 0-)


    I see no way in which this benefits progressives.

  •  Bloomberg Bought Himself A Third Term As Mayor.... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Dang.  That smells like money, money, money & influence peddling to me.  

    Just when I thought America was waking they want Bloomberg as Prez?  Not in a million, freaking years!

    As for people from different parties on the'd that work out this year in Congress?  A Republican Speaker w/ a Democratic Senate Speaker & a Democratic President.

    Not so hot.....congress has a 7% approval rating right now.  The ticket sounds like a pipe dream.....a looney one.  

  •  Americans Elect will help elect a Republican (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mk3872, JeffW, askew

    Ralph Nader gave us George W. Bush. This can be a repeat.

  •  And how is this permitted? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    I thought that this site's purpose was to help elect more and better Democrats. I guess I was wrong?

    •  "This is how I see things shaping up... (0+ / 0-)

      ...with this so-called third party. Discuss". As opposed to "Hey, we could ahve a third party to push more liberal/progressive ideas!". Considering the problems versus violating the rules.

      Most of us are discussing.

      Float like a manhole cover, sting like a sash weight! Clean Coal Is A Clinker!

      by JeffW on Sun Jan 01, 2012 at 08:31:59 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  No, you're right (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      JeffW, ajwagner

      And my "job" as a featured writer is to provide essays on topics of my choice. This time, I chose to speculate on the effect of Americans Elect on the 2012 election. I don't see how that's mutually contradictory with the objectives of the site.

      oops. I hope the gate wasn't too expensive.

      Twitter: @DanteAtkins

      by Dante Atkins on Sun Jan 01, 2012 at 08:40:57 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I'm not sure about the nomination process, (0+ / 0-)

    because voter fraud potential is so high using the internet. But, making competition for the two parties might force a little more public awareness.

  •  I'm not sure I totally agree. (0+ / 0-)

    The way I see it, Ron Paul would be worse for the Republicans and a moderate like Bloomberg would be worse for Obama, regardless of the Repub nominee.

    I get the feeling that you are overestimating the number of young people who would normally vote progressive that would be turned by Ron Paul. There would be some, but I think there would be far more anti-government types who would be otherwise be voting Republican who would end up voting for Paul.

    As for a moderate third party candidate, Bloomberg or otherwise, I think that would detract mainly from Obama any way you slice it. It certainly would detract from him more if the Republican nominee was a bit more extreme, like Gingrich, but even with Romney I think more swing voters would be voting Obama. This would especially be the case if Romney keeps up his "appease the extreme right" strategy, and based on what happened to McCain in 2008, who kept pushing farther right as the campaign went on, I wouldn't be surprised if Romney kept down that path.

  •  Bloomberg as an alternative to Obama? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    WTF? How is Dante allowed to post this crap?

    I thought Obama and progressives were huge supporters of Occupy Wallstreet and the closing of the inequality gap in our country?

    How in the world is Michael Bloomberg an alternative to what Obama has propsed? Bloomberg opposes the millionare's tax and expiring the Bush tax cuts.

  •  unbelievable (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mk3872, BigDuck, askew

    You mean there are progressives who would vote for Ron Paul based upon his position on legalizing marijuana?  Seriously?

    No wonder we haven't been able to accomplish anything like taking back Wisconsin.

    What are we doing here if we can't even make it clear to progressives that there are things more important than legalizing pot? Do they also think that the reason the Occupy Movement is good is because of the drum circles?  What are we, children?

    This article, and the notion that there are a bunch of "progressive" undergrads (of all ages) who would actually cast a vote for Ron Paul has really depressed me.

    •  You're just scratching the surface ... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      ... Paul also has called SS & Medicare un-Constitutional. He wants to eliminate the EPA and Dept of Education and roll-back the Civil Rights Act.

      But because DK & "progressives" are supposedly ticked-off at Obama under-performing on civil liberties, we're supposed to vote for Paul.

      In other words, Obama is bad because of his record on civil liberties, but forget about all the things that Paul is wrong that we supposedly value @ DK.

      Unbelievable indeed.

      •  or all the things Obama (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        JeffW, askew

        has done right...Yes, I have my disagreements and disappointments but I also  have a much beloved relative who would probably be in a wheelchair if it were not for the infusion of money into Medicaid from the stimulus package. Rides a bike these days...

        Ron Paul...well I used to think he was pathetic...(sorry that does seem a bit mean) I think he's just disgusting...oh not to mention the civil liberties and rights  supported by the Civil Rights Act which he opposes...

        you are right..unbelievable...

  •  did a little research (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    blacksnake, Otto Pilot, JeffW, askew

    think more needs to be done, but this is from an interesting article about this in (of all things) Esquire:

    "Americans Elect is a front for a bunch of Wall Street types and hedge-fund cowboys, many of whom to be completely fair about it, may well still have a tiny, vestigial conscience tingling deep in what passes for their hearts. Nevertheless, the group's entire raison d'etre is to defuse the anger that has arisen generally in the country over the fact that many of their regular dinner partners tried to steal the entire world, only to drop it and smash it to smithereens, in 2008. People have been saying unkind things about them ever since. Americans Elect finds this disconcerting. It would like some warm milk, a cookie, and some centrism, please, preferably knitted, with feet."

    Buddy Roemer actually seems like a decent guy...but really!!!

  •  Methinks we should all sign onto Americans elect (0+ / 0-)

    when the time comes and vote for Paul or some other far righter.

  •  Paul can't be their candidate (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    They have built in an out in case someone like Paul were to win the poll. They can let a supercommittee of their founders correct any mistake and replace them with a more acceptable centerist candidate. It's right there in their founding docs.

    America could have chosen to be the worlds doctor, or grocer. We choose instead to be her policeman. pity

    by cacamp on Sun Jan 01, 2012 at 09:52:03 PM PST

  •  Americans Elect funding is from banksters (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Uncertain just what the net effect of a third candidate would be - usually negligible, in the end - but I have to be suspicious of Americans Elect agenda given that it is tightly controlled by Peter Ackermann, a hedge fund manager, and apparently funded (though they're secretive about their donors) mostly by financiers.

    I have to wonder, if a group of banksters doesn't find the two big parties already indulgent enough of Wall Street, what more could they possibly want?  

  •  Pandering to the NOT-Democrats suburbanites (0+ / 0-)

    These pretentious folks  are looking for any excuse not to vote Democratic. They know the Democrats are right on the issues and the Rethugs are deranged but bringing them to actually vote Democratic is going to take some mental jiu-jitsu.
    I predict that the effort required for GOP to embrace the Millionaire Mormon Mitt will push even some conservos to vote Dem if the issues are framed right.

  •  i can just see the ticket now... (0+ / 0-)


    (oh, and the larouche loonies are out in force these days - must admit, i'm having fun challenging their poor education and feeble brains... for about 5 seconds - then they "fry" and become hostile.  oops!)

    Is GlowNZ back yet?

    by edrie on Sun Jan 01, 2012 at 11:47:05 PM PST

  •  Oh Really? (0+ / 0-)
    Because the people that are funding Americans Elect seem to be a group of postpartisan fetishists who believe that the major problem in our political system is too much partisanship, as opposed to the fact that we have a permanently broken Senate and a House of Representatives that has turned into a hornet's next of radical reactionaries.

    You're ignoring the obvious here.

    We have a dysfunctional Congress specifically because of this problem. There is no ideological middle anymore. I'm dating myself but back in the day we all had the same shared vision for this country, one of prosperity and peace. The only thing that separated the Democrats and Republicans was how to get there. Now thanks to the politics of division no one can even agree on what the overarching vision is anymore.

    Sure politicians all claim to be moderates until you look at their voting records. It's the hyperpartisanship that's the problem and we can thank the Republicans and the media mostly but they wouldn't have been able to do it without the acquiescence of the Democrats.

    When the power of love overcomes the love of power the world will know peace. -Jimi Hendrix -6.0 -5.33

    by Cali Techie on Mon Jan 02, 2012 at 02:55:03 AM PST

    •  Obama's problem (0+ / 0-)

      Your definition of "bipartisan" is exactly what the POTS is dealing with now.  He's done exactly what you suggest but is fighting a treasonous (in my opinion) Republican intransigence while being pilloried by many of the people who voted for him for doing exactly what you suggest.  These days when I see the word "bipartisan" I think it means let the radical right-wing have its way.

      You have the right to remain silent. If you waive that right you will be accused of class warfare.

      by spritegeezer on Mon Jan 02, 2012 at 07:11:00 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  He's not doing as I suggest (0+ / 0-)

        because I'm not suggesting anything. I said Congress is dysfunctional due to hyperpartisanship. It was created by the Republicans during the 80s and refined during the Clinton Administration.

        My real bet is there's plenty of bipartisanship going on in DC. It's not serving the interests of the people and the hyperpartisanship is designed to keep everyone distracted while they cater to their benefactors, the wealthy.

        The record is clear to anyone who will look, but no one's looking because we are being directed to look at the shiny object du jour.

        When the power of love overcomes the love of power the world will know peace. -Jimi Hendrix -6.0 -5.33

        by Cali Techie on Tue Jan 03, 2012 at 08:59:42 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

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