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A friend of mine has told me that he plans to vote for Jill Stein, the Green Party nominee for President who will appear on the ballot here in Virginia. He’s disappointed in President Obama and feels that Stein’s policy positions are more closely aligned with his own, and he thinks America needs more vibrant multi-party system. I've told him he's making a terrible mistake, with potentially disastrous consequences.

I can understand my friend’s appreciation of Stein’s policy views. I’m sure that many Liberals also agree with her on policy. However, voting for a fringe candidate is not going to create a multi-party system—at least not one that results in any meaningful change. For that we would need a constitutional overhaul, and in most ways I think our system is fine the way it is, especially if we can take power away from corporations and return it to the people as the system’s designers intended. And being president is not only about policies. It's about politics and governing; it's about negotiation and diplomacy; it's about managing and communicating. Is Jill Stein really the right person to meet those challenges?

And then there’s the matter of my friend’s disappointment in President Obama. This I don’t understand at all, not after reviewing all of the President’s accomplishments in three and a half years—particularly in view of the mess we were in when he was inaugurated. I think my friend has forgotten the deep, dark hole George Bush left us in. It hasn’t been easy to climb out of that hole, but thanks to President Obama, we’re nearly there. We haven’t made all the improvements in environmental protection that we want, but we’ve made progress. Tim Geithner may not be the guy we want running the Treasury long-term, but we needed someone like him to help us avoid the complete collapse of the economy in 2009. In so many areas we’ve made very large steps forward, and it’s time for Liberals to open their eyes and see that, to thank President Obama, and to give him our support for re-election.

Because this election is not a choice between Jill Stein and Mitt Romney. She has zero chance to be elected, and so a vote for her isn't a vote at all. It may be a "statement" of some kind, but it's actually abdicating the right to help choose our next President. The choice in reality is between Barack Obama and Mitt Romney--not Jill Stein, not Virgil Goode, not Gary Johnson, and not any other fringe candidate who has made it onto the ballot in your state. As between Obama and Romney, which one do you want to be leading us for the next four years? Because it’s going to make a very big difference.

There will likely be at least 2 Supreme Court Justices replaced during the next four years. Israel is likely to take aggressive steps against Iran. Climate change will accelerate. Republicans will continue to wage their war on women and marriage equality. Republicans will continue to fight for lower taxes on the wealthy, higher taxes on the middle class, the elimination of estate taxes, looser restrictions on gun ownership, fracking and expanded oil exploration on and offshore, and so many other areas where we cannot afford to let them have their way.

Obama may not be perfect, but he is the only one standing in the way of the disaster that would be a Romney administration. But this is not about choosing "the lesser of two evils." To me, that statement reflects ignorance of the significant achievements of the Obama administration. I think it's clear that he's the best candidate for President out of all the names on the ballot, and it's absolutely certain that he's the only choice as between him and Romney.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Have had multiple, long arguments (7+ / 0-)

    with a vet friend of mine who's also voting for the Greens. Threw every argument at him that you have here. But nothing I could say could change his mind from keeping the argument framed as a "lesser of two evils," and keeping himself ideologically pure trumps the practical results in his mind.

  •  If you want to vote for someone (11+ / 0-)

    who shares your views perfectly, but has no chance of winning, write yourself in. Voting for someone named Jill Stein makes as much sense as voting for yourself.

  •  Six paragraphs - six hits (6+ / 0-)

    You covered all the points and did so efficiently. Now let's hope the message is heard.

    •  THIS is why (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      aliasalias

      and I do understand the disaster of Romney getting in, but here is why people are disgusted with politics as usual.
      "People are tired of wars and killing, and of being sold a pack of goods by both parties using lies, deception, and manipulation.

      We’re tired of power brokers running roughshod over what we want.

      We’re tired of “alternative” institutions such as MoveOn that enable the charade, and of candidate puppets of “change” who continue cruel policies while spouting high-minded words that they hope will hide their unconscionable actions.

      We’re tired of scripted conventions, of bullying special interests, of lying politicians, of manipulative media, and of partisan politics that set us against one another, in which both sides push falsehoods about the other, and about themselves.

      We’re tired of pretend democracy.

      More and more of us are demanding real change, not computer generated simulations. Instead of responding by refusing to vote, and thus forfeiting this life-and-death game, many of us are going to cast votes that will displease those used to running things.

      And if in this election we choose to “throw our votes away,” as party cheerleaders scornfully call it, on candidates who would end our serial, suicidal wars and stop the killing of children – thus saving the lives of our own as well – then I feel we will have a shot at a future election in which we aren’t once again expected to choose between a proven war criminal and a competitor who might, astonishingly enough, be even worse."

      http://www.counterpunch.org/....   Alison Weir

      If the Fetus you Saved was GAY, would you still fight for it's RIGHT'S?

      by snoopydawg on Sat Sep 08, 2012 at 10:59:49 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Congratulations on getting it exactly wrong (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        ORDem, HeyMikey, ConfusedSkyes

        If you are bound and determined to commit an act of political irrelevance, nothing I write will stop you. But you should consider this:

        * Any candidate you might support will accomplish nothing in office should they lose.

        * Until America adopts a new Constitution, the third party POTUS candidate will always lose.

        * In every election a few percentage points are cast for third parties. This is the level of support third parties will get this year. Professional politicians will look at this and say: Nothing to see here. These people will never vote for us.

        * In any of life's endeavors, people help those who are helpful towards themselves. When politicians get into office, the people who helped out that politician there have that politician's ear. People who did not, might not.

        * In any negotiation, this approach will backfire every single time: I refuse to support you in this election so you damn well better do what I say next election.

        •  I'd like to see coalition politics. (0+ / 0-)

          No reason Dems and Greens couldn't work together. I'd like to see them publicly announce a deal along the following lines:

          1. Until, say, 3 weeks before election day, the Green and Dem nominees will conduct their separate campaigns.

          2. 3 weeks before the general election, whichever candidate is behind in the polls will withdraw and endorse the other.

          3. The withdrawing candidate will get something in return, according to some pre-agreed terms that depend on poll numbers. The higher the withdrawing candidate is polling, the more concessions he or she gets. Concessions like: a cabinet seat, or the right to name a nominee for a particular cabinet seat or seats; support for particular legislation; specified regulatory changes; etc.

          For the first few election cycles, it's a safe bet the Green would be withdrawing and endorsing the Dem. But as Greens started to influence policy with their poll numbers, their base would likely expand; someday it might be the Dem withdrawing and endorsing the Green.

          Of course I expect we'd see the same thing develop with the GOP and the Tea Party. And that's OK. I think the Tea Party has pretty much maxed out its support already, but I think Green ideas could energize a lot of people who now don't vote.

          "The true strength of our nation comes not from the might of our arms or the scale of our wealth, but from the enduring power of our ideals." - Barack Obama

          by HeyMikey on Sat Sep 08, 2012 at 02:26:13 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I don't think the Democrats (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            HeyMikey

            are interested in coalition politics.  That would lend the third party a patina of legitimacy it would rather keep for itself.  The House district CO-04 -- my district -- is an example.  When Marilyn Musgrave (remember her?) ran for re-election in 2004, the Democrats couldn't find a candidate.  Their 2002 candidate, a fairly conservative Democrat named Stan Matsunaka, refused to run again.  The Greens were thinking of fielding an ex-Marine officer, and put out feelers to the local Democratic Party as to whether they could field the candidate jointly in some way or another.  The Democrats never responded, except to commission one of those "internal polls" showing that if Matsunaka were to run, he'd defeat Musgrave handily.  So Matsunaka ran after all, and lost, 51%-45%.  

            •  Idiots. NT (0+ / 0-)

              "The true strength of our nation comes not from the might of our arms or the scale of our wealth, but from the enduring power of our ideals." - Barack Obama

              by HeyMikey on Sat Sep 08, 2012 at 07:43:36 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  I assume you're referring to the Greens (0+ / 0-)

                just for existing?

                •  I mean both for not forming coalition. NT (0+ / 0-)

                  "The true strength of our nation comes not from the might of our arms or the scale of our wealth, but from the enduring power of our ideals." - Barack Obama

                  by HeyMikey on Sun Sep 09, 2012 at 08:11:28 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  As I said earlier, (0+ / 0-)

                    the Democrats decided it made more sense to risk loss than to give a third party credibility.

                    •  And that's why I said they were idiots. (0+ / 0-)

                      Did the Greens even offer a coalition? Publicly? I assume not, though I don't know that.

                      "The true strength of our nation comes not from the might of our arms or the scale of our wealth, but from the enduring power of our ideals." - Barack Obama

                      by HeyMikey on Mon Sep 10, 2012 at 09:04:55 AM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  About as publicly as one can get (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        HeyMikey

                        without newspaper coverage.

                        Anyway, we now see precisely why Democrats tend to be angrier with Greens than with Republicans.  With Republicans, Democrats battle for the other's turf.  With Greens, Democrats battle with those whom they regard as encroaching on their own turf.  Democrats will never compromise with Greens; they'll certainly compromise with Republicans.

                        •  I think you're right. (0+ / 0-)

                          As I noted above, I think Greens and Dems should try to work together. In this case it looks like the Greens were willing and the Dems weren't, so the GOP won. That makes Dems the idiots.

                          Although apparently the outcome in this case is just hunky-dory with Quicklund (see our exchange on this thread).

                          "The true strength of our nation comes not from the might of our arms or the scale of our wealth, but from the enduring power of our ideals." - Barack Obama

                          by HeyMikey on Mon Sep 10, 2012 at 01:26:35 PM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  Quicklund is, to put it a bit too bluntly, (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            HeyMikey

                            the voice of the Party.  I'm certainly not.  

                            From that perspective, the Green Party must submit or die.

                            It is somehow understandable that the Greens aren't happy with those options.

                      •  Or, put another way, (0+ / 0-)

                        Democrats do not contest the Republicans' right to exist.  They do contest the Greens' right to exist; same goes for other left-of-Democratic parties large enough to be perceived as threatening.  

          •  Not going to happen (0+ / 0-)

            The Greens are a nothing in American elections. (Note I did not say politics, I said elections.)

            So why would any party seek to turn a harmless opponent into one that might actually steal away an election or two? The Democratic Party is not in business to boost a different party.

            •  Why. (0+ / 0-)

              Biggest reason why: 2000, and the entire ensuing Dubya Presidency.

              I also wrote a diary in 2008 about how a throwaway Green candidate in Virginia came this close to spoiling the Senate race there for Jim Webb and giving George Allen the Senate seat instead. One less Senate seat = no Obamacare.

              Isn't there a comment on this diary somewhere about how a Green may spoil a Senate race this year?

              That's why.

              "The true strength of our nation comes not from the might of our arms or the scale of our wealth, but from the enduring power of our ideals." - Barack Obama

              by HeyMikey on Sun Sep 09, 2012 at 08:10:12 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  No sale (0+ / 0-)

                Citing the 200 election as a reason why Kossacks should support third parties here is quite possibly the least persuasive argument ever attempted on this web site. You will have to excuse me for remaining unpersuaded.

                Spoiler third parties are created on an ad hoc basis. There is no need to prop up a fake party. That bargaining chip you think you have is worthless.

                It's a free country but this web site is private territory. If you choose to use this website to cheerlead for the Green Party the site owner will disable your account. Sooner or later but inevitably.

                •  Please re-read. (0+ / 0-)

                  You misunderstand me. I'm not cheerleading for third parties or urging Kossacks to support them.

                  What I'm saying is that the Greens are a reality, and that the existing Democratic strategy for dealing with that reality is not working well.

                  The usual Democratic strategy has led to one disaster (the Bush 43 Presidency), come very close to causing another disaster (no Sen. Jim Webb = no Obamacare), and threatens another disaster this year (if we can keep control of the Senate it will be by the skin of our teeth; we have no Senate campaigns to spare).

                  As Democrats, we need a better strategy for dealing with Greens. I'm suggesting one.

                  "The true strength of our nation comes not from the might of our arms or the scale of our wealth, but from the enduring power of our ideals." - Barack Obama

                  by HeyMikey on Mon Sep 10, 2012 at 09:09:46 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  I have no idea what to make of that (0+ / 0-)

                    Various results from GOP/Dem clashes are offered to me as Green Party driven issues. I honestly do not follow.

                    •  Oh, come on. (0+ / 0-)

                      Really? You don't see how Nader withdrawing and endorsing Gore might have had ANY relevance to the outcome of the 2000 election? And thus to the events of 2001-08?

                      I have no idea what to make of that.

                      "The true strength of our nation comes not from the might of our arms or the scale of our wealth, but from the enduring power of our ideals." - Barack Obama

                      by HeyMikey on Mon Sep 10, 2012 at 11:16:45 AM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  Yes but why that (0+ / 0-)

                        should make me support the Green Party is contra-indicated.

                        Fact is, 1 or 2 % will always vote for  that year's fringe candidate. There is no strategic benefit to trying to get a half percent or as much as  1% from unpersuadable fringe voter when competition against the GOP can snag the 10 to 20% middle of the road vote.

                        Letting the tail wag the dog is what is happening to the GOP dog and the Tea Party tail right now.

                        If you want to see your policies reflected in the Democratic Party, then join the Democratic Party. Coquettishly remaining outside the party is not a particularly shrewd strategy when it comes to garnering support.

                        Your choice.

                        •  Please stop twisting my words. Address my point. (0+ / 0-)

                          Giving me the GOP's "You didn't build that" treatment doesn't make you any more credible than it makes the GOP.

                          Yes but why that should make me support the Green Party is contra-indicated.
                          I'm not asking you or any Kossack to support the Greens. As I said already.
                          If you want to see your policies reflected in the Democratic Party, then join the Democratic Party. Coquettishly remaining outside the party is not a particularly shrewd strategy.
                          I always vote, and I can count on the fingers of one hand the times I have not voted Democratic. I regularly contribute money to Democratic candidates.

                          Times I have not voted Democratic:

                          1. 1980, voted for libertarian Ed Clark instead of Jimmy Carter. I was a young stupid kid, would not do that again.

                          2. Also 1980, voted for GOP Mack Mattingly for Georgia Senator over Herman Talmadge, who had just been exposed as a crook and denounced 81-15 by the Senate. I thought Talmadge was bringing shame to the Democratic party, and hated to vote GOP, but thought (and still think) it's not in the Democrats' interest to harbor crooks.

                          3. Around 1996 I had a friend running for school board as a Republican--at that time, the GOP solidly controlled our county. I voted in the GOP primary so I could vote for him. He lost. I voted for the Dem in the general, but the GOP candidate won. (Thank God my part of the county is now solid Democratic, though the rest of the county is still majority GOP.)

                          I have never voted for a Green. Not once.

                          That's it. You wanna twist that, too?

                          You still have not addressed my core point: the Democrats' (my Democrats', our Democrats') approach to the Greens has already resulted in one disaster, nearly resulted in another, and threatens another this year. You seem to favor more of the same. If you don't want more of the same, what do you want to do differently?

                          "The true strength of our nation comes not from the might of our arms or the scale of our wealth, but from the enduring power of our ideals." - Barack Obama

                          by HeyMikey on Mon Sep 10, 2012 at 11:41:21 AM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  I am simply supply my view (0+ / 0-)

                            I have admitted before I have problems following your points.

                            You still have not addressed my core point: the Democrats' (my Democrats', our Democrats') approach to the Greens has already resulted in one disaster, nearly resulted in another, and threatens another this year. You seem to favor more of the same. If you don't want more of the same, what do you want to do differently?
                            The Democratic Party's "approach to the Greens" was not the root cause for any of these things. Ignoring the Greens this year is also not going to be the root cause for any electoral result.

                            What do I want to do differently? Get more votes than the Republican candidates in as many races as possible. I have already explained the math. Green Party voters are few and, such as you demonstrate here, are unreachable. Whereas there are 20 times as many voters in the political center, and those voters are reachable.

                            I get the feeling you see yourself negotiating from the position of strength. You might want to re-calibrate.

                          •  With all respect, you sound like a Naderite. 2010. (0+ / 0-)
                            The Democratic Party's "approach to the Greens" was not the root cause for any of these things.
                            And every time I say the Nader voters brought Bush into office in 2000, the Naderites say, "No, that wasn't it! Gore ran a lousy campaign! Florida purged the voter rolls! The Palm Beach County butterfly ballot! The Supreme Court!"

                            The rather obvious point that both you and the Naderites attempt to avoid is that there is no one "root cause." A lot of things went wrong in 2000. We don't have to agree on which one was most important, because we should try to fix them all.

                            There is no necessary conflict between attracting more-progressive voters and boosting mainstream Dem turnout. For proof, look at 2010, in which we were devastated by the "enthusiasm gap." Poll after poll showed the majority of Americans agreed with the Dems on the issues, but a majority of voters obviously agreed with the GOP. Why?

                            Largely, I believe, because the Dem achievements of 2009-10 were watered-down half-measures. Obamacare didn't cover everybody and mostly hadn't kicked in yet. The stimulus didn't reduce unemployment as advertised. (You don't have to tell me it still reduced unemployment a lot; I'm well aware of that.) Obama in 2008 promised carbon cap-and-trade with no free allowances for existing emitters, and in 2009-10 we got zero action on CO2. In other words, Obama the 2008 candidate was more progressive than the Dems' 2009-10 accomplishments, and the failure to be progressive enough in deeds made a lot of 2008 Dem voters into 2010 non-voters.

                            You still have not explained how your approach differs from what the Democrats did in 2000 and 2010.

                            "The true strength of our nation comes not from the might of our arms or the scale of our wealth, but from the enduring power of our ideals." - Barack Obama

                            by HeyMikey on Mon Sep 10, 2012 at 12:08:25 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  I know it is not different (0+ / 0-)

                            I said it should not be different. The Democrats ran as Democrats not as Greens in 2008 and 2010. I am 100% in support of the not in the Democrats run as Democrats in 2012.

                            You keep telling me the Democrats are on the verge of doom in 2012. Are you not aware of how the 2012 race is breaking? Your fear-mongering does not leave many people quaking in their boots. You have to know that.

                            I don't know how many different ways I can tell you that I am calling your bluff. You predict doom if the tail does not get to wag the dog. I'm betting on the dog. Put your money wherever you want.

                          •  Define "doom." (0+ / 0-)
                            You keep telling me the Democrats are on the verge of doom in 2012.
                            I was thinking there was a Senate race this year in which a Green could be the spoiler. But I've googled around and tried to find it just now, and can't. So perhaps I was hallucinating that.

                            OTOH nobody saw the Greens as a potential spoiler in Virginia 2006 either, but the Green candidate got 26,000 votes and Jim Webb only won by about 7,000 (less than 1/3 of 1%): http://www.dailykos.com/...

                            But it doesn't really matter. Best-case this year is that the Dems barely hang on to a majority in the Senate. There's no damn way we'll end up with 60 votes, which means NOTHING important is going to happen in the next 4 years.

                            * No significant action on global warming. (Unless Obama takes my advice and acts via the EPA, without Congress.)

                            * Nothing to provide medical care to those left out in the cold via either the original gaps in Obamacare, or the Supreme Court decision making Medicaid expansion optional.

                            * Nothing to make higher education significantly more affordable.

                            * Certainly no new Keynesian stimulus, despite the fact we're on track to recover to 2007 levels of employment anywhere from 2027 to never.

                            * No extension of unemployment benefits to the millions of long-term unemployed.

                            I said:

                            You still have not explained how your approach differs from what the Democrats did in 2000 and 2010.
                            You said:
                            I know it is not different...I said it should not be different.
                            Well, I think 2001-08 sucked, and giving the GOP enough clout in Congress to stall everything in 2011-12 sucked too, and it looks like best case 2013-14 will suck like 2011-12. So yeah, I think it should be different.

                            "The true strength of our nation comes not from the might of our arms or the scale of our wealth, but from the enduring power of our ideals." - Barack Obama

                            by HeyMikey on Mon Sep 10, 2012 at 02:16:34 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Oh and by the way... (0+ / 0-)

                            ...I think perhaps way up at the beginning of this chain of comments you may have mistaken me for snoopydawg?

                            "The true strength of our nation comes not from the might of our arms or the scale of our wealth, but from the enduring power of our ideals." - Barack Obama

                            by HeyMikey on Mon Sep 10, 2012 at 02:17:50 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

        •  What Constitutional changes are you referring to? (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Quicklund

          I understand the practical realities that third party candidates are often spoilers and irrelevant at best.

          But I don't see anything in our present Constitution that prohibits their existence.

          We've just witnessed the complete take over of one of the country's primary parties to the point that "traditional" Republicans feel abandoned.  Political re-alignments happen in every era.  Who is to say that some third party becomes one of the primary parties in the future?  It's happened before when the Whigs where displaced by the Ripon Republicans.  

          So, here we are in the early 21st century and both parties appear to be beholden to special/elite interests despite the appearance of appealing to our needs and concerns.  

          What leverage do you have other than voting precisely for those who are not beholden to those elite interests?  

          What you are suggesting is that there is nothing that we the people can do to affect real change.  Except that we are now compelled out of sheer fear of disaster to do the heavy lifting of empowering one party that is more aligned with our concerns but far less than optimal versus the party that is actually dangerous to our way of life.  Yet, we in electing the "lesser of two evil" parties, we fall further from justice, equality, environmental balance because nothing actually gets done.  Treasonous criminals go un-prosecuted and unpunished. It is now "normal" to tell complete lies and treat your electorate as complete imbeciles.  Rights that were fought for and won 2 generations ago are now suddenly imperiled because we did not safeguard them while we had the power.  

          When people expressed concern about the bartering away our rights, or approaches to problems, we were punched back at and viciously.  We were called the "professional left" or lefties or all manner of inappropriate things from those in power that were supposed to share our values. Instead of listening to our concerns and acting on them, they applied the political leverage not to Republicans and "blue-dogs" but to US!

          While I'm going to vote for Barrack Obama, I recognize that this cycle must eventually be broken so that the people can take back their government. Maybe that means re-aligning our own party in a similar manner that the GOP has or giving power to another party so that our party gets the message.  What's it going to be?

          --Mr. President, you have to earn my vote every day. Not take it for granted. --

          by chipoliwog on Sat Sep 08, 2012 at 06:08:28 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Game Theory (0+ / 0-)

            There is nothing in the NFL rules that say you have to pass more than you run. Yet 32 teams out of 32 do just that.

            My point is, the rules to not have to explicitly allow/disallow an activity or a strategy. It is enough if they establish incentives that shapes behavior. The Constitution establishes a winner-take-all system. Your party ether holds all the levers of power (in a given segment of government (WH/House/Senate)) or it holds none.

            The President has all the Article I power and the VP nothing. So it is all or nothing.

            In congress, the majority party controls the committees and sets the floor agenda. Opposition parties cannot even out-vote a solid majority block. All or nothing.

            Under such a system two small opposition parties have no power. But if they merge they can become the majority party and hold ALL the power.

            So, scattered and small parties is the  road to no power. Large parties are the road to all the power. None vs all ... it's not a choice. And it is not an accident that there has never been three major US parties at the same time.

          •  Yes, a new name-brand can come along (0+ / 0-)

            But then one of the existing parties will die. How much would really change?

            Today the GOP is the party which represents the nation's economic elites. Well, that POV will always be reprsented with a major party. Having elite power is what makes one elite after all.

            With one party going to the elites, that means the other party will always be a catch-all for everyone not interested in perpetuating the elites.

            Kill off one of today's parties and what will happen? The same Americans will be alive. So the voters will migrate to the new parties. one will represent the elites, and the other will become the catch-all party. only the brand names will change.

      •  Sorry, but that's absurd, because . . . (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        HeyMikey

        . . .that candidate, if he/she exists, won't win. Why not use your vote to elect someone who has a chance--who is more closely aligned with your principles than the other guy?

        You should not only be supporting Barack Obama, you should be knocking on doors and contributing money toward his re-election.

        I live in the real world, and voting for an idea, rather than for a viable candidate, doesn't make sense in the real world.

      •  I *do* wish people would stop (0+ / 0-)

        linking to Counterpunch.  If the favored writers at Counterpunch were as interested in civil liberties as they claim, they wouldn't have been such nasty Paulbots.

        Only thing worse is the continued fascination, by otherwise sane Democrats, with Andrew Sullivan.

      •  You speak of "we" as if you speak for all Greens (0+ / 0-)

        as if all Greens agree with you.  Truthfully there is as much or as little "we" in the Greens as there is in the Democratic Party's "we".  

        In the last cycle, Republican operatives (eg  Steve May of Arizona) recruited homeless men to run on the Green Party ticket as a well-used and effective means of splitting progressive votes.  The roommate of the daughter of a Republican Party official switched parties and registered as a Green and ran in a highly contested race to split progressive votes.  They were all registered Green Party members, and all had the right to speak for Greens as "we."

        "Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely", and many, but not all, Greens believe they have the luxury of principles without compromise, because their use of power has never been tested.

        But you should vote the way the you feel best serves not just your own interests, but the welfare of the whole. If your conscience believes that a reduced Obama win or a Romney win will benefit the have nots, will "end the killing of children", will end our "serial suicidal wars", will send an effective message of dissolution and force a change in Democrats or Republicans or in our election system, and if that leads you to the Greens, so be it.  

        "Out of Many, One." This is the great promise of our nation -9.75 -6.87

        by Uncle Moji on Sat Sep 08, 2012 at 12:28:06 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  By all means...in the primaries. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        The Overton Defenestration

        I'm 100% in favor of pushing truly progressive candidates in the primaries.

        But in the general, vote for the lesser evil and be thankful if you end up in the majority.

        Nader = Bush. I don't like it either, but reality is reality.

        "The true strength of our nation comes not from the might of our arms or the scale of our wealth, but from the enduring power of our ideals." - Barack Obama

        by HeyMikey on Sat Sep 08, 2012 at 02:19:22 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  this, a hundred times this (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          HeyMikey

          I have serious problems with the governance of the Obama administration and would love to vote green. The thing that keeps me from doing that is that I voted in Florida in 2000. I didn't vote for Nader because I still have a beef with him for killing Detroit. Enough people did vote for Nader that Bush could steal the election on a forced recount and what good did it do Nader or the Greens as a whole?

          Romney is definitively worse than Bush and I will be on the GOTV for a man who has broken my heart over and over because anything would be better than a Romney Presidency.

  •  Medicare eligibility age raised (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    kestrel9000, corvo, aliasalias

    Simpson Bowles, Grand Bargain, $4 trillion in cuts from a staggering economy ...

    •  Medicare ended (7+ / 0-)

      Ryan Budget, Ryan Budget, Ryan Budget.

      Plus... Supreme Court appointments, Personhood laws, eviscerating EPA, undoing what financial regulation got done, and overturning ACA.

      Those are the realities that come with an Obama loss.

      "Mitt Romney isn't a vulture capitalist: vultures only eat things that are dead." -S. Colbert

      by newinfluence on Sat Sep 08, 2012 at 08:59:43 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Medicare will be ended if you are 65 (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        aliasalias

        Under the bargain which Ed Rendell is still blabbing about.  You are not supposed to know.  Will you be shut out of the room represented by an empty chair as we were over single payer?  Obama can get my vote if he clears up where he stands on entitlement cuts.

        •  "you are not supposed to know" (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          ORDem, Quicklund

          Classic CT superiority complex: "I see into the depths of their dark hearts; trust me, peasant!"

          "They smash your face in, and say you were always ugly." (Solzhenitsyn)

          by sagesource on Sat Sep 08, 2012 at 10:22:35 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  In fairness, Obama never ran on single payer (0+ / 0-)

          He ran on public option. And the only thing that I know Rendell has talked about is raising the age, not privatizing it.

          You say you don't want to vote for him over entitlement cuts, but I hope you can step back and realize that Romney/Ryan are not going to cut; they're going to kill. Tens of millions - at least - will be without Medicaid, the ending of Medicare for those 55 and under while charging 2,000/yr more for less, and the draconian cuts to social and governmental programs... all promised by them.

          Also, I can't live with a 7-2 Roberts Court and I can't think about the consequences of gutting EPA.

          "Mitt Romney isn't a vulture capitalist: vultures only eat things that are dead." -S. Colbert

          by newinfluence on Sat Sep 08, 2012 at 12:09:28 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  When was that age limit raised? I missed that law (0+ / 0-)
      •  It was offered in the Grand Bargain and he is (0+ / 0-)

        still campaigning for the Grand Bargain.  If I am wrong the campaign can clear this up.  They certainly haven't done that even after Rendell opened his big mouth.  Perhaps some pundit could ask this question in the debates.

      •  Not yet, but it will be if they win (0+ / 0-)

        It's idiotic, since you're taking the healthiest people out of the pool, but the right-wingers seem enamored of it as a "solution."

        •  It "will be"? (0+ / 0-)

          It "will be" if Romney wins.

          If Mr Obama wins, negotiations continue. Mr Obama needs blockers not more tacklers.

          Mr Obama is of the mindset to preserve and improve the social net. How well that is improved depends on how big a victory he can achieve in 2012.

          Withholding your support is the one sure way to diminish the amount of progress that can be made.

          But I do know that 1% or 2% are always going to be be unreachable.

  •  Negative attacks work. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    kestrel9000, greenbell, jan4insight

    If these arguments don't do the trick, explain how Jill Stein is a liar and a cheat, and would institute policies that would hurt your friend badly. Just make shit up. You can do it.

  •  A Protest Vote Only Makes Sense in a Safe State (4+ / 0-)

    Otherwise it's a vote for the Republicans, and it teaches the Democrats to move to the right.

    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 Sat Sep 08, 2012 at 09:01:29 AM PDT

  •  I have no doubt (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Supavash

    you remember the effect a Green candidate had in the 2006 Senate race in Virginia.........

    "That the people have a right to bear arms for the defence of themselves and the State ..."- Vermont Constitution Chapter 1, Article 16

    by kestrel9000 on Sat Sep 08, 2012 at 09:05:22 AM PDT

  •  Does your friend listen to Tom Hartman? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Supavash

    Hartman is a proud liberal who supports the President, even though he may disagree with him at times.

    Maybe you could direct your friend to Hartman's website or, if you have access to it, his radio show.

  •  Thank you! Lordy, I am so tired of the "greens" (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ConfusedSkyes, sagesource

    You know what they are? They're "handwashers" - they're in effect saying, the rest of you can get down & dirty in the trenches of politics & that nasty compromise business. "I'm" going to stay up here on my pedestal, secure in my purity, never troubling my delicate little conscience by actually having to do the hard work to move our country forward.

    Never mind that in I dunno how many years, the Green Party hasn't accomplished a meaningful thing. Never mind that our political system hasn't, and isn't about to evolve into a parliamentary system like in Europe, where third parties might have a chance.

    Never mind that the major accomplishments of the Greens is to throw races to Republicans. Remember 2000 and Nader? (ok, technically he may or may not have run as a green, i don't recall).

    That's my stock answer to the "green" mania: I don't vote to elect Republicans. And since that's been the major accomplishment of the Green Party in the US, I don't vote Green!

    PS: the same goes for all those emo lefties who are "soooo" disppointed in Pres. Obama. Yeah, they're still out there ;)

    •  I'd love a parliamentary system (0+ / 0-)

      But we're more likely to get one (even if it's a long shot) from the Democrats who willingly caucus with independents and third parties who get into Congress, than the Republicans, who just stage intra-party coups - starting with their takeover of the Party of Lincoln and Roosevelt.

      •  Yeah,right. Look how well that's worked in the UK. (0+ / 0-)
      •  Most democracies are based on a parliamentary (0+ / 0-)

        system and it seems no one outisde the US thinks the Electoral College makes any sense. The US presidential model was an inspiration mostly in Latin America, although the Fifth Republic in France offers quite an effective mix of parliamentary and direct presidential elections. That system, created by DeGaulle in 1958, has had the effect of tempering the multi-party parliamentary chaos of the 4th Republic and has given France real democratic stability for the first time since the Revolution.

        If my soldiers were to begin to think, not one would remain in the ranks. -Frederick the Great

        by Valatius on Sat Sep 08, 2012 at 02:50:30 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  The chance that a third party brings... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      jan4insight, kaliope

      ....is a disaster for the left, which might find itself unable to take power even if it had an actual majority of the votes.

      Take the situation in Canada. There are four parties of the lean-right, center, and left, and one of the mid to far right. Guess which one manages to win national control with less than 40 per cent of the vote?

      "They smash your face in, and say you were always ugly." (Solzhenitsyn)

      by sagesource on Sat Sep 08, 2012 at 10:26:35 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  How do you know.... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jan4insight, Quicklund

    ....it's the lesser of two evils?

    Fringe third party candidates have zero chance of ever having to fulfill their promises, and they know it. They can promise the moon, secure in the fact they won't have to deliver so much as a seagull turd. In that sense, their campaigns are one long cheap shot, like someone who goes on and on about the martial virtues, knowing all the time that he or she is in such poor health the military would never accept them.

    In power, Stein might be a Gitmo-stuffing, drone-crazy purity warrior. How would we ever know?

    "They smash your face in, and say you were always ugly." (Solzhenitsyn)

    by sagesource on Sat Sep 08, 2012 at 10:21:03 AM PDT

  •  I think you miss the point of a lot of the (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    corvo, aliasalias

    disappointment in Obama. It is not the economy or health care or compromise with Republicans. It is war crimes. Two points. Point One : No one has been indicated for the war crimes of the Bush administration. Point Two : The use of drones. Many people believe and many legal experts argue that these two issues are in themselves war crimes. And for some people the war issues trump everything else.

    Some people are very bitter about what they see as hypocrisy of American condemnation of other countries for acts committed at the same time as Americans commit these acts. Not closing Guantanamo is the fault of Congress. Not prosecuting tortures is the fault of the Justice Department. Killing people without due process and off the battlefield is the fault of the Executive branch. Warrantless search and seizure is the fault of the police and prosecutors

    Some people have a line they can not cross. For some progressives the line they can not cross involves war crimes as defined by the international community..

    •  We will not cross that line! (0+ / 0-)

      We will, however, consciously and willingly enable the entire country to cross that line. But personally voting to stop Romney from winning? Sorry. Don't want dust on the ol' white gloves.

    •  I'm fully aware of the reasons (0+ / 0-)

      for the disappointment, and I share many of them. That doesn't in any way change the calculus I presented. The choice is between Obama and Romney.

      If you can honestly say that you'd prefer Romney, or that there's no difference, then I would say two things: (1) you're lying to yourself, and (2) you haven't taken a close enough look at the differences between the two candidates who have a chance of winning.

      •  What makes you think I refer to myself? What makes (0+ / 0-)

        you think I would prefer Romney? Where did I say I was not supporting or voting for the President. I was describing the feelings of people I have read or talked to. I would prefer an Obama Presidency with a Democratic Congress. I would have preferred Carter, Mondale, Dukakis, Gore, and Kerry. I like Ronald Reagan much less than does Obama. I would have preferred Clinton not deregulate. But I would have preferred a Dem Congress in 94 too. I volunteer and donate and vote. I do not ever vote anything but a straight ticket and have done so since my first election in 76. So do not lecture me about Romney. The President is the one who wants to play Kumba with Republicans I say "Fuck Them".

        I am not a DLCer who has taken the party to ruin and governed like a Republican. But I still support the party and its candidates. I have voted for Obama in election I could. Twice in Illinois vote the Senate and once in Florida for President. I respected the embargo in 2008 on the Florida primary because that what good dems were supposed to do.

        Unless I tell you how I feel or what I think do not think you know how I feel or what I think. My comment was about the real struggle others are having. Maybe you should read lore closely next time.

  •  I feel your pain. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Quicklund

    I also have friends who vote Green. My sister voted for Cynthia McKinney instead of Obama in 2008. But we live in California, so it doesn't matter. I've always been a registered Democrat, but I have voted Green on occasion on down-ballot races.

    I know a gentleman who is a Green Party activist in the Los Angeles area, and the first time I met him, he was berating me for staying a Democrat. That my "natural home" is the Green Party. That the Democrats, in so many words, won't do anything for me. We got into an argument about this, and he was really peeved that I refused to come around to his way of thinking. Nevertheless, we made up and are on friendly terms when I see him. Still, I think people like him are on a fool's errand at this point.

    I think many who prefer to always vote third party and think just voting third party is somehow going to miraculously bring down the two-party system are misguided and ignorant of how political systems work. Third parties in a winner take all system will never be represented, and this is a fact they are either ignorant of or refuse to recognize.  

    Like some of the commentators, I also prefer the U.S. move to a multiparty parliamentary system, with the addition of some form of proportional representation. I read a book recently called "Patterns of Democracy: Government Forms and Performance in Thirty-Six Countries" by Arend Lijphart. Lijphart studied in each country how satisfied or dissatisfied citizens were with their government. He found that countries with more proportional and participatory forms of democracy were more satisfied with their democracy, even if their particular party lost the majority of the vote. The losers are satisfied because they still got some representation in the legislature, whereas with our winner take all, the losers get nothing, or if relegated to minority status, they can only obstruct.

    Last night on Real Time with Bill Maher, Maher said the Democrats have been forced to become the "liberal, moderate and conservative party" because the Republicans have abdicated all reason and responsibility and have turned into the "mental patient party." We can't have a one and a half party democracy. It's unhealthy to have one party that stands for any and all positions, and another that withers to nothing.

    I believe that since our country has such a diversity of opinion, America would be much better off and Americans would be happier with a proportional system. So, I don't agree with you that our form of government is pretty much fine the way it is. It has always had shortcomings. I also prefer to be more positive that constitutional obstacles can eventually be overcome to achieve a better electoral arrangement. It may not happen in my lifetime, but it's a goal I'd like to work toward nevertheless. Those who support third party participation and representation would be better off spending more of their energy on trying to build more political equity in the U.S. than pursuing fruitless efforts at winning the presidency.

    "Behind every great fortune is a great crime." - Honore de Balzac

    by mooremusings on Sat Sep 08, 2012 at 11:52:18 AM PDT

    •  But you will never get political equity (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      aliasalias

      From two entrenched and increasingly purchased major parties.  It must at least be possible for one of the parties to be pushed aside by a third or leveraged to change by challenge from a third.  If not the system is truly rigged.

  •  You've already lost on gun ownership. (0+ / 0-)

    I suggest focusing our efforts on issues that actually matter.

  •  asdf (0+ / 0-)

    "For that we would need a constitutional overhaul, and in most ways I think our system is fine the way it is, especially if we can take power away from corporations and return it to the people as the system’s designers intended. "

    Actually, the system's designers did not intend giving serious power to the people; the text of the Constitution as originally ratified demonstrates a deep mistrust of "the people" in favor of elites.

    It also seems to me that the system we have now is not "fine the way it is," and certainly "tak[ing] power away from the corporations" is now possible only via constitutional amendment.

  •  I believe it would make more sense (0+ / 0-)

    to try to win over moderate Republicans.

  •  Yep, this blog entry is perfect (0+ / 0-)

    for this Website. Since its goal is to elect better Democrats, there's no better place to write about why it'd be wrong to vote for a third party. I disagree with it, but this is the right place for it.

  •  Minor Parties, New York style (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    The Overton Defenestration

    There is a role for third parties when they provide a second ballot line for one of the major parties,as they can here in New York and several other states. This procedure, which derives from  state election law, is usually called cross-endorsement or fusion. In New York the Conservative Party serves to pull Republicans to the right. If a candidate is conservative enough, he/she gets two lines. Otherwise, they can run their own candidate (altho this is seldom done. )Only once did the Conservatives elect their candidate when James Buckley (Wm. F's brother) was elected to the US Senate in 1971. He was a dud and could not be re-elected.

    The Liberal Party served the same purpose for many years and was the vehicle for John V. Lindsay to be re-elected as NYC mayor  in 1969 after losing the Republican primary to a conservative, John Marchi.

    Except for such rare cases, the two minor parties endorsed the major party candidate, allowing voters to express their own more liberal or conservative views while still voting for someone who could win. The Conservative Party still serves this purpose but the Liberal Party became little more than a patronage mill and faded away. Currently, the Working Families Party carries on as as a progressive voice, while reliably endorsing Democratic candidates.

    NY's Green Party is healthy enough but has not opted for fusion endorsements. And we have many other minor parties. In 2010 the crafty Andrew Cuomo insisted on a gubernatiorial debate involving every party on the ballot, which made reactionary GOP candidate Palladino look like just one more crackpot.

    And fusion allows minor parties to join forces behind one candidate, such as with Kevin Zeese in Maryland, but I am guessing that most minor parties are too ideological or ego-driven to use this option, at least here in  in NY.

    Fusion New York-style has many problems, some which are detailed at this site.  Even so, it can offer a model for incorporating a minor parties into successful campaigns.

    If the Greens could nominate Obama, for example, I would prefer to vote Green. But to vote for Jill Stein (or Roseanne Barr), I agree, is to throw away a vote.

    If my soldiers were to begin to think, not one would remain in the ranks. -Frederick the Great

    by Valatius on Sat Sep 08, 2012 at 02:39:20 PM PDT

  •  go green (0+ / 0-)

    The Democratic and Republican parties are wholly owned subsidiaries of the oligarchs. Obama and Romney serve the same masters. They just market to different people but the results are essentially the same, i.e.: the rich get richer. We can only begin to reclaim our democracy when we stop supporting the status quo. Obama talks a good game but his actions are exactly what the oligarchs demand.

  •  anti-green arguments (0+ / 0-)

    Here's a new blog with a few posts on why people should not vote Green.

    http://dontvotegreen.blogspot.com/

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