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Bernie and the Green Party

DCblogger's picture

Currently the Green view is that Bernie is just a distraction from the inevitable Hillary coronation. The bigger Bernie gets, the more bitter the attacks will get. Should Bernie win the Democratic nomination, as I hope and expect, the attacks from the left will become still more bitter. A Bernie candidacy will reduce the logic of a national Green campaign.

Truly to build a national party of the left the Greens would do better to recruit as many candidates as they can at the local level. This would enable them to catch the leftist tide that a naional Bernie campaign will create. But somehow I don't think that they will understand the opportunity.

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Barmitt O'Bamney's picture
Submitted by Barmitt O'Bamney on

Bernie Sanders if nominated won't beat the Republican candidate, in my admittedly jaded opinion. If elected his Presidency will immediately vanish beneath the waves. Obama started triangulating against his own Democratic Congress and running for re-election as a moderate Republican counterweight to them on Jan 20th, 2009. (Well, he said he was a moderate Republican of the 1980s, but he's more extreme than Reagan by some measures) The same would happen -but in reverse- to St. Bernie beginning Jan 20th, 2017. The Democrats in Congress will crucify him. His administration, lacking as it must any kind of partisan power base, would make Jimmy Carter's look like a Mussolini style dictatorship.

But I don't think we really have to fear scenarios like that. The Democratic faithful seems to be holding him off so far with their characteristically brilliant takedowns, like:
Bernie Sanders - Not black enough!!!
Bernie Sanders - What's in it for my vagina???

Senator Sanders swears he won't play the spoiler, as an independent candidate. But that is the most constructive role for him. I might be more interested in Bernie if he planned instead to make the Eventual Democratic Nominee lose an election after her inevitable coronation. Making the Democrats lose is the only way the self-described progressives will ever get the Party's attention. I'm not saying they could ever get what they want, but that is the only way they even begin to make an impression on, or start to put the brakes on their betrayers. Until the Left defects, and does so repeatedly to drill the lesson into the Democrats' corruption-thickened skulls, that party will continue to take their ideological base for granted, and will push further and further rightward.

The same dynamic that would doom a hypothetical Sanders' Presidency would doom a Green Party Presidency. Republicans would of course try to lynch President Jill Stein, but they'd be unable. The Democrats would have already built a scaffold and knotted the rope and issued tickets. So, I agree that the Greens should concentrate on building a local and statewide office farm system. But I don't agree that the controversy about their Presidential aspiration matters at all. If anyone wants to vote for Jill Stein in the general, rather than for one of the two parties of 1% domination, God bless 'em. Especially since Bernie -barring a big reversal of position from him- won't be there to clutter up the choices..

Having said all that, I think this is as good a place as any to declare my support for the 2016 ticket of Emiliano Zapata and Pancho Villa. ¡Right for Mexico, right for El Norte!

Submitted by lambert on

... and then there's funny not funny.

Bernie Sanders - What's in it for my vagina???

Would be an example of the latter. Clever up.

nippersdad's picture
Submitted by nippersdad on

From my perspective as a Green voter and donor, it looks like they have gone radio silent. All I have heard from them is that they now have the monthly $250.00 to keep the website up, but lack the funds to pay anyone......Seems like they could do a little better in a time that is repeatedly referred to as "revolutionary".

I am, obviously, not wild about Sanders' foreign policy, but one cannot deny that his economic proposals are lighting a fire under TPTB. The essence of pragmatism is getting something for your vote/money, something that the Greens after all of these years should know well by now. I feel at this point that my (small but ongoing) donations to the Sanders campaign have borne fruit in ways that those (also small but ongoing) to the Greens never have. If this is a perception problem, it is one that they would be well served to fix sooner rather than later.

Submitted by lambert on

... is hard to know) the Green reaction to the Sanders candidacy is:

1) We own those votes, and who is Sanders to steal them?

2) Sheepdog!

3) The main benefit of the Green Party is that they can destroy the two party system.

No engagement with Sanders' policy proposals whatever!

Meanwhile, Stein has not declared. Give credit to Sanders: He picked up the ball and ran with it. That's what you're supposed to do!

To be fair, Hawkins is a smart guy, and I'd like to see what he thinks.

Incidentally, FWIW, I think Clinton is a lot more vulnerable than people think. At some point, she's going to have to hit the road and campaign, and press the flesh and all that. Maybe that will happen after the official June 13th launch. If they keep her wrapped up in tissue paper, that will be an interesting sign.

On another note, assuming that this is not disinformation, Clinton is said to be abandoning the strategy that won her the majority of the votes (if all the votes are counted) and all the big states in 2008, in favor of an Obama-like strategy of narrowly targeted voter segments in swing states. Well and good, but fighting the last war isn't always the best idea. Moreover, if Clinton had been nominated in 2008, she would surely have won, and then her strategy, not Obama's would have been the template. As I keep saying, Clinton lacks imagination.

nippersdad's picture
Submitted by nippersdad on

In Salon yesterday Digby wrote a piece that (she says on her blog) was mischaracterized by a headline that she did not write. The comments are savage. Everywhere I go on the internets, it really does not look like there is much of a constituency for Hillary on the informed left at this point. Seeking the millennial vote may backfire on her; there is just too much on the record.

McDee's picture
Submitted by McDee on

Katha Pollitt's article in The Nation online "Why I'm ready....and excited for Hillary" drew a great majority of anti Hillary comments and they were emphatic. To me they did not seem to be coming from right wing trolls. There is a genuine anger on the left toward the DLC, GOP lite and 3rd Way Democrats.

nippersdad's picture
Submitted by nippersdad on

is how the Hillary campaign will approach the activist/populist base of the Democratic Party if they win the nomination. It is only going to get uglier, and I don't see any bridges being saved from the burnings to come. Hopium is at a premium these days, O really screwed that up, and it doesn't look like even two billion or so will buy more.

For political addicts, anyway, this is going to be fascinating to watch.

Alexa's picture
Submitted by Alexa on

Hey, if you want to see 'ugly,' read DKos--I almost feel sorry for Markos!


He's being pilloried over there, and some of his staff have defied him, and are supporting Bernie.

And now, there appear to be roving teams that have formed to attack the outliers in the Dem Party Primary--like Linc Chaffee. Some of those diaries are flat-out comical.

Anyhoo, you've nailed it--fascinating it will be!

(If I'm not mistaken, Jeb jumps into the fray next week. And that will be even more amusing, since according to the Polls, he is disliked by almost all of the conservative Base.)

Submitted by lambert on

Got a link on that? I poked around, but Kos is so huge (and to me, unpleasant) that I couldn't find anything. Because that's a very interesting data point.

nippersdad's picture
Submitted by nippersdad on

And even his staff has revolted this time? How fun!

I agree about Jeb, too. That race is going to be a bloodbath; those people don't take prisoners. I'm pretty convinced that the grifter primary over there is purely and simply people lining up to shoot at Hillary, and thereby secure one of the coveted FOX talking heads spots (witness Carly Fiorina stalking her). That appears to be where the rights' revolving door leads to, and not one of them has an ounce of dignity.

Imagine being a Party elections official right now in either of the Parties!

Submitted by lambert on

I didn't see a lot of enthusiasm for Clinton, and it didn't look like kneejerk trolling. The thread rapidly devolved into an one-liner insults though; sad.

Pollitt seemed like she was phoning it in, too. And the last part -- if you can't be enthusiastic, be determined -- reads like a warning sign, to me.

Jay's picture
Submitted by Jay on

Unimaginative, but also opportunistic and persuadable, given her vote to authorize Bush to use military force. Perhaps her biggest problem is the albatross named Bill around her neck. Seems like so much of her circle comes from his circle, unsurprisingly, but she hasn't been able to create her own policy entourage. Her last campaign blew up in part because of the terrible choice of right-leaning campaign manager(s). Now her economic team is filled with Robert Rubins and Lawrence Summerses: Pure, unadulterated poison.

nippersdad's picture
Submitted by nippersdad on

I agree that the Rubinites are poison, but I had also read that Stiglitz is on the team as well. Maybe he can make a difference, if only to emphasize the points that all of the other Dem candidates will be using during the Primaries, thus making them that much harder to backtrack on.....

Of course, he was on O's team during the Primaries and as a nominee also only to be catapulted after the inauguration. So maybe he is just being used as a useful idiot.

Submitted by lambert on

On Obama's "team" presumably to show seriousness, then immediately thrown under the bus.

It's the old idea that if you've got one drop of shit in a gallon of water, you've got a gallon of shitty water. And that's how I feel about the Rubinites.

nippersdad's picture
Submitted by nippersdad on

"It's the old idea that..."

I had never heard that trope before. Amusing and insightful. Summers has tried to rebrand, again, but this time he isn't getting much traction. Really, they have managed to shit the bed in such a way that even O'bots cannot clean it up fast enough to avoid detection. That's really sad. When you have lost the low information voter....