Corrente

If you have "no place to go," come here!

Stein-Johnson debate

Well, I guess my brain is pretty defective. Not only did I not realize for the longest time that 'Gary Johnson' and 'Rocky Anderson' are two different names (hey, they both end in 'son', right?), but earlier this week when I looked to see who had won the run-off vote at Free and Equal I thought it was Stein and Anderson (even though I expected it would be Stein and Johnson and that's what it actually was).

Still, I think the debate will be telling.

In the first debate, each candidate was mainly just laying out their views. When they did respond at all to the others, it was simply pointing out a difference, not rebutting arguments (e.g. Stein and Anderson didn't address Johnson's constant warning of a coming currency crisis). So it will be interesting to see whether in this debate Stein will actually have arguments with Johnson, or whether she will stick to talking points (or if you think that's a pejorative term, which I don't, think of it as 'laying out her party's agenda').

My top choices in the run-off were Stein and Anderson, but such a debate would have had the potential to--like the Romney-Obama debates, ironically (maybe, I don't really know what irony is)--center on relatively minor differences and only mention (but not go into details about) the major issues since they largely agree on them. It would've been interesting to see how it'd turn out, to see whether they'd fall into such a trap or not.

But what I would really like to see is a Stein vs Johnson debate AND an Anderson vs Johnson debate. That way we would get to see for each of them whether they are able to understand and address libertarian/right-wing thinking. I think this is actually a very important ability in a candidate. The reason is that there is some deeply appealing kernel inside libertarianism which I think appeals even to those of us who find libertarianism itself absurd as a political philosophy. And, needless to say, there are many decent people who actually are libertarians, so being able to communicate with them is a big plus.

Any thoughts welcome, of course.

0
No votes yet

Comments

mtngun's picture
Submitted by mtngun on

I like Rocky, but he is close to Jill on the issues, so why didn't he run as a Green ? I'm guessing he is motivated by vanity ?

Jill doesn't expect to win but she is building the Green party organization and using the election as a bully pulpit to get the Green party agenda out to the public. I think that is worth supporting in and of itself.

Gary is pretty much nuts but there are plenty of nutty voters so he'll pick up the "I refuse to vote for a Mormon" conservatives and independents. :D

goldberry's picture
Submitted by goldberry on

I think it's very wrong to see Rocky and Stein as indistinguishable. I see a huge difference. Rocky is more like a traditional Democrat while stein is a traditional Green. I know that it's hard to tell the difference because the Democrats in general aren't Democrats anymore so anyone to the left if them look kinda the same. But that's just not the case. Rocky is focused on new deal economic strategies and civil liberties issues. His political compass is left but comfortably left for most americans. Stein is much more ideological. For example, her idea of free college education for all is neither realustic nor necessarily desirable. She seems to have bought into the myth that everyone needs a four year degree and that doesn't seem to me to be thinking the problem through. What we need is for working people to have value and dignity no matter what they do and I think Rocky understands this better than Stein.
The Justice Party is less than a year old. But in that time frame, it has managed to get itself on many ballots across the country. I think that demonstrates an unmet need that the traditional Democrats and the Greens don't satisfy. It's not enough to be the aggrieved party. There needs to be a comprehensive worldview where all the moving parts make sense in relationship to one another and I don't get that feeling from the Greens. Something is vitally missing from the greens in that respect, at least to me. Or maybe i just don't like the Green worldview any more than i like the Republicans. Environmentalism is only a small part of their platform. The rest just looks like class action opportunism, freaking out about every little thing and a very unrealistic idea about how much the american public will tolerate in economic terms. As long as the Greens refuse to offer workable solutions and can convince Americans of the rightness of those solutions, they're always going to be a teensy minor party. I have more faith in the Justice party to craft those solutions because they are based on the principles that have worked previously.
There is no way I am ever going to vote Green so I'm extremely relieved that I don't have to.

Submitted by YesMaybe on

1. I was also dismayed by what Stein said in the first debate regarding college. Not that I have a problem with wanting college to be free (my understanding is that's how it is in Germany, but of course their K-12 system sorts kids into college and non-college material very early on, which is not something I'm too fond of). The problem was with the rationale for it. I think that higher education should be available to anyone who wants it (e.g. including people who already have a career but want to study for a few years or part-time or whatever). The reason is that educated citizens are a tremendous public good, certainly among the most important, so it should be facilitated as much as possible. I do NOT share Obama's view that the role of college is (and, implicitly, should be) to help one get a better job. And that's what Stein seemed to be saying, too. She said that since a good job now (allegedly) requires a college degree, then everyone should get a college degree so everyone can get a good job. This is bewilderingly dumb: if everyone had a college degree then employers would use some other criterion to cull the herd. Educating more people won't by itself noticeably increase the percentage of desirable or high-level jobs. After all, in most cases the employers are not actually using the stuff the kids learn in college (and, having taught college a few years, I can say they're not learning much), they just want a piece of paper that not everyone has.

2. I see no evidence that any of the candidates are taking seriously or even demonstrate awareness of peak oil, so I see their plans as pretty much pipe dreams. They also do not, to my knowledge, address issues of scalability and timing of renewable energy, which are essential in light of peak oil. Further, when Stein speaks of stopping global warming, that really doesn't seem warranted in light of the science and the rest of the world (e.g. just give just one point: will she convince China to stop burning coal?). Presumably she's doing it because speaking of lessening or mitigating it, or whatever, wouldn't sell as well. But then that looks like dishonest pandering. If there were a Peak Oil party with a plain-speaking candidate (and if I was a US citizen!) I'd vote for it over all of these.

As usual, YMMV

Alexa's picture
Submitted by Alexa on

conservatism may suit you. But from what I've read on the Americans Elect website (before they shut it down), he's a DLC-type Democrat regarding fiscal matters, and his statement on Social Security read: " . . . preserve and protect for future generations," the same spiel that you'd hear from a conservative Dem like Kent Conrad.

Of course, Americans Elect was set up by corporatist or "centrist" Dems and Repubs. David Walker, the former CBO Director was affiliated with this group.

I'm sort of curious what you mean by: "The rest just looks like class action opportunism, freaking out about every little thing and a very unrealistic idea about how much the american public will tolerate in economic terms."

Do you mean this regarding subsidizing college tuition?

I agree that all folks should be treated with dignity, and their contributions valued, but I'd be concerned if Anderson doesn't realize that "respectful treatment" doesn't "put food on the table." Surely he doesn't suggest that respect is an acceptable substitute for living wages. I sure hope not.

Saw some really nice blogs on the website you linked to. Thanks.

Submitted by hipparchia on

rocky anderson: I have advocated for enriched pre-school opportunities for every child and free higher education

jill stein: Provide tuition-free education from kindergarten through college, thus eliminating the student debt crisis.

not sure how "free college education" is a bad idea when jill stein is for it but a good idea when rocky anderson is for it.

comparisons of their stances on lots of other issues look pretty similar too, if you just read the websites. are their in-person presentations more different, or something?

Alexa's picture
Submitted by Alexa on

on a couple of thoughts later this evening. Sunday's are one of the busiest days of the week for us.

Actually, I tend to support the idea of subsidized "College or Vocational School for All." Because of the profound economic inequality in the US, we already have a vast economic underclass, the likes of which has never previously existed in my lifetime.

You may have already seen this article, but in case you missed it, here's a link to the AP piece entitled, "Census Shows 1 in 2 People Are Poor Or Low Income." Personally, I think that this is a national disgrace. It's also the reason that subsidized college and trade or vocational school may become necessary in the near future.

As the piece states, "About 97.3 million Americans fall into a low-income category, commonly defined as those earning between 100 and 199 percent of the poverty level, based on a new supplemental measure by the Census Bureau that is designed to provide a fuller picture of poverty. Together with the 49.1 million who fall below the poverty line and are counted as poor, they number 146.4 million, or 48 percent of the U.S. population. That's up by 4 million from 2009, the earliest numbers for the newly developed poverty measure."

You made a great point about educating everyone won't necessarily create high-paying jobs. It won't.

My read is that the PtB want to have a glut of college graduates, or a highly educated workforce in order to drive wages down for professional and/or paraprofessional jobs, the same as they have decimated the wage base for manufacturing and blue collar jobs. If I can find the bookmark, I'll swing back with a BLS study that seems to substantiate this (IMO).

And from what I read, soon after the election, the Obama Administration plans (if he wins) to push through new immigration laws which make the H1B (professional workers) Visa regulations more lax, allowing corporations to recruit many more foreign professionals. There's no stopping the race to the bottom in the US.

What is desperately needed, is the passing of a federal "living wage" law. Until, lawmakers have the political will to push back against the ridiculous notion that Americans collectively find it acceptable that "half of its population works full-time for wages that are near or below poverty level," it seems to me that as a society, we'll almost have to consider implementing a system of subsidized higher ed.

It's gotten so bad (homelessness and panhandling, etc.) where we live--and we're in an area that's more than 90% white and relatively affluent, a town with approximately 15,000 college students--I can no longer go thru a do-it-yourself car wash unless Mr. Alexa is with me (so for two years I've used the drive-your-car-thru type, that does a lousy job).

Sometimes I wonder if I'm still living in America.

Thanks for addressing the debate. Looking forward to it.

goldberry's picture
Submitted by goldberry on

You know, the DLC, neoliberalism brush that many to the let use to paint anyone who does something they don't like. As long as the Greens keep attracting people who label everybody DLC, etc, they're going to stay a minority party. In order to win, you've got to have voters and I guarantee that there are a lot of people out there who like what you call DLC politicians.
And then there is the matter of stress. I believe that workers work best when they have *some* stress. That is, they should be striving for something. We are a long way from that ideal situation right now. Today, there is too much stress but I fear that under a Green party platform, there would be too little. I don't believe in free healthcare or education. I believe in affordable healthcare and education. These things must have value or just likes anything else that is free, they will be abused.
The Canadians seems to have got a handle on this but I don't think even they would seriously consider going Green.
And then there is the choice of candidates. Jill Stein seems like a passionate and committed activist but she doesn't strike me as being a politician that can attract a lot of people. Now, some Green supporters will admit this is the case and say that they don't expect to win an election. And that's where I think I completely fall out of the Green demographic. If they continue to nominate candidates like Stein and don't expect to win nor filed downticket candidates, then they aren't taking politics seriously. And if they aren't taking politics seriously,why should they expect me to take them seriously? You might think that having a politician run the country is foolish but I'm beginning to think it is absolutely vital.we down play political acumen to our detriment. If you want to win the Superbowl, you don't make a kicker the quarterback. You go and recruit the best quarterback you can find. But is suspect that the equivalent of a pro-quarterback in the political world is going to smell like DLC to you. That's probably unavoidable.
Btw, if Clinton was DLC, what the fuck does that make Obama? They're practically not in the same party. My observation is that DLC is wildly exaggerated as being influential since both Clinton and Obama get painted with the same brush and I don't think they operate of the same political philosophy at all. So, the term is vague and applies to everyone indiscriminately. I'm not buying it. I was an adult through both presidencies and they couldn't be more different.
So, no Green for me. I know what I'm looking for in a political party and Geeen ain't it. I actually want to win someday.

Alexa's picture
Submitted by Alexa on

Certainly I can accept that my opinion on subsidized higher ed "doesn't work for you." However, I must (good naturedly) take issue with your mischaracterization of me and some of my stances.

Just for the record, I'm definitely "not a Green." I wouldn't know their platform if you slapped me in the face with it. LOL! (Actually, environmental issues are about the only "progressive" issues that I never discuss.)

Now, I did proudly 'early vote' for Stein, but it had nothing to do with her (or maybe I should say me) being a member of the Green Party. Given the non-choices of the two major party (uniparty) candidates, she was a better fit.

As for your assertion that "the DLC, neoliberalism brush that many to the let use to paint anyone who does something they don't like." Surely you didn't mean to apply that to me.

My words were not "broad, but very specific, and definitely accurate." Here they are: "But from what I've read on the Americans Elect website (before they shut it down), he's a DLC-type Democrat regarding fiscal matters, and his statement on Social Security read: " . . . preserve and protect for future generations," the same spiel that you'd hear from a conservative Dem like Kent Conrad."

Here's the website that I read this on. If you can figure out a way to "enter it," you'll find my statement to be accurate.

As to American Elect being setup by "corporatists or centrists," I've never met a hedge fund manager who wasn't "business friendly." :bigsmile: Here's an excerpt, and a link to a detailed article about Americans Elect:

Americans Elect: The Truth Behind the Corporate Scheme to Swipe the 2012 Election

Who’s Funding this Group?

Americans Elect claims that it receives no funding from “special interests or lobbyists.” Even though the group has refused to disclose its list of funders, there is enough evidence to show that this statement is patently false. (Most of this evidence has been indispensably collected by Jim Cook at Irregular Times.)

The group was started by Peter Ackerman, the chief of Rockport Capital, a wealth management firm. He put in at least $1.55 million of his own money to start the organization. (It was originally a 527 organization, which is required to disclose donors. It is now a 501(c)(4) nonprofit, which isn’t required to disclose.)

According to various reports, Americans Elect has raised between $20 million and $30 million so far for its efforts. Other known funders are hedge fund manager Kirk Rostron and Melvin Andrews, president of Lakeside Capital Partners.

Another known funder is Jim Holbrook, president of Promotion Marketing Association, which is a trade association that does lobbying for the PR and marketing industry.

John Avlon, the founder of the corporate-backed “No Labels” group, wrote in the Daily Beast that Americans Elect has raised $20 million from just 50 people. That’s an average of $400,000 per donor.

New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman was invited to tour the Americans Elect offices in DC, which he described as “swank offices, financed with some serious hedge-fund money, a stone’s throw from the White House.”

According to its website, Americans Elect’s “leadership team” is composed largely of hedge fund operators and wealth managers, including Lynn Forester de Rothschild, who is married into the notorious Rothschild family.

You get the picture.

As for your declaration, "Btw, if Clinton was DLC, what the fuck does that make Obama? They're practically not in the same party. My observation is that DLC is wildly exaggerated as being influential since both Clinton and Obama get painted with the same brush and I don't think they operate of the same political philosophy at all. So, the term is vague and applies to everyone indiscriminately. I'm not buying it."

This is from Clinton's Wikipedia bio: "Presenting himself as a moderate and a member of the New Democrat wing of the Democratic Party, he headed the moderate Democratic Leadership Council in 1990 and 1991.[24][35]
"Moderates" being the MSM term for business or corporatist (fiscal) conservatives who hold some "moderate" social views. Here's the link.

In reply to your question: "Btw, if Clinton was DLC, what the fuck does that make Obama?"

Well, since you asked--a former member of the DLC. Just like the "Third-in-Command Democrat in the House of Representatives," James Clyburn, President Obama had his name removed from the membership rolls of the DLC.

From Black Agenda Report: "Barack Obama is listed in the DLC/New Democrats directory of local elected officials, and was featured in its 100 Democratic Leaders to Watch in 2003. It would be a shame if he is in the process of becoming "ideologically freed" from the opinions of the African American and other Democrats whose votes he needs to win." Here's the link to the piece.

And if you really "don't think they operate of the same political philosophy at all," well frankly, that's a stunning assertion. Maybe now you will rethink this, since you know that both men have been DLCers.

I have to research several congressional committee hearings, make short clips, and Tweet and post them today, so I can't get in the weeds on this one. But the information (about both these individuals' economic policies) is out there, trust me.

Regarding your assertion that: "And then there is the matter of stress. I believe that workers work best when they have *some* stress. That is, they should be striving for something."

I'll refer you to the AP piece entitled, "Census shows 1 in 2 people are poor or low-income." Here's the link.

I'd say that these folks know a great deal about "striving"--they're literally striving to survive (provide food and shelter, forget about the rest of the amenities that most of us enjoy).

Honestly, when I read articles like the AP article, it reminds me of the old saying: "There but for the Grace of God, go I."

[One side note, you do know that higher education was "free" or subsidized years ago, right? I'm not old enough to have benefited from it--but, most the folks that I know that did, are in their late sixties or early seventies and older now. Many were professionals. For the life of me, I don't see any "negatives."]

But, as they say: "to each their own." I do appreciate your reply. It was very instructive and interesting. :-)