ThirdPartyTalk: Setting the Board
I don't know if anyone pays attention to the generic ballot for Congress, but things are looking up lately for Republicans. The aggregate on Pollster.com shows a generic Republican polling only two points behind a generic Democrat; at several polling outfits, notably Rasmussen Reports, Republicans are ahead substantially in the generic ballot. Coupled with the losses Democrats suffered in the New Jersey and Virginia governors' races this month, you could argue that 2010 is shaping up to be a bad year for the Democratic Party.
Does it matter, though? Nearly a year of complete Democratic dominance in Washington has produced the same revolting bullshit we had under the Republicans. No, that's not quite true; in many ways the Democrats have been worse, because where the Republicans merely ignored the numerous problems facing the citizenry, the Democrats have engaged them and actively worked to worsen them. They've only just begun, too: go read about Obama's education policies. Go on. Try not to vomit. Things are awful under the Democrats and they'll be awful under the Republicans. If 2010 is a rejection of the Democratic Party, all we'll do is trade the Democrats' soft corporatism for the Republicans' hard corporatism.
But much like James Tiberius Kirk, I don't believe in no-win scenarios.
A third party: we've thrown the idea around nonchalantly. But let's concentrate and intensify the discussion. Let's talk about a third party as if we were actually going to follow through.
I've seen three distinct ideas for a third party brought up here:
National Health Care Party
A single-issue party devoted to passing single-payer health care into law. Not complicated.
A broader party which would have unabashedly leftist positions on a range of issues.
National Women's Party
A feminist party intended to empower women and enshrine women's rights.
Or we could do something different; perhaps we could have a Populist Party, for example.
There wouldn't necessarily need to be a new third party founded either. There are already several third parties established throughout the country, like the Working Families Party in New York and the Progressive Party in Vermont. It might be enough to ally with one of these parties and make a major effort to grow them and strengthen them in 2010.
If there's to be any significant movement on a third party for 2010, though, it has to happen soon. We have less than 11 1/2 months until election day, and so many things need to be set in motion. Ideally things should have been started months ago, but we can certainly make up for lost time.