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Nader: Greens might back Dems '04 presidential candidate

Nader undecided about re-run, but says a "minority" in party are considering backing Democrat to boot Bushies from White House.
WASHINGTON (CNN) May 31-- The Green Party's candidate for president in 1996 and 2000 confirms that some in the party are considering not running a presidential candidate in 2004.
"That's still a minority position, but they are discussing it around the country," Ralph Nader told CNN on Saturday.
Recent news reports have said the party has considered supporting a Democratic candidate for president in the hopes of ousting President Bush from the White House, but the idea remains a matter of discussion, Nader said.
"I think the future of the Green Party has to be built on local and state candidates," Nader said, adding, "although presidential candidates can give a small third party more visibility."
Nader, who never registered as a Green Party member despite running on the party's ticket, says he hasn't decided if he wants to run for president again.
"It's too early to decide; I don't like long campaigns," he said.
He also said he opposes seeing a two-party campaign in 2004.
"I think there's got to be a third or fourth or fifth political party because the American people are not given adequate choice of agendas, of futures for the country, of candidates, and the two parties run a money campaign," he said. "Basically they spend more of their time trying to raise money from the fat cats than [they] do to try to raise the expectations and the involvement of the American people."
Donít fall for lesser-evilism 06.Jun.2003 20:51

GRINGO STARS gringo_stars@attbi.com



Don't fall for lesser-evilism

Liberal and progressive voices are sounding the alarm over what they see as impending disaster if President Bush is reelected in 2004. "What is at stake, then, is nothing less than the attempted transformation of a tolerably free society into a variant of the extreme regimes of the past century. In that context, the national elections of 2004 represent a crisis in its original meaning, a turning point. The question for citizens is: Which way?" Sheldon Wolin wrote in the May 1 Nation. Antiwar activists Carl Davidson and Marilyn Katz, in "Moving From Protest To Politics," a widely distributed paper urging antiwar forces to turn to the 2004 elections, call for defeat of Bush's "War Party" or else "this party will move to control the world."

While anyone who opposed the war or who detests other parts of Bush's program would like to see him and his cohorts defeated, the problem comes in the options of what might replace them.

For most who are looking to the 2004 election, this isn't a big problem. They say that "anybody but Bush" would be better. The people who say "anybody but Bush" don't really mean it. Instead, they mean "anybody who seems to have a reasonable chance" of beating Bush. By this logic, even Senators Bob Graham or Joe Lieberman-who criticized Bush for not pursuing war in the Middle East more aggressively-would be better!

At the same time, many liberals and almost all professional Democrats are now waging a preemptive war against the Greens, Nader or anyone else who might want to mount a credible electoral challenge from the left in 2004. Mimicking the right that attacks any criticism of the Bush regime as treasonous, the anybody but Bush crowd is doing their best to demonize Nader and the Greens.

"A third party presidential challenge from the left would be reactionary and traitorous in the 2004 election," wrote Marty Jezer, a liberal Vermont activist, on the Common Dreams Web site.

Yet if they really want to assign blame for the advance of Bush's right-wing program, they should look no farther than the nearest mirror. Advocates of "anybody but Bush" usually cite the war in Iraq, the Patriot Act, and attacks on abortion rights are three principle reasons to get rid of Bush in 2004. These are certainly good reasons to oppose Bush.

But, if you look closer, you find that each of these examples of Bush extremism wouldn't have succeeded without Democratic support. Democratic leaders Gephardt and Daschle helped Bush pass the Iraq war resolution last October. Then Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle (D-S.D.) engineered a last-minute deal with the White House that pushed through the Patriot Act-which only one U.S. senator voted against. Democratic senators provided 16 votes and the margin of victory for one of Bush's central promises to the Christian right-the ban on late-term abortions.

The conventional wisdom holds that any Democrat who aspires to the Oval Office can't get there on promises to reverse Bush's disastrous domestic policies alone. He or she will need a "credible national security" platform as well. In their May 3 debate in South Carolina, Democrats fell all over themselves to prove their national security credentials.

In fact, Davidson and Katz concede this argument.

"In 2004 the Democratic national security platform must be an all-sided attack on the national security policy of the Bush hegemonist clique, showing how the future it proposes will make our country and the world less secure, not more secure. Far from defending our freedoms, it will be at great cost to our liberties. Given the relation of forces, this will be mainly the critique of the multilateral globalists-a position that is some combination of the critiques currently espoused by former Presidents Carter and Clinton and major voices of global capital like George Soros."

So they urge the antiwar movement to hitch its wagon to a foreign and military policy that's nearly indistinguishable from the one the last President Bush espoused when he pummeled Iraq in 1991. Davidson and Katz's logic is a perfect illustration of how the politics of supporting the "lesser of two evils" leads to a dead end.

Just what this all means in the real world became clear in the silly public spat between Democratic presidential candidates Senator John Kerry (D-Mass.) and former Vermont Governor Howard Dean. Dean apparently had the affrontery to suggest that the U.S. military couldn't be Number 1 forever.

Kerry immediately shot back: "No serious candidate for the presidency has ever before suggested that he would compromise or tolerate an erosion of America's military supremacy." So don't expect the Pentagon budget to decline under a Kerry administration.

And just to make sure that no one got the wrong idea about a Dean administration, Dean told listeners at the South Carolina debate: "No commander in chief would ever allow our military to shrink."

Dean has won the media mantel of "antiwar candidate" because he was the earliest and most vocal critic of Democratic reluctance to challenge Bush's tactics during his buildup to war. Dean didn't really oppose the idea of war altogether.

Last fall, he proposed that if Saddam Hussein didn't meet a 60-day deadline to comply with United Nations resolutions, "we will reserve our right as Americans to defend ourselves and we will go into Iraq."

The Reverend Al Sharpton regularly speaks to issues like racial justice and class inequality, which most of the other candidates won't touch. And unlike the rest, including Representative Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio), Sharpton spoke at major national antiwar protests in the fall and spring. Of the nine announced Democrats, he has the most genuine claim to be the "antiwar" candidate. But like other progressives who have run as Democrats before him, he will ultimately deliver voters he activitates into the hands of a more conservative or "electable" candidate.

As Bush's administration continues to push its hard-right agenda at home and abroad, the pressure on activists to cave in to the anybody but Bush argument will only grow. Given further economic decline or increasing resistance to the U.S. occupation in Iraq, Bush's invincibility will fade and the Democrats might gain momentum in opposing him. As thousands in the antiwar movement and millions more debate whether they must work to force a regime change at the ballot box in 2004, they should remember that the Democrats are part of the problem.


Carl Davidson & War on Afghanistan 06.Jun.2003 21:21

bob f.

Not sure if it's accurate to characterize Carl Davidson as "anti-war" in his political views. Didn't Carl Davidson join Columbia University Prof Todd Gitlin in supporting the Bush Administration's post-9/11 military attack on Afghanistan?

work on many fronts 07.Jun.2003 11:49

pragmatic green girl

We need to run a green candidate in order to keep the aaccess open for future candidates.

But I'm one of those greens saying we need to form a GREEN Bloc to push
for progressive candidates within the Democratic party, like Kuchinich for example.

We can be pragmatitic and work both aangles.

Nader isn't the Green Party 07.Jun.2003 12:22

Jeff Cropp

As co-chair of the Portland Metro Chapter of the Pacific Green Party, I can tell you that Ralph Nader DOES NOT speak for the Green Party. Everything that he says in relation to the Greens is pure speculation on his part. He has worked with us in the past, but he only speaks on behalf of his own interests.

In this post, he's quoted speculating on two things that are about as likely as hell freezing over:
1.) The Greens not running a Presidential candidate in '04.
2.) The Greens backing a Democrat for President.

Number one isn't going to happen primarily because several states require a party to run a Presidential candidate in order to maintain ballot access. So, not running a Presidential candidate would set our organizing efforts back years, which we will not allow to happen. However I, and many other Greens and Ralph himself, believe that the highest priority should be running state and local candidates in races where we can make more of a difference and potentially win. It's very likely that the Presidential race will not be at the top of our priority list because of that. In addition, there are mllions of people out there who will never vote for a Democratic candidate, no matter how much they despise George Bush (such as my formerly Republican parents). They need other options on the ballot, and the Green Party provides a progressive alternative for them.

Number two will not happen because we are NOT the left wing of the Democratic Party. I've never been a registered Democrat or given any form of a support to a Democratic candidate. Greens have a fundamentally different approach to politics and activism. The Democratic Party does not share many of our values, such as rejecting corporate campaign contributions. The Democratic Party also desperately needs radical reform, which will not happen without outside pressure.

This doesn't change the fact that George W. Bush is a terrible threat to the American people, the world community, and the very principles of democracy. He must be defeated. Everyone who recognizes his Administration's evil should find ways to put aside many of their differences in an effort to build coalitions to remove Bush from power. There are a lot of opportunities available. Keep your eyes open for them and organize.

What we need 07.Jun.2003 13:59


Is instant runoff voting.

How to Take Back America 07.Jun.2003 17:34

Thom Hartmann

Marching in the streets is important work, but wouldn't we have greater success if we also took control of the United States government?

It's vital to point out right-wing-slanted reporting in the corporate media, but isn't it also important to seize enough political power in Washington to enforce anti-trust laws to break up media monopolies?

And how are progressives - most standing on the outside of government, looking in - to deal with oil wars, endemic corporate cronyism, slashed environmental regulations, corporate-controlled voting machines, the devastation of America's natural areas, the fouling of our air and waters, and an administration that daily gives the pharma, HMO, banking, and insurance industries whatever they want regardless of how many people are harmed?

This lack of political power is a crisis others have faced before. We should learn from their experience.

After the crushing defeat of Barry Goldwater in 1964, a similar crisis faced a loose coalition of gun lovers, abortion foes, southern segregationists, Ayn Rand libertarians, proto-Moonies, and those who feared immigration within and communism without would destroy the America they loved. Each of these various groups had tried their own "direct action" tactics, from demonstrations to pamphleteering to organizing to fielding candidates. None had succeeded in gaining mainstream recognition or affecting American political processes. If anything, their efforts instead had led to their being branded as special interest or fringe groups, which further diminished their political power.

So the conservatives decided not to get angry, but to get power.

Led by Joseph Coors and a handful of other ultra-rich funders, they decided the only way to seize control of the American political agenda was to infiltrate and take over one of the two national political parties, using their own think tanks like the Coors-funded Heritage Foundation to mold public opinion along the way. Now they regularly get their spokespeople on radio and television talk shows and newscasts, and write a steady stream of daily op-ed pieces for national newspapers. They launched an aggressive takeover of Dwight Eisenhower's "moderate" Republican Party, opening up the "big tent" to invite in groups that had previously been considered on the fringe. Archconservative neo-Christians who argue the Bible should replace the Constitution even funded the startup of a corporation to manufacture computer-controlled voting machines, which are now installed across the nation. And Reverend Moon took over The Washington Times newspaper and UPI.

Their efforts, as we see today, have borne fruit, as Kevin Phillips predicted they would in his prescient 1969 book "The Emerging Republican Majority," and as David Brock so well documents in his book "Blinded By The Right."

But the sweet victory of the neoconservatives in capturing control of the Republican Party, and thus of American politics, has turned bitter in the mouths of the average American and humans around the world. Soaring deficits, the evisceration of Social Security, "voluntary" pollution controls, war for oil, stacking federal benches with right-wing ideologues, bellicose and nationalist foreign policy, and the handing over of much of the infrastructure of governance to multinational corporate campaign donors has brought a vast devastation to the nation, nearly destroyed the entrepreneurial American dream, and caused the rest of the world to view us with shock and horror.

Thus, many progressives are suggesting that it's time for concerned Americans to reclaim Thomas Jefferson's Democratic Party. It may, in fact, be our only short-term hope to avoid a final total fascistic takeover of America and a third world war.

"But wait!" say the Greens and Progressives and left-leaning Reform Party members. "The Democrats have just become weaker versions of the Republicans!"

True enough, in many cases. And it isn't working for them, because, as Democrat Harry Truman said, "When voters are given a choice between voting for a Republican, or a Democrat who acts like a Republican, they'll vote for the Republican every time." (And, history shows, voters are equally uninterested in Republicans who act like Democrats.)

Alternative parties have an important place in American politics, and those in them should continue to work for their strength and vitality. They're essential as incubators of ideas and nexus points for activism. Those on the right learned this lesson well, as many groups that at times in the past had fielded their own candidates are now still intact but have also become powerful influencers of the Republican Party. Similarly, being a Green doesn't mean you can't also be a Democrat.

This is not a popular truth.

There's a long list of people who didn't like it - Teddy Roosevelt, H. Ross Perot, John Anderson, Pat Buchanan, Ralph Nader - but nonetheless the American constitution was written in a way that only allows for two political parties. Whenever a third party emerges, it's guaranteed to harm the party most closely aligned to it.

This was the result of a well-intentioned accident that most Americans fail to understand when looking at the thriving third, fourth, and fifth parties of democracies such as Germany, India, or Israel. How do they do it? And why can't we have third parties here?

The reason is because in America - unlike most other modern democracies - we have regional "winner take all" types of elections, rather than proportional representation where the group with, say, 30 percent of the vote, would end up with 30 percent of the seats in government. It's a critical flaw built into our system, so well identified in Robert A. Dahl's brilliant book "How Democratic Is the American Constitution?"

When the delegates assembled in Philadelphia in 1787 to craft a constitution, republican democracy had never before been tried anywhere in what was known as "the civilized world." There were also, at that moment, no political parties, and "father of the Constitution" James Madison warned loudly in Federalist #10 against their ever emerging.

In part, Madison issued his warning because he knew that the system they were creating would, in the presence of political parties, rapidly become far less democratic. In the regional winner-take-all type of elections the Framers wrote into the Constitution, the loser in a two-party race - even if s/he had fully 49.9 percent of the vote - would end up with no voice whatsoever. And the combined losers in a 3- or more-party race could even be the candidates or parties whose overall position was most closely embraced by the majority of the people.

The best solution to this unfairness, in 1787, was to speak out against the formation of political parties ("factions"), as Madison did at length and in several venues. But within a decade of the Constitution's ratification, Jefferson's split with Adams had led to the emergence of two strong political parties, and the problems Madison foresaw began and are with us to this day.

This is particularly problematic in presidential elections. H. Ross Perot's participation in the 1992 election drew enough votes away from the elder George Bush that Bill Clinton won without a true majority. Similarly, Ralph Nader's participation in the 2000 election drew enough votes away from Al Gore that it was easy for the Supreme Court and Jeb Bush to deflect media notice away from Florida's illegal vote-rigging in the pre-election purging of the voter rolls and thus select George W. Bush as President.

Conservative activists recognized this inherent flaw in the electoral system of the United States and decided to do something about it, recruiting Ronald Reagan and forming his infamous "kitchen cabinet." They took over the Republican Party and then successfully seized control of the government of the United States of America. As we can see by comparing documents from the 1990s Project For A New American Century with today's war in Iraq, these once-marginalized conservative ideologues are the real power behind Bush's throne.

Liberals weren't so practically minded. Instead of funding think tanks to influence public opinion, subsidizing radio and TV talk show hosts nationwide, and working to take over the Democratic Party, many left to create their own parties while others gave up on mainstream politics altogether. The remaining Democrats were caught in the awkward position of having to try to embrace the same corporate donors as the Republicans, although they weren't anywhere near as successful as Republicans because they hadn't (and haven't) so fully sold out to corporate and wealthy interests.

We see the result in races across the nation, such as my state of Vermont. In the 2002 election for Governor and Lieutenant Governor, the people who voted for the Democratic and Progressive candidates constituted a clear majority. Nonetheless, the Republican candidates became Governor and Lieutenant Governor with 45 percent and 41 percent of the vote respectively because each had more votes than his Democratic or Progressive opponents alone. (Example: Republican Brian Dubie - 41%; Democrat Peter Shumlin - 32%; Progressive Anthony Pollina - 25%. The Republican "won.")

Similarly, Republicans have overtly used third-party participation on the left to their advantage. In a July 12, 2002 story in the Washington Post titled "GOP Figure Behind Greens Offer, N.M. Official Says," Post writer Thomas B. Edsall noted that: "The chairman of the Republican Party of New Mexico said yesterday he was approached by a GOP figure who asked him to offer the state Green Party at least $100,000 to run candidates in two contested congressional districts in an effort to divide the Democratic vote."

The Republicans well understand - and carefully use - the fact that in the American electoral system a third-party candidate will always harm the major-party candidate with whom s/he is most closely aligned.

The Australians solved this problem in the last decade by instituting nationwide instant run-off voting (IRV), a system that is making inroads in communities across the United States. There are also efforts to reform our electoral system along the lines of other democratic nations, instituting proportional representation systems such as first proposed by John Stuart Mill in 1861 and now adopted by virtually every democracy in the world except the US, Australia, Greece, the United Kingdom, and Canada.

These are good and important efforts for the long-term future of American democracy. But they won't happen in time to influence the 2004 elections, and we're facing a crisis right now. A few Democratic stalwarts survive who may oppose Bush on the national stage, but while the rest of us fixated on the war, neo-cons are creeping on cat's paws into the very heart of Jefferson's Party.

Thus, the best immediate solution to advance the progressive agenda is for progressives to join and take back the Democratic Party, in the same way conservatives seized control of the Republican Party.

After writing the first draft of this article, just as the first 2003 attack of Baghdad began, I thought about how the Democratic Party could change if most of the protesters in the streets were to join the Democratic Party and run for leadership positions in their local town or county. In short order, it could become a powerful force for progressive principles and democracy in America and the world, maybe even in time to influence the 2004 election.

So, I called the Democratic headquarters in my home state of Vermont.

"Sign me up!" I said to the startled young man who answered the phone.

"What?" he said, taken aback by my enthusiasm.

"I'm mad as hell and I'm not going to take it anymore," I said, standing and waving my arm as I talked on the phone. "We have to stop the right-wingers from ripping up our constitution, despoiling our earth, and turning America into a fascist state! Sign me up!"

"Are you a Democrat?" he said.

"Can I be a progressive Democrat?"

"Sure!" he said.

"Then I'm also a Democrat now!"

He chuckled, and said. "We're getting a lot of calls like this."

He took my contact information, and gave me the name of my county's Party leader. I told him to put me on the list for future fundraising events, to let me know how and when I could run for local Party leadership, and how I could participate on a regular basis in the decision-making processes of "my" local Democratic Party.

An hour after that call, I received an email characteristic of so many I get these days.

"I've never been so depressed in my entire life," the correspondent, an attorney and longtime progressive activist wrote. "Bush is completely ignoring us. My nation, using the same rationale Germany did in the 1930s, has just gone to war against a nation that did not attack it, and my president has declared himself a military dictator. Every time we announce peace marches, they raise the 'threat level' so they can keep us away from government buildings or use force to prevent us from marching. I've lost all hope."

A few minutes later, another old friend and activist wrote that her "heart was heavy and tears came easily." A flood of other emails arrived after the publication of my most recent article on Common Dreams, and all but one expressed despair, fear, or panic.

So I've started answering them by saying:

"The nation I love is confronting a crisis no smaller than those faced by Roosevelt, Lincoln, and Washington: a crisis that will determine if American democracy survives to the next generation. So-called 'conservatives' are turning our government inside out, trying, as they say, 'to drown it in the bathtub,' killing off regulatory agencies, ripping up the Constitution, cutting funding to social services, and turning pollution controls over to industry. Government expenses in the trillions of dollars are being shifted from us, today, to the shoulders of our children, who will certainly have to repay the deficits Bush's so-called 'tax cuts' (which are really tax deferrals) are racking up. War is being waged in our name and without our consent.

"And, most disconcerting, the leadership of this administration is made up of blatantly profiteering CEOs, former defense industry lobbyists, and failed hack politicians so outside the mainstream that one - Ashcroft - even lost an election in his home state against a dead guy.

"Unlike most other modern democracies, our American electoral system only allows for two political parties, at least at the national level. So, given that the rich, the polluters, the paranoid, and the zealot war-mongers got to the Republicans first, we have no choice but to take back the Democratic Party, reinvigorate it, reorient it, and lead it to success in 2004. We may not be able to stop Bush now, but we sure as hell can throw him out of office next year at the ballot box."

But what, some have said in response, about the corporate-controlled media?

That was the same problem faced by the Christian Right 25 years ago, when the coverage they could get was of Tammy Faye Bakker scandals. But once they'd taken over the Republican Party, the press could no longer ignore them, and Pat Robertson and Jerry Falwell are now regulars on network TV.

Another person answered my now-form-email by saying, "I want to participate in producing a detailed plan for the future of America, rather than just joining a corrupt and tired-out political party."

My response was that if there were enough of us in the Democratic Party, it could become a cleaned-up and powerful activist force. It's possible: just look at how the anti-abortion and gun-nut folks took over the once-moribund Republican Party.

Another said, "But what about their rigged computer-controlled voting machines?"

My answer is that only a political party as large and resourceful as the Democrats could have the power to re-institute exit polling, and catch scams like the voter-list purges Jeb Bush used to steal the 2000 and 2002 elections for himself and his brother.

And the Democratic Party can only do it if we, in massive numbers, join it, embrace it, and ultimately gain a powerful and decisive voice in its policy-making and selection of candidates.

Thom Hartmann (e-mail: thom at thomhartmann.com) is the author of over a dozen books, including "Unequal Protection" and "The Last Hours of Ancient Sunlight." www.thomhartmann.com This article is copyright by Thom Hartmann, but permission is granted for reprint in print, email, blog, or web media so long as this credit is attached.

Let Bush Stay in Power.... 08.Jun.2003 05:20


...and watch the people violently overthrow him.

Not that old line... 08.Jun.2003 15:15

Heard it before

Let 'em stay in power and the people will rise up. Folks who don't organize shit said that about Nixon, Carter, Ford, Bush. Meanwhile, millions died the world over. But these "wait for it" couch activists just sat and waited it out. Lazy, Lazy, Lazy. And, ultimately, complicit.

Voting systems and working with Democrats 09.Jun.2003 12:07

Gavin White gwhite@reed.edu

Yes. We need Instant Runoff Voting. Even better would be Instant Runoff Borda Count voting. Best would be a secure and verifiable election system (unlike the election machine being pushed by Bush & Co., a system in which anyone could verify that their own vote was submitted correctly and that all votes were counted properly, and in which no-one could prove how they voted) - see my thesis for details on such a system ( http://www.reed.edu/~gwhite/thesis.pdf). (If you want to implement it, contact me - there are a few potential kinks that have been pointed out to me since I wrote it, and they should be addressed.)

In order to implement such a system - or any of the reforms we'd like to see put into practice - we need to gain control of positions of political power. Our current system only makes room for two parties. [We could go into the analysis if you like, but it seems silly - look at the results of our 200+ year longitudinal study.] As such, I have abandoned my "moral high ground" as a registered Independent. I am now a registered member of the Democratic party, and I'm working on changing the beast from the inside. Thom Hartmann says it well in the article posted above, but I'll say it fast: If we work together, we can make the Democratic party relevant, rewarding, and reliable. We can make it speak for our issues. We can take it over, and make it dance to our tune. (If you register as a Dem, you can become a Precinct Committee Person - a voting member of your County Democratic Central Committee. You have a direct impact on the issues addressed by your local Democratic Party. In Multnomah County, meetings are on the second Thursday of every month. Go to  http://www.multdems.org/public/Involved/pct_cmte_info.htm for more information.) Thom Hartmann's article is one of the "political realist" pieces that initially motivated me to be an active and hopeful Democrat rather than a bitter and dormant Independent.

I'm a grassroots (power to the people!), left-wing (care first for the earth, then for people, and share), radical (both "different' and "rooted"), conservative (of our resources, natural and fiscal, and of the long-grown wisdom of our forebears that is expressed in the legal and social structures the neo-cons seem so eager to dismantle), Vermont progressive (think of Bernie Sanders and Anthony Polina) peacenik (M20 - call me Tree, and give me a bunch of fellow protesters to care for, but keep your nightstick off of me) working for change within the Democratic party (take a look at the local platform - it's actually pretty good:  http://www.multdems.org/public/Rules/platform.htm ). I'm tired of being bitter - I want to be *proud* of my country.

Peace, Love, and Plenty,
Gavin White

PS: I love the Green party. This is not intended as a Green-bash. I want your help in Greening the Dems. I also want the Green party to still be around (and making a difference) when we finally open the doors of democracy. So yes - focus on the local races, elect good people, and even run a presidential candidate... and then vote for someone who can win. Regime change begins at home - and if anyone tells you there's no difference between Bush and [Democratic nominee], ask them to consider all the presidential appointments. While a few of the Dem candidates make me shudder, I would far prefer their administrations over the current one. Furthermore, there's a Dem who makes me proud already - my former governor, Howard Dean, gives me hope for the future and a campaign worth working on - the largest grassroots presidential campaign in history. He has demonstrated amazing integrity and courage in the face of overwhelming opposition.

SE Portland

Fuck Howard Dean - he is a pro-war careerist 10.Jun.2003 09:02

GRINGO STARS gringo_stars@attbi.com

Former Vermont Governor Howard Deanapparently had the affrontery to suggest that the U.S. military couldn't be Number 1 forever.

Dean told listeners at the South Carolina debate: "No commander in chief would ever allow our military to shrink."

Dean has won the media mantel of "antiwar candidate" because he was the earliest and most vocal critic of Democratic reluctance to challenge Bush's tactics during his buildup to war. Dean didn't really oppose the idea of war altogether.

Last fall, he proposed that if Saddam Hussein didn't meet a 60-day deadline to comply with United Nations resolutions, "we will reserve our right as Americans to defend ourselves and we will go into Iraq."

on what we need 19.Dec.2003 10:06


watershed districts to remove gerrymandering, and more:

Toward a Bioregional State

Toward a Bioregional State:
This is a site of letters similar to the Federalist Papers, though it is written by a bioregional "Publius."

Publius was the pen name adopted by Alexander Hamilton, John Jay, and James Madison, as they made their arguments in popular newspapers for their popularizing of the United States Constitution, in the 1780s.

However, unlike them, this is a bioregional Publius who wants democracy in practice instead of democracy in the abstract, and one who wants sustainabilty instead of unsustainability.

We are facing a similar project presently, I am arguing--how can we achive a democracy that is environmentally sustainable, when the present frameworks of democracy are what are leading us into environmental degradation? The following is a list of requirements, as well as arguments for why these requirements should be adopted, and why the present forms of government in the United States are leading us toward environmental degradation, low voter turnouts, and unrepresentative parties.

However, what I am arguing is that these are general structural requirements for all states as they move towards sustainability, instead of talking only about the United States. The United States can be considered the running example in these letters though. Structurally, the state in general requires changing, instead of only a change on the the level of political party ideas for instance.

These bioregional letters propose how existing unsustainable states could be 'made over' into sustainable states: typically, a different topic is addressed in each letter.