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The Greens and the Dems and Nader

By August 1st, Ralph will be the only guy out there pushing the Democrats to stand for all the things they stood for under FDR....
CounterPunch
February 25, 2004


Treacherous Bastards
The Greens and the Dems and Nader
By BRUCE ANDERSON

We have one national political figure in this country of undoubted integrity and what does he get from this nation of ingrates? Accusations of spoiler and ego-maniac. Naturally the Greens joined the din denouncing Ralph, not mentioning that their pot-addled, dithering "leadership" won't even convene until June, way too late in the process to try to put forward a presidential candidate. If it weren't for Nader, Pete Camejo and Matt Gonzales, the lamebrain Greens would still be invisible.

Treacherous bastards, these Greens and, in the crunch, not standing for a goddam thing except the two party, corporate dictatorship. Did Ralph keep Gore out of the White House? No. Gore and the rancid Democratic Party kept Gore out of the White House. Will Ralph take enough Democrat votes from Kerry to keep Bush in the White House for four more catastrophic years? Only Kerry and the Democrats can lose to Bush, not Ralph.

So here's what's going to happen: Kucinich, the only plausible Democrat from any kind of progressive perspective, won't even get his intense little mug on national tv at the Democratic convention in late July. Just as Den-Den comes on the networks will cut away for commercials and commentary from George Will and Bill O'Reilly.

Then, when the assembled mob of suburban warm-fuzzies who comprise the party's base erupts in a sea of placards made in China, heaving their smug selves up out of their seats for Korporate Kerry, Kucinich, Sharpton, Dean, and the rest of them will gather on stage for a great big group hug to a 30-minute ovation from limo labor, ethnic demagogues, gays in wedding gowns, three people in wheelchairs, and a hundred fatsos in public ed t-shirts.

By August 1st, Ralph will be the only guy out there pushing the Democrats to stand for all the things they stood for under FDR, and all of us who want an economy run for the people who comprise it will again be out in the political cold. The Democrats, just like Gore four years ago, standing for nothing but Bush Lite, will again lose to the worst president in the history of the country.


Bruce Anderson is the publisher of the Anderson Valley Advertiser, America's best newspaper.

homepage: homepage: http://www.counterpunch.org/

Greens 25.Feb.2004 23:11

George Bender

I agree with most of this, but I believe the Greens issued a statement that was favorable to Nader, saying only that they also want to run their own candidate. I'm supporting Nader, but the Greens' position seems reasonable to me. I wish they had gotten their shit together earlier and choosen Nader as their candidate. It also bothers me that so many of the Greens don't want to run a presidential candidate, and that some of them actually asked Nader not to run.

Miles to go....


Hey! Bruce, stop against the Greens; George is right 26.Feb.2004 05:16

dfg

They are not a bad group at all - kinda hippy late and gee, I'm too stoned to get my shit together before June but their heart is in the right place and they are honest, which is way more than can bve siad of the Democrats and their secret hero, devilbush.

How about some reality 26.Feb.2004 10:10

Andy The Green

First off, none of the parties will choose their nominee in convention before June, not the Greens, not the Dems, not the Reps. Nader was free to pursue the Green nomination and he chose not to, because he was afrain he wouldn't get it. He's not entitled to it, eh? There's a process he chose not to participate in.

Second, the Greens are damned if the do, damned if they don't. Even before the debacle of 2000, many, many people on the left were expressing the Greens should be focussing on building party power from the bottom up by running for local offices. That's what's happening.

Nevertheless, the anti-democratic election laws in this country require most state-based parties to nominate someone, anyone, for president to maintain ballot status. The Greens have no choice but to nominate someone, so they (we) will.

Finally, to be strategic, the Greens need to avoid pissing off allies and potential allies. That's the only way the party is going to grow. Many Greens, myself included, believe that running Nader in 2004 would ultimately have proven detrimental to the party.

One of the Green's basic principals is a future-focus. The Greens are here for the long run. Nader ain't. If his agenda and the Green's agenda are mutually incompatable, that's just reality. Deal with it.

Andy 26.Feb.2004 13:44

George Bender

Both major parties have effectively already chosen their presidential candidates. Their conventions are just a formality. The Democrats deliberately set up their primaries to get it over with fast, so they could start their campaign for the general election early, and that is what is happening. Nader also wanted to start his campaign before June, and I think he's right. The Greens are just moving too slow.

I think they are also wrong in not choosing Nader because he's the best candidate, the one with a national reputation and name recognition. The Greens don't have anyone else they can run with those advantages. The object is to get as many votes as possible to hurt the Democrats and force them left. I wish the Greens would stop trying to be different, for once, and just do the obvious thing.

As for the "need to avoid pissing off allies and potential allies," this seems to indicate that the Greens are seriously unclear on the concept. The only point in having a leftist political party is to attack the Democrats from their left. If the Greens are not willing to do that, then they lose their reason for being. My impression is that a lot of the Greens are guilty of sleeping with the enemy.


Green Reality 27.Feb.2004 00:13

sprout

"The Greens are here for the long run. Nader ain't."

-ok, I fully adhere to Winona LaDuke's admonition  http://portland.indymedia.org/en/2003/11/275330.shtml not to bash Greens. And I won't, and am not about to here.

but frankly, as an overall political movement in America the Greens haven't accomplished much, and I don't see them on the upswing as a political party here. I *know* they haven't been active here as long as they have been in Europe, but as George said: they're moving *way* too _s_l_o_w_ . . .

again, I'm not critiquing some of their basic stances, their overall (yes, granted) 'future focus', or the Presidential candidacies they've put together (IMO, Nader/LaDuke was *awesome* and by rights they shoulda kicked Clinton's ass) . . .

am referring more to their *overall* impact nationwide - in Congress - and to a lesser extent at the state/local levels in the US, as a movement or party. frankly, local Green organizing and actual political effect (i.e. passed bills or measures, consistently re-elected candidates w/clout, respect and status) I've seen in several Southeast and Western states has been haphazard at best.

as George Bender also pointed out, the Greens are seriously unclear on the concept of political allies and prime targets. YES they *do* need to be heavily bashing and eroding away at Democrats' support base and top issues, especially in regards to the workplace/labor/income inequality (*prime* issues IMO), universal health care, social services, and certain environmental issues (on which they frequently "fade right in" with more liberal Democrats as to become indistinguishable).

another strategy would be to (eventually?) get more of the further-left established Democrats to jump ship and sail Green instead . . . but the party needs sturdier and more recognizable national legitimacy in order for that to start happening. e.g. >>Totally Hypothetical Example<< someone like Earl Blumenauer could conceivably turn Green . . .

notwithstanding, there have been good fights in the face of massive opposition - e.g. Nader/LaDuke, or the recent San Francisco mayoral race (where the One Party Corporate State Republicrats team lowered the boom, heavily). they just need to work harder - and CAN, are CAPABLE OF IT! just look at all the dissatisfaction with and deconstruction of the various Democrat non-stances right here on this newswire: pure energy ripe for TRANSFORMATION . . . in a targeted, focused way.

finally, about Nader: I already mentioned Nader/LaDuke as one of the best, most exciting teams of recent history. Andy, how can you possibly, logically or factually accuse him of not being in it for the long run?! The guy is the living, breathing DEFINITION of JUST THE OPPOSITE.