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"America has two great dominant strands of political thought - conservatism, which, at its very best, draws lines that should not be crossed; and progressivism, which, at its very best, breaks down barriers that should never have been erected." -- Bill Clinton, Dedication of the Clinton Presidential Library, November 2004

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Thursday, August 21, 2003


Oblivious Green Party Leadership,2933,94902,00.html

posted by annatopia at Thursday, August 21, 2003 permalink View blog reactions
At the risk of starting a thread about my least favorite subject (the Green v Dem blame-game), I am posting this article with commentary.
"[The Democratic Party] seems to be crumbling as a political force that means something to anybody, crumbling as a real force of opposition," he said. "That is what we mean when we say we are so strongly in favor of running a national candidate." --- Scott McLarty, Green Party media coordinator

I agreed with this statement until Howard Dean began his run for the White House. Dean stood in a room full of the Democratic party power players and called them on their spinelessless (see Dem Winter Gathering in our video sidebar). He told them exactly what they needed to do to win, which is to stand up for Democratic values while vociferously opposing George W Bush. That's what won my support orginally, and Dean's consistent opposition to Bush and postive vision for America has assured that he'll get my vote in March and November. And I'm not the only person who voted Nader in 2000 who feels this way.
Third-party supporters say the Democrats will blame anyone but their own party for their loss at the polls. "How dare any of these Democrats accuse Ralph Nader and the Greens, who ran an honest campaign in 2000, of spoiling," said McLarty, who noted that "absolutely nasty" articles have already been written about the Greens in anticipation of their presence in the 2004 race. "If there was a problem, it certainly wasn’t with Mr. Nader."

Pot, kettle - kettle, pot. I admire McLarty's tenacity, but he misses the point. Sure, Chris Lehane ran Gore's campaign into the ground, but the So-Called-Liberal-Media didn't help either. In addition, Greens didn't have to run hard in swing states, but they did and that was on Nader's orders. Ralph could have bowed out in Florida, but he refused for reasons which are still debateable (and detailed in Michael Moore's Stupid White Men). The bottom line is that yes, the Democrats ran an awful campaign and yes, the Green party played spoiler in several states. Can we just make peace already and work together to defeat Shrub in 2004, or are we so ambitious that we're willing to destroy our country for personal political gain?
Green Party candidate Peter Camejo, who is running on the California Oct. 7 recall ballot to replace Gov. Gray Davis, said, "The Democrats are declaring war on the Green Party....The Democrats who attacked Ralph Nader are hypocrites -- he’s called a spoiler, for trying to change America," Camejo added.

But Mr Camejo, you already declared war on the Democrats in 2000, so who's the hypocrite here? The Democrats are fighting back against everyone who is supporting this silly recall. Isn't that what you wanted them to do - stand up for principal and electoral honesty? Jeebus, damned if you do and damned if you don't.
"If we had Ralph Nader running now, Howard Dean would have less support than he does at this point," surmised Jo Chamberlain, national co-chair of the party."

How many Greens for Dean will jump ship for Nader if he runs? Not many; I can guarantee you. See, those of us who live in the real world know that it's more important to get rid of Bush than it is to try and build a third party on the national level.
But that doesn’t matter, said Camejo, who suggested that both Dean and Kucinich are still long shots for the nomination, while a centrist candidate is assured of the job. Even if Dean were to win the nomination, he would be sure to move to the center for the general election, leaving the left wing high and dry once again.

I guess Camejo hasn't figured out that Dean's always been a centrist, and those of us who call ourselves "liberal" or "leftist" are well aware of that fact, and we're not jumping ship. We have no delusions. We realise the country has been moved so far to the right that we have to move it back to the center first before we move it back to the left.
"Dean is using the sentiment of progressive Democrats who should be moving over to the Green Party," Camejo said. "He appeals to them to get himself through the primaries, and then will spend the rest of the time assuring the corporate world he was just kidding."

Again, this shows that Camejo is not only clueless, but is also willing to destroy us in order to gain power. Excuse me but doesn't the Republican leadership (not rank and file Republicans, mind you) have the same modus operandi? Dean is running a people-powered campaign. If a major Green complaint is that the system is tainted in favor of the moneyed contributors, then just look at Dean's donor base to see who he's beholden to: the people.
At this point, Camejo added, no Democrat will do. "I’m sure all of these people have good qualities too, but they are absolutely tied to the framework. Someone must run against George Bush."

Mr Camejo, Howard Dean is running against George W Bush. The only framework he's tied to is the one that's built his campaign, and it's made up of hundreds of thousands of individual Americans who want to take our country back.

Articles like this make me sad and disgusted. As I've said many times before, I'm a lifelong Democrat who voted Green in 2000. I wrote my own mea culpa back in April which explains the multitude of reasons that I've got for supporting Dean and how I made peace with my vote in 2000. From speaking with other Nader2K voters, I get the sense that most of us feel the same way.
I wish that the Green Party Leadership would pull their heads out of their asses and realise we have bigger fish to fry. I also want to make it clear that when I discuss this issue, I draw a clear line between the rhetoric coming from these morons and the passion and conviction felt by the Green party rank-and-file. I give Greens a lot of credit: I don't think they're stupid enough to help elect Bush again. Their leadership however, is another story. It's the same way I look at the Republican Party. Their leadership is deluded, but other than the hard-core right wingers that make up 20% or so of their constituency, I think most Republicans are good people who care about their country.
I think that the Green party is going to be shocked in 2004. Many people who voted Green were disaffected Democrats - the same people who are drawn to the Dean campaign. Many of the people who voted for Nader aren't hard-core Greens and they won't be voting for Nader in 2004. Many of us, in fact, are willing to support the Green party's efforts on a local level, but when it comes to the Presidential race we realise that Dean-ocrats are the best hope for our country's future.
So how do we make peace, or do we? Do we write off that very small percentage (and I'm guessing it's maybe 1% of the electorate) and concentrate on bringing new people in? I admit it's hard for me to be conciliatory when you have people like this claiming to speak for all Greens. So, any thoughts? And please, let's try to keep it civil, cause we love our Green friends, but their leadership, well, that's another story....


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Nation-Building was founded by Aziz Poonawalla in August 2002 under the name Dean Nation. Dean Nation was the very first weblog devoted to a presidential candidate, Howard Dean, and became the vanguard of the Dean netroot phenomenon, raising over $40,000 for the Dean campaign, pioneering the use of Meetup, and enjoying the attention of the campaign itself, with Joe Trippi a regular reader (and sometime commentor). Howard Dean himself even left a comment once. Dean Nation was a group weblog effort and counts among its alumni many of the progressive blogsphere's leading talent including Jerome Armstrong, Matthew Yglesias, and Ezra Klein. After the election in 2004, the blog refocused onto the theme of "purple politics", formally changing its name to Nation-Building in June 2006. The primary focus of the blog is on articulating purple-state policy at home and pragmatic liberal interventionism abroad.