Monday, February 20, 2012

Alternative Presidents Day

Happy Presidents Day, everybody. It's the dregs of yet another three-day weekend in the guise of a VIP un-birthday. Last month it was MLK Jr., celebrated a day late and five decades of civil rights struggles and anti-war activism short. Today, we are required to revel in the February Happies of Washington and Lincoln, owner and freer of slaves respectively. But I don't feel like giving respec', as Da Ali G used to say, even though Abe is one of my faves.

Instead, let us honor three people who are daring to run for the highest office in the land, although they probably don't have a snowball's chance in hell of actually winning or even coming close. That isn't really the point, though, is it?  In this age of Citizens United, money rules politics, and voters are rapidly becoming superfluous.  We are but the warm bodies expected to do our duty and pull the lever for one of the two vetted and pre-approved candidates of the oligarchic duopoly.  But last I checked, we still have our first amendment rights, even though privacy is dead and the right to assemble is pretty much at the whim of the individual municipality and police force.

What alternative candidates and third, fourth, fifth parties are achieving right now is raising public awareness of what is possible, and what we deserve and what abysmally low standards we have set for ourselves as a putative Democracy.  According to polling, most self-identified conservatives actually support progressive causes, such as single payer health care and taxing the rich and ending the wars. Yet, the two sides of the Money Uniparty no longer answer to the will of the electorate.

I am sure there are more outsider parties and people (I am leaving out the Libertarians and Communists, although I may come back to them in a later post), but here is today's trio of independent candidates (links go to their official websites) : Rocky Anderson of the American Justice Party, Jill Stein of the Green Party, and Jerry White of the Socialist Equality Party.


Jerry White

Jill Stein

Rocky Anderson

First, Rocky -- he has the biggest organization of any declared leftist independent thus far.  Former three-term mayor of Salt Lake City, Anderson is an unlikely progressive from a traditional rock-solid conservative state. He ranks as one of the strongest environmentalists who ever held public office.  Unlike the corporatist deficit hawk DINO Barack Obama, Anderson embraced the ideals of Occupy before there even was an Occupy. From a profile of him in The Guardian:
His agenda is a familiar one on the left. Broadly speaking, he wants to break the hold of corrupting corporate influence on the two main parties and give a voice to ordinary working people. It also chimes with the general thrust of the Occupy movement, even though the latter has steered clear of engagement with electoral politics.
"The more time has gone on, the more it has become clear that we're not going see change in this country with these two parties," he says. "There are lots of good individuals in the Democratic party, [but] without Democrats voting the way they did in Congress, we wouldn't have invaded Iraq. We wouldn't have suffered as a nation because of these Bush tax cuts.
"Obama received more money from Wall Street than any presidential candidate ever. And they got a great return on their investment."
This would represent the first attempt to apply the principles of the Occupy movement within the electoral area. Anderson points out discussions about launching the party preceded the emergence of the Occupy Wall Street. But while there are no organisational links, he says there is plenty of common ground. "There is clearly a convergence of interests regarding the concerns we have and the concerns of Occupy Wall Street. There's little I've heard from the Occupy movement that I would disagree with and I think there's little we support that they would disagree with."
Anderson thinks Obama's neopopulism is fraudulent. "How does he, with a straight face, talk about getting jobs back to the U.S. without even mentioning free trade agreements and the need to significantly renegotiate those agreements to put them in better balance in terms of worker rights and environmental protections?" (Anderson has a point -- everybody has conveniently forgotten that textile jobs are headed to South Korean factories peopled by North Korean guest slaves, and that Colombian farmers are still getting beaten up and worse by thugs in the employ of multinational corporations.)

Next up: Jill Stein is a physician from Massachusetts and this election cycle's Green Party candidate. An avid Occupy supporter, she is running on a platform for a "Green New Deal" --
the objective of which would be to employ "every American willing and able to work" to address "climate change...[and the] converging water, soil, fisheries, forest, and fossil fuel crises" by working towards "sustainable energy, transportation and production infrastructure: clean renewable energy generation, energy efficiency, intra-city mass transit and inter-city railroads, “complete streets” that safely encourage bike and pedestrian traffic, regional food systems based on sustainable organic agriculture, and clean manufacturing of the goods needed to support this sustainable economy". The initial cost of the Green New Deal would be funded by various mechanisms, including "taxing Wall Street speculation, off shore tax havens, millionaires and multimillion dollar estates" as well as a 30% reduction in the U.S. military budget.
The four points of the Stein Green New Deal are the right to a job at a living wage; the transition to a sustainable, green economy; a financial sector serving Americans; and citizen empowerment. Sounds eminently logical and simple and refreshingly socialistic.

Which brings us to our third candidate and party, which you may not be as familiar with, although the principles of all three overlap.  The Socialist Equality platform stresses a strong labor movement, as originally advocated by Karl Marx, and is unabashedly anti-capitalist. If nothing else, it should demonstrate to the audiences of Romney and his ilk that Barack Obama is about as far right to socialism as it's possible to get without plummeting off a cliff.

White also ran on the Socialist Equality ticket in 2008 against Obama and McCain. A labor journalist, he is a long-time union organizer and strong proponent of the Auto Workers movement in Michigan. He is not at all impressed with Obama's auto industry bailout, which resulted in a draconian reduction in wages and benefits and record profits for the industry.  Here is what he has to say about Obama's playing of the populist card for purposes of his own re-election:
Yet under his watch, not a single banker, hedge fund manager or financial regulator responsible for the economic catastrophe has been prosecuted, let alone convicted. On the contrary, the president has handed them the keys to the national treasury and tailored his policies to enable them to continue their speculative activities and make more money than ever.
The fury of the state has been reserved for those who have sought to protest against the plundering of society by the financial elite and the resulting growth of poverty, unemployment and inequality. They, for the most part student youth, have been assaulted by baton-wielding police in riot gear, packing rubber bullets and using pepper spray. The protesters have been arrested in the thousands. Obama, with his silence, has signaled his support for these attacks, carried out for the most part by Democratic mayors.
The SEP platform includes an international working class movement (as opposed to one limited to the United States) and public ownership of banks and other institutions. Writes White: "There are some who say this is unrealistic. But what can be more unrealistic than maintaining a system that perpetuates the wealth of the few at the expense of the many? Is it more realistic to tell workers that they must accept a 50 percent wage cut to keep their jobs, or to tell the elderly that they must go without medical care, or to tell the young that they must go without an education?"

On this Presidents Day, depressed as you may be by the corrupt status quo, rejoice that there are people who refuse to lie down and take it. Activism lives. The left is resurging because there is no other choice. Rumors of the demise of the Occupy movement are grossly exaggerated. We don't have to settle for Rombama or Bamtorum. Go ahead. Spoil their day.

27 comments:

Karen Garcia said...

Here is my Paul Krugman comment du jour. It is about number 15 or thereabouts if you scroll down from "Oldest". My usual stalkers chimed in with their usual responses. Janet demands that I reveal my true political agenda. She thinks I may be a Republican in sheeps clothing. Of course, none of these people use their full or real names, as I pointed out to "Janet" and my other stalker, a "Dave" from Pennsylvania.

The Obama Administration seems to have seen the light, given Chief of Staff Jack Lew's latest round of talk show appearances. For the first time, we are hearing from the White House that austerity in the short term will not help the economy grow.

Unfortunately, talk is cheap -- and so far, Obama is not putting his money where his mouth is. Remember that famous Buffett Rule, in which billionaires are supposed to start paying an effective tax rate that is higher than that of their secretaries? It's not even in the Obama budget: it has been punted over to the same do-nothing Congress the president purports to disdain for its chronic intransigence. It turns out that the Buffett Rule is as "aspirational" as a campaign speech. The treasury secretary promises it will take years to overhaul the tax code and close loopholes, and give everybody a fair shot, and make the one percent do its fair share.

So, deep below the surface of a populist re-election campaign, the Pain Caucus festers. The confidence tricksters are slinking around in the dark, the deficit hawks are circling and biding their time.

We're waiting for Democracy to show up and save capitalism from itself. But as long as money rules politics, we shouldn't be holding our breath.

Anonymous said...

I would like see where in Pres Obama 2012 budget proposal that you say is missing regarding the "Buffet Rule"; if not there, is the president proposing it in his tax overhaul after he gets reelected in November.

Anne Lavoie said...

Karen,

If Janet really wanted to know your 'true agenda', she could easily explore your many posts on this blog before making ignorant accusations that you're some kind of stealth Republican. What a laugh!

Nearly every comment you have ever made in the NYT includes the blog address, and since Janet from SLC has been a frequent NYT commenter, she has undoubtedly noticed that. The fact that she took a cheap shot at you instead of coming here to examine your politics explains why she is an ardent Democrat and an Obama supporter in the first place - she lacks the ability for independent thought or action.

I hope she comes here so she can fully grasp the extent of our contempt for her lying, phony, warmongering Obama. She ain't heard nothing yet!

Karen Garcia said...

@Anonymous,
Here's a link from the New York Times containing the info about the absence of the Buffett Rule from the president's budget:

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/02/17/us/politics/white-house-sees-buffett-tax-rule-more-as-a-guide.html?wpisrc=nl_wonk

It's not something he is particularly fighting for -- or, he is fighting for it the same way he publicly championed the Public Option even as he bargained it away behind closed doors. I actually donated money to OFA on the basis that it would go toward fighting for the mythical public option. I don't take kindly to being victimized by Bait and Switch scams. Fool me once, etc.

Karen Garcia said...

@Anne,
In my original reply to Janet, I invited her to check out the blog, then on second thought, deleted it. In case she suffers from hypertension, I wouldn't want to be even more hazardous to her health than I already am.
Actually, she delivers a backhanded compliment every time she accuses me of changing the minds of the Times readership. She seems to think Times readers are awfully stupid and easily swayed. And that we live in a totalitarian society. She is the inspiration I need to go on.

Denis Neville said...

"The old parties are husks, with no real soul within either, divided on artificial lines, boss-ridden and privilege-controlled, each a jumble of incongruous elements, and neither daring to speak out wisely and fearlessly on what should be said on the vital issues of the day." - Theodore Roosevelt

Ready to vote for change?

No? Afraid of the alternative?

So, keep voting for the same old corrupt party?

Not going to vote?

Don't want to waste vote on current Democratic and Republican choices?

Voting one’s conscience is not a wasted vote.

Break free!

"One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors." - Plato

Investigate the third party candidates Karen has identified. Visit their web sites. Read their platforms.

"The opinion of 10,000 men is of no value if none of them know anything about the subject." - Marcus Aurelius

Be the change you want see in the world!

Vote third party!

P.S. Janet is an “ultra-Obamabot-on-steroids,” on the attack, full of sound and fury.

Ted Rall wrote about “Rise of the Obamabots” last May.

http://www.rall.com/rallblog/2011/05/16/syndicated-column-rise-of-the-obamabots

Good move, deleting your reply to her. It would have been wasted.

IMHO they have become more strident as the 2012 election approaches.

“If we do not prepare for ourselves the role of the hammer, there will be nothing left but that of the anvil." - Otto von Bismarck

Karen Garcia said...

@Denis,
Thanks for the Ted Rall link. He is on my blogroll, but I had missed that one. Glenn Greenwald is another victim of Bot-ulism. They call him an extremist civil libertarian. Yikes.
I wish Jack Anderson circa 60s and 70s was still around. He was the journalistic outlier of his day, relegated to the comics page, but still the Nixonians hated and feared him.
(Of course he later sold out to Reagan but I blame that at least partially on his deteriorating physical health).

Jay - Ottawa said...

Mirror, mirror, on the wall. Who’se the fairest of them all?

Jerry, Jill and Ross -- I suddenly realize how much more human their names sound compared to the likes of a Mitt, a Rick and a Newt.

Jerry, Jill and Ross are each so sensible I am unable to decide which to vote for next November. Others may find themselves in the same trilemma. What a switch, I mean having to choose among the Best of the Best, instead of the Lesser of Two Evils. Yellow Dogs, eat your heart out.

So why don’t we do what the duopoly does, that is, set up a nomination process with real, live debates among the three of them? Their campaign managers would certainly go along. Debates among Jerry, Jill and Ross would be an opportunity for each to rise a step higher from the media netherworld to which they are now confined. A debate among rational, eloquent candidates of integrity may be just the type of shock treatment needed to restore the American public to its senses.

For 2012 a TV forum seems out of the question, because of the cost, although C-SPAN might go along with a couple of Sunday afternoon debates. My alternate pick of medium would be old fashioned radio, which is cheaper but still capable of a wide reach. Lots of people will tune in if we resort to blog chatter, email chains and Facebook connections telling friends to tune in.

After one among Jerry, Jill and Ross is chosen – I don’t know how: through some kind of inexpensive on line voting mechanism that can be worked out in a back room; don’t pester me with such detail -- the other two would whole-heartedly throw their support to the winner. Progressives will then be able to concentrate their votes on an acceptable alternative to The Lesser of Two Evils. Such a progressive alliance just might be able to cross the 5% barrier to qualify for substantial election funding next time around. If not this year, when? Where do I send, umm, $10 to a fund sponsoring debates between Jerry, Jill and Ross?

Which among them will be The One? Whoever that turns out to be, I promise to write in her/his name in November.

Anne Lavoie said...

@Denis

Thanks for the link to that Rall piece. My favorite quote:

"Hey, Obamabots: when the man you support betrays your principles, he has to go — not your principles."

Kat said...

Oh God, that Janet. She shows up on every diet/obesity/fitness related article leaving replies to the tune of "well then, you must be eating too much of the wrong foods if you can't lose weight." And then she goes into her dietary habits. Fun!
I have a fascination with comments on those articles, I have to admit. It brings out the worst of nanny statism liberals (mind you, when I say nanny statism I'm talking Bloomberg style policies, not the important stuff which I don't consider "nanny state" policies.)
Yeah Karen, you're getting Greenwalled. (Or should I just write "Greenwald". Take it as a badge of honor.

Kat said...

thanks for the Ted Rall Link. Great (but dispiriting) piece.
That guy has some courage when you see the cartoons he was drawing within days of the 9/11 attack.

4Runner said...

@ Karen, I'm a little late getting to the old laptop, but just now checked out your comment on @ Krugman today. First, the response from Janet had disappeared. Second, you had drawn 301 "recommend" votes as of this hour, so I added mine (as always). Instead of a new total of 302, your "score" dropped down to 300. How did that happen--- have you ever heard of votes being subtracted? I hate to think that I'm counted as a negative!!

Karen Garcia said...

@4Runner,
I went back to check and found even more responses to my comment. (They don't show up if you select the reader picks mode; you have to go in order from Oldest. Mine is usually in the first 15 or 20.)

There are a bakers dozen now, about evenly divided among anti-Karen, neutral Karen and pro-Karen. My favorite is from an Illinois guy, who gleefully sez it is about time we put Karen in her place for pulling the rug out from under Obama! We Dems have to fight back against this harridan, by gum! Destroy the Demagoguess!

Anyhoo, here is my latest comment, in response to Our Mister Brooks and his great society or something. As usual I have no clue what he is talking about, but neither does he:

The ambitious, rootless, talented, underemployed or unemployed individuals wandering this earth in the wake of the biggest criminal conspiracy and theft of household wealth in history have indeed found common cause and solidarity with one another. It's the movement that had been waiting to happen, and it burst upon the scene with a suddenness and universality which took nobody by surprise except the 1% and the corporate media and politicians who serve it. It is, of course, OWS.

Occupy is as much a social movement as it is a political one. Middle class refugees have found common cause with the homeless and poor who used to go unnoticed. People being evicted from foreclosed homes are being defended, not by lawyers and the government, but by their fellow human beings. Nothing brings people together like a shared catastrophe. Hate the fraudclosure settlement? Occupy the SEC!

Mutual despair has morphed into shared action. Art, literature, drama and music are a huge part of the protests. Participants feed off one another's energy and have forged both literal and figurative communities with like-minded individuals. The ethics and morality so sorely lacking in this age of corrupt politics and crony capitalism have re-emerged in OWS.

You might say it's a new social arrangement, still in the experimental stage. Rumors of its imminent demise are highly exaggerated. There is too much work to be done, and too much joy in simply doing it.

Valerie said...

Love your idea of a debate, Jay! And on radio, no less! Let's get that idea out into the blogosphere - but how? It is so much more uplifting to think about supporting a candidate than it is to contemplate not having any choice at all (Obama and Mittens).

Great piece, Karen! And really appreciate the fact that you are sticking with the Times. I must admit, I avoid the commentary by the bots because it makes me want to scream! It is like there are two 1984 channels - one for the Republicans and another for the Democrats. Both leave the majority of the country brainwashed and brain dead. (But I love the guy that sees you as a threat that needs to be closed down! It means you are getting somewhere!)

Neil said...

Obama Added To Mount Rushmore

http://youtu.be/d6DwN-zt-24


Obama On Mount Rushmore, Part II

http://youtu.be/BVw-H9KDBLs

Kat said...

@Valerie-- you're right. It is so much more uplifting to think about a candidate to support and all three look great.

Valerie said...

I am really discouraged. The one friend I have (other than all of you in the Saronicky corner of the blogosphere) who actually sees the political scene realistically has decided the nutcases on the Right are too scary and has decided to vote for Obama. I told her to wait to see if Santorum blows over but she even sees a difference that matters between Obama and Mittens. So their scare tactics are working - and that is disturbing. While I don't really think our votes count - probably haven't counted since before Clinton - I still think we should get out there and do our protest vote thing.

I have been thinking about radio and a debate. What about Alternative Radio? Seems to me that David Barsamian might be keen. For those of you out there who aren't familiar with AR, here is the Wikipedia link http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alternative_Radio

Denis Neville said...

The third candidate and party on Karen’s list was Jerry White of the Socialist Equality Party.

Wallace Shawn, who was on UP w/Chris Hayes Sunday,

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/21134540/vp/
46446167#46446167

wrote a great essay "Why I Call Myself a Socialist.” The following is only an excerpt:

“Around 400,000 babies are born on earth each day…

“In the old days of the Soviet Five-Year Plans, the planners tried to determine what ought to happen to the babies born under their jurisdiction. They would calculate how many managers the economy needed, how many researchers, how many factory workers. And the Soviet leaders would organize society in an attempt to channel the right number of people into each category. In most of the world today, the invisible hand of the global market performs this function.

“I’ve sometimes noted that many people in my generation, born during World War II, are obsessed, as I am, by the image of the trains arriving at the railroad station at Auschwitz and the way that the S.S. officers who greeted the trains would perform on the spot what was called a “selection,” choosing a few of those getting off of each train to be slave laborers, who would get to live for as long as they were needed, while everyone else would be sent to the gas chambers almost immediately. And just as inexorable as were these “selections” are the determinations made by the global market when babies are born. The global market selects out a tiny group of privileged babies who are born in certain parts of certain towns in certain countries, and these babies are allowed to lead privileged lives. Some will be scientists, some will be bankers. Some will command, rule, and grow fantastically rich, and others will become more modestly paid intellectuals or teachers or artists. But all the members of this tiny group will have the chance to develop their minds and realize their talents.

“As for all the other babies, the market sorts them and stamps labels onto them and hurls them violently into various pits, where an appropriate upbringing and preparation are waiting for them…”

“So, just as Thomas Jefferson lived in illusion, because he couldn’t face the truth about the slaves that he owned, I, too, put to use every second of my life, like my beating heart, this capacity to fantasize which we’ve all been granted as our dubious birthright. My belief in the performance unfolding before me allows me not to remember those dreadful moments when all of those babies were permanently maimed, and I was spared. The world hurled the infant who became the domestic worker to the bottom of a pit and crippled her for life, and I saw it happen, but I can’t remember it now. And so it seems quite wonderful to me that the world today treats the domestic worker and me with scrupulous equality…”

http://www.tomdispatch.com/blog/175350/tomgram%3A_wallace_shawn,_are_you_smarter_than_thomas_jefferson/

James F Traynor said...

Tonight I listened as Tavis Smiley interviewed the author of Pity the Poor Billionaire. When Smiley asked him if he thought the pendulum would swing back to the left he said, in effect, that there was nowhere to swing. In essence, Obama had the chance and he blew it and was now beholden to the billionaires. He, the author( I can't recall his name), called himself the last of the new dealers. And I think the same way.

Jay - Ottawa said...

I'm in the middle of sending out a pitch to each of the campaign managers of White, Stein and Anderson. One's been sent, two to go. I'm asking each manager to get in touch with their counterparts to set up debates among White, Stein and Anderson. Unless they combine forces they will remain divided, each in their low-audience, small-stage boutique campaigns for what? Ego trips?

These three candidates must do SOMETHING soon to escape oblivion. I am suggesting a nomination fight among the three of them broadcast over C-SPAN, alternative radio, Amy Goodman, Al Jazeera -- whatever to escape the doldrums they're in now, barely visible, as good as sunk.

I'll bet there would be a large audience for such debates on the real Left, debates which could be rebroadcast. Forget big money TV; they could be heard by anyone with internet, as it happens or later. And social networks and blogs like Sardonicky would be a fine way to get the word out about the debates. I even suggested Glenn Greenwald as moderator of the debates.

Crazy? Maybe, but no so crazy as waiting for the Duopoly Steamroller to flatten us one more time. Not so crazy as voting for TLOTE. Not so crazy as writing in good-old Bernie for fun. Not so crazy as surrendering by not voting at all.

I'm not happy with just railing against the SOBs who are screwing the 99.9%. OWS is a means, not an end. We can't vote for OWS in November. We need a candidate for the Presidency. How long must we wait for so-called progressive politicians to get their acts together, that is, to focus on ONE CANDIDATE among them, through some kind of winnowing contest like a series of debates, in the end to carry ONE torch, thus harnessing the energy of millions of the disaffected?

If the Left is unable to un-splinter its divided self, then it's as good as a part of the con on the Right.

Tom Degan said...

Great comments on the Maureen Down piece this morning on the NY Times website!

"Rick Transit Gloria Mundi"

That was a hoot.

Cheers!

Tom Degan

Denis Neville said...

Caveat emptor…

One of the most frequent arguments that we hear for the re-election of Obama is the importance of Supreme Court justice appointments. The assumption is that Obama will appoint liberal justices. Ergo, “SCOTUS! Do not vote for a third party!”

Obama’s last SCOTUS nominee Justice Elena Kagan voted with the conservative justices to undermine Miranda.

Glenn Greenwald, “Justice Kagan sides with the Right on Miranda,”

“To watch Elena Kagan side with Justices Scalia, Thomas, Alito, Roberts and Kennedy and against Ginsburg, Sotomayor and Breyer on such a central and long-standing dispute — the scope of Miranda – does not bode well.

“Notably, the last significant Supreme Court case on Miranda came in the 2010 case of Berghuis, Warden v. Thompkins. There, the conservative faction also prevailed in significantly limiting the scope of Miranda protections. Except there, the vote was 5-4, not 6-3. That’s because Justice Stevens joined with Ginsburg, Breyer and Sotomayor in defense of robust Miranda protections; this time, the vote was 6-3 because Stevens’ replacement — Justice Kagan — joined with the conservative majority. That’s what many of us who were concerned about Kagan’s nomination meant when we argued that, even if she often votes with the liberal wing, there is a high risk that, as the replacement for Justice Stevens, she will move an already right-wing court further to the Right, particularly in areas of executive authority and state police power.”

http://www.salon.com/2012/02/21/justice_kagan
_sides_with_the_right_on_miranda/singleton

bmaz @ emptywheel warns:

“No democratic appointee to Supreme Court should ever vote to further erode Miranda, and this case did exactly that in a fundamental way. But Barack Obama gave us the authoritarian Elena Kagan who, predictably, did just that. As a prediction: you will be seeing a lot more of Elena Kagan voting with Alito, Scalia and Thomas on crucial law and order/criminal process, not to mention evidentiary, issues. Get used to it.

“Oh, and as a reminder, Obama may soon enough have the opportunity to further shove the ideological spectrum of the Supreme Court substantially to the right, just as he did when he replaced John Paul Stevens with Kagan. If Obama replaces the liberal stalwart Ruth Bader Ginsburg with another mushy authoritarian and/or corporatist centrist, like he did in replacing Stevens, liberals will regret it for decades.

“Judicial policy matters.”

http://www.emptywheel.net/2012/02/21/elena-kagan-votes-with-alito-and-thomas-to-undermine-miranda/

Et Tu, Barack?

P.S. @ James Traynor - Thomas Frank is the author of Pity the Billionaires.

Karen Garcia said...

@Tom,
Thanks. For anyone looking for my Dowd comment today, it has been disappeared.It was about Rick Santorum, so it couldn't have been the usual bots. Maybe Santorum has bots, too! I think it may have been the part where I picture him exploding and the Mother Alien coming out.

Anne Lavoie said...

@Jay

I read awhile back that there was talk of Stein and Anderson teaming up on the Green Party ticket, but that might have been just rumor. I think it was based on the fact that the Green Party was already on the ballot in most states. If the candidate is not listed on the ballot, there isn't much point or interest in debates.

I lost interest in Rocky Anderson when his Justice Party was so late to the game and seemed to have no concrete plan. The Green Party was already on the ballot and he could have fought to be their candidate, but having been a Democrat until just last summer, maybe that wasn't likely. Instead he opted to make himself the star of his own Justice Party, even at great practical disadvantage in terms of the election. Essentially, he opted for division. Maybe he didn't want to play second fiddle to a woman, or maybe was considered by the Greens as lacking sufficient distance from his membership in the Democratic Party to truly represent Greens.

Perhaps the only real value a fairly strong third party candidate has is in leverage, working out deals with the major party candidate. The only other option is to futilely go the distance and risk being crucified and branded by the Democratic Party as spoilers, ruining his/her own political future.

There couldn't be a better time for a deal-making strategy for a third party since Obama is so vulnerable, but since the left remains *divided, silenced, or hidden away, that isn't even necessary for Team Obama.

* Speaking of divisions, here's a brain-teasing, curveball scenario for everyone to ponder: Could a military coup ever happen in this country? What if there was a division in the Military-Industrial(Corporate)Complex where the Military decided to take on the Corporate Government, either as a power struggle or better yet (dream on), to liberate us?

Anne Lavoie said...

Karen,

Last night as I read Dowd's piece and there were no comments yet I was savoring the thought of reading yours this morning. I knew it would be a delight to read. Then this morning I discovered that it had been there but was now gone.

It might not have been a Rickhead that got your comment deleted. Remember these recent Obamabot comments?

Jack
Illinois

'It's about time to put Karen in her place. For too long she has pulled the rug from under President Obama. And the mob eats it up.'

Dave
North Strabane, PA

'Like clockwork, Ms. Garcia takes a cogent column aimed at Republicans and turns it against Obama.'

Jack and Dave have got your number and now it's personal, no matter who or what you are commenting on. YOU are Obama's enemy and 'it's time to put Karen in her place'.

I hope it doesn't happen because we all lose out, but more of your comments could vanish into thin air. Maybe that cell phone number that the NYT bigwig gave you will come in handy if your comments continue to be 'disappeared' by the Obama cultists.

Valerie said...

The impression I got from reading Rocky Anderson's website when you first mentioned him, @Anne, was the reason Rocky didn't ally himself with the Greens was he was hoping to attract disaffected Conservatives - reasonable Conservatives like @Zee and those on Bill Moyers - as well as disaffected Liberals and felt that the Greens "label," which is Left of Left, would keep Conservatives from even considering him. But he might have bitten off a lot more than he realised in trying to get on the ballot in every state - which I imagine the Obama machine is fighting tooth and nail. The thing is, he is right. Without disaffected reasonable Conservatives a Third Party isn't going to get anywhere either. Again, I think this is why Bill Moyers is inviting so many Conservatives to speak on his show.


I wonder what Ralph Nader thinks of all of this and what advice he would have to give. "Probably stay true to yourself and your principles."


I really support @Jay’s debate idea and we all should consider writing letters to people like Amy Goodman and Chris Hedges. I am seriously thinking about sending a snail mail letters from Australia in the hopes that the overseas postage might gain me some entry into the hallowed halls of those who can actually make a difference in the campaigns and in the media.


@Zee - It would be interesting to have you weigh in on this. Do you think you and your reasonable Conservative friends could make the paradigm shift and vote for a Green in light of the fact that the Republican candidates promise to work for the plutocracy and Obama has proven he already works for them? Ask your friends.


@Karen - You are a very modest person and I had to nag and nag you to post your NYT comments here on Sardonicky. Now I have another favour. Please post them immediately here. I, for one, would like to get in on the REPLY button group in the comment section to add some balance to the negative nellies that are trying to silence you. We should all consider doing this. I don’t doubt for one minute that the Obama Camp is watching and waiting for Karen’s comments or that some of these “citizen commenters” aren’t paid for their services.


I really don't like the sound of your comments disappearing, Karen. You often seem to be the lone voice willing to shed light on the perfidy of the Obama Administration. I am sick to death of the hypocrisy of Democrats blaming everything wrong with this country on the Republican Congress. It is SO dishonest. Reasonable, intelligent voters in this country have to face the fact that BOTH parties are bought and sold and our only hope is to shed light on this and get alternative voices into the mix.

Karen Garcia said...

@Valerie,
The Dowd comment that got axed was just a truncated version of Rick Transit Gloria Mundi, so I didn't bother posting it. I don't really know why it got deleted, because it really threw a ton of red meat at the O-Bots. I suspect some of the imagery was a bit too intense and the flags mounted till they hit the magic disappear number. A lot of people wrote to say they liked it though, so all is not lost. Can't win em all. This has happened before and I am sure it will again. I don't think it's a plot.... yet!!!