How Nader Killed The Green Party

This is worth a read, not only for Greens, but for anyone who is interested in politics. It is an academic papaer entitled Ralph Nader and the Green Party: The Double-Edged Sword of a Candidate, Campaign-Centered Strategy:ABSTRACT:
Despite early optimistic assessments, the Green Party seems unlikely to have the sort of impact in the United States as it has in Western Europe. Fundamentally, like other minor parties, the Green Party will unlikely be able to overcome the traditional institutional and social-cultural constraints on third party success in the United States. However, the 2004 elections suggest that the Green Party is also suffering from the failure of a short-term strategy in supporting the celebrity candidacy of Ralph Nader in the 2000 presidential election rather than investing in long-term party-building to encourage local candidates to run office. Certainly, making a party that was supposed to be about broad grassroots development focused upon a single candidate was a big risk for the Greens in 2000. At the time, the Greens had very little development and infrastructure, either locally or on a national level, and they sought Nader as a means to quickly vault them into "major third party" status, or something.

Obviously, that risk that did not pay off, as Nader failed to achieve the national 5% barrier. Also, the first major splash the Greens made to most lefties in America was as the party that helped Gore lose in 2000. Whether or not that view was justified, that was the impression they gave to most of their "potential" members.

Further, the resurgent Demcoratic grassroots haven't helped the Greens much, either. Nader voters from 1996 and 2000 are vastly over-represented in the Democratic blogopshere. It now seems even less likely than ever that a major left-wing party could arise in this country.

Tags: 3rd Parties (all tags)

Comments

114 Comments

so...how....
do we get the Greens and Dems working together on issues.  I think both camps agree on environmental issues.  I think both camps agree that Neo-Liberalism is something to be avoided.  I think both camps agree on the need to get rid of the Radical Right.

So how?

by goplies 2005-04-23 03:35PM | 0 recs
Well, this might sound wierd
But I think the Green should essentially infiltrate the Democratic party and try to take it over.  And I say this as a proud Democrat (and not a Green, though I oddly tend to agree with them on most issues).

I don't think it shuold be angry or confrontational.  For those of us who grew up liberal in movement conservative household, it is easy to see how the American left lacks anything respembling the long-term thought and strategic patience displayed by Goldwater's posse for like 30 years.  If I ran the  world (and I know I have no real right to tell them what to do), the Greens would take a deep breath and begin the generation-long process of  making the Democratic party something they can be proud of.  It appears to have worked for the conservatives, so lets make it work for liberals.

by Frontier PAC 2005-04-24 08:23AM | 0 recs
Re: Well, this might sound wierd
prior to the election cycle I wouldn't have agreed that infiltrating is necessary but now I am convinced that anyone who holds the slightest bit of political power will resist change no matter where it comes from.

New
There have been a lot of new proclomations from new PACs, New Think Tanks, New Blogs etc.  I think people are getting overwhelmed with "New"
perhaps it should be a call to Quaker-styled ethics and personal responsibility. Quakers have had a great role in American history and their message still resonates today. I'm not a Quaker but I have been reading some of their statements on George Bush and have been impressed.

QUAKER ORGANIZATION SENDS LETTER TO PRESIDENT BUSH
http://www.wfn.org/2005/01/msg00106.html

   

by goplies 2005-04-24 02:55PM | 0 recs
I know that everybody
has already either internalized or rejected this idea, but the one thing Dems and Reeps can always be counted on to agree on is maintaining insurmountable barriers to any third party coming to prominence. Jesse Ventura never would have been elected if he was kept out of the Presidental debates.

I'll stop there.

by catastrophile 2005-04-23 04:01PM | 0 recs
Presidential debates?
Never mind, I'm gonna go get drunk now.
by catastrophile 2005-04-23 04:03PM | 0 recs
Nader Was Never A Green
Nader was never really a Green. He remained an independent who ran on the Green ticket, and he refused to involve himself in Green Party politics. Thus, ultimately he treated the Green Party with the same sort of disdain that he treated the Democrats.

This is terrible shame for both parties, as well as for Nader.  The enormous contribution he has made to American society and politics has virtually been nullified by the disastrous results produced by his arrogance in 2000.  

It's not that I'm enthusiastic about what Gore might have done if he were elected.  It's just that Bush is the worst President ever, and Gore, quite obviously, would not have been.  And, regardless of all the other factors one can point to, we very clearly have Nader to thank for that.

What happened to the Green Party was almost-incidental collateral damage.  I must say that I'm not surprised. I was involved in Green organizing in the pre-party era in California, but I opposed becoming political party, for the simple reason that the US system made it a zero-sum game between Greens and Democrts.  

I might have stayed actively engaged with the Greens for a lot longer, but there was virtually no one arguing for party status who seemed to understand the problems involved.  Instead, it was almost wall-to-wall utopian/idealist rhetoric, symptomatic of treating politics as if it were a form a group therapy.  

by Paul Rosenberg 2005-04-23 05:09PM | 0 recs
minor editorial correction
"worst President ever". . .I believe should be changed to "worse human being ever" or "worse carbon-based life form ever".

With Adam and Eve, Man fell from grace but never hit rock bottom until George W. Bush came on the scene.

Gore would have been a GREAT president!!!

by DemDemDem 2005-04-23 05:53PM | 0 recs
a third party is a joke.
The best a third party candidate can hope for is a few fringe races, where the local political "center" is outside either party's center. Either a far right or a far left district. That way the "third" party candidate is actually the second most competitive candidate (the other party most likely doesnt bother to field a candidate).

Any candidate besides the main two is a vote wasted. Only a small portion of the population is willing to waste their votes.

In a PR system I would be a Green or something like that...but Greens should stop trying to build from outside, and instead work on moving the country to the left. Kind of like the conservative movement within the Republican party that sparked Goldwater, then Reagan...

by srolle 2005-04-23 06:43PM | 0 recs
Re: a third party is a joke.
A third party is NOT a joke. In 1860, the Republican Party was just a third party. Are they a joke now?
by craverguy 2005-04-23 07:58PM | 0 recs
well...
when you consider that the Republican party was basically a coalition of antislavery Democrats and Whigs going under a new name, they weren't really a third party. plus they didn't have much trouble becoming a major party, seeing as how the Democratic electoral base seceded four years after they were founded.
by johnny longtorso 2005-04-23 09:11PM | 0 recs
Re: well...
When you consider that the Greens are mainly Democrats who have been alienated by the rightward lurch of the Democratic Party, they're not really a third party, either.
by craverguy 2005-04-23 09:18PM | 0 recs
Re: well...
Except for the way votes are counted.
by blogswarm 2005-04-23 09:19PM | 0 recs
Isn't the name Republican
..based on Plato's 'Republic' ?

i always assumed that, since it seems as if they espouse his (IMO very elitist and antidemocratic) philosophy..

They are against 'rule by the mob' - That seems to me why we still don't have a constitutional right to vote..  (just to be considered equally with others - who don;t have a right to vote either)

by ultraworld 2005-04-23 09:37PM | 0 recs
Re: a third party is a joke.
Yeah....that's a completely different situation.

What issue that the Greens support is supported by any significant constituency within the Republican party?

Nader started to almost try to take Republican voters away in 2004, when he ran somewhat on the Patriot Act. He was 4 years too late, and took up an issue with little saliency.

You can't have radical realignment by taking voters from only one of the two parties. DUH. Third parties  (which then quickly become one of the dominant two) can only result from unstable political foundations. No such instability exists right now.

Green party organizers that focues on running candidates are naive. If they want to organize around anything, it should be on issues and causes.

by srolle 2005-04-25 11:20AM | 0 recs
Greens are inept
So there I was, working on an Open Space campaign. I had lined up the support of every single political group in San Francisco -- no small feat.

Finally, I had to go meet the Greens. I thought they would be a sure fit for Open Space. Hell, the local GOP and everyone to the left agreed that it was important to extend the Open Space fund.

But the assholes in the Green Party were -- of course -- inept. They didn't have enough losers attend their meeting, so they couldn't make a decision. When it came time to make a decision, over email, they emailed out the designation of each proposition without any information so the ill-informed Green Party leadership (in San Francisco) came out against Open Space.

Literally, every single political organization in San Francisco endorsed, but the Green Party.

P.S. I still won. The Open Space fund extension received 75% and the Parks Bond (tax increase) scored 79%. The moral is don't waste your time talking to the Green Party losers. Fuck the Green Party.

by blogswarm 2005-04-23 08:05PM | 0 recs
Re: Greens are inept
So you're extremely negative opinion of the Greens is based on one incident involving one issue with one group of Greens? That doesn't seem like much of a basis for accusing the membership of an entire nationwide party of being idiots.
by craverguy 2005-04-23 08:08PM | 0 recs
Re: Greens are inept
That was for an election in March of 2000. Eight months later, the Green Party elected George Bush and proved that it is the most idiotic Party in the land.
by blogswarm 2005-04-23 08:14PM | 0 recs
Re: Greens are inept
The Green Party did not elect George W. Bush. Al Gore did, by alienating and offending every liberal in the land and then running easily the worst presidential campaign since Dukakis in '88. After eight years of peace and prosperity under Clinton, Bush should never have had a chance, but Gore somehow made it work for him.
by craverguy 2005-04-23 08:16PM | 0 recs
Re: Greens are inept
I agree with you 9 times out of 10. I agree that Gore ran a crappy campaign.

But Nader and the Green Party elected Bush. The only reason you run a third party campaign is if you want to elect the guy on the other side. We have a two party system, if you want to make things happen, you do it in the primary.

Trying to re-write history by saying Nader didn't elect Bush will only encourage some asshole to do the same in a future campaign.

If you want to help progressive politics, don't have anything to do with the Green Party. The Green Party is burnt...done. You and I agree on almost everything, but I will never support anyone with a G after their name and neither will a great deal of progressives.

Realize I say fuck the Green Party while I'm organizing a fundraiser for Bernie Sanders. It isn't about who is the more progressive, it is who can get things done. And I have yet to encounter anyone in the Green Party who can get things done. In fact, I would go so far as to say that if you can get things done you won't join the Green Party.

by blogswarm 2005-04-23 08:34PM | 0 recs
Re: Greens are inept
Nader wouldn't have been a factor if Gore had treated liberals better. He slapped Bill Bradley around and implied that his ideas were extremist, and then shat upon the progressives who showed up at the Democratic National Convention by giving them lousy speaking slots and blocking them from bringing things like universal healthcare and fair trade agreements before the platform committee. At that point, he proceeded to give another big one-finger salute to any progressives who missed the first two by making Joe Lieberman, Mr. Conservative Democrat himself, his vice presidential nominee. Then, just to top it all off, he sent Nader gift-wrapped proof of the man's allegations that Gore was a fraud by starting up that "I'm for the people, not the powerful" crap by taking money from Big Oil, Big Insurance, and Big Business in general.

If he hadn't done any of that, or even if he hadn't done some of that, most of the progressives who went for Nader woulkd have voted for Gore. But he did do that, and he's damned lucky that Nader didn't get even more votes than he did.

by craverguy 2005-04-23 08:53PM | 0 recs
Re: Greens are inept
Yeah, I'm glad Nader didn't give Bush a larger margin.
by blogswarm 2005-04-23 08:57PM | 0 recs
Re: Greens are inept
No, what you're glad of is that Buchanan was in the race. Buchanan's total exceeded Bush's in Minnesota and New Mexico. By the same logic that says Bush won Florida and New Hampshire because of Nader, Gore won New Mexico and Minnesota because of Buchanan.

I take it that you sent Pat a thank-you note, yes?

by craverguy 2005-04-23 08:59PM | 0 recs
Not that I exactly disagree
But your comment--especially the part about Gore getting money from big business--really confirms for me a strange opinion I've been developing lately (I think I now officially believe this, so thanks):

The K-Street project can be good for Democrats. Corporate-teat-suckling is arguably the #1 wedge issue for the "intra-liberal coalition," or whateever you'd call Dems + Greens + Left-Independents.  There is a lot less of that corporate money with DeLay's active extortion ring to block it.  Add that to the fact that getting spurned by the K-Street folks has caused us to start making our own media, and it seems like progressives  have more power in some ways than in 2001.

by Frontier PAC 2005-04-24 08:35AM | 0 recs
Re: Greens are inept
I was not. . .NOT alienated or offended by Al Gore--He would have been a GREAT president.

Gore actually won the election--once ALL the Florida votes are included.

And why criticize Dukakis?  Michael Dukakis would have been a GREAT president!!!!!!!!!!!

by DemDemDem 2005-04-23 08:38PM | 0 recs
Re: Greens are inept
And I don't dispute that Dukakis would have been a good president. But he was a lousy campaigner. He took a twenty-point lead and turned it into a landslide defeat. If that's not a shitty campaign, I don't know what is. At least McGovern had the excuse that he never led Nixon in the polls during the campaign.
by craverguy 2005-04-23 08:45PM | 0 recs
Re: Greens are inept
You can't criticize other candidates as campaigners when you support Nader.
by blogswarm 2005-04-23 08:48PM | 0 recs
Re: Greens are inept
Yes, I damn well can. Nader's placing in the polls went up, up, up the whole campaign. Dukakis' placing went down, down, down. If Dukakis, a major party nominee, had been even half as good a campaigner as no-shot candidate Nader, he would have been president.
by craverguy 2005-04-23 08:55PM | 0 recs
Re: Greens are inept
Going from loser +1 to loser +2 is easy -- hell, even Ralph Nader can do it.
by blogswarm 2005-04-23 08:58PM | 0 recs
Re: Greens are inept
As it turns out, Gore can do it, too. He went from being a loser to being a loser with an uncharismatic lawyer from Connecticut to blame, instead of his own shitty campaign skills.
by craverguy 2005-04-23 09:01PM | 0 recs
Re: Greens are inept
And I will raise an army to strike down Joe Lieberman, but I will slit my wrists before I vote for a Green Party candidate.
by blogswarm 2005-04-23 09:12PM | 0 recs
Re: Greens are inept
I'm not talking about Lieberman.I'm talking about Ralph Nader. Sorry if I wasn't clear about which uncharismatic lawyer from Connecticut I was referring to.
by craverguy 2005-04-23 09:16PM | 0 recs
Nader Sucks
If I saw him walking down the street, I'd flip him the finger and say something about how he elected Bush. It might include a reference to the 100,000 Iraqis who are dead because Ralph Nader has an ego problem.
by blogswarm 2005-04-23 09:21PM | 0 recs
by craverguy 2005-04-23 09:25PM | 0 recs
No
I just need to keep doing everything I can to fuck the Green Party. Which I will and many will join me.

I am a Democrat, I am a reform Democrat, I will fight for a better Democratic Party and I will kick the shit out of the Green Party every chance I get...and I will win!

by blogswarm 2005-04-23 09:30PM | 0 recs
Re: No
You're not winning right now. You're just being rude.
by craverguy 2005-04-23 09:32PM | 0 recs
Re: No
No, I'm winning. The Green Party has peaked and is losing. If the Green Party can't even win in San Francisco, it is hopeless nationwide. People realize this and progressives are investing their time pragmatically.

The Green Party can't even win in San Francisco. Why vote Green Party for a national campaign when they can't even win in San Francisco?

by blogswarm 2005-04-23 09:58PM | 0 recs
Re: No
Gee, maybe the reason that Matt Gonzalez lost is that Gavin Newsom became the first mayoral candidate ever to have the former president and vice president of the United States come out and campaign for him.
by craverguy 2005-04-23 10:03PM | 0 recs
Re: Nader Sucks
With all due respect, quoting Hollywood doesn't help your argument, unless I want to hear from shallow, self-centered, egotistal folks.

Robbins and Sarandon whined about Bush after the election.  Personally, I don't care what THEY think.  They supported Mr. 2% (Nader), helped Bush get elected, and are now unhappy that he got elected.

Too late....

by v2aggie2 2005-04-23 09:35PM | 0 recs
Re: Nader Sucks
Did you actually read the man's words, or did you just look at the byline and start ranting on automatic?
by craverguy 2005-04-23 09:38PM | 0 recs
Re: Nader Sucks
Yes, I read it, and it was just another irrelevant Hollywood type trying to pass himself off as someone politically important.

And it was about as meaningful as the other speeches he has given that I have heard, which is to say it was meaningless.

by v2aggie2 2005-04-23 09:43PM | 0 recs
Re: Nader Sucks
If you honestly read that speech and found it meaningless, I pity you.
by craverguy 2005-04-23 09:49PM | 0 recs
You are proving Bower's point
Nader voters from 1996 and 2000 are vastly over-represented in the Democratic blogopshere.

Have you noticed there is one person defending Nader and everyone else wishes Bush would have lost in 2000?

by blogswarm 2005-04-23 10:01PM | 0 recs
Re: You are proving Bower's point
OK, that's just bullshit. Of course I don't like the fact that Bush won in 2000, and you're engaging in demagoguery by saying it.
by craverguy 2005-04-23 10:05PM | 0 recs
Re: Greens are inept
But Gore ran to the "left" during the general campaign, and away from Clinton.  How would this offend liberals?

You are right that Gore ran the worst presidential campaign since Dukakis in '88.

Still, the GOP needed Nader and the Supreme Court in the end...

by v2aggie2 2005-04-23 09:12PM | 0 recs
The Dem Convention
I went to Los Angeles fully intending to hold my nose and vote for Gore. After delegates cheered as I was clubbed by the LAPD for the temerity of holding a "Stop the Drug War" sign in a court designated legal spot by the Convention entrance, i just couldn't do it. At  that point, I was faced with a choice of holding my nose and voting Nader, or holding my nose and voting for Libertarian Harry Browne.
by benmasel 2005-04-24 10:00PM | 0 recs
Two Things You Don't Seem To Understand:
(1) Multi-causality. In the real world, things usually have more than cause. (Greens above all should understand this.) In legal terms it's known as "joint and several liability."  Whatever Gore's failings as a candidate, he would have won if Nader weren't in the race. That means that Nader is responsible for Bush's election.

(2) A major reason for Gore's poor performance was the completely unprecedented hostility of the media toward him. This was extensively documented in real time by Bob Somerby at The Daily Howler.  Go there, check out the archives for the 2000 election, and get yourself up to speed on what really happened during that campaign.

by Paul Rosenberg 2005-04-23 09:19PM | 0 recs
Re: Two Things You Don't Seem To Understand:
Actually, Gore still would have lost. Even if a majority of the people who had voted for Ralph Nader had voted for Gore, which I deeply and sincerely doubt, he still would have lost Florida because of, among other reasons, idiotic old folks voting for Buchanan and the machinations of Katherine Harris.

Face it, Gore fucked his own shot at the presidency by even allowing it to come down to Florida. Why didn't he get West Virginia, Nevada, Arkansas, Tennessee, or any number of other states that Clinton won and which would have given him a victory?

by craverguy 2005-04-23 09:24PM | 0 recs
reality based community
Had it not been for Nader, Gore would have won Florida.
by blogswarm 2005-04-23 09:26PM | 0 recs
Re: reality based community
Had it not been for his own ineptness, Gore would have won some of the states I named above. And then Bush could have blown Florida out of his ass.
by craverguy 2005-04-23 09:28PM | 0 recs
Re: Two Things You Don't Seem To Understand:
Again, you are ignoring multi-causility. And you are compounding that by simply denying reality, and making wild-scattershot accusations and assertions. Bush's margin of "victory" was far smaller than Nader's Florida vote. Only a marginal tilt toward Gore among Nader voters was needed in order to put Gore officially over the top, and such a tilt was clearly discerned by numerous polls throughout the campaign.

The "idiotic old folks voting for Buchanan" is just your additional nastiness added onto the GOP spin.  

There's a simple rule of thumb: If one people makes a mistake with an interface, maybe they're an idiot. If ten people make the same mistake, the interface designer is the idiot.  

The Palm Beach butterfly ballot was indeed a very flawed design, and arguably even an illegal one. Furthermore, there was some variance in how it was printed, so that some samples did not look nearly as confusing as other ones.  In other words, you are blaming the victims here, an old Republican ploy.

Now, let's parse the heart of what you wrote:

Actually, Gore still would have lost.

This is a flat-out assertion. To back it up, you need solid, incontrovertable facts and a fallacy-free argument. Instead, you come up with this:

Even if a majority of the people who had voted for Ralph Nader had voted for Gore, which I deeply and sincerely doubt...

So, the basis of your argument is a subjective feeling, buttressed by ....

...he still would have lost Florida because of, among other reasons, idiotic old folks voting for Buchanan and the machinations of Katherine Harris.

...invoking causes that have already had their full effect.

Thus, the latter can simply be ignored as an irrelevancy.  The entire argument hangs on your subjective feeling that a majority of Nader voters would not have voted for Gore.

In contrast to your subjective feeling, there's a good analytic breakdown available here which crunches some numbers and concludes thus:

Nader pulled a net estimated 22,422 votes from Gore. That turned a Gore 21,885 vote win into the "official" 537 vote "loss." Gore lost New Hampshire (by 7,211 votes, 1.3%). Nader took triple that margin.

However, the author goes further, and notes:

Nader intentionally helped Bush by forcing Gore's campaign to expend scarce resources defending several states carried by Dukakis / Benson and Clinton / Gore from 1988-1996 - including New Mexico, Wisconsin, Iowa, Oregon, Minnesota, Pennsylvania, Maine, Michigan, and Washington. Nader's campaign turned these solid Gore states into swing states. Gore won hard-fought races in all of them - and in Florida - but defending them cost Gore decisively elsewhere.

Nader's actual vote totals weren't decisive in several other states, but absent Nader's efforts to help Bush, Gore could have fully contested states like West Virginia, Arizona, Arkansas, Tennessee, Nevada, Missouri and Ohio.

Gore had to pull out of some completely, and couldn't afford to shore up support in others as he ran out of time and money. Bush won all of these states in large part because Nader ran a "stalking horse" campaign to maximize damage to Gore.

In other words, even outside of Florida, Nader bears substantial responsibility for precisely the Gore failures that you use to excuse Nader.

This is not difficult to see. To the contrary, it's difficult to ignore.  But there are none so blind as those who will not see.

by Paul Rosenberg 2005-04-24 10:32PM | 0 recs
Uncodnitional Surrender
So, craverguy, you have no response to my critique, but instead you troll rate me.

I consider that unconditional surrender.

by Paul Rosenberg 2005-04-25 07:47AM | 0 recs
Re: Uncodnitional Surrender
Actually, I did not troll-rate you. I am not like whoever it is that gave me a "2" for every comment I made, even those that were unrelated to our dispute. As for your comments, I will respond now:

First of all, any voter, elderly or otherwise, who does not understand his or her ballot and does not ask for help from one of the many, many people employed to do such things at polling places is an idiot. Voting is probably the most important thing you will do on any given election day, and you it should not be undertaken by just punching a hole in a random square and hoping for the best.

Secondly, I doubt that even 200 of the people who voted for Nader in 2000 would have voted for Gore. You may not understand this, given that you have this blind loyalty to the Democratic Party, but Nader voters, and I cannot stress this enough, HATED Al Gore with a fiery passion. It's why they voted for Nader in the first place. Polls leading up to election day consistently showed that maybe five percent of those polled saying that they would vote for Nader said that they would vote for Gore. The others said that they would vote for another candidate, like John Hagelin or McReynolds.

Thirdly, even if enough Nader voters switched to Gore to give him Florida, he still would not have won it. Why? Because the estimates released by Katherine Harris would still have been biased in favor of George W. Bush and Goire would have still needed a recount to prove them wrong. Since the Supreme Court did not feel the need to allow him one in real life, I see no reason why they would in your Naderless fantasy scenario.

Fourthly, just because Dukakis won those states is not an indication that Gore would have done so. Since we're engaging in hypothetical scenarios with no basis in reality here, it is fair to state that it's entirely possible that Gore carried those states because Nader threatened him there, since, according to you, he would not have expended nearly as many resources there if Nader had not been present. By the way, Nader wasn't nearly as much of a factor last year as it was in 2000, yet all of the states you named were still competitive, so it's really quite ludicrous to balme Nader for that.

Check. Your move.

by craverguy 2005-04-25 08:07AM | 0 recs
Now You're Just Flat-Out Lying!
"Actually, I did not troll-rate you."

For those who haven't figured out (or perhaps even bothered to think about) how to see who's rated you how, just click on this link, go down to the bottom and you'll see that craverguy did, indeed, troll rate the above post.

It's a good rule of thumb that if someone lies about things that are right there in plain sight--or nearly so--they will lie about just about anything. And craverguy is no exception:

Polls leading up to election day consistently showed that maybe five percent of those polled saying that they would vote for Nader said that they would vote for Gore. The others said that they would vote for another candidate, like John Hagelin or McReynolds.

Forget "consistently," dude.  Just give me one link to one credible poll that showed this result.  Just one!  (Though, what I'd really like is a dime bag of whatever you're smoking.)

Meanwhile, back in the reality-based community, there's a collection of exit poll data on how Nader voters would have split here, which gives us the following data plus a bit of explanation about what it all means:

The % of Nader voters that would have voted for Bush/Gore in a a two-way race:
 Gore     Bush  
  47%      21%   VNS, largest sample
  47%      24%   CBS, sample = 85
  30%      15%   NES, sample = 33.
  38%      25%   Democratic exit poll
  Dem      Rep
  45%      21%   Nader voters / House candidates (NES)
  52%      12%   Nader voters / Senate candidates (NES)

Nader cites  the Democratic poll most often because it indicates the least damage. But it is also one of the least if not the least reliable. Even if the poll is the best indication of Florida voters, without Nader, Gore would have gotten 13% of 97,000 more votes thatn Bush from Nader voters, and would have won by 12,000 votes instead of losing by 537.

Case closed, as they say in the trade.

by Paul Rosenberg 2005-04-25 08:46AM | 0 recs
Re: Now You're Just Flat-Out Lying!
And I suppose all of those polls would be really impressive...if they offered any candidate other than Bush and Gore. Did they offer Hagelin? No. Did they offer McReynolds? No. Did they even offer Buchanan? Of course not. The polls are useless if they only offer the two major party candidates. If Nader voters were inclined to vote for the Democratic Party candidate (Gore) over any available left-wing third-party candidate, then they wouldn't be Nader voters in the first place.
by craverguy 2005-04-25 11:40AM | 0 recs
I Asked For Data And You Gave Me A Rant!
Your words, not mine:
Polls leading up to election day consistently showed that maybe five percent of those polled saying that they would vote for Nader said that they would vote for Gore. The others said that they would vote for another candidate, like John Hagelin or McReynolds.

One poll to back that up. That's all I ask. Just one sinkin' poll.

No can do.

You are as addicted to fantasy as the GOP.

Case closed. Appeal denied.

by Paul Rosenberg 2005-04-25 01:38PM | 0 recs
Re: I Asked For Data And You Gave Me A Rant!
My friend, if you think that was a rant, you do not know from ranting. I could show you ranting, but you would probably run screaming from the room in fear.

As I say, your "data" is worthless. All of the candidates I mentioned were on the ballot in Florida, so Nader voters could have voted for any of them. Of course, there is also always the option of writing in a name or staying home. Since none of the polls you cite allow the participants to pick those options, they are statistically misleading and, therefore, crap.

Since you seem to be so good at pulling copies of five-year-old polls out of nowhere, why don't you find one that backs up your point and includes all possible candidates? Can you do it? I think not.

by craverguy 2005-04-25 02:59PM | 0 recs
You Give Idiots A Bad Name!
You are the one who made the absurd claim that polls consistently showed only 5% of Nader voters would support Gore.  So it's on you to provide the proof of this wild-eyed claim.

I've alreay lowered the bar ridiculously for you. I'm willing to accept just one poll with this unbelievable result.  Just one!

You can't do it.  All you can do is slobber all over yourself, and go off on narcissistic tangents.

Sorta like Ralph Nader, actually.

by Paul Rosenberg 2005-04-25 04:22PM | 0 recs
2 differences from Western Europe
I think these two things account for the Green's difficulty in becoming a major party in the US as they have in Europe.

  1. All but very few US elections are run on "first past the post" basis where the candidate who gets the most votes wins, regardless of what percentage of voters he/she gets.  

  2. Greens had nuclear disarmament as an issue to ride.  This was THE issue (understandably so)for many people in Europe during the Greens formative years. Lack of such an issue in the US and an electoral format where championing of this issue results in gains at the ballot box will keep the Greens as a party with a laundry list of idealistic left wing goals and no viable way to enact them
by dre2k5 2005-04-23 08:10PM | 0 recs
What about sustainable development?
It seems to me that the Green's platform makes a lot of sense sense. I certainly don't see them as being a 'one issue' party. But it seems as if the corporate world and their money have so taken over American politics that they seem to have managed to cut off debate on things like sustainable development and energy independence...

Also, the American political system is based on plurality, so the first two win.. any other parties are effectively squelched by the lack of a direct vote.. (the electoral college system)

A preference-weighted voting system like the 'Borda Count' or 'instant runoff voting' would be better.. or so say my mathematician friends.. That way people could make a second choice that would be counted if no candidate received a majority.. So say, if your first choice candidate didn't win, the second one would get your vote, and so on...

by ultraworld 2005-04-23 09:33PM | 0 recs
Re: What about sustainable development?
My point was that without a necessary 50% of support in most US elections, there is little incentive for either major party to cooperate with the Grees on an idea,  because it is assumed their comptetition is other major party and Green support will be negligible.

There are some examples of different election formats in the US. Right now the LA mayor's race is in a run off between Hahn and Villaragosa, both Democrats. Also, the Lousiana Senate race in 2002 went to a run off because Mary Landrieu failed to get 50% in the November ballot.  

I know the US Greens are not a single issue party, what I was saying was that in Europe they were able to rally people behind that one issue because nuclear war was such a big concern at the time, and obviously those electoral systems made it easier to translat popular concern into political success, whereas I don't see that being an option here and now.

by dre2k5 2005-04-24 08:15AM | 0 recs
Re: What about sustainable development?
Supah. Screen to the bottom of the thread to read my defense.
by Seldom Seen Smith 2005-04-24 09:06AM | 0 recs
Mr 2%
My problem isn't just that Nader cost Gore the election.

It's that he did it with a whopping 2% of the vote!

We are having a discussion about the future of the Green Party.  But with all due respect, the Reform Party, which wasn't much to write home about itself, was a much bigger force at its peak.  They actually got a governor (Ventura) elected, and Perot got 19% and 7% for his 2 presidential runs, respectively.  In 1980, John Anderson got 7% of the vote as an independent candidate for President

The Greens?  Well, they did get to the mayoral runoff in San Francisco, so I guess that's something.  But it's San Francisco, and if they can't do it there, they can't do it anywhere.

As for Nader?  He's a cockroach.  He can't do anything useful (i.e. 2% of the vote in 2000), but he can sure screw things up (see 2000).  And he actually had the nerve to come back in 2004!

Goodbye and good riddance, Mr 2% (now 1%).
You will not be missed.

by v2aggie2 2005-04-23 09:26PM | 0 recs
Re: Mr 2%
My problem isn't just that Nader cost Gore the election.

It's that he did it with a whopping 2% of the vote!

That says more about Al Gore than it does about Ralph Nader. In 1992 or 1996, Clinton would have won if Nader had gotten five percent of the vote.

by craverguy 2005-04-23 09:30PM | 0 recs
Re: Mr 2%
Yeah, Ralph Nader getting 5% of the vote.
That's a pretty funny one!

That is about as likely to happen as the world being flat.  

by v2aggie2 2005-04-23 09:39PM | 0 recs
Re: Mr 2%
Wow. I like how the actually meaning of my post just seemed to fly completely over your head.

Let me break it down for you, fella:

IF Nader had won 5% of the vote in 1992 or 1996, Clinton still would have won the presidency, because he was a much, much better campaigner. By contrast, Gore allowed victory to be snatched from his grip by a measely two percent of the vote, mostt of which came from state's he won anyway,like New York and California.

Is it all getting clearer now?

by craverguy 2005-04-23 09:48PM | 0 recs
Re: Mr 2%
Yeah, I know what your post meant.
It was just irrelevant.

Look, Clinton was much a much better campaigner than Gore.  I know that, and you know that.  And results show that.  Also, I believe that the sky is blue...would you agree?

Your IF is irrelevant, because it will never happen.  You could have substituted your name or my name for Nader, and your IF would be no more or less relevant.

by v2aggie2 2005-04-23 10:10PM | 0 recs
Re: Mr 2%
I'm saying that it's Gore's fault that he lost because of Nader's two percent, not Nader's Clinton never would have been threatened by any left-wing candidate getting 2% or 5% or even 10%, OK?

The...whole...thing...is...about...Al...Gore...being...a...shitty...campaigner. Got it?

by craverguy 2005-04-23 10:20PM | 0 recs
Re: Mr 2%
Your...post...is...becoming...repetitive...and...is...putting...me...to...sleep
by v2aggie2 2005-04-23 10:50PM | 0 recs
Re: Mr 2%
That being the case, why did you keep trying to argue that Ralph Nader would never get 5%, when you claim to have known that this wasn't even the focus of the post.

Ae you saying that you're really smart, but you were just acting thick for the fun of it?

by craverguy 2005-04-23 11:01PM | 0 recs
Re: Mr 2%
I'm saying that there is no point to your post because Ralph Nader couldn't get 5% to save his life.
by v2aggie2 2005-04-23 11:30PM | 0 recs
Re: Mr 2%
RALPH NADER ISN'T THE POINT!!!

The point is that Clinton would not have been threatened by ANY LEFT-WING CANDIDATE, even if said candidate got five percent of the vote, whereas Al Gore lost because of the worst showing by any third-party candidate in the previous three presidential elections.

The point is Gore's lousy campaign, NOT RALPH NADER'S ABILITY TO GET FIVE PERCENT OF THE VOTE.

by craverguy 2005-04-23 11:38PM | 0 recs
Re: Mr 2%
But the diary is about Nader, not Gore.
by v2aggie2 2005-04-24 09:43AM | 0 recs
The Press Vs. Al Gore
It's really amusing to see a Green zealot essentailly defending the corportate media, since, as I already pointed out, it was the press corps' hostility to Gore that was largely responsible for his supposedly horrible campaign.  (And this is not to say anuthong about how the press bonded with Bush and became his lackies.)

Here's just a small sample of what Bob Somerby has said on the subject of the press vs. Gore. It's about the press finally fessing up, a little bit:

TELLING THE TRUTH VERY SLOWLY!
Two scribes finally admit that the corps borked Gore. But where were these scribes in real time?:

MONDAY, AUGUST 12, 2002

TELLING THE TRUTH SLOWLY: In our fair and balanced way, we'll start off with the good news. Several pundits have finally acknowledged the press corps' "contempt" for Gore. Last Saturday, the topic was explored on Reliable Sources. Josh Marshall gave the nugget assertion:

    HOWARD KURTZ: Josh Marshall, don't a lot of reporters believe deep down that Gore ran a horrible campaign and doesn't deserve another shot?
    MARSHALL: I think it's even more than that. I think deep down most reporters just have contempt for Al Gore. I don't even think it's dislike. It's more like a disdain and contempt. Marshall said the problem isn't recent. "[T]his was, you know, a year and a half before the election, I think you could say this," he said. "This wasn't something that happened because he ran a bad campaign. If he did, it was something that predated it."
No one really disagreed with these statements. By way of confirmation, Washington Post reporter Dana Milbank offered a semi-explanation:
    MILBANK: You know what it is, Howie, I think that Gore is sanctimonious and that's sort of the worst thing you can be in the eyes of the press. And he has been disliked all along and it was because he gives a sense that he's better than us-he's better than everybody, for that matter, but the sense that he's better than us as reporters. Whereas President Bush probably is sure that he's better than us-he's probably right-but he does not convey that sense. He does not seem to be dripping with contempt when he looks at us, and I think that has something to do with the coverage.

Milbank nearly loses us here. What sane person wouldn't think he was "better than" the Washington press corps?

Gooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooaaaaaaaaaaalllllllll!

Whatever one thinks of Milbank's explanation, these statements do represent a milestone in the press corps' long war against Gore. Two reporters have finally acknowledged the corps' contempt, and they've said it went on "all along." You could see it "eighteen months before the election," Marshall correctly observed.

There's only one problem with Marshall's statement; he didn't say a word in real time, when voters deserved?indeed, needed?to be told. What Marshall says is dead-dog true; it was quite clear, by mid-1999, that something was crazily wrong with Gore's coverage. In June 1999, Kurtz himself wrote the Washington Post column which questioned the "harsh coverage and punditry" Gore was getting. But Marshall didn't say Boo when it mattered.

Yup!  That's the the blogosphere's own Josh Marshall, not looking very alternative or independent at all.

For a whole collection of goodies on the press v. Gore, just >click here for a simple google search on Somerby's site (754 hits).

by Paul Rosenberg 2005-04-25 08:13AM | 0 recs
Re: Mr 2%
Actually it's not about the 2, or 5 or whatever percentage that Nader got.

Most people don't get this. It's not about Nader and his votes exactly. But you have to look how the GOP ran the 2000 campaign, and how Nader played into that.

See, what the GOP did in 2000, is that they ran Bush as basically a Democrat. There were some differences, to be sure, but the story that the Bush campaign wanted to be framed, was it was the Honest Cowboy vs. the Lying politician, and oh by the way, they'll both do almost exactly the same thing.

Gore was lucky to even win the election (let alone have enough distance so they couldn't steal it).

And Nader, by repeating the charges against Gore as a liar, AND presenting Bush as a moderate (which isn't what he said, but that's what he DID), allowed middle America to safely vote for Bush.

by Karmakin 2005-04-24 05:37AM | 0 recs
Re: Mr 2%
This makes me respect Nader even less, if this is possible.

Not only did get a measly 2%, which is barely a blip in the scheme of things and downright laughable, but he used his blip to work for Bush and against what is supposedly important to him.

The sooner he goes away, the better.
I am tired of this self-promoting, egotistical individual.

by v2aggie2 2005-04-24 09:48AM | 0 recs
Gore's Campaign and Nader
Gore's campaign was ill-fated from the start.  He tried to run away from Clinton and succeeded in running away from Clinton's record and emphasizing Cl;inton's hanky-panky through the kiss with Tipper, etc.  Symbolically, Gore's "hand-off" from Clinton (the largest crowd in his campaign) took place in Monroe, Michigan, Custer's home town.  Nuff said (and I warned his campaign by e-mail before the event).

As for the role of Nader, he was so anxious to show that Gore was flawed that he failed to really zero in on Bush's faults.  Gore was slammed as an environmental zealot but Bush was never slammed as a corporate stooge who aimed to wreck the environment and underfund the national parks.  The GREEN candidate was sure deficient in not going there.

There were multiple causes for Gore's defeat.  The psychological term is "over-determined."  I kind of like that better than the legal terminology but both work.  Oddly enough, Bush's one-on-one abilities to charm are supposed to be formidable (who would know?).  In this campaign it may have helped with the fund-raising and the high muckety-mucks of campaign journalism.  In a mass media era, possibly one-on-one was the difference.  

Gore may have been despised because he was too similar to the journalists only smarter and better connected while W came from an entirely different world and got a huge pass.  Why that continued in the next presidential campaign is beyond me.

by David Kowalski 2005-04-23 09:42PM | 0 recs
can we get past
blaming folks and get onto working together please?
by goplies 2005-04-23 11:19PM | 0 recs
Re: can we get past
defensive much?

blaming people wasn't the point of this post. the point was that Nader's ego and his sabotaging of the 2000 election (whether true or not, it's viewed that way by many of the very people the Green party wanted to attract) killed the viability of the Green Party just as it was reachign a point where it could have been working and winning more local races (and maybe even state races in some areas).

the point wasn't blame about the 2000 election - the point was a "how the Green Party was killed by Ralph Nader's ego".

by descolada99 2005-04-24 08:47AM | 0 recs
Re: can we get past
ok fine, you've said it, I hope you feel better.  Now, how can we merge the parties to work more closely this time.  

I think if we put feeds up from Green Party Members next to feeds of Democrats you'd see many more similarities than differences.

I'd love there to be several major parties, but that is not the case, the Greens have grown due to the web and  efforts of their members.  I'd be willing to support a green candidate in a local election if I believed in the person.  I think a lot of the Party Politic gets in the way of progress.

by goplies 2005-04-24 02:38PM | 0 recs
what we really need to do...
...is figure out how to split the republican party by encouraging a more right wing than thou third party challenge to them on the right.
s.
by synth 2005-04-23 11:33PM | 0 recs
Re: what we really need to do...
Here's the problem with that:  the far right plays to win.  They know that a third party challenge will just help the Dems.  The Greens -- clueless imbeciles that they are -- have yet to figure this out.
by Anne64 2005-04-24 05:19PM | 0 recs
good
I'm glad there isn't a third party coming from the left.  It's inherently incompatible with the Electoral College.

I'm not sure we want multi-party representation in the national government because it just delays where in the process the consensus-building has to happen.

But if we do want it, then this is the only recipe I can think of:

  1. Fix gerrymandering by finding a way to draw district boundaries fairly
  2. Support better voting systems for the election of every office except for the presidential vote
  3. Wait until we actually have sane representation in the House and Senate
  4. Use that sane reprsentation to somehow reform the E.C.  It sure won't happen with the Congress we have now.
by tunesmith 2005-04-24 01:38AM | 0 recs
The only good Electoral College...
...is NO Electoral College.

The damn thing was cooked up by a bunch of white, male slaveowners who thought poor people were too stupid to pick a president, so they decided to create a group of other white, male slaveowners who would pick someone for them.

The whole concept is inherently anti-democratic.

by craverguy 2005-04-24 02:24AM | 0 recs
Some fundamental differences
Greens don't accept PAC money or corporate contributions. Republicans and Democrats openly solicit both.

Greens enthusiastically endorse a national healthcare system. Republicans and Democrats have failed to do so.

Greens whole-heartedly support election reform. Republicans and Democrats have failed to do so.

Greens support sustainable growth. Republicans and Democrats continue to suppress the issue.

Environmentalism has continually lost ground during the last three decades under the watch of the two corporate parties. Greens unequivocally support reversing this trend.  

Despite only having been in existence for approximately three decades, The Green party has more candidates elected at the local level than at anytime in its brief history and continues to make progress in gaining access to ballots across the country. In doing so, unlike the two corporate parties, the focus of the Green party remains a comprehensive fifty state campaign strategy.

Without an incumbent president or vice president from either of the two corporate parties in the next presidential election, the dynamic should  become increasingly decentalized as that election nears; consequently, the Green party should have an outstanding opportunity to further solidify its growing base at the national level. Furthermore, under this scenario, Greens will see their most meaningful chance to date to eclipse the five percent mark in a presidential election.        

by Seldom Seen Smith 2005-04-24 02:57AM | 0 recs
Re: Some fundamental differences
All true.  But none of it changes the simple fact that the Greens have accomplished nothing other than enabling the Republicans to build a monopoly on power.

Who cares what they "stand for?"  What have they ACCOMPLISHED?

by Anne64 2005-04-24 05:22PM | 0 recs
Re: Some fundamental differences
All true.

Thank you: Your complement verifying the accuracy of my statements is greatly appreciated.

But none of it changes the simple fact that the Greens have accomplished nothing other than enabling the Republicans to build a monopoly on power.

Despite Al Gore prevailing in the popular vote in 2000, the electoral college elected Bush president; consequently, I'd suggest you redirect your anger towards the true source of that peculiar outcome. Do you have any specific examples in mind other than the bogus claim that Greens cost Al Gore the election in 2000 to back up this claim?  

Who cares what they "stand for?"

My assumption has always been that all voters care on some base level, whether misguided or not, about the positions of the candidates for which they pull a lever. In your case, perhaps I'm mistaken?

What have they ACCOMPLISHED?

As I stated above, Greens currently hold more locally-elected offices nationwide than at any time in the party's history, no mean feat given that Greens are normally severely outfunded as a result of not accepting blood money from corporate donors or PACs. Unsubstantiated, biased and self-fulfilling analyses pitting the relatively young and out-funded Green party against the two entrenched corporate sponsored parties are not indicative of future performance.  

by Seldom Seen Smith 2005-04-24 09:05PM | 0 recs
Greens have set this country back
Greens can also take credit for the war in Iraq -if Nader hadn't run in 2000, Bush would have been back in Crawford watching baseball.  Greens can also take credit for No Child Left Behind, Clear Skies, etc., etc., etc.  And as for "corporate" political parties, why did Nader accept all that Republican help to get on the ballot in 2004?
by nascardem 2005-04-24 06:09AM | 0 recs
Re: Greens have set this country back
Greens can also take credit for the war in Iraq

Green party oppostion to President Bush's war in Iraq was universal which is more than I can say for Democrats.

if Nader hadn't run in 2000, Bush would have been back in Crawford watching baseball.

No President has ever been elected by the electoral college without winning his home state. Al Gore lost his home state of TN by a substantial margin.  

And as for "corporate" political parties, why did Nader accept all that Republican help to get on the ballot in 2004?

Ralph Nader was not on the Green party ticket in 2004.  

by Seldom Seen Smith 2005-04-24 07:03AM | 0 recs
No Child Left Behind
Just want to point out something here.  No Child Left Behind was Joe Lieberman's and Charles Schumer's bill - or at least that's what Lieberman claimed in the 2004 primary debates when he actually took credit for that monstrosity.  Of the 8 no votes NCLB got in the Senate, only two (Feingold and Hollings) were Democrats.  

Far from being solely Bush's fault, NCLB was a bipartisan bill, as was the Patriot Act.  It's yet another reason why we need a grassroots insurgency to take back the Democratic Party, and why I'm 100% in support of Russ Feingold for the 2008 nomination.

I won't take sides here in the debate over Nader except to say that I think third parties are, in general, a waste of time and the place to be working is in the Democratic Party - warts and all.

by ACSR 2005-04-24 10:26AM | 0 recs
Re: No Child Left Behind
The problem with NCLB is funding.

It is one thing to improve standards.
It is another to not provide sufficient funding.
Without funding, improved standards are meaningless.

by v2aggie2 2005-04-24 12:28PM | 0 recs
Re: No Child Left Behind
NCLB has a lot of problems, not just that it isn't being fully funded.  

I could name several off the top of my head...giving info about students to military recruiters, openly promoting and giving grants to charter schools, funding and requirements for more 1984-style "Big Brother" intrusions into schools (background checks, metal detectors, "zero tolerance" drug policies, a federal hotline to snitch on fellow students, etc.), some questionable pilot programs such as using television in classrooms in place of instruction by a teacher (I thought that bad idea was already tried and failed in the early 1970s...), and an offensive "sense of Congress" provision in support of prayer and bible readings in public schools.  I'd just as soon NLCB were repealed, instead of fully funded.

by ACSR 2005-04-24 08:03PM | 0 recs
Re: No Child Left Behind
It looks like a lot of crap has been added to the bill, beyond its supposed intention
by v2aggie2 2005-04-24 08:37PM | 0 recs
I didn't know Feingold voted against NCLB
Learn something cool every day about that man.
by Geotpf 2005-04-24 11:42PM | 0 recs
Some more substantial differences
Chris recently posted an interesting comparison between Repugs and Democrats illustrating the differences between the two corporate sponsored parties. While his methodology was somewhat skewed in that it didn't account for some extranious variables such as regional differences, it successfully pointed out an existing gap between the two parties. While there are certainly differences between individual Democrats and Repugs, the acid test is whether or not these differences are collectively significant.

Recent votes on both the Bankruptcy Bill and the Energy Bill which recently passed the House indicate that these differences are not sufficiently significant to create meaningful change in these respective areas.  

In the case of the Bankruptcy Bill, a recently released Green press release blasting the 72 Democrats who handed President Bush a significant landmark victory to kick off his second term is indicative of the lack of collective differences between the two parties.

"72 Democrats handed President Bush, the Republicans, and corporate America a victory last week, proving that Americans have only one party for working people -- the Green Party," said Peggy Lewis, co-chair of the Green Party of the United States.

The bill allows creditors to demand higher payments before and after bankruptcy, drives up bankruptcy filling fees and minimum payments in repayment plans, and also lets millionaires escape their debts by hiding their money in exemptions and trusts. The bill was passed without amendments that would have blocked abuses of bankruptcy laws by corporations like Enron.

Greens noted that nearly 90% of bankruptcies are the result of employment, illness, or inadequate or lack of health insurance.

"The Bankruptcy Bill is a multi-billion-dollar bipartisan gift to credit card companies, big landlords, debt collectors, and other powerful corporations, to be paid by the rest of us," said Jake Schneider, treasurer of the national Green Party. "Years ago, the Democratic Party discarded national health insurance, repeal of Taft-Hartley restrictions on workplace organizing, and opposition to antidemocratic international trade authorities like NAFTA and the WTO from its platform. Now mainstream Democrats have sacrificed financial security for American families."

"Passage of legislation like the Bankruptcy Bill is inevitable when politics is limited to two parties chasing after corporate dollars," added Mr. Schneider, who noted that 36 Democratic Senators, including Hillary Clinton (N.Y.), Charles Schumer (N.Y.), Dianne Feinstein (Calif.), and Joe Biden (Del.) voted for a similarly destructive bankruptcy bill in March, 2001. "A few Greens in Congress wouldn't only be certain to vote against such bills, they'd also be a competitive influence on the entire Democratic Party, and on some Republicans, too."

.

In the case of the Energy Bill which recently passed the House, an amendment to amend CAFE standards in order to increase current federal requirements for MPG on automobiles failed by approximately seventy votes with Democrats contributing to the sizeable margin by which this amendment failed. This failure transcends Democrats being the minority party in the House. It's representative of a larger problem in which these stock and trade progressive issues don't possess a launching pad under the current representation within the Congress from which to gain minimally required traction for either enactment or implementation.

Thirdly, there's a commonly held misperception among mainstream Democrats that there is general agreement on environmental issues between Democrats and Greens when nothing could be further from the truth. Quite the contrary, with Repugs in New England  being more friendly towards environmental reform than a vast number of Democrats in the South, it's extremely difficult for those of us down here to recognize a difference between Repugs and Democrats on these issues.

The difference between Greens and the two corporate parties on environmental issues is that Green support is based upon soild ecological considerations as opposed to political expediency on any particular issue. Two of the ten key provisions of the Green party platform provide a clear distinction between the short-term outlook of the corporate parties and Greens.

3. ECOLOGICAL WISDOM
Human societies must operate with the understanding that we are part of nature, not separate from nature.  We must maintain an ecological balance and live within the ecological and resource limits of our communities and our planet. We support a sustainable society which utilizes resources in such a way that future generations will benefit and not suffer from the practices of our generation. To this end we must practice agriculture which replenishes the soil; move to an energy efficient economy; and live in ways that respect the integrity of natural systems.

6. COMMUNITY-BASED ECONOMICS AND ECONOMIC JUSTICE
We recognize it is essential to create a vibrant and sustainable economic system, one that can create jobs and provide a decent standard of living for all people while maintaining a healthy ecological balance. A successful economic system will offer meaningful work with dignity, while paying a "living wage" which reflects the real value of a person's work.

Local communities must look to economic development that assures protection of the environment and workers' rights; broad citizen participation in planning; and enhancement of our "quality of life." We support independently owned and operated companies which are socially responsible, as well as co-operatives and public enterprises that distribute resources and control to more people through democratic participation.

.  

Fourthly, Greens boldly support social justice and equal opportunity for all Americans.

2. SOCIAL JUSTICE AND EQUAL OPPORTUNITY
All persons should have the rights and opportunity to benefit equally from the resources afforded us by society and the environment. We must consciously confront in ourselves, our organizations, and society at large, barriers such as racism and class oppression, sexism and homophobia, ageism and disability, which act to deny fair treatment and equal justice under the law.

While the Repugs have purposefully maintained a divisive racist and discriminatory posture under veiled language in order to harvest the lowest common denominator in election cycles, Democrats have continually failed on a collective basis to live up to expectations in support of the principles which supposedly guide their own party.
For example, the Democratic party's support of civil unions for gay couples can best be described as shallow at best. This is particularly disturbing given that LBJ, a southerner, set the party on the right track in regard to civil rights at considerable political expense when he put pen to paper on the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

Lastly, Chris stated in the beginning of this thread that "Nadar voters from 1996 and 2000 are "over-represented in the blogsphere." This statement implies that Ralph Nadar represents the future of the Green party. Ralph Nadar was not on the Green party ticket in 2004 nor will he be in 2008. More importantly, I don't see how Green party members are currently overly-represented in the blogsphere. I can count all of the openly-Green contributors in this forum on one hand out of perhaps over 7000 members in this entire forum: That statement simply doesn't bare fruit.

In conclusion, current Green party support is derived from a core belief among its members in the value structure and proposed policies of the national Green party, nothing more or less. It's from this base that Greens will continue to expand our base and hopefully have an ever increasing impact upon our political process.          

       

by Seldom Seen Smith 2005-04-24 06:53AM | 0 recs
The Greens' Mistake
The Greens came from Europe. In Europe, political parties are ideological, and elect members to multi-party Parliaments.  Even small parties elect some members to most Parliaments. In that political environment, it pays for a party to focus on ideology.

Here in the US, political parties are not as strongly ideological, and we elect people to a congress that is not structured to handle more than two parties. Successful american political parties allow well-to-do people a chance to Network with each other, and with government officials at the expense of strong ideological stands.

The Greens will always fail in the US, because they don't understand how American political parties work. US parties really exist to allow rich people to network together -- and not to establish public policy or even to select candidates.  Until the Greens start providing a way for "important" people to network the way Republicans and Democrats do, they won't grow beyond their status as a lobbying group that is accidentally listed on some State ballots.

sc

 

by scribble 2005-04-24 09:28AM | 0 recs
Re: The Greens' Mistake
In that political environment, it pays for a party to focus on ideology.

My assumption is that you're claiming focusing on ideology hasn't paid off handsomely for the Repugs?

Successful american political parties allow well-to-do people a chance to Network with each other, and with government officials at the expense of strong ideological stands.

That's part of the problem, especially within the Democratic party.  

US parties really exist to allow rich people to network together -- and not to establish public policy or even to select candidates.

This is yet another fundamental difference between Greens and Democrats. A significant number of rank-and-file Democrats are rather unfortunately resigned to the fact that this state of affairs is their destiny and that they are helpless to affect changes: No small wonder then that the Democratic party has lost favor with the American public. Green party candidates are pro-active, robust in their belief that every vote matters and possess a positive message for change.    

by Seldom Seen Smith 2005-04-24 09:32PM | 0 recs
We will never have a
strong, permanent 3rd party.  B/c of our "winner take all" elections, we will maintain our two party system.

That does not mean we will always have the same 2 parties.  If one party fails to change to meet the evolving beliefs of its supporters, a party dies (see Whigs).  Though this hasnt happened in over 150 years, that does not mean it wont ever happen.  In fact, if the Dems meet the growing economic problems with its same corporate, Republican light policies of the 1990s, it may well go under.  I am not predicting this.  The 2 parties have survived so long because of their ability to change.  Still, If the Democratic Party runs a series of DLC type Democrats as our economy continues to worsen, you could seethe Dems go belly up.

The Greens will never replace the Democratic Party as the progressive alternative to the theo-fascists.  The very name "Green," with its obvious emphasis on one issue, begs to be taken as a fringe, protest vote only.

Yet, combine the creation of a well rounded progressive party, worsening economic conditions and a Democratic Party refusal to come up with real answers and you could see a dramatic change.

by Andy Katz 2005-04-24 09:51AM | 0 recs
Re: We will never have a
The very name "Green," with its obvious emphasis on one issue

Umm, you clearly don't know much about the Green Party, do you?

Why don't you do some actual research before deciding we're not a 'well rounded progressive party.'

by brooklyngreenie 2005-04-24 04:47PM | 0 recs
Re: We will never have a
I know all about the "Greens," both the party here and in Germany, where the "Green" movement started.  My criticism is of the name and what it implies more then a statement that it is only a one issue party.  No party called the Green Party is ever going to replace the Democrats, any more then the newly created "Labor Party" will.
by Andy Katz 2005-04-24 05:36PM | 0 recs
I see
so we're talking about the party name?

How about the hypocracy of the Democratic Party failing to fight for democracy in Florida in 2000 and Ohio in 2004?

talk about a misnomer.

by brooklyngreenie 2005-04-25 06:56AM | 0 recs
Re: We will never have a
I would argue that the Dems are pretty much dead and that what we actually have is one RELEVANT political party -- the Republicans.  So I guess we're pretty much where other freedom loving countries like Germany circa 1938 and the USSR circa 1962 have been.
by Anne64 2005-04-24 05:26PM | 0 recs
Re: We will never have a
I guess you are stating this "for effect" or "to make a point," though Im not sure what your effect or point is.

Believe me, by the end of this decade, people will be arguing that it is the Republicans that are the irrelevant party.

by Andy Katz 2005-04-24 05:38PM | 0 recs
Re: We will never have a
Sounds like you're coming around although I find your historical comparisons somewhat difficult to agree with.
by Seldom Seen Smith 2005-04-24 09:40PM | 0 recs
You're an idiot
The Democrats (and left leaning independents that caucus with us) are at or above 45% in the House, the senate, and the presidency totals.

That's a far cry from "pretty much dead".

by Geotpf 2005-04-24 11:41PM | 0 recs
Not dead yet
While I do believe that the Nader backlash that resulted from Gore's ineptitude was indeed a setback for the Green Party, it's too early to write us off just yet.

That being said, it's going to take many years of blood, sweat and tears to overcome the obstacles the two major parties created (and continue to reinforce) to keep the Greens, Libertarians and others down.

The way the Greens will have impact is at the local level.  We have already seen Green influence on the Gay Rights issue, from Matt Gonzalez pushing the issue in the San Fran Mayor's race (ultimately picked up by Newsom when he won), to New Paltz Mayor Jason West (G-NY).

To pick up on another diary upthread, the Greens will gain power by being an 'opposition party' where the democrats haven't had any opposition for a generation.  We see this happening in Brooklyn, where the corrupt political machine that is the Brooklyn Democratic Party has gone unchallenged for decades.

Case in point, Marty Markowitz, our blowhard media slut of a Boro President, has lined his pockets with something over 80% donations from developers and real estate interests.  Funny that he supports the biggest land grab in Brooklyn History - throwing 1000 people from their homes and destroying a brownstone residential neighborhood, while giving billions of tax dollars to Bruce Ratner and his stooges (Ratner's cronies also give lots of money to Pataki, Bruno, and Bush).  Along comes Gloria Mattera, who ran against Bill Diblasio in 2001 & 2001, and pushed the Republican into 3rd place with 20% of the vote, to raise the level of debate, get some attention paid to Ratner's basketball-disguised landgrab, currently suffering in the lee of the Westside Stadium fight, and oppose some of the other awful policies that Marty is championing.  

Will Gloria win this time - not likely - given Marty's deep pockets, but if we make matching funds ($50,000 threshhold could mean $250,000 after the match), we'll have a bigger budget than David Cobb had in 2004, and Greens can make that money go a LONG way.  If she doesn't win this time, we'll see her or another Green in Brooklyn win a city council seat or two very soon, and perhaps a congressional seat in the next few cycles.

The Greens in Brooklyn (and elsewhere) are bigger (our registration in New York has doubled since 2002) better organized and active, and needed more than ever.

by brooklyngreenie 2005-04-24 04:45PM | 0 recs
Re: Not dead yet
I'm your basic progressive liberal, who in years past
even voted for the occasional Green candidate in misc
elections.

Post 2000, I'm willing to donate a signficant amount of
money and personal time to defeat any Green candidate
within spitting distance, and will continue to do so
until I die--they are a menace that must be wiped out.

Someone asked how the Greens and Democrats can get along.
My answer is that the Green party can disband.

Before any Green dismisses me, let me remind you that
I am exactly the type of person you had the best chance
of luring before you gave us Bush.  Now I hate you,
pure and simple.

by JMcDonald 2005-04-24 10:09PM | 0 recs
Re: Not dead yet
and you think by dismissing us with a wave of your hand and a few pejoratives to boot is going to make us want to come crawling back?

how naive, on so many levels

by brooklyngreenie 2005-04-25 06:51AM | 0 recs
Re: Not dead yet
Of course I don't think you'll come back.
What I'm pointing out is that you blew it big time.
Even though I probably agree with you on more issues
than with any other party, you will never ever get
a vote from me again, and in fact will get an energized
negative response from me in elections.  It takes a
stunning level of ineptitude to achive that result.
by JMcDonald 2005-04-25 09:16PM | 0 recs
No party firmly to the left or to the right...
...of the two main parties will ever succeed in America.  This goes for the Constitution Party on the far right as well as the Greeen Party on the far left.

That doesn't mean that all third party or independent canidates are DOA automaticly; just that most of them are.  Those that run from the middle, or with a combination of far right and far left stances, have an honest shot.  Examples: Perot, Jesse Ventura, the Libertarians.

But anybody on the extreme edges just make the mainstream party closest to them weaker.  You may not like this, but face fucking reality people-it's true.

by Geotpf 2005-04-24 11:38PM | 0 recs
The republicans aren't extremists?
The republican party isn't firmly to the right? Surely you jest.
by Michael Bersin 2005-04-25 05:12AM | 0 recs
by llss77 2006-02-21 05:39AM | 0 recs
by kan101 2006-05-08 07:58AM | 0 recs
by kan105 2006-05-13 03:52AM | 0 recs
Re: How Nader Killed The Green Party
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