Friday, May 27, 2016

Will 2016 Be The Year Of The Third Party?


Last night we saw a pretty stark case-- made by Noam Chomsky no less-- for "holding your nose" and voting for the lesser of two evils, especially in swing states like Ohio, Florida, New Hampshire, Nevada, Virginia, North Carolina and-- at least this year-- Arizona and Georgia. He told a radio audience that abstaining from voting or voting for a third party candidate, "just amounts to a vote for Donald Trump, which I think is a devastating prospect." But while Democrats hope to see a vibrant Libertarian campaign by Republican ex-Governors Gary Johnson (NM) and Bill Weld (MA) pull right-of-center votes from Trump, Johnson thinks he can lure Bernie voters away from Hillary. "I side with myself 99 percent of the time, but then the next politician that I most align with is Bernie Sanders at 73 percent," Johnson explained on MSNBC... There's more to agree with Bernie Sanders than to disagree."

So what about Jill Stein? Ideologically, her campaign is the normal home for Bernie voters if he doesn't get the nomination. No doubt someone in the GOP will be smart enough to figure that out and push it-- unless Trump stops them, delusional that Bernie supporters will transfer their allegiance to a racist, sexist, xenophobic lying sack of crrap. The Hill took a little look at the case for Stein this week. Niall Strange invoked the memory of Ralph Nader: "The Green Party suddenly has a chance to make an impact in the presidential election, with polls showing that Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton are set to be the most unpopular nominees in modern times. The possibility of disaffected liberals going to a third-party candidate sends a shiver through Democrats-- especially those with memories of the 2000 presidential election-- even as it delights the Greens and their likely nominee, Jill Stein."
Stein is making a play for Sanders supporters. In an interview with The Hill, she praised him for “really putting forward great policies.”

She added that there is “an incredible love affair between our supporters and Bernie supporters. You can’t distinguish them; they are already comingled.”

Whether the Green Party can harvest those votes, however, remains an open question.

“The simple reality is that there is no proof that the Green Party can win a national election, especially one with the Electoral College as it is,” said Neil Sroka, communications director for the progressive group Democracy for America (DFA).

“In order to make any sort of argument, you would have to explain how a vote for the Green Party isn’t just a way that Donald Trump wins the White House. Even more importantly, it would potentially throw away the power that has been built over the course of this campaign for progressives within the Democratic Party,” Sroka added.

The DFA endorsed Sanders but has always pledged to back the eventual Democratic nominee. Sanders himself has made the same promise.

Stein, on the other hand, said she would “feel horrible” if either Trump or Clinton were elected in November.

Her argument is not only that Clinton is “the lesser of two evils”-- a phrase that Sanders has used. She also contends that Clinton is a proponent of the same kind of centrist economic policies put forth by her husband. The policies of former President Bill Clinton, Stein said, have led to the wage stagnation and economic malaise that she believes made Trump’s rise possible.

Asked what she would say to a voter who was sympathetic to Green Party policies but feared gifting the White House to Trump, Stein replied: “The first thing I would say is that Trump was created by the politics of the Clintons. Putting the Clintons in power will only fan the flames. Hillary is not a solution to Trump; the Clintons are the cause of Trump.”

She added, “The second thing I would say is, ‘Don’t be talked out of your own power.’… We need a policy of courage, not cowardice. We need to bring that courage into the voting booth. To adopt a position of cowardice in the voting booth is to surrender to a predatory political system on all fronts.”

But that is the kind of claim that brings a combination of bemusement and horror from Democrats who were on the front lines during the 2000 election.

“Is it theoretically a cause for concern? You bet,” said Michael Feldman, a Democratic strategist who was Gore’s traveling chief of staff during the 2000 campaign. But he added, “I think people learned the hard way in 2000 that a protest vote can swing things in ways that are damaging and dangerous.”

Chris Lehane, who was press secretary for Gore’s 2000 bid, said, “2000 made clear that a presidential vote is not an academic exercise, but the ultimate right every voter has to affirmatively shape the kind of country they desire. … The importance of using that vote responsibly is something that 2000 speaks to.”

Independent experts also suggest the mere presence of Trump on the ballot could prompt liberals to come out to back Clinton, even if they are unenthusiastic about her.

Lawrence Jacobs, a political scientist at the University of Minnesota and an expert on third-party politics, recalled that during the 2000 campaign Bush presented himself as the smiling face of “compassionate conservatism.”

This year, Jacobs said, “the conditions are there” for a strong Green Party performance. “But by the time November rolls around, the Democratic Party campaign machine will have framed this election as an end-of-all-life choice between Trump and Clinton.”

Still, Stein is defiant.

“You have got to fix the rigged political system,” she said. “If you only have choices that are funded by the big banks, fossil fuels and the war profiteers, that’s what you’re going to get.”
This is what came back when a took the I Side With poll. Have you tried it yet?

Whether you're a Bernie supporter, a Hillary supporter, a Jill Stein supporter-- or even a Libertarian-- it's essential to replace as many of the garbage congressmembers as possible with serious, values-driven progressives. You can help do that by clicking on the thermometer:
Goal Thermometer

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At 7:04 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

If Bernie Sanders says in no uncertain terms that he is done with his campaign, I will vote for Jill Stein. Otherwise he's still my candidate.

As much as I detest Hair Drumpf, I see Hillary as being worse. Drumpf isn't smart enough to establish a dictatorship while Hillary is. I happen to see more of a chance to reclaim the nation in 2020 from Drumpf than I do with Hillary, who will institute corporatist rule. The nation will be badly damaged either way, but restoration is more likely with Drumpf than with Hillary.

At 8:04 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I took that silly 'I Side With' poll. I actually had Stein at #1 with 97% and Bernie #2 at 96%. Hillary came in at 90%. And yet I disagreed with her on most of the foreign policy stuff that I rated as 'most important.' Of course, I look like I agree with her on most of the economic stuff, but I got agreement on things I know she isn't taking far enough, like minimum wage. They also discount the fact that most of Hillary's economic populism is bullshit and I have no trust she will come through or fight for any of the issues I find most important.

At 8:20 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

To the 1st commenter: Right...'Drumpf' is the apple of your eye. What do you care that any GOP presidency in conjunction with a still-likely GOP Senate and House will wreak further havoc on the most vulnerable and suffering Americans? I'm sure you're quite comfortable enough or you'd likely know better. And your yuge delusion about 2020 would be laughable if it weren't so morbidly wrong and destructive.

At 9:41 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Those "Democrats-- especially those with memories of the 2000 presidential election" apparently are unaware, or are reluctant to acknowledge, that the Cheney/Bush reign of terror --- with concomitant destruction of the constitution (still in tatters after 8 years of a "new" regime) --- would never had happened if Gore had been able to carry his home state of Tennessee.

The continual ragging on Nader since 2000 is the same, totally anti-democratic attitude that has given us the incessant hounding of Sanders who has had the unmitigated temerity challenge the "inevitable" coronation of ANOTHER dynastic presidential family!!!

John Puma

At 9:43 AM, Blogger sanford said...

You should think what a Trump presidency could be like.

At 9:50 AM, Blogger Glenn Bateman said...

For as long as the neo-liberal corporate democrats who run the 'Democratic Party' are convinced that progressives and liberal-leaning independents will vote for the neo-liberal corporate candidate that the leadership backs, they will continue to pay only lip-service to progressives and continue down their path of turning the economy over to the 1/10th of 1%ers.

Eventually, progressives and liberal-leaning independents will have to bite the bullet and stop voting for the "lesser of two great evils". Until then we should expect a continuation of the corporate dominated status quo.

I, for one, have had more than enough of the corporate democrats and will vote for Jill Stein. To anyone telling me that is going to elect The Donald tRump I say so be it. When the Dumbocraps give us a warmongering corporate candidate that polls 60% as being dishonest and untrustworthy, f*ck it I will vote my conscience. Especially when I am unconvinced that Wall Street Hillary is the 'lesser of two evils' on economics and foreign policy.

At 12:39 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

To Mr. Anonymous at 8:20am

To anyone telling me that is going to elect The Donald tRump I say so be it.

Like the commentor immediately ahead of me in this thread, I am tired of the LOTE BS. Neither major party candidate deserves to be elected, yet each uses the other as the boogieman to whip their followers into a frenzy.

No one critiques Obama for following the Republican playbook when it comes to his "accomplishments", so why should I care if a fool like Drumpf gets power? The United States needs to grow up and put VE and VJ day behind them. The world has moved on. Only we in the US have not.

We have allowed corporatists to destroy the United States. We should just accept our fate and let them finish destroying the nation so that we have a clean slate with which to build a new and better version.

Or else vote for Bernie.

At 10:04 PM, Anonymous dameocrat said...

I realize that my vote for Stein will probably swing things to Trump, but I don't think Hillary is clearly less evil. I think Hillary is more likely to start a disastrous war than Trump, and I also think Trump antifree trade views are better for the country than her probably pandering view that will change as soon as she gets toe hold. They are both disasters. Pick your poison. I think Trump is colluding with Hillary, and it will stop until people say enough.


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