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Sunday, July 24, 2011

Where are the Greens in the 2012 Presidential Election?

On another blog someone asked:
"Any word on what's up with the Greens for the 2012 presidential election?"
Sadly from what I can see they are nowhere to be found!

The question came about because of a post discussing the possibility of Senator Bernie Sanders running against the Big O in the upcoming Democratic Primary. While I agree with some of what the author said and like Bernie a lot I know he won't be the "challenger" in next year's Democratic Presidential Primary. Bernie understands that the Democratic Party is corrupt to its very core and while he probably won't say it, the party is beyond repair. Now he could run as an Independent and I'd support that but I don't think he will do that either.

Sadly, I don't think anybody will challenge Barack Obama in next year's primary.

There are many problems with this idea of getting a primary challenger for Obama. First the progressives are mistaken in the belief that it is possible to challenge the establishment candidate to a fair fight in the Dem Party. The DC Democratic establishment runs a tight ship and have things wired so that our only choice will be among the "approved" candidates. For example in the last Presidential primary election our choice was between Obama and Clinton which was essentially a choice between a member of the Third Way and a member of the DLC. The reader can decide which is which, ultimately however it's a distinction without a difference. They won't ever allow a real progressive to run for President. Its just too dangerous. The would much prefer the party loose an election than a real progressive run and win.

The other problem with the whole notion of a primary challenger for Obama is that progressives are mistaken in their belief that the DC Dem elites care what they think and that given enough prodding by the base the establishment will ultimately do the right thing. The DC Democratic elites do not care what we think and long ago realized that progressives/liberals are just doormats to be stepped on. They acknowledge our concerns and keep us in a fetal position by throwing us the odd bone (gay rights, environmental stuff & etc) and/or frightening us into line with the lesser of two evils game. They hope to win elections by using our labor and the $'s they get from Wall Street and large corporations to run their campaigns. Ultimately they pay Wall Street off by doing their bidding (attack SS, Medicare, Medicaid, co-opt corporate regulation for their benefit & etc) while keeping us off balance by rotating the bad guy from one issue to the next. This is the DLC, New Dem, Third Way game plan and it works well for them and has allowed the Democrats to help the Right achieve its cherished goals of making the poor poorer, destroying the middle class and ending the unionization movement in the USA.

Ultimately there is no place for progressives in the modern Democratic Party. Personally, I say we should walk and declare our independence by voting Green or some other progressive choice for the next Presidential election and many House and Senate elections. Once the elites have lost enough elections they will realize the doormat game is over. That's when they will come to the table - until then you can't expect much from the Dem DC elites. To change the Democratic Party it is necessary to leave it and start over again. This is the only way to break the paradigm that exists today and to make matters worse we have to do that while watching bad Democrats loose to even worse Republicans. However, this is just a bridge too far for many progressives and on sites like the Daily Kos it can't even be discussed. Sadly I know that until we walk nothing will change in the Democratic Party.

As and aside, for those that still argue that we should Primary a bad Dem instead of running somebody as an Green or Independent against them think about what happened in Connecticut's Lieberman vs. Lamont Primary back in 2006. The DC Dem establishment still supported Lieberman in the General Election against Lamont even though Lamont won the primary. For them being in the club is much more important than than things like party loyalty or ideology. If the DC Elites refuse to support those ideas why should we?

What will it take to get progressives to walk is the real question. Personally I question if it will ever happen. Selling out Social Security might be the spark that starts this - I'm not sure but all I know is that you can't change the Democratic Party from the inside. It's too owned for that.

By-the-way, as a dirty fact to prove my point and to show how unlikely it is that progressives/liberals will walk from the Dem Party - I was recently banned from posting on the Daily Kos for proposing that folks consider voting Green. Think of that - you can get banned for even suggesting what I said above. So for sites like the Daily Kos this isn't even a topic for discussion! If it can't be discussed how can it happen?

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