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June 7, 2012 10:14 AM   Subscribe

With a platform that includes legalization of pot, withdrawal of military support for Israel, forgiveness of all student loan debt and ballot access in all 50 states, Roseanne Barr is seeking the Green Party nomination for the presidency.
posted by jbickers (214 comments total) 16 users marked this as a favorite

 
but Obama
posted by CautionToTheWind at 10:18 AM on June 7, 2012 [1 favorite]


hell yes
posted by DU at 10:21 AM on June 7, 2012 [6 favorites]


If it turns out that her entire last term was just a dream, I'm going to be really pissed!
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 10:23 AM on June 7, 2012 [45 favorites]


I look forward to attack ads featuring tearful San Diego Padres.
posted by Beardman at 10:24 AM on June 7, 2012 [7 favorites]


I have read two of her books in the last six months, and... well, this move isn't a surprise, and I don't dislike Roseanne - there's a lot to respect there, seriously - but she's perhaps more volatile than I'd really feel okay with in a politician.

Which is to say, with all due respect and while she's better than some of the alternatives, she's absofuckinglutely nuts.
posted by restless_nomad at 10:25 AM on June 7, 2012 [16 favorites]


Go Rosie. I actually think the pot thing will be a distraction, and of course one can't really criticize (implicitly or explicitly) policies of the Israeli Gov't or IDF without being accused of desiring the destruction of the Israeli state or worse.
posted by Emperor SnooKloze at 10:25 AM on June 7, 2012 [2 favorites]


in the second link, she says something about needing to get ballots notarized and seems to be angry at the Green Party for this. can someone elaborate?

i realize she has no chance, but her views seem more in line with what i'd want for our country than any other candidate. (and her website talking points cover what my friends and i discuss when we get all political) maybe she'll get enough press to bring the discussion of these things to forefront.

but probably not. the MSM will focus on cheap lulz from her brashness rather than talking about ballot access or some relevant political topic.
posted by sio42 at 10:25 AM on June 7, 2012 [2 favorites]


Get her on the ballot in MA and I'll vote for her.
posted by Currer Belfry at 10:26 AM on June 7, 2012


Hahhahaa... good luck with that, Green Party!!!!
posted by ph00dz at 10:27 AM on June 7, 2012


This is a great way to make good ideas seem ridiculous.
posted by cell divide at 10:29 AM on June 7, 2012 [38 favorites]


Al Franken she ain't.
posted by brain_drain at 10:29 AM on June 7, 2012 [4 favorites]


If the president were required to lead the country in a singing of the national anthem, that would be an automatic disqualifier.
posted by MoonOrb at 10:30 AM on June 7, 2012 [2 favorites]


I will vote for every Green on the ballot in Missouri. If a Green is not available I might vote for a democrat. I will not vote for a republican.

I'm a lefty, not a democrat.
posted by wrapper at 10:30 AM on June 7, 2012 [10 favorites]


She also just tweeted her concerns about Agenda 21, aligning herself with the extreme right-wing John Birch lunatic fringe. These people are three crazy ratchets past Birthers and like any good ratchet, there's no coming back. Not like there was a threat that she was going to be taken seriously, but let's not delude ourselves into thinking she has left-wing values based on one NY Mag article.

This was yesterday. I can't imagine taking seriously anyone who takes her seriously.
posted by allen.spaulding at 10:31 AM on June 7, 2012 [6 favorites]


Is this a joke? Because it sounds like a joke.
posted by Old'n'Busted at 10:31 AM on June 7, 2012


This is a great way to make good ideas seem ridiculous.

As opposed to constantly ridiculing them in the media and/or having a President who literally laughs at people who bring them up, I suppose?
posted by vorfeed at 10:32 AM on June 7, 2012 [8 favorites]


There is absolutely no chance that she wins. Winning is not the point. Applying pressure from the left is the point. And Roseanne knows how to get talked about, which means her issues will be talked about, which means that pressure will occur.
posted by DU at 10:33 AM on June 7, 2012 [34 favorites]


I realize she's got a rocky past public image and is seen as pretty zany, but her platform is pretty much exactly one hundred percent right.

I'd vote for her. If she makes it in NY, I might even campaign for her.
posted by brina at 10:35 AM on June 7, 2012


Eh, she'll probably do better then Nader ever did.

The legalizing pot thing is actually a potentially powerful campaign issue. New polling actually shows it to have majority support and not surprising it's actually more popular with Independents then with republicans or democrats.

People seem to have this view of "Independent" voters as being right in the middle of the republicans and democrats, but in fact that's pretty ridiculous. Independent voters are actually less informed about politics in general, mainly because they probably don't care as much - and their stands tend to be all over the place.
She also just tweeted her concerns about Agenda 21, aligning herself with the extreme right-wing John Birch lunatic fringe.
Did she? I mean, did it occur to you for one second that radical environmentalist and green party candidate Rossane Barr might be for Agenda 21, which is apparently something about the environment and social justice, typical lefty stuff. All she said is that people should be talking about it.

That said, her twitter background picture seems to be her partying with Courtney Love. Perhaps a bigger problem electorally.
posted by delmoi at 10:35 AM on June 7, 2012 [4 favorites]


So it takes a comedian to have a position on student loan debt and marijuana policy that isn't a goddamn joke? Interesting.

I've got a lot of respect for Roseanne. Her show dealt with feminist and working class issues with an honesty and directness that we have not seen ever since on primetime television. Small wonder there was and has been such an active effort to tear Barr down and discredit her, to call her custom of speaking her mind on difficult subjects to be "brash" and "volatile."
posted by EatTheWeak at 10:35 AM on June 7, 2012 [31 favorites]


allen.spaulding: I guess never mind on the campaigning for her thing. Couldn't they find someone else to run on the same platform? Like Robert Reich? He's so cuddly.
posted by brina at 10:36 AM on June 7, 2012


Did she? I mean, did it occur to you for one second that radical environmentalist and green party candidate Rossane Barr might be for Agenda 21, which is apparently something about the environment and social justice, typical lefty stuff. All she said is that people should be talking about it.

Come on. If she tweeted out something about the gold standard or black helicopters or sovereign citizens, would you think she was placing herself in opposition to the right-wing fringe?

I liked her show and I have long been a green party voter, but she is not a serious candidate meant to advance views or put pressure on the Democrats. If anything, she's an inverted stalking horse, a way to undermine these views by associating them with a fundamentally unserious person with no policy positions and a tendency for divisiveness.
posted by allen.spaulding at 10:39 AM on June 7, 2012 [4 favorites]


That said, her twitter background picture seems to be her partying with Courtney Love

Hey, that's Vice President Courtney Love to you.
posted by hermitosis at 10:41 AM on June 7, 2012 [28 favorites]


Until we change how folks get elected in this country, you really are wasting a vote on a 3rd party.
posted by Vhanudux at 10:41 AM on June 7, 2012 [10 favorites]


allen.spaulding: "If she tweeted out something about the gold standard or black helicopters or sovereign citizens, would you think she was placing herself in opposition to the right-wing fringe?"

But Agenda 21 is a real thing that exists, right?
posted by brundlefly at 10:42 AM on June 7, 2012


she is patriotic: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ls1YVhcLD2c
posted by milnak at 10:44 AM on June 7, 2012


By which I mean that one can reference it in a non-conspiracy theory way. Unlike black helicopters.
posted by brundlefly at 10:44 AM on June 7, 2012


I'd vote for her just to shake things up.

So, we've gone from electing actors (George Murphy, Ronald Reagan) to electing comedians? This says something about our culture but I'm not really sure what that might be.

I've always believed that Mark Twain would have made an amazing leader, but his honesty, volatility and eccentricity kept him safely away from (most) politics.

And George Carlin... well, don't get me started.
posted by kinnakeet at 10:45 AM on June 7, 2012 [1 favorite]


allen.spaulding, the tweet you linked to does not indicate Barr has *concerns* with Agenda 21 - just that she thinks campaigns "should be discussing" it - much more ambiguous. Is there evidence elsewhere that she rejects Agenda 21?
posted by gusandrews at 10:46 AM on June 7, 2012


Agenda 21 sounds like a cryptic reference on a show like Lost or Alias that doesn't get immediately explained. "This looks related to . . . Agenda 21." "What's Agenda 21?" "There's no time!"
posted by brain_drain at 10:46 AM on June 7, 2012 [2 favorites]


What is her position on MOONBASE?
posted by jeffamaphone at 10:47 AM on June 7, 2012 [1 favorite]


Fuck it, I'm in too. I'm pro stuff like pot and kittens. If elected I'll stop all the wars and give everyone a job. Hook me up America.
posted by Ad hominem at 10:48 AM on June 7, 2012 [1 favorite]


But Agenda 21 is a real thing that exists, right?

It's 20 years old, was not ratified, there's no reason for anyone to talk about it other than the fact that the extreme right is now obsessed with it. We can talk about that. To pretend it's a real thing is to give credit to the fears that there's a shadowy NWO cabal trying to undermine American sovereignty by discussing climate change.

She wasn't trying to raise awareness of the extreme right fringe and its impact on our culture, politics, etc. She wants people to think Agenda 21 is real, validating the Birchers. Anyway, Jill Stein has this nomination wrapped up and is worth talking about, unlike Agenda 21 or a stunt campaign by someone prone to delusional thinking.
posted by allen.spaulding at 10:48 AM on June 7, 2012 [8 favorites]


Also, John Goodman will be King of England.
posted by Sys Rq at 10:49 AM on June 7, 2012 [14 favorites]


So it takes a comedian to have a position on student loan debt and marijuana policy that isn't a goddamn joke?.

Proposing to forgive all existing student loan debt is pretty much a joke.
posted by brain_drain at 10:49 AM on June 7, 2012 [6 favorites]


Until we change how folks get elected in this country, you really are wasting a vote on a 3rd party.

I know Duverger's law and all, but I would love to hear how we're supposed to change "how folks get elected" while still only voting for Democrats and Republicans. This seems defeatist. (Says the guy who's still probably voting for Obama anyway.)
posted by mrgoat at 10:49 AM on June 7, 2012 [4 favorites]


Come on. If she tweeted out something about the gold standard or black helicopters or sovereign citizens, would you think she was placing herself in opposition to the right-wing fringe?
Come on yourself: Here is her tweet, in full:
read about UN agenda 21-this is the real stuff that ALL campaigns should be discussing.
You do a Google search the first link is this UN page that talks about it, then there is the Wikipedia article. Looking over it, it seems like it is indeed something that an environmentalist and liberal would consider the "real stuff" that campaigns should be discussing.

Anyway, her tweet was neutral, simply saying people should talk about it. She could be a conspiracy theorist, or she could just think Agenda 21 is a good idea and should be discussed. I personally had never even heard of it before, so it doesn't mean anything at all to me personally.

If you're going to just start slandering people, you should wait until they actually do something crazy rather then spinning up elaborate fantasies about what you imagine they might be thinking.
posted by delmoi at 10:49 AM on June 7, 2012 [6 favorites]


Applying pressure from the left is the point.

Huh? There are plenty of those on the libertarian right who support the legalization of weed and I would wager there are even more on the democratic left whose support of Israel is unshakable.

This is about Ms Barr wanting to be talked about as much as Donald Trump. Maybe if she changed her hairstyle.....
posted by three blind mice at 10:49 AM on June 7, 2012


The key to that tweet sequence is the praise of the Thrive movie and movement.
posted by brina at 10:49 AM on June 7, 2012 [3 favorites]


Its a joke to so many of you, but I'd consider voting for her. She can't win, but it would help send the message that our votes aren't to be taken for granted. Isn't that the point of democracy?
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 10:49 AM on June 7, 2012 [12 favorites]


Actually, my biggest issue with her latest book was the appalling racism that she mostly didn't seem to think was worth apologizing for. I got the distinct impression that she was trying to be edgy and funny but was using racist tropes because they're easy, and that she does that all the time in her personal life. Throughout the book, it was totally unclear what was sincere and what was intended to be for comic effect, and most of my guesses came down on the side that wasn't super favorable to her. That's really what I mean by volatile - it's not at all clear to me that she has a good grip on reality, because for her entire life she's been getting positive reinforcement for all the wrong things.
posted by restless_nomad at 10:50 AM on June 7, 2012 [1 favorite]


She is a delusional self-centered idiot...so she would probably fit in just fine in DC.
posted by Falconetti at 10:50 AM on June 7, 2012


I think she once described herself as "white trash with money."
posted by Mental Wimp at 10:51 AM on June 7, 2012


there's a shadowy NWO cabal trying to undermine American sovereignty

I don't think Scott Hall can stand upright long enough to undermine anything.
posted by uncleozzy at 10:51 AM on June 7, 2012 [3 favorites]


I'm a fan of anyone with the common sense to point out how insane our drug laws are, but I think Gary Johnson has a much more impressive resume as a politician if drug law is an issue of chief concern for you.

If you disagree with the libertarian economic views you would want to avoid him of course, but I think the Greens can do better here too.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 10:51 AM on June 7, 2012


She wasn't trying to raise awareness of the extreme right fringe and its impact on our culture, politics, etc. She wants people to think Agenda 21 is real, validating the Birchers. Anyway, Jill Stein has this nomination wrapped up and is worth talking about, unlike Agenda 21 or a stunt campaign by someone prone to delusional thinking.
Yeah, hadn't seen this when before I posted, but what I said still applies: If you're going to just start slandering people, you should wait until they actually do something crazy rather then spinning up elaborate fantasies about what you imagine they might be thinking.

Right now you're just making stuff up, and then declaring that what you are imagining is true and that therefore she is a terrible person.

She could totally be a conspiracy theorist. But really, you're going to need more solid evidence.
posted by delmoi at 10:52 AM on June 7, 2012 [2 favorites]


Proposing to forgive all existing student loan debt is pretty much a joke.

Heaven forfend we make education a free commodity. What will happen when everyone is educated? Can you imagine the nightmare that will result? And, yes, this is snark.
posted by Mental Wimp at 10:52 AM on June 7, 2012 [6 favorites]


I'd never vote for Nader (he is the one who is a joke) but I'd vote for Roseanne.
posted by narcoleptic at 10:53 AM on June 7, 2012 [1 favorite]


Eh, she'll probably do better then Nader ever did.

Which makes for a President Romney, if memory serves.
posted by Hoopo at 10:53 AM on June 7, 2012 [20 favorites]


I'm a fan of anyone with the common sense to point out how insane our drug laws are, but I think Gary Johnson has a much more impressive resume as a politician if drug law is an issue of chief concern for you.
Roseanne Barr will probably get more free media.
Proposing to forgive all existing student loan debt is pretty much a joke.
Most of it owed to the federal government, and Obama already setup an income-based repayment plan, which is effectively forgiving it for people who don't have any money. It's something that could be easily done, at least with federal rather then private loans.
posted by delmoi at 10:55 AM on June 7, 2012 [2 favorites]


If Obama loses because of a Barr campaign, maybe he deserves to lose.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 10:55 AM on June 7, 2012 [15 favorites]


And Roseanne knows how to get talked about, which means her issues will be talked about,
Talked about and "punch line" are two different things. She's a distraction, and a not very amusing one.
posted by Ideefixe at 10:55 AM on June 7, 2012


Which makes for a President Romney, if memory serves.

No, Nader didn't make them stop counting votes.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 10:56 AM on June 7, 2012 [8 favorites]


The Communist candidate just lost my vote.
posted by Ardiril at 10:58 AM on June 7, 2012 [2 favorites]


The key to that tweet sequence is the praise of the Thrive movie and movement.

And since delmoi is calling for evidence, you can do what I did and head over to that Thrive documentary link and scan the list of interviewees...

... and it features David fucking Icke. I kid you not.

If that doesn't scream conspiracy loon, delmoi, then I have some excellent books I'd like to sell you about the reptilian elites in charge of the IMF or whatever.
posted by joe lisboa at 10:58 AM on June 7, 2012 [5 favorites]


She could totally be a conspiracy theorist. But really, you're going to need more solid evidence.

From her own website: Obama and the UN: Agenda 21 Revisited linking to conspiracy theory pages.

You can pretend that the tweet was ambiguous, but it wasn't even close. The are only two types of people who would ever bring up Agenda 21. The certifiable and those of us worried about the impact on the far-right, especially at the local level and especially in the South where this thinking is shockingly strong. Roseanne is pretty clearly not in the second category.
posted by allen.spaulding at 10:59 AM on June 7, 2012 [11 favorites]


Which makes for a President Romney, if memory serves.

Perhaps.

Or perhaps the potential vote-splitting will get Obama to take a couple steps to the left of centre.
posted by Sys Rq at 10:59 AM on June 7, 2012


Uhm.... she lost the CA primary to Jill Stein.
posted by jasonstevanhill at 10:59 AM on June 7, 2012 [3 favorites]


Sorry: David fucking Icke.
posted by joe lisboa at 11:00 AM on June 7, 2012


Apparently undertaking quixotic Presidential quests is something that people named Barr do.
posted by gurple at 11:03 AM on June 7, 2012


She can't win, but it would help send the message that our votes aren't to be taken for granted. Isn't that the point of democracy?

It would be, if the Dems weren't so convinced that they'd rather have the votes of people to the right who will never vote for them instead of the votes on the left.
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 11:06 AM on June 7, 2012 [2 favorites]


Which makes for a President Romney, if memory serves.
Oh god we might end up with healthcare mandates!!!!
From her own website: Obama and the UN: Agenda 21 Revisited linking to conspiracy theory pages.

You can pretend that the tweet was ambiguous, but it wasn't even close. The are only two types of people who would ever bring up Agenda 21. The certifiable and those of us worried about the impact on the far-right, especially at the local level and especially in the South where this thinking is shockingly strong. Roseanne is pretty clearly not in the second category.
Eh, well I imagine the average green party primary voter is probably pretty nuts. She could just pandering to what they're concerned about. Who knows.

Anyway, it sounds like she lost the primary, so it's all pretty irrelevant, unless she wants to run as a true independent .
It would be, if the Dems weren't so convinced that they'd rather have the votes of people to the right who will never vote for them instead of the votes on the left.
I think you mixed up the word "Dollars" and "Donate" with "Vote"
posted by delmoi at 11:07 AM on June 7, 2012 [3 favorites]


If Obama loses because of a Barr campaign, maybe he deserves to lose.

More to the point, if the Democrats lose a second election due to failing to attract real Leftists, maybe they'll start paying attention.
posted by DU at 11:08 AM on June 7, 2012 [9 favorites]


Eh, well I imagine the average green party primary voter is probably pretty nuts.

I resemble that remark!
posted by allen.spaulding at 11:10 AM on June 7, 2012 [1 favorite]


I'd like to sell you about the reptilian elites in charge of the IMF or whatever.

Wow. Speciesist much? We're not all elites, you know. We put our pants on one leg and tail at at a time, just like everyone else.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 11:10 AM on June 7, 2012 [10 favorites]


She can't win, but it would help send the message that our votes aren't to be taken for granted.

I wish this actually worked. But it doesn't. In the end it I just a way of punishing yourself.

Democracy is messy and has a lot of flaws. the way our Democracy works is really (sadly) that we vote for the least worst candidate. It is frustrating and maddening, but it is the only functional way to vote currently.

If you want viable 3rd parties (and I think a viable Green party would be great) we need to modernize and restructure our voting system. Ranked choices/IRV may not be pristine perfect, but I tell you they are a hell of a lot better than first past the post wins everything. We need a way of voting that allows nuance of choice, BUT... and this is the elephant in the room it challenges the current political system, the Democrats and the Republicans will do nothing to foster such a shift. If there is one this they would unite on is disallowing increased political choice.

and by increased choice I don't believe or espouse the idea of a dozen people running for one position, but at least 3 or 4
posted by edgeways at 11:11 AM on June 7, 2012 [3 favorites]


If Obama loses because of a Barr campaign, maybe he deserves to lose.

And that attitude worked out so well in 2000, didn't it?

Do women deserve to lose control over their bodies and their health? Do minorities deserve to have restricted voting privileges? Do gays not deserve marriage? Do the sick and injured not deserve help for their? Do none of us deserve the chance at living out our later years without being in abject poverty? Or are you really that ignorant of what the right-wing already has on the docket when they get complete control of the federal government?

Broken-record time: the way to do this is from the bottom up, not the top down. Work towards changing the parties or build a solid framework for a third. This short-term spite is just punishing millions just to make a point.

More to the point, if the Democrats lose a second election due to failing to attract real Leftists, maybe they'll start paying attention.

Again, how did that work out for the left in 2000? I don't recall that election moving the party to the left, let alone the electorate.
posted by zombieflanders at 11:11 AM on June 7, 2012 [16 favorites]


There is no scarcity; there is manipulation of the resources. [...] We need a resource based economy.

Honest question, because I am economically-illiterate: is this communism, de facto feudalism, or something else?
posted by uncleozzy at 11:11 AM on June 7, 2012


For the record, Rosanne isn't the only person who's announced a Green Party candidacy - Jill Stein is actually the party's frontrunner in terms of delegate votes. She's actually got some environmental policy/campaign finance reform experience under her belt as well.

One of my good friends is really active in the Green Party and has been promoting the shit out of Jill Stein - partly because he does so for every Green candidate, but also partly because secretly, in the back of his mind, I think he's been thinking, "oh, fuck, everyone's gonna vote for Rosanne...."
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 11:13 AM on June 7, 2012 [2 favorites]


More to the point, if the Democrats lose a second election due to failing to attract real Leftists, maybe they'll start paying attention.

Thanks, I needed a laugh today.
posted by nanojath at 11:13 AM on June 7, 2012 [6 favorites]


Eh, well I imagine the average green party primary voter is probably pretty nuts.

There is so much wrong with that statement (and I haven't voted Green for a hell of a long time) I seriously would like to tell you to fuck off from that one statement alone.
posted by edgeways at 11:13 AM on June 7, 2012 [11 favorites]


I'll second edgeways' sentiment above.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 11:15 AM on June 7, 2012


Do gays not deserve marriage?

They do. So why are you voting for Obama? Candidate Obama supports gay marriage, President Obama doesn't.
posted by DU at 11:16 AM on June 7, 2012 [2 favorites]


Jill Stein says she has secured enough delegates to clinch the Green Party nomination.
posted by brina at 11:16 AM on June 7, 2012 [1 favorite]


I know Duverger's law and all, but I would love to hear how we're supposed to change "how folks get elected" while still only voting for Democrats and Republicans. This seems defeatist. (Says the guy who's still probably voting for Obama anyway.)

Apply pressure in local and state elections. Places where an un-normal Democrat or even an independent has a chance of winning. Building a political base means building a BASE, which means you don't start at the top and work down. Have politicians actually get voted in and then do well with the opportunities they're given, convince people they're not jokes, and build up to having political candidates who can run on a national level.

Dems and Reps don't feel intimidated by people voting Green. They think, "Oh fuck, a goddamn fringe candidate my opponent can pump up to sap my votes." They know people are fucking dissatisfied with them. They have paid staffers telling them exactly how much they're hated. You can't "send them a message" by not voting for them because they've already received your message and you're still not the voter they're actually concerned about. Besides, if they lose, they just have to wait for years until you're so despairing at the guy that won that you decide it's worth voting in the "lesser of two evils" anyway. You'll give into their demands before they give into yours.

Political change starts with either local elections or with movements that garner national attention. If you want to make a difference, get involved in your town or city, or else come up with a way of spreading your message loudly enough that politicians at the top hear it. Even then you're not going to swing a third-party candidate, unless the Republican party implodes post-2012 and leaves an opening for something new. And that won't be a third party, it'll just be a new second party. The way the system works, there's no opening for anything more than a two-way competition. Not on the national level.
posted by Rory Marinich at 11:16 AM on June 7, 2012 [13 favorites]


Candidate Obama supports gay marriage, President Obama doesn't.

I'm going to phrase this as gently as I can.

Have you been on an extended vacation away from all media for the last two months?
posted by joe lisboa at 11:17 AM on June 7, 2012 [18 favorites]


Uhm.... she lost the CA primary to Jill Stein

Yeah, I voted for Jill Stein. Prior to receiving my primary ballot, I had no idea Barr was running, so her name appearing there was a bit of a shock.

Eh, well I imagine the average green party primary voter is probably pretty nuts. She could just pandering to what they're concerned about. Who knows.

I'm nuts, and I vote.

Actually, I changed my party affiliation from Dem to Green after congress managed to vote for the Iraq war with nary a dissenting voice from either party because I no longer wanted the Dems to think they had my automatic support. I'm just one guy and probably not the tiniest blip on their radar, but I felt better about it afterwards. Since becoming a Green way back then, primary elections certainly aren't as much fun, but since CA's vote comes so late in the cycle it doesn't matter much anyway. I don't think I've voted Green for any major election beyond the primary (maybe I voted against Feinstein last time she was up, but that's about it), so it's really a non-factor either way.

When I showed up at my polling place around 5:30pm the poll workers nearly crapped their pants because they didn't think they actually had any Green ballots, so I waited while one person called HQ, and another went searching through their stacks of ballots. Eventually, they found one. Yay.
posted by LionIndex at 11:17 AM on June 7, 2012


And that attitude worked out so well in 2000, didn't it?

What made the vote so close in 2000 was Dems voting for Bush, they outnumbered the Nader voters by a healthy margin. Liberals are loyal voters because they fear the right so much. You can see a similar dynamic in Wisconsin where the left went all out but moderate Dems had a different idea and many didn't feel the recall was appropriate without official misconduct.

The tricky thing is that to win moderates sometimes you do actually have to support lefty policy though because lefty policy can be popular. Look at things like the public option, crazy left in insider D.C. context but with 60% support among the public. A lot of issues are like that.

Nader is a convenient for hippy punching purposes, but the task of holding the center is a much more difficult, but real concern.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 11:18 AM on June 7, 2012 [4 favorites]


I wish this actually worked. But it doesn't. In the end it I just a way of punishing yourself.

If we can't be bothered to allow a democracy to work, with all those healthy, if messy third-party possibilities, then maybe the DNC should drop their charade and just have us swear fealty to the oligarchs whose campaign checks they already cash.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 11:18 AM on June 7, 2012 [4 favorites]


Eh, well I imagine the average green party primary voter is probably pretty nuts. She could just pandering to what they're concerned about. Who knows.

No, it isn't "who knows." It is pretty clear that Barr accepts really loony fringe stuff uncritically. The average Green Party voter is not worried about the Reptilian overlords or Agenda 21 or Jay-Z's secret alliance with the Illuminati or whatever.
posted by Falconetti at 11:19 AM on June 7, 2012 [1 favorite]


Which makes for a President Romney, if memory serves.

the democrats need to be shown that their right wing platform will lose them elections. I am more than hairy to vote with my conscience and hand the election to Romney if they don't start showing some guts.

Obama's policies are completely wrong. Drone attacks? Going after Assange and Bradley Manning after he said he'd stick up for whistleblowers? Refusal to question the war on drugs? I could continue, but my phone battery is dying.

I'm giving Barr my vote.
posted by dunkadunc at 11:19 AM on June 7, 2012 [5 favorites]


The way the system works, there's no opening for anything more than a two-way competition. Not on the national level.

Sure there is, if the money is there. You would need someone with the connections to fund raise but it's entirely possible to do. There have been credible attempts this year that failed not for lacking the resources, but for lacking a candidate they felt met their requirements.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 11:21 AM on June 7, 2012 [1 favorite]


Jay-Z's secret alliance with the Illuminati

shhhhhh!
posted by joe lisboa at 11:22 AM on June 7, 2012


Jill Stein is interesting. If I weren't terrified of Romney & the GOP, I might support Stein--which is, in a nutshell, why the US system of elections is broken.

But I'm sure as hell voting Green in my next mayoral election.
posted by crush-onastick at 11:23 AM on June 7, 2012


Have you been on an extended vacation away from all media for the last two months?

And have you noticed what year it is?
posted by DU at 11:25 AM on June 7, 2012


Jay-Z's secret alliance with the Illuminati

There Izzo no cabal.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 11:25 AM on June 7, 2012 [3 favorites]


Sure there is, if the money is there. You would need someone with the connections to fund raise but it's entirely possible to do. There have been credible attempts this year that failed not for lacking the resources, but for lacking a candidate they felt met their requirements.

Name one person with the connections to pull something like this off. Not only the connections but access to a political team with the savvy to take on the well-established teams working for either party.

Most career politicians can't muster a credible national campaign, let alone outsiders. And in the United States, there are pretty much no career politicians who aren't either D or R.
posted by Rory Marinich at 11:26 AM on June 7, 2012 [1 favorite]


They do. So why are you voting for Obama? Candidate Obama supports gay marriage, President Obama doesn't.

This is so blatantly idiotic and false that there's no comment necessary.

The tricky thing is that to win moderates sometimes you do actually have to support lefty policy though because lefty policy can be popular. Look at things like the public option, crazy left in insider D.C. context but with 60% support among the public. A lot of issues are like that.

The public option had support of at least 80% of the Democrats in Congress. The fact that some conservative Democrats and all Republicans did not represent their electorate is less Obama's fault than Lieberman, Snowe, et al.

If we can't be bothered to allow a democracy to work, with all those healthy, if messy third-party possibilities, then maybe the DNC should drop their charade and just have us swear fealty to the oligarchs whose campaign checks they already cash.

If you can drop the content-free snark and provide evidence for "punish the president and/or party" by pointing out a major modern American election where their theory has worked, by all means share it with us. In support of my theory of working the system from the bottom up, I give you the history of GOP takeover of the state and local elections from the 1980s on.

Sure there is, if the money is there. You would need someone with the connections to fund raise but it's entirely possible to do. There have been credible attempts this year that failed not for lacking the resources, but for lacking a candidate they felt met their requirements.

Again, it needs to have a coherent base at all levels and branches of government, not just the US President. This isn't impossible, it just takes time. If people are so impatient and vindictive that they don't want to invest that time, that's their problem.
posted by zombieflanders at 11:28 AM on June 7, 2012 [2 favorites]


Name one person with the connections to pull something like this off. Not only the connections but access to a political team with the savvy to take on the well-established teams working for either party.

Teddy Roosevelt. Ross Perot. Maybe Ron Paul (to our collective shame).
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 11:29 AM on June 7, 2012 [1 favorite]


It's the green party! I laugh at them! And then I hate them when I remember how they fucked up the 2000 election and forced us into this alternate history timeline where everything's going to shit!

But Rosanne is funny, so if this gives her the opportunity to deliver some zingers, more power to 'er. As long as she doesn't get any votes.
posted by Afroblanco at 11:31 AM on June 7, 2012 [2 favorites]


delmoi> Eh, well I imagine the average green party primary voter is probably pretty nuts. She could just pandering to what they're concerned about. Who knows.

You lost me there. I though you were going to stand strong on the "I'm going wait until I see evidence" position. But shown evidence, you spin up fantasies about what you imagine the average green party primary voter might be thinking. Maybe you've gotten attached to being Contrary Guy around Metafilter?
posted by benito.strauss at 11:32 AM on June 7, 2012


Can we have Joan Jett instead?
posted by swift at 11:33 AM on June 7, 2012 [3 favorites]


Now that presidents have kill lists, Tom Arnold should be worried about this.
posted by Trurl at 11:34 AM on June 7, 2012 [2 favorites]


I dunno, she may be a little crazy, but she's smarter, funnier, and probably more honest than Sarah Palin. No, she won't get my vote, but shine on you crazy diamond! Be a trickster: it will help our mental health if not improve the gov't.
posted by smirkette at 11:35 AM on June 7, 2012 [1 favorite]


She can't win, but it would help send the message that our votes aren't to be taken for granted. Isn't that the point of democracy?

Unless there is a massive increase in turnout versus the historical numbers, 40-50% of eligible voters aren't going to vote at all, so it's already pretty clear that a very large number of people who theoretically could vote for Obama are not going to.

More to the point, if the Democrats lose a second election due to failing to attract real Leftists, maybe they'll start paying attention.

Democrats running for president pay attention to what platform and campaigning strategies will give them more of the electoral votes than the Republican candidate. Unless around 50% of the population are real Leftists, no Democrat is going to run on a Leftist platform. Ross Perot was the most successful third party candidate in recent history and that didn't cause GW Bush to choose at platform that was even marginally similar to Perot's reform-based one. The main way the Democratic party will shift to the left is if demographics shift toward there being significantly more people who support and vote for such a platform.
posted by burnmp3s at 11:36 AM on June 7, 2012 [1 favorite]


Teddy Roosevelt

Who built a party (or at least another wing of an existing party) with the help of local organizations and state-level politicians, which is what I've been saying.
posted by zombieflanders at 11:37 AM on June 7, 2012


If we can't be bothered to allow a democracy to work, with all those healthy, if messy third-party possibilities, then maybe the DNC should drop their charade and just have us swear fealty to the oligarchs whose campaign checks they already cash.

How misinformed would you have to be to think that democracy in America works?

On some levels, and in some ways, democracy still happens, though it's a bitter and wearying process. The system isn't so broken it doesn't exist. But there's a difference between "we're not living in a dictatorship" and "democracy works". A lot of powers reign over America that I wish weren't reigning. Those powers aren't infallible, and slow, steady progress does have an effect, but acting like those powers don't exist and like idealistic gestures are gonna give a damn to anybody but the narcissists who make them is a mistake.

Teddy Roosevelt. Ross Perot. Maybe Ron Paul (to our collective shame).

Of those three, only Roosevelt was a legitimate contender. Perot did well enough to get media attention, even make the national ballot, but he came nowhere near close to any victory that proves third parties have even a smidgen of a chance of winning. As for Ron Paul, he can't even win primaries, he's never done well enough to warrant a negative ad campaign against him – and there's enough dirt on him that if somebody cared enough to smear him, he'd be done.

I wish third parties were a viable option. I'd like voting reform that takes second choices into account and lets candidates who are universally liked but not necessarily top favorites be serious contenders. But that's not what we have. Our political-media system favors an A/B vote, and we're nowhere near close to things changing. I'm optimistic that change will eventually happen, but I don't want to throw away my vote pretending like that change has already come.
posted by Rory Marinich at 11:38 AM on June 7, 2012 [1 favorite]


Tom Arnold should be worried about this.

If he's heard Roseanne's drone before, he'll know when to run for cover. He's a survivor.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 11:40 AM on June 7, 2012


If you have any question about whether Roseanne Barr is a blithering idiot, listen to this interview. Google is part of a conspiracy involving NASA, the Human Genome Project, satellites, Agenda 21, HAARP, depleted uranium, mind control through electrical wiring in everyone's walls, and on and on.

I'm fascinated and appalled by the number of people on this thread who want to vote for this lunatic.
posted by Slithy_Tove at 11:40 AM on June 7, 2012 [9 favorites]


She is a delusional self-centered idiot...so she would probably fit in just fine in DC. politics.

DC residents may not have a vote, but we do have feelings, ya know.
posted by inigo2 at 11:41 AM on June 7, 2012 [1 favorite]


Which makes for a President Romney, if memory serves.

Oh god we might end up with healthcare mandates!!!!


This is like the scene in Jason X, the Friday the 13th sequel set in space, where a doomed scientist chirps, "it's okay, he just wanted his machete back," seconds before it turns out that giving him his machete back does not resolve the issue.

Romney wants to become President. He does not want to institute positive health care reform.

What made the vote so close in 2000 was Dems voting for Bush, they outnumbered the Nader voters by a healthy margin.

If even 1% of the Nader voters in Florida had voted for Gore, then Gore would have won, Supreme Court shenanigans notwithstanding.
posted by Sticherbeast at 11:41 AM on June 7, 2012 [7 favorites]


Don't say anything even remotely negative to Roseanne on Twitter, or she will block you. A few months ago, I tweeted her about the nutritional benefits of pistachios (instead of the macadamia nuts she grows on her farm), and she's blocked me since.

As president, I don't think she will deal kindly to dissent and criticism.
posted by raztaj at 11:43 AM on June 7, 2012


And Roseanne knows how to get talked about, which means her issues will be talked about, which means that pressure will occur.

You want to talk about issues, you run someone who knows the issues; you want to talk about personalities, you run a wacky comedian with a penchant for conspiracy theories and camera-hogging. No one ever actually talks about finance when Donald Trump's in the room.

It's a fucking riot watching people who wouldn't be caught dead watching reality tv approach a presidential election as if it were reality tv.

Anyways, I wonder if a President Barr would make Tim Allen the HUD Secretary.
posted by octobersurprise at 11:44 AM on June 7, 2012


Romney wants to become President. He does not want to institute positive health care reform.

Or to put it more accurately, even if Romney secretly wanted to do it (remember, he had to be convinced by Ted Kennedy and large Democratic majorities in the state houses), there is a less-than-zero chance that his party and their elected representatives would do so, and they would control the process even if he wasn't the most pushoveriest of candidates in modern history.
posted by zombieflanders at 11:45 AM on June 7, 2012 [1 favorite]


the democrats need to be shown that their right wing platform will lose them elections. I am more than hairy to vote with my conscience and hand the election to Romney if they don't start showing some guts.

While this is true, the Dems have shown a remarkable ability to learn the wrong lessons from their failures.
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 11:47 AM on June 7, 2012 [1 favorite]


I've come to see voting for the presidency as largely a holding action. I don't expect the Democratic candidate to bring much new reform, but at least they'll appoint SCOTUS justices who won't fling away our rights as quickly or with as much glee as GOP nominees would (I hope).

In line with what Rory says above, if you want your vote (or donations, volunteering) to have the greatest impact, you should spend your energy at the local level. If your local elections are like mine, a pitiful number of people vote, so your vote actually matters. The organized religious right came to power in part through local elections like school boards. Progressives can do the same (especially as progressive economic and safety-net policies are more popular with more people than social conservative policies).
posted by audi alteram partem at 11:48 AM on June 7, 2012 [3 favorites]


I voted for one of her opponents in the CA primary -- Jill Stein -- who has locked up the nomination.

So, uh, maybe Rosanne will get the Veep nod or one of the sweeter cabinet positions -- Defense, State, Treasury.
posted by notyou at 11:51 AM on June 7, 2012


I assume that the ghost of Rodney Dangerfield is somewhere behind the scenes.
posted by jonmc at 11:55 AM on June 7, 2012


Name one person with the connections to pull something like this off.

Any billionaire, with the help of a group like Americans Elect for organizational help.

The tricky thing is that to win moderates sometimes you do actually have to support lefty policy though because lefty policy can be popular. Look at things like the public option, crazy left in insider D.C. context but with 60% support among the public. A lot of issues are like that.

The public option had support of at least 80% of the Democrats in Congress. The fact that some conservative Democrats and all Republicans did not represent their electorate is less Obama's fault than Lieberman, Snowe, et al.


Who blamed Obama? I know you are a campaign representative here but you can back off sometimes. I was simply listing an example of a lefty policy that appeals to moderates.

Again, it needs to have a coherent base at all levels and branches of government, not just the US President. This isn't impossible, it just takes time. If people are so impatient and vindictive that they don't want to invest that time, that's their problem.

No, it does not. An independent or third party President could be elected without any party members in congress. Effectively governing would require compromise with both parties and would probably work as a good balance against the two parties in congress to get more things passed.

This is especially true in the Super PAC era which could allow someone to raise the vast sums of money required without relying on a party machine.

If even 1% of the Nader voters in Florida had voted for Gore, then Gore would have won, Supreme Court shenanigans notwithstanding.

Citation needed.

Regardless, it is ridiculous to assign primary blame for your loss to people from other parties when more voters from your own party crossed over in refusal to support your candidate. I mean, if 10% of Bush voting redheads had switched, ARGH FUCK YOU REDHEADS YOU COST US THE ELECTION!
posted by furiousxgeorge at 11:56 AM on June 7, 2012 [4 favorites]


I live in a place that is so solidly democratic that I have no problem registering my dissent by voting for a never-gonna-win lefty party, but I'd much rather vote for someone who can speak about these issues with a conviction and eloquence that can inspire people. If Elizabeth Warren were running for president, I wouldn't just be voting for her, I'd be organizing for her. Just listen to her speak.
posted by Grimp0teuthis at 12:01 PM on June 7, 2012 [4 favorites]


Name one person with the connections to pull something like this off.

Ross Perot didn't win but he did get 18.9% of the popular vote. So, someone like Ross Perot.
posted by drezdn at 12:03 PM on June 7, 2012 [2 favorites]


I'm not voting for Roseanne (or anyone else, for that matter) but I love it that she's throwing her hat in the ring on some of these issues.

Plus, her show was really really good for a sitcom.
posted by broadway bill at 12:04 PM on June 7, 2012


I like the lady. And I like pot. But what does "withdrawal of military support for Israel" MEAN...no foreign aid money? No selling of arms? We do have some 100 Am troops stationed inside Israel, operating special radar: does she want them to come home? Not clear on what she means.
If, for example, we stop foreign aid, should we stop sending it also to Egypt, Jordan and the Palestinians?
posted by Postroad at 12:04 PM on June 7, 2012 [1 favorite]


Margin of victory for Bush in FL: 537 votes.
Nader votes in FL: 97,488.


Regardless, it is ridiculous to assign primary blame for your loss to people from other parties when more voters from your own party crossed over in refusal to support your candidate. I mean, if 10% of Bush voting redheads had switched, ARGH FUCK YOU REDHEADS YOU COST US THE ELECTION!

From one side of our mouths, we're talking about third parties existing to have an effect on major parties' platforms, but from the other side of our mouths, we disclaim any responsibility for the outcome? Seriously?

The redhead example makes no sense. Who you decide to vote for is nothing at all like your inherent hair color.
posted by Sticherbeast at 12:05 PM on June 7, 2012 [3 favorites]


Google is part of a conspiracy involving NASA, the Human Genome Project, satellites, Agenda 21, HAARP, depleted uranium, mind control through electrical wiring in everyone's walls, and on and on.

ZOMG. Have I got a campaign manager for her! Roseanne Barr, meet Catherine Vandemoer, aka "Dr. Kate." I trust that you all will have a long and mutually beneficial relationship.
posted by octobersurprise at 12:11 PM on June 7, 2012 [1 favorite]


Its a joke to so many of you, but I'd consider voting for her. She can't win, but it would help send the message that our votes aren't to be taken for granted. Isn't that the point of democracy?

Yes, it is. I say go for it - except for the fact that Roseanne doesn't seem* to have started campaigning until a few weeks ago, so it seems as if she's lost the nomination to the virtually anonymous Jill Stein instead. If Roseanne had made a big deal of her candidacy around the beginning of the year she'd probably be the winner now - but perhaps she can employ her gift for plain speech and ability to connect with people to persuade Stein's delegates to defect to someone who is undoubtedly capable of commanding some public attention for the issues they care about, and is not bothered by whether a majority of people take her seriously.

* from what I can read in the space of a few minutes. Considering that Roseanne is a long-time celebrity and this is the first I've heard about her running for the nomination, she can't have been trying all that hard because it's not like she doesn't know how to use a publicist.

So if you think there's some way that she can capture the nomination despite her late entry into the race, or even that the likely nominee (Stein) is also worth supporting, I sincerely urge you to throw your support behind her. I would much rather spend the next 6 months reading positive, enthusiastic advocacy for green/libertarian/whoever candidates that people actually like than more moans about Obama, because some folks out to the left of the mainstream have been grinding their teeth about how disappointed they are in Obama since before he even took office. It's incredibly tedious to listen to - not because your perspective on the issues doesn't matter, but because Obama ran and was elected as a centrist and has largely governed as one, so complaints about betrayal border on the irrational.

Roseanne Barr is articulate, has identified some worthwhile issues, and if she does actually campaign rather than just putting her name on the ballot for a laugh, then she can advocate for those policies on their merits and leverage her celebrity to bring more attention to them. She'll have the luxury of being able to promote ideas without ever needing to deliver working policy, but that's fine, because those ideas are worthwhile. I'd be thrilled to see them advocated on a regular basis during the presidential campaign. So, again, go for it. It would be great to see you campaigning for something instead of against everything for a change.
posted by anigbrowl at 12:13 PM on June 7, 2012 [1 favorite]


Any billionaire, with the help of a group like Americans Elect for organizational help.

Americans Elect, the organization that refused to disclose its funders (legally, as it is a 501(c)4 group) apart from the founder, who was a hedge fund manager? The entire organization could have been bankrolled by either party intent on splitting the vote and no one would ever know. That seems kind of hypocritical for people pushing for a more transparent and less two-party electoral system.

Who blamed Obama?

The entire third party advocate group here seems to be blaming Obama.

I know you are a campaign representative here but you can back off sometimes.

I'm pretty sure accusing people of sock puppeting is against site rules.

I was simply listing an example of a lefty policy that appeals to moderates.

To which I pointed out that it had appeal even to elected representatives, just not enough to get around the parliamentary rules.

No, it does not. An independent or third party President could be elected without any party members in congress. Effectively governing would require compromise with both parties and would probably work as a good balance against the two parties in congress to get more things passed.

It can? Do you have any proof of this? And how would it require compromise? The GOP members of Congress seems perfectly happy to just let bad shit go down if they know they can avoid blame.

This is especially true in the Super PAC era which could allow someone to raise the vast sums of money required without relying on a party machine.

Except there is no real third party SuperPAC, and of course goes contrary to the problem with election funding and third parties as it now stands.
posted by zombieflanders at 12:16 PM on June 7, 2012


From one side of our mouths, we're talking about third parties existing to have an effect on major parties' platforms, but from the other side of our mouths, we disclaim any responsibility for the outcome? Seriously?

I haven't said anything in this thread about influencing party platforms, I'm not responsible for what comes out of other people's mouths.

Nader votes in FL: 97,488.

Democratic voters for Bush? Over 200,000. Democratic voters who stayed home? Way, way more.

The redhead example makes no sense. Who you decide to vote for is nothing at all like your inherent hair color.


And blaming people from other parties for not voting for your own candidate instead of your own party members does make sense?
posted by furiousxgeorge at 12:19 PM on June 7, 2012 [5 favorites]


the way our Democracy works is really (sadly) that we vote for the least worst candidate.

I don't see how any democracy can work any other way. Unless I vote for myself, I'm voting for someone whose views less than perfectly align with mine. Sure, the more candidates to choose from, the more closely aligned one of them might be, but the chances are small that the one closest to me is going to gain a majority.
posted by Mental Wimp at 12:24 PM on June 7, 2012 [2 favorites]


Any billionaire, with the help of a group like Americans Elect for organizational help.

Americans Elect, the organization that refused to disclose its funders (legally, as it is a 501(c)4 group) apart from the founder, who was a hedge fund manager? The entire organization could have been bankrolled by either party intent on splitting the vote and no one would ever know. That seems kind of hypocritical for people pushing for a more transparent and less two-party electoral system.

I mentioned a group like them, staffed with people with political experience, but there is plenty of transparency about who they are. Money for third party candidates will have to come from the same place it does for any other candidate, the people with the money. There is no way around that.

The entire third party advocate group here seems to be blaming Obama.


Again folks, I am only responsible for the content with the "posted by furiousxgeorge" below it.

It can? Do you have any proof of this? And how would it require compromise? The GOP members of Congress seems perfectly happy to just let bad shit go down if they know they can avoid blame.


They would risk an independent candidate working entirely with the Democrats instead, which would basically just be proclaiming a Democratic President. Not much reason to do that.

Except there is no real third party SuperPAC, and of course goes contrary to the problem with election funding and third parties as it now stands.


There are candidate SuperPACs, you don't need a party. You just need a few sugar daddies and it will help if you are already a billionaire yourself.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 12:28 PM on June 7, 2012


I haven't said anything in this thread about influencing party platforms, I'm not responsible for what comes out of other people's mouths.

So what do you want your vote to actually *do*?

Democratic voters for Bush? Over 200,000. Democratic voters who stayed home? Way, way more.

So we agree, then, that if even 1% of the people who had voted for Nader had voted for Gore, then Bush would have won.

And blaming people from other parties for not voting for your own candidate instead of your own party members does make sense?

I would bet money that more than 1% of the people who had voted for Nader in FL in 2000 were registered Democrats. Would you take me on that bet?

Regardless, I don't care what party voters are "from." If a split vote results in a result that progressives, liberals, and centrists would all agree was worse, then I am happy to hold people responsible for their actions. We have a first-past-the-post system, and everyone knows it. At least the Democrat Bush voters actually knew and intended that they were bringing Bush closer to the Presidency.
posted by Sticherbeast at 12:29 PM on June 7, 2012 [2 favorites]


hermitosis: "Hey, that's Vice President Courtney Love to you."

Well, there goes the Seattle vote....
posted by schmod at 12:35 PM on June 7, 2012 [1 favorite]


I would much rather spend the next 6 months reading positive, enthusiastic advocacy for green/libertarian/whoever candidates that people actually like than more moans about Obama

Me too! I'm tired of hearing tedious, lazy, manipulative fearmongering about how the world will come to an end if we don't vote for your guy. If Barr can help us both reach concordance on this, she has already done much for improving the political process.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 12:36 PM on June 7, 2012 [2 favorites]


Money for third party candidates will have to come from the same place it does for any other candidate, the people with the money. There is no way around that.

Glad to see someone finally admit that.

They would risk an independent candidate working entirely with the Democrats instead, which would basically just be proclaiming a Democratic President. Not much reason to do that.

Unless they're in the majority or a minority capable of obstruction, which they are and will be for at least the next four years at minimum.
posted by zombieflanders at 12:38 PM on June 7, 2012 [1 favorite]


So what do you want your vote to actually *do*?

Put another way: if you want your vote to have some sort of effect on the external world, then you have to take the good with the bad when there is a reasonably foreseeable effect from that vote. This is especially onerous in the crappy world of the first-past-the-post system.

FWIW, I voted third party in 2004 because I was dissatisfied with Kerry/Edwards, but since I live in a true-blue state, I didn't think twice about it. I voted for the Libertarian candidate because I perceived that as an even bigger "fuck you" to Bush than voting for a Democrat would have been. If Bush had taken my state, I'd have felt pretty bad about it, but I knew that was cosmically unlikely.
posted by Sticherbeast at 12:39 PM on June 7, 2012 [1 favorite]


Until we change how folks get elected in this country, you really are wasting a vote on a 3rd party.

Until we vote in a third party there's no way we're changing how people get elected in this country.

... I'm always chasing rainbows...
posted by brevator at 12:40 PM on June 7, 2012


Until we vote in a third party there's no way we're changing how people get elected in this country.

Yes, but you have to begin locally. Until such a time as third parties have a much bigger foothold, we're stuck with the system that we have, so we have to work within that.
posted by Sticherbeast at 12:42 PM on June 7, 2012


So what do you want your vote to actually *do*?

I want it to increase by one the total number of votes received by the candidate I feel is best for the job. Democrat, third party, independent, or Republican...my vote has never failed me in achieving this concrete and tangible goal.

So we agree, then, that if even 1% of the people who had voted for Nader had voted for Gore, then Bush would have won.

So we agree, then, that if even less than 1% of the Democrats who voted for Bush had voted for their own party's candidate, or even less of the Democrats who stayed home showed up to vote for their party's candidate...

I would bet money that more than 1% of the people who had voted for Nader in FL in 2000 were registered Democrats. Would you take me on that bet?

I would bet way less than the 200,000 you lost to Bush.

Regardless, I don't care what party voters are "from." If a split vote results in a result that progressives, liberals, and centrists would all agree was worse, then I am happy to hold people responsible for their actions.


No, you are not, or you would blame the campaign for losing the big pot of centrist dems in the middle instead of hippy punching the liberals. If the Nader voters wanted your candidate, they would have voted for him. Same for the Bush voters, losing the Bush voters was the much bigger problem.

Unless they're in the majority or a minority capable of obstruction, which they are and will be for at least the next four years at minimum.

There will always be obstruction, the independent has a lot more flexibility to compromise because they don't have a party to answer to.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 12:47 PM on June 7, 2012 [2 favorites]


If Barr can help us both reach concordance on this, she has already done much for improving the political process.

Nothing unites the left and the right like their mutual affection for crazy lefty candidates who couldn't get elected dogcatcher.
posted by octobersurprise at 12:48 PM on June 7, 2012


Look at the Green Party and Socialist Party platforms, and how mostly-similar they are.

Then consider the nature of the people the Green Party actually puts forward as candidates.

Sometimes I wonder if the purpose of the Green Party is to discredit the Socialist Party platform.
posted by Foosnark at 12:49 PM on June 7, 2012


I look forward to Democratic partisans blaming Nader for 2000 in every single political thread for the next five months.
posted by Trurl at 12:51 PM on June 7, 2012 [4 favorites]


I look forward to Democratic partisans blaming Nader for 2000 in every single political thread for the next five months.

I think they don't blame Nader so much as they blame the delusional voters who thought they were sending a message. They did send one, just not the one they intended.
posted by Mental Wimp at 12:56 PM on June 7, 2012 [1 favorite]


I look forward to Democratic partisans blaming Nader for 2000 in every single political thread for the next five months.

In a thread specifically about voting for a third party, it's pretty relevant. Whether you agree or not with the premise is a separate issue.
posted by inigo2 at 1:03 PM on June 7, 2012 [1 favorite]


Yeah, that Nader. He was the smart one.
posted by octobersurprise at 1:03 PM on June 7, 2012


I want it to increase by one the total number of votes received by the candidate I feel is best for the job. Democrat, third party, independent, or Republican...my vote has never failed me in achieving this concrete and tangible goal.

And presumably this extra vote added to the pile is meant to have some sort of effect on the outside world as well? Or is it just for your own personal satisfaction?

It's not just about your hypothetical vote, either. Nader, the man whom you either voted for or would have voted for in 2000, comes with his own baggage. When Nader campaigned on the idea that the major two candidates are merely Tweedle-Dum and Tweedle-Dee, in an effort to draw as many votes as possible, he knew it was reasonably foreseeable that Bush could get elected. This wound up being one of the most disastrous events to happen in American politics.

He was also wrong about the Tweedles, both Dum and Dee: Gore and Bush were different, not the same, and they remain to be different. It happens. Sometimes nice, smart people are wrong about things. Nader's biggest mistake was assuming that people campaign in a way that resembles their governance.

I still very much like Ralph Nader as a person and as a political figure, but he's still responsible for 1) campaigning on the moronic idea that all candidates are the same and 2) inadvertently helping to usher in a disastrous era in politics. Yes, Gore ran a crappy centrist campaign, but that doesn't let Nader off the hook.

So we agree, then, that if even less than 1% of the Democrats who voted for Bush had voted for their own party's candidate, or even less of the Democrats who stayed home showed up to vote for their party's candidate...

Of course. But that's not the point. Of course someone who voted for Bush is partially responsible for Bush being in office. Nobody disputes that. And of course a wan, centrist campaign from Gore didn't help, either. But those Nader votes, when they came from people who would have preferred Gore, were also responsible.

Someone who voted for Nader, but who would have preferred Gore to Bush, worked against his or her self-interest, as well as everyone else's interest. This is not because those voters were bad people. It's because we have a crappy voting system, where we must be aware of the unintended consequences of which candidates run and who votes for whom.

I would bet way less than the 200,000 you lost to Bush.

This isn't relevant. People who voted for Bush at least intended to help Bush win. They would never deny that they had some responsibility with regard to his victory.

On the other hand, people who voted for a progressive third party, in the misguided hope that the candidates were identical and that their vote would bring the conversation leftward, were both wrong in that theory and, at least in Florida, responsible for some nasty unintended consequences. Nader was wrong about Gore and Bush being the same, and he was wrong that his campaign ushered in a leftward move in politics, either by empowering the Green Party or by forcing Democrats to make more progressive concessions.

No, you are not, or you would blame the campaign for losing the big pot of centrist dems in the middle instead of hippy punching the liberals. If the Nader voters wanted your candidate, they would have voted for him. Same for the Bush voters, losing the Bush voters was the much bigger problem.

Both Gore's centrist campaign and Nader's stated attempt to take votes from the left gave the victory to Bush. Gore was more responsible than Nader, but they were both responsible. More than one person can be responsible for something, in varying levels.
posted by Sticherbeast at 1:09 PM on June 7, 2012 [2 favorites]


I could see where having Nader's name invoked in otherwise irrelevant contexts gets annoying, but inigo2 has a point: this is a thread about a leftist third-party candidate declaring her intention to run for President with a Democrat currently in the White House. I'd say the parallels are at least minimally relevant.

But then again, I'm a agent provocateur for Agenda 21, so grain of salt, etc.
posted by joe lisboa at 1:09 PM on June 7, 2012 [1 favorite]


(The U.N. stole my "n"! Make that the U.N.N.)
posted by joe lisboa at 1:13 PM on June 7, 2012


(Apologies in advance for responding in serial)

brevator: "Until we change how folks get elected in this country, you really are wasting a vote on a 3rd party.

Until we vote in a third party there's no way we're changing how people get elected in this country.
"

No. The way to introduce 3rd parties is to start at the bottom level, not the top. Get a 3rd party candidate on your town council. Then get them into your state assembly, then governor, etc. Starting with the presidency is a doomed proposition, if only because the President needs the support of Congress to do just about anything. (This is also one reason why Ron Paul would be a terrible president; he'd veto everything, and congress would override his every move.)

kinnakeet: "So, we've gone from electing actors (George Murphy, Ronald Reagan) to electing comedians? This says something about our culture but I'm not really sure what that might be."

Comedians tend to be some of the most perceptive and percipient people out there. I'd tend to argue that the guys who write The Onion and Jon Stewart's material are more in touch with the American people than the current members of congress. Also, comedians are often wicked smart (ie. Al Franken and Tina Fey).

Blazecock Pileon: "If Obama loses because of a Barr campaign, maybe he deserves to lose."

That may be, but the election is not about what Barack Obama deserves. It's about what the American People deserve. Please don't give us a President Romney out of contempt. That's like the worst electoral outcome imaginable. If your're voting out of cynicism, you should probably stay home, because you're not voting objectively. (Note that this holds true on both sides of the aisle, and is the only time I will ever tell someone (who is otherwise eligible) to not vote)

DU: "They do. So why are you voting for Obama? Candidate Obama supports gay marriage, President Obama doesn't."

Don't forget about Constitutional Scholar Obama, who knows that his executive branch has already done everything in its power to promote the rights of gay couples, and that the matter can only be resolved by the states, legislature, or courts. His stance on publicly supporting gay marriage was a bit too cowardly for my taste, but the important thing to remember is that the power of the president's office is extremely limited. Obama can't tie his shoes without first getting permission from Congress.

That said, I live in DC, so my vote doesn't mean a damn, and I can cast a protest vote in clear conscience.

Oh, and you should take the short quiz on ISideWith to determine which candidate you (actually) align with most closely. I got 85% for Kent Mesplay. The Green platform isn't as pragmatic as I'd like it to be, but there's some pretty good stuff in there.
posted by schmod at 1:15 PM on June 7, 2012 [2 favorites]


I'm tired of hearing tedious, lazy, manipulative fearmongering about how the world will come to an end if we don't vote for your guy.

And from Jan 20 to September 10 of 2001, a lot of us were thinking Bush would be a one-term doofus pushover like his dad. Sometimes the bad shit some people think is going to happen (and some they don't) actually comes true.
posted by zombieflanders at 1:15 PM on June 7, 2012 [1 favorite]


It's about what the American People deserve.

Because he's the president America deserves, but not the one it needs right now. So, we'll hunt him, because he can take it. Because he's not our hero. He's a silent guardian. A watchful protector. A Dark Knight. (not racist)
posted by entropicamericana at 1:20 PM on June 7, 2012


Until we change how folks get elected in this country, you really are wasting a vote on a 3rd party.

That's not categorically true. Where I live (GA) there's about as much chance of the electoral votes going to Obama as the sky raining fish. So if I vote for a 3rd party candidate, my choice is telling the Democrats (Green, Socialist) or Republicans (Libertarian) that I think they should learn something from the platform of the party that got my vote. The question is whether they'll care, and based on Nader and Perot, I'm going with 'No'.
posted by notashroom at 1:20 PM on June 7, 2012


As long as Democrats take the cheap way out and pretend that it was some third guys fault that people didn't vote for their guy they will continue to lose elections. (Obama is an outlier.)
posted by patrick54 at 1:21 PM on June 7, 2012 [1 favorite]


I want it to increase by one the total number of votes received by the candidate I feel is best for the job. Democrat, third party, independent, or Republican...my vote has never failed me in achieving this concrete and tangible goal.

And presumably this extra vote added to the pile is meant to have some sort of effect on the outside world as well?


No, it is simply added to the tally and counted with all the rest. If they prefer someone other than my choice, it's their right.

Nader, the man whom you either voted for or would have voted for in 2000

No, I voted for Harry Browne in a state Gore won. It's a typical partisan mistake to think my analysis could only be based on wanting to vote for a specific candidate. I voted for Kerry in 2004, but just like with Gore I am willing to explain where the candidate failed to convince voters to go along with them. In neither case were unloyal liberals a major cause.

Of course. But that's not the point. Of course someone who voted for Bush is partially responsible for Bush being in office. Nobody disputes that. And of course a wan, centrist campaign from Gore didn't help, either. But those Nader votes, when they came from people who would have preferred Gore, were also responsible.

Partially...responsible? The actual Bush voters hold less responsibility than people who didn't want Bush or Gore? See, this is just crey-crey.

The problem with Gore was not being centrist. Being centrist is good, the liberals vote for you anyway, the problem was even with that focus he lost centrist or right leaning Democrats and didn't excite other Democrats to show up. How can blame people who aren't members of your party for not wanting to vote for you if you can't even get your own to show up?

Here, you can say it with me: The Bush voters are the reason Bush won. The people who preferred Gore but stayed home or did such a bad job campaigning that Democrats preferred Bush are the biggest failure on the left. The liberals are the most loyal voters who lost a very small amount of people to Nader and can't reasonably be expected to do more.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 1:26 PM on June 7, 2012 [2 favorites]


the election is not about what Barack Obama deserves. It's about what the American People deserve.

Let us hope that this election is not about what the American people deserve. 'Cause that's a Romney win for sure. Use every man after his desert, and who should 'scape whipping?
posted by octobersurprise at 1:26 PM on June 7, 2012 [3 favorites]


I'm registered as Green, and didn't really do my due diligence when voting in the California primaries this past Tuesday. On the evening of voting, I opened up my voter information booklet, and on the first page of presidential candidates, I saw Mad Max Riekse. After goggling a bit at that, Roseanne Barr didn't seem so outlandish.

(Oh, and MadMaxForPresident.com is now a squatted domain, but Archive.org has a view of the "serious looking GeoCities-style" HTML 1.0 page. Good luck, Max.)
posted by filthy light thief at 1:30 PM on June 7, 2012


First, let's knock it off with the insults, shall we?

Ms. Barr has some beliefs that seem, politely, at variance with the real world, but she is a beacon of sense and knowledge compared with some of the Republican candidates from the last nomination cycle.

The Green Party didn't "put her forward" - she personally decided to run as a Green Party candidate, and she has mathematically already lost to Jill Stein.

Ms. Stein is a perfectly reasonable candidate - if she were running on an R or a D you'd automatically take her seriously. The fact that she handily defeated a candidate with name recognition is good for her, and good for the Green Party.

Now, let's go to the "you're foolish for voting third party" argument.

First, even using currently received political reason, this is wrong as a universal rule. We live in New York State and my wife, a US citizen, will vote Green. It is a statistical certainty that this will not have any effect on the Obama/Romney competition, so it allows her to show support for a party whose platform is much closer to her beliefs - and also very different from the other two parties - at no opportunity cost to her.

So let's suppose that you live in one of the fairly few states where voting third-party might swing an election.

There are two subtly different reasons for voting - and many of you only see one.

Yes, there's a competitive, game playing activity where you are trying to get results by skeptically manipulating a complex voting system with the limited tool you have - your ability to vote, once.

But there's a completely different way of looking it, one that's expressed by the phrase "voting your conscience", a mindset where voting is a personal affirmation of your true values.

As a person of conscience, I would say that the purely moral/ethical voting strategy has at least as much to offer as the strategic voting strategy, particularly considering that, really, we are actually completely ignorant on this matter, that even experts don't agree on the causes of election results after the fact, and almost every argument you make before the fact is completely bogus hypothesizing.

You "must vote Democrat" team can yell all you like about voting third party being worthless but you have no way to be sure. If you look at the history of the United States, there is certainly no lack of third parties that eventually became "first parties" with a President, or others that were considered unbeatable have vanished within a couple of generations.
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 1:43 PM on June 7, 2012 [5 favorites]


I guess if we are going to re-hash 2000 we should at least do it with clear eyes.

There are a number of reasons Bush won.

Nader voters in FL are A Reason Bush won, not THE reason A reson.

As where crossover voters

As where stay-at-home voters

As was (possibly) the SCOTUS decision that short circuited the recount

As was Gore losing his home state

As well as our electoral system being screwy enough to allow a popular vote loser to win the election
.
.
.

So really, honestly, yes Nader voters are partially to blame for the loss, but that blame does not rest squarely on their shoulders alone, there was a catastrophic cascade of reasons. Those voters neither deserve all the blame, but they also are not innocent. Their actions had consequences (just as the cross-over and stay at home voters did)

Truth be told, I did vote for Nader in 2000, but I lived in a state where the results where not in contention so felt safe in doing so. I would not have cast my vote that way if I had lived in a real "battleground" state. having said that I UNDERSTAND why people voted for Nader in 2000. I also learned from it, and I now advocate for IRV voting pretty strongly, and I will not vote 3rd party in a national race again unless it is under a ranked system. Local, maybe even State wide it is not off the table, as we (MN) at least have a track record of electing 3rd party candidates from time to time (though I disliked Ventura on many issues).
posted by edgeways at 1:44 PM on June 7, 2012 [2 favorites]


But I just got done paying off my student loans. Am I a sucker? Or is there a rebate I can apply for?
posted by Wild_Eep at 1:44 PM on June 7, 2012 [1 favorite]


If you make a blanket statement about what affect a persons vote will have without considering what state they live in, you're really missing a lot of how presidential elections work in the U.S.. Hell, you're just plain wrong.
posted by benito.strauss at 1:46 PM on June 7, 2012


there's a completely different way of looking it, one that's expressed by the phrase "voting your conscience", a mindset where voting is a personal affirmation of your true values.

Or, as I like to call it, the "I Gotta Be Me" School of Voting.

But, as I've asked a dozen times or more before and never received an answer, if a vote is a personal affirmation of true values and if you can never truly know who will win, then shouldn't you just write in yourself? Say what you will about Barack Obama, or Ralph Nader, or Roseanne Barr, but I'm pretty sure that no one really respects and understands my true values like I do.
posted by octobersurprise at 1:55 PM on June 7, 2012 [2 favorites]


Al Franken might prove a realistic Democratic candidate, or running mate, several years down the road, after the Republicans further trash the economy. I'd happily vote for Roseanne Barr on the marijuana issue right now though.
posted by jeffburdges at 2:02 PM on June 7, 2012 [1 favorite]


This thread reminded me to register to vote in my new county.
posted by chatongriffes at 2:07 PM on June 7, 2012


But, as I've asked a dozen times or more before and never received an answer, if a vote is a personal affirmation of true values and if you can never truly know who will win, then shouldn't you just write in yourself? Say what you will about Barack Obama, or Ralph Nader, or Roseanne Barr, but I'm pretty sure that no one really respects and understands my true values like I do.

I can't write in myself, I value candidates with intelligence and work ethic.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 2:14 PM on June 7, 2012 [2 favorites]


"So, we've gone from electing actors (George Murphy, Ronald Reagan) to electing comedians? This says something about our culture but I'm not really sure what that might be."


I voted for Franken, and have been immensely satisfied with his performance, and regret no longer being in Minneapolis to vote for him again (on the otherhand, as an Angeleno, I can affect some swing votes, and that's sort of important.)

In fact, the only official I am happier with is a man I voted for on the same day: Keith Ellison. Who is also pretty funny.
posted by Bunny Ultramod at 2:16 PM on June 7, 2012 [2 favorites]


Her platform seems like a libertarian platform. I'm not sure she's a good fit for the Green Party.
posted by Kwine at 2:18 PM on June 7, 2012 [1 favorite]


Reminder: Al Franken supports copyright gestapo legislation such as PIPA, COICA, and SOPA.
posted by entropicamericana at 2:18 PM on June 7, 2012 [1 favorite]


Reminder: Al Franken supports copyright gestapo legislation such as PIPA, COICA, and SOPA.

Reminder, comparing things to Nazis immediately undermines your argument, and making a decision about a politician's entire career because he doesn't support your pet political viewpoint casts you as a single-issue voter.

People complain about undecided voters all the time, but, for my money, the biggest problem in America is the single-issue voter.
posted by Bunny Ultramod at 2:20 PM on June 7, 2012 [3 favorites]


Reminder: Al Franken supports copyright gestapo legislation such as PIPA, COICA, and SOPA.

As terrible as those laws are, I don't think it is accurate to describe them as comparable to the actions of the Nazi secret police.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 2:20 PM on June 7, 2012 [3 favorites]


People complain about undecided voters all the time, but, for my money, the biggest problem in America is the single-issue voter.

I agree, if people would stop focusing so much on single issues like abortion we could have a much more diverse set of candidates available from both parties.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 2:22 PM on June 7, 2012 [1 favorite]


Fine, my delicate little flowers, let's just say a politician beholden to the entertainment-industrial complex is as unattractive to me as one beholden to the financial sector.
posted by entropicamericana at 2:28 PM on June 7, 2012 [3 favorites]


Or the Gestapo.
posted by NationalKato at 2:31 PM on June 7, 2012 [3 favorites]


But there's a completely different way of looking it, one that's expressed by the phrase "voting your conscience", a mindset where voting is a personal affirmation of your true values.

As a person of conscience, I would say that the purely moral/ethical voting strategy has at least as much to offer as the strategic voting strategy


It's amazing how so many of the people who talk about voting their conscience are perfectly willing to fuck over others just to prove a to themselves about how conscientious they really are. How is refusing to vote strategically short-term and put in the effort for the long-term being moral or ethical?

we are actually completely ignorant on this matter, that even experts don't agree on the causes of election results after the fact, and almost every argument you make before the fact is completely bogus hypothesizing

It's not really the causes of election results, it's the consequences of the election results. And we know what those are. And we know that, at this particular junction and with this particular system, the third party system doesn't work without serious infrastructure boost. We also know how effective that infrastructure is when applied to either of the two existing parties.

You "must vote Democrat" team can yell all you like about voting third party being worthless but you have no way to be sure. If you look at the history of the United States, there is certainly no lack of third parties that eventually became "first parties" with a President, or others that were considered unbeatable have vanished within a couple of generations.

Of course we have ways to be sure, we're looking at them right now. It doesn't mean that it can't happen, as you've demonstrated. It just means it needs to be done constructively rather than reflexively. But that argument is being discarded or ignored because it's supposedly not conscienable enough.

And today, on the issues that matter most to me - the executive having the right to spy on my communications, imprison me without charge, and execute me without trial, and the massacring of thousands of innocent Muslims - the candidates are in complete, cheerful agreement.

So from where I sit, it's the people who are going to vote Democratic in the belief that it's a "lesser evil" who are the delusional ones.


But that's the thing: it's that saying makes it sound like that nothing outside those issues (which actually sounds a lot like the dreaded single-issue voting) matters to you, that you care more about issues that indirectly affect you than issues that directly affect others. I hate the intelligence state, and the warmongering, but I also hate the revocation of civil rights, and health, and marriage, and the environment that I know will get exponentially worse if I don't choose to hold my nose for now and at least do things strategically, and which have been proven to work.

But don't let that stop you from continuing to insult the people whose progressive ideals are more important to them than party loyalty. I'm sure it will work just as well for you this year as it did in 2010.

That sounds a little hypocritical coming from someone who just called others delusional. Anyway, I feel like I agree with so many people with this mindset on the ideals themselves, but run into a wall when I point out effective and proven ways to get to them, and therefore get derided as delusional. Attitudes like this don't help get anything done, and I get the sneaking suspicion that that plays right into the hands of the people who are getting things that we hate done.
posted by zombieflanders at 2:35 PM on June 7, 2012 [2 favorites]


furiousxgeorge: "I agree, if people would stop focusing so much on single issues like abortion we could have a much more diverse set of candidates available from both parties."

Uneducated voters are the real problem here, since the President doesn't have any direct influence over most of their 'single issues.'

Though they'd never admit it, George Bush was a miserable failure when it came to the Republican social platform, because, even in spite of Bush's unprecedented (ab)use of executive power, the president simply cannot wish laws or supreme court verdicts into or out of existence.

If you want to vote on a single issue, do it in the house, and get some sympathetic Senators to back them up. At the very worst, they'll do what you want them to, and you can vote them out in 2 years.

The presidency is the worst place to introduce a single-issue candidate, since the President can only influence broad policy goals (assuming a modicum of support in Congress). Beyond that, the President can sign laws, and choose to not sign laws. That's about it.

If Mitt Romney came out in favor of Marriage Equality and DC Statehood, though tempting, I still wouldn't vote for him. The votes for those things aren't there in the legislature, and those things are controversial enough that he'd be unable to use the presidential bully pulpit to change Congress's opinion.
posted by schmod at 2:35 PM on June 7, 2012 [1 favorite]


My plan:
since we know that both parties are beholding to lobby groups and the very wealthy, why not ask the PAC givers to just spend that money on our deficit, merge the two parties-they are not that different-and once every few years have the Supreme Court announce who the new leaders will be
posted by Postroad at 2:36 PM on June 7, 2012


I guess PoliticsFilter 2012 is well and truly begun. I am reading a rehash of the "were Nader supporters in Florida to blame for Bush in 2000" in TWO THOUSAND AND TWELVE. Also the "cray cray" thing has officially moved into Metafilter. I am so out of here.
posted by nanojath at 2:38 PM on June 7, 2012 [3 favorites]


I voted for Franken, and have been immensely satisfied with his performance, and regret no longer being in Minneapolis to vote for him again (on the otherhand, as an Angeleno, I can affect some swing votes, and that's sort of important.)

In fact, the only official I am happier with is a man I voted for on the same day: Keith Ellison. Who is also pretty funny.


Best one-two punch in the nation.
posted by Mental Wimp at 2:38 PM on June 7, 2012


Postroad: "why not ask the PAC givers to just spend that money on our deficit"

Did you know that you can actually do this? The government has a process that allows you to simply give them money for no reason. They even take credit cards.
posted by schmod at 2:39 PM on June 7, 2012


That, and the vast majority of the money going to PACs seems to come from people believe the government is the devil, and therefore giving the government money is as bad or worse than spending it on workers or innovation or charity.
posted by zombieflanders at 2:42 PM on June 7, 2012


DC residents may not have a vote, but we do have feelings, ya know.

Heh, I meant the political class in DC, not DC residents. I lived in DC for years and did not mean to impugn myself!
posted by Falconetti at 2:49 PM on June 7, 2012


Fine, my delicate little flowers, let's just say a politician beholden to the entertainment-industrial complex is as unattractive to me as one beholden to the financial sector.

There goes my Gynoid theory of entertaining fascists and the Waffen SS use of credit in the form sawdust wafers.
posted by clavdivs at 2:53 PM on June 7, 2012 [1 favorite]


Clever!
posted by entropicamericana at 2:57 PM on June 7, 2012


Heh, I meant the political class in DC, not DC residents. I lived in DC for years and did not mean to impugn myself!

No, you were right the first time. As a DC resident, I approve this message.
posted by me & my monkey at 3:01 PM on June 7, 2012


I look forward to Democratic partisans blaming Nader for 2000 in every single political thread for the next five months the rest of our goddamn lives.
posted by MrBadExample at 3:51 PM on June 7, 2012


Democracy is messy and has a lot of flaws. the way our Democracy works is really (sadly) that we vote for the least worst candidate. It is frustrating and maddening, but it is the only functional way to vote currently.
The whole "lesser of two evils" bullshit. The problem with that is if you vote for someone, you are in a sense endorsing what they do and giving them the right to do it. So you have to take some responsibility for what they do. There's also collective action problem. If a majority of voters didn't like either candidate, they could, collectively do something about it, perhaps by organizing around a write-in candidate instead.

So by saying "You have to vote for whichever one is least worse" you're actively dissuading people from overcoming the collective action problem, if it indeed exists. (Which I don't think it does - I don't think it's the case that the majority of voters don't like either candidate)

But a "democracy" that actually only offered people a choice between two actual evils wouldn't be any more of a democracy then Cuba or Syria or Mubarak's Egypt where there's only one name on the ballot.
Do minorities deserve to have restricted voting privileges? Do gays not deserve marriage? Do the sick and injured not deserve help for their?
The very poor, often members of minorities who don't have photo ID and perhaps can't afford it (as well as extremely poor whites). That obviously doesn't apply to the majority of minorities. Also Mitt Romney implemented the same basic plan on healthcare that Obama did, except years earlier. Romney also supported civil unions as governor apparently. And Obama isn't supporting any legislation to actually help move it along, so it's not like voting for Romney would change anything as far as gay marriage goes. Gays still won't be able to marry in most states.
The public option had support of at least 80% of the Democrats in Congress. The fact that some conservative Democrats and all Republicans did not represent their electorate is less Obama's fault than Lieberman, Snowe, et al.
Well, if it's not a problem with "Obama" it's still a problem with "The Democratic Party". The public option could probably have been passed via reconciliation, but it wasn't even attempted. So there must have been at least ten democrats unwilling to support it.

And, we never had a vote, so we never found out who they were. The "Democratic Party" shielded them from individual democratic accountability, so obviously the party itself needs to take the blame here.
It's the green party! I laugh at them! And then I hate them when I remember how they fucked up the 2000 election and forced us into this alternate history timeline where everything's going to shit!
Yeah, it couldn't possibly be Al Gore, I'm sorry Gore/Liberman who fucked it up. And it couldn't be that bush did well. It's all Nader's fault! Because the democratic party owns liberal voters and Nader stole them! And obviously treating voters like your property and chastising them for not doing what you say, rather then people you need to convince to support you is totally a winning strategy!
40-50% of eligible voters aren't going to vote at all, so it's already pretty clear ... Unless around 50% of the population are real Leftists, no Democrat is going to run on a Leftist platform
There's a bit of a contradiction there. Also, over 50% of the population does support legalizing marijuana currently.
This is like the scene in Jason X, the Friday the 13th sequel set in space, where a doomed scientist chirps, "it's okay, he just wanted his machete back," seconds before it turns out that giving him his machete back does not resolve the issue.

Romney wants to become President. He does not want to institute positive health care reform.


Yes, Mitt Romney is just like an axe murdering psycho killer. If you don't support Obama you stand with the axe murdering psycho killers!
If Elizabeth Warren were running for president, I wouldn't just be voting for her, I'd be organizing for her. Just listen to her speak .
Believe it or not the race is deadlocked despite MA being a pretty liberal state. Oh, and the major issue now is whether or not she is actually part Native American.
because some folks out to the left of the mainstream have been grinding their teeth about how disappointed they are in Obama since before he even took office. It's incredibly tedious to listen to
Oh because 24/7 defense of any and everything Obama does is totally non-tedious. And you know what else is totally non-tedious! Listening to people continue to bitch and moan about Nader and the 2000 election! Holy shit get over it.

God who would ever want to be a member of such a whiny, bitchy, pathetic political party anyway? You're constantly screaming and criticizing people and insulting them over for crap that happened 12 years ago in a state they probably didn't live in and then you expect them to vote for the people you want them to vote for?
Al Franken might prove a realistic Democratic candidate, or running mate, several years down the road, after the Republicans further trash the economy. I'd happily vote for Roseanne Barr on the marijuana issue right now though.
Yeah, and as a die-hard SOPA supporter to the bitter end I'm sure he'll have no trouble raising campaign funds!
Reminder, comparing things to Nazis immediately undermines your argument,
Only with language nazis.
How is refusing to vote strategically short-term and put in the effort for the long-term being moral or ethical?
Because maybe only worrying about the short term, rather then the long term is a guaranteed losing strategy? Or maybe because the democratic party doesn't appear to actually follow through on it's promises when it does get complete power in which case you can't actually even assume that voting for them is even in your short term interest. Or maybe their defenders are so insufferable you just stop caring?
posted by delmoi at 4:17 PM on June 7, 2012 [8 favorites]


If even 1% of the Nader voters in Florida had voted for Gore, then Gore would have won, Supreme Court shenanigans notwithstanding.

If 1% of the people who didn't even bother showing up to fucking vote had turned up and voted for Gore, you could crying like a baby about the Greens for the next 12 years.
posted by Jimbob at 4:28 PM on June 7, 2012 [3 favorites]


Quit, I mean. Quit crying like a baby. Other parties don't make you lose elections. You fail to win them.
posted by Jimbob at 4:30 PM on June 7, 2012 [3 favorites]


Other parties don't make you lose elections. You fail to win them.

Exactly. At least since the days of Bush I it wasn't that the GOP won elections, it was that the Democrats lost them. Public opinion is hugely in favour of many core liberal issues. And this is despite the fact that none of the major parties supports these issues. Democrats could have had their own version of a "permanent majority" if they just embraced what they should stand for anyway instead of trying to triangulate their way into some fantasy GOP-light right-wing-but-not-quite-as-right-as-the-Republicans "middle ground" to the right of the electorate.
posted by patrick54 at 5:25 PM on June 7, 2012 [2 favorites]


i realize she has no chance, but her views seem more in line with what i'd want for our country than any other candidate.

Aside from, you know, the serious Green Party candidates like Jill Stein or Kent Mesplay (poor Kent Mesplay.)

Ridiculous, but perhaps telling.

If you are further left-leaning/socialist/communist, my Peace & Freedom Party (which usually acts as a proxy for the Socialists) had Stewart Alexander, Stephen Durham, and news to me, Rocky Anderson, who apparently won the P&F California primary on Tuesday, as candidates.
posted by mrgrimm at 5:26 PM on June 7, 2012 [1 favorite]


Do babies really cry about election results? I thought they only cried when the new year came and they had to come in wearing a sash with the new date and kick out an old man in a top hate wearing a sash with the date for the previous year.

My knowledge of babies is limited to from I have learned from political cartoons.
posted by Bunny Ultramod at 5:39 PM on June 7, 2012 [1 favorite]


Al Gore lost because he took Tennessee for granted and first and then wrote it off prematurely when he saw it he was behind. His daddy was worshipped in this state, but Al Gore Jr. never tried to connect with the generation of Tennesseans like my grandmother and grandfather and my uncle who supported Sr. for years and years. Gore just expected to win here because Gores always won here. Or they used to, anyway.

Gore's second mistake was not calling for a full recount in Florida. He only called for a partial recount in counties he thought he would win, a fact which hurt him in the PR war and, IIRC, was cited by the Supreme Court in Bush v. Gore as one of the reasons they shut down the recount. Every post-mortem analysis of the Florida vote came to the same conclusion: more people tried to cast votes for Gore in Florida than did for Bush, and a full-state recount would have handed him the victory. But he didn't ask for one, so the court couldn't grant it.
posted by vibrotronica at 5:51 PM on June 7, 2012


Well that was a right-quick pivot from accusing folks of slandering Ms. Barr for harboring bizarre conspiracy theory beliefs, delmoi. You know, insofar as she actually harbors bizarre conspiracy theory beliefs.
posted by joe lisboa at 6:12 PM on June 7, 2012


The whole "lesser of two evils" bullshit. The problem with that is if you vote for someone, you are in a sense endorsing what they do and giving them the right to do it. So you have to take some responsibility for what they do.


I really don't think it is bullshit. In essence you seem to be saying the only way to win is not to participate? Because I don't care who you vote for they will fuck up, or make decisions you don't agree with. Whenever you make a decision for someone you get a whole package of you-don't-know-what-the-hell-they-will-actually-do. And yes, there is a limited amount of ownership for voting for someone but it is limited, and many times people vote for one person in opposition to the other person rather than FOR someone, how much ownership is involved then? We are flawed beings and politicians are no more flawed than you or I (which is why I think people end up hating politicians so much)
posted by edgeways at 6:35 PM on June 7, 2012


Here's what drives me crazy about the Nader thing. Two "causes" of the loss. One was Nader voters not wanting to vote for Gore. Another was Democrats who stayed home.

You could get 537 more Democrats to the polls by spending more intensely on get out the vote efforts statewide and getting your volunteers fired up to make sure those people get there.

or

These other people who don't want to vote for your guy could totally abandon their principles and vote for him anyway because you really don't want to lose.

Why don't you get your shit straightened out first on basic organization before asking other people to do your job for you?
posted by furiousxgeorge at 6:58 PM on June 7, 2012 [2 favorites]


(See: The Obama Campaign 2008, Organization and inspiration instead of hippy punching. Good call!)
posted by furiousxgeorge at 7:00 PM on June 7, 2012 [2 favorites]


"Until we change how folks get elected in this country, you really are wasting a vote on a 3rd party."

I'm voting for Romney then.
posted by Ardiril at 8:46 PM on June 7, 2012 [1 favorite]


> I'm voting for Romney then.

Oh! You wicked thing, you! Do tell!
posted by benito.strauss at 9:41 PM on June 7, 2012 [1 favorite]


Yeah, I'd love to see a viable third-party candidate for president, but that doesn't start by mobilizing people to vote for a third-party presidential candidate. The two problems with this are a) the unlikelihood of being able to make this happen and b) the unresolved problem of still having every other office on down the line still adhering to the Republican-Democrat binary. I mean, it's nice to imagine some super-progressive billionaire being able to convince enough folks to vote Green to take the White House, but this is pretty damn close to Never Gonna Happen. This fantasy scenario is kind of an unfair rhetorical bludgeon used when it comes to discussions about third parties that supposes the White House is of paramount importance and that this fantasy is the sole way to bring a third party into power.

If we want a third or more parties to have more of a presence and more political influence in America, we need to look to models that have worked. The GOP has managed to cement a very strong base of support by focusing on the grassroots. So absolutely, do vote Green - for your city council, for state legislature, for other municipal offices. Put those policies into practice on a level people can feel in their own backyards, show them how good the party is for them on the street level, and you can ratchet that up to Congress, and then the White House.

I would absolutely lovelovelove to see America embrace a multipartisan system. I think the Green Party is the best party America has to offer. Rolling the dice on a White House vote for a third party - knowing full well it's not going to make a lick of difference, and that no, the Democrats are not going to look at those Green ballots and have some magical lightbulb moment to change their platforms - is not what is going to get the Greens into power. Working from the bottom up most certainly can. The results are not as sexy and immediate as taking the White House, but it works.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 5:37 AM on June 8, 2012


Also, I agree Nader did not cost Gore the election. Gore was a lackluster candidate with a poorly organized campaign. George W. Bush seemed downright spry and capable in comparison. I don't deny there was some shady shit going on in Florida, but blaming Nader? Really? Gore's campaign was a page torn from the How To Run For President Badly playbook.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 5:46 AM on June 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


How is refusing to vote strategically short-term and put in the effort for the long-term being moral or ethical?

What you specifically mean is refusing to vote Democratic in the short term and refusing to groom low-level Democratic candidates for the long-term. Since we pretty well all agree that supporting the Republicans is madness, what you're saying is that all rational voters must under all circumstances, short- and long-term, always support the Democrats and nothing else.

You could look at my answer above for the answer, as I explain quite clearly why - you simply chose not to address my points. But I'll list them again.

First, many Americans can vote however they want because they're in a state which is guaranteed to go D or R.

Second, some people don't actually consider voting a competitive game in which you cynically manipulate a system in order to get desired results. It's clear you don't understand this at all, as this is exactly what you rail against each time - but yelling at people who have deeply seated moral or ethical beliefs that differ from yours is like pissing in a rainstorm.

And third, and most important, no one really does understand what the effects of voting in a specific way will be. You have some complex and mostly unexpressed reasoning about why voting for a third-party is always bad - I don't buy your reasoning and neither do a lot of people, and I pointed out that historically voting third-party in the US has made significant changes.

In specific, from a game-theoretical viewpoint, by progressives always and forever voting D, they are guaranteeing that the Democrats have precisely zero incentive to offer progressive voters anything at all. If you don't believe the math, you could just look at the last 20 years or so of US politics - hearing Mr. Obama repeatedly venerate Dick Cheney's "security policy" and ratchet up the security state, the War on Drugs and the destruction of the rule of law while making fun of core values of his constituents and repeating completely false Republican talking points is pretty damned sickening.

If we learned one thing from the last ten years, it's that nobody is any good at predicting the hows and whys of elections in the US. No one knows what they are talking about when it comes to predicting elections and their results, and that means specifically that you don't know what you're talking about either.

So stop trying to guilt people out and quit trying to treat them as if they are children. Voting is a complex business with many separate considerations and many separate goals. Your endless denigration of people who look at this complex collection of facts and come do a different conclusion than you do hides, IMHO, a great deal of insecurity on your part about your own choices.
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 6:36 AM on June 8, 2012 [3 favorites]


The whole "lesser of two evils" bullshit. The problem with that is if you vote for someone, you are in a sense endorsing what they do and giving them the right to do it. So you have to take some responsibility for what they do. There's also collective action problem. If a majority of voters didn't like either candidate, they could, collectively do something about it, perhaps by organizing around a write-in candidate instead.

So by saying "You have to vote for whichever one is least worse" you're actively dissuading people from overcoming the collective action problem, if it indeed exists. (Which I don't think it does - I don't think it's the case that the majority of voters don't like either candidate)


This isn't a particularly coherent argument especially since I don't see anybody actively dissuading anyone from fixing anything, but rather to work to either change the parties from within or use existing tactics to build a third party. The fact that you guys choose to ignore that to come up with rhetorical jabs about a permanent lesser of two evils argument is just strawmanning.

The very poor, often members of minorities who don't have photo ID and perhaps can't afford it (as well as extremely poor whites). That obviously doesn't apply to the majority of minorities.

It doesn't have to be a majority of minorities, at least not at first. Just enough to dissaude the fairly significant number of those who do and could make a difference. They can certainly working on disenfranchising the majority later, especially if they have a very friendly Supreme Court to do it.

Also Mitt Romney implemented the same basic plan on healthcare that Obama did

He had to be convinced to do it by several liberal members of the US Congress and a number of people in his state government. It was never part of his campaign.

except years earlier

Obama doesn't have a time machine that can make him president or Massachusetts governor before 2002.

Romney also supported civil unions as governor apparently.

What? No. The man said "Call me old fashioned, but I don't support gay marriage nor do I support civil unions" in the 2002 gubernatorial debate and "If the question is, 'Do you support gay marriage or civil unions?' I'd say neither" when asked about an MA constitional amendment in 2005. He also used a number of tactics, including trying to bully state judges and reviving a 1913 miscegenation law, to block implementation of gay marriage several times. He's only gotten worse (no gay adoption, for instance) since then.

And Obama isn't supporting any legislation to actually help move it along, so it's not like voting for Romney would change anything as far as gay marriage goes.

I'm going to be generous and assume you're not lying, just...unaware of his support for both the Respect for Marriage Act and DOMA repeal, both of which he's unequivocally stated he supports.

Gays still won't be able to marry in most states.

This isn't a function of the Presidency. There's nothing he can personally do to make gay marriage legal (or make anti-gay marriage laws illegal) nationwide. That has to started (in increasing order of effectiveness) via Congress with an act like the RMA, via a Supreme Court decision, or via an amendment to the US Constitution. None is something that he can do apart from signing his name.

Well, if it's not a problem with "Obama" it's still a problem with "The Democratic Party". The public option could probably have been passed via reconciliation, but it wasn't even attempted. So there must have been at least ten democrats unwilling to support it.

So then that's a problem with those ten Democrats, not the party. Unless you'd prefer that all members of a political party be in complete lockstep and refuse to allow people that disagree to run as such. Besides, even the compromised final bill essentially passed via reconciliation, and that was a one-vote margin in the House.

And, we never had a vote, so we never found out who they were. The "Democratic Party" shielded them from individual democratic accountability, so obviously the party itself needs to take the blame here.

What? Through public statements, we know of several who would have done so. No one shielded anyone from individual accountability.

Yes, Mitt Romney is just like an axe murdering psycho killer. If you don't support Obama you stand with the axe murdering psycho killers!

You don't understand what a metaphor is?

Oh because 24/7 defense of any and everything Obama does is totally non-tedious.

Again, this is a strawman. Nobody here is doing this, you're just making up a viewpoint that's convenient to your rhetorical points.

And you know what else is totally non-tedious! Listening to people continue to bitch and moan about Nader and the 2000 election! Holy shit get over it.

FWIW, the comment I offered on Nader was that it was an effort that didn't move the party leftward, as people continally claim a progressive 3rd party option exclusively for the presidency would.

Because maybe only worrying about the short term, rather then the long term is a guaranteed losing strategy?

Which is what I've been saying all along. Aiming only at the federal elections is a 100% short term strategy. Myself and others have pointed out the long term strategy that has been proven to work for the last several decades, but none of you actually address it or its effectiveness. Odd, that.

Or maybe because the democratic party doesn't appear to actually follow through on it's promises when it does get complete power in which case you can't actually even assume that voting for them is even in your short term interest.

When was the last time "the party" had "complete control?" The closest "the party" came in the last several decades was a 9-month period where they had an unusually high number of conservative members who were at least partially willing to pass something. Are you going to fault "the party" for having those members, especially since the alternative to them would have been Republicans who would have been unwilling to pass anything 100% of the time?
posted by zombieflanders at 7:30 AM on June 8, 2012


Aiming only at the federal elections is a 100% short term strategy.

I have a little secret for you.


3rd party voters don't aim only at federal elections.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 8:02 AM on June 8, 2012 [3 favorites]


What you specifically mean is refusing to vote Democratic in the short term and refusing to groom low-level Democratic candidates for the long-term.

Since we pretty well all agree that supporting the Republicans is madness, what you're saying is that all rational voters must under all circumstances, short- and long-term, always support the Democrats and nothing else.


Yeah, no. That's essentially the complete opposite of what I said, which was in essence, it's better to vote for the kinda shitty as opposed to the totally shitty in the short term to try to hold back the truly crazy, and better to build up the progressive infrastructure (either from within or via 3rd party, I don't care) from the bottom up.

You could look at my answer above for the answer, as I explain quite clearly why - you simply chose not to address my points. But I'll list them again.

First, many Americans can vote however they want because they're in a state which is guaranteed to go D or R.


I never stated any opposition to that. If it's a guarantee, go to town. But it's a guarantee much less often than we think, especially with the smaller participation and enthusiasm for lower-level elections.

Second, some people don't actually consider voting a competitive game in which you cynically manipulate a system in order to get desired results.

It doesn't have to be (again, I've pointed this out so many times), but unfortunately it's what we deal with now. We have regulations and laws from school boards all the way up to Congress and Supreme Court based on the system being cynically manipulated. We can't depend entirely on idealism, but it's possible the needle can be moved at least a little bit.

It's clear you don't understand this at all, as this is exactly what you rail against each time - but yelling at people who have deeply seated moral or ethical beliefs that differ from yours is like pissing in a rainstorm.

Oh, I understand it. It's just that said deeply-seated moral or ethical beliefs are either single-issue voting (which is almost always a very selfish road to go down), and/or are at odds with related effects. If you care about the privacy or judicial status of your fellow Americans, why does it mean you have to ignore their their health or voting rights or comfort in their later years? This picking and choosing of morals and ethics as if it exists in some sort of a vacuum (e.g. don't hurt that fetus but fuck the actual kid's education and health) is a nasty trait that seems to be dominating the conservative movement, and it saddens me when I see it amongst liberals.

And third, and most important, no one really does understand what the effects of voting in a specific way will be.

Yes, they do. Maybe not 100% completely, but for a large majority of the time.

You have some complex and mostly unexpressed reasoning about why voting for a third-party is always bad - I don't buy your reasoning and neither do a lot of people, and I pointed out that historically voting third-party in the US has made significant changes.

How many times do I have to point out that I have never said voting 3rd party is always bad? If you can come up with a single comment where I said that, please do so. Otherwise you're just flat-out lying about what I said. And my reasoning about third party being bad NOW is neither complex nor mostly unexpressed, unless it's hard for you to understand how bottom-up advocacy works extremely well but takes some time and exactly what is already being supported by prospective majorities in the federal government (and has already been passed in lower levels).

In specific, from a game-theoretical viewpoint, by progressives always and forever voting D, they are guaranteeing that the Democrats have precisely zero incentive to offer progressive voters anything at all. If you don't believe the math, you could just look at the last 20 years or so of US politics - hearing Mr. Obama repeatedly venerate Dick Cheney's "security policy" and ratchet up the security state, the War on Drugs and the destruction of the rule of law while making fun of core values of his constituents and repeating completely false Republican talking points is pretty damned sickening.

I don't disagree with that, which is why I've repeatedly offered an already proven way of changing it that you choose to ignore.

If we learned one thing from the last ten years, it's that nobody is any good at predicting the hows and whys of elections in the US. No one knows what they are talking about when it comes to predicting elections and their results, and that means specifically that you don't know what you're talking about either.

You're kidding me, right? You don't think that anyone's been able to predict elections and their results? I can certainly point to 2004, 2006, 2008, and 2010 as firm rebuttals to that. The only thing that wasn't completely correct in those was the magnitude, and even then it wasn't too far off.

So stop trying to guilt people out and quit trying to treat them as if they are children. Voting is a complex business with many separate considerations and many separate goals. Your endless denigration of people who look at this complex collection of facts and come do a different conclusion than you do hides, IMHO, a great deal of insecurity on your part about your own choices.

What insecurity do I have? I've been able to show over and over how several voting methods have produced exactly the electoral results and legislative/judicial/executive consequences they were intended to. AFAIK never once have you or anyone else bothered to refute that. At best you pick some iffy part of a completely separate argument, and at worst misrepresent entirely my viewpoint.

I have a little secret for you.

3rd party voters don't aim only at federal elections.


That explains their massive success in those other elections, then?
posted by zombieflanders at 8:05 AM on June 8, 2012


Oh, I understand it. It's just that said deeply-seated moral or ethical beliefs are either single-issue voting (which is almost always a very selfish road to go down), and/or are at odds with related effects.

I agree, when are the Democrats going to nominate a pro-life Democrat like Bob Casey? Throwing that one issue overboard could bring so many Republicans to the Democratic side it's crazy.

That explains their massive success in those other elections, then?


Another little secret, it's often just as hard at the local or state level as it is nationally. Look at Wisconsin reform attempts even spearheaded by Democrats being smushed by 8 to 1 spending. The two parties have rigged the system to their benefit from the top down to the bottom and they will protect their monopoly on power at all costs.

Your belief in local action changing the system from below is fantastic for trying to bully people into voting for your candidates but not really any more or less practical than working on national elections at the same time. It's why the strongest 3rd party, the Libertarians, do both.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 8:14 AM on June 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


I agree, when are the Democrats going to nominate a pro-life Democrat like Bob Casey? Throwing that one issue overboard could bring so many Republicans to the Democratic side it's crazy.

He's also pro-immigration reform (including adding/improving services for undocumented), pro-labor (including ENDA), pro-civil unions and gay adoption, relatively pro-environment (especially given his state), anti-DADT, anti-Medicare/Medicaid cuts, anti-privatization, and anti-austerity. And even while he's pro-life, he supports contraception (including employer funding for it), and is against barring federal money to organizations that support or perform it.

See how it works?

Another little secret, it's often just as hard at the local or state level as it is nationally. Look at Wisconsin reform attempts even spearheaded by Democrats being smushed by 8 to 1 spending. The two parties have rigged the system to their benefit from the top down to the bottom and they will protect their monopoly on power at all costs.

Wisconsin wasn't really a state race, given how much non-Wisconsin money overwhelmed in-state resources. And considering how many union members crossed over to vote for Walker, it doesn't seem that there was a particular stranglehold on the electorate by a party.

Your belief in local action changing the system from below is fantastic for trying to bully people into voting for your candidates but not really any more or less practical than working on national elections at the same time. It's why the strongest 3rd party, the Libertarians, do both.

Again, I'll just point out the GOP wingers taking over the state and local parties as the prime evidence of the tactic being extremely practical on changing the national elections and generating specific results. That was intra-party reform, which I've pointed out many times is an alternate (but just as acceptable) version of the 3rd party.

And I'm not sure how the Libertarians are an example of doing both, since as of now they're extremely limited in local representation, have almost no state representation, and are without any representation at all in the federal government. They also have occasional disagreements on major issues like abortion, although this mirrors that of the Democrats. But if they end up improving their electoral situation, I'd have no problem in pointing them out as an example of the system working.
posted by zombieflanders at 8:44 AM on June 8, 2012



He's also pro-immigration reform (including adding/improving services for undocumented), pro-labor (including ENDA), pro-civil unions and gay adoption, relatively pro-environment (especially given his state), anti-DADT, anti-Medicare/Medicaid cuts, anti-privatization, and anti-austerity. And even while he's pro-life, he supports contraception (including employer funding for it), and is against barring federal money to organizations that support or perform it.

See how it works?


I have no idea what your point is. The target here would be the economically liberal/social conservative Republicans. Abortion is a single issue that keeps a lot of people away from Democrats and is the reason Casey will never have a chance to get a Democratic nomination.

Wisconsin wasn't really a state race, given how much non-Wisconsin money overwhelmed in-state resources.

Welcome to my point. Any serious disruption of the system will face the same. GOP voters "taking over" their own party while holding the same positions as Republicans always hold is not the same thing.

And I'm not sure how the Libertarians are an example of doing both, since as of now they're extremely limited in local representation

Not for lack of trying, it's just that it doesn't work.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 9:20 AM on June 8, 2012


I have no idea what your point is. The target here would be the economically liberal/social conservative Republicans. Abortion is a single issue that keeps a lot of people away from Democrats and is the reason Casey will never have a chance to get a Democratic nomination.

I think we're talking past each other here. Unless the GOP was to nominate a pro-choice candidate (which at this point is not going to happen), what's the idea you're promoting?

Welcome to my point. Any serious disruption of the system will face the same.

The idea was that Wisconsin is for now an outlier. It's fairly probable that it won't end up that way, but that sounds like you're saying why bother with the third party for anything since it can't win anyway. I don't believe that's the case.

GOP voters "taking over" their own party while holding the same positions as Republicans always hold is not the same thing.

It's not that they held the same positions, it's that the most vocal (and likely right-wing) members ramped up that energy to win the low-hanging fruit piece by piece and then worked their way up, while the centrists just kind of let it happen, and in the end seem to have been convinced to go along with those vocal member. I don't see why the left wing doesn't do the same while they can.

Not for lack of trying, it's just that it doesn't work.

Has there been extensive coordination with the national party? Are there widespread local Libertarian party apparatuses with intense and well-managed campaigns and experienced staff? Is there any large-scale push for funding from either well-heeled sources or individual donations? Because I haven't seen any of that. And on the other side of the coin, what exactly are you saying would work? Ignoring each lower level in favor of the next higher? Can you name a single example of where that's worked?
posted by zombieflanders at 9:37 AM on June 8, 2012


Give em hell, Rosie!
posted by Uther Bentrazor at 10:41 AM on June 8, 2012


schmod: "the election is not about what Barack Obama deserves. It's about what the American People deserve."

If the American People ever get what they deserve, I want to be 4,000 miles away and completely left out of the affair.
posted by dunkadunc at 10:53 AM on June 8, 2012 [2 favorites]


(FWIW, I think the American People should get many orders of magnitude better than they deserve. Hitting people with sticks doesn't make them nicer, et cetera.)
posted by dunkadunc at 12:18 PM on June 8, 2012


I think we're talking past each other here. Unless the GOP was to nominate a pro-choice candidate (which at this point is not going to happen), what's the idea you're promoting?

The democrats should stop scaring away potential voters by clinging to the single issue of abortion.

The idea was that Wisconsin is for now an outlier. It's fairly probable that it won't end up that way, but that sounds like you're saying why bother with the third party for anything since it can't win anyway. I don't believe that's the case.

Every election is that kind of uphill battle for third party candidates or anyone who wants to serious change the system. Look how much pushback groups like occupy get even from Democrats, and they haven't even tried to win anything yet.

Has there been extensive coordination with the national party?

Yes dude, this is what I am telling you, the LP is a well organized national party with active volunteers and people willing to donate money. It doesn't make the difference you wish it did.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 12:21 PM on June 8, 2012


totally abandon their principles

Yeah, that's a fair way to put it.
posted by Mental Wimp at 12:31 PM on June 8, 2012


furiousxgeorge:

> I agree, when are the Democrats going to nominate a pro-life Democrat like Bob Casey?

I don't think we're going to make any progress discussing this, based on that comment. We're clearly living in such different worlds.

I would say that shitting on their core values hasn't been particularly successful for the Democrats so far, and the idea that if you shit on your base even harder then they will somehow come out in droves seems like a guaranteed loss. In particular, women have been core supporters of the Democrats,

Being "Republican lite" just seems like a stupid idea, but what the heck do I know? I really don't understand how someone could call themselves a Democrat and want pro-life candidates - I really don't understand either the Democrats or the Republicans at all. I clearly have no understand of how the United States works at all, and frankly, I'm starting not to care.

Right now I'm in Berlin, deciding whether I should leave the US and move here. This is a city that values art and music more than any city I ever visited, a city with a gay mayor, a country where the question of "pro-life" hasn't seriously entered the public discourse in decades, a country which values knowledge and learning and believes in the concept of the master craftsman, and frankly, the only thing that New York has better than Berlin is the weather.

I asked my wife, a US citizen, for a comment about this thread, and read her a few comments - unfortunately, if I told you what she said, this comment would rightfully be moderated out.

Suffice it to say that you're probably going to lose us - and it's your loss, as we're educated, creative, productive, progressive people who will probably generate at least another million in taxes for the state over the rest of our lives.

And I urge any similar people of like minds who are reading this who live in the United States to consider coming here or to another social democracy. Your country will continue in the same direction it has, you are simply pissing away your tax money - move somewhere where adults of more-or-less like minds will be spending your tax money on adult things, and get away from a place where apparently rational people believe that a rational tactic for achieving progressive change is to support politicians who are against reproductive rights.
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 12:38 PM on June 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


Yeah, that's a fair way to put it.

That is what it would be for me to not vote for the candidate I prefer. If you have different principles, that is fine, but you don't get to decide it for others.

You know, especially if you have the option to get 537 people who already agree with you to the fucking polls instead.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 12:42 PM on June 8, 2012 [2 favorites]


The democrats should stop scaring away potential voters by clinging to the single issue of abortion.

That's...not what they're doing. If anything, Casey is the worst example of this, as he was able to use a myriad of other issues to win his election. I'm still wondering what you're trying to say here.

Every election is that kind of uphill battle for third party candidates or anyone who wants to serious change the system. Look how much pushback groups like occupy get even from Democrats, and they haven't even tried to win anything yet.

So we should just give up? I'm really not getting what you're trying to say here.

Yes dude, this is what I am telling you, the LP is a well organized national party with active volunteers and people willing to donate money.

I've yet to see any evidence that it's well-organized and has a significant donor base or even potential donor pool.

It doesn't make the difference you wish it did.

If it doesn't make the difference, then why bother with the third parties in the first place? After all, you're just throwing away votes and money that will have no effect on moving the conversation in your direction, either within or between the parties.

I would say that shitting on their core values hasn't been particularly successful for the Democrats so far, and the idea that if you shit on your base even harder then they will somehow come out in droves seems like a guaranteed loss. In particular, women have been core supporters of the Democrats,

I'm sorry, are you saying that Democrats are neither defending women's rights and/or actively rolling them back, and using a single guy as evidence of the party and all representatives? The official Democratic platform is for choice, but some folks don't agree. That's a shitty thing for them to do, but I'd rather a party that accepted some deviation for some people than one that more or less demands fealty on the subject.

Being "Republican lite" just seems like a stupid idea, but what the heck do I know? I really don't understand how someone could call themselves a Democrat and want pro-life candidates - I really don't understand either the Democrats or the Republicans at all.

Because some (a minority of the Democrats, in this case) have views that differ from people like me and you, yet also support a number of other goals that Democrats have historically stood for. In Casey's situation, he was going against a guy that supported the most disgraceful parts of the pro-life movement, much of which Casey didn't support, while at the same time standing up for a lot of good stuff (per my description of his positions above). Were someone to come along with the exact same positions but be pro-choice, I'd be all over that.

I clearly have no understand of how the United States works at all, and frankly, I'm starting not to care.

Right now I'm in Berlin, deciding whether I should leave the US and move here. This is a city that values art and music more than any city I ever visited, a city with a gay mayor, a country where the question of "pro-life" hasn't seriously entered the public discourse in decades, a country which values knowledge and learning and believes in the concept of the master craftsman, and frankly, the only thing that New York has better than Berlin is the weather.

You do know Germany is being run by a coalition that is basically the same as the US Democrats on social issues (including abortion and gay marriage), but with the financial policies (e.g. strict austerity, deregulation and privatizing, flat tax, etc) of the GOP's free-market deficit hawk wing, right? But yeah, screw Spain and Greece and Italy's future, those freeloaders deserve to be fucked over because Merkel totes loves the gays and choice.

Suffice it to say that you're probably going to lose us - and it's your loss, as we're educated, creative, productive, progressive people who will probably generate at least another million in taxes for the state over the rest of our lives.

Damn shame you don't want to put that effort into reform and helping other Americans like the rest of us based on an incomplete view of their government and a twisted view of ours. But hey, I guess cutting those losses and running instead of fighting for a better place will make you feel good, and that's what counts.

And I urge any similar people of like minds who are reading this who live in the United States to consider coming here or to another social democracy. Your country will continue in the same direction it has, you are simply pissing away your tax money - move somewhere where adults of more-or-less like minds will be spending your tax money on adult things, and get away from a place where apparently rational people believe that a rational tactic for achieving progressive change is to support politicians who are against reproductive rights.

Again, not the stated position of anyone here other than a straw man you've invented.
posted by zombieflanders at 1:31 PM on June 8, 2012


The democrats should stop scaring away potential voters by clinging to the single issue of abortion.

That's...not what they're doing. If anything, Casey is the worst example of this, as he was able to use a myriad of other issues to win his election. I'm still wondering what you're trying to say here.


I am saying that it is a shame Casey will never have a realistic shot at a Presidential nomination because too many Democrats won't vote for pro-life candidates.

Every election is that kind of uphill battle for third party candidates or anyone who wants to serious change the system. Look how much pushback groups like occupy get even from Democrats, and they haven't even tried to win anything yet.

So we should just give up?


No, folks should keep trying at the local, state, and federal levels.

I've yet to see any evidence that it's well-organized and has a significant donor base or even potential donor pool.

GOOGLE RON PAUL. Okay, not exactly the LP, but all that organization, money, and energy is closely linked with them. They also have folks like the Koch brothers willing to give to Libertarian causes.

Here is a list of locally elected Libertarians. If you want evidence for organization you can note that they usually are on all 50 ballots for the Presidential election. They also have influential think tanks like Cato.

They have built the foundation for a party, what they need now if they want to succeed is to persuade people to agree with their agenda, and making a serious push in a federal election is a great way to try and do that. The success can filter down from there by giving credibility to party members in local races.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 1:53 PM on June 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


You know, especially if you have the option to get 537 people who already agree with you to the fucking polls instead.

Did you notice an unwarranted assumption being made here?
posted by Mental Wimp at 2:09 PM on June 8, 2012


Nope.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 2:14 PM on June 8, 2012


I am saying that it is a shame Casey will never have a realistic shot at a Presidential nomination because too many Democrats won't vote for pro-life candidates.

Huh? Are you saying you're not pro-choice? That's...weird for a liberal. Anyway, there are plenty of national-level Democrats out there who have as good or better positions (from a liberal perspective) on every issue he supports, especially that one. Clinton, Obama, and Biden, for example. They all seemed to have wider independent support, too.

No, folks should keep trying at the local, state, and federal levels.

If they're sure they won't throw it to someone much worse, maybe. But again, there's no evidence that it's worked without focus on local and state first.

GOOGLE RON PAUL. Okay, not exactly the LP, but all that organization, money, and energy is closely linked with them. They also have folks like the Koch brothers willing to give to Libertarian causes.

Yeah, but it's not highly structured or funded relative to the two main parties, and a lot of the energy isn't focused. The Koch brothers are actually a perfect example. They'll give to libertarian causes that are anathema to most liberal causes, and mostly to those that align with conservatives (abolition of the safety net, climate change and green energy skepticism, deregulation of labor and finance), and sometimes break with libertarian ideas and parties, which as far as I can tell they haven't supported since the 80s.

They have built the foundation for a party, what they need now if they want to succeed is to persuade people to agree with their agenda, and making a serious push in a federal election is a great way to try and do that. The success can filter down from there by giving credibility to party members in local races.

Again, if you can provide any proof that there is (1) a chance of success at the federal level, and (2) there's modern electoral precedent for said success filtering down, by all means show it to us. For now, all you've shown a extremely tiny set of officeholders without even indications of majorities or meaningful minorities at any governmental organizations that would indicate a foundation of any kind. No numerous Libertartian county councils, or state legislatures, or governorships, or judicial review boards. And if you can show me a single modern 3rd-party executive official that was elected and trickled down party influence, that would be good too.
posted by zombieflanders at 2:43 PM on June 8, 2012


I am saying that it is a shame Casey will never have a realistic shot at a Presidential nomination because too many Democrats won't vote for pro-life candidates.

Huh? Are you saying you're not pro-choice?


No, I'm pro-choice, but I think it's a shame so many people single issue vote on that instead of looking at the big picture.

If they're sure they won't throw it to someone much worse, maybe. But again, there's no evidence that it's worked without focus on local and state first.

The strong federal running is part of making it work at the local and state level. If a Republican does end up winning because of it (or a Democrat from the generally conservative Libertarian point of view) the benefits of having a strong, credible federal candidate will be a credibility boost down ticket and give the party a better shot in the next federal election.

Again, if you can provide any proof that there is (1) a chance of success at the federal level

I have already provided my reasons for believing this to be true, and examples of strong runs such as Ross Perot have already been provided. At this point you should make an effort to disprove the viability of a well funded independent candidate with a good organization instead of asking for what has already been provided. All you seem to have is that it has not happened yet. Well, obviously, but you have not explained what it is precisely that actually prevents it.

(nothing)
posted by furiousxgeorge at 2:49 PM on June 8, 2012


No, I'm pro-choice, but I think it's a shame so many people single issue vote on that instead of looking at the big picture.

This would make sense if there wasn't an option being given. Otherwise this goes nowhere.

The strong federal running is part of making it work at the local and state level. If a Republican does end up winning because of it (or a Democrat from the generally conservative Libertarian point of view) the benefits of having a strong, credible federal candidate will be a credibility boost down ticket and give the party a better shot in the next federal election.

I've never seen that happen.

I have already provided my reasons for believing this to be true, and examples of strong runs such as Ross Perot have already been provided.

Ross Perot didn't succeed. He didn't even win anything. And if your odd definition of Ross Perot's "success" made a difference for third parties at the federal, state, and local levels, I must've missed it.

At this point you should make an effort to disprove the viability of a well funded independent candidate with a good organization instead of asking for what has already been provided.

A well-funded independent candidate with at least a nominally decent organization that didn't go anywhere, didn't do anything substantial for his organization or allies down-ticket, and didn't carry over into a subsequent election or elections?

Sounds like...Ross Perot.

All you seem to have is that it has not happened yet. Well, obviously, but you have not explained what it is precisely that actually prevents it.

I have. You just choose not to agree with it for reasons (in the parlance of our times).
posted by zombieflanders at 3:02 PM on June 8, 2012



You know, especially if you have the option to get 537 people who already agree with you to the fucking polls instead.

Did you notice an unwarranted assumption being made here?
posted by Mental Wimp at 2:09 PM on June 8 [+] [!]


Nope.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 2:14 PM on June 8 [+] [!]


How do you know those 537 folks want to vote for, e.g., Gore, instead of having high-minded moral objections to his scurrilous positions, in spite of being registered as Democrat, or whatever?
posted by Mental Wimp at 3:04 PM on June 8, 2012


This would make sense if there wasn't an option being given. Otherwise this goes nowhere.

There is not a pro-life option for a Democratic Presidential candidate.

Ross Perot didn't succeed. He didn't even win anything. And if your odd definition of Ross Perot's "success" made a difference for third parties at the federal, state, and local levels, I must've missed it.

Ross Perot self-destructed his own campaign, but he clearly demonstrated viability.

I've never seen that happen.

I've never seen a President support gay marriage, but I knew it could be done and it would be a good political move. You can't just live in the realm of what already happened, what has already happened in American politics has a tendency to suck.

I have. You just choose not to agree with it for reasons

Then we both have our reasons and no conclusions, I will continue voting 3rd party when appropriate and get back to you with more data!

How do you know those 537 folks want to vote for, e.g., Gore, instead of having high-minded moral objections to his scurrilous positions, in spite of being registered as Democrat, or whatever?

Out of the millions of people in this pool, it seems statistically likely there are 537 voters available for get out the vote efforts. Seniors who don't have transportation, kids who should have had a volunteer get them to register, folks not quite engaged who could have been phone-banked to, etc.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 4:12 PM on June 8, 2012


How do you know those 537 folks want to vote for, e.g., Gore, instead of having high-minded moral objections to his scurrilous positions, in spite of being registered as Democrat, or whatever?

It doesn't actually matter because the argument is about if voters of a third party are somehow bad people for not voting for Gore. If you find excuses for your own people then these excuses apply for voters who wanted to vote for another guy even more so.

(That democratic activists think there's something to gain by blaming voters and finding excuses is the bitter real story here.)
posted by patrick54 at 5:38 PM on June 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


How do you know those 537 folks want to vote for, e.g., Gore, instead of having high-minded moral objections to his scurrilous positions, in spite of being registered as Democrat, or whatever?

This is a red herring, by the way. You can go back and forth about what-ifs, but the fact remains that he lost to Bush because his own party couldn't make a good enough case to voters about how bad Bush would be. When one looks at the end result, how the DNC could have managed to fuck up that narrative so royally just frankly beggars all description, but such a grand display of incompetence certainly shouldn't endear anyone to your political party or to trust its analysis of who to blame.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 6:40 PM on June 8, 2012 [3 favorites]


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