It’s in the air now — progressives want an alternative to what the Obama administration and the Democratic Party are offering them.
The hope and change that Barack Obama promised us has turned into a disappointment of Clintonesque proportions — and the Democrats control the White House and both houses of Congress this time.
President Obama is a “socialist”? Oh, I wish!
Progressive powerhouses MoveOn.org, Democracy for America, SEIU, Ralph Nader’s Public Citizen, People for the American Way and other progressive groups have created “Stand for Democracy,” a project whose goal is to “take back our democracy from corporate corruption.” (I urge you to visit the website and pick your top five progressive concerns if you haven’t already done so.)
Are liberals falling out of love with Obama? asks The Washington Post’s Chris Cillizza today. (His answer, as far as I can tell, is maybe. My answer is Hell yes!)
Jane Hamsher of the progressive blog Firedoglake proclaims in a fundraising e-mail today:
The progressive movement is at a crossroads…. Progressives must now choose: Do we pursue a corporate-sponsored model functioning within the [Democratic Party] that ultimately accepts the party’s goals, or are we willing to fund an independent movement, capable of freely advocating for progressive values from the outside?
It seems to me that the best bet to counter the Democratic Party’s pay-to-play, corporate-ass-kissing, Repugnican-Lite politics is to rejuvenate the Green Party.
Why try to create a new progressive party or movement when one already exists?
1. Grassroots democracy
2. Social justice and equal opportunity
3. Ecological wisdom
6. Community-based economics and economic justice
7. Feminism and gender equity
8. Respect for diversity
9. Personal and global responsibility
10. Future focus and sustainability
In short, the Green Party is antithetical to the “tea party” and the Repugnican Party and represents what the Democratic Party sometimes pays lip service to but rarely or never delivers because it’s too beholden to the corporatocrats and is terrified of losing the dumbfuck (a.k.a. “swing” or “independent”) vote.
If British Petroleum’s ruination of the Gulf of Mexico and the Democratic Party’s impotent response to the crisis doesn’t warrant breathing new life into the Green Party, then I don’t know what the hell will.
I hear the counter-argument: But a strong Green Party will only help the Repugnicans!*
Serious competition is the only thing that will drag the Democratic Party from the Clintonesque center to the left. Without serious competition to the Democratic Party, all that we’ll ever fucking get from the Democratic Party is more empty promises of hope and change.
Neither we nor the planet can survive much longer on such empty promises.
*I also hear people clamoring: Ralph Nader (the Green Party candidate) threw the 2000 presidential election to George W. Bush!
The Supreme Court spoiled [the 2000 presidential election]: [Democratic candidate] Al Gore won the 2000 election. [Republican] George W. Bush became president when a biased U.S/ Supreme Court allowed election manipulation by Florida Republicans.
Al Gore Spoiled [the 2000 election]: Gore ran a weak campaign with no clear message. He failed to defeat Bush in the debates and even lost his home state of Tennessee. Millions of Democrats voted for Bush compared to the few hundred thousand who voted for Nader.
Democratic senators spoiled [the election]: When the Black Caucus challenged Bush’s election victory in January 2001, not one Democratic Senator stood up in support. Senate Democrats failed to push for an investigation of the Florida vote debacle.
The Democratic Party spoiled [the election]: For many years, Democrats never objected when officials removed African American and other voters from the voter rolls in Florida and other states. Why didn’t the Democrats sue when 90,000 Florida voters were disqualified earlier in 2000? Why were Democrats (including Gore) silent about disqualified votes in the weeks after the election?
To lambast Ralph Nader for having exercised his American and his constitutional right to run for president is undemocratic and un-American.
I voted for him in 2000 and I wish that I had voted for him in 2008 instead of Barack Obama.