commented on Hillary Clinton Announces Running Mate
Obviously, Clinton is going to be posturing to the center for the rest of the election. And its the correct strategy - she should take people like the Misanthrope at their word - she's not gonna get his vote and fine, she can get other votes instead. Which of course will mean prioritizing the policy prefs of the ones who actually vote for her. Nice work, Greens.
commented on How Green Is Her Bullshit: An Uncharacteristically Brief Response to the Green Party Spokesperson's Dishonest Response to My Podcast Rant
@39 - I don't think culture has anything to do with it. Its the First Past the Post election rules. The "two party system" fits into the electoral structure the way a river fits into its bed. That is to say, its not really a system at all. Two parties is the optimal way of brokering power given the rules of the US Constitution. The UK has a completely different set of rules for electing its legislature and they end up with 2.5 parties. Italy has another system and they get a whole bunch.
The Progressive Party emerged 120 years ago as part of the 19th century Republican coalition was peeling off. They got some people elected, ran some folks for president and eventually folded into the Democratic party because they wanted to actually get something done. If the Greens were to actually start seeing some success, they'd end up doing the same thing.
But their relentless failure gives them the luxury of being able to live without compromising their principles. Good for them, I guess.
commented on The Green Party Responds to Dan Savage, Says He's "Dead Wrong"
What's missing here is a description of the political coalition that the Greens would assemble which:
1) Is able to win a Presidential Election
2) Does not include the components of the Democrat's coalition to which the Greens object.
And she does not include a description of this coalition for the excellent reason that no such coalition can be plausibly described. There are not enough liberals in this country to dominate politics. And therefore, liberals will have to form coalitions with moderates or we will accomplish nothing. There is already a party that comprises a coalition of liberals and moderates: The Democrats.
Go ahead and lament the structural disadvantages confronting the Greens. Call them unfair or unjust or whatever you want. But unless you have a plan to reform them, those obstacles aren't going anywhere. Politics is about power, not principles.
commented on Dan Savage on Jill Stein: Just No.
There's a basic chicken/egg problem for third parties to overcome. Major left interest groups (Unions, for example) are not going to bail on the Democrats for the Greens unless they think the Greens more likely to deliver the legislation they want. But to do that, the Greens will need to start winning major elections, which they won't be able to without the support of important interest groups like the Unions.
Individual voters simply lack the power to effect changes on this scale. And therefore, the Greens and all the other would be third (and fourth and fifth) parties will remain forever a sideshow.
The "two party system" is the product of the institutions defined in the US Constitution. The way US elections work mean that there will always be two parties. Change the rules of the elections and some other configuration of parties will result. Leave the rules of the elections alone, and you'll always have two parties.
If the Democrats lose this election, the party will not respond by moving to the left. They will react they way they reacted to the collapse of the New Deal/Great Society coalition after 1980 by moving to the right, figuring that's where the median American voter is heading. But if the Democrats can win, there will be room to continue the party's current leftward momentum.
commented on Donald Trump's Ghostwriter: The Man's a "Sociopath"
@2 Forsooth. And maybe they are right - look where voting for the kind of candidate David Brooks thinks we should vote for has gotten us.
I'll be pulling the lever (figuratively) for Hillary Clinton with a few reservations but mostly optimism. But if somebody was to decide that blowing the whole thing up was the best option, I couldn't really blame them.