First, the Green Party actually does run candidates from dog catcher on up. Here are just a few of our currently seated elected officials around the country.... Your readers can find even more at our database, here. These names and offices may not impress Dan Savage, but we each have way more skin in the electoral game than he has shown to date. We’re running candidates for all levels of state and federal government too, and some of our featured candidates are here, the list of which include Dr. Margaret Flowers, who activists will recognize as a fighter for single-payer healthcare, against the TPP and the editor of PopularResistance.org. In my home state of Colorado, we are proud to support our U.S. Senate candidate, Arn Menconi, a former elected county commissioner from the area around Vail. So, you see, Savage’s assertion that we only run presidential candidates is incorrect...
You got me, Andrea Mérida Cuéllar: I haven't run for office. My own pasty skin isn't in the electoral game and never will be. But can't the same could be said for, oh, almost all of the members of the Green Party? The overwhelming majority of whom haven't run for office and will never will? If people who haven't run for office aren't allowed to hold or share political opinions, then perhaps Cuéllar would be so kind as to tell the Green Party stooges littering up my Twitter feed to delete their accounts.
And it's true, as Cuéllar points out, that not everyone in the Green Party is pasty-faced. But I'd like to see a breakdown of Green Party membership by race. I suspect that the Green Party, like the GOP, is overwhelmingly white. The African American delegate from Texas in the cowboy hat at the Republican National Convention—he spent more time on national television this week than Mike Pence—is probably annoyed when people describe the GOP "overwhelmingly white." The GOP likes to point to the small number of Republican elected officials who are Black or Hispanic to refute the overwhelmingly-white/pasty-faced/previously-covertly-but-now-overtly-racist charge. We don't take that argument seriously when apologists/hustlers for the GOP make it and we don't have to take it seriously when the Greens do. (Your party isn't overwhelmingly white? Data, please.)
Now back to this:
First, the Green Party actually does run candidates from dog catcher on up. Here are just a few of our currently seated elected officials around the country...
At the Green Party's database—which is a mess—you have to count the number of candidates by hand. My count came to 116; there will be 117 Greens running in this cycle after the party formally nominates proud anti-vaxxer quack and sexist shitbag Dr. Jill Stein.
There are, according to the best calculations, 520,000 elected offices in the United States. The Greens, again, are running 117 candidates in this cycle. I'm gonna fire up my vintage Casio FX-4000P calculator and do a little math. Divide 117 by 520,000 and you get... .02. So the Green Party, which wants to be taken seriously and is so running candidates all over the place and wants our votes (and will fall down on the floor crying about how you aren't a real progressive if you don't vote for their odious presidential candidate and help the Greens put a toxic Republican in the White House AGAIN), a party whose Twitter brigades routinely lie about running “hundreds of candidates” all over the country this cycle, that party is competing for .02% of the elected offices in the United States. (In fairness, elections aren't being held for every office this year or in any other year. But these numbers are fucking pathetic regardless)
In my original rant—which, again, is months old but somehow went viral just as I'm about to leave for vacation (thank you, Ansel)—I acknowledged that the Greens do, in fact, field candidates:
And there've been—and I'm sure we're going hear from lots of people out there listening—there have been a couple of Green Party candidates who’ve run in other races here and there across the country. But no sustained effort to build a Green Party nationally. Just this griping, bullshitty, grandstanding, fault-finding, purity-testing, holier than thou-ing, that we are all subjected to every four fucking years by the Green Party candidate [for president].
When you're talking about 520,000 offices, 117 candidates = "a couple."
I had a hard time tracking down the number of Greens who actually hold office right now—interesting that the Green Party spokesperson, who most likely knows that number (and the number of Green candidates running), doesn't share it—but the best I could find was 100, give or take. That means the Greens hold .019% of elected offices. Again: fucking pathetic.
Cuéllar accuses me of being one of those "people who believe that the Democratic Party is entitled to votes without actually doing the work." That's rich coming from the Green Party, which thinks its entitled to the votes of Democrats—and others—without doing the actual work of building a viable third party and actually recruiting candidates to run for more than .02% of elected positions. Instead what we get from the Greens are guilt trips and you-are-not-a-real-progressive shit fitting that reaches a feces-flinging crescendo every four years.
So, yeah, I stand by this:
If you want to build a viable third party, more power to you. I could see myself voting for a Green Party candidate for president in 25 years, after I've seen Green Party candidates getting elected to state legislatures, getting elected to governorships, getting elected to Congress. Then you can run some legitimate motherfucker for president.
Dr. Zaius said it better than I did in the comment thread yesterday:
This "rebuttal" by the Greens totally misses Savage's point. Having a handful of people in five states is not a stable political base to then launch a presidential bid. 90% of America has no fucking clue who the Greens even are. I'll tell you when they are ready. When there are Green state reps in in at least 30 state legislatures and when they have at least 5-10 congress people. Until then running presidential candidates like Stein is merely a delusional vanity.
We Greens are also well acquainted with Savage’s own rhetoric of entitlement regarding Democratic candidacies, for example his violent remarks aimed at Green Pennsylvania congressional candidate Carl Romanelli in 2006, also challenging Rick Santorum. At that time, Savage said about Romanelli, “The idiot Green? ... Carl Romanelli should be dragged behind a pickup truck until there's nothing left but the rope." He apparently knew about our non-presidential candidates even in 2006. Perhaps he forgot in May 2016.
First, I'm not hostile to third parties. Honest! I was proud to be a vocal supporter of Kshama Sawant, the Socialist Alternative candidate who won a seat on the Seattle City Council. I even managed to talk some of my panicked neighbors into supporting her when she ran for reelection last year. I was thrilled to see Sawant turf out (in her first race) a corporate-hack-o Dem and turn back (in her second race) a swarm of corporate-hack-o Dems. If the Greens were putting forward credible candidates in Seattle, I'd support them. But they're not.
As for that drag-behind-a-truck thing. Yeah, I said that—and, yeah, it wasn't nice, and I apologized at the time. (An edited video is being circulated by Greens claiming I said that this week about Stein. How little gray there is in my hair is the giveaway that the tape is at least 10 years old.) But Cuéllar, Green Party spokes-hack, conveniently omits the context: Rick Santorum seems like a joke now—you're welcome, America—but at the time Rick Santorum was the third most powerful member of the US Senate and widely touted as a credible presidential prospect. He was also the mortal enemy of the LGBT community. Republican funders, in an effort to keep Santorum in the Senate, were raising money for Carl Romanelli. So the Green candidate—the "real progressive" in that race—was working with Republicans to keep the Senate in Republican hands and working to keep the most vicious enemy of LGBT civil equality in the Senate. People were pissed, myself included, and rightly so.
A vote for Carl Romanelli in 2006 was a vote for Rick Santorum. Romanelli knew it, the Republican donors backing him knew it, and the Green Party knew it and didn't care.
A vote for Jill Stein in 2016 is a vote for Donald Trump. Stein knows it, Andrea Mérida Cuéllar knows it, and the Green Party knows it and doesn't care.