Thursday, October 26, 2006

Dear Grace Ross

Dear Grace Ross,

I hope you're reading this. I really, really hope you're reading this. Why? Because I really like you. In fact, I really, really like you. While I don't agree with everything you have to say, in fact there's a lot of things we disagree on, if there's one thing I've come to recognize in your campaign it's that you're exceptionally intelligent and well-versed on what's wrong with Massachusetts. You're eloquent, an effective advocate and have made a very good case in each of your debates. In fact, I scored last night's debate for you; despite Keller's clear preference in shutting you up, as a clear and objective observer as possible, I still think you won that debate. There's only one problem - there's only one reason why your assets as an advocate aren't being employed to full potential... you're stuck in the Green-Rainbow Party.

I've frequently chatted with other bloggers and probably on this blog about how much I dislike the Green Party. While this is clearly a stereotype (one that doesn't describe you), I often find that Green-Rainbow members and candidates aren't as well versed as others. Maybe that's because third parties aren't invited to the table as often and most candidates just don't get the chance to get polished, but that clearly hasn't stopped you. Furthermore, while incidents from around the country involving the Green Party (especially in Pennsylvania, where Green's conspired with Republicans to get on the ballot), you have restored some respectability to the party.

But that still doesn't mean you shouldn't switch, or at least employ the fusion option if the ballot question passes. I understand you don't think the system works and that Democrats are part of the problem; in fact, I agree with you. The system doesn't work and Democrats are part of the problem. However, there is a growing movement of progressives around this country who want to change the status quo - and we're electing people who reflect our values. Just look at my State Rep, Doug Pederson, who lost his Chairmanship because he publicly sparred with Speaker Finneran over the Clean Elections Law.

The fact is, we can change the party from the inside. However, we can't do that without strong advocates for change. We can't do that without people willing to buck the party leadership and say "to hell with them." If anyone can resist the urges of lobbyists, special interests and going along to get along - you can. You can also speak from such a perspective that you may just convince a few others to go along with you. This is how we build a movement. The fact is, we need you on Beacon Hill - you're too talented and too smart to be anywhere else. So find a race and getcher butt in there!

Just look around us - there are so many DINOs in Massachusetts who are against so many of our basic, human rights. In your home city of Worcester, there are people like John Binienda, who doesn't (warning: pdf file) support marriage equality and he's anti-choice. After displaying your case so eloquently across the state this year, I'm confident you could get the support in defeating Binienda during a primary to win that race and replace a DINO with a proud, independent advocate. There are literally dozens of other candidates across the state whom I would love for you to replace - and there are guys like US Rep Steven Lynch who are just dying to be unseated.

However, it's difficult to do so from the context of the Green Party. Most media members relegate 3rd parties, especially Greens, as candidates who are 'bringing up issues that Democrats and Republicans won't.' In essence, they don't think you're serious opponents - and sadly, what the media parrots finds its way into the heads of most. They're usually happy to invite 3rd party candidates to one of the debates, but rarely all of them, and won't cover your issues in the press. It's unfair, but reality. It's time for you to buck reality as you have the establishment - and run as a Democrat next time around. We need you. You can do good.

Thanks for adding tremendously to the debates. Deval Patrick is still my guy, I truly believe in him, but I see so much potential in you too. There are serious problems with our state and if you can be an effective advocate inside the halls of Beacon Hill, who cares about Party ID? It's just a name; it's just a little, old letter attached to the end of your name in parenthesis. Stick it on there and be an agent of change so Massachusetts can become a better place to live.


lecollye said...

I couldn't agree with you more. While I usually roll my eyes at the Greens' comments, especially in public forums, Ms. Ross came across as a confident, intelligent person, dedicated to change, and that is something we truly need more of in this state. Though I won't be voting for him because of his party affiliation, I can testify to the competency of James O'Keefe, the Green-Rainbow candidate for Treasurer; Who presents as a viable/legitimate change to the Beacon Hill political machine.

Ryan Adams said...

Ya, because of events like Pennsylvania and others, I'm still going to have a tough time supporting the green party - even with good candidates.

However, I'm very willing to vote for candidates who are willing to become Democrats and help change our party from the inside. There's no reason why we can't infuse a lot of Green principles into our party because, ideally, we need people at all the different angles pushing hard for their policies to help find compromise solutions that don't compromise people, but just political philosophy.

Anonymous said...

Actually, I couldn't agree with you less (about Ms. Ross switching). She is a prime example of exactly what the Green Party needs to do more: develop and run excellent candidates.

It just astounds me that you guys don't see the apparent self-contradiction in your own statements. You both admit that the Greens have the best candidates for Governor and Treasurer (and would you also include Secretary?) and yet you are unwilling to vote for them.

I myself am fully committed to progressive change in Massachusetts and beyond. I'm fully committed to building and strengthening the Green Party in every way possible. Here in this election cycle you're seeing some of the results. Better candidates, more experienced campaigns, better visibility, and better credibility.

Is it perfect? Far from it. Indeed the Greens have stumbled and made mistakes, sometimes big ones, but that's part of the process of building a movement from the ground up. My view is to learn from mistakes, figure out what went wrong, and do a better job each time. Rather than just complain about things, I'm willing to DO something about them. If you don't like something about the Green Party, don't just complain about it, DO SOMETHING about it. Get involved and make the party better. That is the committment that I've made and I challenge you and everyone to stop whining about the Greens and do something to make the Green Party better.

Will I be happy to see Deval elected? Yep. A step in the right direction. However, I still think there's a long way to go, and Deval is no panacaea either. The very fact that the Dems are going through this internal struggle, trying to decide what they stand for, is the crux of the matter. Why should I waste my energy on a civil war within a dinosaur party when instead I can make a difference by promoting a clear, consistent progressive message? Sure it's a lot of work, but it's work that needs to be done.

One of the biggest mistakes that I've learned from is accepting the idea that we have to reform the Democratic party before we can reform our government. The longer we hang on to this unnecesary hurdle, the more we delay the change that we need. Don't mistake the Great Blue Wave for a vast improvement in the Democrats... it's only because the Republicans have messed this country up so badly that they're getting the boot. The time is ripe for a truly progressive party and that's what the Green Party is all about.

Despite recent positive glimmers, the Democratic Party is still a sinking ship. Those deck chairs are just fine the way they are. America needs to take the lifeboat before it's too late.

Anonymous said...

I agree with you that the Democrats are a sinking ship and have to be replaced by a third party. They're going the way of the Whigs. It's better to try and build up a new party than reform from within in this case, I think.

Even if Democrats take the Senate, they're going to be crippled in terms of accomplishing anything because they're so divided and at least 25%-33% of their caucus votes with the Republicans on every important issue. It's going to be difficult to find anything on which they can agree. How can they govern where they don't have any agenda.

Still, I think this is a special case and I hope that most of Grace's voters will go for Deval this time instead. It's not enough for him to win, we need to send a united signal that this campaign is unacceptable and it shouldn't happen again. To me, that's the most important thing this election cycle.

Also, the Working Families Party are running a candidate for Treasurer, Rand Wilson, and he needs to get 3% for them to earn a slot on the ballot. I know that the WFP is more committed to nudging Democrats than as existing as an independent party at this point, but that's never going to work. The Dems are convinced they lost because of Nader, but their idea isn't to reach out to Nader voters who might potentially be persuaded to vote for them but to reach out to voters who would never support them anyway. They don't get it and it's hopeless.

I hope that as the Democrats become more and more irrelevant that the WFP and the Greens will coelese.

Ryan Adams said...

Don't put words in my mouth. I'm voting for Deval Patrick because I think he's the best candidate in the race. Just because I think Grace Ross won one debate doesn't mean I think she's the best candidate. I couldn't support her for several reasons:

1. Deval Patrick is, by far, a better candidate. He's inspired a whole political movement; he's inspired a new kind of politics. You get this kind of politician once every generation, if you're lucky.

2. Grace Ross favors a number of positions I just couldn't get behind. I'm a huge fan of increasing minimum wage, but not to $16 dollars. However, in her advocacy for the hike, I could easily see her helping - in a legislative capacity - getting it to $10, then indexed to inflation, which I think is about right for Massachusetts.

Finally, I'm not being hypocritical, I'm being honest. Grace Ross has no chance of winning Governor from her own party - or pretty much any office. I said in my open letter that I wouldn't be opposed to her using the fusion voting and running both as a Democrat and a G-R candidate.

The fact is you can look at any democratic country across the world and countries with several viable parties don't seem to do better than bi-party systems. Just look at how instable the governments of Italy and Israel have been.

The current Democratic Party in Massachusetts is very divided. Formerly, we've been led by DINOs like Finneran and Birmingham. I expect better. Furthermore, more and more progressives have been getting elected and we're poised to at least match the DINOs in legislative power with a few strong voices.

That's not going to happen from the Green Party. Furthermore, there are literally dozens of cases in which the Green Party has done things which I am vehemently against - I see it as a systemic, fatal flaw in the party. It's why a lot of third-party supporters have turned away from the greens. I just don't respect or trust the Green Party enough to consider pulling their lever.

The Democratic Party is far from a "sinking ship." A new, progressive movement is building across the entirety of this country. If you don't see it, it's because you're blind. This is something I've noticed a lot from Green Party members - a lack of knowledge on politics as a whole (including the issues). Progressives, the netroots and the grassroots have combined to build a huge, sweeping movement. We're sweeping out the DINOs - just look at Lamont defeating Lieberman in Connecticutt during the primary.

The Progressive Caucus in the House of Represenatives both in the national and state level is growing huge and powerful. They support issues that we all care about - and they will be successful if we can continue their momentum.

There is no time to build a whole new party, we'd only be dividing ourselves t be conquered by Republicans. Heck, that's what we've been doing for years. Contrast the Democratic Party to the Republicans, and you've had decades of UNITY among those whack jobs. WE NEED TO PULL TOGETHER TO WIN.

If you care about what the Green Party supposively cares about, you'd see that. The world is dying, the poor are getting poorer and it's starting to get too late to actually create solutions to these problems. If you want to divide the party, then shame on you. You're going to get what you deserve: a world that fucking sucks.

I, however, will try to make the Democratic Party better, more responsive - and get them to win. I'm going to fight hard every day to make the world a better place. Why? Because we have to.

Anonymous said...

Ryan, I think most Green Party supporters are envisioning the Green Party as one of the two major parties rather than as part of a multi party system.

It's not about Greens trying to divide the Democratic Party, either. The Democrats are primarily pragmatic, but that only extends to campaigns, not substance. You talk about the great progressive wave sweeping the country, Harold Ford? Bob Casey?

The Democrats are about running whoever they think can win, and that almost always boils down to someone who isn't particularly progressive. Ask Chuck Schumer.

The country is falling apart, and the Democrats, to many, haven't offered much in the way of opposition at the national level. Too often, Republicans have failed to get a majority of their own party in the Senate, only to have their bills pass with the Democrats making up the deficit.

That's reality. Yes, the Republicans run gargoyles from the pit of hell and nobody wants to see them in power, but you need to consider the reality of the situation right now instead of the way you wish it were and acting as if Green supporters are just ignorant.

Ryan Adams said...

Ford comes from Tennessee, Casey from Pennsylvania. Don't get me wrong, I'm not a huge fan of either, but there are even progressives popping up in reddish states like Ohio.

The progressive wave: Ned Lamont, Eliot Spitzer, Deval Patrick, Jon Tester (keeping in mind he's from Montana), Brown from Ohio...

The progressive movement recognizes we need a Democratic Majority, but we're not just letting the DINOs sit and be DINOs. Just look at Joe Lieberman. It's not perfect, but what budding movement is?

Anonymous said...

Hi Ryan, (btw, great discussion you've got going here!).

I too am a Green and what the 7:59 comment said is exactly right for me. I would like to see the Green Party REPLACE the Republican party here in Massachusetts. When Jill Stein ran for state rep in 2004, she came in second, clearly beating the Republican.

I think competition is a critical part of a healthy democracy, so look at it this way: would you rather have me try to make the Republican Party more progressive? I say NO WAY! We need real competition in order to give voters a real choice. As anyone can see from the Healy campaign, the standard liberal vs. conservative mantra just doesn't fly here. The reality of MA politics is moderate vs. progressive. It makes much more sense for Mass to be Green/Dem instead of Dem/Rep.

The fact that the Dems are so divided already makes them weak and reinforces the conventional wisdom that D stands for nothing.

I know it's hard to look beyond the current wave of excitement (and trust me, I'm DELIGHTED by the prospect of both houses of Congress flipping and impeaching Bush and Co. into oblivion). Will it actually happen? I find it unlikely, and even if it does begin, I just don't see Dems backing impeachment of Bush with the vigor we saw against Clinton. I truly hope I'm wrong on this one. The case for impeachment here is rock solid compared to what they cobbled together against Clinton. Bush has even admitted to some of the most egregious actions.

This Patrick excitement pales by comparison to the nationwide energy that came with Howard Dean, and look where that got us. Nowhere.

Again, I don't mean to be a wet blanket, I'm just being realistic. It's clear that the Democratic Party is where progressive politics goes to die. Sure it feels great when we're in the midst of a blue wave, but we've been let down by the Dems far too many times to let it happen again.

Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, er, call me a "progressive Democrat"!

Anonymous said...

But the national scene is what's important, Ryan. We need change and we need to fix the damage.

Sure, Ford is from Tennessee, Salazar is from Colorado. None of that matters if the Democrats have 51 Senators but only 37 reliable votes. What then? There aren't going to be any Republicans crossing over, you can bet on that.

If they have a majority but can't get their act together enough to actually work together on anything, how can they survive as a party? Where is the future?

Anonymous said...

Or, in the words of Deval Patrick, "I think Democrats concentrate too much on how to win," Patrick says, "and have forgotten to tell people why we ought to win. The Republicans didn't win pretending to be Democrats. They set a clear vision and didn't apologize for it."

Ryan Adams said...

To the first Anon:

The energy behind Patrick does not pale in comparison to the energy behind Dean - you can't compare the two. Patrick's energy in Massachusetts is unprecedented - I think it even exceeds what Dukakis had in terms of the times we're living in. Patrick has revived the political scene in Massachusetts - and it's just getting started.

Furthermore, Dean's battle was a hard fought battle. He was smeared - and it wasn't by Republicans. The Democratic establishment did it. However, the netroots was in its infantile stage by that point - it's literally quadrupled in size (or even more than that) since Dean's loss. People got pissed and now we have a legitimate movement, one that could even defeat a powerful incumbent like Lieberman during a primary.

It's tough to defeat the establishment. There are going to be setbacks. Lieberman may even win in the end (though I think the race is starting to heat up there). The fact is you have to ask yourself this question: On the national scene, what's more likely? That progressives, through fielding candidates and working the 50 state plan and defeating DINOS during primaries, can retake the Democratic Party - or that we'll be able to create a whole new party that will not only be able to replace the Democrats, but defeat Republicans?

Even if the answer were "create a new party," that party - sadly - isn't going to be the Green Party. There are just too many preconcieved notions regarding the party from both sides of the isle. Progressives often dislike the Green party for some of the reasons I've stated (their propensity to accept Republican help, ill-informed activists and candidates, etc.). Moderates are turned off because they view the Green party as simply an environmental party - and there certainly are other issues people care about, even if the environment is important to them. Conservatives certainly aren't going to hop on board because they think a) greens are crazy and b) the environment is going swimmingly.

The Green Party isn't ever going to replace the Democratic party on the national scene. You need to be pragmatic and accept that. We have real problems that require real solutions. To solve them, we need to elect progressives. The best vehicle to do that is through the Democratic Party.

To the 11:04 Anon:

If there were 51 Democrats and 37 of them were progressive or at least fairly liberal, those progressives would have the ability to control discussion and what sees the floor. They'll be able to get the DINOs on board more often than not if they're tough and we'll CERTAINLY get more done and do better than the status quo.

Again: we need to be pragmatic. Let's get progressives elected first and STOP THIS ADMINISTRATION. What this administration is doing to this country and the world is downright criminal - we need a check on it. We need to be able to hold hearings and investigate all the crap that's gone on. Having a majority WILL do that - and even people like Ford and Salazar will vote to investigate (I'd only worry about Lieberman actively working against hearings).

Changing politics is a process. First, we need a majority. Then we can REPLACE the DINOs as they come up for reelection, if we can get strong candidates behind them. The ones we can't replace, we'll hold in line: just as Republicans have done with people like Chafee and Specter.

Once we have that step accomplished, by all means get the Green Party going. At that point, the Greens could help. If the Green Party were to become friendly with the Democratic Party and try to work with it in true non-partisan form that would be great, instead of using Republicans to get on the ballot and actively working against their causes (because those Republicans have a propensity to go on and win). However, I don't see them doing that.

Anonymous said...

Doing better than the status quo isn't enough, though. People want serious change, and if we can't give it to them we're not going to get another chance.

The disloyal Democrats have not yet shown any willingness to play ball with the other Democrats, they seem to be a lot more likely to form coalitions with Republicans. If just two Democrats stand with 49 Republicans, they can defeat anything. On what issue can we keep 100% of our caucus, ever?

There's no party discipline, on Alito, on the Bankrupcy Bill, on Roberts. What's going to change, just from getting a majority? Habeus Corpus, people were calling Reid's office and his staff was crying, but they couldn't get just our own party to stick together.

I do hope you are right, but what I've seen has been pathetic. The majority of the country has turned against the war, but can we get our guys to hang together on Kerry's war resolution? Wasn't that something like 87-13 against?

Look, the difefrence between a RINO and a DINO? A RINO is a Republican first. He says he's moderate, he says he's pro-choice, but he'll happily vote for whatever he's told to, no matter how extreme, no matter how it violates his principles. And then at election time he'll go out to the electorate and explain how unscary and tolerant his party is. Hey, check it out, they accept me even though I'm a moderate, all moderates should vote for us. We do whatever they want and they're nice enough to "tolerate" us and all the advantages we bring.

A DINO? Somebody who votes against his party whenever it counts and then goes out and bashes the hell out of them. They got party discipline, they got party unity, we don't.

It's just not the same. We already don't have a party like they have a party and we need one, fast.

Anonymous said...

Well Ryan, looks like we're going to have to agree to disagree. The grand strategy you've outlined sounds great. If it works, fantastic! I only wish the real Democratic party could articulate and commit to such a plan. Unfortunately, not everyone in the Democratic Party is on board with you, and in fact many powerful D leaders would actively work against you (and anyone who agrees with your philosophy).

I think there's still hope however. And this may be the most important lesson of all... it doesn't have to be an either/or. The best strategy may be to work for progressive change from BOTH inside AND outside the Democratic party.

Progressive Dems and Greens need to stop killing each other and figure out how to work synergistically. That doesn't mean without competition, and that doesn't mean there will not still be differences. It does mean that we need to be willing to work together on solutions that actually make it possible for both camps to coexist. The most obvious first milestone is to enact IRV. This makes the whole spoiler issue *vanish* overnight. All of the vitriol between G's and D's would be greatly diminished if that mortal terror over splitting the progressive vote and electing Republicans were to be removed.

The problem is that not all Dems are progressive. The ones in power would much prefer to see Republicans get elected than Greens, and they are getting exactly what they want.

So go ahead, implement your plan and give moderate Dems the boot. I wish you good luck, and I will be very pleased to see it happen. I'm not holding my breath, however. This state and this country can't wait until the Democrats get their act together. We need progressive change TODAY. If those who are jumping on the Patrick bandwagon would just devote 1/10 of that energy to enacting IRV we'd have it faster than you could blink.

Worst of all are those Dems who are very pessimistic that IRV "ain't gonna happen". That's what they said about Deval early on, that he'll throw it to the Republicans. He's not electable. Boy were they wrong. There's no sensible reason why we can't have IRV today except that Dems in office don't want to see progressive change.

If you're serious about making it possible for all progressives to work together, you'd be promoting IRV at every opportunity. The only one standing in the way is the Democratic Party itself. If one more D loses an election, they will have no one to blame but themselves.

Here's a parting bet for you: which boneheaded excuse do you think will hold out longer - the Republicans blaming all their failures on Clinton, or the Democrats blaming all their failures on Nader?

Anonymous said...

Also, it's really kind of a fallacy that you can put these DINOs in as placeholders and then replace them with progressives. It doesn't work that way. Knocking off an incumbent, especially in a primary, is really an uphill battle, especially with the entire political establishment against you.

Ryan Adams said...

There's no party discipline because - guess what - we don't have a majority. It's easy to kill discipline when there's a minority that is barely veto-proof. Then guys like Lieberman are easily won over by Republicans.

Serious change =! a whole new party. However, a whole new party = total disaster. I'm not going to debate this point because it's CLEAR. You need to be pragmatic.

Gain control, then you can whip your delegation into shape. At the *VERY LEAST* we'll get some serious reform done on a lot of issues - even if half the delegation defects on some issues - plus we'll get congressional oversight.

For those who defect too often, I'll friggin take the banner myself to purge their stink from the Senate. Just like we're trying to do with Lieberman, just like we're doing to "but I'm a moderate Republican!" Chafee. However, we need to get there first. That's all I have to say about that.

By all means, when there's a chance for the Green Party to win, vote green. By all means, when the Democrat is *clearly going to win* vote green. By all means, when a Democrat is clearly going to lose, vote green. However, voting green when there's a chance a Democrat could win - even a schmuck like Casey - is a vote against issues you care deeply about (or do you think George W. Bush should be able to run amok without ANY congressional oversight?)

And the Progressive Movement can knock off Incumbents. Heck, we knocked off one of the strongest incumbents in all the lands: Joe Lieberman. If not for an obscure Connecticut law that allowed a candidate to switch to an Independent at the last minute, Lamont would be cruising to an easy victory. I don't know any other state that allows candidates to do that. Instead, Lamont unfortunately still faces an uphill (but winnable) battle. However, we PROVED to the world what we can do - and people have heard us (just look at Hilary Clinton, who just came out for marriage equality, etc. People have realized that no one is going to win the primary without the progressives and netroots, it just isn't going to happen).

Anonymous said...

How does having a majority all of a sudden make party discipline magically appear? The majority is not a talisman. Ask Newt Gingrich, they were able to build their majority by establishing party discipline. Every vote was a party line vote when they were still in the minority. They presented a clear alternative with everyone working toward a common goal, together.

I just don't see all of a sudden harry reid, who gets no respect from his colleagues when it's time to vote, and who ovtes teh wrong way too often himself (gang of 14, anyone?) is all of a sudden going to have any leverage over anyone. If anything, the disloyal are going to hold teh balance of power. He'd need every single vote and he's have to promise thm the world to get anything out of them. If they want something progressive bagged or watered down, out it goes.

They're just not Democrats first, and whatever we can offer them the Republicans can always offer more. As far as threatening them, don't make me laugh. Last timne that happened, Campbell and Shelby just flipped to the Republicans. What's keeping all of these red state Dems from doing that again?

If you have a scenario, I'd love to hear it, but I'm not convinced.

Anonymous said...

I'll give you an example, too.

I've got 4 rooommates. We're all in school, we're all either poli sci or interested in politics, most of us are volunteers or precinct captains for one campaign on the other. None of us is a Republican. None of us are voting for any Republicans.

Practically every other call we're getting right now is a Republican robocall. Kerry Healey's mom's robocall we've gotten 6 times. Same with my parents. Same with a lot of other Democrats in our area.

Robocalls are unbelievably expensive. Even here, in the second bluest state in the country, the Republicans have money to burn, even on small races they have no chance of winning. They don't even have to target, they can just spend tens of thousands of dollars calling up absolutely everybody over and over on the off chance they'll pick up a vote or two.

How can the Democrats compete with that, if that's what it takes to temporarily secure the loyalty of power crazy egomaniacs who are more in agreement with Republicans, like Lieberman? They can't. They'll never be able to compete with those kind of resources. The only thing they can do is appeal to their better natures, and that's hopeless.

That's why, realistically, we need a more cohesive, ideologically driven party that's about cooperating and working together for common goals, not about holding everybody hostage for personal gain.

We could accomplish more with 37 Senators who were willing to stick together, present an agenda, act as an opposition party and reach out to the public than with a 60 seat majority of the type of politicians we've got now.

Ryan Adams said...

Well, first of all, I don't know why everyone is talking about the Senate. We do all know there's this little thing called the "House of Representatives," and that - constitutionally - it's the more powerful of the two legislative houses? Ring a bell? Well, good, the progressive block there is the plurality of the Democrats. There are now almost as many Progressive Dems as there are "blue dogs" and DLC-types combined.

If we get a majority in the House, suddenly a lot of those posturing, careful Senate Democrats are going to have less and less reason to be overly postured and careful. Why? Progressive bills will be passed in the House and there'll be no reason for them to vote no (as Democrats) and piss off the folks at home.

Anonymous said...

Let's emphasize "states rights" at the national level, then you can make individual states as blue/red as you want. Then all the people can move to the states that match their lifestyle.

Anonymous said...

Sure Ryan, we've heard of the House, but there's this thing called a "conference committee." That's when the two chambers get together to iron out differences between bills that have passed both and the progressive bits get excised.

Senators are simply more visible and in a better position to provide leadership. The cowering, craven faces of our party aren't doing us much good. It would really help if we had some people willing to step forward.

Yeah, that's brilliant, anon. States Rights, it doesn't just mean slavery anymore! There's this little concept that's developed since then, it's called human rights. Meaning I shouldn't have to crawl over the wall that's keeping me in New Hampshire to get mine, because nobody has the right to take them away. States don't have rights, humans do.

Anonymous said...

Then all our laws should be enacted at the federal level?

Anonymous said...

Remember "states rights" has allowed gays to marry in this state.

Anonymous said...

All laws enumerating basic human rights are enacted at the federal level, they're reserved to the people, as provided in the Constitution. Nobody should have to move to a different state because one state is illegally restricting their rights. There is a very high threshold for enacting laws that restrict human liberty, and "I want to control my neighbor's life because I'm a busybody" doesn't meet that test, whether you live in Arizona or North Carolina.

Good luck anyway, because the people who claim to believe in states' rights really don't. If you want to use "states' rights" to enact laws that persecute gays or whatever, they're all for it. If, however, Oregon passes medical marijuana, what happens? They say oh well, we respect states' rights? No, they send in agents and prosecute marijuana growers licensed and hired by the state on federal charges. You can't win playing on this turf. States' rights may allow gays to marry here, until they figure out a way to overturn it, but states are also supposed to recognize any marriage recognized elsewhere. What other state recognizes a gay couple married in Mass? Right, none. It's hard to say you're legally married when you can't enjoy any of teh benefits of amrriage outside of a 100 mile radius.

Owen R. Broadhurst said...

I'm not entirely where notions of our candidates being "ill informed" or being assisted by Republicans originates from. From what I have seen, it very simply does not describe our party.

How could anyone look at such candidates as Grace Ross, Jill Stein, James O'Keefe, Jon Leavitt, Nat Fortune or myself and say that we're the least bit "ill informed"? And when have Green-Rainbow Party candidates accepted Republican assistance in getting on the ballot?

Many people take issue with our Green-Rainbow Party regarding a great many things - but of fielding "ill informed" candidates and accepting Republican assistance?

Not in this state. Name me the candidate. Show me the Republican assistance.

Amit said...

Wow. I'm a Green-leaning independent who has also voted for Democratic candidates in the past, and I came across this discussion. It's interesting to look back at some of your comments, with 20/20 vision.
- Ned Lamont lost, Joe Lieberman won.
- One of the most easily impeachable Prez and Veep (seriously, is it more difficult than Clinton?), and what we get from Democrats is that impeachment is off the table, when a majority of Democrats (Americans?) want them impeached. Sets a nice precedent for future Presidents as to what they can get away with.
- You (rightly) took Green party to task for their mis-step. But the DNC in 2004 had been very active in keeping Nader off the ballots - hardly a progressive quality IMO.

I applaud your efforts, but there's a single fundamental reason why Democrats are not going to change - taking money from corporations. That link has to be broken. You mentioned the system being broken and how the MSM works to promote a candidate - well, how is supporting that status quo instead of making efforts to change it progressive?

At the end of all the discussions and reasonings, all I know is that I have to be the change I want to see in the world, and I am only responsible for my own actions (so I reject all that "spoiler" bs). And that's why I will vote for a Green Party candidate because s/he reflects my values and my hopes much better than a Democrat can. Most of them probably need to watch "Mr. Smith Goes to Washington", grow some balls and realize that they are public servants first. And yeah, you can have Grace Ross - just join the GP. :-)


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