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Incidents and Accidents, Hints and Allegations

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If you are moderate, liberal, or left, and are unhappy with the Democratic Party
dresser, Montano, 2006
This may well be the only political post I make this month. I point at something useful for those not well satisfied with the Democratic Party and its institutional failure of resistance to Republican ideas that are both bad for the country and actually unpopular.

This half-hour podcast of Glenn Greenwald interviewing Jane Hamsher (also available straight into iTunes) is the single most useful compilation of advice and discussion of actual stuff to do that I've seen this year, I think.

When it's the final election, you can either help the worst candidate win or the next-worst one, pretty much. That's how first-past-the-post balloting works, and it will continue to work that way until people promote alternative systems for actual use at lower levels - get folks used to proportional representation, ranked preferences, and the like for their towns, counties, and states, and then it'll be ripe for change nationally. Voting for someone who cannot win does not change the system, it only increases the chances that the worst candidate will win.

Changing a national party happens between elections. It takes people making challenges in primary races, and pressuring candidates and officials all the time. Accountability Now, for instance, is supporting media campaigns in key districts, and also funding the challenges mounted by people who are better on issues like war and human rights than the Democratic Party leadership cares to be. Sometimes they win, sometimes not, but the fact that there is a sustained effort by this visible group gets the leadership's attention in a way that literally nothing else does. Ditto with, say, Blue America.

It's not fun, a lot of the time. It's certainly not as much fun as hoisting the jolly roger and helping the ship go down that much faster. But over time, it pays off. Remember that it took nearly half a century for the folks committed to undoing the New Deal to get real working control of the Republican Party. It will take time to change the Democratic Party significantly. It's just that it can be done, and there are useful things to do right now to help make it happen, and it is the avenue of change that works within American politics as we have it. The Democratic Party got commandeered as a wing of the conservative machine, in the last twenty years; it can be commandeered again. Get started on the siege engines and sapping tunnels.

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Actually, undoing the New Deal sounds like an admirable idea to me. What I object to the Republicans doing, and what persuades me to vote for the Democrats as the lesser evil, is undoing the Enlightenment.

There's a reason I addressed the post as I did. There are a lot of folks on my friends list that I disagree with on various fundamentals, including politics.

I'm going to vote for my lizard.

Because if I don't? The OTHER lizard will win.

I've had this conversation recently. I'm kind of frustrated by calls to vote green because it won't really matter. And I know I talked to you about the stuff referenced in this post, the way this stuff can be done.

Want it to happen though, I wish I could vote McKinney and expect it to matter.

Indeed. While I strongly support the ideals of the Green Party, all voting Green for President does is help elect a war-monger and a would be theocrat.

Did you see how Karl Rove is criticizing McCain for going too far? I wonder if that's a good sign. Of course, he also criticized Obama, but part of me wonders about how the source affects that.

I have a friend who votes a Mickey Mouse/Bugs Bunny ticket every election year because, as he says, he's never yet met a politician he likes better.

I can certainly understand his point of view, but at the same time it frustrates me a little to see him throwing his vote away like that.

Might I link to this? Very well said!

By all means, help yourself. Anything that isn't friends-locked is out there to use and abuse.

I voted Libertarian in 2000 because I was truly dissatisfied with the major party choices and I am not a Green. I voted Dem in 2004 and probably will for the forseeable future. Yes, that means I was deeply unhappy with Gore in 2000. I don't regret that vote. Now I am infuriated that Bush betrayed the public in ways I could not even have conceived. That gives me some pause and sadness.

Certainly there's room for mondo dissatisfaction about available choices. What I like about the sort of thing Greenwald and Hamsher are doing is that it's actually broadening the available range in very tangible ways. I'd like to see equal efforts by groups with other concerns doing the same sort of thing.

Thank you for giving me some concrete steps to take.

Unfortunately, just about every Democrat (and Republican) in Congress is bought and paid for. While I had high hopes for Obama, look into who some of his campaign guys are. And who his VP candidate is. Blah.

"I long ago realized that every vote I would ever cast would be a compromise."--a wise person.

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