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October 02, 2002

F----- Greens Join GOP to Oppose Lautenberg

The Green Party has joined with the GOP in court to oppose allowing Lautenberg, one of the most liberal folks to serve in the US Senate, to be put on the November ballot. See here.

The Greens as progressives should be rejoicing that a pro-tax cut for the wealthy candidate like Torricelli could be replaced with Lautenberg, but no-- they are maneuvering to help elect a rightwinger like Forrester.

The Greens don't even qualify anymore as even a nominally progressive force anymore-- they've become an unguided missile against progressive candidates ranging from Wellstone in Minnesota to Lautenberg in New Jersey.

Posted by Nathan at October 2, 2002 05:25 PM

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Calm down! Lautenberg's officially in. Even though the Repubs are gonna appeal this, I don't know if any federal court would reverse a unanimous ruling by the NJ Supreme Court. Of course, we said the same thing in December of 2000! Anyway, things are looking good, no matter what the Greens do.

Posted by: Yuval Rubinstein at October 2, 2002 06:35 PM

The Greens aren't axactly attacking an unquestionably correct decision here. . . I agree with your sentiment, but not its application here.

Posted by: Jeff at October 3, 2002 08:49 AM

The point is that for all their claims of not being spoilers, they are strategically blocking with the GOP to help elect Forrester.

The decision by the NJSC could be wrong as hell and no one asked the Greens to endorse it. But by taking a position, the Greens are acting as strategic partners of the rightwing.

Look they have every right in the world to try to screw progressive Democrats. I just don't have to even pretend to treat them as progressive allies in that case.

Posted by: Nathan Newman at October 3, 2002 09:09 AM

I'm beginning to wonder if they are just more Trojan horses. The Republicans were very pissed off at how Clinton won just because of Perot - as far as they are concerned, their votes were stolen by his candidacy. It would be entirely consistent with their strategy to try to create a left-wing opposition to do the same on their behalf. I'm not saying that none of the Greens are genuine - I know some are - but attacking people like Wellstone just doesn't make sense for progressives.

Posted by: Avedon at October 6, 2002 06:57 AM

Nah-- in New Jersey the Senate candidate is Ted Glick, a longtime left activist with impeccable progressive credentials. He's just part of the insane crowd that has decided that the Democrats must be somewhat destroyed in order to make way for a progressive alternative. Joining the GOP is based on their "enemey of my enemy is my friend" strategic thinking.

Posted by: Nathan Newman at October 6, 2002 10:25 AM

Avedon--There was, however, a case in Washington state in which GOP operatives recruited Green candidates. Something similar seems to have been attempted in New Mexico. So the GOP is onto the strategy of treating the Greens as useful idiots.

If I remember, exit polling showed that Perot drew evenly from Clinton and Bush. So the GOP spin that Perot gave Clinton the presidency is dubious.

Posted by: Matt Weiner at October 8, 2002 06:21 PM

First, Glick didn't "join" the GOP "lawsuit"; he was named as a defendant when the Democrats filed.

Second, the Democrats were arguing that voters don't have a choice unless both major parties are represented on the ballot (and that if both major parties *are* represented, that's all the choice they'll ever need). Why should Greens let that become enshrined in NJ case law without at least making an argument?

Third, read Glick's statement at http://www.glickforsenate.com/courtstatement.html

If you need any more facts, let me know and I'll help you find them.

Posted by: John Hogan at October 10, 2002 11:20 AM

Thanks for the statement. It is better than joining directly with the GOP in their argument, so I issue an official mea culpa on that point. The media discussion of this was not sophisticated and I took it too literally.

That said and while I agree with Glick on the problems of ballot access etc., I still hold to my problem of his running in this campaign when the fate of the Senate is at stake. He is turning his back on the decisions of the vast number of unions, environmental, feminist, civil rights and other progressive groups that this matters. The problem I have with the Greens is their individualism and anti-solidarity position of going their own way whatever the positions of progressive allies.

Posted by: Nathan at October 10, 2002 11:32 AM

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