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February 14, 2003

Why Greens Still Don't Get It

Ampersand has decided to revive Green apologia for why Nader and the Greens really aren't responsible for putting a warmongering rightwinger into office who has bankrupted the budget and is dismantling labor and environmental laws.

But the oddest thing about these arguments by Greens is that they always then express some sort of surprise that other Democrats should even be angry at them.

Assuming the Greens run a presidential candidate, Is there any way Greens and Democrats can get through the 2004 elections without returning to our stations at each other's throats?
And the answer is of course not, but how could it be any other answer? When you run a candidate for office, you are trying to defeat the other candidates one way or the other. And partisans of the other candidates will naturally and correctly see that as an attack on their chosen candidate and the strategies that led them to make that choice.

There is a lack of seriousness by the Greens with such statements. Either they should proudly be playing their wrecking ball card and glory in the anger from Democrats that marks their success, or they shouldn't run someone at all. You can't have your candidate and Democratic love too. To act like this reflects a character failing by Democrats is just silly. Not that I'll drop Ampersand's blog link, but I'll criticize his arguments vociferously.

As in, now. Ampersand makes flat out false statements to justify trashing the Dems. First, he refers to the Democratic Leadership Council as the "Democratic Party Leadership"-- well, Nancy Pelosi, minority leader in the House, is not a member of the DLC and neither are most of her top lieutenants, and neither are most of the top Senate Leaders. The DLC has power because they control the swing voters in Congress, not because they have the allegiance of the average Democratic voter or elected Democratic leader.

Second, Ampersand quotes Oregon Blog that:

We're invading Iraq because nearly every donkey in Washington was waving a gun in the air and screaming that we needed to INVADE. Is that Nader's fault?
Just false. In last fall's resolution on Iraq, the MAJORITY OF DEMOCRATS IN THE HOUSE voted against the war resolution.

Let me repeat. A MAJORITY OF HOUSE DEMOCRATS VOTED AGAINST THE WAR RESOLUTION. And it was the new Minority Leader, Nancy Pelosi, who led the forces to defeat the war resolution. And the man who would have been President, Al Gore, came out firmly against intervention.

It's not bad arguments on behalf of Nader that bother me most. It's arguments that just flat out don't tell the truth. Maybe the Naderites are so blind that they can't even notice reality, such as actual voting tallies or the position of Gore on intervention, but it's what makes their whole position seem so ridiculous and disconnected from any kind of reality.

Ampersand claims that the Dems just capitulated to the GOP, an almost hallucinatory statement as the Dems are mounting an almost unprecedented filibuster of an Appeals Court nominee. I could add the resistance of the Dems to Bush's anti-union provisions in his Homeland Security bill (which cost moderate Dems like Max Cleland and Missouri's Carnahan their seats because of their loyalty to labor), the defeat of judges, and their prevention of drilling in ANWR. A year ago I noted a list of Democratic challenges to Bush in 2001, including defeat of his second stimulus bill-- yeah, the second one which most people forget existed because the Dems killed it, only to see it revived in a modified form once the GOP took back control.

The Dems could of course be tougher and smarter and many things, but the Naderites should criticize them for actual failings, not ones made up that refuse to acknowledge the real differences between the parties.

Posted by Nathan at February 14, 2003 05:16 PM

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