Saturday, May 21, 2016

Answer To A Whiny Baby Of The Green Variety

I used the modest proposal for Democrats to run as delegates in the Green nominating process in 2020 as an example of why I'm against open primaries precisely because so many of those I heard at the caucus in my town said that if the independent Bernie Sanders didn't get the Democratic nomination that they were going to vote for Jill Stein.  I must have heard at least a dozen of the people who changed their registration that day say they would do that.  You can change your party affiliation minutes before the caucus starts in Maine, it's a de-facto open primary, one of a myriad of stupid and counterproductive "reforms" that were fashionable with theory loving 70s era liberals .  AND I'VE BEEN READING THE SAME INTENTION AMONG SANDERS SUPPORTERS ALL OVER THE WEB.   

Clearly they weren't committed Democrats but they wanted to hijack the nomination process of the Democratic Party to do their will before they went back to being Greens or independents.  Exactly what Sanders is doing with his own instant and temporary affiliation with the Democratic Party. 


As Mao is alleged to have said when the Albanian Stalin, Enver Hoxha criticized his dictatorship that China could drown Albania by pissing on it, I say that the far larger and more numerous Democrats should do what Green supporters tried to do this year.  

If two percent of real Democrats took control of the Green Party they could change the rules and nominate the leading candidate for the Democratic nomination as the Green Party nominee.  They could remove that potential by following the same course of action that so many Greens and Green leaning people took this year.  

If you can tell me what's wrong with that, you'll have told me what's wrong with what such instant and temporary Democrats did this spring and why open primaries are a bad idea. 


  1. I keep thinking I've seen this dynamic at play in churches, usually congregations that you don't want to be a part of.

    Like political parties, churches are voluntary organizations with (among most Protestant denominations, anyway) no real control over membership or church governance. A small faction (even with a priest, I've seen it done in an Episcopal church; but the people there had great influence with the Bishop) can easily control the life of the entire congregation (especially if they have the ear of someone who functions as a Bishop, but this can be true even in very congregational denominations).

    And how do you get rid of them? Short of getting a court order and posting a guard at the door, you don't. And then, of course, they can always meet church members off church grounds. I speak of extremes because they are absurd, and to show how impossible it is. A determined handful can be a hand grenade in a crowded space: they can do a lot of damage, and they don't care how much of it is "collateral damage."

    I've seen people decide the church is theirs by dint of their contributions, or just their age and attitudes, and it's never pretty. They don't work with the church, they work "behind the scenes" and insist on their way, or they'll "burn it all down." Because if they can't be in control, nobody can be in control. I was interested in consensus as a pastor; but there were always people interested only in control, only in power.

    Sanders imagines there is power to be wielded as he sees fit, and it will be good. Amy Goodman was on NPR this morning arguing that single-payer would ultimately be cheaper because it would save so much money. But it would cost a great deal to get there, and put a lot of people in the insurance business out of business (not toe mention people as far down the chain as employees in doctor's offices, handling all that paperwork). I've seen the explosion of personnel connected to doctors who have to handle the insurance claims just in the last 30 years, and I'm all for abolishing it.

    But is this a revolution where we kill jobs for the good of the ideology? Or do we take into account the massive costs a sudden shift to single-payer would represent? This is one reason Obamacare is the chimera it is: we can't sweep away the insurance system we rely on and replace it overnight: the social and very real economic costs would be so massive as to be disastrous, and sink the idea before it could get implemented (look what has happened to the very modest effort of Obamacare).

    But Sanders supporters tell us we gotta believe! Reminds me too much of the revolutionaries of the '70's who, as you noted, gave us Reagan and the GOP right wing. They were a gift to the Republican party.

    Sure, we need change; but we also have to count the cost, or the "change" will be to reject the most important efforts we make, and bury them. Unless, of course, we want another Great Depression just to teach the country a lesson, while we hope history repeats itself (it certainly doesn't have to; we could be Nazi Germany the next time. Why not?).

  2. I would love to see Democrats engaged in the Green nomination process.

    1. It would give the Greens too much legitimacy, and the Democrats too little.

      Not that I'm a fan of the two-party system, but it does seem to be the cultural default setting, and I don't see that changing anytime soon.