It's a slow day at work, so there's little to divert my attention from news like the death of Greg Lake (on this 36th anniversary of John Lennon's passing) and a major pothole in Jill Stein's recount road.
Socratic Gadfly has recently posted some musings indicating that he has turned the corner from recount skeptic to recount omg wtf are you doing Jill?—or is about to. He maintains his sympathy with the Green cause, at least for down-ticket candidates, but he doesn't pass up an opportunity to dish on the Party's internal conflicts and occasional boneheaded moves.
In this entry, Gadfly analyzes this analysis by Ohio Green Mark Lause. It's a thorough and critical examination of Green Party history, taking the recount effort to task for reasons that actually make sense. He certainly does not spare David Cobb any criticism, either for the Safe States Strategy associated with his 2004 presidential run or his role in the recount push, or attorney Bob Fitrakis, who with Cobb helped lead the election investigation in Ohio that year.
One aspect of Greendom mentioned in Lause's post is the different ways state and county parties go about being partisan: Some state parties take electoral politics seriously and field candidates regularly; others function as advocacy groups and frequently endorse progressive Democrats. In Texas, now that GPTX has lost ballot access, the state Green Party is officially no longer a party even on paper, but a Political Action Committee, which plays by a different set of rules.
I have my quibbles with Gadfly's interpretation of the piece, but I find myself unable to condense my disagreements into coherent paragraphs. In lieu of that, allow me to adapt the comment that I left on Gadfly's post (below the readmore).
My Comment, Slightly Edited
There's a whole lot of "huh?" in this post, more than I could reliably refute. Your general point is correct: The Green Parties of the US and the various states are the Gang That Can Shoot Straight but Too Often Shoots Itself in Its Collective Foot. And as a Green, I say that with love.
However, I'd like to make a factual correction to your first sidebar and fill in some additional details. Ralph Nader's running mate in 2000 was Winona LaDuke; Peter Camejo was his VP pick in 2004. (Gadfly's original post had Camejo as Nader's 2000 veep.)
Take whatever lessons you can from the story below.
At the 2004 Green Convention, Camejo, after his illustrious career as a Socialist, positioned himself as a stand-in for a Nader nomination. The majority of Green Convention delegates from California were hot to put Nader on the ticket for the third time, the first being 1996 when he appeared on the ballot in California and a few other states. (My bad: It was actually, a few dozen other states.) California had a large number of registered Greens, and the delegate apportionment formula gave the state an outlandish proportion of the national delegates.
However, most other state delegations were opposed to nominating Nader, who had never joined the party and had refused (on principle, I guess) to share his campaign's database with the Greens. I believe that the non-sharing set the party back even more than all the liberals' anger over Florida.
For the record, at the convention in Milwaukee, David Cobb narrowly won nomination on the second ballot. His main opposition came from None of the Above, always a fixture in internal Green elections. Camejo's bid was rejected, so the NOTA move was a way of saying, "Let's not nominate anyone and endorse Nader's independent campaign."
Cobb's acceptance speech did outline the Safe States strategy, even while he noted that he would campaign in swing states if enough Greens in those states asked him to. He and Pat LaMarche wouldn't have had the money to campaign effectively in swing states anyway.
In Texas, because no Greens achieved 5% in the 2002 election, GPTX had to undertake a petition drive to restore ballot access in 2004. That drive failed, as did the two subsequent drives in '06 and '08. Nader's independent petition drive, which required more signature in less time, also failed. Both Cobb and Nader got on the Texas ballot as write-in candidates, receiving officially 1,014 and 9,159 votes, respectively.
The Part I Left Out
In articulating his "Safe States" approach in 2004, Cobb pointed out the obvious differences in policy between John Kerry and George W. Bush: in brief, that the former had evolved from a Vietnam service medal tosser-backer into a "militarist," but the latter had proven himself a "fascist." Still, I remember having the sense that Kerry was a reluctant militarist, his reluctance a product of his experience in Vietnam, whereas the 2016 model Hillary Clinton was an enthusiastic hawk.
I'll leave it to professional historians to compare Kerry's and Clinton's records in the Senate and Foggy Bottom. But by my own unofficial score, even with the US now bombing seven countries, Secretary of State Kerry has done more for peace (e.g., Cuba and Iran) than Secretary of State Clinton.
Blogging Sporadically since 2014
Here you will find political campaign-related entries, as well as some about my literature, Houston underground arts, peace & justice, urban cycling, soccer, alt-religion, and other topics.