Ronald Hardy

19 Comments

  1. I was bored and thenn found this.

    You mean Winona LaDuke, the one who after running with Ralph as VP THEN publicly supported John Kerry and then Barack Oily-Bomber? That Winona?

    Actually, seems a perfect for for the GP, now that I think of it.

    Good luck and all that.

  2. Well it just “afoot” and not a raging storm, but it looked like it had been set up a few days ago so I thought I’d give it some attention. Apparently some Democrats are wanting LaDuke to run against Obama in the Dem Primary, which might be a better fit (see Cavlan’s comments).

  3. Well I DO think there is a movement to convince Greens to run in Democratic Party primaries instead of on the Green Party line. The “Tea Party Strategy” is brought up with the comment “look at how the Tea Party did it, they ran in Republican Primaries and won without spoiling. The Greens should do that.” I’ve had this said to me at least twice in the last month.

    Reply: Those Tea Party candidates were heavily funded by Jim DeMint to the tune of millions of dollars. Who is going to fund the Green challenging the Democrat in the Democrat’s Primary? Who? No one. So it would make no difference other than to eliminate the Green from the General Election ballot, much like Washington State’s “Top Two” primary does now.

  4. Why not approach Russ Feingold to run as a Green for President or Dennis Kucinich or Bernie Sanders.

  5. @ Ron

    Maybe Soros would fund Green candidates (j/k)

    The “grassroots” Tea Party strategy is actually a good one, but it doesn’t hurt to have millions funded into your movement from the likes of Dick Amery. But hey, if the Grange could do it without that financial support, 21st century progressives can too, I wager.

  6. @Richard

    I doubt that’d work. I’m not so sure about Russ, but Kucinich and Sanders are rather loyal to the “Party”, despite Sanders technically being an independent. For example, Sanders refuses to endorse any candidate running solely on the Progressive Party ticket outside municipal elections. He only endorsed Polina when he fusion ticketed with the Democrats. Plus the guys got no spine, I wouldn’t vote for him for a school board seat.

  7. It’s mind-boggling that so many progressives, who tend to be one of the better informed voter blocs, think the Green Party could pull off a “Tea Party” strategy. Reality check: the Tea Party is a Republican rebranding effort, supported by thousands of hours of free mass media air time and hundreds of millions of dollars in secret corporate money laundered by Karl Rove, Dick Armey, the Koch brothers, and their ilk. On the progressive side, the Democratic base can’t even get close to power in their own party, because the Democratic leadership is intent on fighting corporate-sponsored Republicans by getting even more corporate money for themselves.

    I have been advocating for a while that Greens take ideas from the conservative movement, but those strategies have to be based on a realistic appraisal of what could work for us, and what won’t. For example, one tactic of the early religious right was to focus on school board races and small, winnable elections. That’s something that could work for Greens, as we have a respectable win rate in local elections. Another right tactic was withholding support from candidates that don’t pass a litmus test on certain issues – for them, abortion was the major one. This is a smart strategy, and I’ve told progressive Democrats that it’s the only possible way they could ever get their party to respect them, but it seems that the progressive side is not so good at resisting the lesser evil argument.

    Should we announce that we’re taking over the Democratic Party Tea Party-style and ride a torrent of breathless media adulation and free-flowing campaign cash to victory? Come on, we need reality-based strategies and we need them bad.

  8. Regarding the 2012 presidential campaign, I remember reading here that national Greens sent letters out to potential candidates like Howard Zinn, Jim Hightower and Molly Ivins before the 2000 election:

    http://www.greenpartywatch.org/2009/01/13/voices-from-the-past/

    We should do that again for this cycle. Any plans to?

    One interesting idea I’ve heard recently is Sen. Mike Gravel. The best candidate would be someone with a progressive populist outlook with name recognition outside Green circles, and Gravel fits that description. He seems to be less invested in the Democratic Party than Kucinich, Sanders or Feingold; he’s even endorsed a number of Greens in the past couple of years. What do y’all think?

  9. @Dave

    I think a modification of the “Tea Party” strategy could probably provide some results. While the tea party is no doubt astroturf, it’s interesting on how split the Republican party is on them, and the beast they’re creating. Such as the whole case of an Republican incumbent beating the Tea Party candidate in Alaska via Write in, and the internal debate going on about “earmarks” (which the tea party want eliminated). In so far mounting a movement that’d organize primary challengers in Democratic primaries, and running your own candidate outside the Democratic party if your candidate doesn’t win and the winner doesn’t adopt aspects of your platform enough to your content. “Asher Platts” ala ThePunkPatriot has advocated this route before. This is one strategy that worked for progressive movements in the past. There’s many different strategies that could hypothetically work though.

    “It’s mind-boggling that so many progressives, who tend to be one of the better informed voter blocs, think the Green Party could pull off a “Tea Party” strategy.”

    That’s kind of assuming the “Green Party” and the “Progressive movement” are a conflated twin set joined at the hip. I think the Greens will certainly play a role in the future, if the Progs have any success, but I doubt it will be a defining feature.

    @Gravel

    I see a few problems with him. First off, he’s really fucking old, and second off, it seems from when I last was following him (though he may have changed his mind since), he wasn’t interested in political parties, and considered the whole idea of representative democracy rather flawed, and no longer interested in it. There’s also the problem he’s been going around spouting about “9/11 truth”, which frankly would do him no election favors if he were to run again.

  10. tiradefaction, while there were a few scattered candidates running on Tea Party lines, the “Tea Party” candidates that dominated the media and raked in millions from American Crossroads (Rove), FreedomWorks (Armey) and Americans for Prosperity (the Koch brothers) were all Republicans. There’s been some resistance from more moderate Republicans to the GOP’s transformation into a rigid reactionary party, but that’s a tension that’s existed since the conservative movement (a marriage of the religious right and right-wing corporatist economic elites) first began vying for power in the Republican party. While it makes sense for a conservative movement that has always been a Trojan horse for the corporate agenda to win significant influence within one of the corporate-sponsored parties, the progressive movement is fundamentally at odds with the profits-over-people ideology that permeates both corporate-sponsored parties, and that’s why I consider suggestions that progressives focus all our energy on a strategy of taking over the Democratic Party to be unrealistic. Basically every major progressive achievement in American history came about because people organized outside the dominant power structure, and recent events have only confirmed my belief that we have to overcome the corporate-controlled two-party system if we are to get America back on the right track.

    I wrote about these issues at length in a recent essay – I’d be interested to hear your thoughts:

    http://blogs.alternet.org/greenferret/2010/10/29/a-progressives-case-for-a-green-party-strategy/

  11. Hi Dave,

    I’ve actually read the article you linked to earlier, and there wasn’t much I disagreed with there. I’ve also spread the article around and showed it to a long time hardcore Democratic party member, and he thought it was great.

    @ Tea Party

    No disagreement there. I recognize their an astroturf “movement”, and carbon copying them would be impossible, nor desirable. I simply suggested elements of their “movement” could be examined and potentially adopted as part of the progressive movement.

    “that’s why I consider suggestions that progressives focus all our energy on a strategy of taking over the Democratic Party to be unrealistic”

    I most certainly don’t advocate that, and I roll my eyes whenever I read tweets or article proclaiming they’re geering up for a “primary” challenger to Obama. Frankly, the only primary challenger that would interest me is Alvin Greene, at least it would be hilarious…

    “Basically every major progressive achievement in American history came about because people organized outside the dominant power structure, and recent events have only confirmed my belief that we have to overcome the corporate-controlled two-party system if we are to get America back on the right track. ”

    That’s only half true. Most progressive movements in the United States indeed organized outside the power structure, and ran small, but fairly influential third parties to influence the two dominant ones, a good example would be the Grange movement and their Populist party. But they ultimately played the part of reforming one of the two major parties, which is generally the historic role third parties have played in the United States. Consider, for example, how political parties used to work in the United States. The basic unit was the precinct caucus, where neighbors would get together, debate issues and candidates, and organize publicity and get-out-the-vote activities for the next election. Each precinct elected representatives to the county convention, where this process was repeated, and cascaded upward through state and national conventions. These last weren’t the pointless media spectacles they’ve become; they were working sessions where the candidates and proposals that rose up from the grassroots finally got sorted out into the slate and platform the party would offer the voters come election day.

    These days precinct caucuses are moribund, and county and state conventions are little more than exercises in going through the motions; policy initiatives and candidacies begin, not with neighbors meeting in living rooms, but with media campaigns orchestrated by marketing firms and strategy sessions among highly paid party officials. Yet it wasn’t some conspiracy of corporate minions who brought about that state of affairs; what happened, by and large, was that most Americans dropped out of the party system, and the professionals filled the resulting void.

    I’m not making any argument against third parties, I largely voted third party in the mid terms (largely Green, some Peace & Freedom, one Libertarian), I’m just sharing some thoughts and potential strategies.

  12. I don’t see how re-nominating a candidate that we’ve ran before will help the party be reinvigorated. In my opinion, it will be a step backwards. We need new energy, fresh energy. If someone could list the pros and cons of this nomination.

  13. Winona Laduke was the running mate of Ralph Nader in 2000. As is common, she is now being considered as a presidential nominee. That is one of the pros to consider. As a native women with strong standing in her community and some recognition in the larger population, I think she’d make a very good candidate and help move the party forward.

  14. the tea party is a false front operation financed by the Koch’s and Murdoch to tap the reactionary, racist response to the election of a black president who ran on the promise of change and funnel that back into the Republican Party.

    If you have a few billion dollars and a couple of major media outlets, I’d be happy to help you implement this ‘strategy’

  15. To Lou:

    Those weren’t very convincing. Sure, name recognition is good, but we’ve ran her before. It didn’t work, even with Nader. Im sure some will be like “didn’t we vote for her already?” It’d be like running Nader again. I “feel” like if this is the best we can offer, then we’re “hopeless.” I know that we do try to get big names recruited to the party, but IMO, using this candidate is not the best way to get people to vote Green. I’m just saying, we should try to pull out all the stops this time around. No more “we’ll maybe next time.”

  16. If the greens nominated someone who backed obama and kerry it just wouldnt be right they could buckle under the pressure again. if nader doesnt stand then the green party could end the absurdity of having two candidates with very little difference splitting the vote. It would need real networking to reach out to those sorts of activists including negotiations on how the green party nominees was picked and how to handle states where the candidate couldnt be a green but could get on as something else. Without this nader not standing could result in a new force emerging. Emphasising the importance of using the presidential campaign as a resource for activists to run for other offices and build a movement. Cindy sheehan is someone who is intending to run for president can the greens convince her of participating in your nomination process. Kat swift could be a good bet with texas new found ballot acess. Jello biafra would attract a lot of imaginations peace
    james?

  17. Great thread, we can cover a lot here about the direction for the next 2 years:

    1. I think we agree, we are successful in local races, we should keep doing exactly what we are doing there but with more candidates. Maybe we could start a money-bomb site to fund local chapters of the Green Party (a new city/county per week). If everyone can start dropping $10/week we could help fund some local campaigns. Aside from that, I think we know this is our strength and should be our focus.

    2. Being we are doing what we need with local (save for funding), our CREATIVE energy should go toward winning either a state-office (legislature, Governor), or a major Mayor seat (Minneapolis, Chicago, Austin, San Francisco). I think that should be where we do most of our brain storming and discussion.

    3. Our Presidential Campaign needs to focus on both supporting our local and state-wide efforts and promoting our policies and philosophies. Also, we should continue building ballot access, and try to get a 50-State Campaign. As far as Nominees/Candidates, I think Cynthia will run again (she stated that she will) and while it is tempting to try to get in a fresh face and see if they are more successful, I think we should just let that happen naturally (as by doing nothing in this field will still yield, in my opinion, a strong candidate for the office). If we want to brain storm, let’s think of people to suggest running with Cynthia on the ticket (as this won’t require funding and energizing a rival campaign). Gravel could be good, but he is a registered Libertarian and I would rather see him run for that Party’s nomination again. I like Farheen Hakeem from Minnesota a lot, and I think having a Muslim Woman on our ticket would be a good thing to help build the Party itself.

    So, my opinion, for what it is worth:

    Let Cynthia take the nomination and suggest Farheen as her running mate (McKinney/Hakeem 2012), try to better fund our local efforts and attract more candidates, and focus our creative energy on creating better state-wide campaigns. We also need a website polish effort, and perhaps someone who can create a “Green Candidate WordPress Template” so any and all candidates can instantly have a professional looking website without a lot of cost. I’d suggest trying (if we don’t already) to get a paid webmaster/designer on the National Party staff, but even a few volunteer web designers who want to work on a HUB for candidates to grab web resources would be super beneficial (I’d be willing to help a bit on that, but I don’t have the time or talent to spearhead it).

    Fund Local
    Energize State-Wide
    McKinney/Hakeem 2012

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