the epic barriers to Third Party candidates

And if the Dems have their way…especially Green Party candidates.

(click for larger photo)


The BAR newsletter had popped into my Inbox a few days ago, and I was interested in this piece on Black Agenda Radio: ‘Greens’ Howie Hawkins is 2020’s Only Real Peace Candidate’, Bruce Dixon, April 4, 2019, which transcript was labeled with ‘Tulsi Gabbard is a Sheepdog’ before the rest of the radio title.

Some excerpts that will show where I’m heading with this diary’s title, and as all BAR content is CC, I’ll quote freely:

“Respectfully, my comrade and friend Danny Haiphong is wrong, Hawaii congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard is not a peace candidate. To (the) extent that she diverges from the warlike bipartisan consensus that’s a good thing. But it’s not the job of the left to, in Danny’s’s words “nurture” or support Gabbard with campaign donations so she can get into the televised Democratic primary debates.

Danny Haiphong says he is neither a Democrat nor a Gabbard supporter and I believe him. That’s what makes his “sophisticated” – his word not mine – notion that the left needs to line up behind Gabbard utterly baffling. The plain truth is that whatever else the Democratic party may be, it is also one of the two permanent government parties of the US, a party of empire and war, despite the fact that a great number of Democratic voters are, for a multitude of reasons, opposed to imperial war.”

…the sheepdog candidate is charged with herding activists and voters back into the Democratic fold who might otherwise drift leftward and outside of the Democratic party, either staying home or trying to build something outside the two party box…”

Now I wish Bruce had given other reasons that Tulsi’s not a true ‘peace candidate’, but that’s just me.

“The Hawkins vision includes a yearlong grassroots organizing campaign to overcome the profoundly unjust legal barriers which Republican and Democratic politicians together have erected in almost half the states to prevent the Greens from competing against them in national and local elections. Unlike the regulations pertaining to Republicans and Democrats, these arbitrary, anti-democratic and unjust laws require Green Party candidates to present more than 800,000 voter signatures on paper petitions just to allow Green candidates for local, state and national office to appear on the ballot in about a third of the states.

Texas requires 85,000 petition signatures,
Georgia 65,000 signatures,

Tennessee, 56,000 signatures,
Alabama demands 51,000 signatures
Ohio, 43,000
Indiana, 44,000|
Illinois, 25,000
Oklahoma, 34,000
Minnesota requires an outrageous 147,
…just to name a few.

Many of these legal barriers to third parties appearing on the ballot have been in place for a century, and raised even higher whenever insurgent parties threatened to overcome them. What we were all taught in school to call “the two party system” is nothing more than the product of the two capitalist parties colluding with each other to continuously tweak the laws in such a manner as to protect themselves against competition. Competition from parties funded by people instead of billionaires, Competition from socialist and eco-socialist parties, competition from parties who stand for economic and racial justice at home and for peace abroad.

The latest legislative tweak aimed at kneecapping the Green Party was buried in the Democrats HR1, a provision that raised the amount Green presidential candidates needed to raise per state to qualify for matching funds from $5000 in small donations from each of 20 states to $25,000 in 20 states was endorsed and voted for by supposed socialist Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez and every other Democrat in the House of Representatives. Curiously none of the so-called progressive Democrats, nobody in the media, in civil rights industrial complex, none of our friends in DSA and certainly not Tulsi Gabbard or even Bernie Sanders have ever bothered to mention this cynical and longstanding piece of voter suppression. These unjust legal barriers to third parties on the ballot are the main reason most US voters don’t get to see Green candidates on the ballot for state legislature, for governor or local offices, or for president.”

Dixon then touts Howie Hawkin’s peace credentials (in part):

“Howie Hawkins is 2020’s only real peace candidate because Howie is committed to the hard work of building a permanent peace and justice party from the bottom up, and putting it on the ballot nationwide, not just to running a one-shot sheepdog campaign and lining up behind whoever the capitalist war party eventually nominates. Howie has been in the movement longer than Gabbard has been alive, working against the Vietnam war as a teenager before joining the Marines in 1972 and taking part in the widespread antiwar movement inside the US military of that time.”, and so on.

“Howie needs $5,000 in donations $250 and under in each of 20 states for his campaign to receive federal matching funds that will enable us to launch the yearlong ballot access campaign that will put the Green Party on the ballot in every state, and put us on the road to building a fighting party sustained and run by its members.”

He advises readers to go to HowieHawkins.us to contribute to his exploratory committee; this is his ‘About Howie’ page, ‘Testing the Waters’ is here.

But I did dig up the odious bill he’s referenced: congress.gov: H.R.1 – For the People Act of 2019, the text

Committees (and wtf?) House – House Administration; Intelligence (Permanent Select); Judiciary; Oversight and Reform; Science, Space, and Technology; Education and Labor; Ways and Means; Financial Services; Ethics; Homeland Security

The final roll call vote March 8, 2019: (D: 234 yeas, O nays, NV 1 [Rep. Clay]); (R: 193 nays, 0 yeas, NV 4)

Silly of me given to try to find the anti-Green text in the gazillion pages of text, but making an inquiry by Bing, I found (ta da!) Bruce Dixon’s Jan. 18, 2019 high-lariously titled ‘House Democrats’ HR 1 – Faking the Funk on Voting Rights, Spreading Fear and Gunning For the Greens in 2020’

It’s a brand new year and Democrats running the House of Representatives under Nancy Pelosi, Jim Clyburn and Steny Hoyer need to rebrand themselves in preparation for the 2020 elections. So Team Pelosi has rolled out what they and their far flung chorus of corporate media hacks from MSNBC to so-called “woke” social media are calling their flagship bill for the 116th Congress. To hear them tell it, it’s all about ending corruption in Congress and the White House, about taking the Big Money out of politics, and most of all, it’s about protecting voting rights.” [snip]

HR 1 (a 571-page monstrosity) pretends to be a voting rights bill, but is in fact a sleazy ghetto ice cream truckload of empty campaign promises intended to rebrand Democrats as the party of voting rights, despite their dismal non-record of struggle [Black misleadership failures and complacency] to protect or expand these rights. They are all commonsense measures Nancy P, who has been part of House Democrat leadership since the 1990s, and has led Democrats in the House since 2003, could have tried to put into law at any time, many times over the past twenty-five and more years. But they didn’t.”

Here’s HR 1’s list of what ought to be real and significant voting rights reforms. But again, coming from Nancy P and the House Dems at the beginning of the 2020 campaign season they are obviously no more than empty and cynical campaign promises….”  [long, long snip]

“Republicans run the Senate and the White House. Republican Senate leader Mitch McConnell has already pledged the entire package of HR 1 is dead on arrival, and right now even that arrival is uncertain since Democratic Senate leader Chuck Schumer has not even bothered to introduce a matching bill in that chamber. Essentially Schumer is not even signing on to this load of cynical promises. Not yet anyway. But if the stench of cynicism is strong enough to make a vulture like Chuck Schumer hesitate, that really says something.”

There are only 2 pieces of HR 1 which are NOT empty 2020 campaign promises, and which have a reasonable change of becoming law. Really, really BAD law.

1.HR 1 Requires that the “intelligence community” produce a yearly report on threats to the US electoral system.

HR 1 directly cites the odious McCarthyite accusations of Prop or Not from two years ago as “congressional findings.” These baseless lies assert that left opposition ion the part of the American people to the two capitalist parties  is motivated and manipulated by hostile foreign powers operating in social media, grassroots organizations and other places, and that these are imminent threats to national security, specifically the security of the US electoral process. Black Agenda Report is specifically named, the only black owned and operated entity thus fingered. HR 1 requires the FBI, CIA, the Pentagon, DEA, NSA, Homeland Security and the rest of the so-called “intelligence community” – the same people who told us Saddam Hussein had nukes, that the government has never and will never intercept or record your email and online habits, and now says that “black identity extremists” are out to get us – HR 1 requires those professional perjurers, liars and deceivers to produce a yearly report on their manufactured threats to US electoral systems, specifically including the threats to national security by those who express dissident opinions. This part of HR 1 institutionalizes the notion that the left is an existential and foreign-sponsored threat to the security of the electoral process, and creates bodies to police social media. If they really tried, corporate Democrats in the House and Senate really stand a fair chance at getting the modest number of Republican sign-ons to make this a bipartisan thing, and pass it to President Trump to sign.

2.The second piece of HR 1 which has a chance of gaining the bipartisan needed to become law, if Democrats want it badly enough to seek Republican votes on it, is aimed squarely at keeping the Green Party off the ballot in as many states as possible, and crippling the Green Party’s presidential campaign. ” [snip]

“I was part of Jill Stein’s campaign team in 2015-2016, and I can tell you we barely met the old threshold in about 22 states. It was a near thing. Eliminating those federal matching funds for a Green Party presidential campaign would mean all but certain erasure of the Green Party from the ballot in a good dozen or more states for 2020, and maybe a dozen more in 2022. For a generation now, most Americans have told pollsters they want to see a real third party , not in the middle of the two, but well to the left of both. HR 1 isn’t serious about voting rights, but it’s deadly serious about limiting voter choices at the polls.”

“HR 1 is the 2020 election season’s brightly painted ghetto ice cream truck. It’s on your Facebook pages, Instagram and other social media feeds, even in some of your more “woke” churches.  It’s blasting loud music about voting rights, protecting the vote, ballots by mail, getting the money out of political campaigns, and reforming the corrupt ethics of Congress and the White House. But none of that stuff will pass while Republicans run the Senate, while Trump is in the White House, and even if they’re out of office, none of it will pass while Democrats are on the corporate tit themselves. If Democrats do take the White House in 2020 you won’t see that sleazy ghetto ice cream truck or hear HR 1’s voting rights and anti-corruption promises any more either. Bet on that.

Tell it Brother Bruce!  Still interested in seeing the actual text, I’d Bingled once again and had found at Green Party US.org: Green Party Candidate Says HR1 Must Be Amended Parts of “For The People 2019 Act” hurt democracy, limit voter choice’, March 7, 2019:

Gardena, CA — Green Party Presidential Candidate Sedinam Kinamo Christin Moyowasifza-Curry today called on Congress to make significant changes in House Democrats’ legislative centerpiece HR1, the “For The People 2019 Act”, particularly in the portions of the Act having to do with campaign matching funds.” [snip]

“Sedinam Moyowasiza-Curry is a declared candidate for the nomination for President of the Green Party of the United States. She ran for the GPUS Presidential nomination in 2016, and for the Vice-Presidential nomination in 2008. She is a longtime Green, and was a co-founder of the Green Party’s Black Caucus. To find out more about her 2020 Presidential campaign, visit Sedinam2020.

Wondering by now how many Greens have thrown their hats into the Presidential Ring, I let my fingers do the Binging once again, and found at Wikipedia: 4 candidates have declared: Ian Schlackman, Long Island; Dario Hunter, Ohio; Howie Hawkins, New York; Sedinam Kinamo Christin Moyowasifza-Curry, Los Angeles.  Potential candidate: Jesse Ventura, Minesota.  Declined to run: Bernie Sanders and Jill Stein.

The process ahead of securing the national nomination:

‘The 2020 Green Party presidential primaries will be a series of primaries, caucuses and state conventions in which voters elect delegates to represent a candidate for the Green Party’s nominee for President of the United States at the 2020 Green National Convention. The primaries, to be held in numerous states on various dates from early Spring into early Summer of 2020, will feature elections publicly funded, concurrent with the Democratic and Republican primaries, and elections privately funded by the Green Party, to be held non-concurrently with the major party primaries.

There will be 400 delegates, plus or minus two, elected to the Green National Convention. A candidate will need a simple majority of these delegates to become the party’s nominee for president in the 2020 presidential election. In addition, formal recognition is a requirement to be the Green Party’s nominee.’

Got that?  Hope so…hope I catch on soon.

From Howie Hawkins on Twitter:

Should I Run? @HowieHawkins Exploratory Committee Launch Video

(cross-posted from Café Babylon)

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Comments

How do I know that the Greens aren't a sheepdog?
I think everyone is a sheepdog.
That includes you, yes you the readers, are all sheepdogs.
I'm a sheepdog.
Everything is sheepdogs.
Except sheepdogs, who are actually cats.

I should mention that I'm registered Green.
I just think the term is being way overused.

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wendy davis's picture

@gjohnsit
that's your entire takeaway from this diary? well all i can say is Good Golly Miss Molly, gjonsit, and to whomever gave your comment (On edit: Now Five Two Thumbs.

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@wendy davis
I agree with the diary otherwise

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snoopydawg's picture

@gjohnsit

If you disagree with what is written here write an essay and say why instead of doing this.

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America is a pathetic nation; a fascist state fueled by the greed, malice, and stupidity of her own people.
- strife delivery

wendy davis's picture

@snoopydawg

echoes of "Other than that, Mrs. Lincoln...how did you like the play?"

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Unabashed Liberal's picture

@wendy davis @wendy davis

essay definition of 'sheepdog,'


“…the sheepdog candidate is charged with herding activists and voters back into the Democratic fold who might otherwise drift leftward and outside of the Democratic party, either staying home or trying to build something outside the two party box…”

then, "yes--any candidate who puts his Party over his own principles, his professed ideology/views, and/or his supporters, is the epitome of a sheepdog." (IMO)

Glad that Mike Gravel has announced. I was considering voting for Gabbard--if, she were to run as an Independent. Which is not very likely, I know; but, sure don't see any of the other announced Dem Party candidates having the nerve to bolt. BTW, don't recall whether Gravel is running as a Dem, or, as an Independent. (IMO, he's making a mistake if he assumes the mantle of the corporatist Dem Party. Even if he's only running as a 'message' candidate.)

I'm not very knowledgeable about the Green Party, 'cause there's never (to speak of) any candidates in our region to vote for. We usually just cast write-in votes, to make our protest/voices heard.

If I may make a suggestion, maybe one day or week, when you tired, and not feeling like researching and writing an essay, it would be a real treat if you were to re-post the essay that included your gorgeous image/photo carousel of wildlife, flowers, etc. I'm thinking you did that once (over here), but, seems like it was over a year ago, or longer. You know, since Spring is here, and all. How's that for a hint? (smile--emoji won't work here, for some reason)

CNN is conducting one of their so-called Townhalls this evening (right now--9:09 p.m. CST). Not sure, but think it's with Blue Dog Kirsten Gillibrand (from the voice).

My best to Mr WD. Hope he's completed his eye surgery, and all went well for him. That'd be a pretty stressful type of medical procedure, I would think, since one's eyes are so, so precious, and vital to normal functioning.

Really enjoy the Playing For Change music videos that you post at evening's sign-off. So, I'll sign off now with one of my favorites--which you recently posted, IIRC.

[Stand By Me | Playing For Change | Song Around The World]

Hey, Clarence Bekker's the man!

I think dogs are the most amazing creatures; they give unconditional love. For me they are the role model for being alive.
~~Gilda Radner, Comedienne

Blue

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Everyone thinks they have the best dog, and none of them are wrong.

wendy davis's picture

@Unabashed Liberal

but just to be clear: it's bruce dixon's definition of sheepdog, not mine. gravel's running a a Dem, but just to widen the discourse of the debate stage, but by this late a date getting their Donate tab to work, it's hard to think he can reach the 65000 contributions threshold, but i can't imagine he's endorse anyone else, as someone asked on that thread. but yeppers, mr.wd and i each sent him a fiver. even consortium news has Mike's candidacy story up today!

nice of you suggest i post my critters and flower photos again, but eek, they're amateur hour compared to some of the pros here. ; ) but i sure will consider it... mr. wd can see far better than i can now, which is a hoot and a half! thank you for asking, and i hope you and mr. blue are faring well.

love love love playing for change, and stand by me is a great tune; thank you. i'm about to close and have a sign-off tune in mind myownself. ; ) g' night.

on next day edit: i'm not sure that there are many candidates who actually have many closely held 'principles', perhaps rather reflexive pragmatic ones.

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Unabashed Liberal's picture

@wendy davis

I'm here one week, off the next, unfortunately, so, I didn't realize that you had written an essay on Gravel. Heck, he sounds great, except for this,

But Sen. Gravel, like the Biblical prophet Jeremiah, cares deeply about this country, deeply enough to criticize its excesses. Sen. Gravel is a true progressive.”

“After getting in the first two debates and issuing the all-important critique of our destructive American empire, Sen. Gravel would leave the race and endorse the frontrunner among progressive Democrats.

which makes him sound like the ultimate 'sheepdog.'

What's with all these candidates, for cryin' out loud. Poll after poll shows that folks want a third party option.

I'm tired, and my head's splitting this evening, but, sometime in the near future, I'll look up and post the figures for viewers/listeners of the Dem and Repub 2016 Presidential Debates. It's a fraction of the US population of approximately 330 million--average of about 8 million viewers for Dems in 2016 (Repubs were almost double that number), IIRC. Probably, because they had so many candidates, and more fireworks in their debates.

Bottom line, in this era, participation in the Presidential Debates doesn't mean what it did years, much less decades, ago. (IMO)

At any rate, I'll look forward to hearing him out, but, I think he would do so much more good, if he'd make a serious Independent run. I don't care if he's 188 years old!

Biggrin

Good evening, WD.

I think dogs are the most amazing creatures; they give unconditional love. For me they are the role model for being alive.
~~Gilda Radner, Comedienne

Blue

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Everyone thinks they have the best dog, and none of them are wrong.

wendy davis's picture

@Unabashed Liberal

blue. not a good thing to have forgotten; hope whoever said that knew what they were talking about. agreed: debates are more akin to sound-bite press conferences, aren't they? no Qs to one another, for instance. i haven't watched one in eons, but then i'm quite outside the mainstream politically.

but really, i can't imagine that we'll see him on the debate stage, barring wot? a miracle?
hope your headache's gone when you wake this morning.

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@gjohnsit I make a distinction between candidates like Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton (and Pelosi and Harris, and O'Rouarke, etc. ad nauseum) who are genuine sheepdogs in that they pretend to support progressive policies and have no intention of implementing them once they are in office, and others that simply do not share all of my views. I do not consider Tulsi to be a sheepdog. She has taken positions that are not popular because she genuinely holds those positions, and I agree with her on many things but not everything. Bernie, of course, has weaknesses on foreign policy, but his record over several decades speaks for itself. AOC is young and makes mistakes at times, but, damn its good to see someone push the Overton window away from the center. Even Elizabeth Warren, I believe, genuinely wishes to enact capitalist reform measures that would make the lives of many working class people better, at least transiently. I voted for Jill Stein in 2016 and I have contributed to the Greens back to 2004. I agree with Jill Stein's positions on more things than any other candidate, but the barriers to third party success are so hard to overcome.

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Wally's picture

@gjohnsit

Sorry, couldn't resist.

They'll be playing at the Woodstock 50th Anniversary Concert this year.

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Azazello's picture

I was asked to join Bernie 2020. Here's what I said.

Azazello,

When I was on Bernie’s first campaign for president in 2016, the rush of support was incredible. He was raising hundreds of millions of dollars, filling stadiums everywhere, and polling best against Trump (as I often reminded the superdelegates). Bernie did not lose because he lacked support from the people. He lost because the Democratic Party rigged its primary to guarantee that an establishment candidate would win.

That’s why, when I was asked to join his campaign for president again this December, I said that I was exactly where I wanted to be in the Movement for a People’s Party. I explained to the staffers who were officially preparing his run that what this country really needs is a people’s party. I told them that tens of thousands of us in MPP and the majority of Americans now want a major new party.

Bernie Sanders would make a transformative president. He could even win if he ran as an independent. But over the past three years, the Democratic Party has expanded its control over its presidential primary to ensure that a neoliberal wins again.

Even the best chess player in the world can't win a rigged game.

The primary rules have determined the result months before the first vote is cast, leaving just a veneer of democracy to keep us hoping that this time might be different. Furthermore, as a private corporation with no accountability to its members or voters, the Democratic Party has the power to change the primary rules and violate them at will.

Amazingly, the DNC itself confirmed this in open court testimony in 2017, when sued for defrauding millions of Bernie supporters during his first presidential run. Instead of accepting responsibility, the Party said it has the right to rig its primaries and pre-select the candidates in 2020 and beyond.

In the Democratic primary, the Party establishment is simultaneously the game maker, the opposing chess player, the referee, and the one who can change the rules mid-game. In those kinds of conditions, the game is just for show.

In fact, if this was not true, the Democratic Party would be of no use to the banks and corporations that invest billions into it for the very purpose of maintaining the status quo. Nor would it be of any use to the nearly 100 lobbyists who run the Party directly from the National Committee.

Corporate contributions are not charity.

The stakes for working people and the planet are far too high to entrust change to political parties run by corporations. Bernie himself taught us that there is no such thing as a people’s party that is bankrolled by Wall Street.

We cannot do the same thing time after time and expect different results. We need solutions that are proportionate to the scale of the problems that we face. The majority of Americans want a major new party because that is what it will take to achieve real change.

With a party that fights alongside our movements rather than against them, we can complete the political revolution. In the midst of endless election cycles, we must find the clarity and the courage to build a permanent solution.

I gave the Democratic Party nearly 10 years of my life, most of it working for establishment Democrats like John Kerry and Terry McAuliffe. I can never get those years back. But I can devote myself to building a party that speaks for the single mother with three jobs, the family facing cancer with no health care, the retired couple who trades meals for medication, the vet who left his innocence in Iraq, the homeless woman who did everything right, the young man who lost his future to a drug sentence, the boy who fled violence in his country, and the young woman who watches her student debt climb higher no matter how hard she works.

That’s who I work for today.

And that’s who I will work for as long as you are by my side.

Yours,

Nick Brana
Founder and National Director
Movement for a People’s Party

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Pluto's Republic's picture

@Azazello

I hang on his every word. Heh.

Seriously, though. At this point in time, he knows exactly what is possible and what is not in electionland. Saves a lot of wasted effort and misdirection.

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The purpose of a writer is to keep civilization from destroying itself.
– Albert Camus
Wally's picture

"The majority of Americans want a major new party"

Is the People's Party going to be on the ballot in any state for 2020?

Any candidates?

BTW, I sent them a few bux for a t-shirt when they first got off the ground.

I really believe this time we have a LAST chance to take advantage of the neoliberals' idiocy what with each corporatist candidate shooting the other in the foot and stealing each others votes. Bernie has the critical mass that can just maybe make it happen in 2020. It's worth taking the chance.

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shameful. Nader filed so many lawsuits and won, but ballot access depends, in great part, upon the popular vote in the most recent Presidential election. And, it's Catch 22: newer parties have the most trouble raising money, yet have to spend on lawsuits and signature gathering just to get on the damn ballot.

As far as the alleged two-party system, Gore Vidal nailed it long ago: The US has one party, the Property Party, which has two right wings, Democratic and Republican.

I don't know who is a sheep dog and who is not. I do know that Sanders calls newer party candidates spoilers. If you genuinely believe that the left should stick together by voting Democratic, does that make you a sheep dog? (While on the subject of Bernie, for whatever it's worth and whatever it may mean, he has already filed papers to run for the Senate in 2024 as an independent.)

Right now, and since 1860, really, our voting choices are: Democrat, Republican and a candidate who has not a prayer of winning. People who wish to run for President--or any office, really--face a similar dilemma.

I have already stated how I will vote in the primary and in the general and why, sheep dogs or not.

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wendy davis's picture

@HenryAWallace

from bruce dixon was this:

"Many of these legal barriers to third parties appearing on the ballot have been in place for a century, and raised even higher whenever insurgent parties threatened to overcome them. What we were all taught in school to call “the two party system” is nothing more than the product of the two capitalist parties colluding with each other to continuously tweak the laws in such a manner as to protect themselves against competition. Competition from parties funded by people instead of billionaires, Competition from socialist and eco-socialist parties, competition from parties who stand for economic and racial justice at home and for peace abroad.

and writing about the craptastic HR1:

"was endorsed and voted for by supposed socialist Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez and every other Democrat in the House of Representatives. Curiously none of the so-called progressive Democrats, nobody in the media, in civil rights industrial complex, none of our friends in DSA and certainly not Tulsi Gabbard or even Bernie Sanders have ever bothered to mention this cynical and longstanding piece of voter suppression. These unjust legal barriers to third parties on the ballot are the main reason most US voters don’t get to see Green candidates on the ballot for state legislature, for governor or local offices, or for president.”

which i guess he'd include in 'sheepdogging for Dems'.

i was shocked when i'd first pasted the Committees referenced into my word document for this,
and boy, howdy was i glad he'd amplified it in his january exposé. it's got russia-gate built right into it. gawds blood, but yes, it's a Thing to campaign on for 2020, even though mitch won't bring it to the floor...ever.

please explain the mechanics of this? "(While on the subject of Bernie, for whatever it's worth and whatever it may mean, he has already filed papers to run for the Senate in 2024 as an independent.)

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Big Al's picture

and was also a bit baffled by it. Course, he's not the only alternative internet writer I've seen that from, it reminds of Obama in 2007/8 and how many got caught up in him, culminating him getting the Nobel peace prize. As for Gabbard being a sheepdog, definitely could be. She's definitely keeping the more antiwar leaning democrats involved in the party, we'll know the end of the story when she drops out. She is not a peace candidate as Dixon said. Like Sanders, she's an imperialist, a self proclaimed "war hawk" for the global war OF terror, on board with the dem party Russiaphobia, a friend of Zionist Israel, she's supported illegal sanctions on Iran, North Korea and Russia, and last but not least, a democratic party politician, again as Dixon states, a true war and imperialism party. Her talk against regime change wars and nuclear war appears like a convenience position similar to Obama and Trump using various parts of foreign policy to pose as an "antiwar" candidate. She's also a long time member of the Council on Foreign Relations, the most prominent imperialist private organization on the planet, a position I've yet to hear her or any of her supporters explain. I'm not sure how anyone who claims to be antiwar war or an anti-imperialist can side with any part of the democratic party at this point. It ain't gonna work.

One true color showing from the new dem party progressive politicians is the lack of inviting the Green party to collaborate with them on the Green New Deal. If they were that interested in saving the planet and humans from extinction in 12 years, you'd think they'd hook up with whoever they could to get it done. Not to mention democracy itself, no politician from the democratic party will call for greater participation from third parties to help facilitate at least a resemblance of democracy. The dem party must protect their party and the duopoly system and they all know it.

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@Big Al

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wendy davis's picture

@Big Al

even on-topic to boot! yes, as i'd written: "Now I wish Bruce had given other reasons that Tulsi’s not a true ‘peace candidate’, but that’s just me", hoping someone might ask, and here you've answered very well, an thank you.

apparently she'd also voted not to repeal the AUMF twice, but then she wouldn't because, as you say, she has a militaristic approach the 'war on terror' amerika and nato have caused and keep on causing. i do hear that she's evolved on the use of torture since those two interviews in which she'd solemnly intoned "...because of presidential ticking bombs'.

even her plaints against regime change pale (as with all the progressive dems who signed on to ro khanna's 'letter to sec. mike pompeo, close to 'even though he's a tryant who kills protestors, starves his people, won't let the (CIA) humanitarian aid caravans in, but we do not support regime change'. they can all kiss my grits. twice, in fact.

dunno about collaborating on a Green New Deal, but Ocasio might have done that it to begin with, save for it's all a gift to Capital, never a word about the amerikan military having the largest carbon footprint on the planet.

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wendy davis's picture

the video about howie's seeking candidacy i'd put at the bottom of the OP now says: Unavailable, and i'd already played it and really liked it. i went back to his twit account, and that one's the same. what on earth?

well, here's one recorded today: NO2Nato demo; it's okay...:

at his website: Remembering Dr. King and saying NO to NATO Apr 4, 2019


"I got up early this morning to be at the U.S. State Department for a No to NATO demonstration. The foreign ministers of NATO countries were inside, presumably to get the marching orders from the military superpower, the United States. Among the other Greens there were Ajamu Baraka, Margaret Flowers, Margaret Kimberley, Kevin Zeese, and Tony Ndege.

Speakers explained how NATO is the military alliance of the old colonial powers that is still dominating the former colonies in Africa, the Middle East, and Asia, and is now extending into South America, specifically Colombia—right right to Venezuela, which the NATO countries have now targeted for regime change.

From the State Department, we marched across the Mall to the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial for speeches against the interrelated “triple evils”—racism, poverty, and war—that King often spoke out against. April 4 is the anniversary of King’s controversial-at-the-time speech at Riverside Church in New York City, “Beyond Vietnam: A Time to Break Silence,” in which he endorsed and would participate in the seminal Spring Mobilization To End the War in Vietnam march and demonstration of hundreds of thousands of people in New York City on April 15, 1967.

King was assassinated exactly one year later on April 4, 1968 in Memphis, where he went to support striking sanitation workers as he was building the Poor People’s Campaign planned for Washington DC that summer.

I spoke at the King memorial about how our Green New Deal, which I have campaigned for since 2010 as an Economic Bill of Rights as well as an emergency program for 100% clean energy by 2030, was inspired by King’s Poor People’s Campaign and its call for an Economic Bill of Rights to a living-wage job, a guaranteed minimum income above poverty, decent housing, comprehensive health care, and a good education. If King were still with us today, no doubt he would be add the right to a healthy and sustainable environment to his Economic Bill of Rights."

works for me; i'll sure send him what little i can afford.

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Cassiodorus's picture

it's Howie. I've met Howie, most memorably in New Orleans in 2002. If anyone can do it, it's him. It probably doesn't matter whether or not you vote for him -- but do support him. He's the real deal.

Otherwise, I would recommend to everyone here that you all get involved with the Green Party -- attend the locals, go to your state plenaries, maybe run for office. Look, I might vote for Democrats now and then, but the primary point of voting for a Democrat is to get people to recognize that even with the BEST Democrats in office you still have a system designed to cater to the 1% and that they have to belong to organizations that do more than proclaim something good now and then, if anything is to change.

Any reading of the Federalist Papers will tell you that America is the 1%'s country -- the United States was created as a place where the top of the socioeconomic ladder in the South could feel safe within the plantation aristocracy to which they belonged, and the enormous and growing prison camp they'd created to keep the slaves in their places. Sure, they want the "third" parties out of the way -- their main tactic in destroying the Populist Party in the late 19th century was to force its candidates to run as Democrats.

Every argument I've heard or read against "third parties" has been made by people with time frames and goals so narrow as to defy the possibility that we'll actually, as Roger Waters put it, "find our way out of this maze." People have been trying to move the American goalposts for decades now with very little to show in the way of results. Little victories such as the New Deal or the 1964 Civil Rights Act count for a lot. It's clearly a long-term effort.

When South Carolina seceded from the United States in December of 1860, the whole of government was organized to support the plantation aristocracy of the South. The reasons for this can be seen with hindsight as obvious -- the primary circuit of capital in the world of the 1850s was from the plantations of the South to the shipyards of New Orleans and Charleston to the textile factories of central and northern England. It was also clear (see the Baptist book) that the conditions of cotton-production were economically favorable to slavery given the technological limitations of cotton-harvesting in the first half of the 19th century and the economic limitations of the form of capitalism that dominated at the time. At any rate, the Presidency, the Congress, and the Supreme Court were all arranged quite tidily to support this regime.

What changed the equation was the election of Abraham Lincoln -- the South, in its hubris and paranoia, seceded to protect its investment in slaves, worth maybe $3 billion, because they thought that Lincoln's opposition to the expansion of slavery into the territories constituted a threat to that $3 billion in "assets." Lincoln, we should remember, was at the head of a new second party, the Republican Party; we should hope that the Green Party will someday be a new second party.

Little things like the Green Party look helpless today. The regime is organized from top to bottom to protect capital, endless war, de facto segregation, medical bankruptcy, climate change, and so on. Its protagonists, however, are full of hubris and paranoia, which will defeat them in the end, just like it defeated slave capital in the 1860s.

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"The degree to which liberals are coming to inhabit an alternate reality, impenetrable by facts or reason, is actually frightening." -- Steve Maher

wendy davis's picture

@Cassiodorus

and pronounce him as 'the real deal'; it feels like it, and i love that one of my favorite tankies, ajamu baraka is behind him. remember him? jill stein was his running mate? /s

your historical narratives i know i'll appreciate more upon re-reading them in the morning. i can't remember the last time i voted for a D, prolly pre-nader? but then i do have an entire category at the Café: 'Dems as status quo gatekeepers', and that about sums them up for me.

my appreciation goes out to you, as well, for actually responding to, and greatly adding to, the subject/s of this diary. it had felt akin to having it 'shat up, spat upon, ratted on...' (paul simon's 'blessed are')

g'night, cass.

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wendy davis's picture

i'd peeked into his Twit account earlier and seen a few tweets alluding the fact that amy goodman might be (accidentally this time?) shilling for the empire again; although which of her two-part Nato broadcast he may have meant.

wide, wide smile:

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wendy davis's picture

good stuff:

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wendy davis's picture

i will say straight out that i'm fucking tired of living in the duopoly Wasteland of 'the Free'. g' night, sleep well and restoratively if you can.

the lyrics

And it feels like I am living in the wasteland of the free
We got politicians running races on corporate cash
Now don't tell me they don't turn around and kiss them peoples' ass
You may call me old-fashioned
But that don't fit my picture of a true democracy

Living in the wasteland of the free
Where the poor have now become the enemy
Let's blame our troubles on the weak ones
Sounds like some kind of Hitler remedy
Living in the wasteland of the free

While we sit gloating in our greatness
Justice is sinking to the bottom of the sea
Living in the wasteland of the free...

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Big Al's picture

@wendy davis There's a MeToo movement for ya, fuck the duopoly. Everybody knows it's fucked up, but few want to do anything about it. The duopoly has to be challenged and that is exactly what the focus on Gabbard, Sanders, Ocasio-Cortez and whatever other democratic party, i.e., duopoly, politicians and the next election prevents. I've often asked, if not now, when. But we always seem to come to a point where most of the people are so sick of one party and it's president that they'll willingly play the fake election game in the hopes of ridding themselves of the current evil.

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wendy davis's picture

@Big Al
amigo. it's been said before, of course, but from bruce dixion:

"The Democrats always declare the current election is the most important of our lifetimes, and this time they’ll claim this one is too important to “waste your vote” on any candidate that won’t defeat Trump. But they’re the same party that wants us to believe the Russians fooled black folks into not voting for Hillary Clinton with a handful of Facebook ads, most of them published after the election. They’re the same folks who called Trump a traitor for meeting with North Korean leaders, and applaud him for being “presidential” when he bombs Syria.

These are the same Democrats who raised Trumps already outrageous military budget another ten percent to show Boeing, Lockheed and the other military contractors that they were good friends too, and the same Democrats who join Republicans in backing the apartheid state of Israel. Democrats don’t have the solution to climate change, they can’t get behind Medicare For All, rent control, and couldn’t be bothered with enforcing the Voting Rights Act and the galaxy of existing anti-discrimination laws in housing, employment or anywhere else when they had power."

as for the news henry wallace brought that 'bernie calls them spoilers', i'd hazily then remembered that when replying to candidates that nader stole their votes, he'd said close to "No, you stole mine!"

but sure, in 2020 the Ds can run on aoc's green capitalistic New Deal, and now the grand election reform HR1 and cry: "but those nasty Rs wouldn't even bring t to the floor!"

but i'd add into the mix that most supporters of D candidates (even those earlier crying 'DemExit' or 'Revolution!'...believe what they want to believe about their candidates, say 'peace candidate Tulsi'.

wouldn't have obomba finally disabused voters of 'hope and change'? apparently not, because 'hope dies last' (the name of this trompe l'oeil mural by WD in athens i love so well...

the link in the tweet i'd put in upstream about howie's tax proposals (not what it is, really) is fascinating and very socialistic (some excerpts):

‘Democracy needs socialism. Progressive reforms will never be secure as long as the major means of production are in the hands of a super-rich oligarchy whose concentrated economic power translates into concentrated political power. The failure to face this reality is how the managed capitalism advanced by Democratic Party “socialists” comes up short. As Bernie Sanders said in his 2015 speech on democratic socialism, “I don’t believe government should own the means of production.” We should join with these progressives in fighting for reforms, but we should not be politically naive. Progressive reforms are not secure as long as the property-based power structure of the capitalist oligarchy remains intact.

Key Economic Sectors to Socialize

Money (including the federal reserve), Big Banks, Power Utilities, Big Pharma, Broadband. Arms Industry, Racial Justice, Peace Process, Agriculture, Immigration Reform (and yeppers" open borders, bless his ♥)...a longer list with some specifics. wooot!

hope you listened or will listen to iris dement's (who some call 'amerika's conscience' or close to that" Wasteland of the Free'. (i couldn't stop replaying it, lol). this example, that example, more examples...'that don't sound like Democracy to me!'

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The Aspie Corner's picture

And I don't feel bad about it.

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Modern education is little more than toeing the line for the capitalist pigs.

Guerrilla Liberalism won't liberate the US or the world from the iron fist of capital.

wendy davis's picture

@The Aspie Corner

my friend. i do hope we DO get to vote for him the more i read about his policies (as in my comment to big al above). in the disappeared video at the bottom of the OP, in three minutes or so, yes, he'd touted his eco-socialist new green deal (not that i think it matters much any longer), but close to the 'nuclear clock being one minute toward midnight', and said that if he decides not to run, he'll put any left over contributions into getting greens on the ballot. and i reckon 'decides not to run' might be close to: 'if he doesn't secure the nomination', but that's just me.

but i'm elated to have discovered that there might be someone i can vote for for prez of this (sorry): shit hole nation. mr. wd and i can't afford to send him many amerikan dollars, but every little bit helps, i reckon.

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The Aspie Corner's picture

@wendy davis seeing how the capitalist pigs have done all they can to co-opt the Green New Deal and morph it into something that allows the oil barons and other capitalist interests to continue to exist.

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3 users have voted.

Modern education is little more than toeing the line for the capitalist pigs.

Guerrilla Liberalism won't liberate the US or the world from the iron fist of capital.

wendy davis's picture

@The Aspie Corner

great appeal to ID politics, but craptastically hilarious in that all it ever talks about is 'net-zero carbon emissions' or what.ev.er. 'C'mon Down, 'n place your bids, techo-termistas!! Carbon capture and sequestraion? Geoengineering? Take yer pick!'

but srsly, post 2020 elections (if the Ds win) those will be the sort of proposals from the #SuchaDeal to be proposed as...a law. but come to think of it, even maybe proposed under MAGA rule, no?

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wendy davis's picture

given Dems seeking to enshrine russia-gate, etc. in their HR1, and Dems recommending assange be booted out of the embassy by open letter (ah, i can see the creator’s face (no: not that creator)...bob menendez?, and this:

from RT:

“WikiLeaks Editor-in-Chief Kristinn Hrafnsson has alleged that an extensive spying operation was conducted against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange during his time in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London.

During an explosive press conference, which is still underway, Hrafnsson alleges that the operation was designed to get Assange extradited. WikiLeaks claims that it was told that Assange’s extradition was imminent.

“We know that there was a request to hand over visitor's logs from the embassy and video recordings from within the security cameras in the embassy,” Hrafnsson said, adding that he believes the information had been handed over to the administration of US President Donald Trump.

Cameras used within the embassy in the last year have the capacity to record audio meaning that every single meeting held by Julian Assange with his doctors and lawyers have been recorded, according to former Consul of Ecuador to London, Fidel Narvaez.
“Ecuador is not protecting Julian anymore,” Narvaez said at the news conference, adding that the Ecuadorian government is doing everything possible to end his asylum. Ecuadorian President Lenin Moreno has repeatedly accused Assange of breaching the terms of his asylum.

A trove of audio, video, and photographs from a medical examination and copies of Assange’s lawyer’s notes, among other, private legal documents allegedly emerged in Spain and were used by a group who attempted to extort €3 million from WikiLeaks, it was claimed.

“I am told that the ringleader has a prior conviction on similar charges… there is a possibility that this one person was not Spanish but Spanish-Speaking,” Hrafnsson said of the extortion conspirators.”

i checked and the video is an hour long.

stay safe, julian; stay as sane as you're able. me, i'd have run screaming into the street in my knickers long ago.

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wendy davis's picture

consortium news has what amounts to be a transcript of the hour-long presser with Fidel Narváez, Kristinn Hrafnsson and Jennifer Robinson.

hrafnsson even met with the extortionists in spain, recognized one of them, and recorded the meeting. he the went to the police, who've opened an investigation. the material they offered
was vast and a disgusting invasion of privacy.

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wendy davis's picture

g' night to all of us; maybe tomorrow we'll begin to build a world based on peace and justice

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