take your answer off the air...

  • HorsesAss.Org: the straight poop on WA politics & the press
    progressive brilliance from the guy who pointed out Tim Eyman's nascent horse's-assedness
  • Talker's Magazine
    The quirky talk radio trade mag. Check the Talk Radio Research Project- it's not very scientific, but places on the top 15 talkers list (scroll down to Talk Radio Audiences By Size)) are as hotly contested as Emmys (and mean just about as much).
  • The Advocate
    No, not THAT Advocate... it's the Northwest Progressive Institute's Official Blog.
  • Media Matters
    Documentation of right-wing media in video, audio and text.
  • Orcinus
    home of David Neiwert, freelance investigative journalist and author who writes extensively about far-right hate groups
  • Hominid Views
    "People, politics, science, and whatnot" Darryl is a statistician who fights imperialism with empiricism, gives good links and wry commentary.
  • Jesus' General
    An 11 on the Manly Scale of Absolute Gender, a 12 on the Heavenly Scale of the 10 Commandments and a 6 on the earthly scale of the Immaculately Groomed.
  • Howie in Seattle
    Howie Martin is the Abe Linkin' of progressive Seattle.
  • Streaming Radio Guide
    Hellishly long (5795!) list of radio streaming, steaming on the Internets.
  • The Naked Loon
    News satire -- The Onion in the Seattle petunia patch.
  • Irrational Public Radio
    "informs, challenges, soothes and/or berates, and does so with a pleasing vocal cadence and unmatched enunciation. When you listen to IPR, integrity washes over you like lava, with the pleasing familiarity of a medium-roast coffee and a sensible muffin."
  • The Maddow Blog
    Here's the hyper-interactive La Raych of MSNBC. daily show-vids, freakishly geeky research, and classy graphics.
  • Northwest Broadcasters
    The AM, FM, TV and digital broadcasters of Northwest Washington, USA and Southwest British Columbia, Canada. From Kelso, WA to the northern tip of Vancouver Island, BC - call letters, formats, slogans, networks, technical data, and transmitter maps. Plus "recent" news.
  • News Corpse
    The Internet's chronicle of media decay.
  • The Moderate Voice
    The voice of reason in the age of Obama, and the politics of the far-middle.
  • News Hounds
    Dogged dogging of Fox News by a team who seems to watch every minute of the cable channel so you don't have to.
  • HistoryLink
    Fun to read and free encyclopedia of Washington State history. Founded by the late Walt Crowley, it's an indispensable tool and entertainment source for history wonks and surfers alike.

right-wing blogs we like

  • The Reagan Wing
    Hearin lies the real heart of Washington State Republicans. Doug Parris runs this red-meat social conservative group site which bars no holds when it comes to saying who they are and who they're not; what they believe and what they don't; who their friends are and where the rest of the Republicans can go. Well-written, and flaming.
  • Orbusmax
    inexhaustible Drudgery of NW conservative news
  • The Radio Equalizer
    prolific former Seattle KVI, KIRO talk host speaks authoritatively about radio.
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« The viaduct: it's about aesthetics, stupid... | Main | KIRO talk host claims being a slave in U.S. better off than being free in africa »

February 11, 2007

Comments

bn2189

Rank-order voting is the real solution.

sparky

Hopefully, people will take the lead from that Daily Show audience, and just ignore him. It seems that the more people beg him not to run, the more he gets off on being the spoiler. One of the worst of those moments was when, on the Bill Maher show, Bill and Michael Moore got down on their knees and begged him not to run. Nader was piddling all over himself at the attention.

misty

Even in his heyday, Nader was just an a commie shit disturber anyway. J. Edgar Hoover had him pegged.

chucks

I have a love-hate relationship with Nader. I thank him for his helping get Bush elected, but owned a Corvair Monza convertible when he wrote "Unsafe At Any Speed". Ruined the value of a little car that I really loved.
The term usefull idiot comes to mind. But he has morphed into more of a useless idiot.
His time has come and gone. We have real problems in this nation that need to be debated and solutions found. He is no longer able to help either side. He should go to Texas and hang out with that rich idiot that helped Clinton beat 41.

joanie

Gee, Michael, you didn't consider prefacing this with "Dear Joanie" did you ?

Nader is done. No doubt. At this point, thank god. But, don't blame him for 2000. Blame a lot of stupid voters who - like a lot of Republicans - were sheep following an idealogue. Unfortunately, thinking is still required if we are to elect honest and intelligent leaders. Sorry, folks.

But, he is right . . . the two parties don't differ that much. I mean, this last group of Republicans is not typical in my estimation. But a cancer by the name of George Bush was elected and his values, politics and ruthlessness metastized through his body politic and resided in susceptible congressmen.

A little dramatic? Hmm? I don't think so. More like disgusting.

Nader has always been more progressive than liberal - although you see a distinction where I don't.

Under Clinton the Dems moved to the right . . . you've been around long enough that you should acknowledge it. Think for yourself, Michael.

We should be the party of education and labor . . . not opportunism. We need to get back to some authenticity. Otherwise, these gains we've made (which were handed to us by one of the most corrupt Congresses in history) will be short lived.

McLaughlin Group (which I don't usually watch) was pretty interesting today. Acknowledged the mess we are in and the need for some liberal change. The writing is on the wall. This country is ready to move to the left. Is there a "left" left?


The beltway thinks Hillary is the front runner. Obama - if the party can keep its hands off - will win in 2008.

blathering michael

Joanie: you always think this song is about you, don't you? don't you? (actually it is...)
The work gets done in the middle. presidential candidates can run to the edges (and they must in primaries because that's where the bases are) but must go back to the center in the final. It's a tough constituency, this diverse America. governing happens in the middle- it's a winner takes half system. Bush tried it winner take all and it didn't work.
My point is that the only way to work effectively and pragmatically in US politics is within the 2 parties. I've been full circle w/3rd parties; and hadda eventually accept the historical reality. They're not going anywhere- they can push the consensus and be a nursery for ideas, but the power will never flow to them. issues like gay liberties have progressed steadily for instance- and it's obvious that full legal equality will happen. But a sea change to political system as it pertains to parties? hasn't progressed or done anything but ebb and flow since the 1860's. And it's far more culturally and legally entrenched now. the 2 major parties are where it's at and they are totally approachable as the conservatives proved w/the GOP; the DLC with the Dems. If you want the Dems to go farther left- get involved- many are.
The only difference between progressive and liberal is the spelling. 'liberal' was an a;lternative nomenclature we needed after the R's demonized the word. It's like evangelcals and fundamentalists- same-same.

mercifurious

Whole-heartedly agree Bla'M.

There are 2 electoral urges that make "The Cod"(s) resinate:

A.) Democratic party insiders (esp the DLC) that focus on moderated political expediency. It worked for the Clintons when information & debate could be widely controlled within the party structure - but it cannot work any longer.

B.) People getting hung up on political personalities. Unfortunatly the wars will be fought on this level. The casualities will be the so-called "disinfranchised voters" who will be so discouraged by "mud" (ie personality wars) that they either refuse to vote or vote for "the Cod"(s).

The solution is thus 2-fold:

A.) The political activists - bloggers et al - must keep the Primary electoral debate UNMODERATE and thus encourage true party discipline. This will also force slack-minded moderates to have to make a choice in the final result.

B.) The voting public must ignore the media-hype over political personalities (big hurdle). After the conventions, read the DNC platform, and the RNC platform. Then make a choice. It's that simple.

No matter what Drudge thinks, the future President will not be making decisions based on opponents' tabloid indiscresions, a bad outfit they wore, an ill-advised comment, or an atonal version of the Star Spangled Banner. They will be making decisions based on these party platforms.

Sure it takes more work to read the platforms instead of getting your information from cable news, but as in everything: Garbage-in, Garbage-out.

Joanie says:
the two parties don't differ that much.

Again, with Garbage-in Garbage-out, the parties don't differ because we don't FORCE them to differ. It starts with us.

mercifurious

Amen, Bla'M:
They're not going anywhere- they can push the consensus and be a nursery for ideas, but the power will never flow to them.

They're not going anywhere because the nature of the system won't allow it. IF we were a parliamentary democracy, then the 3rds would really matter - the king-makers in fact. But we don't, and they won't. It's called political reality.

Therefore the battle for being the king-maker must be fought in, during, and through the DNC primary election and the convention - not afterwards.

The irony is that IF these 3rd party activists actually focused their energies on the primary process (instead of unsystematic political masterbation) you really would see something different. But they don't, so the DNC becomes moderated/dominated by the DLC, and the activists endlessly claim to have no voice. It's both a vicious cycle and a self-fulfilling prophecy.

joanie

I know that. You're the one who specified a difference. geez.

Bush tried it winner take all and it didn't work.

It did work. Their problems have nothing to do with policy and everything to do with corruption.

Do you think we are at the same place we were in 2000?

Do you think Clinton did not bring us back to the right?

If Dems could stay out of deep pockets and quit working for the corporations, they'd have a base that would support them again.

Don't give me that tired "centrist" argument when the center keeps changing. It isn't the center or even the politics; the problem is who owns all of them.

Just watch . . . Obama will change that. I believe. You'll be a believer one day.

joanie

Again, with Garbage-in Garbage-out, the parties don't differ because we don't FORCE them to differ. It starts with us.

Me thinks you have contradicted your whole argument here.


They're not going anywhere because the nature of the system won't allow it...

The irony is that IF these 3rd party activists actually focused their energies on the primary process (instead of unsystematic political masterbation) you really would see something different. But they don't,

Hmm . . . the system won't allow it but . . . if we tried harder, we could do it?

C'mon, if the media would give voice to third parties allowing the electorate to become familiar with their message, we could do it.

But, third parties are only heard from during the election period and they continue to be considered outliers. Well, they are. But, give us a voice and that could change.

Of course, media is part of the system and won't allow it.


Wouldn't it be nice if Goldstein really operated out of the box and gave an opportunity for third parties to have a voice.

Nah . . . never happen. System won't allow it.


But, if we focused our energies . . .


Well, if we did that, Dwight Pelz would throw out all our campaign literature and make sure we didn't get heard.

mercifurious

If Dems could stay out of deep pockets and quit working for the corporations, they'd have a base that would support them again.

Again, I prefer the flip the pancake. IF the activists dropped the yokes of 3rd party ventures and fought within the Democrats, THEN they would become the base.

joanie

Well, merci, as I recall, the Kansas book's (can't recall the name) premise was that people couldn't tell the left from the right anymore and so started voting on Christian values. What's with that?

If I understand your take on it, we are now playing for the team . . . forget values, ethics, issues, etc.

Right?

mercifurious

C'mon, if the media would give voice to third parties allowing the electorate to become familiar with their message, we could do it.

The only thing worse than a conservative blaiming a failed war policy on the media is a 3rd party activist blaming their failed candidate on the same.

Hmm . . . the system won't allow it but . . . if we tried harder, we could do it?

3rd parties don't work because of the US political system - (ie, a Presidential/Separated-powers republic). They are simply not institutionaly empowered or viable. Therefore the activism that works in parliamentary 3rd parties (see: Britain, Canada, Israel, Japan, etc), does not work the same in ours. BUT, this same activism can be activated in ours - but only when channelled into the correct vector: primary caucuses/elections, party conventions, and the planking of the platforms.

Now if you want to hold a constitutional convention and argue for the desolving of our system and the installing of a parliament - more power to you!

But until then, become active within the DNC: Become a delegate (I am one), fight like hell in your individual caucus/primary, and help sculpt the DNC platform.

In the very end, turn-off the cable-news, take some time to read the RNC/DNC platforms, and make a choice. No, the DNC platform won't include a "Vegetarian Education in the Schools" plank (like the Greens do), but sometimes you gotta just deal.

I think we really are on the same page, Joanie. Believe me, I can totally understand the advantages of a parliamentary system. Who doesn't love the idea of the "Leader" having to face the opposition EVERY WEEK (and not be applauded). Who doesn't love a pro-marijuana party being the king-maker in a coalition? (Israel).

In the end, both parliamentarians and presidentialists must deal with their own political realities. Itch or switch.

mercifurious

If I understand your take on it, we are now playing for the team . . . forget values, ethics, issues, etc.

No, I'm saying fight for your values, ethics, issues etc within the rhealm of our institutional format and political reality.

3rd party activism in the US is the equivalent to a Tory/Lib MP in the Canadian parliament deciding to vote AGAINST their party during a floor vote - you'll have a nice backbench to masterbate on, and you'll stay there. In a parliament, this is a political reality (so they don't do it).

My larger point here is that "pragmatic activism" in these different systems naturally exists at different vectors. In a parliament this point of activism is well-defined and exists in the coalition building process.
In a Presidential/Seperation system, this point is not well-defined (part of the problem) and is SUPPOSED to exist at the party conventions/platform building.

coiler

I prefer Edwards over the rest, he apologized for his war vote and is talking soup for populists like health care and living wages. Obama voted for Condi's confirmation, an D+ at best. But then I was Dean all the way til the media blowout.

mercifurious

Note: If Nader were really smart, he'd agree to murge his decreasing votes into the DNC proper IN EXCHANGE for one or two key planks/plank alterations in the platform. THAT is activism translated into PURE political power.

But he's a stubborn old coot, so we'll never see it. Sad, really

Tommy008

Phil Van Der Voor has his own new Sunday show, airing right now. He calls it the Phil the News Junkie Show, but unfortunately, a litle bird in my head keeps chirping "it's Phil, The Monson's Flunkie, it's Phil The Monson's Flunkie". Sorry just ruins his show for me.

sparky

i agree, merci...

and IF we had a parlimentary system like Canada's, right now we would have a Democratic president since we are the majority party right now...AND, when Bush's numbers hit the 30s, the repubs could have replaced him with someone more popular...ie Brian Mulroney and Kim Campbell,....

mercifurious

On the other hand Sparky, when Bush's poll ratings were near %90 after 9-11, he could have done the same and increased his congressional power.

Note to Joanie: This should underline some other fundamental realities of both systems:

A.) Neither are "perfect" - both are flawed
B.) Everyone must deal with everyone
C.) When one person's ideology dominates (left, right, center), it sucks for everyone else.
D.) Therefore, believing that every individuals' laundry list of ideologies will have a voice is either stupid or tyrannical (probably both).

blathering michael

3rd parties have the cards stacked against them in the very sinews of a 150 years of wide-ranging state laws in 50 different states. There's usually a psycho-social element, too- 3rd parties never get their shit together long enough to stay intact from one election to the next. The type of person that's attracted to such alternative politics isn't often interested or suited to the type of consensus achieving and organizational disciplines that's required to play with the big boys.
Often 3rd parties achieve a certain level of success because they're held together by a strong, colorful, cultish or rich leader like Perot, Nader, Wm. Jennings Bryan, or Red Kelly. When the juice comes from a single inspirational leader, the movements tend to dissipate or blow up after the guy blows up, dies off, or runs off with the secretary.
As far as pragmatic politics, it's a waste of an activist's time to undulge in the self-pleasuring of a 3rd party. Its an intellectual distraction with little to do with the real power struggle that is realpolitik.

sparky

yes merci---Im glad we dont have a parlimentary system for that very reason...its the whole ball of wax, or nuthin....

I am tempted to hold out for the "pure' candidate who meets ALL of my qualifications, but even though I lean toward Edwards at this time, I have had to accept some things about him I dont particularly care for.

sparky

Maybe the day is coming where an hour after the new President is inaugurated, the candidates for the next election will announce their plans. Gawd I hope not...

joanie

But until then, become active within the DNC: Become a delegate (I am one), fight like hell in your individual caucus/primary, and help sculpt the DNC platform.

I have a friend who tried that and he finally just quit because the agenda was made and woe be to anyone who wanted to change it.

So, merci, what changes can I thank you for?

And don't we all just owe a huge thank you to Hong Tran for trying so hard to keep her campaign literature on the table. But Dwight Pelz was faster . . . as fast she put it up, he'd dump it.

Well, you all may think that's playing with the big guys, but I call that playing with the bullies. I think the bullies should be driven out of town.

And if you all can't see the changes in corporations vs. labor and wages and taxation and benefits since the fifties even, then we are on a slow slide into hell. But, enjoy the ride with the ride with the big guys.

rosco

if only the mainstream left would attack Republicans with the same vitirol they use on Nader.

Sky Bluesky

Oh, come on now. Nader stole the election in 2000? You're not going to trot out that pathetic old saw again, are you?

I can handle someone saying that Bush stole the election (with the aid of five members of the Supreme Court.) But Nader didn't steal anyone's vote. Nader received votes from ... surprise ... people who could have voted for anyone they wanted. The votes that Nader received didn't belong to Gore anymore than they belonged to W. Gore should have mopped the floor with the inarticulate gasbag, and instead he made it a close enough vote that Florida turned into the disaster it was. Blame Gore for running an uninspiring campaign. Blame Bush. But don't say that Nader's votes belonged to anyone else. I am under no obligation to vote for anyone except my chosen candidate, and neither is anyone else.

joanie

Good post, Sky.

KS

If Nader can enter the Presidential race in'08 again and keep Hillary Rod-ham from being elected, then more power to him ! He would be doing our country a tremendous favor (of course that is assuming she is the Democrat nominee)..

coiler

If Nader is your best hope, you guys in the GOP are toast, which is a good thing.

Andrew

Imagine if a few more people actualy liked Nader and he received 30% of the vote, and then suppose the remaining progrssives who thought Nader was over the top voted for a Dem giving them 30%, but all the conservatives vote for one Republican guy and give him 40%. The conservative wins and the combined 60% of progressive minded people are left unrepresented even though they compose the majority.

So, how successful do you want Nader or any third party to become? It's directly proportionate to how screwed you'll be.

Nader should go the Dennis Kucinich route and make the progressive party that's in power the one that he wants it to be from within. If you're progressive then you should work with other progressives cooperatively rather than tell them to fuck off and defiantly hand power to the common enemy.

If it weren't for Nader, there would be no Iraq war. Many thouasands of people would happen to still be living. That's just reality.

And don't tell me people who voted for Nader wouldn't have voted otherwise, because that would serve the same end which is puting someone in power who they dislike even more than the person that would have won if they had got off their baked asses and voted.

lukobe

How would you liberals feel about a third party that WOULDN'T suck too many votes away from the Democrats? The Libertarians maybe? Take Andrew's scenario and replace Nader with the Libs, the Dems with the Repubs, etc.

Anyway, Joanie, I'm with you here. Working within either one of the two parties to further my political point of view just seems like a colossal waste of time to me when both of them probably think I belong in the other.

Cindy Gasoline

go see the movie. then talk.

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