Monday, May 26, 2008

What's behind the hatred of Hillary Clinton?

It seems everyone is in uproar over Hillary Clinton’s remarks about her staying in the race for the Democratic nomination to run for president through the month of June, and her ill-chosen example of Bobby Kennedy—the senator and brother of John F. Kennedy who, like his presidential sibling, was assassinated. The remarks were, of course, in the poorest of taste and they have received all the scorn they deserve. But are the commotion raised by those remarks, the sheer outrage and disgust, for the right reason?

Clinton could just as easily been talking about herself, and the potential threat of assassination to her own person, as about her rival for the nomination, Barack Obama. That few, if any, seem to realize this is yet another attack on her for all the wrong reasons. Yes, it was insensitive and divisive, hurtful and potentially dangerous, for Clinton to invoke the trauma of Bobby Kennedy’s murder in 1968 in making the case that she must remain in contention for the nomination to run for president.

Hillary Clinton’s poor judgment is grounds for pushing her out. Consider her recent threat to obliterate Iran. No, the threat was not a direct one, being as it was merely a loaded response to an equally loaded question put to her by an interviewer. But that Clinton would even take the bait—knowing full well that the National Intelligence Estimate on Iran stated flat out that Tehran is not pursuing nuclear weapons; that it abandoned any attempts to do so as long as five years ago; that its nuclear ambitions really do seem geared more toward energy production (at least for the time being); and that even if it were making weapons it would still be nearly a decade before even one successful bomb would be made—shows her willingness to be manipulated into saying and doing potentially very destructive things by the far right.

And who can forget her teary-eyed display of selfish egomania right before the New Hampshire primary, wherein she said, so very condescendingly, that Americans are too stupid to realize how much they need her to be president—right before segueing into an attack on her chief rival’s readiness that was worthy of Karl Rove himself? These examples paint a clear portrait of someone so bent on pursuing a crown, so egotistical, that her stability (indeed, her very integrity) as a leader must be called into question. For these reasons, more than anything else and for the sake of honor, Mrs. Clinton should drop out now.

But the reasons for pressuring her to abandon her pursuit of the presidency go far beyond her moral vacuum, her willingness to say and do anything in order to be crowned president. And they have nothing to do with delegate math; Mrs. Clinton is in a far better position to win the nomination at convention than any of her underdog predecessors of the past thirty years. No one in the media pressured Ted Kennedy, Gary Hart, or Jesse Jackson to drop out of presidential races before convention—at least, not on the level pundits who have called for Clinton’s departure have done. Nor do the reasons have to do with the false allegations of racism that have plagued both Hillary and her husband, Bill, since the campaign began heating up. Indeed, if any of the presidential candidates from either political party have exploited race in a negative fashion, it is Barack Obama with his insistence on distancing himself from any and all hints of Black resentment at how this subsection of our society has been treated through America’s history.

The reasons for calling for an end to the Clinton campaign stem, I think, from an irrational hatred of the woman that runs far deeper than it has any right to. Had a man said half the things she has said, he might be allowed to slide—especially if that “man” happens to be a Republican, such as John McCain (the presumptive nominee of his party this year). What is behind this hatred? I can only guess; certainly, Americans are justifiably wary at the prospect of going twenty or more years with either a Bush or a Clinton occupying the White House. But we’ve had political dynasties before, to one degree or another, with nary a peep from the press or the public.

Could it be, in the end, the prospect of having a woman in power who truly, unlike any “First Lady” since Eleanor Roosevelt, dared to be more than presidential arm candy? There appears to be some justification for this theory; the intense opposition to her attempt to reform the health care system during her husband’s presidency sparked chauvinistic indignation that a woman would involve herself in presidential-level policy-making. But, again, this doesn’t really hold up, for after the public and very final defeat of Hillary’s effort to change the health insurance system, she sold out to the industry and became little more than the caricature of a “First Lady” her opponents wanted her to be. Her public involvement in Bill’s policy-making seemed to go away. She was, or so many believed, properly chastened for being uppity enough to think she could be more than a pretty face.

This hatred of Hillary Clinton is much more personal, and I don’t know why. Nor, I suspect, do those who have so relentlessly attacked her.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Pot, meet Kettle.

The boy just can't seem to stop making an ass of himself, can he? John McCain, who can't even tell Iraqi resistance fighters from Iranians, can't distinguish between al-Qaeda and Iran -- because as far as he's concerned, they're all the same -- is criticizing Barack Obama for perceived foreign policy inexperience because the senator supposedly representing Illinois doesn't see Iran as a threat on the same level as the Soviet Union in its day.

CHICAGO - Republican John McCain accused Democrat Barack Obama of inexperience and reckless judgment for saying Iran does not pose the same serious threat to the United States as the Soviet Union did in its day.

McCain made the attack Monday in Chicago, Obama's home turf.

"Such a statement betrays the depth of Senator Obama's inexperience and reckless judgment. These are very serious deficiencies for an American president to possess," McCain said in an appearance at the restaurant industry's annual meeting.

He was referring to comments Obama made Sunday in Pendleton, Ore.: "Iran, Cuba, Venezuela — these countries are tiny compared to the Soviet Union. They don't pose a serious threat to us the way the Soviet Union posed a threat to us. And yet we were willing to talk to the Soviet Union at the time when they were saying, `We're going to wipe you off the planet.'"

Let's get something straight here, boy: you can't even tell one Arab group or nation apart from another. Where the hell do you get off chastising Obama? And what, may I ask, leads you to think Iran is as big a threat as the old Soviet Union was? Come on, I know you're a liar, but you're not stupid. You know as well as anyone else what the National Intelligence Estimate last year declared: that Iran is not developing nuclear weapons; that it abandoned any such attempts in 2003; and that its nuclear ambitions now seem to be geared more toward energy production than weapons.

An honest man might, in attacking his potential opponent over foreign policy naïvety, might have at least taken care to mention the NIE, why he disagreed with it -- based on available evidence, and pointed out any rhetorical flubs that might indicate said potential opponent might engage in talks incompetently. But John McCain is neither honest, or a man. He is a liar, a subhuman beast trying to pander his way into the White House by terrorizing the American public.

McCain needs to admit he was lying, apologize for having done so, and drop out of the race for the presidency. These are the only honorable things he can do. Anything less is unacceptable.

Friday, May 16, 2008

The Power of Defiance

If the electoral disaster of 2004 should have taught us anything, it's that our votes are wasted when cast for those candidates who represent the status quo and refuse to fight it. How many of you regret throwing your ballots away on John Kerry? How many of you did so, knowing in your hearts that you would much rather have voted for someone else, because you felt it was more important to try to oust the shrub than to vote your beliefs?

I did the same thing. I had voted for Dennis Kucinich in the primary, and I knew Kerry didn't have the stones to win in spite of the inevitable vote fraud the Bush-Cheney campaign was pulling off, but I cast my November ballot for John Kerry anyway. I admit, I screwed up that year. I had voted for Ralph Nader in 2000, a protest vote, because I believed then as I do now, that the only fundamental difference between the two major political parties today is one of competence. The GOP is inept at, well, everything except committing crimes and getting away with them. The Democrats are surprisingly effective at everything except committing crimes and getting away with them. That's all.

I watched, growing up, as the party of the New Deal abandoned all pretense of remaining true to its principles to join the corporate-conservative DLC in embracing Republican policies. By 2000 I had had enough. I would no longer vote along party lines. Although a registered Democrat, if I thought a Green or a non-aligned progressive could do the job, I voted for that person. So, full of defiance, I cast my ballot for Ralph Nader in 2000.

And yet I "repented" that action a mere four years later. Not because I had ceased to believe in what the man stands for, but because I had partaken of the 'Anybody But Bush' wafer. Not all of it, mind you. Just a tiny nibble, after the primary season was over. I suppressed the urge to vomit, poked the hole in the punch card, and hoped I hadn't made a huge mistake.

Except I had made a mistake, the same one so many Democrats continue to do even after nearly three decades of unbroken conservative misrule in government. I had compromised my principles, thrown away my vote. I watched in disgust and horror as CBS interviewed Black voters, who told us how they had watched their Kerry votes flipped over to the shrub and his gargoyle before their very eyes, on those unholy Diebold election-rigging machines. I watched and shook my head at the party for Kerry in downtown Cleveland, Ohio, as the results went from a solid victory for the Democrats to a bare margin of fraudulent triumph for the shrub. Another election had been stolen, I knew. My last and only hope was that Kerry would fight it. The next day, that hope was dashed. The Democratic granny candidate had capitulated. Again.

Needless to say, I've learned my lesson since then. No more will I hand my vote to someone who never has and never will earn it. Oh, sure, you might ask; aren't I just throwing my vote away? I've done that, but not in the way you might think.

My vote for Kerry was wasted because of one, unalterable truth: the only wasted votes are those not cast, or those cast for candidates who don't represent our interests.

Those who say we cannot vote our beliefs because our preferred candidates "can't win" subscribe to the notion that voting our beliefs doesn't win elections. But as the 2000, 2002, 2004, 2006, and soon the 2008 elections have shown, this is nonsense. We lose when we compromise our principles, and win when we embrace them. The so-called experts have it all backwards, and deliberately so.

Former member of British Parliament Tony Benn said, in Michael Moore excellent documentary SiCKO, that if people in America and Great Britain were to turn out and vote in large numbers it would be a truly democratic revolution. And he's right. If voter turnout were anything like what it is in European states such as France, the Netherlands, the Scandinavian states, and so forth, can you imagine how the political landscape would be altered? Can you imagine what would happen in elections if, during the primary season, voters cast their ballots based on choosing the candidates of their preference instead of who we're told to vote for?

The powerful can, and do, which is why they work so tirelessly to suppress the vote, to discourage us from casting our ballots the way we want. The powerful would lose the only thing that really matters to them: power. It's why men and women of principle, such as Dennis Kucinich, Mike Gravel, Cynthia McKinney, Cindy Sheehan, and Ralph Nader are marginalized and excluded from presidential debates -- shoved aside in favor of corporate whores who beat the drums of war on the orders of their sponsors. It's why Diebold rigs its machines to favor certain political parties, state secretaries purge legally registered voters from the polls, and state legislatures pass laws designed to prevent certain types of people from voting.

All of it is set up to prevent true socioeconomic reform from ever again coming to pass. It wasn't enough for movement conservatives to dismantle the New Deal; they had to make sure it could never happen again. That's why your vote for Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama is such a waste. Neither of them is ever going to rock the boat, try to change the status quo. They're both from the DLC, the Trojan Horse whose sole purpose is to cripple the progressive movement from within the Democratic Party. No matter which of the major political party candidates you vote for this year, you're voting to keep things as they are. You're doing as you're told, which is exactly what the powerful want you to do. The message you send when you do that is that you are content with the status quo, even if you're not.

Your vote for Ralph Nader, or Mike Gravel, or the Green Party candidate, your ballot for Dennis Kucinich as a Democratic write-in, that is the only real power you have. The purpose of it is not to win in spite of a system rigged to favor the establishment every single time, though with hard work and unwavering dedication we may one day see that happen. The purpose of your protest vote and mine is to send a message of defiance: "You do not own our votes. We give them to those who do. If you want them, you'll have to earn them or just keep on taking them. But we shall never just give our votes to you."

How many of you, dear readers, have read Orwell's 1984? How many of you read the Party's lessons about power? Do you recognize what true power is? It's not in keeping a boot on the face of humanity, grinding us into the dirt forever; it's in Defiance. When you cast your ballot for the candidate of your genuine choice, you are choosing to defy a system that was set up to crush you, to keep you buried in the mud, groveling for what scraps the powerful deign to throw you.

Why do you think hatred of Ralph Nader runs so strong? It's not because he is perceived as having stolen votes that belonged to Al Gore in 2000, or John Kerry in 2004. We who are wise know that no political party owns our votes. The hatred burns so brightly because when we cast our ballots for him we are denying the powerful something they want but cannot steal. Oh, sure, they can prevent us from voting, or reduce our options so that we can only make the choices they want us to. But it's not the same as us giving them our votes of our own free will. They want, no, they need you to accept them, their way of thinking. The powerful cannot be powerful unless you hand your power to them willingly That's what motivates the Party described by George Orwell in 1984: the irrational need to be loved and accepted no matter what. When we vote for third party candidates, we reject everything the establishment represents. And rejection is the worst thing any of us can inflict upon the powerful.

Defiance. That is real power. Use it or lose it.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Where is Obama getting his money?

Black Agenda Report does a good job of showing where Barack Obama is getting his campaign money from. The DLCer who claims not to take a dime from Washington lobbyists is instead taking it in bundles from its wealthier employees and executives. Obama is not the kind of candidate Democrats should have put up this year. Instead, he is the GOP's dream opponent next to Hillary Clinton. No wonder they're drooling over his version of Whitewater.

What should be most disturbing about this campaign is the sheer amount of money being pumped into it by the very wealthy. According to reports, the total raised for the presidential race from both major parties exceeds five hundred million dollars. Half a billion. Roll that around on your tongue and tell me it doesn't sicken you.

Why is this happening? Because the powerful wanted it that way, and nothing and no one was in a position to tell them "no", and make it stick. Candidates such as Dennis Kucinich, Mike Gravel, and John Edwards, who each decried the influence of corporate money in politics and vowed to fight the system if elected president, all saw themselves shunted aside until only Gravel persisted in running -- and even then, only from the position of third party. The corporate-owned media, ordered to make every election cycle about trivial matters such as hair and attire, horse race statistics and who said what and how, did its job as usual. Even the normally reliable Keith Olbermann jumped on the bandwagon, choosing to join in attacking Hillary Clinton with all the relentless passion he has devoted to going after the shrub and his gargoyle.

But not after Obama. Never him. Because he goes out of his way to appease the powerful, to soothe their fears. Be it using the same condescending, blame-the-victim rhetoric perfected by Bill Clinton and Bill Cosby before him, or denouncing his pastor as a racist, bitter old relic of a bygone era in American history, the new darling of the DLC wastes no opportunity to show his corporate contributors that he is no threat to them or their way of life. Besides which, he gives great speeches, so why call him out for his moral and ethical failings?

Fuck that. No way in hell am I going to sit idly by and watch as this phony bastard gets a free pass on matters of policy and campaign attacks. No way am I going to accept his selling his soul in exchange for power. And no way am I going to watch as that vacuous opportunist blows it again both for Democrats, and for America, without saying something about it. The same ought to go for every true progressive in America.

But we have to do more than just say something; we have to do something. Let's see some ideas. Time is running out.

To The News Media and The US Government

I'm tired of the networks telling me what the news means. More importantly, if the news media would tell us all the news instead of what they want us to hear; we wouldn't need these mindless pundits telling us what it all means. This country had been around for 332 years without a King telling us what we need to know. The news stations leave out 90% of what is really going on in the world. We hear about freaking celebrities, we hear "human interest" stories, we hear enough crap to drive us crazy. How about news that affects our lives? That would be a welcome change from the pabulum that you dish out. I need to know about Brittany Spears custody battle about as much as I need to know the price of pork belly futures. Put it on MTV where it belongs.

Tell us about Iraq and how many of our guys got blown up today. Tell us about the depleted uranium they breathe in and pass on to their offspring while they get sick from breathing in microns of ionized radiation. I know all about that, I fooled around with ionized radiation my beloved Army told me was "safe" now I have half a tongue and no teeth after three operations for cancer. Tell us about how we prop up a government in Columbia that's nothing but a right wing dictatorship that ships cocaine on CIA planes to Florida. Tell us about how we are trying to topple Evo Morales in Bolivia that has finally gotten the indigenous people of that country in power and how we are giving the White separatists in Santa Cruz $125 Million dollars to secede. Tell us how we give three billion a year so the Likud government in Israel can kill Palestinians at will and build "Settlements" that are prohibited by International Treaties.

While you're coming clean, tell us about the tortures and the deaths you have caused in Abu Graib and Guantanamo. Why should we have to read about it on the internet? Don't you want our children to become educated? Don't worry, they are reading it online too. So why is Katie Couric in the basement? Is it because she and Armand Katahen broke the story that over 200 Iraqi Veterans were committing suicide every week after coming home? Where's the follow-up on that? Where are the Congressional Investigations? Where is the accountability from Congress and the Executive Branch that cuts the Veterans Administrations budget year after year while blaming the VA for everything?

Give us the truth on what's happening in the rest of the World. Let's hear how many of our elected officials have been charged with "War Crimes". How about telling us who donates to these campaigns instead of lying to us that somehow the "American People" are footing the bill for these Presidential Campaigns that raise 10's of millions of dollars a month from a nation that's on the balls of its ass. Tell us how much money we owe to China and Japan and India so we can steal the resources from other nations and gain land for oil pipelines.

Tell us about the FEMA "internment Camps" that this government is building and restoring "willy nilly" all over the country. What are they for? WHO are they for? Why has Halliburton built $385 Million Dollars of Railcars with Shackles? Tell us about these "Free Speech Zones". We never needed them before, why now? Is free speech dangerous? Tell us why Congress took our liberties away with the Military Commissions Act of 2006, The Patriot Act, Homeland Security, The John Warner Defense Authorization Act of 2006 (The Re-Vamped Insurrection Act) that got rid of Posse Comitatus so that the President can use the military for "law enforcement" on it's own people. Are we that dangerous? Tell us about "Extraordinary Rendition" where we pick people up and torture them. While you are at it, tell us why we torture people in the first place?

I'm an American that's getting a bit tired of you "news people" that talk at lighting speed and say nothing. We have 24/7 news channels that report nothing. We are the laughingstock of the world. Now you want us to elect a new Chief Executive and we don't have a clue about what's going on in the world. Correct that, those that read the internet do, but you are fixing to take this away too aren't you? With HR 1955 and S 1959 "The Thought Crimes Prevention Bill" Don't be so hasty folks; you just might get something you didn't bargain for.

We have been desensitized, lied too and kept dumb. So far you think you've succeeded, but you haven't. The American people know what time it is. You better figure it out too. The click is ticking. And ticking fast.

I could've told 'em there'd be days like this.

Volunteering on Frank Jackson's campaign for mayor of Cleveland in 2005, I was not surprised to hear a very unpleasant and vulgar word beginning with the letter 'n' used two different times. Still irritated, to be sure, but not surprised. Cleveland is a prime example of a town where racism still flourishes. This is why Obama's tossing of his former pastor under the proverbial bus did absolutely no good, and may have even hurt his campaign in the long run. Obama cannot separate himself from his African roots no matter how hard he tries, no matter how white and nonthreatening he tries to make himself to white people. Obama was never going to get the bigot vote. Yet he thought he could simply by making a few speeches.

It saddens, but doesn't surprise me that some of his followers are shocked to see racism alive and well on the campaign trail. No, their candidate cannot work miracles, cannot simply talk his way past hatred or heal racial divides by dissing his own as angry old relics. But why are these folk shocked? The other night I was having a political argument with my friend and mentor about Jeremiah Wright. He thinks Wright is a racist because the preacher believes AIDS may have been an invention of the white man to use against Blacks. While I disagree, and don't think that is the case (no one would be crazy enough to create a virus that destroys the human immune system and think it wouldn't affect everyone instead of just one group), I can see -- given our history of experimentation with contagions and upon humans -- why Wright and others like him might not think it such a far-fetched theory. And that appears to be the only thing my friend thinks makes Wright a racist. Never mind that false preachers such as Hagee, Falwell, and Robertson have actually blamed America for things such as 9/11, Hurricane Katrina, and other major disasters -- all for imagined crimes of immorality.

The point is that just because Barack Obama waves his oratorical magic wand and declares an end to racism in politics doesn't mean his snake oil pitch has worked, and no one should be expressing any surprise over this.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

There is No Hope

I am one American that is ashamed of what this nation has become. I am sick to death of watching my country invade other nations for their oil. I am ashamed of the people we wantonly attack in the “name of democracy”. I cringe when I see police officers kill citizens with impunity and beat people as if they the police were nothing but state sponsored gangs. I am disgusted with this so-called Presidential race where you can’t tell one candidate but for their gender or race and the citizens of this country fall for the same old tired rhetoric that there will be “change”.

There will be no change, no matter who is elected. We can’t even count on the election process, Votes are not counted and voting machines are rigged. It’s laughable that any of these candidates will bring this nation back to where it once was a pillar of light in a dark world. We have become what we hate. We have seen the enemy and the enemy is us. We are not even contemplating stopping a war that we started, killing hundreds of thousands if not millions of Iraqis and Afghanistan’s while the American voter does and says nothing to stop it.

We have lost any semblance of decency that this nation once possessed. We act no better than the Germans did during World War II. There are no Jefferson’s, no John Adams no real patriots to tell this government that they have entered into fascism. While some of us sit in abject disbelief at what is being done in the name of America, other citizen’s have given up their rights to the two party duopoly that rules this nation. The media is no longer free, under the yoke of the same industries that run the government. Industries that make profit from was and in return add nothing to the bounty of this nation except consumer goods that keep the people occupied while they lose their freedoms.

So what pray tell can anyone do to change the direction this nation is bound and determined to go? The time is here when good men can no longer do anything. If the people can no longer rise up and demand that this government cease and desist its warlike ways, if the people can no longer meld together and take the reigns of power away from powerful commercial interests that make their profits from war, than this country is doomed to continue on this path of war for the sake of conquest. When our rights have been stripped and we are just a cog in the gear of the military industrial complex, we have lost all that our founding fathers entrusted to us. We no longer matter in the scheme of things. This country will be just a vehicle for the industrialists that control this country.

We have lost the will to be a part of this great nation. We are happiest when we are told what to do. The American people have become irrelevant. We deserve to reap what we have sown. After the elections it will be business as usual as we watch our government rattle their sabers against other nations. The Democrats and Republicans are two sides of the same coin. There will be no great “Change” if Obama comes to power. Clinton will not change things. McCain will do what the MIC tells him to be. There are no lesser of two evils, they are all under the spell of evil. I am disgusted with my own nation.

Court-sanctioned voter suppression in Indiana

Thanks to Sarah Lane at EENR for supplying the links in this entry.

When the Supreme (Kangaroo) Court upheld an unconstitutional poll tax last week that was passed in the form of a voter suppression law in Indiana, some people (like Injustice Antonin Scalia) were quick to dismiss the horrendous effects. But as that state held its primary yesterday, reports about voters being turned away because they did not have the poll tax began coming out.

Twelve elderly nuns--NUNS, for crying out loud--were told they could not vote because they didn't have the required state or federal ID card. They are all in their eighties and nineties. Vietnam and Gulf War I veteran Russell Baughman was denied his right to vote, because his identification wasn't considered good enough.

People unable to obtain the draconian Indiana poll tax ID--nuns, veterans, the disabled, students, and poor folk--are being denied their right to vote. Denied because they cannot meet the requirements to obtain state-issued identification. Bradblog reports that in order to obtain the necessary items to get a state-issued identification card (a state-issued copy of one's birth certificate), a state-issued identification card is needed. It's a vicious and ultimately dangerous catch-22, making it impossible for the disenfranchised to meet the poll tax requirement. Bradblog also reports that at least 43,000 Indiana residents have been prevented from exercising their right to vote in this fashion.

This is what the Supremes upheld, ladies and gentlemen. Twenty states, including Ohio, have mandatory ID laws designed to suppress the votes of minorities, the elderly, students, veterans, and the poor (an economic situation that affects all the other categories of disenfranchised to one degree or another). Although the Buckeye State was able to counter this in part by allowing fewer restrictions on absentee voting, others--including Indiana--enjoy no such protections. This is what America has come to: another banana republic, another dictatorship, that suppresses the rights of its citizens and engages in sham elections.

Sunday, May 04, 2008

Why I think the Greens can't do it for the Progressive Movement

I've been trying, in my humble way, to help jump-start a renewed Progressive Party presence. But a question that is often asked of me is why not just join the Green Party. I could go into a long and detailed explanation, but the short of it is that I don't think they're very organized and some of their campaigning methods rub me the wrong way. (For the record, the reason I don't say much about the Libertarian and Socialist Parties is because I don't know enough about their organizational structure or their methods of campaigning to make an informed assessment.)

First, my distaste for the Green Party's methods in campaigning. As reported by CBS News, they accepted money and assistance in 2006 from then-senator Rick Santorum of the Republican Party in order to get on the ballot. The state's high court threw candidate Carl Romanelli off the ballot citing insufficient signatures, but the story exposed an even deeper rot within the Greens' political machine in Pennsylvania: the willingness to be compromised just to try to stick it to the Democrats, whom Greens consider little or no better than the GOP.

There is, of course, a valid argument to be made in claiming there is difference between the two major political parties. One need only look at the voting records of the two Prima Donna Democrats competing for their party's nomination to run for president, and the complicit cowardice by most Congressional members in either chamber, to see the truth in this point of view. But for the Greens to accept help from a GOPer so vile as to have had post-anal sex discharge named after him reveals both a lack of integrity and a sickening display of hypocrisy. Such actions add otherwise undeserved legitimacy to charges by Democrats that greens are somehow bent on "stealing" votes they feel belong to their party.

Then there is the organization of their campaigns for national office. Or, rather, the lack of organization. As I have pointed out in my recent three-part series on Progressives, Liberals, Movements and Political Parties, trying to run presidential candidates before having secured enough state-level offices (especially state secretary, judicial, and legislative positions) waste resources that are better spent building up presences in the various states so as to achieve the ability to gain traction at the national level. What good does it do to run candidates for president when the Green Party hasn't even made headway winning state legislative and executive offices first?

That's why I think it's better to rally the Progressive Movement through its own namesake political party. I'm not saying we can't or shouldn't work with Greens; since their platform so closely matches that of the overall Progressive Movement, they make natural political allies and might even be tempted to switch over. But I think as long as some elements in the party are willing to help Republicans, and as long as the party leadership insists on trying to build the party in a more top-down manner, their effectiveness as a political party is severely limited.