A goodly number of people (earnest and well-meaning folks) have written in the comments that the solution to our current problem is a third party.
Every time I think of a third party, I am reminded of the XFL.
It ain’t gonna happen. I like to vote for libertarian candidates when I can, but they are few and far between here in WV and have almost no chance of being elected.
In other news, the friends I have remaining on the right will be happy to know I can still make some Democrats vomit.
Hahaha. That was the suckest game of televised football I’d seen since I saw the Oilers play the Jets sitting on my dad’s knee (back when he was a big fan of both of them *hangs head*). My god. Worst. Idea. Ever.
Did you remember how they replaced the coin flip with a retarded scramble for the ball at center field? And they lost a player to a leg injury before the game had even offically started? It made me practically cry.
yet another jeff
Well now…don’t you at least feel a little bit guilty about all those smears you blogged about Dukakis back in 88?
Actually Pierce makes a good point. None of the tactics John decries now are particularly new to his former party.
And I didn’t get the feeling you gave Pierce any stomach problems.
But I gotta cut you some slack. By now you’re probably a bit touchy if not outright punch drunk!
I think it’s really up in the air. I think all it would take to give a third party credibility would be a candidate with credibility. Does anyone think I’m off on that?
At any rate, as long as democrats continue to run people like Jim Webb, John Tester and Harold Ford Jr., that’s pretty much a third party right there..or at least it’s the closest thing we’re going to get to a “centrist” party, which is what I assume most people mean/want when they talk about this.
Well, I agree. If we form a third party, Vince McMahon should not be allowed to run it. The XFL cheerleaders should be involved, though.
Pierce makes a point but it doesn’t belong being made at John’s expense. It’s one thing to say, “Bush and his people have ruined things.” It’s another to say, “I was wrong about these guys.”
Even the immensely self-serving Bill Kristol can manage the former when he is in a fit pf pique. But it takes a stand-up guy to say the latter. John is one of those.
Try to imagine Kristol saying, “You know, we were just wrong about all this stuff.”
So when people look at what the Democrats are actually doing around the US, rather than the Republican caricature, perhaps they will notice that they themselves are Democrats – as defined by agreeing with the set of actual policies of the candidates the Democrats run. I’m not going to argue that every single Democrat and every single person are in complete sync, but poll after poll shows the people solidly aligned with everything that real (not hypothetical) Democrats actually stand for.
As someone pointed out on another thread, Republicans have created a situation where anyone who wants to have a science/reality-based conversation on Iraq, the environment, the environment or the economy is a “not-Republican”. And practically speaking, that makes you a Democrat in America, at least when trying to run a credible campaign or if you want to support someone that has a chance of getting elected.
That aside, it takes a very large pile of money to be a credible candidate at the national level.
Money. Picture piles of money and Scrooge McDuck. Huge amounts of money.
If you want to spend a measly $2 per voter at the national level, you need two hundred million dollars.
If you want to identify one reason why our political system is broken at the moment, that’s it.
Of course, the XFL and third parties have another thing in common: Jessie Ventura.
I think that’s the part John is referring to.
John, speaking of being brainwashed by your commentariat. I’m curious to know what effect your reader’s comments over the last couple of years has had on you.
Yeah, what he said.
Well take heart John, even thought you are a terrorist enabler now, you still haven’t lost your touch at annoying the left.
Every time people bring up how unrealistic third parties are, I just feel sad. Because it doesn’t have to be this way.
We really need Instant Runoff Voting (IRV). It’s in use in lots of other countries, and is finally starting to take hold in a few cities in the U.S. It’s the only way to finally get rid of the horrible “spoiler effect” that constantly makes third-party challenges such a painful experience all around.
Genius. I’m using that line in conversation.
Can He Hate Me run for office?
Kristol’s criticism of the administration comes from the POV that the US should attack Iran and Syria, bu hasn’t. Smart. Strong.
Third party proponents saw how well that works, six years of George Bush, two more to go.
He annoys the left simply by existing, as John has posted nothing but one-way criticisms against the GOP for a while now. They want to “vomit” because John once supported Republicans.
Sorry, but I don’t see that kind of unhinged venom coming from the right. If a right leaning blogger, columnist or politician criticizes ex-conservatives, they lay out reasons for doing so. In fact, the right embraces ex-leftist radicals such as David Horowitz, at the same time while John cole wipes leftist vomit off his shirt for having ever supported Repubs. The difference here in behavior between left and right is stark.
I think that people who advocate for third parties haven’t thought the idea through seriously at all. Obviously plurality voting represents a problem for third parties (the best a third party candidate can hope for is to act as spoiler to the most similar candidate, e.g. Florida 2000). But even if there was a voting system in place that tried to nullify that problem (IRV, concordet, whatever), it only upgrades third party efforts from counterproductive to pointless.
In Great Britain, for instance, there are three parties of significance (Labor, Liberal Democrat and Tory). If no single party holds a majority, they have to form coalitions to get a governing majority.
The same exact thing happens here, except that coalitions are decided before elections instead of after. You just have more information because you have somewhat greater certainty about which majority you’re voting for.
That’s because the right is Sane, Sober, and Serious. Only the Left wants the terrorists to win and have Sharia in the US. Strong. Smart.
Can someone translate this into English for me? It doesn’t seem to make any sense in the world I see…
Nonsense, Darrell, I’m sure John will someday get around to sniffling about Democrats who are calling “a decent man” like Bob Corker a racist…right after the election. So it’s not one-way — it’s just tape-delayed.
We really need a better voting system, period–but I’d go with approval voting over IRV, personally.
That is the English translation. Here’s the original:
Makes as much sense either way, really.
If that were spoof, it would be gold. DougJ grade material.
Sadly, it is not spoof.
The Other Steve
John is under our total control now. We will not permit him to answer this question.
The Other Steve
Horowitz was never a Democrat or a leftist. He was a hard-core, grade A unadulterated Communist.
I do agree though, the fact that his Maoist Cultural Revolution talk would have such a following within Republican circles really does tell you something about the modern GOP.
The Other Steve
Did you ever answer my question about Klu-Klux-Klan ads and whether or not they would be acceptable discourse to you?
Our current problem (Bush) was the result of a third party (Nader).
That makes the big and egregous error of starting a party at the national level. We didn’t start this nation at the national level, and people think that if they stick a big (L) or a (G) on the Presidential ballot, they’ll suddenly blossom like roses in mid-winter.
I’ve always been a big fan of third parties, but I’ve also noticed that they’re most successful in the most localized areas. How many hard-line Democrats or Republicans sit on your school board? How many City Councilmen bedeck themselves in Elephants and Donkeys when running for office? And yet, this is where the Ds and the Rs mobilize from. Want to be a Congressman? Spend a few years as Mayor. Want to be a Washington Senator? Make some friends as a state legislator.
Hell, if Jerry Springer can be Mayor of Cinncinatti then I like to think Ralph Nader could too. If Pat Buchanan can peal himself off cable TV news shows for a voting cycle, I bet he’d make quick work through the state senate of any southern state you could name. If we want a real third party, we’re going to need to put some feed on the ground floor and get some skin in the game.
The Other Steve
And one last thing…
Our governmental structure today does not support third parties. It has nothing to do with instant runoff voting, or voting in any sense of the word.
Let’s say you do have IRV. And Mr. Green is the first choice of 25% of the population, Mr. Blue is the first choice of 40%, and Mr. Red is the first choice of 35%. But the second choice of most of the Mr. Green followers is Mr. Blue, which then gains him 60% of the vote.
What does Mr. Green get for all his troubles? Listened to? An opportunity to waste a lot of time raising money trying to campaign? A sweet job picking up Mr. Blue’s trash? What?
He gets nothing. But to run you need money. To be competitive you need lots of money. If your not getting anything, people aren’t going to waste money on you. We aren’t a system where parties get proportional representation. It’s all or nothing, that leans towards a status quo of a party in power and an opposition. We’ve had third parties in the past, and they’ve either merged with one of the other parties or died.
I’m not opposed to third party candidates. I voted for Jesse Ventura here in Minnesota. He wasn’t a bad governor, but he turned into a disaster because he was involved with the XFL! (No more because he wasn’t serious about it. He never thought he’d win)
I think the real issue has to do with people not feeling like they are part of something, like their vote matters, like nobody listens to them. And that has a lot to do with the size of our Congress. The huge sizes of the districts mean that the candidates don’t talk to the people directly, they have to use the media. That means running for Congress using television ads.
Increase the size of Congress. Reduce the size of the districts. Give people more choices. This would also negate the impact of money in the races, would localize them further. The narrowed districts would be harder to gerrymander, and would allow for greater diversity of thought as a result.
It’s not the parties. It’s not the voting. It’s the government structure which results in the situation we are in today.
After the election, I’m going to be pushing this one harder. It’s been nearly 100 years. It’s time for a change!
Bender, you’ve repeated your whine about Corker and Racism. This time I’ll answer.
If my house were two miles north of where it is now, it’d be the race in which I vote. And Corker would have been my mayor for four of the past six years. I think this makes me somewhat aware of the nuances.
Simple summary? It was perceived as racist by a large number of of the locals regardless of race or party. Sometimes acknowledged with a smirk or a snicker, sometimes with a look of rage or shock, but the local label for the ad is sufficient hint: The Jungle Drums ad.
I do not know if Mr. Corker is a racist himself. I do know that the ad he used plays hard to racism. The distinction is material only in court cases.
Oh, and I do know that an awful lot of people (according to local polls) were saying they’d pick a different Republican for the mayoral candidate of Chattanooga if Mr. Corker had run again. And not a small part of it was his decisions that had something of a negative impact on sections of the city that had non-caucasian majorities. There are – and were – other possible reasons for the decisions made. But the race factor keeps turning up.
So he may not be a racist. But he seems to be leveraging the racism factor – and that puts him in the neighborhood by my book.
The Other Steve
Well actually here in Minnesota we just convicted our first Green city council member of bribery and corruption. So we’re an equal opportunity third party state.
With the exception of the major cities though, most local elections in this state are non-partisan.
Of course now the Republicans have decided they want to make the judicial elections a partisan experience. That seems to be working in the opposite direction for them though.
Nice post title, by the way, John.
John Cole still has not realize the truth beyond his departure from his political party- conservative republicans or whatever he wants to call them.
What hes done is left a cult. a cult that has fed him a steady diet of bullshit for years and years. he identifies a specific departure point, (terry shaivo) and anything after that date gets critical, non-cult based, or as we might call it “reason based” analysis. As for his previous thinking- his analysis of Bill Clinton for example, what was formed in his cult years is still as valid as his current reasoning.
Take a look at John’s previous post to this one. In it he approvingly links to a 2003 post of his including these gems of his
Perhaps someday, John Cole will review his past misstatements in the full light of day.
Perhaps the relentless smears against him coming his way from the right will be the trigger.
The guy has said, over and over, “I can’t believe I voted for these people.” He has admitted to being embarrassed at a lot of the material in his archives. He has said, point-blank, on multiple occasions, “I was wrong.” Do you want him to don sack cloth and ashes and spend the next 10 years ritually flaying himself for his past sins?
It may have taken him a while, but John finally had his come to Jesus moment (or should that be “running away from Jesus moment”?). Give the guy a break.
No, but could he flay Lame-baugh? I’ll pay…
Ohio’s Libertarian gubernatorial candidate is begging for at least 5% of voters. That way the candidate’s allowed to participate in debates. Third-parties are castrated from the start.
John — speaking of ‘He Hate Me’, did you see the XFL-inspired line of burqa head-sack eye-slits?
Of course not, because they sound just like you, and you think you’re perfectly reasonable and open-minded at all times, right?
At any rate, you’re probably right, however. I don’t see any sign of the right being unhinged. I mean, yes, in a one-day span, Michelle Malkin has written eight posts about John Kerry, but there’s no reason why that should make me think of a desperate, shrieking, wounded animal latching on to whatever meagre morsel of sustenance she can find.
No reason at all.
Wouldn’t that, in fact, make him a leftist? I mean, I know Darrell has pretty much destroyed the meaning of “extreme leftist” and “far left” around here, but when I think of the far left, I think of Communism, I think of central planning and nationalizing all means of production. I think of abolishing the concept of private property and such.
And then I think, “Wouldn’t it be great?” No, actually, I think how archaic these “far left” ideas sound, and how they’re not even close to having a seat at the table in our modern political dialogue. I mean, wingnuts babble about the Democratic Party being in the grip of the “far left,” when they’re really talking about people who have the audacity to, gasp, be against the Iraq war. They have to label people like that as “far left” because there’s no one they can authentically apply the label to any more.
He might do that after he cleans up all the “vomit” on him from the left. I recommend Tide with bleach.
Yes Krista, that is such a valid comparison. One one hand we have leftists who say people like John cole make them want to “vomit” because he once said some good things about Republicans.. others saying John’s thinking still “cult-like”. That versus your Michelle Malkin example in which she posts objections to John Kerry telling students that they better educate themselves ‘or else end up stuck in Iraq with the rest of the stupid losers there.’
I think your analogy is so well thought out and valid. According to John Kerry, people like you should be stuck in Iraq.
I’d be delighted to find more venomous, unhinged quotes from righties, but despite how stupid you think me, I’m not stupid enough to think that you’d ever admit that any right-winger has ever been anything less than polite.
There is no Darrell, Only Zhule.
Somebody help Darrell, please. His diaper is full and is leaking all over this comment thread.
Very pithy, Double D. But John Cole has only gone as far as to infuriate me and at other times to make me think. That’s what I like about him.
Michelle Magalang on the other hand has always made me want to vomit. So have you, urgghh. Bleargh. Yeargh!
A libertarian party is not a centrist party, though a centrist party might contain some libertarians. The idea of a centrist party is to represent the independants in the center between left and right. When the electorate is highly polarized such as from Rove’s efforts to portray issues as black and white the independant vote shrinks and so a centrist party would do less well at that time. When the electorate is less polarized, the independants would more likely vote for moderate candidates.
So like any party the centrist party would grow and shrink according to the issues of the day. It doesn’t solve all political problems but it stops the extremists on both sides from taking the center for granted because the centrist party might gain power.
But the threat is generally stronger than the execution. The centrist party threatens to gain power and take moderate votes and this forces the left and right to move to the center themselves. If for example the right continued to be extreme then a centrist party (even if it is not in a majority) might vote with the left. If the left was extreme then vice versa.
This is what happens with the Liberal Democrats in Britain and is why the left and right there are so moderate now, compared to the times of Thatcher and Red Ken Livingstone.
Lieberman represents a centrist ideology and so is being squeezed by the left now and supported more by the right. Formerly he was embraced by the left and squeezed by the right. But this is the natural ebb and flow of a centrist party, to be assaulted on both sides, to try and hold the center and move between center left and center right positions.
In fact a centrist party might take off quickly. Lieberman for example, if he renamed his party the Centrist Party might well get defections from the right who would not join the Democrats but want to escape Bush’s extremism. While it is early days for this to happen from the left there are plenty of Conservative Democrats. In fact you could even name it the Conservative Democrat Party.
Israel and Italy also have more than two parties and can offer a counterexample of what happens when politics gets too fragmented. However if the issues lend themselves to this fragmentation then it may be the only way to represent all the factions. At this time however the real issue is the independants have little or no voice and so a centrist party representing them might offer a solution.
The Economist pointed out quite some time ago why a third political party is automatically doomed to failure under the present system: as soon as anyone starts running a platform with something that attracts voters, one of the major parties will swipe it.
Libertarians will never become a real party until they put down the Ayn Rand and start thinking realistically. Stop having a plank in your party platform saying you’re going to do away with all taxes. You either end up paying taxes to the gov’t or the equivalent to the local Mafia-take your pick. It would also help if they didn’t keep running people who sounded like blithering idiots.
And right now I’m appalled at how they’re more worried about lesser taxes and drug liberalization than the total hash this present government has made of our civil rights. Habeas corpus? Remember, nice little tradition we got from the Magna Carta?
“The Economist pointed out quite some time ago why a third political party is automatically doomed to failure under the present system: as soon as anyone starts running a platform with something that attracts voters, one of the major parties will swipe it.”
It depends on how you define failure. The Liberal Democrats in Britain are doing quite well as a third party. The fact is there are plenty of moderates in the Congress on both sides, and if they all join a Centrist Party then the next problem is whether the left and right stick with only extreme politicians or get rid of some and find more moderate politicians. So the centrist party forces the other two parties to moderate so they can compete.
Of course a third party is unstable but all political parties are unstable over time. The question is whether a centrist party would moderate US politics and empower the center and independants. If the left or right swipe the moderate policies then that’s good for everyone.
A centrist party might only need say 10 seats in the Congress and say 2 seats in the Senate to exert a huge moderating influence. Even now there are far more moderate politicians than this.
Just when you think it’s safe to go back in the water, poor Darrell goes off his meds.
Pierce’s piece is a gratuitous waste of bandwidth.