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It is constitutionally so that the House controls spending, and that's the ultimate power they have. Some Democrats have said that they will find ways to use this power to bring Iraq to a conclusion, though other methods will be tried first.

As for earlier posts, I don't totally defend the campaign that Gore waged.  But it is simply and demonstrably not true that there was no difference between Gore and Bush, nor that there would have been no difference between them as president.  The idea that Gore would have dealt with 9-11 and Iraq in the same way, or denied the climate crisis, is patently absurd.  While Gore probably won the election anyway, his margin of victory in Florida would likely have been unassailable if some voters had looked beyond their perfectionism and cynicism, and understood that they were hiring a president, from a total of two candidates.

It's a two party system here, and that's not going to change for a long time, if ever. And if we don't make this work, we won't survive.  But I can see how my lesser amount of cynicism would look like optimism to some.      

"The end of all intelligent analysis is to clear the way for synthesis." H.G. Wells "It's not dark yet, but it's getting there." Bob Dylan

by Captain Future (captainfuture is at sbcglobal dot net) on Thu Nov 9th, 2006 at 04:14:42 AM EST
[ Parent ]
it is simply and demonstrably not true that there was no difference between Gore and Bush

That was emphatically not my argument.

that Gore would have dealt with 9-11 and Iraq in the same way, or denied the climate crisis, is patently absurd.

Which was not the argument. I actually liked and like Al Gore, the question is what would have happened in practice. That he would have dealt with Iraq in a Desert Fox way, that Repubs would have assaulted him endlessly after 9/11 whatever he did (a real 'war on terror' would last long years and would show up no spectacular successes), that Congress Repubs would have blocked him, that the Democrats would have continued to be in the spell of the DLC, and that not much would have happened in practice about Kyoto (though more than had Nader not made his candidacy: Al Gore ended his total silence on environmental issues once he feared losing votes in that direction), and that Repubs would probably have won by a landslide in 2004, doing much more damage afterwards than they could in the past six, is unfortunately also likely.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Thu Nov 9th, 2006 at 04:51:55 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Fine.  It's all speculation about the past.  I'm interested in the present and especially the future, and while the past is educational it is not necessarily predictive. What I presented in my diary is factual.  It's not the 90s or 2000 or 2004.  It's more of an opportunity and, in terms of the U.S. rejoining the international dialogue on a more constructive basis, the Democrats capturing both houses of Congress (which as of today is official) is likely to begin that process.

Ralph Nader contributed a lot to knowledge and attitudes about particular issues and facets of contemporary life and politics.  As a candidate for president in 2000 he was a disaster, and his attitude and that of many Greens in the U.S. was destructive, and one of the factors that gave us GW Bush. I happen to live in one of the few parts of the U.S. where the Greens are somewhat influential and even hold some local offices. While I agree with some especially on environmental and energy issues (and even voted for one for city council; he lost) as a political party they are small, internally contentious, self-righteous and clueless, and this election they lost much of what influence they had even locally.

 I'm sorry if I react strongly to the destructive side of Nader's self-righteousness, but I regard it as a tragic flaw, with tragic consequences.  There's a thin line between trenchant analysis and self-righeous cynicism, and an addiction to anger--and unfortunately I've seen too much of all of it. We've been waiting for six painful years for some sign of hope here, and we've finally got it. It is a further responsibility for those of us who voted Democrat and who are Democrats to keep the pressure on these elected officials to do the right thing. But I'm not about to let cynicism dampen the energy that may yet save the future.      

"The end of all intelligent analysis is to clear the way for synthesis." H.G. Wells "It's not dark yet, but it's getting there." Bob Dylan

by Captain Future (captainfuture is at sbcglobal dot net) on Thu Nov 9th, 2006 at 04:39:05 PM EST
[ Parent ]
It's all speculation about the past.  I'm interested in the present and especially the future

...and then you again go on about Nader (and that like I haven't said anything in the previous discussion). I better leave it at that.

It is a further responsibility for those of us who voted Democrat and who are Democrats to keep the pressure on these elected officials to do the right thing.

Well noted, thanks.

But I'm not about to let cynicism dampen the energy that may yet save the future.

There may be a cultural issue here. Pessimism or realism doesn't equal cynicism. My fear was actually that premature celebration and underestimation of difficulties will dampen the energy that may yet save the future.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Thu Nov 9th, 2006 at 04:50:41 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Premature celebration?  When you win the damn election, that's premature? We've waited six years to be pleased about something!  Merely reversing the neocon dominance of this one-party government is a very big deal here. I don't know if you live here, but Bush and the way Republicans ruled has threatened the political life of this country profoundly, and this victory is a very, very big deal.  

  Apart from disagreements about the past (you're right--I brought it up again) what bothers me most about getting jumped on for this diary is that it doesn't make any extravagant promises. It points out that through the committee system of the Congress, and through the political power of a party that holds majorities in both houses, the U.S. begins to rejoin the international dialogue on problems that face us all, like the climate crisis, energy, nuclear proliferation, the Geneva Conventions, etc.  I thought for Europeans that might be construed as good news, too. I don't see that what I actually wrote promises perfection.  

   

"The end of all intelligent analysis is to clear the way for synthesis." H.G. Wells "It's not dark yet, but it's getting there." Bob Dylan

by Captain Future (captainfuture is at sbcglobal dot net) on Fri Nov 10th, 2006 at 05:04:26 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Greens... this election they lost much of what influence they had even locally.

This is factually wrong. Greens won mayor of Richmond CA, the first city of 100,000+ with a Green mayor, and did well all across California. While they got off the ballot in three states, they gained ballot access in Illiois (the first third party since 1920).

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Thu Nov 9th, 2006 at 05:03:29 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I was referring to my locality.

Greens also came close to allowing Republicans to keep the majority in the Senate by getting 25,000 votes in Virginia.

 I've been very sympathetic to the Green Party in the past, and disenchanted with the Democrats, but the nightmare of 2000, plus a lot of personal experience, has brought me back to the Democratic party.  There will be a two party system in the U.S. for my lifetime, and when the stakes are extraordinarily high in terms of the damage one party can do, it's important to work within it. Besides which, the Green Party I know is not a party.  They go on about how much more virtuous they are, and stab each other in the back. I once found myself debating the guy who became their 04 presidential candidate (he wasn't supposed to be there--it was a forum about Democratic candidates pre-primary), and the guy flat out lied.  The Greens here have dissolved into warring factions, subdividing an already small group. They may be no less moral than other politicians, but they will never admit that.  Their self-righteousness and ideological purity paralyzes them.        

"The end of all intelligent analysis is to clear the way for synthesis." H.G. Wells "It's not dark yet, but it's getting there." Bob Dylan

by Captain Future (captainfuture is at sbcglobal dot net) on Fri Nov 10th, 2006 at 04:49:52 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I believe the 'Virginia Greens' who were on the ballot for the Senate election are a local right-wing pressure group who hijacked the Green name and have no connection with the US Green Party. Their votes could easily have gone to Allen rather than Webb if they had stood down.  
by saugatojas on Fri Nov 10th, 2006 at 10:48:09 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Upon checking, you are right! The right-wing Greens are the Independent Greens of Virginia, but there is also the legit Green Party of Virginia. The G G Parker who got 1.1% was indeed from the right-wing version.

On a more general note, I continue to protest the attitude of big party supporters that assume that certain voters' votes belong to them.

  • A voter's vote belongs to the voter.
  • That voter may as well stay at home if denied the (third) option.
  • There are much more people already staying home than voting for third parties in the US. This is your campaign's real failure, not not getting the voters of third parties.


*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Nov 10th, 2006 at 03:10:36 PM EST
[ Parent ]
However, it should be noted that the first point:
  • A voter's vote belongs to the voter.

means that care must be taken to avoid the details of the Australian version, where people may either put in an exhaustive list of preferences, or vote for a party "above the line", with their preferences distributed at the direction of the party.

That leads to all manner shenanigans, including a Coalition (conservative) Prime Minister gaining power in part due to the preference distribution of a Trotskyite party.

Optional second preference is close enough for me ... it allows people to express their support for their preferred candidate, and also express their view on the lesser of two evils between the major party candidates.


I've been accused of being a Marxist, yet while Harpo's my favourite, it's Groucho I'm always quoting. Odd, that.

by BruceMcF (agila61 at netscape dot net) on Sun Nov 12th, 2006 at 09:42:00 AM EST
[ Parent ]

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