L.A. Green council shots self in foot
The Green Party of Los Angeles County council voted Sunday to withdraw a small claims court lawsuit against Mike Feinstein, who was just elected to the council and who did not recuse himself from the vote even though he would appear to have a financial stake in the outcome of the vote. This being the same council that voted a month or so ago to initiate the lawsuit!
This is an unfortunate and telling example of how the Green Party – and I count many Green activists as friends – can be dysfunctional at levels above that of neighborhood meetings. This kind of convoluted internal warfare happens too often at the country, state, and national level in the Green Party, and I say that as someone who was a member of that same county council for two years.
This isn’t for a lack of hard-working dedicated Greens. Instead, it’s, I believe and as I’ve discussed before, based on a Green over-insistence on consensus, consensus to the point of absurdity – which can allow the few to overrule the many, the exact opposite of what was intended!
Were this a more seasoned political party, such shenanigans wouldn’t have been allowed to persist anywhere near this long – and this particular psychodrama has been dragging on for some 2-3 years now. The Republicans or Democrats, especially after something like this got into the media, would quickly move to either bury the story or toss a sacrificial lamb off a cliff. Maybe both! But Greens often seem adverse to exercising power.
In a related vein, the Green Party does not encourage leaders. Thus, when someone steps forth and wants to Get Stuff Done, they often must deal with dysfunctional Greens – and those manipulating them – who scream ‘why wasn’t I consulted on what you are doing?’ Well golly, in the real world, on planet Earth, it is not always possible – or even desirable – to get consensus from everyone before taking action. Especially not in a political party where decisions often need to be made quickly based on inadequate information.
This latest absurd reversal by the county council reminds me of song lyrics. First, perhaps unkindly, from Shriekback, “No guts, no blood, no brains at all”, then Elvis Costello, “I used to be disgusted, but now I’m just amused.”
Would it be that it were otherwise.