Dead Party Walking

The Green Party is in serious danger of losing ballot status in Minnesota, Maine, and New Mexico, and has already lost ballot status in Massachusetts. Why? The David Cobb campaign, that’s why. He polled so dismally that the GP will probably not be on ballots in many states come the 2006 elections.  

The Green Party should have served as the political vehicle for the anti-war movement, a movement that put ten times as many people on the streets of Manhattan in August as Cobb got to vote for him on that dark Tuesday in November.

If the Green Party had risen to the challenge, it could have helped force this ugly war to an early end, saving thousands of American and Iraqi lives. Instead the Greens went AWOL in order not to hobble its Democratic Party allies. This non-aggression pact proved to be a fatal decision that failed to propel Kerry past Bush and rendered impotent the Greens as force of political opposition.

But don’t expect any expressions of regret or probing self-analysis from this lot of professional losers. Cobb, Medea Benjamin, Ted Glick and their cohort will speed on to their next grant-fueled project without looking back, like political hit-and-run drivers.

Now even the Green Party name is probably tarnished beyond any utility. So say a little prayer and then get to work.

 A new party must rise from the carnage of the Greens and the progressive wing of the Democratic Party, which was once again bound, gagged and abused by the lords of the party to little avail.

There are many fellow travelers, leftists and libertarians, wandering out here in the wilderness searching for a new party of resistance to corporatism and imperial wars that will be led by those who will not flinch under fire.

As one who was seriously involved with GP for several years, and while I know many hard-working dedicated Greens who are the exceptions to the rule, in my opinion, as a whole, the GP lacks “fire in the belly.” This is because, I think, it lacks organizing chops, which is due in turn to an over-reliance on an unworkable consensus system which guarantees endless discussion and too little action. Too often the endless discussion turns to endless infighting, something which surprises non-Greens but is all too well-known to Green activists.

Here in L.A. for example, there’s been an ongoing nasty fight that has dragged on for years. The details aren’t important. What is important is that disagreements like these happen quite a lot in the GP and things never seem to get resolved. This is a tremendous drain on energy and enthusiasm, and keeps the party focused inward, when it should focus outward and be organizing and mobilizing.

Where was the GP on the antiwar mobilizations and demos? All they needed to do was show up at the organizing meetings and say we have 50 or 100 or 500 volunteers ready to help organize and you bet they’d have had speakers at the protests and been major players in the antiwar movement. As one who has helped organize major antiwar demos – well, all the GP had to do was be there at the meetings. But they weren’t. What a blown opportunity – both for the GP to get their antiwar message out and to recruit new members.

So, learn from the mistakes, move on. Organize better this time.