The ashes of the 2004 election battle have finally settled, and sadly the Green Party is buried in the rubble still grasping for air.
The Greens could, and should have been vociferously opposing the war in Iraq and Afghanistan. But they opted for a “smart-growth” (read: safe-state) strategy instead, where they’d stay well below the electoral radar. They should have been on the frontlines of the campaign scene, denouncing John Kerry and George Bush’s neoliberalism and their handling of the downward economic spiral, civil liberties infringements, and environmental catastrophes. But instead the Green Party caved, and regardless of what Ted Glick and others claim, they paid a steep price, getting pounded at the polls as a result. A miserable sixth place.
The GP stood for nothing in the 2004 campaign because it was deliberately and by design, invisible.Goodness, the leadership sell-outs shrieked, we can’t do anything that might possibly hurt Kerry, so they rolled over, played dead, and Kerry got beaten anyway. Now the party is Dead Man Walking.
An example of the ruin: In Minnesota, the Green Party has enjoyed majority status since 2000, but is now heading back to the political fringe. Cobb’s poor vote total disqualified the Greens from $400,000 in public subsidies and automatic ballot access in the state. Looks like they will have to start over from scratch in the state, as well as Connecticut, Montana, Utah, Nevada, New Mexico, and Rhode Island, where the Green Party lost the presidential ballot access they had acquired during the 2000 election.
They couldn’t have demolished the party better if they’d had a deliberate plan to do so. Although I’m sure Democrat operatives were hoping to do precisely that.
Sources at the Green Party headquarters reveal they are in dire straits financially. It isn’t likely that the Green Party’s DC office will have to close in the immediate future. Nevertheless if money doesn’t start rolling in soon, sources admit, it may well happen down the road.
The party is teetering financially yet some of the main safe-states proponents now are with think tanks that just got 6 figure grants from liberal Democrat donors.
What is interesting is that Green Party “think tanks” have recently received big bucks from significant Democratic contributors, Richard and Marilyn Mazess of Wisconsin.
Nonetheless, two spanking new Green Party nonprofits are now robust and thriving. The Green Institute, which is headed by ex-GP Operations Director Dean Myerson, and the Liberty Tree Foundation for Democratic Revolution, which is headed by ex-GP chair Ben Manski (both Cobb backers) have collected a combined $500,000 from the Mazess duo.
To no surprise, David Cobb has parked his ass on the Board of Directors at the Green Institute “think tank.” And akin to Theodore Glick, Mr. Cobb still claims his losing campaign strategy was a winner. Narcissism runs rampant indeed.
Indeed, internal Green Party politics often seem dislocated from reality. Endless internal squabbles over process. A broken consensus process that does nothing but allow those who know how to game the system to do exactly that, blocking the majority from acting, and, oh maybe even rigging convention rules to favor their candidate. Not that the major parties don’t have that kind of thing happening, but when it does, they deal with it fast and get it resolved. Not so in the GP. Internal fights drag on for years, as witness the onging psychodrama in LA County (the details aren’t important) that has poisoned and debilitated the party for five years now, with no resolution in sight. And LA is hardly unique in its GP dysfunction.
Let’s hope that Camejo, the Green Alliance and other like-minded Greens can join forces and topple the current party “leadership.” If they aren’t successful, 2004 won’t be the worst election the Greens will ever endure.