Third parties, and the Democratic Party wants you to have a pony

Poli-Tea on Thomas Friedman’s NYT piece calling for third parties

Interestingly, it is liberal Democrats who have responded most vocally, and critically, to Friedman’s piece, arguing that were it not for the evil Republicans, the Democrats would have already succeeded in providing everyone in America with their very own “pony.” (I use the latter term so that Democrats themselves are capable of understanding this point; as this word has become something of a technical term among Democratic thinkers and strategists, it also provides us with some amount of insight into the level of thought common among liberal Democrats.)

However, Poli-Tea points out, Friedman is still wed to the concept of the imperial presidency and is obviously a member of the inner club. He wants maybe a little change to breakup the deadlocks but certainly nothing like what genuinely powerful third parties could accomplish. What if they controlled state legislatures, as well as electing governors and senators. The Populist Party of the 1890’s did. It could happen again. And certainly needs too.

Would it not be highly ironic to see a third party or independent president consolidate all the powers that Democratic and Republican lawmakers have ceded to the executive in creating the imperial presidency, and wield that power against them?

Ironic, and fun!

This of course leads into the whole thorny question on the left as to whether it’s better and more effective to work within electoral politics and effect gradual change or go for the whole enchilada and aim for radical restructuring and societal overhaul. But that’s a subject for another post.

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