EMAIL PAGE NINE
COLUMN SEVENTY-THREE, JULY 1, 2002
(Copyright © 2002 The Blacklisted Journalist)
Portside (the left side in nautical parlance) is a
news, discussion and debate service of the Committees
of Correspondence for Democracy and Socialism. It
says it aims to provide varied material of interest to people
on the Left.
Heretofore, we were under the impression that Portside is the Internet's voice of the Left. But it turns out to be the Internet's voice of the fundamentalist Far-Left, which, like all fundamentalist organizations, adheres to an orthodoxy and consequently refuses to post dissident or differing opinions from within the Left---such as HATE YOUR GOVERNMENT BUT LOVE YOUR COUNTRY, available to be read in SECTION ONE of COLUMN SEVENTY. Fundamentalists, like fascists, will not tolerate any disagreements or variations from the fundamentalist orthodoxy.
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More evidence that the Green Party is nothing but a dummy organization established, funded and led by Republican right-wingers to split the votes of the opposition on the left comes with the news that the Greens will field a candidate to spoil the re-election of Minnesota Senator Paul Wellstone, one of America's most liberal congressmen.
The Republican right wing has already demonstrated its use of deep moles " la Peter Bourne, who rose to leadership among left-wing organizations and snorted cocaine with leaders of NORML before undermining decrim during the Carter Administration, as described in SECTION THREE of COLUMN SIXTY-EIGHT [Search for "Peter Bourne? in SECTION THREE of COLUMN SIXTY-EIGHT]. In other words, such Fundamentalist Far Left activists as Noam Chomsky, chief among Fundamentamentalist Far Leftists who have their heads up their asses, may actually be right-wing deep moles.
The Republican right wing is desperate to regain control of the Senate and can do so by defeating Wellstone. The Republicans have already demonstrated their devious tactics by secretly funding the campaign of the treacherous Ralph Nader, who diverted some 70,000 crucial votes in Florida from the Democrats, thereby enabling George W. Bush to steal the Presidency.
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GREENS DETERMINED TO HELP G.O.P. AND DUMB DUMBYA
Green Candidate to Run Against Wellstone
Date: Mon, 27 May 2002 14:35:11 -0700 (PDT)
From: portsideMod <firstname.lastname@example.org>
To: ps <email@example.com>
Go After Wellstone by Ruth Conniff
on Saturday, May 25, 2002 in The Progressive
would have guessed that the hopes of both major parties in the midterm elections
would hinge on one man: Senator Paul Wellstone of Minnesota? Wellstone, who is
generally viewed by the Washington establishment as an outr? 60s-radical type,
is in the race of his life for reelection this fall. The most liberal member of
the Senate, where the Democrats hold a one-seat majority, is in a neck-and-neck
contest with President Bush's hand-picked candidate, Norm Coleman, the
party-switching former mayor of St. Paul. Bush and Vice
make matters more interesting, the Minnesota Greens have fielded their own
candidate in the Senate race, Ed "Eagle Man" McGaa, an author of
popular books on NativeAmerican spirituality and ecology, and a U.S. Marine
Corps veteran of the Korean and Vietnam wars. More on McGaa and the Greens in a
Bush vs. Wellstone contest is an interesting turn of events in part because the
Democrats have been running away from the liberal politics Wellstone represents
ever since Bill Clinton came to power. Talk more about tax cuts and less about
the poor, Clinton's old cronies at the Democratic Leadership Council constantly
in this year's Congressional races, the Democrats seem to be suddenly interested
in running as progressives again.
close House and Senate races around the country, they are emphasizing "old
Democrat" issues like clean air and water, better wages and working
conditions, and the public interest versus fat cat greed. Why? The polls, of
Carville, Stanley Greenberg, and Robert Shrum, the founders of Democracy Corps,
a liberal political research group, are urging Democrats to be more aggressive
on what they call "meat and potatoes" issues. They cite their own
survey of likely votersthat shows Democrats have an edge when they clearly
distinguish themselves from their Republican rivals.
should attack the rollback of environmental protections and the billions of
retroactive corporatetax breaks, including hundreds of millions for Enron,"
late than never. Three cheers for the progressive comeback!
on the populist bandwagon, the Democratic National Committee has produced a
"message card" for all Democrats running for office this year,
outlining key talking points in case the candidates have forgotten what the
party is supposed to stand for.
"created Social Security and will fight to protect it," "will
provide real pension protections and impose stiff new criminal penalties for
corporate pension fraud," and "will enforce clean air and water laws
and ensure that polluters will pay."
you get swept up in the populist fervor, however, the Democratic Leadership
Council has released its own polls. The DLC confirms that Democrats are running
ahead of Republicans among likely voters on what they call "kitchen-table
issues." But it goes on to identify a new group of wishy-washy swing voters
even more fuzzy and fickle in their political beliefs than the last election's
dithering "soccer moms." "Office Park Dads" the DLC calls
them. These are men between the ages of twenty-five and fifty, non-union
members, moderate, stockholding suburbanites who comprise about 15 percent of
the electorate and voted for Bush at the last minute in the 2000 elections. They
the guy ahead of you with the Bush bumper sticker on his S.U.V., commuting from
Sprawlsville to the suburbs will, if the DLC has its way, determine the outcome
of the next election.
in Minnesota, the Greens might determine the outcome.
McGaa won the Minnesota Green Party endorsement, with a two-thirds majority,
despite an effort by their former Vice Presidential candidate Winona LaDuke and
others to get the party to forego a Senate race against Wellstone. At the
Minnesota Green Party convention, the "none of the above" option for
Senate got less than 12 percent of the vote. The Democrats put so much negative
pressure on the Greens not to run a candidate in Wellstone's race, says Green
spokesperson Holle Brian, that the Greens got mad.
came to the convention with the goal of endorsing a candidate come hell or high
water," she says. There was already a fair amount of progressive grumbling
in Minnesota over Wellstone's votes authorizing Bush's military response to the
terrorist attacks of September 11, as well as past votes supporting military
actions in the former Yugoslavia and Iraq.
want to give people in Minnesota the opportunity to vote their conscience. If
they're opposed to military actions in the Middle East, the Patriot Act, the
funny thing is, though, the Green candidate for Senate doesn't seem to share his
party's position on those issues.
McGaa takes exception to the part of the Green Party platform that opposes the
war on terrorism. As a Korean War vet, he says he believes constructive military
intervention is sometimes warranted. He remains proud of his 110 combat missions
in Vietnam and is still a staunch anti-communist. Some response was needed to
September 11, he adds.
has also stirred up some controversy for accusing Wellstone of being "more
loyal to Israel than he is to the United States"---a statement Wellstone
supporters and some Greens view as anti-Semitic.
takes umbrage at the accusation, insisting that he is "pro-Jewish, if you
want to put it that way," and merely thinks the United States should ease
up on foreign aid. His comments on Wellstone's disability (the Senator announced
this year that he has a mild form of M.S.)---suggesting Wellstone might not
survive the election season-didn't go over particularly well, either. A polished
politician he is not. But then neither is his role model, Minnesota governor
for the possibility that his candidacy might tip the scales in the Senate, McGaa
is perhaps the only person involved in the hotly contested Minnesota race who
hasn't given it much thought.
just let the cards fall where they're at," he says. "It will be a
shame if the Republicans get in. On that I have to agree with you. I'm not
his patriotic, anti-communist, combat vet credentials, McGaa figures he'll draw
more votes from conservatives, anyway. "So you Wellstone people can
he's right, it may be a relief to the Wellstone campaign. But it's a bit of a
headache for his fellow Greens.
the Greens say that the war on terrorism is one of the two defining issues,
along with global trade, in their Congressional races. "I can count on one
hand the number of Democrats who have spoken out strongly on the question of
this war without end" Ben Manski, co-chair of the Green Party of the United
is Ed McGaa the man for that job?
we're just now finding out," says Brian, who concedes that the Minnesota
Greens didn't know too much about their Senate candidate when he showed up at
the nominating convention. (His candidate "screening interview,"
posted on the Greens' web site, touts McGaa's willingness to learn more about
nonviolence, and notes, "Ed used to hunt deer, lasted as a vegetarian for
less than a week, but believesanimal testing should be highly regulated. He does
not believe in animals being used for human amusement and loves the formation of
the dog parks.")
presented himself well," says Brian. "He's a Native American man, and
we wanted a diverse slate. . . . That's what we came a way with. It was a long
the end of the day, somehow the Minnesota Greens fielded a candidate in the
most-watched Senate race in the nation whom they aren't sure supports their
platform. There is talk of another Green candidate mounting a primary challenge
against McGaa in September. "Then there are others of us who want to
continue to work with Ed to kind of try to mold him into our kind of
candidate," says Brian, adding, "It's been a rough week."
an American Indian. We're not as analytical as you folks are," McGaa says
when pressed on the spoiler issue. "We observe and go forth with our life.
I come from a different background. We are more sharing and generous. We're less
materialistic. We're more culturally oriented. So I have different values to
bring to the table."
that he has anything against Wellstone, he says, whom he calls "a nice,
nice man" and the candidate he personally would support if he were not in
the election. He even hints that he might be willing to strike a deal:
"There are all different options. You can run and check the polls and see
how they're doing and then think about strategy. If Wellstone is treating me
decently and treating me fair, maybe I could sitdown and talk. But if he treats
me badly and Coleman has been treating me fair I might not be in such a
the rest of the country is watching. The Bush Administration is focusing its
efforts on a too-close-to-call Senate race in South Dakota and a few other
races, but Minnesota is the place to play. Groups like the National Abortion
Rights Action League (NARAL) are making independent expenditures, paid phone
calls, hiring organizers, taking out ads, and conducting get-out-the-vote drives
to help Wellstone. Democratic control of the Senate is crucial for pro-choice
groups,says Monica Mills, political director of NARAL, because of the
possibility of a retirement on the Supreme Court. "That has to be our top,
who broke a vow to term-limit himself because, he says, the balance of power in
the Senate is too close for comfort, has launched a barn-burning populist
campaign. He is delighted to run against the Administration. "The President
has come," he said in a recent speech, "the President's father has
come. The President's mother is going to be coming, and Vice President Cheney
has come a couple of times, and he'll be coming back."
race is going to be a test case for the Democratic Party nationally of whether
you can run as a progressive on a progressive agenda, unabashedly, and
Wellstone wins, it might prompt a bigger progressive revival. Democrats stand a
real chance of holding their majority in the Senate and winning the six seats
they need to take over the House this year. Ever since Eisenhower, in the first
midterm elections after a new President takes office, the party that doesn't
control the White House picks up seats.
big challenge will be taking the next step, not just opposing the worst aspects
of the Bush agenda, but pushing forward some progressive ideas of their own. If
the Democrats don't manage to do that, look out for those wild card candidates
Conniff is the Political Editor of The Progressive. [Email]
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