The Danger of Third Parties

 Posted by at 1:33 am  Politics
Jun 262010

On several occasions, I have warned progressives against voting for third party candidates.  Here is an excellent illustration.

26GP_logo Gov. Rick Perry and the Texas GOP know they are in serious danger of losing the governorship to Democratic nominee Bill White. If only there were some useful idiots around to help the secessionist governor keep his job … Aha!

Mike Toomey, a lobbyist and former chief of staff to Gov. Rick Perry, personally paid for an aborted effort to qualify the Green Party of Texas for the ballot, according to court testimony Thursday morning.

The testimony came from Garrett Mize, who led the failed petition effort beginning last fall. He said Toomey paid him $2,000 a month for about six months with a personal check.

Mize was subpoenaed by the Texas Democratic Party, which has filed suit to block the Greens from certifying their candidates for the November ballot.

Another subsequent petition gathering campaign, paid for by an out-of-state corporation called Take Initiative America, did get the requisite signatures to get the party on the ballot. It is unclear where the money for that $500,000 effort came from.

But the Democrats contend that the in-kind contribution from Take Initiative America is an illegal corporate contribution that should preclude the Greens from qualifying for the ballot.

Is the Texas Green Party really trying to move forward with petition signatures paid for by a shadowy outside corporatist group? That would demonstrate a shocking lack of principle, and isn’t that really the only thing the Greens have going for them?

Update: (from the comments): State judge ruled against the Greens:

An illegal corporate contribution used by the Green Party of Texas to field statewide candidates will keep the party’s nominees off the November ballot, a judge ruled Thursday.

At issue was the origin of about 92,000 petition signatures, valued at $532,500 , that qualified the party for a place on the ballot. Take Initiative America, a Missouri-based nonprofit corporation, gave the Green Party the petitions in May and has not disclosed who paid for the petition-gathering effort at a cost of $4 per signature.

Good. Still, this will be appealed to the state Supreme Court, which is dominated by Republicans…

Inserted from <Daily Kos>

I have absolutely nothing against the Green Party.  I support their goals almost across the board.  But realistically speaking, the only thing the Green Party will accomplish in Texas is to pull votes away from the Democratic party.  If having them on the ballot would not benefit the GOP, the GOP would not be paying their way.

Unless there is no viable Democrat on the ballot, any vote for a third party is a vote for a Republican.

However, the best thing the right wing can do for America is to ignore this advice.


  11 Responses to “The Danger of Third Parties”

  1. I would think that supporters of the Green Party should realize that in order to achieve their goals, a Democratic vote would be in order. Currently, they don’t have the strength in numbers to accomplish anything at the polls, and voting to prove a point would be pointless…

    They should instead throw support behind the Democrats and pressure the elected officials to at least address their ideas…

    • Voting Democratic is an approach that has been tried for decades, and it has repeatedly failed. They keep governing like Republicans no matter how many votes they get from liberals and progressives. Remember how Bill Clinton was far to the right of even Ronald Reagan in terms of policy?

      Trying the same thing over and over and expecting different results doesn’t get you anywhere.

    • Kevin, as much as some of what Lib says is true, I agree. It has to be a two step process. Exterminate (politically only) the GOP alligators. Then drain the Democratic swamp.

  2. An important point which a lot of people seem to have a difficult time absorbing. Thanks for providing such a clear-cut example of how it works.

    And yes, the more teabagging third candidates are out there to split the right-wing vote, the better.

  3. Infidel – are there teabaggers out in Texas to split the R vote? I can’t think that they’d miss this perfect opportunity in a very Red State. Governor Good Hair out? Perish the thought.

  4. Voting for Democrats has become the same thing as voting for Republicans.

    If progressives want the Democrats to stop acting like Republicans, the only option is to vote for third parties. They will take us for granted and keep governing in a corrupt, classist, war mongering, racist, misogynistic, homophobic, and Christian supremacist fashion as long as we continue to give them our permission by never voting Green.

    Politicians like the Clintons, Barack Bush, Nancy Pelosi, and Harry Reid have made this abundantly clear time after time.

    How much longer will Democrats behave abusively towards Democratic voters before we stop shutting up and taking it?

    • Lib, I respect your opinion, but I think you’re mistaken about your solution. Casting your vote in such a way as to empower the greater of two evils is self defeating.

      As problematic as the Democrats are, they’ve done more for the progressive agenda, albeit to little, that any Republican since TR.

      Would you prefer to have elected McConJob and Mooseolini?

  5. The Democrats aren’t entitled to anybody’s vote. A vote for the Green Party candidate is a vote for that candidate, not the Republican candidate, and the mindset that thinks of it that way is a dangerous one for our Republic.

    • Welcome Bacchys. Who said they were? You are completely right or completely wrong depending on the semantics involved. In absolute, black or white, terms a vote for the Green is just a vote for the Green, as you say. But in effective terms, a vote for the Green might as well be a vote for the Republican, because realistically voting for the Democrat is the only way to keep the Republican out of office. Let’s face it. The Greens would consider anything over 10% of the vote for any national office a success.

      What is a dangerous mindset for our Republic is thinking in absolutes and not considering the consequences of how we vote.

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.