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The Flag of the World

-G. K. Chesterton, Orthodoxy

This here blog is a glimpse or two or three at the condition of the 'fortress of our family' through the eyes Timothy Goddard, a Christian writer with an unhealthy interest in politics living in the Puget Sound area.

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Tuesday, August 24, 2004

The Democratic Party must be destroyed, part 2
How it can be done

At the beginning of the month, I outlined my arguments for why the Democratic Party must be destroyed. Today, I will outline how exactly this can be done, and why the engine of that destruction must be the Green Party (or something very much like it).

Phase 1: Beating Kerry
The candidacy of John Kerry provides the Greens with the ideal opportunity to destroy the Democratic Party, and should provide them with the perfect impetus. While Kerry is ranked by some as the most liberal senator, he is clearly an establishment liberal, which should be a contradiction in terms for most liberals. It should also be clear by now, after flip-flops on all number of issues, not least of which being Iraq, that what John Kerry mainly stands for is John Kerry becoming President. Should he become that, he will probably then stand for John Kerry winning a second term, and having sworn to respond violently should the US be attacked again, he could hardly wriggle out of it. I've argued before that Kerry is more likely to get us involved in a Vietnam-type war than Bush, and Roger Franklin and Glenn Reynolds have had similar thoughts.

Kerry's two-faced behavior also provides ample ammunition for both the left and the right. This is good, because to have any success, the Green Party must campaign directly against Kerry, not Bush. Few if any votes will be swung from Bush to Cobb. Many, however, can be swung from Kerry, especially after his most recent comments about his Iraq vote. These switchers I'll call the "first tier" vote switchers, those switching because they note that Cobb, not Kerry, is the "peace candidate."

If the Greens push hard against Kerry, and Kerry continues his current implosion, and the Republicans have a successful convention, then in about a month or so, it should be becoming clear that Kerry is in no wise going to win the election. Once that tipping point comes, Cobb and the Greens must do all they can to win over "second tier" vote switchers--those who don't think Kerry is going to win, and so decide to vote their conscience. Cobb (and Nader too, though he is much less important in the long run) have the potential to gain a sizeable chunk of votes, as long as they don't let the media ignore the fact that Kerry is dead in the water. If all this goes well, the vote totals on election day will show the Greens to be a non inconsequential force. But that's only step one.

Phase 2: Hasten the Split
Once Kerry loses, there's going to be some ugly bloodletting within the Democratic Party, pitting the Dean-Pelosi-Kucinich wing against the Gephardt-Lieberman wing. The Greens must act quickly and loudly to exploit this, attempting to steal talent away from the Democratic party.

This phase too involves tiers, this time of those politicians and others the Greens need to attract from the Democrats. Tier one is composed of those national figures who should be immediately and very publically courted. This should certainly include Presidential candidates Howard Dean and Dennis Kucinich, who would bring with them a hefty chunk of Dem party faithful, but should also include other far-left politicians such as Bernie Sanders, Barney Frank and Nancy Pelosi (which would be quite a coup considering her stature with the Dems). It should also include non-politician entertainers like Michael Moore, should he survive the crushing defeat of Kerry, strategists like Joe Trippi and the MoveOn.org team, and donors like George Soros. This should be done as publically as possible, probably in the form of an open letter to all of them, by name, along with a press conference and full page ads in the NY Times and other public venues. The message should be that the Democratic Party has failed, and it is time for another party to take up the fight against us evil conservatives.

Tier two should be smaller, but should include high-risk, high-profile targets to be courted quietly. Barak Obama comes to mind, and there are plenty of other senators, governors and other figures who would be powerful surprises should they switch.

Tier three should be the Greens' strong suit--local politicians. After a few switches from tier one, the Greens should mobilize their rather good grassroots effort to target small-time politicians of all statures, from state senators and representatives to county executives and city council members and so on. These defections, in turn, will encourage more of the tier one and two defections, until the Greens reach a critical mass of both voters and politicians. I'd predict that they have the potential to steal, over the course of Bush's second term, about 50-60 percent of all Democrats, with the actual amount of politicians switching over to be a little more than half that number.

Phase 3: The 2006 elections
The Greens must demonstrate real electoral muscle in this election, putting up strong candidates (especially old Greens like Cobb and Camejo) against Democrats in liberal districts and liberal states. The Greens must demonstrate that, not only can they steal Democrats, but they can beat them. Again (and this will be the hard part), the Greens will need to focus on beating the Democrats, rather than on the Republicans. It will be more important to poll higher than the Democrats than anything else--even at the cost of Republicans winning seats.

Phase 4: The 2008 elections
This is the big one. The ticket should be a meld of old Greens and new--Dean/Cobb, perhaps? Hopefully by this time, the Democrats will be feeble enough that the Greens can campaign against the Republicans, and ignore the Democrats as "a party of the past." This will be the time to solidify the Greens as the dominant party of the Left. Chances are good that they will lose--but they will be prepared for my least favorite phase of all...

Phase 5: Splitting the Republicans
This is where the Greens can finally come to real power, and where the common interests of the Greens and the Republicans diverge. Once the Republicans are entrenched as a 60+% power--which they will be, the Greens shouldn't kid themselves about the popularity of their programs--we will quickly see a battle within the party. The Greens must do their best to cause a split--something that will, sadly, probably happen without their help. I'm not sure how the split will come--conservative vs. moderate, socio-cons vs. libertarians, pro-immigration vs. anti, isolationist vs. neo-cons, religious vs. secular or what. But it will probably come, especially with some help from the opposition.

This will leave the Greens with what they truly want: a multi-party democracy, with three or four viable parties, depending on how exactly the Democrats come out. I don't particularly want this, so my goal as a Republican would be to continue to find common sense issues that would unite the party, but it would be a tough battle.

I still think it is worth it for Republicans. Kerry's two-faced behavior is indicative of the Democratic Party as a whole. Its conglomeration of factions results in a party that stands for nothing more than gaining power, telling whatever tales have to be told to get there. At least the Greens have a consistent ideology against which battle lines can be drawn, and intelligent debate can be had.

The trouble, though, comes with the Greens. Until they realize that their message can't be "Kerry's Bad, Bush is Worse," but simply "Kerry's Bad," and that they may have to make a deal with the devil (that's us, Republicans!) in order to gain any sort of power, they will continue to be an electoral joke. Can the Greens be as shrewd as serpents and as liberal as... uh... sunflowers? Only time will tell.
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