by Jeremy Young | 11/07/2007 10:08:00 PM
Congratulations to Dave Praeger, whose post on "The Big Stink" made this month's History Carnival.

And in one of the most hilarious posts I've ever read, Brendan at BooMan Tribune actually calls up Republican Congressman Pete Sessions' staff to congratulate them on humiliating Democratic leadership during today's impeachment-vote debacle:

"Hello, Pete Sessions office", said a young man on the other end of the phone.

"Hi, my name's Brendan Skwire," I began. "And first of all, I have to tell you that I am about the most left-wing Democrat you could ever meet. If it was up to me, it would be abortion on demand, healthcare for everyone, and out of Iraq yesterday. Pete Sessions and I agree on absolutely nothing, and if we had a few beers together, we'd probably come to blows. So I just wanted to get that out there. I loathe the Republican Party and everything it stands for. No offense, just giving you an idea of where I'm coming from."

"And none taken," the guy said graciously. "So. What's up?"

"Well, as much as I despise the GOP, there is one thing I hate more: the liars and hacks that make up the Democratic Party leadership. I mean, my GOD: they have broken just about every single promise they made to people like me who voted for them in 2006. They took impeachment off the table, they keep sending you guys blank checks for war in Iraq, they let you get away with blocking all sorts of bills... I mean, just look at the Senate! They're about to confirm Mukasey as Attorney General, a guy who won't enforce Congressional subpoenas and believes George Bush is above the law. Later this week, they're probably going to legalize wiretapping our phones. It's absolutely disgraceful what the Democratic leadership has done. They're just as bad as you guys!

"And so while I never EVER thought I would say this, please pass a message to Pete Sessions for me: tell him I extend my heartiest congratulations for making Steny Hoyer, a douchebag of the highest order, look even more like the idiot fool he is. And on the House floor! Fantastic!! Tell Mr. Sessions I applaud his participation in this hilarious prank, which exposed my party's leadership for the clowns and cowards they are.

"Again, I don't support any of your boss's policies, but credit where credit is due. That was a job well done. Well-played, sir! I haven't laughed that hard in months!"

"Will do sir," the guy said chuckling. "I'm sure Congressman Sessions will be delighted to hear your message!"

It's pretty sad when those of us on the left can take such pleasure out of Republicans' pummeling of our hapless representatives, but I have to say my response to the whole debacle was about the same as Brendan's.

Anyhow...what's on your mind?



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Blogger Ahistoricality on 11/07/2007 11:26 PM:

That is funny, yeah.

I don't care what Ralph Luker says, it's third-party time!


Blogger Jeremy Young on 11/08/2007 12:33 AM:

Indeed. I'll never forget how bad I felt when I voted for Kerry in 2004 despite my preference for David Cobb, only to have Kerry lose my state by 10 points. I felt like I'd made a pact with the devil and he'd let me down anyway. I won't make that mistake again.


Blogger dave praeger on 11/08/2007 12:55 AM:

Hey, that's quite an honor. I'd like to thank London, 1858, for stinking so dang much.


Anonymous Ralph Luker on 11/08/2007 1:51 AM:

Ahistoricality can dismiss what I say as long as he wants. The fact is that one more Republican Party appointment to the Supreme Court and you can kiss it goodbye for the rest of your lives. Given the condition that the country is in, a third party on the Left delivers only another four years of Republican (and probably now Giuliani) rule. It may vindicate your need of personal purity, but it moves the country further down the road to authoritarian government.


Blogger Paul on 11/08/2007 7:55 AM:

The parties differ on social issues here at home but both play into the hands of the military-industrial complex on international business issues.
So the question is.......Are we OK with bullying and bombing the crap out of the rest of the world as long as we are comfortable?
Nothing's going to change as long as we ride the tide.


Blogger Jeremy Young on 11/08/2007 9:11 AM:

Ralph, if you've looked at polls recently, you'll see that this election is shaping up to be very different from the one in 2000. First, the Democratic Party is going to nominate a candidate, Hillary Clinton, whom I find extremely unpalatable, much more so than Gore was. Second, Clinton is leading all the Republican contenders in the polls by wide margins. Third, the likely entrance of Mike Bloomberg into the race as an Independent will siphon perhaps 15% of the vote, most of it from the Republican nominee. Finally, the potential independent run of Ron Paul, which is looking more likely every day, would take even more of the Republican nominee's vote.

So we're basically looking at a multiparty scenario that should result in a blowout win for Sen. Clinton. In such a situation, a third-party candidacy from the left could have beneficial results on the national debate without seriously detracting from Clinton's margin of victory. It would be about as irresponsible as, say, running a left-wing candidate against Lyndon Johnson in 1964, or a right-wing one against Ronald Reagan in 1984 -- that is to say, not irresponsible at all.


Anonymous Ralph Luker on 11/08/2007 9:51 AM:

Jeremy, You're looking at different polls than I am. Hillary has the highest negatives of any major candidate and only barely outpolls Giuliani. Your speculation about two or more candidates on Clinton's right in November is a very unlikely scenerio. Henry Wallace didn't pull Harry Truman to the left, any more than Ralph Nader pulled the Democrats to the left in 2000 and, unlike Strom Thurmond, neither Wallace nor Nader had concentrations of votes sufficient to win *any* electoral votes. Like Nader, if it gets on the ballot, your third party dream has *only* the potential of throwing a few marginal states into the Republican column.


Blogger Jeremy Young on 11/08/2007 11:09 AM:

Ralph, I can't find the poll series I was looking at, but it definitely showed that Clinton's negatives go down the more people know about her. (Weak, I know; I'll look for the poll again later.) Furthermore, I don't think Giuliani will be the Republican nominee.

We disagree about Wallace. The fact that his vote spread was so national was a major factor in Truman's decision to run him off the political spectrum by railing against the "do-nothing 80th Congress" and running on a left-wing, social-services platform. He was much more willing to cede a few states in the South to Thurmond than to lose a few percentage points to Wallace in a dozen swing states. The result was catastrophic for Wallace but highly successful for his ideas.

Nader's attempt to draw Gore to the left failed because, unlike Henry Wallace, he was not enough of a national figure. Had he been polling 10% against Gore instead of 5%, Gore would have had no choice but to try to undercut Nader's support by adopting large chunks of his platform.

Finally, while I'll admit that Ron Paul running is a bit of wishful thinking on my part, the Bloomberg race is very real. What's mre, if Bloomberg decides not to make the run, someone else will, using the Unity '08 platform that is already being readied for just such a run.


Blogger Lisa Pease on 11/09/2007 4:04 PM:

Off topic - Robert Parry posted my review today of "Lions for Lambs." Go see it, er, both!


Blogger Lisa Pease on 11/09/2007 10:53 PM:

I agree with Ralph, btw. This is not the year for a strong third-party candidate. Fascism is already inside, slowly closing the gate on America. It will take a strong Democrat to keep that door pried open enough to give us a chance to undo some of the damage this administration has committed.

Keep talking, Ralph. More people need to understand how very much is at stake! This is not just a changing of the guard.


Blogger Jeremy Young on 11/10/2007 1:03 AM:

Lisa, all a "strong Democrat" will do is anesthetize the public to the creep of fascism. That's what Bill Clinton did: lulled liberals into thinking the government "wasn't all that bad" while gutting telco regulations, disbanding the trade restrictions that hindered outsourcing, and kicking poor people off welfare. I think it's better for all of us if fascism comes with low approval ratings and unpopular wars than if it comes wrapped in bright paper and pseudoliberal values.

Congrats on your publication, BTW.


Blogger Ahistoricality on 11/10/2007 4:43 PM:

I think a real Progressive party would spark a complete realignment, probably ending up with a three-party system: Progressives, Republicrats, Hard-core Conservatives. And since there are (at least) two very incompatible Conservative movements, I expect that one to break up and leave the field to a somewhat healthier two-party system.

I know, it's something of a dream. I think state parties would be the place to start, actually.