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The End of the Green Party?

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While the Democratic Party refuses to impeach President Bush, continues to fund the war and occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan through 2009, spreads the same lies about Iran’s nuclear ambitions, and gives the administration a blank check for domestic spying, what are the leaders of the Green Party up to?

Fasten your safety belts kiddos because they are doing some astonishing things.

Tearing Open of Old Wounds

After Ralph Nader spoke to the Greens during their national convention in Reading, Pennsylvania last July, the party looked incredibly united. Collectively they seemed to recognize that in order to be a party of opposition they better start acting like one now by distancing themselves from the failed policies of old. Within hours, however, a principal architect of the disastrous David Cobb “safe state strategy” in 2004 immediately began to unravel the unity of the Greens.

Under the guise of what was purported to be a unification proposal titled “We Will Run”, Phil Huckelberry, a vocal delegate from Illinois, opened up all the old wounds of 2004 by insulting the majority of Green Party members by condemning those who voted not only for the corporate candidate John Kerry, but also those who backed independent candidate, Ralph Nader.

The first question one might ask is why does the Green Party still have an officer in place that helped devastate the party by supporting a losing strategy in 2004? As it turns out, not only is Huckelberry still a delegate to their National Committee, he has also been promoted to their Steering Committee.

The Greens like to tell us how much they hate corporate crooks, yet with Huckelberry they have emulated the very worst of corporate America by promoting an insider who was partly responsible for a major tactical failure in 2004.

In any normal business setting, a manager who is responsible for lost revenues, customer depreciation, and closing of plants would resign in anticipation of being fired. Only the worst, the real corporate criminals, reward such employees. The Green Party has chosen a surprising model to emulate. The “safe states strategy”, championed by officers like Phil Huckelberry and a sizable number of other Green Party delegates, emptied the Green Party’s treasury, lost over 50,000 members, as well as the ballot lines gained by Ralph Nader’s candidacy of 2000.

Those officers still remain in charge.

In an effort to head off an impending disaster, John Murphy, a delegate from Pennsylvania and a longtime Nader supporter, offered his own amendment to counter Huckelberry’s.

“My proposal would have fixed Huckelberry’s proposal and guaranteed almost unanimous support,” says Murphy. “But Huckelberry ignored the amendment until seven hours prior to the vote, which allowed delegates to tear each other apart for almost a month. We had almost been healed, but not now.”

Such persistent divisiveness seems to only exist within the rank and squalor of the Green Party, which does not function like a democratic parliamentary body. Instead of operating under “Roberts Rules of Order”, the Green Party’s National Committee runs under a bizarre system called “Consensus”, which was designed as a budgeting tool for the Quakers. A Consensus approach might be of some use to a monolithic religious organization, but it was never intended for a highly diverse political party.

Little things like the democratic process don’t seem to bother the Green Party leaders all that much anyway; they gave the Green Party a presidential candidate in 2004 that only received a meager 12% of the vote in the primaries. The Green leaders believe in minority rule instead of majority rule. And they practice just that. Literally, in the Green Party ruling bodies, you must have super majorities — 20% of the Green Party officers can overrule 80% of the Green Party officers.

With the Green Party delegates busy tearing each other apart, Murphy took his frustration a step further and called for the resignation of those responsible for the disaster of 2004. Not an unreasonable request.

Instead of those officers resigning, however, Murphy was removed from the Green Party’s National Committee internet discussion groups by “forum managers” who are, as you might imagine, controlled by the Demogreens (the name given to those Greens who remain philosophically joined at the hip to the Democrat Party and were the “safe state strategists” of 2004). All Murphy had done was publicly oppose his party’s failed leadership.

The End of Debate and Dissent

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Joshua Frank is co-editor of Dissident Voice and author of Left Out! How Liberals Helped Reelect George W. Bush (Common Courage Press, 2005), and along with Jeffrey St. Clair, the editor of the brand new book Red State (more...)
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