Sunday, June 19, 2016

Jill Stein is in No Danger of Being President

This glowing assessment of Jill Stein's presidential chances is just the sort of lazy think piece that people are going to write now that be mere mention of the name Bernie or Sanders makes people throw their laptop across the room:

Asked in an interview with Politico Magazine this week whether the Warren endorsement presents a problem for her, Stein suggested that the Massachusetts senator lacks the progressive credibility to sway Sanders voters: “Elizabeth Warren has very good proposals regarding Wall Street, but she really has not been leading the charge for single-payer health care … and is pretty much a war hawk in alignment with Hillary Clinton.” (Stein is not the first voice on the left to criticize Warren’s foreign policy record as militaristic.)

You may be wondering: The Green Party? What’s that—one of those European lefty outfits? And do they have a prayer of getting more than a fraction of the vote? As of today, Stein is but a blip. Eighty-seven percent of voters don’t know enough about her to register an opinion in a late May Quinnipiac poll. And Clinton’s lead over Trump appears big enough to weather a little left-wing erosion. But with a recent Bloomberg poll showing that only 55 percent of Sanders voters are ready for Hillary, the conditions exist for Stein to spark a larger exodus–if she can raise her profile and if Democrats can’t unify at next month’s convention.

And while the Greens have been under the radar in America for the past several years, they proudly claim at least 100 municipal officeholders, and from 2007 to 2015 they controlled the mayoralty of the 100,000-person city of Richmond, California. Now, like the Libertarian Party, the Green Party sees its moment in this season of widespread discontent, when both Clinton and presumptive GOP nominee Donald Trump begin the general election campaign with record-high unfavorables. Stein’s platform is nearly identical to Sanders’, only more pacifist (the two diverge on the use of military drones) and more ambitious (beyond providing free college, Stein would cancel all existing student debt).

And Stein may be making big strides toward being treated like a legitimate presidential candidate. In her 2012 Green Party run, she appeared on only 36 state ballots. But her campaign’s ballot access coordinator told Counterpunch last week that “we fully expect to get on the ballot in all but three states due to our petition drives” and will then litigate the “onerous” requirements in the three remaining states in hopes of hitting 50.

Let's see if I have this right. Elizabeth Warren is a "war hawk."

Okay, then. I can assure you that Senator Warren is probably not of a mind to invade South America or kill millions with a punitive nuclear missile launch, but still. There's a kooky version of the left in this country and everyone slightly to their immediate right is a corporate sellout who should be incarcerated for even thinking about showing up.

If you're coming from nowhere with no name recognition, no money, and no one else in your party who can claim to have been successful, I guess you have to tear down a far more successful and accomplished person, kind of like how they do in pro wrestling or the NBA or competitive curling. I really have no idea why Jill Stein thinks she can compete with the Democratic Party. I guess these people have it in their heads that working people and environmentalists and people who want our endless war on terrorism to end are not being capably represented by the Democratic Party. In point of fact, they are. 

This president has done plenty to let people down, no question about that. But he's been the best president of my lifetime. His administration has done more for minorities, the LGBT community, Veterans, working people, people who want something done about climate change, and real, actual Democrats than these people care to admit. Yeah, I would love to have single payer, but that's not going to happen unless there is a huge shift in the makeup of Congress. And, even then, wouldn't it be better to keep strengthening Obamacare so that people are ready for single payer?

So, Jill Stein, with no party behind her, no one who knows her, and no money is going to win the presidency and compel Democrats and Republicans to just do whatever she wants? 

Man, that's fucking delusional. 

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