Wednesday, June 30, 2004

The Green Party's Political Suicide

Yesterday, I lamented that the Green Party missed the "Walter Cronkite moment" by refusing to use the Ralph Nader/Peter Camejo campaign for the purpose of giving an electoral expression to the anti-war movement ("Missing the 'Walter Cronkite Moment,'" June 29, 2004). Apparently, the Green Party is in much worse shape than I thought. Rather than simply missing an opportunity to raise the party's political profile in preparation for 2008 by running a strong anti-war campaign nationwide in 2004 when both the Democratic and Republican Parties are stuck with pro-war candidates John Kerry and George W. Bush, the Green Party committed political suicide, by selecting a vice presidential candidate who does not take her own candidacy seriously and announces her lack of seriousness publicly:
Pat LaMarche, the Green Party's newly nominated candidate for vice president, said Tuesday that her top priority is not winning the White House for her party, but ensuring that President Bush is defeated. She is, in fact, so determined to see Bush lose that she would not commit to voting for herself and her running mate, Texas lawyer David Cobb.

LaMarche, who won 7 percent of the vote when she was the Green Independent candidate for governor of Maine in 1998, said she'll vote for whoever has the best chance of beating Bush.

But "if Bush has got 11 percent of the vote in Maine come November 2, I can vote for whoever I want," she said in an interview with the Portland Press Herald/Maine Sunday Telegram.

And if the state is, as it is now, a toss-up between Bush and presumptive Democratic candidate Sen. John Kerry?

She could well vote for the Democrat.

"I love my country," she said. "Maybe we should ask them that, because if (Vice President) Dick Cheney loved his country, he wouldn't be voting for himself."

A spokesman for the Bush-Cheney campaign said the vice president is certain to vote for his and Bush's re-election.

Larry Sabato, a political scientist who directs the University of Virginia Center for Politics, said, "It's a rare thing, even for a splinter party, to have a nominee for vice president indicate she is not sure for whom she is going to vote." (emphasis added, Joshua L. Weinstein, "LaMarche Says She'll Vote for Whoever Can Beat Bush," Portland Press Herald, June 30, 2004)
Who the hell is going to vote for a candidate who says she may vote for a rival candidate rather than herself??? LaMarche lost her radio job after her DUI arrest and conviction in 1997:

Pat LaMarche served four days for operating a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol. Since her arrest, her life has gone into a tailspin of uncertainty. Staff photo by Jack Milton (Barbara Walsh, "Former Radio Host's New Identity: The Drunken Driver," Portland Press Herald, October 22, 1997)
For a Green Party candidate, what's worse than driving under the influence is campaigning under the influence, i.e., under the influence of the Democratic Party. Fortunate individuals can survive DUI, physically and politically. No such luck in the case of CUI, a self-destructive behavior which sets a third party on a sure road to certain political death.

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