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I'm torn about this.

On the one hand, we all know what Nader did in 2000, and the high price we have paid for it -- today more than ever.

On the other hand, Ian Murphy's phone call to Scott Walker was the catalyst that enabled the entire workers' movement to evolve, from a little-known uprising that was interesting mainly to those of us who live in either Wisconsin or Left Blogistan, to what it has become today: a new nationwide consciousness that may be on the verge of doing what we never thought we could do -- overcoming the RW media influence and demonstrating to many 'Baggers who their REAL enemies are.

Murphy is running as the Green Party candidate for the NY-26 seat recently vacated by Craigslist bottom-crawler Chris Lee (R). There will be a special election May 24th.  

Ian Murphy is a hero. He gets a lot of slack from me. If he wants to Naderize a Congressional race, there's nobody in the country (except maybe Jon Erpenbach) I'd rather support in that effort. In general, I have nothing but anger at those who do anything to increase the chance of a Republican, any Republican, being elected to office. But there are several reasons why in this race, at this moment in time, I think supporting Murphy could possibly be a good thing.

I mean, think about it.

First, it's not like it this race will tip the balance of power in the House one way or the other. It was formerly R, and the Rs have so many seats right now that one less won't really help much.

Second, who knows? If Alan Grayson was able to win (just the once) in Florida on the Obama and anti-Bush coattails, maybe Murphy can pull himself up by his own coattails and ride the national anti-Scott Walker hatred, which Murphy personally did much to engender, to win in NY.

OK, long shot. I know. Grayson was the Dem nominee; Murphy is running as a Green. Not the same. But third, the siphoning of votes would seem to be bipartisan in this race: Tea Party candidate Jack Davis is also in the mix.

Fourth and most important, whether he wins or loses, Murphy is bound to make headlines. That is a double-edged sword that could cut both ways. It's possible that having Murphy in the race will do a lot to help in the process of spreading the Wisconsin message nationwide. But the downside is that I think part of the reason the Wisconsin message has done so well nationally is that it sounds so . . .  reasonable. So traditional. So middle-class. The people carrying that message are your neighbors: teachers, cops, secretaries at City Hall. They are safe, they are familiar, they are friendly. Salt of the earth types.

Ian Murphy, on the other hand, is anything but safe, familiar and friendly. The essence of his platform is that he is angry. He's a snarky, iconoclastic guy who looks and sounds like the cliche of the blogger working from his parents' basement.

I admit, the events of the past couple of years have also made me more angry, snarky and icnoclastic, Still, I worry that that isn't the brand that appeals to middle America and wakes up the sleeping giant of populism.

Thus, as I said at the outset, I'm torn. I'd love to hear more from Ian Murphy in the newsbites than I hear from that &^%$#@! Eric Cantor. But I wonder if that would be a good thing in the bigger picture.

Whatever your feelings on Murphy running, I encourage you to check out his campaign website (linked above). It's a hoot. If nothing else, it's worth checking just for the url alone.

Poll

Do you support Ian Murphy's run for the NY-26 Congressional seat?

8%2 votes
44%11 votes
16%4 votes
16%4 votes
4%1 votes
12%3 votes

| 25 votes | Vote | Results

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (9+ / 0-)

    "These are not candidates. These are the empty stand-ins for lobbyists' policies to be legislated later." - Chimpy, 9/24/10

    by NWTerriD on Sat Apr 02, 2011 at 03:00:42 PM PDT

  •  I'd vote straight (D)... (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Nulwee, ms badger, Ralphdog, Buckeye Terry

    ... unless the Democrat running is ultra conservative (I still break out in a cold sweat every time I see Nader's smug face).

      And may I say, your logic is rather confusing to me: "they're siphoning votes off on their side so that means we should do it to"?

    Repeal the Fascist Un-American PROTECT Act NOW ! ! !

    by Dom9000 on Sat Apr 02, 2011 at 03:49:36 PM PDT

    •  I'm torn too, but in the end. . . (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Nulwee, Dom9000, NWTerriD

      I think that this movement is to nascent and the reaction to it too unpredictable to allow someone else to ride it's coattails to Congress.  Thus I would prefer that we support the Dem and paint Jack Davis as what he is a rich stooge.

    •  No -- the logic is, (0+ / 0-)

      there's someone siphoning off votes from the mainstream candidate, so if Murphy siphons votes off of the mainstream Dem candidate, it doesn't automatically mean an R win. It's not a matter of united conservative votes vs. divided moderate/progressive votes; it's a big party with lots of choices and the outcome is therefore not entirely predictable.

      "These are not candidates. These are the empty stand-ins for lobbyists' policies to be legislated later." - Chimpy, 9/24/10

      by NWTerriD on Sat Apr 02, 2011 at 04:06:06 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Au contraire, mon frere. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Buckeye Terry, Dom9000

        Do you really think that anyone willing to pull the lever for the Greens would ever in a million years vote Republican? Seriously? If you believe that, I'd like to sell you a slightly used nuclear power plant.

        This is a red district that generally goes heavily Republican. It's retired blue collar, NRA-loving rural, smug affluent suburban Reaganites and a small leavening of college students. Every single Green vote will come at the expense of the Democratic candidate, further cementing the Republican advantage.

        •  What?? (0+ / 0-)
          Do you really think that anyone willing to pull the lever for the Greens would ever in a million years vote Republican?

          Of course not. Where did you get that in what I wrote?

          What I was surmising, without knowing specifics about the district, is that there would be a contest between a mainstream Dem and a mainstream Republican. If a Green runs, that siphons votes from the Dem and the R automatically wins. But if there is also a Teabagger siphoning votes from the R, then it remains a toss-up between the two mainstream candidates.  Or maybe one of the non-mainstreamers is able to siphon off enough votes in a 4-way contest to take it.

          "These are not candidates. These are the empty stand-ins for lobbyists' policies to be legislated later." - Chimpy, 9/24/10

          by NWTerriD on Sat Apr 02, 2011 at 08:09:35 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  could be the kind of pressure the Ds need... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    NWTerriD, nklein, esquimaux

    .... to get more progressive.  

    IMHO we need a "Labor Party" that takes the same role with the Ds as the Tea Party does with the Rs.  

    Decades ago the religious right developed the strategy of running candidates for local offices and getting them elected by networking among religious right churches.  This proved successful at our expense, but it was a slow creeping success that occurred under the proverbial radar until it was too late.

    Now we see the Tea Party pushing the Rs to the right, but at a faster pace we can see as it happens.  

    Frankly we're playing catch-up, but we've got the facts on our side, so there's a chance we can just step in and push, and get somewhere.  

    •  You don't understand this district at all. (0+ / 0-)

      There is no liberal/progressive base to build from here. There is certainly room for a frankly populist Democratic candidate to go after the blue collar vote, but he/she has to know the rust belt voters. Anyone approaching a Democratic primary from a strong left/Green position will be radioactive; by siphoning off what progressive votes there are, they will drive the mainstream Democratic candidate even further to the right.

  •  pressure is good (0+ / 0-)

    I can't find much information at all about Kathy Hochul. She has a standard Dem congressional campaign website (no issues listed btw.)  There's a great deal of info about her background floating about, but except for her experience as a DC staffer to people like Moynihan, it could easily be a list of accomplishments from somebody like Scott Brown. Obviously, she wants to be as inoffensive as possible and in a republican district, it makes sense to avoid trumpeting your democratic values... at least in an election consultant sort of way. Actually, I clicked around some more and there isn't a single instance of the word Democrat on her web site.

    I hate to say it, but Murphy would be doing everybody a favor in jumping into this race. The voters in the 26th deserve to know who their candidates are and what they stand for. Those of us in the rest of the country who are rooting for a Dem win in Congress, would be far more likely to toss money in the direction of somebody with actual progressive tendencies. Having to lay out her bona fides in order to avoid splitting the progressive vote is probably the only way we'll find out who Kathy Hochul actually is.

    Frankly, I think a replacement Republican would do far less damage to caucus unity than another Blue Dog. We're not going to win the votes until we regain a majority, so it would be nice to at least win the message and the hearts and minds of voters. It's very hard to do that when a quarter of your caucus routinely splits off on votes to screw the American people.

     

    •  Every R in Congress does more damage. (0+ / 0-)

      Yes, it's a very red district and the Blue dogs are often saboteurs in our midst. But every additional R in Congress is one more absolutely reliable vote for militarism, for racism, for brutal austerity and corporate welfare. The blue dogs at least feel shame.

  •  We who live here will pay the price. Again. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jan4insight, Buckeye Terry

    NY-26 is a very red district carefully crafted to insure a safe Republican seat. Despite this it was definitely within reach in 2008 because the Republican brand was so radioactive. Unfortunately, a brutal fraticidal Democratic primary pissed away any chance. Crazy Jack Davis and Jon Powers slagged each other constantly, leaving the 'charismatically challenged' Alice Kryzan last person standing. And she got killed by Chris Lee.

    Ian Murphy is a hero, and what he accomplished for Wisconsin and the progressive cause is just great. But if he runs on the Green ticket, he absolutely guarantees that I will once more be "represented" by yet another despicable Republican sleazoid. Jane Corwin is a classic corporate Republican empty suit, just like Bill Paxon. She'll show up and vote just like Boehner tells her to. Especially for legisation that further damages our already supine rust belt economy, and our already toxic environment.

    Just once, I'd like to see my vote count for something.

    And don't fool yourself. By putting George W. Bush in office, Ralph Nader may have destroyed Western Civilization, by permitting Bush/Cheney to piss away humanity's last, best chance to slow global warming. That chance is now history, and my future grandchildren (and yours) will pay a terrible price.

  •  Funny Website..... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Buckeye Terry, NWTerriD

    Don't bother voting for Murphy.  In person, he's not terribly charismatic or compelling.  

    Yes.  He did the country a huge megawatt favor by exposing the tie between Walker & the Koch boys.....but he'll never win.  Go for the Democrat....first, last & always.  

  •  Hochul is a joke. (0+ / 0-)

    The only thing close to a policy position on her website is the same 'helping small businesses create jobs' crap that every Republican says.

    And I can't believe people are still blaming Nader for 2000. Gore lost for one reason: 5 SCOTUS Justices had no honor.

    Murphy is entertaining, and the only person in the race who has anything honest to say. He's also the only non-millionaire running.

    •  If it hadn't been for Nader (0+ / 0-)

      it never would have gone to SCOTUS.

      "These are not candidates. These are the empty stand-ins for lobbyists' policies to be legislated later." - Chimpy, 9/24/10

      by NWTerriD on Sun Apr 03, 2011 at 12:17:45 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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