Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Wed Jul 7 06:39:55 MDT 2004

NY Press, July 7, 2004
The pacifists stick to their guns, and then some.

By Matt Taibbi

Well, thank god the Green Party came to its senses last week and 
nominated David Cobb to run for the presidency, ending that whole ugly 
Ralph Nader episode. I was afraid I might have to make an actual 
decision before this upcoming election—but now I can safely be a gutless 
worm and throw my vote away to a gang of ferrety, querulous, 
self-flagellating intellectuals who learned politics from the '61 Mets.

What a relief! Now, when I have to explain my electoral choices at Upper 
West Side cocktail parties in 2005, I can have it both ways! I did—and I 
didn't! It's perfect!

For those of you who didn't follow this story, Cobb snatched the Green 
Party nomination away from Nader last week largely through his embrace 
of the so-called "safe states" strategy, known affectionately in 
political circles as the "Crack Suicide Squad" approach to campaigning. 
In this scenario, Mssr. Cobb agrees in advance to refrain from 
campaigning in any state where the Greens might have a chance to affect 
the outcome of the Bush-Kerry race. Bravely, however, he condescends to 
campaign balls-out in any state where a vote for the Greens doesn't 
matter. This is the kind of political warfare that would have made the 
Mensheviks proud: whistle-stop tours full of rowdy Greens singing "Kum 
Ba Yah" and "Give Peace a Chance" in front of crowds of two dozen in 
Cambridge and Portland and Seattle.

There is simply no way to explain the Green Party's decision to nominate 
Cobb except as a formal admission/cementing of its national role as a 
quixotic affectation for the spineless intellectuals of the 
Starbucks-and-SUV set. This is the kind of politics you get when you 
raise a generation of people who don't understand the difference between 
brand identification and ideological conviction. Much the same way that 
Burger King and McDonald's are scrambling to figure out a way that you 
can be on the Atkins diet and still spend your money at their vile, 
ass-inflating restaurants, Cobb and his party basically figured out a 
way that Nation subscribers can wear Green this fall and still keep 
their friends. They have turned politics into a shoe and a handbag, a 
conquered market demographic.

full: http://www.nypress.com/17/27/news&columns/MattTaibbi.cfm


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