FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Here Comes That Third Party

by JAYNE LYN STAHL

Hoping for a 3rd party to come along, and do away with the two party paradigm? Well, stay tuned because something is happening in a New York congressional race which portends that change is en route, but not the change you had in mind.

While she may have left politics in Alaska, over the past few days, Sarah Palin proved that she hasn’t left politics. The former Republican nominee for vice president has just given an enthusiastic thumbs-up to a 3rd party candidate in an upstate New York congressional race. The offseason election is being held to replace Rep.John McHugh who was recently appointed Army secretary by the president.

Why is a former governor from Alaska interested in a New York congressional race? Meddling seems to be an old school Republican pastime these days. Palin’s concern is palpable. She worries that the Republican candidate for the 23rd Congressional District, Dierdre Scozzafava, isn’t Republican enough. Would Ms. Scozzafava pass the Barry Goldwater smell test?

Well, the Albany assemblywoman gets the Newt Gingrich good housekeeping stamp of approval. She also has solid support from the National Rifle Association, but this doesn’t square with Sarah Palin. “There is no real difference between the Democrat and the Republican in this race,” pundit Palin says on her Facebook page.

Palin has elected to throw her full weight behind Doug Hoffman, the Conservative Party candidate, who best represents core Republican Party values like shrinking government, lowering taxes, and selectively affirming civil liberties..

Although Bill Owens, the Democrats in the race, leads both his Republican and Conservative counterparts by a healthy margin, many Republicans are concerned that Hoffman’s presence will ultimately result in a loss for the Republicans, an argument not unlike the one made against Ralph Nader by Democrats in 2000.

But, what’s happening here is quite different from what happened in 2000. The Green Party didn’t result from any seismic divide in the Democratic Party whereas, like an overzealous earthworm, the Republican Party appears to be splitting down the middle with half positioning itself as moderate on issues like choice, and gay marriage, like Scozzafava, and the other half insisting on being true to their Goldwater, Bircher roots. Trouble is, nobody seems to be able to convince the Bircher half that their roots are dyed.

It remains to be seen how this bifurcation plays out not just in this New York congressional race, but in the midterm election, and whether or not the Conservative Party, with or without Sarah Palin, becomes a tour de force in 2012.

Those who have been crying out for a 3rd party alternative to Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum can only chuckle at the prospect not of a Green Party White House victory, but that the Conservatives might accomplish in the U.S. what they’ve done in Canada, and be the first to successfully challenge the two-party system.

JAYNE LYN STAHL is a widely published poet, essayist, playwright, and screenwriter, member of PEN American Center, and PEN USA.

JAYNE LYN STAHL is a widely published poet, essayist, playwright, and screenwriter, member of PEN American Center, and PEN USA.

More articles by:

CounterPunch Magazine

minimag-edit

bernie-the-sandernistas-cover-344x550

zen economics

Weekend Edition
February 24, 2017
Friday - Sunday
Pierre M. Sprey - Franklin “Chuck” Spinney
Sleepwalking Into a Nuclear Arms Race with Russia
Ajamu Baraka
Malcolm X and Human Rights in the Time of Trumpism: Transcending the Master’s Tools
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: Exxon’s End Game Theory
John Laforge
Did Obama Pave the Way for More Torture?
Mike Whitney
McMaster Takes Charge: Trump Relinquishes Control of Foreign Policy 
Paul Street
Liberal Hypocrisy, “Late-Shaming,” and Russia-Blaming in the Age of Trump
Patrick Cockburn
The Coming Decline of US and UK Power
Louisa Willcox
The Endangered Species Act: a Critical Safety Net Now Threatened by Congress and Trump
Vijay Prashad
A Foreign Policy of Cruel Populism
John Chuckman
Israel’s Terrible Problem: Two States or One?
Matthew Stevenson
The Parallax View of Donald Trump
Norman Pollack
Drumbeat of Fascism: Find, Arrest, Deport
Stan Cox
Can the Climate Survive Electoral Democracy? Maybe. Can It Survive Capitalism? No.
Ramzy Baroud
The Trump-Netanyahu Circus: Now, No One Can Save Israel from Itself
Edward Hunt
The United States of Permanent War
David Morgan
Trump and the Left: a Case of Mass Hysteria?
Pete Dolack
The Bait and Switch of Public-Private Partnerships
Mike Miller
What Kind of Movement Moment Are We In? 
Elliot Sperber
Why Resistance is Insufficient
Brian Cloughley
What are You Going to Do About Afghanistan, President Trump?
Binoy Kampmark
Warring in the Oncology Ward
Yves Engler
Remembering the Coup in Ghana
Jeremy Brecher
“Climate Kids” v. Trump: Trial of the Century Pits Trump Climate Denialism Against Right to a Climate System Capable of Sustaining Human Life”
Jonathan Taylor
Hate Trump? You Should Have Voted for Ron Paul
Franklin Lamb
Another Small Step for Syrian Refugee Children in Beirut’s “Aleppo Park”
Ron Jacobs
The Realist: Irreverence Was Their Only Sacred Cow
Andre Vltchek
Lock up England in Jail or an Insane Asylum!
Rev. William Alberts
Grandiose Marketing of Spirituality
Paul DeRienzo
Three Years Since the Kitty Litter Disaster at Waste Isolation Pilot Plant
Eric Sommer
Organize Workers Immigrant Defense Committees!
Steve Cooper
A Progressive Agenda
David Swanson
100 Years of Using War to Try to End All War
Andrew Stewart
The 4CHAN Presidency: A Media Critique of the Alt-Right
Edward Leer
Tripping USA: The Chair
Randy Shields
Tom Regan: The Life of the Animal Rights Party
Nyla Ali Khan
One Certain Effect of Instability in Kashmir is the Erosion of Freedom of Expression and Regional Integration
Rob Hager
The Only Fake News That Probably Threw the Election to Trump was not Russian 
Mike Garrity
Why Should We Pay Billionaires to Destroy Our Public Lands? 
Mark Dickman
The Prophet: Deutscher’s Trotsky
Christopher Brauchli
The Politics of the Toilet Police
Ezra Kronfeld
Joe Manchin: a Senate Republicrat to Dispute and Challenge
Clancy Sigal
The Nazis Called It a “Rafle”
Louis Proyect
Socialism Betrayed? Inside the Ukrainian Holodomor
Charles R. Larson
Review: Timothy B. Tyson’s “The Blood of Emmett Till”
David Yearsley
Founding Father of American Song
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail