Jill Stein: Crunchy Granola Machiavelli

You may have noticed that I’m not a fan of third parties. The goal of politics is to win elections and then do your damnedest to get shit done once you’re in office. One reason I’m so critical of the Jeremy Corbyn wing of the UK Labour Party is that they see Labour as a protest movement and not as a party of government. You cannot help people if you do not win elections.

I’ve known many people who are members of the Green Party. They tend to be nice, sincere, and overly earnest, which is why I think of the Greens as the Crunchy Granola Party. I may have to reconsider that label in the wake of Green Party Leader Jill Stein’s devious Bernie gambit:

But in a potentially destabilising move for the Democratic party, and an exciting one for Sanders’ supporters, the Green party candidate said she was willing to stand aside for Sanders.

Stein said she had made her offer directly to Sanders in an email at the end of the primary season, although she had not received a response. Her surprise intervention comes amid speculation that Sanders will finally draw a line under a bruising Democratic contest by endorsing Clinton’s presidential bid next week.

“If he continues to declare his full faith in the Democratic party, it will leave many of his supporters very disappointed,” she said. “That political movement is going to go on – it isn’t going to bury itself in the graveyard alongside Hillary Clinton.”

Stein said the Democratic establishment had conducted “psychological warfare” against Sanders and “sabotaged” his attempts to gain the party’s presidential nomination. Many of his young, progressive supporters are now moving over to the Green party rather than fall in behind Clinton, Stein added.

This is a non-starter, but it’s a brilliantly cynical ploy aimed at hardcore Dudebro Nation dead-enders. Most of the  reactions to Stein’s gambit have been of two varieties. First, excitement on the part of dimmer, factually-challenged Sanders supporters that such a thing could be possible. Second,  others have called the idea stupid since Sanders has long said he’d support the Democratic nominee and is finally doing so tomorrow.

Stein’s move is neither: it’s a way to divide the Berners by making him look like a sell-out for doing what he always said he planned to do.  It’s the ultimate empty gesture as she’s making an offer that can and will be refused because the smart play is for the Berners to *try* to take over the Democratic Party ala the Corbynistas and Labour. Of course, some Sanders supporters are too naive to understand that’s the path they should stay on, and that means supporting HRC. In short, Stein looks magnanimous and self-sacrificing without giving up a damn thing. Brilliant and devious.

The reaction to the Stein gambit has amused me. The punditocracy has completely missed the boat on this one. It’s a calculated appeal to Dudebro dead-enders; some of whom will vote for the Greens simply because that’s the pure thing to do. Much of the reaction shows what I recently called a fatal lack of cunning and guile; qualities that Dr. Stein appears to have in abundance. That’s why I dubbed her a Crunchy Granola Machiavelli. Coming from me that’s a compliment.

I’ll give Kermit the Frog and Ray Charles the last word:

 

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