July 3, 2004


Identity Politics, the Green Party, and the Necessity in the U.S. for a Working Class Party


by Li'l Joe

Joe_radical@earthlink.net

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Snip: " WOODRUFF: But aren't you really saying, David Cobb, that you're going to tread lightly when it comes to seriously challenging John Kerry? "





" COBB: Well, Greens tell the truth. And the truth of the matter is, that John Kerry voted for the war in Iraq and Afghanistan. John Kerry voted for the Patriot Act. John Kerry voted for NAFTA. John Kerry opposes single payer universal health care. John Kerry opposes raising the minimum wage to a living wage… At the same time, I'm going acknoledge the truth of the matter that as bad as John Kerry is on all these issues, George W. Bush is qualitatively worse. The difference between John Kerry and George W. Bush may be nearly incremental, but it is not inconsequential. "



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David Cobb is the Green Party Presidential Candidate.





The Green Party is based in the petty-bourgeois professionals. Yet, taking a page from Bob Dole and Dennis Kucinich -- the Jesse Jackson "son of a share-cropper" line, David Cobb boasts:


"I grew up in grinding poverty in San Leon, Texas. I've washed dishes. I've been a construction worker. I'm a genuine working class person who lived the American dream. You know, Greens are ordinary people trying to do something extraordinary which is to build a genuine movement that will take our country back from the corporate hooligans who have literally hijacked it."


The Green Party is financially and socially based in the petty-bourgeoisie and white-collar professionals. They are not based in big Capital, and certainly not in the trade unions. The petty bourgeoisie feel squeezed by the big or "corporate" bourgeoisie on the one side, and by "big labor" on the other.





In the final analysis, however, the petty-bourgeoisie is a faction of the bourgeoisie, and David Cobb by mealy mouthing crap about "ordinary people", and "progressives", in opposition to a class analysis of economics and politics although he is ostensibly running for "President", he has more in common with Democrat Presidential Candidate John Kerry -- whom in the name of pragmatism of real-politic he is actually supporting as the lesser evil -- the candidate he was nominated to oppose!



Only in America!



Yet, by the Green Party taking a stand against supporting Ralph Nader's egotistic "independent candidacy", the Greens are to that extent moving from the politics of the individual based on his or her charisma, into a conception of politics qua party politics. This is an important development in America.



On the other hand, Nader is the one who is taking an uncompromising stand against the Democrats, and Kerry. This is important notwithstanding Nader's delusions of grandeur -- he must be delusional if he thinks that he with no support other than his groupies can defeat the Democrat's Kerry, and the Republican's Bush in this presidential theatrical contest. Nonetheless, it is important to have a candidate out there who is critiquing the Democrat's Kerry without rebutting his own critique -- the way Cobb is doing by his lesser evil crapola.



On the other hand, Nader has accepted the endorsement of the Reform Party, which was ideologically taken over by the racist-fascist populist Patrick Buchanan in 2000. Nader's opposition to the "Duopoly" of Democrats and Republican Presidential candidates seem to be more an obsession than the result of political theory.



But, lets suppose for a moment that either Cobb or Nader were to win the Votes of the Electoral College and the Supreme Court allow one of them to win the Office of the Presidency and create a Cabinet of outsiders who are themselves "independents".



The hard reality is that the hierarchy in the bureaucracies that actually run the Departments -- e.g. the Departments of Justice, Defense, State and Treasury are career bureaucrats, promoted and not elected. This includes the hierarchal chain of command in the AFT, FBI, DEA, and CIA. Even now, such positions as "Attorney General" as "boss" in the Justice Department, "Secretary of Defense" at the Defense Department, the "Secretary of State" at State Department, the "Secretary of the Treasury" at the Treasury Department along with the "Chairman" of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve, and the Presidential appointed and Senate approved heads of the AFT, FBI, DEA, CIA, and Joint Chiefs of Staff are figureheads because these departments are in actuality run by hierarchies of promoted career bureaucrats governed by institutional rules and routines but loyal to their superiors in the respective Departments chains of command.



The fact remains that every member of Congress -- (minus one in the House of Representatives) -- is, and will be Democrat or Republican. The federal judges and the Justices of the Supreme Court are Democrats or Republicans appointed by Democrat or Republican Presidents to lifetime positions. There is no way that any legislation initiated by these rogue presidents will be taken up in the House or Senate -- or get past the Courts.



What about government by Executive Orders? The President might very well be, constitutionally, the Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces but, in reality, the high command in the officer corps is Democrat or Republican. The Brigadier Generals and their subordinate office chain of commands are career officers and political leaders capable of disobeying orders, and staging a coup if they think it in the interest of capitalism. Ditto the State's National Guards, which can become federalized into this chain of command.



Nothing can come out of having a rebel President in office with authority but without power. Rather than wasting time and money running independent and "third party" candidates for the office of the Presidency, where in the first place winning is impossible and secondly, if won, governing would be impossible, it would be better to run for winnable seats in the House of Representatives.



Here, the Greens are right: it has to be Party politics as opposed to the politics of the individual. Political parties, however, are based in class interests.



The American Labor Party, of which I am a member, has to be castigated for inadvertently helping the Democrats by staying away from electoral politics as a result of policy decisions. At the last Labor Party Convention, in Washington D.C. in 2002, the Los Angeles Inner-City Labor Party Organizing Committee sent Connie White and Joaquin Flores as delegates, and myself as the alternate. Connie and Joaquin, together with members from chapters of the San Francisco, Chicago and New York fought for an electoral strategy and against an endorsement to support the "War on Terror" i.e. invasion and occupation of Afghanistan. They fought well but were defeated by the numerical strength of the representatives of the conservative [i.e. pro-Democrat] trade union bureaucrats.



What we have argued, verbally and in polemics, repeatedly, is that the only way that the Labor Party can grow is by running candidates in Congressional working-class and minority districts, against the Democrats as well as Republicans. See e.g.http://www.laborpartypraxis.org



We can actually defeat the Democrats and Republicans in Congressional races. In the races for the House of Representatives, our candidate's campaigns will be exclusively financed by trade unions and the Labor Party, and based in those working-class and ethnic minority communities. They, as members of Congress, Labor Party Congresspersons, will be open to investigation (full disclosure) and subject to recall if they accept money or gifts from capitalist, or any other lobbyist hostile to the interest of the international as well as national working-class lobbies e.g., the pro-Israel or American racist lobbies.



In Congress, workers will see Labor Party members presenting a working-class agenda, such as full employment -- utilizing one hundred percent industrial and technological capacity -- on one hand, and reducing the working-day, with no reduction in pay, from the forty hour workweek to a twenty-five hour workweek and a living wage for all, on the other.



The Democrats as well as the Republicans in Congress will oppose these measures in our class legislation advanced by Labor Party members of the House of Representatives. Consequently, the workers in the trade unions will learn, and become hostile to not only the Democrats but to class collaborationist trade union bureaucrats in the trade unions, who are in the Democratic hierarchy and turning over union dues to Democratic Party candidates and thus endorsing those Democratic candidates. The Labor Party will grow in direct proportion to the mutually engendering successes in displacing Democrats by Labor Party affiliation advocates in the union local, regional and national bodies on one hand, and fighting the capitalist Parties in Congress on the other.



When Labor Party members of Congress become the majority in the House of Representatives, ordinary workers, including, for example, steel workers, waitresses, Teamsters, school teachers, sanitation workers, construction workers, electrical engineers, telephone operators, autoworkers, janitors, computer programmers, retail clerks, nurses, Longshoremen, and so on, by being the majority in Congress, will confront not just the Democrat and Republican representatives from capitalist districts in the House of Representatives, but also engage in class war politics against the capitalist dominated Senate.



At a certain point in this praxis of class politics, the majority of workers will recognize the need to abolish the Senate, the Presidency and the federal judiciary -- and will call a new Constitutional Convention attended by workers, trade unionists, and representatives of oppressed ethnic and gender minorities.



If the military officer corps, and the career bureaucrats in government resist, or even try to pull off a coup, the Labor Party members of the House of Representatives, at any step along the way, having won the battle of democracy based financially in the trade unions, and socially in the working-class as a whole, will have the political authority to call upon both, the husbands, wives, sons and daughters of workers in the military rank and file to side with the House of Representatives and mutiny against those mutinous officers, and upon the rank and file government employees, who do all the work of actually running government to throw out those career bureaucrats.



Lil Joe


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Wednesday, June 30, 2004
06:25 PM


David's interview on CNN's Inside Politics
Posted by: Admin on Tuesday, June 29, 2004 - 12:00 PM

WOODRUFF: Fascinating. Bill Schneider, thank you very much.

Well, as the nominee of the Green Party, David Cobb is guaranteed a
spot on the ballot in 22 states, and the District of Columbia, now
seven of those states are Bush-Kerry battle grounds. Green Party
candidate David Cobb joins us now from San Francisco. Congratulations
on getting the nomination of the Green Party.

DAVID COBB (G), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Thank you, Judy.

WOODRUFF: What do you say to Ralph Nader who was clearly upset about
losing this. Among other things, he said endorsing him would have meant
higher visibility for the Green Party. He said it was -- it offers the
party better fund raising opportunities, and on and on.

COBB: Well, I have nothing but absolute respect and admiration for
Ralph Nader. As I've said many times, I'm a lawyer because of Atticus
Finch and Ralph Nader.

Ralph Nader and I both absolutely agree on the need to break out of
this corporate-controlled politics and the corporate-controlled nature
of both the Democratic and the Republican Parties.

But, Judy, Ralph and I have a disagreement on the best way to do that.
In this election cycle Ralph is running an independent campaign. It's
his right to do that. And I think it's shameful that all the
shenanigans are taking place to prevent Ralph Nader from being on the
ballot as an independent. But myself and the Green Party are committed
to building an independent political force to challenge the Democrats
and the Republicans because there has to be an opposition party that
will continue after the November election no matter who wins.

WOODRUFF: Well, he clearly thinks you're not challenging the Democrats
enough. He says the fact that you're staying away from the states, or
at least you've said you would stay away from the states where there's
a close race, he says if you're trying building a political movement,
you don't turn your backs on people in so-called close states. Is that
what you're doing?

COBB: That is not what I'm doing. In fact, I plan on going to
Pennsylvania and Ohio immediately to help to bolster ballot access
drives in those states.

You know, Judy, what I've said is, I want to run a strong, aggressive
and smart campaign that will both grow the Green Party and culminate
with George W. Bush out of the White House. It's a very nuanced
strategy. But it's one that I think is in the best interest of the
country and it's in the best interest of the Green Party.

WOODRUFF: But aren't you really saying, David Cobb, that you're going
to tread lightly when it comes to seriously challenging John Kerry?

COBB: Well, Greens tell the truth. And the truth of the matter is,
that John Kerry voted for the war in Iraq and Afghanistan. John Kerry
voted for the Patriot Act. John Kerry voted for NAFTA. John Kerry
opposes single payer universal health care. John Kerry opposes raising
the minimum wage to a living wage. I'm going to be willing to criticize
John Kerry on taking positions that progressives cannot support, and
that progressives would like to see enacted. That's the reason so many
more progressives at the grassroots level are actually joining the
Green Party.

At the same time, I'm going to acknowledge the truth of the matter
that as bad as John Kerry is on all these issues, George W. Bush is
qualitatively worse. The difference between John Kerry and George W.
Bush may be nearly incremental, but it is not inconsequential. I trust
the voters to hear the truth, and make up their own minds.

WOODRUFF: Let me quote to you from what one of the Green Party
delegates said at your party convention this past weekend. He was
obviously unhappy. He said, "this is a dark day. We've just nominated a
white lawyer with a car salesman's smile. He might as well be a
Republican."

COBB: Well, it was a very contentious convention. Tempers were high
for many people. But, you know, Judy, I grew up in grinding poverty in
San Leon, Texas. I've washed dishes. I've been a construction worker.
I'm a genuine working class person who lived the American dream. You
know, Greens are ordinary people trying to do something extraordinary
which is to build a genuine movement that will take our country back
from the corporate hooligans who have literally hijacked it.

I'm reaching out to Ralph Nader. I'm reaching out to Independents. I'm
interested in what's in the best interest of the Green Party and the
best interest of the country not just for this election cycle but what
are we going to do in December and January and what are we going to do
in 2005 and 2006. And I'm working very hard to make sure that the Green
Party continues to be the electoral arm of the growing movement for
peace, racial and social justice, economic democracy, and genuine
ecology.

WOODRUFF: We hear you and we thank you for joining us. David Cobb, who
is the brand-new nominee of the Green Party after this weekend's
convention. We'll be talking to you throughout the election. Thank you
very much.

COBB: Thanks, Judy. I encourage people to check us out on the web at
VoteCobb.org.


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