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A Dimes Worth of Democracy

 Los Angeles Times

To vote for Nader now means to agree with him that there’s no real difference between the Republicans and the Democrats — a proposition as absurd as attributing 9/11 to Saddam Hussein.

(HT) Ballot Access News. Todd Gitlin as seen from such documentaries as An Unreasonable Man
is back to his third party hating, democracy destroying, Demopublican apologizing journalism.

It not a case of a lot of difference, no difference, or a dime’s worth a difference but who gets to act on that difference. This is the whole logic of the evil of two lessors, is we can find an issue, any issue where there is a difference we can pretend this sham we call a democracy has some validity.

Wolf Blitzer pulled the evil of two lessors card at the first set of debates. The Democrats were all OK with leaving the Clintonian Don’t ask, don’t tell policy at the dustpan of history, whereas the Republican felt it was essential for fabric of western democracy to leave it in place. Wolf declared the voters had a real choice about two visions of America, at least on this issue.

There will always be issues if it be don’t ask, don’t tell, or keeping Roe vs. Wade on the books – in word if not in deed – but the real question is who decides.  Does the central committee of the Democratic and Republican parties get to decide which issues are important enough to have difference on? It seems to me that is sort of like putting the fox in charge of the hen house.     

It seems to me that if the Dems were that concerned about the spoiler effect they would have implement Instant Runoff Voting.   Since several state Republicans parties (Utah for example) have used IRV for some time now I am sure they would have supported such common sense reforms. In addition, the Republican party has been ‘spoiled’ by the Libertarians much more often than the Dems have been by the Greens. Interestingly they seem to accept this as a consequence of democracy much more easily than the Demopublicans.     

This is not an issue of difference but democracy. In a democracy it is the voters not the vanguard of the Democratic and Republican parties who decide if there is any worthwhile differences between the two.