Of course, the new e-fart, err, I mean effort, called the New Progressive Alliance (funny, given that what they are doing is neither particularly new nor progressive - and as for alliance, I suppose they are an alliance in the same way the Tea Party is an "alliance"), has really one purpose: be a spoiler in the 2012 elections. By any means necessary. Really. In their own manifesto, NPA goes full Lieberman and announces that they plan on participating in the 2012 Democratic primaries but most definitely not abide by its results. Declaring their intention to screw with democracy, they state:
As the first of its two-stage strategy for achieving this goal, the NPA is actively seeking a 2012 primary challenger who will commit to turning the electoral process, as we know it, on its head.Ahh, see, we hate the Democratic party so much that we must participate in its primary process. Then, when President Obama and the rest of the Democrats across the country inevitably kick our asses in a fair and democratic process, we are going to bolt that democratic process and go support an independent or third party candidate. I suppose these "principled" people never batted an eye when Joe Lieberman first participated in a Democratic primary in Connecticut and then defied the will of the Democratic voters when he lost. See, the New Progressive Alliance is so "progressive" that it endorses and is planning to implement, the Lieberman model of running in elections. Bravo!
We seek a challenger who recognizes the rare opportunity 2012 provides for boldly leveraging Americans’ broad support of real Progressive policy and programs. Our challenger must pledge to oppose Mr. Obama throughout the primary season, and to play a key role in the second stage of our strategy, by changing the “traditional” script and throwing their support not to Mr. Obama, but to an as yet undetermined independent or third-party candidate who earns our endorsement.
There's a thought - since they at least agree with Lieberman on process, maybe they should add him to their list of candidates.
Speaking of their list of candidates, and being mindful of the need for comic relief, let's have a look at their "top 10" list of candidates:
1. Elizabeth WarrenWait, what is that last one in the list? It's none other than Friend of Fox Jane Hamsher. But I suppose it's a smart move to give one of the slots to the "dear leader" at the site they got their start at/the site they are shilling for. And I take it that Ms. Hamsher provides this her full blessing at the least - or else she would have at least tried to dissociate herself from an effort launched from her site by naming her a primary challenger.
2. Russ Feingold
3. Howard Dean
4. Richard Trumka
5. Alan Grayson
6. Cynthia McKinney
7. Al Franken
8. Paul Krugman
9. Dennis Kucinich
10. Jane Hamsher
As for the rest of the challengers, none of them will even think about challenging President Obama except for maybe Cynthis McKinney, a 9/11 Truther who was humiliated a Democratic primary as an incumbent in her own district, and who has expressed support for such beacons of freedom as Muammar Qaddafi, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, and Robert Mugabe. Elizabeth Warren is a little busy putting together the consumer protection agency, and maybe if the yahoo's working on NPA had any sense, they would be trying to find a way to help her. Howard Dean, in whose presidential campaign I got my start in politics, will not challenge a sitting Democratic president. Richard Trumka might well follow the lead of the NEA and set up an early endorsement of President Obama. Dennis Kucinich has already broken the purity left's heart. Paul Krugman? Look guys, just because Obama used to be a professor doesn't mean any professor can run for president, alright?
Hey, who knows. Maybe they will find their candidate on Craigslist (link is to an actual NPA Craigslist ad; if removed or expired, see screenshot here).
But maybe we are focusing on the wrong area to try to figure out who these people really are. It's not so much their preferred candidates that tell you who they are as their, ahem, steering committee. It includes such luminaries as Cindy Sheehan and, you guessed it, Cornel West. Sheehan, who began her activism in an inspiring way after her son died in Iraq, quickly went off the deep end. Now, she's merely a famed 9/11 truther and an Osama-bin-Laden deather. She ran against Nancy Pelosi as an independent in San Francisco in 2008, and in bleeding heart San Francisco, Pelosi trounced her 72-17. Perhaps because most San Franciscans are actually liberals, not conspiracy theorists.
And then there's Professor Cornel West - the man who went on a racist, antisemitic rampage against President Obama just this week.
These are the most well known people on NPA's steering committee. No wonder they are completely without a direction. This is what purism does: you replace progress with pony-ism. This is a sorry state of affairs for the Left Purists ginned up by "leaders" compromise by their own jealousy, bigotry and ego.
There is a question that the Purity Left and NPA don't answer, however. To what end? This "you didn't give me my pony so I will be a spoiler no matter what," gets us where, exactly? If they succeed, to a right wing Republican presidency that will make Ronald Reagan and George Bush look like FDR. One of these days, someone is going to have to explain to me how that, instead of fighting for a President who has delivered stunningly on the progressive agenda, advances the goals of the progressive movement.
Thankfully, however, it looks like the strengths of President Obama and the disastrous and wanting Republican field might just put the dreams of the Puritans to be spoilers at any cost comfortably out of reach.