Progressives? Is this an effective strategy?

I’ve seen a few people post this on a social networking site:

I’m not sure what to think about this. Is the Green Party even registered in all states? It does advocate not changing your registration if you’re involved in the Democratic Party, which is good, I think. And it doesn’t tell you not to vote Democrat (to avoid a repeat of 2000, presumably).

I suppose there are a lot of people out there who vote sporadically, but then if they vote sporadically anyway, would the Democrats even notice this? It seems to me it would have to be a lot of people who do this for this to affect a policy change, and even then, I’m skeptical. I suppose it functions more as a poll – the people who do this are really fed up.


The Dems have been a war mongering corporate faction for as long as anyone’s been alive. Registering as a Green would be utterly pointless. Real change would involve a multi-generational revolution from within. I love the classic Pwoggishness of that post: still vote for Obama, of course! I’m sure if he had more time he’d say it’s the most important election EVER. And don’t forget to write letters. And blog. Yeah.

And in how many of those can you just “change your registration”? (In at least one state, Ohio, people who “only vote in the general election or…don’t vote at all” have no party registration. There is no registration other than by voting in a party’s primary.)

But yeah, sending in a form and not actually doing anything will sure “send a clear signal to the Democrats to stop spitting on their base.”

Doesn’t matter since they are openly saying they are still voting democratic when the day is said and done. It is an empty threat.

Using primaries properly is probably the best bet for progressives. It worked pretty well for the Tea Party. Politicians really only fear one thing and that is losing their jobs either in the primary or the general.

Yup. “More and better Democrats” is the only viable solution, AFAICT.

It sounds like a Green Party promoter pretending to be a Democrat to me.

I don’t see why you can’t vote for someone onther than Obama in a primary, even if you have to do a write-in. I plan to.

Make it the Lizard People!


Google doesn’t know either.

It’s rather a passive-aggressive move… Not likely to accomplish much other than giving fuel to the right’s fire.

In my state, you can not register by party. Party affiliation is absolutely nowhere on the voter registration form. (we have an odd primary system)
So, there’s nothing for anyone to notice.

So, I’ll just go through the arguments presented in this thread, rather than responding to posters individually:

Argument #1: State does not allow party registration.

Yep, that would make this useless in those states. I guess these are open primary states?

Argument #2: People should work to change the Democratic Party from within.

Agreed. But not everybody has time to do this. And as someone who has tried to volunteer with the Democratic Party before, boy, do they not make it easy. It’s almost as if they want to keep you out.

But aside from that, the original message said not to change your registration if you were active in the Democratic Party. So, while this is a valid point generally, I don’t see how it applies to this.

Argument #3: Marshmallow’s Argument… Okay, I’m really not sure what’s being argued here.

Argument #4: It’s better to elect progressive Democrats in the primary.

Agreed. But again, this doesn’t apply to people who vote in the primary, and a lot of people simply don’t vote in primaries. I guess I’m not seeing the argument.

Argument #5: We should write-in someone against Obama.

Very few people are going to do it, and if the Dems aren’t going to pay attention to registration changes why would they pay attention to write-ins? Hell, when Kennedy brought an actual fight to the floor against Carter, that only prompted them to shift right. I just don’t see how a write-in is any more effective.

Argument #6: It will give fuel to the right.

I don’t see how. Explanations?

I’m in a hurry, so sorry I can’t be more thorough.

#6 because certain prominent right spokespersons will come out and call liberals a bunch of pinheads, and to back up their claims they’ll show how the center-left is losing numbers, therefore acting as positive reinforcement to the right’s apeshit shenanigans of the last three years.

sigh Yeah . . .

You got a better idea?

Yeah-quit listening to anonymous right-wingers pretending to be Democrats with plans to “help” the party.

Goddam Blue Dead Three-legged Dog “centrist”, “business friendly”, Clintonista mensheviks!

Seriously, though – other than the tactic described in the OP, what could American progressives do, to shift the Democratic Party – that is, to shift Congress – never mind all that, let’s go straight to the real point, to shift American public policy in a more progressive direction?

They could get off their asses, go down to the Party meetings, and invest some time and effort. The change has got to come from the inside, otherwise all you’ll get will be, at best, cosmetic and temporary.

Well, here’s the problem: See the Pew Political Typology, 2011 version. The Tea Partiers represent a popular but still a minority viewpoint in America (see the Staunch Conservatives, 9% of general public, 11% of registered voters); so do the progressives (see the Solid Liberals, 14%, 16%). Each group faces a common challenge in trying to leverage the country’s public policies their way, which a substantial minority can do, but it’s never easy, and it’s a whole lot easier from the center than from any fringe. If the Tea Party supports mainstream GOP candidates they compromise everything they’re in it for; but if they take control of the GOP like they’re bidding to do, they’ll torpedo its general-election chances every cycle until they lose it again. Similar problem if progressives try to change the Democratic Party “from within.” Last time that happened was the New Politics movement that gave McGovern the nomination, and we know how that turned out, and how deeply it damaged the party’s prospects until 1992, when the Ogdamned but strategically-correct DLC took the helm.

I don’t really understand this argument. A lot of people don’t have the time or energy to do this. They have kids, they have demanding jobs. It’s not reasonable to expect everyone who wants a leftward-shift in the Democratic Party to get that involved. That’s just not the way the world works. I have the luxury of not worrying about getting fired if I take off for something here and there, and my job, although intellectually annoying, isn’t really that demanding. But a lot of people have exhausting jobs that they have to deal with. We’re simply not going to get everyone to show up at a Democratic Party meeting, so how else can we accomplish this?

I would say that rather than berating people for not getting off their asses, progressive organizations need to figure out a way to recruit volunteers, bring them into the fold, work around their schedules, and give them ownership of something. IMO, anyway.

ETA: We have no way of knowing who the person who originated this is, or what their motivation is. They may be a right winger or not. I feel it’s more interesting to discuss the effectiveness of this as a strategy, rather then speculating on motives.