For many years, we in the united $tates have been in a position where there is a certain petty-bourgeois discontent with the two-party system. In times when a major political leader obtains a steady lop-sided approval rating of say 65, 70 or 80%, it is inevitable that the other party will be the "lite" version of the more popular party. Such a situation has not existed for many years and we see again in 2006 Congressional elections that dogmatic Democrats refuse to learn.
The most telling figure concerns Democratic party prospects in 2006 November elections. With Bush's approval rating in the 30s or 40% range, it is a prime opportunity to tell the public to let Democrats control Congress to reign in Bush.
Nonetheless, the public says that Democrats have not earned the right and will obtain Congress only by luck or default. Ultra-reactionary Fox News admitted that its beloved Republican Party is the choice of only 30% against 48% for Democrats in its August 8 and 9 poll. The same poll showed a 36% positive rating for Bush.(1) Despite this, Congress is not in the bag for Democrats. It will be very close as in nail-biting if today's polls hold true in November.
Another poll reported by CNN shows 53% for Democrats and 40% for Republicans in Congress. That's what makes the following result from the very same poll so interesting:
"Only 41 percent of Americans believe that Democratic leaders in Congress 'would move the country in the right direction.' As for the GOP, 43 percent of Americans believe that Republican leaders in Congress 'would move the country in the right direction.'"That could mean trouble for Democrats who ramp up their margins in districts they already control without knocking off Republicans in districts they do not.
Only 40% of the public believes Republicans have done a good job while in control of Congress,(2) but Democrats are not grabbing the other 60%. Only 41% (and they may overlap with the Republicans) believe the right direction would result from Democratic control of Congress. This means that there is political space that Democrats do not hold.
It's the same situation with Bush. His ratings can go way down into the low 30s. Yet that does not mean the public loves Gore or Kerry anymore than before. If Bush is at 32% as he has been at times, then that means there is 68% up for grabs. Yet Democrats do not soar that high. If Democrats had split into two parties, they would have had a chance of getting 34% each and still both have more voters than Bush.
What it means is there could be between 60 to 70% of the people ready for another party. That's not counting the new people that could be drawn into politics to alter it completely. It's just looking at what people say about Democrats and Republicans now.
In those places in the country where Republicans are a small minority, it becomes obvious that Democrats should split into two IF they were serious about obliterating the Republicans. In other words, two-party dogmatists assume the right of Republicans to rule, especially in event of corruption of their own party detected at the local level--an inevitability a certain percentage of the time.
Those who hate Republicans enough to want to see them gone from politics have no choice but to favor splitting the Democrats into two parties. It has to do with who one wants the opposition or second choice to be.
Surprisingly, this is the situation even in Connecticut today, and dogmatic Democrats are learning this from their own beloved Lieberman, the same one on the ticket dogmatic Democrats said to vote for instead of Nader in 2000. Lieberman leads in the last three-way poll taken for Connecticut with 51%, because the Republican challenger only received 9%.(3) That's 9% and dogmatic Democrats want to tell us there is no room for a third party or the Republicans will succeed. That is idiotic in the current climate. The question is how long will it be before activists realize they are being had with the fear-mongering about the two-party system and how Republicans will always be the second party eternally-speaking. Even if there has to be a two-party system, nothing says it has to be Republicans in it.
The best move to really oppose Bush, and drive down his ratings would not be to kiss up to Democrats but for Democrats to quickly realize that they need to split in any situation like we've seen in recent years. As it stands now an extremist like Bush can hold onto 32% and still control the whole government, because Democratic Party dogmatists cannot figure out what is going on.
The very same Daily Kos that keeps us up to the minute informed on the Connecticut situation from the anti-Lieberman perspective is bashing Greens.(4) Yet to be really done with the Republicans, the Greens or some other petty- bourgeois party has to step to the plate and become second-place. Democrats who deny this are secretly in love with Republicans. The Daily Kos is so dogmatic that's exactly what it does by celebrating for Greens being kicked off ballots.(5) Going back as far as 1992 and Ross Perot, Democrats have proved unable to seize political space coughed up by Republicans. Yet the dogmatic Democrats never learn: with one party it is only possible to hold so much political space and that is up to the public. It has to do with not being able to be everything to all people. Thus we can call Democratic Party dogmatists dogmatically opportunist. It just doesn't always fly with the people to be opportunist.
If we read people who spend all their time attacking Republicans and being made brain-numbed by Republicans, we will end up as obtuse as they are. So MIM points out the logic of the situation.
Mayor Bloomberg of New York City is already making overtures to Lieberman about a third party. It probably makes sense that one party be composed of imperialists like Lieberman and Hillary Clinton, while the petty-bourgeois party probably should have been Howard Dean, Feingold, moveon.org and Greens using their own money from the middle-classes. They could make noise about campaign finance reform and no "corporate money," by which they mean no imperialists in the party, just the petty-bourgeoisie. Now it will be difficult not least of all because the petty-bourgeoisie found itself co-opted by Howard Dean, who is now the Establishment of the Democratic Party, the party chair.
Another possibility is that the Lieberman wing of imperialists departs for the Reform Party. Jesse Jackson should observe what Lieberman does, for Jackson never bolted the Democratic Party despite the pleas of many ex-Maoists. Maybe the rules are different for some imperialists.
From other polls that MIM has reported, and from MIM's own direct investigation, it is evident there are no votes available to create a proletarian internationalist party that can contend in the electoral arena. There is some room on anti-militarism and opposition to the Patriot Act. We need to recognize some of the instability we are seeing and correctly identify its sources. At the same time, we can show people the blind spots of the highly active wing of the Democratic Party.
We need not believe every dedicated Democratic Party activist that he is really opposed to the Republican Party. The two parties still remain joined at the hip, with Lieberman being the most obvious manifestation. When Democrats say they do not want to see a third party, they are saying they want to let the Republicans grab back the political space they have coughed up. Democrats have no case for saying that they can grab that space alone. If they were serious, they'd know they need help from another party to occupy that space. It just goes to prove that Republicans and Democrats are not really alternatives to each other and that the Democratic Party Establishment prefers Republicans to Greens.
The real reason Democrats are not really trying to drive Republicans into the political dustbin is that the capitalist class is united through its imperialist politicians, but the full extent of that is obscure to the public. We urge all grass-roots activists to change the questions they ask the Democratic Party. Many have come to realize "it has to stand for something," meaning opposition to the Patriot Act and Iraq War. There is a realization from those two issues that the political ground can shift even when the two parties remain the same, so if no one struggles, things can slide and slide and slide in one reactionary direction with two parties. Beyond "it has to stand for something," activists need to ask, "what is your plan for making the Republicans a third or fourth choice and not a power-holding force anymore?" There is no factual basis for thinking any Democratic Party leaders have such a plan, and more importantly there is no factual basis for thinking Democrats can do it alone as one party.
3. http://www.boston.com/news/local/connecticut/articles/2006/08/11/independent_lie berman_says_he_can_be_now_be_himself/