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Jacqueline Salit: ‘How the independent movement went left by going right’

Found at The Hankster. Excerpt:

Understanding how America has changed entails understanding how the independent movement has changed. To do that, you have to look at the new concepts of independent politics and how they were engineered and developed in and by the CUIP networks. The “centrist” model was discarded early on in favor of a left-right coming together for nonpartisan reform. The reliance on a “great man” (Ross Perot, Ralph Nader, Jesse Ventura) or a rich man (Ross Perot, Mike Bloomberg, Tom Golisano) or an ideological man (or woman) (Ralph Nader, Cynthia McKinney, Bob Barr) was also discarded. In 2008, that paradigm failed to impact. The four major minor presidential candidates – Nader, Barr, McKinney and Chuck Baldwin – together polled a little over 1.6 million votes, or 1.2% of the vote nationally.

The paradigm that prevailed, which allowed independents to play a vital, even decisive role in the most significant “hinge” election since 1932, was the CUIP paradigm.

How did the independent movement go left? It did so by going right. When a network of progressives joined the Perot movement to create new models of cooperation (like the left-right partnership and the black and independent alliance), new paradigms for organizing (without a party or a patron), and a new framework for political reform (open primaries), a new era of independent politics began.

Now analysts are busy determining whether the Obama win represents a full-blown political realignment, whether that realignment is “hard” or “soft” and whether the election results portend Democratic Party dominance for a generation.

This much is clear. The independent movement, realigned from center-right to center-left, gave Barack Obama the edge he needed to realign the Democratic Party, away from Clintonian centrism to a black-led nonpartisan movement for change. Thus realigned, the Democratic Party, with the continued support of independents, defeated conservatism and realigned the country.

How durable is that realignment? Impossible to know, but there are lessons to be learned. Now that Hillary Clinton, on her way into the Obama Cabinet, is enshrined as a partisan relic of the old style of politics, somewhere in this country are the next hopefuls who will want to become the first female, or Latino or gay president. A word to the wise: Keep your door open to the independents.

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  1. It's Official It's Official January 1, 2009

    Jacqueline Salit is looking for an Adminstrative position in 2009. These folks [Independent Vote in California] are the biggest bags of nothing around. They do not stand for any thing and they tolerate every thing! Merely being Trump or Bloomberg shills is one thing, but they are nothing espousing nothing!

    Personal experience! Also Unity08, Frank MacKay and the [so called] Independence Party, and the [so called] Independent Green Parties [of the not really Greens]!

  2. Billy Goat Eater Billy Goat Eater January 1, 2009

    Nothing espousing nothing. You seem like an expert.

  3. Donald Raymond Lake Donald Raymond Lake January 1, 2009

    Why thank you! And the people I help do away with: the worst FORMER congress member in history [u of misery alum Randie ‘Puke’ Cunningham, federal felon], FORMER insular corrupt insider California Governor Gray Davis, FORMER San Diego Mayor Judge Dick Murphy, FORMER Chula Vista Mayor Steve Padilla. Currently working on ousting the worst mayor in the country, KCMO Mark Funkhouser!

    I am nothing! Yet while you and Paulie Cannoli blog under nom de plumes, I am Donald Raymond Lake! What is your home telephone number, Paulie’s? I am in the Chula Vista phone book, 619.420.0209.

    Write me, Mister Less Than Nothing, whom ever you are: 263 Eucalyptus Court, Chula Vista CALIFORNIA 91910-3030. Be sure to add a return address, as the world does not have your mailing particulars, nor Mister Cannoli’s.

    Email, whom ever you are,

    Ah Don Lake, the giant killer, Mister little [I am the tallest person in my immediate family at four foot nine!] David SUCCESSFULLY fighting those horrible evil monsters.

    Yet I have a name, postal address, telephone, email………..

    That would make you and Paulie Cannoli [if YOU are not Paulie Cannoli……..] less than

  4. Trent Hill Trent Hill January 1, 2009

    Yup,we’re gunna have to go back to closed comments, I can see it now.

  5. G.E. G.E. January 1, 2009

    I won’t bother saying “I told you so,” but you can imagine what I’m thinking. 😉

  6. Nancy Hanks Nancy Hanks January 2, 2009

    Thanks for your link to The Hankster! I think this is a very important paper for independents and third-party advocates to read and study. There’s a lot to learn from this history.

  7. Donald Raymond Lake Donald Raymond Lake January 8, 2009

    Paulie/ and or Billy Goat Eater: I am [limping] back from my surgery. Out of meaningless, snarkie worthless, comments? The truth gotta down? So many true enemies among the Democans and the Republicrats and you cowards take pot shots at honest anti establishment activists……….

  8. paulie cannoli paulie cannoli Post author | January 8, 2009

    Don, you are the one taking pot shots at me. Not vice versa.

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