McKinney has been campaigning throughout Northern California, in the Bay Area and Humboldt and Sonoma counties, where Green Party support is strong. In Sacramento, she noted that politicians of both stripes, Republican and Democrats, are fiddling while Rome burns, expending treasure on an elective war even as health-care and social-service programs face deep spending cuts. The Democrat and GOP presidential candidates, as well as Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, are not having this discussion, but should be, she said.
The reason they are not, in her view, is that they embody the failed â€œtwo-party paradigmâ€ that supports the corporate status quo and strengthens the political power wielded by the financier class.
Such candor has come crashing down upon McKinney in the past. In 2006, after heavily criticizing the war on terror and the illegal surveillance of American citizens, Republicans targeted her for elimination, urging the rank and file in Georgia to cross party lines during the Democratic primary and vote for McKinneyâ€™s opponent. She lost, and now the same tactic is being employed against Democrats via Rush Limbaughâ€™s â€œOperation Chaosâ€ to disrupt this summerâ€™s Democratic Convention.
Of course, no article on a third party candidate would be complete without addressing the “spoiler” question:
With no real chance to win the game, could McKinney be a spoiler, a candidate who will draw voters away from the Democratic nominee, throwing the election to the Republicans? She says itâ€™s doubtful. â€œThatâ€™s an argument made by people not familiar with the facts,â€ she said, citing the role consumer advocate Ralph Nader played in the past two presidential contests. â€œDemocrats want to conceal their role in Bushâ€™s ascendancy and the disenfranchisement of African-American voters in the 2000 and 2004 elections.â€