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 â€œcentristâ€ model was discarded early on in favor of a left-right coming together for nonpartisan reform. The reliance on a â€œgreat manâ€ (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 â€“ Nader, Barr, McKinney and Chuck Baldwin â€“ 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 â€œhingeâ€ 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 â€œhardâ€ or â€œsoftâ€ 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.