The Connecticut Green Party is readying itself for a run at some major offices next year, including those of Sen. Joseph Lieberman and Rep. Rob Simmons.
Those who know anything about the Connecticut Greens (and there are very, very few of you) might be surprised to learn that they still exist. The Second Congressional District Watch actually seems a little concerned, calling potential Green candidates "spoilers"--a label familiar to anyone who recalls the 2000 election debacle.
This is giving the Greens a little too much credit. Colin McEnroe came closer to the truth yesterday on his radio show when he called them a bunch of "dweebs". Really. They are. I ought to know: I used to be one.
I won't waste time now boring you with the story of my ups and downs with the Connecticut Greens (I'll bore you with it another time) but I will say this: my experience with them taught me how not to run a political party, and has soured me on the merits of radicalism.
The Greens were (and probably still are) plagued by the chronic infighting that seems to afflict every radical organization. Deeply suspicious of power, the members of the central committee (yes, "central committee." I know, I know...)nonetheless craved it themselves. This meant that the party executives were not trusted by a large part of the central committee, who hampered everything they tried to do in the worst, most obstructionist sorts of ways. To be fair, the executive board had no idea what it was doing, either, and so was unable to respond to attacks made on its members, or even to propose anything productive to do once the gridlock was broken. The rules were constantly being changed, and the committee refused to look at the structure of other parties to see what worked. Also, conversations of the "I did this in the 60s, what about you?" variety took a large chunk of time out of the meetings.
In short, they were completely hopeless. I helped a GP friend of mine in his quixotic campaign for a state house of representatives seat in the 2002 election, but we knew we couldn't count on any help from the state central committee. We were on our own. That's no way to run a party. When tiny points of procedure become more important than actually electing candidates... sheesh.
Well, maybe they're a bit better now. They seem to be having a meeting, I suppose that's a very nice start. But "spoilers"? Nah. Numbers for Green Party candidates are dropping as Democrats drift leftward, and the Greens' noble refusal to accept corporate money means that they're always broke.
In short, a Green candidate in the 2nd District might get 2-3%. Until they show that they can run an effective campaign and actually raise some money, they won't be much of a factor in state politics.
Mann, Ted. Green Party Already Gearing Up For '06. New London Day 30 March 2005. (registration required)