February 3, 2019

Once upon a time, I was a registered Green Party member. In my mind, I saw the Republican Party demographically killing themselves off to obsolescence, and imagined that the Green Party could slide into the vacuum left by the Democratic Party sliding to the right to try to scoop up those left behind by the GOP going the way of the Whigs.

As I saw it, the Green Party was best situated to do that, including a putative head of the party with built-in name recognition (this was in the Ralph Nader days). I went to party meetings, I talked about how to build the party up from the ground up. I tried to encourage candidacies from municipal and state to national level, to build a coalition together that would allow us to actually get some progressive legislation together. See, I thought that it was understood that is how politics work. But I was dismayed to learn that almost no one in the Green Party saw it that way. They didn't want to do that work. They didn't want to build coalitions. They didn't care about making a true national party. They perceived their role was to be disrupters. They took pride in being outsiders. They thought that they could force the parties to move to the left simply by taking their metaphorical balls and refusing to play.

It was frustrating. More than once, I tried to explain Duverger's Law to them to try to explain how they were actually working against their interests before I gave up. I registered as a Dem and started volunteering for Dem candidates on the local level, because I saw no use to independent runs.

Now I don't make any claim to great political strategy. Certainly, I don't get paid the big bucks to consult campaigns like Steve Schmidt and Bill Burton do. But if I know Duverger's Law with my basic bachelor's degree political science class, why the hell don't they? Donald Trump won the Electoral College through a fluke of less than one percent of the votes in three states. That's it. If Schmidt was such a dedicated Never Trumper and Bill Burton a dedicated Democrat, why would this race be worth it? If they really cared two bits about this country, THAT is what they'd tell Howard Schultz.

And the media would contextualize his run with this information over and over again.

ABC's "This Week" — Sens. Roy Blunt, R-Mo., and Dick Durbin, D-Ill.; Mayor Pete Buttigieg, Democratic candidate for presidency; and Nate Silver of FiveThirtyEight. Panel: ABC’s Matthew Dowd; former Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi; Republican strategist Sara Fagen; Patrick Gaspard, president of Open Society Foundations; and Maggie Haberman of The New York Times.

NBC's "Meet the Press" — Sens. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, and Rick Scott, R-Fla; John Brennan, former CIA director; Michael Leiter, former director of the National Counterterrorism Center. Panel: Hallie Jackson of NBC News; Rich Lowry of National Review; María Teresa Kumar, president, Voto Latino; and Mark Leibovich of The New York Times Magazine.

CBS' "Face the Nation" — Donald Trump. James Brown, host of “NFL Today”; Jarrett Bell of USA Today; Jason Guy of The Wall Street Journal; and Dana Jacobson, co-shot of “CBS This Morning: Saturday.”

CNN's "State of the Union" — Sen. Richard Shelby, R-Ala.; former Gov. Terry McAuliffe, D-Va. Panel: Karen Finney, former senior spokesperson, Hillary for America; Scott Jennings, former special assistant to President George W. Bush and Mitch McConnell; Linda Chavez, director, Becoming American Initiative, and former Reagan White House official; and Bakari Sellers, former Democratic South Carolina House member.

CNN's "Fareed Zakaria GPS" — Antony Blinken, former U.S. deputy secretary of state and former deputy national security adviser to the president; Richard Haass, president, Council on Foreign Relations; and Anne McElvoy of The Economist.” Keegan Hamilton, host, “Chapo: Kingpin on Trial,” a Vice News podcast; and Anand Giridharadas, author, “Winners Take All.”

CNN's "Reliable Sources" — Former Gov. Howard Dean, D-Vt.; Juana Summers of The Associated Press; and Jackie Kucinich of The Daily Beast; David Zurawik of The Baltimore Sun and David Folkenflik of NPR and host of “On Point.”

"Fox News Sunday" — Sens. John Hoeven, R-N.D., and Ron Johnson, R-Wis.; Rep. Henry Cuellar, D-Texas. Panel: former Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah; Liz Marlantes of The Christian Science Monitor; Jonah Goldberg of National Review; and Mo Elleithee, former political campaign strategist for Democratic National Committee.

So what's catching your eye this morning?

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