Ganging up on Bush

Maybe you’ve heard of the Green Party Effect, the idea that Al Gore lost the 2000 election to George W. simply because the ultra-progressive Green Party folks voted for Ralph Nader instead of Al. This makes some sense. But then again, it’s kind of hard to nail down those Greens. They aren’t as single-minded as, say, Nevadans for Howard Dean. They might have voted for Bush or libertarian Harry Browne.

Still, who’d have expected Bush to, um, befriend the environment and eschew the influence of big business the way he has to the consternation of so many Greenies.

That’s why it’s not so surprising to see a new movement sweeping the land of the free. When Reno activist Patricia Axelrod imagined an alliance between Greens and Democrats to further the cause of all that’s good and left (Almost Anyone But Bush 2004!), she didn’t know that her friends in Eastern states were thinking similar thinks.

“It was a spontaneous idea across the country,” Axelrod explains. “It’s obvious that this is something born out of people’s desperate need for change and imagination.”

The Green Democrat Alliance of Reno’s doing the pizza, politics and movies event once again from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. Nov. 2 at Roundtable Pizza on Mae Anne and McCarran. They’re re-screening Unprecedented: The 2000 Presidential Election or How Bush Stole the Presidency and Right Road Lost: The Confession of an American Soldier’s War Crime in Iraq. If you’ve already seen these flicks, come late (around 6:45 p.m.) and join the group for discussion. Call 787-8528 for more info.

Axelrod says the group hasn’t decided to align itself with any particular Democratic candidate just yet, but it’s committing to support whatever candidate emerges to take on George W.

Personally, she’d be OK with any of the Democrats except for Gen. Wesley Clark.

“I’ve studied the Iraq war deeply, dear,” Axelrod says. “I know [the actions of] Clark intimately.”

Would she prefer Bush to Clark?

“I don’t know how I’d feel,” she says. “If it came down to that, I’d have to go for Clark, but it’d definitely be the lesser of two evils.”

Mostly, the endeavor is about progressives taking advantage of party machinery already in place to further their goals, she says.

“I have no qualms about saying that I’m here to infiltrate the Democratic Party,” she says. “We can’t afford the luxury [of idealism] right now. We must unite our forces.”