The Pathetic Partisan and the Duopolist Filter

Last week, in an article at Salon, Glenn Greenwald considered the "impotence of the loyal partisan voter," touching on a paradox inherent to the two-party state and duopoly system of government.  The point is actually quite simple: if you are a loyal voter for one of the two major parties, it is virtually assured that you thereby guarantee your own political irrelevance.  Greenwald writes:
That's what a rational, calculating, self-interested, unprincipled Democratic politician should do:  accommodate those factions which need accommodating (because their support is in question), while ignoring or scorning the ones whose support is not in question . . .
Greenwald, however, proved incapable of liberating himself from the ideology that sustains the two-party state.  As GG wrote in response at Shiny Ideas:
In short it is not, contrary to what Glenn seems to be saying, necessary to invoke blind loyalty to describe the voting habits of the Democratic base. As for a potential solution to this impasse... Glenn Glenn Glenn, I kept waiting for you to say "two party system", but you never got there. Which is sad, because you could broach the subject of our fucked up political duopoly and people would actually listen to you. The solution is for people to have a viable alternative to both the Republicans and the Democrats.
The next day, Greenwald was invited onto Lawrence O'Donnell's show on MSNBC to talk about the column.  To his credit, O'Donnell hammered home the point that even Greenwald was unwilling to articulate: the two-party system is the problem.  Such criticism of the two-party state rarely penetrates the media's duopolist filter.  A rough transcript of O'Donnell's statements from the segment (video below):
They take us for granted once they are past the primary zone and its just Democrat against Republican, they are simply placing the bet that you are stuck, as the two-party system sticks you, in the lesser of two evils choice and they will always win that vote from you. . . .

I think the structural problem here is the two-party system.  The two-party system is a monopolistic system invented by politics, American politics, which,  American business loves monopoly whenever they can get to it, and they love this monopoly because it doesn't allow you any kind of gradation in your choice, you have to go with the Democrat because the Republican is out of the question.  That's why the third party challenge is the only thing that you ever see move one of these parties in one direction or the other . . .
Even then, Greenwald refused to take the two-party state to task, and instead offered nothing more than platitudes about the importance of waging primary challenges as the GOP did in 2010.  So, Greenwald objects to the fact that the Democratic party is all-too-willing to accommodate the political opposition while "kicking its base whenever possible," but then his solution is to become more like the opposition!  Thanks to Tirade Faction for the link.

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