Presidential Debate: San Francisco Greens Love Jill Stein and Roseanne Barr

Written by Ann Garrison. Posted in Economy, Education, Energy, Environment, Healthcare, Homelessness, Housing, Immigration, Labor, Land Use, Politics, War

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Published on May 14, 2012 with 15 Comments

By Ann Garrison

May 14, 2012

KALW’s Rose Aguilar moderated a presidential debate held Saturday at the Victoria Theatre between Green Party presidential candidates Dr. Jill Stein and actress/comedienne Roseanne Barr. The world described by Stein and Barr bears little resemblance to that described by incumbent President Barack Obama and Republican presidential contender Mitt Romney.

Obama and Romney speak of improving the competitive environment; Barr and Stein speak of cooperative and environmentally sustainable social relations.

Obama and Romney describe the bank bailouts as a painful necessity; Stein and Barr describe them as an unparalleled heist by the 1% and say it’s time to nationalize the Federal Reserve and to cancel student loan debt.

Where Obama and Romney see a world full of terrorists requiring an ever-heightened state of military positioning with Homeland and National Security, Stein and Barr see further militarization of the police, an empire of military bases in need of dismantling and a need to redefine national priorities and security.

The Greens’ top two candidates have very different speaking styles. Barr claims to have bigger balls than anybody, presumably including Stein, but, as moderator Aguilar said, she searched the Web for disagreements between the two and found none. Greens have a reputation for non-productive internal conflict, but Saturday’s sanity and sisterhood fest and its wildly enthusiastic audience suggest 2012 may signal a newly unified party.

Several commenters on Livestream said they didn’t care which woman topped the Green ticket, hoping both would be on it. Native American social justice activist Kent Mesplay is also running for the party’s nomination but he did not participate in the debate because he was attending a native sacred ceremony outside California.

The Greens will choose their presidential and vice presidential candidates at the Green Party National Convention in Baltimore, Maryland in July.

For California Green Party gubernatorial candidate Laura Wells’s thoughts, see Indybay, KPFA News: Laura Wells on the Green Party Presidential Debate.

Ann Garrison

Ann Garrison also writes for the San Francisco Bay View, National Black Newspaper and Global Research, reports for Pacifica stations KPFA, WBAI, and KMEC, and maintains a Youtube Channel, AnnieGetYourGang, and her own website, She is working on a book titled "Sodomy and Hypocrisy: American Evangelicals, LGBT Persecution, War Crimes and Sexual Atrocities in East/Central Africa." She lives in the San Francisco Bay Area.

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Comments for Presidential Debate: San Francisco Greens Love Jill Stein and Roseanne Barr are now closed.

  1. I swear, Barr must have been hired by the Dems to make the Greens look bad. She comes off like a mentally ill drug addict. Jill Stein isn’t much better, either – she has the personality of a dishrag. They were probably both hired by the Dems, in fact. They say all the right things, but in the worst, most disorganized, unconvincing, least eloquent way possible! Candidates, I am disappoint.

    •  Nah, I take it back. That was too harsh. This video is not as bad as some others I’ve seen. Perhaps they’ll put a better face forward in the future – though Roseanne was pretty awful on CNN.

  2. boys and girls,

       I done saw the whole thing and Barr’s my candidate because she’s real and vulnerable.    Stein is a great lady and they’ll make a great ticket.     Luke, why in the hell do you publish these anonymous dickheads at all?    That’s so Bay Guardian to empower people who wish you ill.

    Was I the only one who had the hair raise on the back of their neck when Roseanne screamed for putting our wealth into credit unions and … “BARTER!”?

    It was some ‘debate’ (never contentious cause they agree) and if you haven’t watched the tape, do so.   Or, I’ll hunt you down and bore you with my stories.

    Go Giants!


    • Mr brown:  I assume Luke publishes us “anonymous dickheads” because he believes in free speech. 

  3. What’s fascinating to me is the people who attack Roseanne for not being intellectual enough, serious enough, poor enough, on and on, as though they can determine who is “allowed” to run as a candidate, while at the same time professing to be all about democracy and Green values. 

    Its understandable why some will automatically reject Roseanne — she made her career off evoking that response from some, while others laughed about it.

    But Roseanne also happens to be a human being, a mother, a grandmother, and a person who experienced a major traumatic brain injury as a teenager that caused her — literally — to be institutionalized.  She worked hard to make the audience in SF laugh and people loved it and had a great time.  She’s not just some wealthy asshole — she put herself on the line to speak out about the problems in this country and turn those into something we could laugh about.  Who else can do that?  Imagine what it takes to wade into the judgmental crowd of the Green Party, and be yourself, for someone like her?

    Those who say Roseanne is an embarrassment, or made the party look bad, are mistaken — Greens can learn how to model compassion and support for all types of people, and should, if we want to be what we say we want to be.  If you could have gotten up there and done it better, you should have.  Roseanne took a chance and spoke out and became a Green.  Compassion is central to Green values and the sooner we can all realize that, and treat all people respectfully, the sooner we will live in the world we seek to have.  “Peace” and compassion go hand in hand.  That doesn’t mean we can’t complain or voice our opinions, but it does mean we need to treat our candidates — all of them — with a measure of respect.

    •  Roseanne is a joke. She is just doing this for PR. Everytime she opens her mouth she makes Greens look like crazy pot smoking nut bags.

    • Right on, Soul Sister.  Would it really kill us to have a sense of humor?  Cost us the election?  LOL.  

  4. Lord lord lord .   WHAT a waste of energy.  Is there nothing the Greens ( and they seem to have this in common with pretty much any third party , sane/deserving or not ) won’t do to make themselves MORE UNELECTABLE ?? Is there anything they won’t do to take votes AWAY from an electable Democrat?  All the while shrieking that they are doing no such thing ?? Arithmetic is now a matter of opinion , apparently . A sort of lunacy they share with….the right , actually !  They could be doing their country , and here I am assuming they give a SHIT about it , a huge favor by getting the President re-elected since it is sadly going to be a squeaker ( another fact that makes me despair of the sanity AND decency of my fellow Americans ) and since any – there’s that word again !- SANE adult  understands enough arithmetic to get that a third party candidate IS NOT WINNING ANYTHING HERE .  But no , anyone who actually CAN get elected is by definition simply not pure-minded nor high-souled enough for these folks .  It’s the I am such a morally superior progressive that noone is good enough and furthermore my favorite activity is not fighting the REICHwing teapublicans , it’s savaging e fellow-progressive- DISEASE !!   It wasn’t just the corrupt and vile Supreme Court that handed Shrub an UN-WON second term people , it was folks like this .  And Ms. Barr? Really?  Jesus wept .

    • @facebook-1384324562:disqus:Some people simply think that building a new party is at this point more important than electing a Democrat, especially Obama.  Several months ago on WBAI-N.Y.C., U of Minnesota Geography professor Abdi Samatar, a Somali, told us, “I think what our audience needs to know is that there was a great deal of hope about the coming of the Obama Administration to power.  And many of us worked for him . . .  The tragedy is that this Administration has done more damage than even the Bush Administration overseas, especially in Somalia.”  

      I’m a member of the Green Party, but I’m also a member of the Harvey Milk LGBT Democratic Club and I vote for local Democrats.  I would even vote for Obama if he were to finally push for enforcement of his own Senate legislation, the Obama Congo Relief, Security, and Democracy Promotion Act of 2006.

  5. From the prospective of a vote counter, Hon Prime Minister Roseanne Barr’s [Green Tea] ability to work as a team player and think on her feet far surpasses Green Party regulars Jill Stein or Laura Wells.

    I’ve been promoting the US Parliament for 18 years and Google derived from my logo in 1997.   During this time, I’ve been able to identify the team players based on the reactions I get from the nominees.

    If you too would like to work on a team of 1000 based on marked ballot kept as proof, please visit the site and sign up and/or vote for your name.
    –James Ogle [Free Parliamentary]
    Volunteer Vote Counter
    (415) 686-1996

  6. Barr is a joke. Jill Stine had her beat in the debate. Barr is giving the Green Party a black eye and making the Green Party look like a bunch of nut cases like her. 

  7. Last October, Ms Barr called for the beheading (yes, beheading as in execution) of anyone making more than $100 million unless they agreed to go to “reeducation camps”.  Ms Barr stated, “I believe in a maximum wage of $100 million.”  The website estimate Ms Barr’s net worth to be $80 million, conveniently under her proposed maximum.  

    • That was a joke, el Greco.  Just a little joke very few people seemed to get.  She advocated bringing back the guillotine, and in this debate, which you don’t seem to have listened to, she said that she had withdrawn her advocacy for bringing back the guillotine, because that had offended some Greens because Greens oppose the death penalty.

      That was another little joke, about how seriously and literally some Greens had taken her bring-back-the-guillotine advocacy, and how seriously and literally she was therefore responding.  

      She probably does have a problem as a political candidate in that many people are likely to take her every word literally and she is a comedienne.
      Thanks for the stat on her personal wealth, though.  She should probably acknowledge that when she says that $100 million should be the maximum wage.  I don’t resent her wealth, though, because she entertained people and broke down a lot of cultural barriers earning it, and says she’s re-invested most of what she has in sustainable agriculture, meaning, I assume, her macademia nut farm in Hawaii.

      •  Serious candidates for any office don’t make jokes about capital punishment. 

        Barr also owns at least three homes, two in L.A. and one in Hawaii.  I was able to find that out in about 90 seconds using the Internet.

        I am glad to find out that she is sustainably farming macadamia nuts on her property.  Perhaps she will be distributing them to America’s impoverished families to help combat hunger.  But I doubt it.

        • Obama joked about predator-droning the Jonas Bros.  If a sense of humor disqualified candidates, we’d have nobody to vote for except Ralph Nader.