Nadar’s just announced plans for the presidency are just plain nuts. The annoucement was self-indulgent and arrogant, which is sad to see.
On the issues, Ralph Nader is as solid and on target as ever. His January 14, ’08 article “What the Candidates Avoid,” accurately sums up the limitations of even such progressive democratic candidates like Obama and Edwards (in January). Nader reminds us about the limitations of the two party system, corporate crime, and structural inequality. He reminds us that corporations have gained an unfair advantage not only over citizens but also over the government itself. He is right.
I was also pleased to see Nader support Edwards earlier this year. Reinforced my own support for Edwards.
I voted for Nader in 2000 from the safe haven of Massachusetts, and when the Supreme Court gave the election to Bush, I didn’t blame Nader for taking votes in Florida. It was clear that Gore had waged a lousy campaign, but had I been living in Florida in 2000, I would have voted for Gore. Sorry, Florida voters who voted for Nader in 2000, you blew it. You served up conditions for a coup that Jeb and his crew just couldn’t ignore.
Nader himself recently said he believed Gore won the election but that it had been “stolen from him… by the (Florida) Secretary of State and Jeb Bush.”
Even in 2000, it was clear that the Bush alternative was dangerous. And seven years later, it is clear we weren’t scared enough. Permanent war, recession, hallowed out government… The constitution is in shambles and corporations are running amuck with what’s left in a way that Naomi Klein captures well in Shock Doctrine.
Here’s the nugget. Politics is as much about judgment as about principle. Nader is great on principle, but lousy lousy on political judgment.
Ralph’s political judgment has always been impeded by righteousness, but his Meet the Press announcement Sunday was too much. Times are unimaginably different now than in 2000, making it plain to see the real difference and distinction between democrats and republicans. Abu Grahb, Gitmo, extraordinary renditions, the Patriot Act, Valerie Plame-gate, telecom immunity, all of which should be sufficient to make the point, but with the incumbent just scrapes the surface.
Now imagine Nader confusing Barack Obama with John McCain, who favors a hundred year war in Iraq, makes deranged Beach Boy jokes about bombing Iran, and has a well documented commitment to deregulation and penchant for corporate lobbyists.
Does he also confuse the incredible difference between having a possible Justice Laurence Tribe in an Obama Administration or a possible Justice Theodore Olsen in a McCain Administration. Stevens is 87, Kennedy is 71 and Ginsburg is 74. The new president will have an unprecedented opportunity to reshape the court or reinforce the current conservative trend. How many more deregulators does Nader want to see appointed to the Court over the next 4-8 years?
Hey Ralph, What’s up? Exactly how bad do things need to get?
Why not join progressive minded voters in holding Obama’s feet to the fire (he’ll need pressure from the left to force him to do many things he might otherwise not want to do), but join us!