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Some People Never Learn


Ralph Nader officially threw his hat in the presidential campaign on Meet The Press yesterday. Most of you remember the horrific 2004 election, when Nader caught heat for sapping Democratic votes from John Kerry. Nader’s certainly aware of those critiques, but insists that his candidacy should not spell doom for the Democrats. And, if it does, that’s their problem: “if Democrats can’t landslide the Republicans this year, they ought to just wrap up, close down, emerge in a different form.” Democratic front runner Barack Obama doesn’t seem to agree, saying: “…His function as a perennial candidate is not putting food on the table of workers.” Obama also had harsh words for Nader’s 2000 comparison of George W. Bush and Al Gore: “Eight years later, people realize that Ralph did not know what he was talking about.” Yes, but if Nader hasn’t learned his lesson, we have a feeling a lot of his historical supporters haven’t either…

By:           Andrew Belonksy
On:           Feb 25, 2008
Tagged: , , , , ,
  • 24 Comments
    • abelincoln
      abelincoln

      Nadar’s goal of running seems to be to get out issues that the candidates aren’t addressing like the danger of driving a Corvair. However, that should be done in the primaries not in the general election. There are also other more constructive ways to do that. Maybe he could be part of a debate where he gets to ask questions.
      His intention is good but his method is bad.

      Feb 25, 2008 at 9:22 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Robert-Chicago
      Robert-Chicago

      You need some refreshing about the history of the 2000 vs. 2004 election.

      Even though the results of the 2004 election were horrific, Nader had little to no impact on John Kerry’s loss. He received 463,653 votes for 0.38% of the popular vote and did not shift the balance of Electoral College votes in any state.

      In 2000, it is possible that Nader had some impact on that election’s horrific result. He received 2,883,105 votes for 2.74 percent of the popular vote. The votes for Nader in Florida and New Hampshire exceeded the difference in votes between Gore and Bush. Thus, he may have made the difference in those states, potentially changing the Electoral College results. However, there are decent historians who will argue both sides of that debate.

      Feb 25, 2008 at 10:26 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • emb
      emb

      Why is this man still making noise? After receiving (as Robert-Chicago mentions), a whopping 2.74% and 0.3% in his last two efforts, whatever in the world makes this egocentric nutjob think that the nation is somehow crying out for his leadership? He says he wants to ensure that people have a choice, but it seems to me that they do: Clinton or Obmama vs McCain is about as clear a choice as one can ask for. In 2000 he claimed there wasn’t a dime’s worth of difference between Gore and Bush; 8 years later I think it’s obvious he was utterly, tragically, horribly wrong–and his less-than-three-percent in that election may well have plunged a closely-divided nation into the mess that is the Bush administration, not to mention the deaths of thousands of American soldiers in a stupid, unnecessary war that a Pres Gore would not have entered into.

      This man is not just an annoying gadfly; his self-important posturing and bloviation would be amusing to dismiss if the electorate weren’t so closely divided that he presents a clear danger to the country. If he were a real, serious independent voice, with new and interesting things to say, that would be another thing. But he’s not. He’s the warmed-over residue of a long-gone career as a consumer advocate. His candidacy offers us nothing but headaches, and is another obvious look-at-me effort by someone feeling the pain of being too long left out of the public’s attention.

      Feb 25, 2008 at 11:22 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • todd
      todd

      Why doesn’t Nader get a job? Why won’t he run for Congress, or Senate, where he has a chance of winning? Maybe because he’d have to work for a living? Where has he been for the past 8 years? Protesting in the streets? I don’t think so. He’s probably funded by Mellon Scaife and other right wing nut jobs who love a spoiler.

      Feb 25, 2008 at 11:49 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Roy
      Roy

      Nader is a Nutter and does not fit for any late acts which every right thinking person should discards with.

      He had had his field days in the past general elections and I do think Enough is enough. He has got a good reason but a wrong time to echew this. Where has he gone since these days to vomit all his concerns about Coorporate misdeameanors and what nots?

      If he is serious about his advocating works, he should better choose another fronts rather than pretend to be an advocator moreso when an important general election is looming.

      I think, he is doing this to get simple attention for himself. I better assre him that his acts this time shall not have any impact upon this coming election but rather to further expose him as a Public Gester No 1 and no one will take him serious as he is known to be using a wrong platform to air his views.

      as such, Nader should call his present acts off immeditely as this will not potray him as somebody who is serious in his remaining life.

      If he is desperate to air his view as suggested he swhould have challenged any of the democratic contenders on the television debate or arrange with others to air his views for the interest of democratic elders or contenders.

      as such, my srict advice shall be, that nader should pack it in, at least just for now and choose another platform to air his vioews.

      Feb 25, 2008 at 12:39 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Rikard
      Rikard

      Gadfly, egocentric, why is this guy still making noise? Has anyone listened to him? All the comments I read here make the point for him. We are all so indoctrinated my the corporate owned media and corporate owned candidates we assume he’s in it for the limelight. What other reason could he have? Gee, I dunno, maybe a guy who has fought and lobbied and sued to protect people from the corrupt and greedy power structures means what he says. We will never have another choice if we are satisfied with candidates who have pleasing features, name recognition and big advertising budgets. Nadar is smarter. I don’t want them to debate. I want them all to take an IQ test and the SAT and a current events quiz written by high school students. I’d pick based on that rather than the corrupt system we use now.

      Feb 25, 2008 at 1:00 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Alacer
      Alacer

      Here, here Rikard!!! It is his Constitutional RIGHT to do what he does and shame on ANYONE who belittles him. That means you Queerty. Some people never learns? You really disappointed me. That’s shameful and unpatriotic. It is every citizens right to freely vote for whomever they please, Gore, Bush, Nader, or even Mickey Mouse.

      People always bring up the point that Nader is taking Democratic votes away, as if this country has an exclusive two-party system. Grow up. This country deserves more options than Democrats and Republicans. Our Founding Fathers (well most of them) hated parties to begin with.

      You people need to seriously rethink your views on our election process because you’re only encouraging the superficial madhouse it’s become.

      Feb 25, 2008 at 3:24 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • emb
      emb

      I think I’ll just hold on to my Constitutional RIGHT to belittle him. He has no qualifications to be President, no substantial track record of achievements to speak of since the 1960s, has done little or nothing in the last 40 years to better the lives of the people he claims are voiceless, and seems utterly intoxicated with the sound of his own voice and his own overwhelming sense of self-importance. I don’t care who he “takes votes away from”, the guy is a waste of democracy. I totally agree that this country deserves more options, but this nutball ain’t one of ‘em. Talk to me about the sanctity of third parties and independent runs when somebody with some substance, some experience, and something constructive to say enters the process. Until then, I will happily mock Mr Nader.

      Feb 25, 2008 at 3:35 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • K.Dee
      K.Dee

      We have a country of 300 million people, and we are expected to only choose between one far-right candidate (McCain), and one center-right candidate (Obama/Clinton)? No thanks. I’ll take Nader over these corporate tools.

      Tell your democratic party to be stronger and more on the left and maybe they can win by a landslide. At this point Democrats are nothing but Republicans who happen to be pro-choice.

      Feb 25, 2008 at 6:07 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • emb
      emb

      K.Dee–I agree that democracy benefits from more choice, although I disagree on the “they’re both the same” argument that Nader and his supporters used in 2000. Do you really think that the last eight years would have been no different under a President Gore? (I’ll admit that RN had zero impact on 2004, which Kerry blew all by himself) Do you really think we’d have a bloated federal deficit, gutted civil liberties, institutionalized torture, a pointless and bloody war, and tax cuts for the wealthy? Do you really think the last 8 years would have been the same with Dems in power?

      Do you really believe that Nader represents the “left”? What has he done in a generation to use what persuasive powers he may still cling to to improve the lives of workers and the poor? Where has his leadership on national healthcare been for the last four years? Where is his vocal opposition to the war, other than during an election cycle?

      You’re absolutely right that voters deserve greater choice. I’m just saying that this empty suit of a self-aggrandizing charlatan adds nothing to the debate between center-left and far-right.

      Feb 25, 2008 at 6:19 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Steve
      Steve

      Nader has to realize that the great majority of his contributions come from the Republican party.

      He says he doesn’t accept money from corporations Of course, no candidate accepts money from corporations, because that would be illegal. They all accept money from people who get it from corporations.

      He says he doesn’t accept money from special interests. But, of course, that’s where all the money in politics comes from. Everyone who gives money to a candidate wants something.

      In Nader’s case, the thing that they want is to draw some votes away from Democrats. There is absolutely no possibility that Nader can be elected. The only thing he can actually do is to split some Democratic voters, and tilt a few critical districts to the Republicans.

      So, knowing that the only thing Nader can actually accomplish is to draw some votes from Democrats, who would give him big bucks to do that? There’s only one answer.

      Feb 25, 2008 at 9:01 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Bill Perdue
      Bill Perdue

      The ham-fisted reaction of Democrats to Nader, the Greens and other political groups to the left of the right-centrist Democrats (sic) are a signal that the radicalization of American politics is in full swing. Democrats are terrified of a break to the left. Too bad. The polarization and radicalization of American politics is already tearing up the Republicans and the Democrats turn will come after the election and a return to ‘politics as usual’. Their politics as usual is more war, a deepening economic crisis and the continued dismissal of our agenda.

      That’s why the splintering and political demise of the centrist and right wing politics of both parties is, at this point, a given. Their politics are far to the right of their constituents. They can’t provide the answers we need.

      Both are bitterly opposed to samesex marriage. They jointly enacted gay bashing laws like DADT and DOMA with huge bipartisan majorities. Their major candidates – McCain, Clinton, Huckabee and Obama – openly pander to gaybashing bigots. That’s why the Democrats first gutted ENDA and tossed it and the Matthew Shepard Hate Crimes act into the toilet. They want to make sure that the Republicans can’t use DOMA, DADT, ENDA and the hate crimes act as wedge issues so they got rid of them. The Republicans, of course, love it when the Democrats simultaneously support their more openly bigoted program and backstab us.

      The Democrats (sic), like the Republicans, are prowar, support anti-constitutional laws like the Paytriot act, union busting measures like NAFTA, tax cuts for the rich, welfare cuts for the poor and exporting jobs. These two right wing parties are equally responsible for the economic problems we face. After NAFTA devastated the Mexican and Central American economies both the Democrats and Republicans turn a cold shoulder to immigrant and imported workers. Their bipartisan deregulation laws have unleashed corporate tigers who feed on the American public.

      The days when an endless string of lesser evil candidates could make promises and then ignore them are nearly over. As Gore Vidal says “…there is only one party in the United States, the Property Party…and it has two right wings: Republican and Democrat. Republicans are a bit stupider, more rigid, more doctrinaire in their laissez-faire capitalism than the Democrats, who are cuter, prettier, a bit more corrupt-until recently… and more willing than the Republicans to make small adjustments when the poor, the black, the anti-imperialists get out of hand. But, essentially, there is no difference between the two parties.”

      It’s dead wrong to promote voting for our enemies. The cheerless reality we face is that they’ll continue the war, tax breaks for rich, and the erosion of our standard of living and the dismissal of the GLBT agenda. They did it under Clinton with DOMA and DADT. They’ve done it since their election victory in 2006 by tossing ENDA and the Matthew Shepard Hate Crimes bill into the toilet. It’s clueless and delusional to think they won’t do the same after this election. Unless of course you believe in campaign promises. Eight years olds are forgiven if they believe politicians, divorce lawyers, priests and used car sellers. The rest of us have no excuse.

      We can push back by ramping up our criticism and building a militant mass movement. That will put the fakers in the Democratic party on the spot and speed up their political demise. A Republican is a baboon in a people suit with a totalitarian christian attached at the thigh. A Democrat is a Republican in Drag.

      Feb 25, 2008 at 11:12 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • emb
      emb

      Yeah, yeah, Bill, I’ve heard the “Republican is a baboon…” thing. And while I applaud your firmly-held Trostkyite passion, and agree that we would all benefit from a vast marketplace of political ideas battling in the electoral square, that historical progress will take time, and I lack patience.

      I lack patience with a Left that is ever-so-eloquent in condemning the blandly center-left pudding that is the democratic party for failing to adhere to strictly socialist ideals in a nation that is far from ideologically leftish. So ya’ll condemn liberal (in the historic sense) incrementalism and demand third parties that will somehow, miraculously, supplant the existing power structure and lead a surprised but enlightened nation into utopia.

      The reality, of course, is that the development of your ideal political party and its militant mass movement will take decades (assuming a potent “militant mass movement” that doesn’t look like the Aryan Nation is even possible in the US), and in the meantime the more moderate of the two existing parties will be drained of resources and power, leaving the conservative theocratic wing of the Property Party (I do like that quote) to do its racist, sexist, homophobic, classist work, to ravage the environment, and to siphon lives and dollars into imperialist wars abroad. And by the time your ideal leftist party is ready to be a viable voice, the right will have ended all that voting nonsense anyway. Women will be in the kitchen with kids on their hips, and homosexuals will cower in dark basements.

      Very nice; thanks for that.

      I mean, look at how your model worked so well historically. Look at the resounding successes of militant movements in, oh, say, Russia, where the incrementalists got tossed out the window (pretty literally) by your bolshevic friends. Most of a century of being something less than a workers’ and peasants’ paradise (c’mon, admit it), followed by the collapse of the dictatorship and the rise of a wild-west crimelord state. Hoorah for the Marxist progress of history!

      Let’s get off the political theory bandwagon, Bill, and address reality. I ask it again: Do you really think that the last eight years would have been no different under a President Gore? Do you really think we’d have a bloated federal deficit, gutted civil liberties, institutionalized torture, a pointless and bloody war, and tax cuts for the wealthy? Do you really think the last 8 years would have been the same with Dems in power?

      Don’t argue the Dems’ failures to step up and show spine — god knows there are plenty, from health care to ENDA (But would ENDA and Hate Crimes even be on the menu — albeit in a bungled way–if not for that moderate-left wing you claim is so indistinguishable from the right?). Do you think eight years of McCain and warmed-over bushness will be a Good Thing for the People you long to protect?

      I enjoy your posts, and the interesting ideas they generate. Just don’t give me the People Arisen and rosy projections into the future: Tell me about now.

      Feb 26, 2008 at 9:18 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • todd
      todd

      I totally agree with Ralph’s views, but I would never vote for him for president. What qualifications does he have? Where has he been the past 8 years? What kind of president has NO experience? He should run for Congress and work for a living. I wonder how long he lives off the funds he gets for running for president. And his supporters are irrational nutjobs.

      And, is he closeted? Who wants a closeted president?

      Feb 26, 2008 at 10:57 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Rikard
      Rikard

      Hey Perdue, I think I’m in love with you. I kind of have a little crush on you too EMB and I agree with your right to belittle Nadar. He’s not your enemy though. He is just one of the voices that need to speak up to enrich the climate. Todd wonders what his qualifications are and where he’s been? He has been running organizations that track the economy, the science, the education and goverenment policy around the world. He looks like your freshman Econ professor, but he’s smarter by a wide margin (all due respect to the econ profs). As for where he’s been? He has not been high ratings news, he speaks to groups and works for policy change and gets no news coverage. What gets covered is the drunk co-ed who goes missing on a tropical vacation, or the cop who’s on his fourth cute 23 year old wife when she goes missing, or the run away bride, or Birtney have another baby and maybe you’ll feel better Spears. I’m waiting for the total colapse of society when my humble skills will increase in value.

      Feb 26, 2008 at 1:01 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Bill Perdue
      Bill Perdue

      It’s typical of right-wingers to pretend that their party, whether Democrats or Republicans, is something other than handpuppets for the rich, bigots and the military-industrial alliance. EMB takes it a step further, asking us wave a magic wand and enter his magic kingdom where the Democrats will save us from Republican fascism. In the real world the Republicans aren’t fascists and the Democrats aren’t a nest of well meaning but blundering left centrists. They’re both right centrists.
      The right centrist Democrats didn’t blunder when they gutted ENDA, killed the hate crimes bill and refused to repeal Clinton’s bigoted DOMA and DADT laws. Only a fool could miss that fact that they were tossing our agenda overboard in an election year to prevent Republicans from claiming they were pro-GLBT. As if. EMB, can you wave that magic wand of yours and conger up some excuse for what the Democrats did? If not we’ll continue to describe Democrats and Republics as the enemies of GLBT people and our agenda. That fair, isn’t it, EMB?

      The right centrist Democrats, Billary Clinton, Gore, Kerry, and Obama didn’t blunder as they unreservedly supported the oil piracy, whose genocidal fury has murdered 1,000,000 Iraqis. Gore would absolutely have continued Clintons attack on Iraq, which was itself a carryover from BushOne. The Iraqis have take over a million casualties because of the BIPARTISAN effort to control resources like oil. Clinton lied about WMDs in 1996 and his sanctions were a sick crusade to kill Iraqi children, the elderly and the ill. The Democrats supported and voted to fund that war under BushOne, Billary Clinton and BushTwo. The continued funding it during the and after the 2006 elections when they promised to end it. That was Democratic (sic) betrayal number 236-Iraq-B, but hey, who’s counting? They’ve betrayed that pledge and can be counted on to do so again. That’s why they refuse to impeach Bush and Cheney or to convene an International War Crimes Tribunal. Hillary Clinton wants to extend the oil piracy to Iran with a nuclear attack and Barack Obama dementedly wants to extend it to Pakistan, a nation with their own nuclear arsenal and technology. Both promise to keep troops there through 2013. Thank you for that.

      I have to ask it EMB. Were you in a coma the last the last twenty years? Did you miss that fact that the Democrats and Clinton betrayed us, unions, the antiwar movement, immigrant worker, the uninsured and everybody but the rich. Did you sleep through all those tax breaks that both Democrats and Republicans voted for, or NAFTA, or their bipartisan gangrape of the bankruptcy laws, or the Reagan-Clinton – Bush attack on welfare, unemployment insurance and Medicare. Thank you for that.

      And thank you for the fact we’re in for at least four more years of Bush Lite, Clinton or Obama, or Bush Stout, Huckabee or McCain. AT some point after the election, as the long suffering American people realize that there’s no end in sight to the resource wars , a plummeting standard of living and to bigotry, racism and misogyny all hell will break loose. Your party will begin to splinter and hopefully shatter just as the Republicans are doing now. We’ll patiently wait for that and welcome refugees from your party who are red up and finally willing to fight for our rights. Somehow I don’t think you’ll be in that group. You’ll be wandering the street wearing a sandwich board sign boldly proclaiming that “Only Hindenburg Can Save Us From Hitler!” I’ll play nice and drop some pocket change in your cup.

      Feb 26, 2008 at 3:24 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Bill Perdue
      Bill Perdue

      Todd. Your piss ant attack on Nader, who counts as an American hero is stright out of the sick playbook of Leland Frances, who was do despised he changed his alias and now posts as Michael Bedwell.

      You ask “I wonder how long he lives off the funds he gets for running for president. And, is he closeted? Who wants a closeted president?”

      Those questions deserve another one. Are you a closeted Stonehead or a closeted Loghead?

      Feb 26, 2008 at 3:32 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • hells kitchen guy
      hells kitchen guy

      Good comment about Nadar running for Congress instead of president! I often think that of people like Jesse Jackson – hey, work your way up. Nobody goes from private citizen to president.

      EMB, don’t try arguing with him. He’s living in a fantasy world where The Masses are going to rise up against The Man. Unfortunately for Trotskyites like Chickenman Purdue, whether for better or worse, the U.S. has always been dominated by the middle class, unlike countries like Russia, Cuba and China. (Maybe if he read de Tocqueville he’d learn something. Nah, probably not.)

      As soon as a group here reaches middle-class status, it abandons radical pretensions. Happened with Irish, Jews, Chinese, etc.

      As much as Purdue thinks I’m to the right of Pope Benedict, I’d like nothing better than to see a true revolution in this country. But as Trotsky learned the hard way, politics is the science of what is possible, not what is desirable.

      BTW, the Dems did not throw ENDA or Shepherd “under the bus.” For what it’s worth.

      Feb 26, 2008 at 3:55 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Bill Perdue
      Bill Perdue

      EMB, you’re in good company now. Your fellow Democrat hells kitchen chickenshit chickenhawk (HKCC ) is not only far to the right of Ratzinger, he’s edging up to Attila the Hun. At least Ratzinger Der Pope, who joined the HitlerJugend and the NSDAP before it was necessary, keeps whatever ‘Aryan’ dreams of revenge he might have to himself. I don’t remember Der Pope ever calling for genocide. Hells kitchen chickenshit chickenhawk (HKCC) does. HKCC supports the war in Iraq and denies that Bush, with support from your Democrats, is arming muslim jihadists who track down and kill Iraqi GLBT folks. HKCC is a rabid supporter of the zioinst apartheid regime that tyrannizes the Palestinians. He’s willing to let GI’s die to protect that apartheid state and to help steal Iraqi oil.

      HKCC wants the Iranian people to die in nuclear fires and isn’t afraid to say so. In a Queerty discussion about the lynching of yet another young gay man by Iranian ayatollahs, HKCC, unsatisfied with the slow death rate said ‘Well, let’s keep this in mind when Bill Purdue, the Prof VP and the rest of them start screaming about American imperialism. I say, go bush – nuke the bastards.” Highsurfer asked HKCC “You’re kidding, right HKG? You would bomb and kill the very people you want to save?” and others commented along the same lines. Then HKCC said “Yeah, I’m a Bush/Hill supporter. Whatever. Bomb ‘em. Bomb ‘em. They’re beyond redemption at this point. they’re a hateful mass of religious fanatics whose only purpose on this earth is to spread hatred, ignorance and intolerance.” You can read the whole exchange at http://www.queerty.com/iran-executes-once-stayed-gay-20071205/

      Feb 26, 2008 at 5:17 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • hells kitchen guy
      hells kitchen guy

      Oh, honey, crawl back into your trailer in the Nevada salt flats. No one hears you. No one cares.

      Feb 26, 2008 at 8:31 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • hells kitchen guy
      hells kitchen guy

      You are, however, a good argument for the damage done by those atomic bomb tests they did in the ’50s.

      Feb 26, 2008 at 8:32 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • hells kitchen guy
      hells kitchen guy

      btw, you wouldn’t know sarcasm if it had a 10-inch dick and came in your throat. but then again, armchair revolutionaries are notorious for their nerd-serious rants unleavened by anything but the most bumptious humor.

      Feb 26, 2008 at 8:34 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • hells kitchen guy
      hells kitchen guy

      “Nader, who counts as an American hero”
      “the zioinst apartheid regime that tyrannizes the Palestinians”
      “building a militant mass movement”

      It’s sad. but it’s like a train wreck you have to look

      Feb 26, 2008 at 11:52 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Mikey
      Mikey

      Nader has a point. I’m not angry at him about the 2004 election – it’s ridiculous to blame him for Bush being president when the blame should lay squarely on the people who actually voted for Bush.
      I used to get pretty excited about Obama but I’m disappointed by his lack of support for gay marriage. Hillary’s lost all credibility with the way her campaign has gone so negative lately. And she doesn’t even support gay marriage either.
      Nader should run and Nader should get votes. Maybe it has to take another 8 years of republican miss-rule before the Democratic party will wake up and start caring about issues that matter to the average progressive thinker.

      Feb 27, 2008 at 3:58 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·

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