The Nader Factor

If this is true, Ralph Nader is finally playing a helpful role for the Democratic presidential candidate:

Mr. Nader continues to draw scorn for his role in the 2000 election, when many Democrats felt his long-shot candidacy destroyed Al Gore’s chances of becoming president. But this time, some polls in critical swing states like Florida suggest he is drawing votes from Senator John McCain, the Republican nominee.

Nader's history as a warrior against corporate greed makes his a strong voice in opposition to the bailout plan. Nader has credibility as a champion of the little guy who has been abused by unfeeling corporations. He might be speaking to larger crowds than he anticipated during the last days of the campaign. [more ...]

Another poll suggests that Nader might take more votes from Obama than from McCain.

The latest New York Times/CBS News poll showed Senator Barack Obama, the Democratic nominee, with a 14-percentage-point lead among likely voters in a head-to-head matchup with Mr. McCain, but when Mr. Nader was included in the question, the race narrowed, with 51 percent of those surveyed saying they were supporting Mr. Obama, 39 percent supporting Mr. McCain, and 3 percent for Mr. Nader.

Even a newly energized Nader isn't likely to change the election outcome. Too many voters in too many states have decided against McCain-Palin. But then, it wasn't likely that Nader would change the outcome in 2000.

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    I heard Nader speak on PBS or NPR (5.00 / 3) (#5)
    by Fabian on Fri Oct 17, 2008 at 05:49:54 AM EST
    recently.  He did one simple thing - he reminded me of what the Democrats should be doing.  His ideas aren't radical or fringe.  In fact his ideas are largely progressive, liberal ideas.  So why don't the same ideas come from our Democratic leadership?

    Why can't a Democrat act like a Democrat?  Why does Nader sound more like a Democrat than Obama does?

    I don't begrudge Nader his ambitions because he broadens the national discourse.  Is he a threat to the Democrats?  Why or why not?

    Too bad Nader doesn't really work on these (5.00 / 2) (#34)
    by sallywally on Fri Oct 17, 2008 at 09:33:51 AM EST
    issues loudly outside the elections. It doesn't seem like we hear from him much at other times.

    I agree with his ideas to a large extent and agree they are the basic Dem ideas that the Dems have largely abandoned.

    But why isn't Nader out there working and organizing for these ideas, rather than running for Pres every four years? He could do a hell of a lot of good that way.

    This way, he's just massaging his ego and perhaps his drive for power, maybe even some schadenfreude (unconscious?) if he helps prevent the Dem from winning.

    He was the one who said there was no difference between the Repubs and Dems in 2000. He was tragically wrong about that - and it really was clear before the election that that position was inaccurate.

    Or why doesn't he run for Congress????? He could work on those issues and be a continually re-elected, very popular and progressive Rep or Senator like Wellstone, Holt, and others.

    What is the President thing all about, when he rationally must know all he can do following that ambition is be a spoiler. In Congress he could be a player.

    I just don't get him about that.


    Why don't the DEMOCRATS (5.00 / 1) (#72)
    by Fabian on Fri Oct 17, 2008 at 11:46:01 AM EST
    do these things?

    How many DINOs are there?

    Is being a Democrat just about party loyalty?  Has the party abandoned the principles?

    I hope we have a chance to find out in 2009 and in 2010 we can vote any poseurs out.


    The Nader Factor (5.00 / 2) (#6)
    by NaderRaider on Fri Oct 17, 2008 at 06:01:52 AM EST
    Who's Your Candidate? Who really speaks for you? Who supports issues that matter to you?

    On the following issues, Obama/McCain just say "no" but Ralph Nader says "Yes!":

    1. opposes bailouts for Wall St [taxation without representation!]
    2. Supports Universal Health Care
    3. Supports Same Sex Marriage
    4. Supports ending the Drug War
    5. Opposes the death penalty
    6. Supports $10 minimum wage
    7. Supports bringing ALL troops home from Iraq
    8. Opposes mercenaries and contractors in Iraq
    9. Supports 2-state Mideast {Jerusalem} Solution
    10. Opposes NAFTA and other outsourcing programs
    11. Opposes FISA and other civilian spying programs
    12. Opposes invading Iran
    13. Opposes the PATRIOT Act
    14. Opposes offshore drilling
    15 Opposes Nuclear Energy

    Support the candidate that supports you!

    Obama: Progressive or Stagnant?
    His votes don't match his words
    2003: Obama VOWED to repeal the PATRIOT Act
    but voted for in in 2008

    2003: Obama supported single payer health care
    but "never said it" in 2008

    2007: Obama SAID he was against FISA   
    but voted for it in 2008

    2007: Obama promised to use Public Campaign Financing
    but REJECTED it in 2008

    2008: Obama told AIPAC  that he supported the one state solution in Jerusalem
    but, less than a month later, when in Israel, said he supported 2 state solution

    In June, Obama SAID he opposed offshore drilling,
    NOW he supports it

    In February, Obama SAID he opposed NAFTA and in June clarified, HE DIDN'T MEAN IT

    Consumer Product Safety Commission Bill- increases funding for Consumer Product Safety Commission
    7/31/08  Did Not Vote

    Higher Education Amendment Act - Increases the availability and amount of Pell Grants
    7/31/08  Did Not Vote

    Funding for Operations in Iraq and Afghanistan - Establishes funding for Iraq and Afghanistan Operations
    5/22/08 Did Not Vote

    Energy Tax Credits Amendment - extended tax credits to develop alternative energy
    4/10/08 - did not vote

    Defense Authorizations Bill - Limits Defense Appropriations
    1/22/07 Did Not Vote

    Iraq Withdrawal Amendment - Re-deploys troops and trains Iraqi Security Forces
    12/18/07 did not vote

    Energy Act of 2007 Increases alternative fuel production and fuel economy
    12/13/07 did not vote

    Implementing the 9/11 Commission Recommendations Act - Implements the 9/11 Commission Recommendations
    7/26/07 did not vote

    Sense of the Senate on Guantanamo Bay Detainees - Determines whether detainees should not be released or moved
    7/1907 did not vote

    Is this how YOU would vote?

    Vote for progress

    Nader/Gonzalez `08

    on the ballot in 45 states and D.C.!!!!!!


    I fully support Nader on the issues (5.00 / 3) (#11)
    by ruffian on Fri Oct 17, 2008 at 07:52:49 AM EST
    I think he would do more good advancing them some other way than with doomed presidential campaigns that just turn otherwise sympathetic people away to the point where they don't listen. Why not run for congress someplace, and have a permanent microphone?

    Nader is dead to me. (5.00 / 6) (#16)
    by LarryInNYC on Fri Oct 17, 2008 at 08:28:01 AM EST
    Before 2000 I knew him, in a general way, as a consumer / public advocate.  Now I see him primarily as an egomaniacal self-promoter with pretensions of moral supremacy.  Obviously, many other otherwise sympathetic people feel the same way.

    How can that possible be good for the issues he claims to want to promote?


    the democratic leadershp (5.00 / 1) (#20)
    by sancho on Fri Oct 17, 2008 at 08:44:42 AM EST
    have been staunch advocates for better offices. as long as the republicans are out of power, office allocation in congress will be thoroughly progressive.

    and as for healthcare, democrats are in favor of universal coverage within the senate and have had success in making certain that such coverage stays a bipartisan issue.

    so let's give them some credit when we can.  


    I'll believe that these positions are (5.00 / 0) (#57)
    by inclusiveheart on Fri Oct 17, 2008 at 10:32:33 AM EST
    genuine when Nader starts actually working with the larger party that is most receptive to his agenda rather than taking spoiler money from Republican donors.

    He's unsafe. . . (5.00 / 4) (#7)
    by LarryInNYC on Fri Oct 17, 2008 at 06:41:12 AM EST
    at any percentage of the vote.

    Do Nader's speeches. . . (5.00 / 4) (#8)
    by LarryInNYC on Fri Oct 17, 2008 at 06:42:45 AM EST
    contain his mea culpa for his role in creating the national environment of the last eight years?  That's really all I want to hear from him.

    "No difference"?  Feh.

    Nader had one vote (5.00 / 4) (#10)
    by Fabian on Fri Oct 17, 2008 at 07:37:57 AM EST
    just like all the millyuns and millyuns of voters who put Bush in the White House.

    Might want to ask them for a heartfelt apology too.

    And the Media.


    Whenever they have the chutzpah. . . (5.00 / 5) (#15)
    by LarryInNYC on Fri Oct 17, 2008 at 08:25:47 AM EST
    to stick their heads up and claim some kind of moral authority based on their role in promoting the Bush campaign in 2000 I do, indeed, level the same criticism against them.

    There were, sadly, a great many idiots in 2000.  Nader is an unrepentant idiot.


    as a single citizen, (5.00 / 1) (#21)
    by sancho on Fri Oct 17, 2008 at 08:49:20 AM EST
    nader had done a heck of a lot of good for a lot of peole in this country. we should not forget that.

    2000 was a fraudulent election and that cant be blamed on nader. nor can the dems' consistent collaboration with the bush regime on its policies.

    but he makes a convenient scapegoat for people who want to believe that the sytstem is not broken and that the dems are not complicit.  


    Well said Sancho.... (none / 0) (#73)
    by kdog on Fri Oct 17, 2008 at 11:49:44 AM EST
    a scapegoat...bingo!

    Look hard at your party, loyal Democrats, tell me honestly what you see.


    We argued with nader and his people nonstop. (none / 0) (#91)
    by WillBFair on Fri Oct 17, 2008 at 08:52:41 PM EST
    I actually published an esay begging him to quit, the one time I pushed myself into commercial media. They didn't listen or didn't care, and they gave the republicans the wiggle room to steal the election.
    If Gore had won, there would have been no 9-11, no Iraq war, no massive deficit, no catastophy after Katrini, etc...
    I have to stop now or I'll say something to get this comment deleted.

    I get heated... (none / 0) (#95)
    by kdog on Sat Oct 18, 2008 at 08:50:27 AM EST
    on this topic too, real heated.

    I don't believe for a second that there would have been no 9/11 or no Iraq under Gore, I hear that sh*t and I wanna scream profanitities to the rafters.  I understand wanting to believe that the D's are the good guys and the R's the bad guys(it would be so much easier!)...but I just can't, too much evidence to the contrary.  I see two complicit pro-war pro-prison pro-tyranny parties with superficial differences on wedge issues.

    Bottom line...each person must follow their conscience and vote accordingly, and we should remember people of equally good intentions can disagree.  The Nader fans and the Democratic Party fans are both convinced they are right, I don't think anybody is changing their mind.  

    Gonna have to agree to disagree on this one.  


    Well (5.00 / 6) (#17)
    by Steve M on Fri Oct 17, 2008 at 08:29:21 AM EST
    I can't really criticize people who voted for Bush because they felt electing him would best advance conservative values.  It's their vote, they have a right to hold different values than me.  They weren't voting for Bush with the intent of screwing up America.

    Nader, on the other hand, believed that electing Bush would best advance progressive values.  He sought to sabotage the election and that's exactly what he achieved.  Recall that Nader not only admitted he would prefer Bush to win the election, he intentionally focused his resources on the swing states where he could do Gore the most damage.  I think it's fair to saddle him with the consequences.


    Well... (none / 0) (#19)
    by Chatham on Fri Oct 17, 2008 at 08:44:24 AM EST
    It seems that people think it's ok to have third parties, as long as they don't get any votes.

    Keep in mind that Gore ran to the right during the 2000 primaries and then chose Lieberman as his running mate (and continued running to the right).  And then we were told that we had no choice, but to support him.  A very number of people on the left didn't like being slapped in the face, and went over to Nader.  Gore then won...and we all know the rest.


    If you look at the Democratic (5.00 / 1) (#60)
    by inclusiveheart on Fri Oct 17, 2008 at 10:36:41 AM EST
    caucus in Congress about half of them actually are pretty much in line with Nader's stated platform - so why does he need a third party when he could be part of a fairly large group?  It seems to me that the only explanation for Nader's insistence on going it alone can only be rooted in ego.

    well (5.00 / 3) (#12)
    by connecticut yankee on Fri Oct 17, 2008 at 08:20:43 AM EST
    I have to admit that when I think of all the starry-eyed liberal naderites who contributed to Gore's loss and who ended up ushering in 100s of thousands of deaths in Iraq.... it leaves a word like irony struggling to make do.

    Bullsh*t... (none / 0) (#29)
    by kdog on Fri Oct 17, 2008 at 09:15:18 AM EST
    the blood is on the hands of Bush voters, and those who voted for every member of Congress that authorized a use of force.  As is the sorry state of our union in general.

    Those who vote R and D are the enablers...get serious.


    If Al has 10 apples, and George has 9 apples, (none / 0) (#92)
    by WillBFair on Fri Oct 17, 2008 at 08:59:26 PM EST
    but Ralph takes 2 of Al's apples, who has the most apples?
    You can ignore 3rd grade arithmetic all you want, not to mention the winner take all system of American politics. But we begged the Naderites not to do this. And they justified themselves with the proportional representation fantasy, which is too idiotic to deserve comment.
    I have to stop now or I'll say something really unkind.

    If Nader (5.00 / 2) (#13)
    by WS on Fri Oct 17, 2008 at 08:20:55 AM EST
    wasn't around 8 years ago, there would be no Bush Presidency.  Couldn't he see how close it was 8 years ago and bow out for the common good?  

    More bullsh*t.... (none / 0) (#30)
    by kdog on Fri Oct 17, 2008 at 09:19:14 AM EST
    again, blame the electorate.

    For people of deep-rooted conscience, Nader was the only choice in 2000.  The only choice.

    I'll be voting for him again this go round...I would have preferred to go Libertarian, Nader is a little too big government for my taste, but Barr is just too scary, can't buy his supposed "libertarian awakening".  I wish they had nominated Gravel or Kubby.


    Oh. My. Goodness. (5.00 / 2) (#39)
    by Don in Seattle on Fri Oct 17, 2008 at 09:57:59 AM EST
    "For people of deep-rooted conscience, Nader was the only choice in 2000. The only choice."

    What inane drivel. Today is the day I cease taking kdog seriously.

    Please, dog, take a flying leap into your ocean of bullsh*t. That way your conscience can be even deeper-rooted, if that is possible.


    Be well Don... (none / 0) (#40)
    by kdog on Fri Oct 17, 2008 at 10:02:53 AM EST
    enjoy your Democratic "leadership"...lol.

    ... and with your spirit. (none / 0) (#50)
    by Don in Seattle on Fri Oct 17, 2008 at 10:22:17 AM EST
    Thanks for your sane and civilized reply.

    Libertarian (5.00 / 1) (#41)
    by cal1942 on Fri Oct 17, 2008 at 10:04:22 AM EST
    a Libertarian is a loot, pillage and burn Republican who wants to do drugs.

    The Koch family's little political flight of fantasy.


    So says you.... (none / 0) (#49)
    by kdog on Fri Oct 17, 2008 at 10:21:43 AM EST
    Libertarianism to me is greater freedom and more control over the choices that effect my life...and that sounds pretty damn good for a guy on the wrong side of the great domestic war D's and R's alike have been waging for 40 years.

    Look no further than our over-flowing prisons to see why a freedom-loving formerly brain-dead liberal will get turned on by libertarian thought...the trade-offs asked for by the big govt. nanny state just ain't worth it.  I want liberty, not a nanny.


    finally the mask is discarded (5.00 / 1) (#54)
    by wystler on Fri Oct 17, 2008 at 10:29:13 AM EST
    ... the big govt. nanny state just ain't worth it.  I want liberty, not a nanny.

    Nanny state, eh?

    Guess we know who you are now.

    This ain't FreiRepublik.com


    Who I am.... (none / 0) (#61)
    by kdog on Fri Oct 17, 2008 at 10:42:10 AM EST
    is a knucklehead trying to figure this crazy world out.  

    Maybe I've read too much Orwell, maybe I get too much of a kick out of Alex Jones, maybe I'm tired of the hassle of dodging 5 bucks a pack cigarette taxes, maybe I'm tired of getting of the constant threat of getting locked up, maybe I'm tired of driving 4 hours to visit my friend in cage...whatever it is, I'm done, I want liberty and come what may.

    Never been to Free Republic...but if liberty ain't welcome here maybe I should give it a shot.


    I, for one... (none / 0) (#68)
    by MileHi Hawkeye on Fri Oct 17, 2008 at 11:09:12 AM EST
    respect you for who you are.  There is no right or wrong to the ideals that you hold near and dear to your heart.  You're still free to think and vote the way your conscience tells you.  

    Don't let the hater get you down, my friend!


    These f*ckin' labels... (none / 0) (#71)
    by kdog on Fri Oct 17, 2008 at 11:45:09 AM EST
    we feel the need to assign each other...what is up that?  I'm as guilty of it as the next guy sometimes, it sure doesn't help honest discourse.

    Never voted for a god damn republican in my life, but now I'm supposed to be one, albeit one that likes to get high.  

    Guilty as charged on the last bit, too bad the Dems don't respect that lifestyle choice, this whole debate might well be moot, I'd be behind Obama.  Well, except for those pesky foreign occupations, Dems support that sh*t too.  Plus out of control federal spending and general fiscal irresponsibility.


    People of deep-rooted conscience (5.00 / 3) (#42)
    by rilkefan on Fri Oct 17, 2008 at 10:05:59 AM EST
    who wanted Bush elected.  Hope you've enjoyed your conscience for the last eight years of deep-rooted damage to the country.  You chose the Iraq war over Gore; deregulation over Gore; green-house-gases aren't pollution over Gore; Roberts running the supreme court over Gore; SUVs over Gore; the destruction of your own movement over vote-swaps and Gore.  It was the only choice - the only choice - for people eager to sacrifice the country for their deep-rooted purity of conscience.

    On second thought... (none / 0) (#46)
    by kdog on Fri Oct 17, 2008 at 10:14:30 AM EST
    the deep-rooted conscience thing is a little overblown...I'm in no position to judge anyone elses conscience...it's just what my conscience told me to do.

    I just get real tired of this "Nader voters elected Bush" nonsense.  Bush voters elected Bush, period.  We don't owe our votes to Team "D" or Team "R".  In my eyes he was the best candidate, and I try to vote for the best candidate.  I don't play Machiavellian games with my vote...best ideas win.


    "a little overblown" (none / 0) (#75)
    by rilkefan on Fri Oct 17, 2008 at 12:27:12 PM EST
    Ok, good on you for that.  But "Bush voters elected Bush, period" is just silly.  Nader took positive actions to cause Bush to win - he campaigned in swing states, he ran on the falsehood that Gore=Bush, he asked his voters not to use vote-swapping.  When a person says, I want x to happen because of y, and does a, b, and c to ensure x, we say that he or she is at least partly responsible for y.

    All Gore had to do.... (none / 0) (#83)
    by kdog on Fri Oct 17, 2008 at 01:12:42 PM EST
    was adopt a portion of Nader's platform and he would have dropped out.  A platform a majority of the party base agrees with to boot...he chose not to.  Why?

    Maybe because Bush and Gore weren't as far apart as you think they are or would like them to be?  

    Instead of still blaming Nader and his supporters 8 years later, maybe we should look a little closer at St. Al and his failings.


    If Nader worked for election reform (5.00 / 1) (#24)
    by popsnorkle on Fri Oct 17, 2008 at 09:06:31 AM EST
    so that a third party candidate wouldn't just be a spoiler he might have some credibility, but as it is he doesn't.  

    For a third party candidate to be able to run without doing what Nader did in 2000, we need to require over 50% to win.  In that case Nader's 3% wouldn't matter.

    running for prez (none / 0) (#26)
    by sancho on Fri Oct 17, 2008 at 09:10:32 AM EST
    was his way of working for election reform.

    A very destructive and mind-bogglingly (5.00 / 1) (#36)
    by sallywally on Fri Oct 17, 2008 at 09:42:22 AM EST
    indirect and ineffective way, imho.

    Actually (none / 0) (#35)
    by Chatham on Fri Oct 17, 2008 at 09:38:16 AM EST
    Many Nader advocates in 2000 wanted this.  I can't imagine any 3rd part not wanting this.  The two major parties don't, because they currently have a strangle hold over elections (just look at the anger if there ever is even a marginally popular 3rd party).  They keep a system that makes a 3rd party a spoiler, and then attack even a marginally popular 3rd party candidate when they run.

    By the way, Anderson has been fighting for instant runoff voting since 1992.  If the two main parties want to run things this way.  Some of us don't think that people who don't want to be held hostage by them should be repentant.


    Do you know the technical issues involved (5.00 / 1) (#37)
    by andgarden on Fri Oct 17, 2008 at 09:44:10 AM EST
    with IRV? Are you aware that, under IRV, you can actually cause your preferred candidate to lose by voting for him? See the monotonicity criterion.

    Let's Look at This (none / 0) (#48)
    by Chatham on Fri Oct 17, 2008 at 10:20:29 AM EST
    It's not my preferred choice, but people were advocating it.  In any realistic scenario, I don't see how it causes much of a problem though.  Unless a third party does VERY well, it merely means that those that choose to can vote for a third party, and that after those votes go to the party candidate.  I can't honestly think of any scenario where it causes much of a problem, and that's even if everyone did it (they wouldn't).

    I've seen this example:
    34% Nader > Gore > McCain
    15% Gore > Nader > McCain
    17% Gore > McCain > Nader
    34% McCain > Gore > Nader

    More people prefer Gore to McCain, yet McCain still wins!  Ok, but hold up a second.  Let's dismiss that this result would probably never happen. McCain still wins with the current system
    of voting (if he happens to have one more person vote for him) or (if Nader gets the extra vote) the person people overall prefer less wins.  But if there is no IRV, and all of the Nader people vote for Gore, Gore wins right?  Well, then you're eliminating the candidate people prefer from the ballot.

    Not perfect nor my personal choice, but I think the problems are greatly exaggerated.


    Here's an example that proves it: (none / 0) (#52)
    by andgarden on Fri Oct 17, 2008 at 10:27:12 AM EST
    Here are some voting profiles

    1. A B C

    2. C A B

    3. B C A

    4. B A C

    Then the one person who prefers B to A changes his mind:

    1. A B C

    2. C A B

    3. B C A

    Explain? (none / 0) (#74)
    by Chatham on Fri Oct 17, 2008 at 12:02:07 PM EST
    I'm not sure I understand what you're saying here, can you explain it a bit more? (unless we're getting too off topic)

    B and C are tied in ex 1 (none / 0) (#77)
    by andgarden on Fri Oct 17, 2008 at 12:31:30 PM EST
    and are therefore both eliminated under the Hare rules.

    Ah, Ok (none / 0) (#89)
    by Chatham on Fri Oct 17, 2008 at 02:02:22 PM EST
    (I personally think number 4 isn't bad, number 2 is silly though)

    I should also point out the odds of a tie happening, and what would happen in that case with our current system.  Even if both were elminated (and not handled in the variety of other ways they can be, such as seeing which grouping would have higher votes should the other be eliminated), the outcome would be the same as the current system.  But again, in the extremely unlikely event that it's something like 32%, 32%, 34%, there are methods other than elminating both.


    In my opinion (5.00 / 1) (#45)
    by Steve M on Fri Oct 17, 2008 at 10:12:53 AM EST
    Ralph Nader reminds me very much of Bill Ayers, still wishing that he could have done more, but failing to acknowledge that what he did do was entirely counterproductive to the goals he sought to advance.

    Just because you're motivated by a noble goal doesn't mean that whatever you do necessarily helps promote that goal.  Sometimes you hurt your own cause when you go about it in the wrong way.

    Remember, though... (none / 0) (#51)
    by Exeter on Fri Oct 17, 2008 at 10:23:02 AM EST
    At the time, Bush was running as a "compassionate conservative" moderate and using RFK language and Gore was running with Lieberman as a conservative Democrat using GOP talking points. In some ways, I'm more angry that Nader ran in 2004, after he was fully aware of how dangerous Bush was.

    Anyone who advocates destruction (none / 0) (#53)
    by inclusiveheart on Fri Oct 17, 2008 at 10:28:26 AM EST
    as means for advancement immediately loses credibility with me.

    They never seem to take into account how much it takes to rebuild.

    Just take a long hard look at Iraq.  That's all you need to prove that Nader's idea that handing over this country to two irresponsible and quite possibly insane oil men instead of trying to work to improve Al Gore's and the Democratic Party's positions is mad as far as I am concerned.


    He did try. (none / 0) (#67)
    by lentinel on Fri Oct 17, 2008 at 11:04:48 AM EST
    During the campaign of 2000 Nader urged Gore to adopt his positions. Seems simple. He did do exactly what you wanted him to do.
    But Gore was too timid.

    Gore wound up standing for just about nothing. He couldn't even carry Tennessee.

    Not to mention his dumb dumb dumb choice of a running mate.
    Lieberman or Palin? Which is worse?


    He wanted Gore to adopt (none / 0) (#93)
    by inclusiveheart on Sat Oct 18, 2008 at 08:15:16 AM EST
    every one of his positions and run the exact same campaign that Nader was running to win a full 5% of the populuation.  Look - Nader should have done a deal with the Gore campaign - this is the thing that I think was the real insult to his supporters and to the people who supported his issues - they would have been better served by Nader had he gone to the Gore camp a week before the election and said - "If you promise to pursue these three things (whatever he wanted) and give me a role in the administration - I will ask my supporters to consider voting for you in the swing states where I've been attacking you."  Had just 1000 out of the nearly 100,000 voters who supported Nader in Florida gone for Gore, there would never have been a Bush Administration.  Furthermore, had Nader used his political capital he would have been able to deliver some advances to his supporters.

    Instead, Nader believed that getting his 5% was more important than protecting this country and he reasoned that it would be "good" for America to have Bush as President.  

    Another notable fact in this whole saga was that for some reason that none of us fully understand, Nader really hated Al Gore.  There was some sort of rivalry that had a long history here in DC which dd not make sense to most people because if you know DC a little you know that Gore was a big environmentalist, he stood up against the tobacco industry well before it was chic or acceptable (which is a major reason he lost his home state of Tennessee) and he was a real boy scout rule follower and actually one of the least corrupted politicians in DC - he was Nader's theoretical dream date but Nader had more contempt for Gore than for Bush.  

    Now having seen Nader taking money from Republicans to run in 2004, I have begun to completely doubt his sincerity.  I would not be the least bit surprised to find out that he was never in favor of any of the issues on his own platform and that he has been essentially been working all this time to preserve GOP extremist power.  He has lost any credibility he ever had with me. In my mind, he's about as credible as George Bush and that's pretty much as low as anyone can get in my book.


    Nader (5.00 / 1) (#65)
    by lentinel on Fri Oct 17, 2008 at 10:55:37 AM EST
    Nader speaks in a manner that is reminiscent of what the democratic party once stood for.

    He speaks of Unions.
    He speaks of single payer hearth care.
    He speaks of non-polluting sources of energy.
    He talks about letting the average citizen have access and control over their government.

    This sounds like ideals of the democratic party.

    We have a candidate of the democratic party that does not embrace these ideals. He backs "clean coal". "Clean" - my aunt Fannie. The coal industry loves it. So does McCain.
    He backs a complicated health plan that will not benefit all Americans.
    He boasts about backing "Tort reform". This makes it hard as hell for an individual to gain redress against a corporation. The name "tort reform" is to the individual as "clean skies initiative" is to the air we breathe.
    He opposes gay marriage. To me, this is tantamount to the ethic of people who once opposed inter-marriage between races or religions.

    Forget about withdrawal from Iraq anytime soon. Maybe 2011 or 12. And then Obama wants to ship them to Afghanistan.

    Forget about a democratic candidate who will speak of impeachment. We have an executive branch that has broken every kind of law. And deliberately subverted the constitution.
    With no redress - no possible punishment - they can keep doing it.

    It is so unspeakably ironic to me that Nader has been demonized by the "left" - by people calling themselves "progressives". The "right" hates him because he opposes their interests and lust for power. And they have the "left" to do their dirty work.

    All a democrat has to do to take votes from Nader is to behave like a democrat.

    Nader's problem is that he (none / 0) (#94)
    by inclusiveheart on Sat Oct 18, 2008 at 08:23:32 AM EST
    refuses to accept the fact that this is a democracy.  Were he able to run for king and hand out edicts, he might be an acceptable candidate, but Nader has proven that he is unable to work with anyone else.  It must be his plan and his plan must be exactly as he believes it should be - that is not democratic.

    About have of the Democratic Congressional cacus agrees with most of Nader's issues, but he would not ally himself to actually get something done - no he is too good for them - he is too precious to actually work with anyone else to advance the best interests of this country.  That is Nader's downfall and that is why Nader has made himself irrelevant.  My father said of a boyfriend I brought home one Spring break in college, "He needs to learn to live with mortals."  I think that is a perfect assessment of Nader.


    360 (none / 0) (#96)
    by lentinel on Sat Oct 18, 2008 at 12:33:17 PM EST
    I think Nader is running because he still thinks that we do have a democracy. Or should have a democracy.
    Both parties, republican and democrat, are beholden to the same giant corporations.
    McCain and Obama are not far apart on most issues.
    Obama would ban late term abortions - except when it endangers the health of the mother. The result - women who decide in the last trimester that they must have an abortion will go to Mexico or to some quack.

    On Iran, their positions are essentially the same. Both hold out the prospect of bombing.

    On Pakistan, both propose the same policy that Bush is following now. Invade or bomb if we feel like it - without the consent of the government.

    Obama talks about sending the troops that he might withdraw (when is anyone's guess) to Afghanistan. McCain's into that as well.

    Neither of them have a health care plan that is universal and simple. Single payer is anathema to both of them - and both of them have received large contributions from the industries that profit from the current corrupt health care system.

    Both oppose the right of gay people to marry. This is the same mentality that would oppose the right of people of different races or religions to marry: it's against "tradition".

    Both talk about being Christians. McCain says this is a Christian nation. Obama says Jesus died for his sins.

    Both of them support "clean coal technology" which is, in fact, filthy.

    Both Obama and McCain have opposed impeachment proceedings against the most lawless presidency in history.

    This is a democracy.
    Should no one present an opposing point of view to these two corporate representatives?

    Nader used an analogy which I think is appropriate:
    In another era, he asked, would you vote for the anti-slavery party, or the least worst of the representatives of the pro-slavery parties?

    As for Nader not working with other people - this is simply not the case. He has continuously urged people in the so-called major parties to adopt his positions - which are really nothing but mainstream democratic values. He has been perfectly willing to render himself politically unnecessary. He has supported Kucinich - who did represent core democratic values and was totally ignored by progressives and democrats.

    Nader is the only one out there who reminds people that this is in fact a democracy. Right now, our republic is a beast with two heads.


    Nader is 100% irrelevant and without credibility (4.50 / 4) (#1)
    by andgarden on Fri Oct 17, 2008 at 12:33:19 AM EST

    He won't make a difference... (5.00 / 1) (#9)
    by ctrenta on Fri Oct 17, 2008 at 07:01:57 AM EST
    .... but that doesn't mean Nader shouldn't run. I think third party candidates are healthy for democracy (and I'm voting for Obama, FYI). IMO a Nader candidacy is good in some regards.

    Nader also raises issues that Obama doesn't talk about that many progressives want to hear about: universal health care for one, to stop funding a bloated Pentagon budget (which unfortunately Obama's suported), even advocate for a more meaningful Mideast peace process where Palestine is treated like equals with comparison to Israel. I like that.

    A lot of people point the finger at him for spoiling the 200 election. IMO there were more factors than just Ralph Nader. There was Al Gore's lackluster campaign; There was Katherine Harris; There was the SCOTUS; and there was Socialist Party candidate Kevin McReynolds (if McReynolds wasn't running, Gore could've had enough votes to tip the balance in his favor).  

    Looking at Ralph Nader as the sole person responsible for the 2000 debacle, IMO, puts it in simplistic terms. I think there was a lot more than that. With that being said, Americans benefit from third party candidates. They enliven the discussion and bring issues more to the light. We need that... even though I'm still voting for Obama.


    This race is going to tighten up. (none / 0) (#55)
    by inclusiveheart on Fri Oct 17, 2008 at 10:30:39 AM EST
    Nader still could be relevant.  You're far too into polls for me to believe that you don't see the significance of three percentage points in an American national election.

    I'll get a pony, Nader will get 3%, (none / 0) (#59)
    by andgarden on Fri Oct 17, 2008 at 10:35:12 AM EST
    and we'll all be happy!

    Seriously, yeah, he could have a negative impact. But so could people deciding not to vote.

    Sadly, my PA Dems were to embroiled in scandal to have Nader removed from the ballot this year.


    I think that it is imperative that (none / 0) (#63)
    by inclusiveheart on Fri Oct 17, 2008 at 10:50:58 AM EST
    the GOTV for Obama is strong.

    I was glad he told supporters not to get cockey yesterday.  I knew people in 2004 who didn't vote because they figured Kerry was going to win.

    It is probably not bad for people to have a tinge of angst about the Nader factor.  

    My Mom was telling me that in Jefferson county in Alabama (artly Birmingham metro) there have been a record 35,000 voters registered in less than three months.  We were trying to figure out how many of those registered since the Palin pick was announced.  I'm betting that those are Palin voters, but maybe I'm wrong.  We'll see.


    "Removed from the ballot".... (none / 0) (#66)
    by kdog on Fri Oct 17, 2008 at 11:00:50 AM EST
    how democratic and chock full of respect for the voices of the people.

    And people wonder why people have doubts about the Democratic Party's commitment to freedom, liberty, and justice for all.


    Nader is a nuisance, not a serious candidate (none / 0) (#69)
    by andgarden on Fri Oct 17, 2008 at 11:09:30 AM EST
    the fact that he has previously not been able to get the (entirely reasonable) required number of signatures to get on the ballot proves that.

    And no, I do not respect people who vote for Nader.


    A serious candidate? (none / 0) (#84)
    by kdog on Fri Oct 17, 2008 at 01:14:33 PM EST
    Who is the judge of that?  In my book, if your name is on the ballot, you're a serious candidate.

    Nader will not take one vote (none / 0) (#2)
    by heineken1717 on Fri Oct 17, 2008 at 12:41:26 AM EST
    from McCain. Barr might, but not Nader. Just an absurd premise.

    Well, he might get one or two (5.00 / 1) (#3)
    by ruffian on Fri Oct 17, 2008 at 02:23:00 AM EST
    Nader could steal from McCain the votes he may have gotten from disenchanted Dems in Florida.  Does that count as taking them from McCain or Obama?

    Not saying it will be enough to matter, but it's not out of the question.


    not true this time (none / 0) (#56)
    by wystler on Fri Oct 17, 2008 at 10:32:31 AM EST
    As long as low info bigots don't learn that Nader is Lebanese (Arab), there'll be some who reject the GOP and vote for the name they recognize.

    It's already been demonstrated in some polling. (iirc, PA)


    Nader was wrong (none / 0) (#14)
    by ding7777 on Fri Oct 17, 2008 at 08:23:21 AM EST
    about the Corvair and wrong about Bush = Gore.

    FYI - since age seems to be an issue in this election - Nader is 2 years older than John McCain

    Nader (none / 0) (#18)
    by bobbski on Fri Oct 17, 2008 at 08:41:50 AM EST
    Anyone who would seriously consider voting for Nader is an idiot.

    Never been so proud.... (5.00 / 2) (#31)
    by kdog on Fri Oct 17, 2008 at 09:20:43 AM EST
    to be an idiot then.

    If you ask me, continuing to vote "D" when they fail us time and time again is the definition of idiocy....repeating the same behavior and expecting a different result.


    That might make sense for local elections (none / 0) (#79)
    by rilkefan on Fri Oct 17, 2008 at 12:40:19 PM EST
    to build up a reservoir of tested pols and policies.  And it might make sense when the country was trending to the left anyway.  But punishing the only available party on the left in a period of domination by the right is just petulant.  If you can't be bothered to support liberal Democrats, or vote for them in primaries, or even try to act strategically, then by all means choose the guy openly working to put a conservative Republican idiot in the WH.

    What do you mean... (none / 0) (#85)
    by kdog on Fri Oct 17, 2008 at 01:17:04 PM EST
    only available party?  There are more than two parties, even though the two biggest parties and a corporate media would love for you to continue to think they are only 2 parties, it just ain't true.

    Look up "national" (none / 0) (#87)
    by rilkefan on Fri Oct 17, 2008 at 01:25:55 PM EST
    Count the state-level elected officials - yes, you can use your fingers.  You can continue to think there's a Santa Claus, but it just ain't true.

    one reason the dems have had trouble (none / 0) (#22)
    by sancho on Fri Oct 17, 2008 at 08:53:12 AM EST
    winning presidential elections since reagan is the facility with which dem supporters call other americans, "idiots."

    bill clinton's line "good people, bad ideas" is more effective line to take.

    but most intellectually honest dems can't say "bad ideas" about nader so that leaves the ad hominem attack.


    Bad idea. (5.00 / 3) (#23)
    by LarryInNYC on Fri Oct 17, 2008 at 09:04:39 AM EST
    Yes -- Nader = bad idea.  The idea that we need to destroy the country to save it (elect Republicans to convince the wider electorate -- whom Nader obviously considers to be idiots -- to elect him in the future) is a very, very, very bad idea.

    The Cheney-Nader Iraq war ought to be proof of that.


    i dont recall (none / 0) (#25)
    by sancho on Fri Oct 17, 2008 at 09:08:26 AM EST
    nader advocating for that war  but i dont follow the news everdyay.

    gore may have decided the us needs to be close to the oil fields too. and i do recall kevin pollack, one of clinton's people, was a major advocate for that war.

    it was bipartisan.

    gore may have been against it--i agree that we dont know.

    but there is a reason that joe l. was his vp and i doubt it was to keep the peace in the mideast.


    I for one.... (none / 0) (#76)
    by kdog on Fri Oct 17, 2008 at 12:29:00 PM EST
    think we'd still be in Iraq if we were wrapping up Al Gore's second term....just a gut feeling.

    Though, if that were in fact the case, loyal Dems would spin temselves in knots to support the war and occupation, and the loyal Repubs would do the same to oppose...that appears to be the game we want to play with our nation.


    You weren't paying attention at the time (none / 0) (#80)
    by rilkefan on Fri Oct 17, 2008 at 12:48:08 PM EST
    as you note but Lieberman was a prominent popular liberal (domestically, esp.) who had publicly berated Clinton for his Lewinsky idiocy; and Gore spoke out strongly against the Iraq war.

    Nader's no joke in TChris' town (none / 0) (#27)
    by Cream City on Fri Oct 17, 2008 at 09:11:30 AM EST
    of Madison, where Nader got most of his votes -- more than 94,000 -- that almost lost Wisconsin for Gore, who won with barely more than 5,000 votes over Bush.

    TChris' town went wacko on Nader in 2004, with quite a battle to keep him off the ballot again.

    With Dems winning Wisconsin by less than half of one percent in the last two elections, freeking about Nader is just what they do in the state.  Silly, since it won't matter this time.  But Madison fights many battles decided decades ago.

    That said -- yeh, Nader won't take McCain (none / 0) (#28)
    by Cream City on Fri Oct 17, 2008 at 09:12:56 AM EST
    votes in Madison.  There are no McCain votes in Madison.  There is no more conformist town to be found. :-)

    Great point -- (none / 0) (#78)
    by Exeter on Fri Oct 17, 2008 at 12:31:45 PM EST
    I think there is a precinct in Madison that got the highest Nader % in anywhere in the country in 2000.

    I have anecdotal evidence right here in (none / 0) (#32)
    by Radiowalla on Fri Oct 17, 2008 at 09:24:10 AM EST
    California of a former Bush voter turning to Nader this year.  Of course it won't matter in California, but it comfirms the theory that Nader is causing more harm to Republicans.

    My own opinion of Nader is unprintable.

    please ... (none / 0) (#64)
    by wystler on Fri Oct 17, 2008 at 10:52:31 AM EST
    ... whatever you do, don't tell that former Bush voter that Nader is Lebanese (unless you're absolutely sure that the knucklehead won't understand that it means that Nader is an Arab)

    Cher wystler, (none / 0) (#90)
    by Radiowalla on Fri Oct 17, 2008 at 08:07:31 PM EST
    I hate say it, but I'm related to that knucklehead.  

    hrmm (none / 0) (#97)
    by wystler on Mon Oct 20, 2008 at 04:08:25 PM EST
    i feel your pain

    Unbelievable (none / 0) (#98)
    by jondee on Tue Oct 21, 2008 at 04:11:46 PM EST
    Whats "unprintable" is that the consensus around these faux-progressive environs always seems to be that it's somehow people like Ralph Nader's fault that half the country is so uninspired, disengaged and percieves themselves as so disenfranchised that they dont even bother to exercise their right of citizenship in most elections. As Steve M. tells us, at least the conservatives vote for conservatism (hip-hip-hurray!), but, apparently, if our fellow citizens think Ralph Nader speaks for them, they should just shut up, f*ck off, stop thinking so much, get behind "market based soloutions" and NAFTA and, if that dosnt do it for you, learn to say "Thank you sir, may I have another?" and be grateful your as* dosnt go to China along with your job. Us deciders'll do the votin' around here.

    And of course, it's a given that, perusual, no one is required to engage any of Naders arguments or positions; why should anyone have to when it's obvious that, unlike other people who run for office in the U.S, the man is motivated solely by selfishness, narcissism, unmet codependency needs etc etc etc?

    Nevr mind that Gore ran one of the most half-hearted, tepid, tentative campaigns in U.S history (when you consider what was at stake) against a sad joke, a vertiable cipher who had no business ever being Gov of Texas, let alone running for President. In an election that had no business even being close, somehow, by exercising his right of free speech and representing those who previously felt unrepresented, Nader now deserves to be damned for all time.


    Who knows. Dean and Obama might not (none / 0) (#33)
    by Exeter on Fri Oct 17, 2008 at 09:31:43 AM EST
    have succeeded without Nader lighting a fire underneath the Democratic party. Don't get me wrong, I'm mad that he ran against Gore (he would have been a more useful voice in the Democratic primaries), but there is argument to be made that the whole "change" meme started with Nader.  

    But it's not as if (5.00 / 2) (#38)
    by Steve M on Fri Oct 17, 2008 at 09:44:53 AM EST
    Obama represents the Nader wing of the party.  Indeed, if his nomination were really a sign that Nader's message is getting through, then there would be no reason for Nader to run against him.

    I think there is a perception among many (none / 0) (#47)
    by Exeter on Fri Oct 17, 2008 at 10:18:53 AM EST
    Dems that Obama is going to be an FDR redux. I agree that he hides in the middle and will likely continue to do so as Prez... which will disapoint many lefties.

    What about non-Nader parties? (none / 0) (#43)
    by DancingOpossum on Fri Oct 17, 2008 at 10:08:36 AM EST
    What about non-Nader parties like the Green Party or the Libertarians? Seems they are closer to what most liberal Democrats consider key issues: No to Iraq war, yes to single-payer healthcare, yes to abortion rights, and so on. That's who I'm voting for, btw. There's also the Libertarian Party but I really wish they'd nominated someone better than Bob Barr. Blech!

    I suggest (5.00 / 1) (#58)
    by cal1942 on Fri Oct 17, 2008 at 10:32:39 AM EST
    that you examine the Libertarians a little more closely. I believe you're being swayed by the name.

    The Koch family founded the Libertarian party. The Koch family is the imbodiment of Libertarian thought; that the wealthy should be able to loot, pillage and burn with impunity, no regulation, no constraints of any kind. That's the libertarian part.  If anything goes the average guy is toast.

    The Koch family's businesses are the most profligate polluters in the nation.


    By "they" (none / 0) (#44)
    by DancingOpossum on Fri Oct 17, 2008 at 10:09:11 AM EST
    By "they" I meant the Green Party, not the Libertarians, as being closer to lefty Dem ideals.

    I actually... (none / 0) (#62)
    by DancingOpossum on Fri Oct 17, 2008 at 10:44:46 AM EST
    ...do know something about the Libertarian party, having covered them and other third parties somewhat extensively way back in my young-reporter days, and also because someone I know is very involved in our local libertarian party. I diagree with most of their positions and agree with  you that their Randian "greed is good" economic philosophy is hideous. (I do agree with their positions on abortion, the war, gun ownership, and adherence to constitutional rights).

    I think I said I'm voting Green, anyway. And don't forget the Socialist and Constitutionalist parties also run candidates for the GE. I'm just curious why it's always Nader who gets all the third-party attention.

    Because he was effective? (none / 0) (#70)
    by Fabian on Fri Oct 17, 2008 at 11:35:31 AM EST

    Not because the Democrats bolluxed the Gore campaign or because the Media helped to Bush in the White House?

    But mostly because Nader is one single individual instead of the amorphous American Voter or Teh Media.  A recognizable public figure who is unaffiliated with any entrenched power structure.  A real outsider, a real maverick.

    IOW, Nader is a ready made target.


    Fair enough Yank... (none / 0) (#82)
    by kdog on Fri Oct 17, 2008 at 01:06:46 PM EST
    You think things would somehow be different and less bloody under Gore, I am not convinced.

    Clinton was quite fond of ordering bombing runs over Iraq if you recall...and you see what we've learned about Gore's former running mate since 2000, very pro-war.  Something to think about.

    Are you aware of what Gore said in 2002 (none / 0) (#86)
    by rilkefan on Fri Oct 17, 2008 at 01:22:09 PM EST
    about the war?  Have you paid any attention to all the evidence about how deeply the Bush admin screwed up in convincing itself to attack Iraq, which they wanted to do going into office?  Your position would be exactly as rational if you additionally said, Nader is secretly a conservative and would also have taken us to war just like Bush.

    I never underestimate... (none / 0) (#88)
    by kdog on Fri Oct 17, 2008 at 01:55:05 PM EST
    the military industrial complex in this country, maybe they could get to my boy Ralph...who knows.

    As we've seen, the Gore when in or running for office is quite different than the out of Washington Gore.  President Gore may well have been singing a different tune in 2002.

    I fully accept the fact I may be a tin-foil hat wearing nutjob...all I know for sure is how little I know.  But my gut says Nader was the best choice in light of my views in 2000, and the best choice in light of my views now, as flawed as he is.