Late Night: Nader Wants to Debate

Third party candidate Ralph Nader released this ad today showing similarities between McCain and Obama and then laying out his different positions. One big one: Nader is for "Across the board amnesty for all non-violent drug offenders."

Nader's time has passed, and I hope everyone will realize the choice between McCain and Obama is a choice between the failed Republican policies of the last 8 years and a chance to do things differently. I don't care to see either Bob Barr or Ralph Nader in the presidential debates.

That said...[More...]

I would like to see Nader's VP candidate, former public defender Matt Gonzales, in the Biden/Palin debate, just so the public could get a sense of what a progressive agenda is about on criminal justice issues. Between Biden, who's never met a crime bill he didn't like and Palin, who probably can't even understand one, it would be refreshing and enlightening in the way Dennis Kucinich, whose position on issues most closely match mine, was during the debates he participated in.

Nader and Gonzales are necessary voices. They know, as do we all, they can't win. But they get people thinking, and that's a start to real change.

Here's more on Gonzales, who as the Green party candidate for Mayor of San Francisco in 2003 garnered 47% of the vote against Democrat Gavin Newsom.

As with all late night posts, this is an open thread.

< FBI Conducting Criminal Investigations of Mortgage, Banking Firms | WaPo Poll: It's The Economy, Stupid - Obama Leads By 9 >
  • The Online Magazine with Liberal coverage of crime-related political and injustice news

  • Contribute To TalkLeft

  • Display: Sort:
    Could we be more vague? (5.00 / 5) (#8)
    by WakeLtd on Wed Sep 24, 2008 at 12:02:44 AM EST
    "The chance to do things differently". Wow, I mean, chance is only one letter away from change -and differently? You know,after 8 years of, you know...

    "chance to do things differently" (5.00 / 3) (#22)
    by Andreas on Wed Sep 24, 2008 at 01:43:25 AM EST
    Jeralyn knows that not everyone thinks that "the choice between McCain and Obama is a choice between the failed Republican policies of the last 8 years and a chance to do things differently."

    She is correct because there is no essential difference between those two candidates. Both are representatives of what is usually called "big business."

    In a further demonstration of his subservience to Wall Street, Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama said that the $700 billion bailout of US financial institutions now moving through Congress would force a delay in additional spending by an incoming Democratic administration.

    In an interview Tuesday morning with NBC's "Today" show, Obama said of the bailout, "How we're going to structure that in budget terms still has to be decided." He continued, "Does that mean I can do everything that I've called for in this campaign right away? Probably not. I think we're going to have to phase it in. And a lot of it's going to depend on what our tax revenues look like."

    The new spending Obama has proposed on programs like education, infrastructure and health care is so minimal, compared to the vast social need, that it doesn't deserve the label "reform." It is barely a sop. But even this is likely to be withheld initially, and then canceled outright once the cost of the Wall Street bailout mushrooms, as it inevitably will.

    Democrats signal support for Wall Street bailout at Senate hearing
    By Barry Grey, 24 September 2008

    Obama is far from an ideal candidate (none / 0) (#46)
    by litigatormom on Wed Sep 24, 2008 at 12:54:19 PM EST
    but I can't understand why you think that there is no difference between McCain and Obama. There are many, many differences across many, many issues.

    If the basis of your view that there is no difference between them that you don't trust Obama to do what he says, why do you trust McCain to do what he's now saying -- reform Wall Street! kick out the lobbyist! we're winning the war! -- as opposed to bomb bomb bombing Iran or staying in Iraq until we achieve some undefinable victory that even General Petraeus doesn't believe we can achieve? Not to mention screwing up healthcare, appointing more Scalias and continuing to de-regulate every remaining sector of our economy?


    Andreas (none / 0) (#62)
    by Jeralyn on Wed Sep 24, 2008 at 03:15:58 PM EST
    is, as his links take you to, with the World Socialist Web Site. He is in Europe and has been adding his party's articles in comments here for years.

    And I do think there is a big difference between McCain and Obama and everybody knows it.


    If only were not right... (5.00 / 3) (#23)
    by citizen53 on Wed Sep 24, 2008 at 02:50:15 AM EST
    about the political system in America, but he is.

    Bill Moyers says the same thing.

    It will never change without these voices, for who will have the ability to listen or hear if they do not or cannot speak.

    Sorry, citizen. That metaphor makes no sense. (none / 0) (#36)
    by Don in Seattle on Wed Sep 24, 2008 at 09:50:35 AM EST
    "Who will have the ability to listen or hear if they do not or cannot speak?"

    Babies, dogs, mutes, and people with laryngitis are all examples of ones who can hear, but cannot speak.

    Hearing is necessary for a baby to learn to speak, at least without great effort; but speech is not a requirement for hearing.


    Ok, but that "baby" can't... (none / 0) (#48)
    by alexei on Wed Sep 24, 2008 at 01:16:43 PM EST
    impart her ideas because she can't speak. So, what that "baby" has to say, can't be heard by others.

    So if Barr, Nader and McKinney are not allowed in the debates and the MSM ignores them, than they are not being heard by the vast majority of people.

    Since when is the sharing of ideas a bad thing?  Why is it wrong to have others representing views. policies, proposals that do not get addressed by the so-called major candidates, allowed in the "debates".

    Man, the Democratic "debates" had nine candidates. I think that the League of Women voters should take back the debates.


    "baby", one would think I had made some offensive, probably sexist slur. Go back and read what I said in context -- I didn't use the word in any such way.

    I didn't call comrade53, or minor party candidates, or their supporters, or anyone else, a "baby" -- not any more than I called anyone a "dog".


    Debates? Bully for Nader. He's right. (5.00 / 3) (#24)
    by withoutparty on Wed Sep 24, 2008 at 03:03:03 AM EST
    Look, the day Obama does something to earn my vote, maybe THEN i will vote for him.

    Good on Nader for trying to get in the debates.

    I'm tired of dems and reupubs in the debates talking about hair dos and all sorts of irrelevant BS.  Good on Nader.  I will support him being out there.

    The only cowards who don't want him in the debates are Dean et al. who don't want their crappy power questioned.

    Good for Nader.

    You want democracy?  You think Obama is the answer?  You think he is "better" than Bush or McCain?  Puh-leezze.  

    Then why the hell are you so scared to have the only candidate who supports 1) immediate withdrawl from Iraq on Constitutional grounds 2) universal health care 3) immediate overturn of FISA (that obama supported, btw.)

    what do you need? (none / 0) (#41)
    by Iris on Wed Sep 24, 2008 at 11:06:58 AM EST
    They are out there trying to win your vote every day.

    Because Ralph Nader is a raging (none / 0) (#47)
    by litigatormom on Wed Sep 24, 2008 at 12:56:28 PM EST
    egomaniac, and although I am in favor of liberalizing some aspects of our drug laws, it's hardly our first priority as a nation.

    I am tired of Ralph Nader. I don't want the presidential debates clogged up with every minor party candidate in the country. If you want to vote for Nader, go right ahead.  I  hope you are ready to enjoy the McCain administration.


    Egomaniac? Sounds like an apt... (none / 0) (#49)
    by alexei on Wed Sep 24, 2008 at 01:27:13 PM EST
    description of Obama/McCain.  Clogging the "debates"?  Hardly, this would actually bring to the fore other solutions and viewpoints besides what the "major" candidates want to discuss. The old boogie man meme about voting for Nader (which is an old bait and switch tactic since that is not the discussion topic) doesn't cut it.  Obama and McCain have to earn the votes, this isn't a "free lunch", ya know?

    BTW, I did subscribe to your POV in 2000, but, not any longer after what my Party has not done under Pelosi/Reid/Dean and what they did do in the nomination.


    And I'm not prepared to (none / 0) (#51)
    by litigatormom on Wed Sep 24, 2008 at 01:36:48 PM EST
    make the election of President McCain any easier. Perhaps elections shouldn't have to be binary choices, but with this much at stake, I think this year it has to be.

    And yes, the debates would be clogged.  How much information came out of the early primary debates with so many candidates in the field?  They were a complete waste of time. If Nader wants to raise issues, let him go around the country making speeches and getting himself booked on political and talk shows.


    I am bothered (none / 0) (#53)
    by jar137 on Wed Sep 24, 2008 at 01:53:38 PM EST
    by people who want to shut down public debate.  One of the benefits of third party candidates is that they have to swing for the fence in order to stay in the game, so they are more likely to speak directly and honestly to the American public.  And by doing so, they compel the two-party candidates to address their issues.  That is a good thing for democracy.  For my money, we have two of the worst options this election- which is very upsetting given the state of the nation.  Anything to add the people's voices to this election is a welcome idea.  Why are some people so afraid of open debates?

    Nader can speak to the issues all he wants (none / 0) (#59)
    by litigatormom on Wed Sep 24, 2008 at 02:38:31 PM EST
    I don't think the major party candidates can or should be compelled to share the stage with him or any other minor party candidate.

    Ross Perot participated in 1992 because he was polling over 20%.


    You're parsing my point. (none / 0) (#68)
    by jar137 on Wed Sep 24, 2008 at 05:54:56 PM EST
    The debates provide a forum (gratis) to present one's platform to the public, which is not the same as going around giving speeches.  By excluding other candidates from the debates, you are limiting our political system to two parties because at present third party candidates cannot raise enough cash (unless they're independently wealthy, see Perot) to make a strong run for the presidency.  I find your flippant response to be extremely shortsighted.  So long as the media/major parties decide who is "important" enough to participate in a public debate, we are never going to get real progressive change.  When your ox is gored some time in the future, I expect you will sing a different tune.

    Alexei (none / 0) (#63)
    by Jeralyn on Wed Sep 24, 2008 at 03:18:45 PM EST
    If you oppose Obama/Biden and the Democratic ticket, you are limited to four comments a day expressing that.

    Quit whining (none / 0) (#60)
    by jondee on Wed Sep 24, 2008 at 02:52:36 PM EST
    as if Ralph Nader were somehow resonsible for 50 mil + millenialist knuckle draggers viewing GWB as a reasonable candidate for President.

    plus, we can't let people out of jail (none / 0) (#66)
    by of1000Kings on Wed Sep 24, 2008 at 03:55:37 PM EST
    all the african-americans would be competing for jobs with us honest white-folk...

    us white-folk don't have enough jobs already...

    keep em in jail for having a few plants...

    /extremely bad, very offensive sarcasm off....


    The big one... (5.00 / 2) (#27)
    by lentinel on Wed Sep 24, 2008 at 06:57:56 AM EST
    Thanks for providing a link to the Nader ad. It is an eye-opener.

    You mention amnesty for non-violent drug offenders as the "big one" among Nader's positions.
    Good idea. About time. But there are other big ones also:

    Six months for getting out of Iraq. A major big one. The root cause of our economic and moral collapse.

    No to nuclear power. Yes to solar.

    How about a single payer health plan?

    How about going after Bush/Cheney for their demonstrable impeachable offenses. Don't we want to prevent these kinds of crimes in the future?

    What about an adequate task force for going after corporate crime?
    What about a minimum wage that would help people to survive?
    How about going after the telecoms instead of rewarding them for invading our privacy?

    The sad and funny thing about these issues is that they represent core democratic values. That is - they represent the views that used to be and should be held by the democratic party.
    Nader sounds like a democrat. So does Kucinich.

    The democrats, especially progressives, turned their backs on both of them. I believe that a democrat who ran as a democrat and represented these views forcefully would win in a landslide against a fossil like McCain and his party.

    But no. We have a horse race instead.

    Why you see Gonzales in a debate with Biden and Palin, but not Nader in a debate with Obama and McCain escapes me.

    You call Nader a necessary voice - and one that gets people thinking - but go on to say you don't see him in the debates.
    Don't you want people to be thinking about life and death issues that are not being addressed by the representatives of either the democrats or the republicans?

    All the democrats have as their issue at this time is fear of the republicans. This is Orwellian.

    People are not so sure that there is any deep difference between the candidates. So they are deciding, once again, on who seems nice and a potential beer or latte drinking partner.

    We should be screaming at our party to adopt the positions and values so passionately articulated by Nader.

    Not just Nader (5.00 / 2) (#40)
    by DancingOpossum on Wed Sep 24, 2008 at 10:18:04 AM EST
    McKinney, Barr, and Ron Paul should all be at the debates, as should the candidates of the Socialist and Constitution parties, who always run prez candidates that nobody gets to hear from. During the last elections, I was lucky enough to watch a special presidential debate that featured four third-party candidates: the Green, the Socialist, the Libertarian (a much better candidate last time than the jackass Barr), and the Constitution Party candidate. It was one of the most substantive and compelling debates of the campaign, and all four were intelligent, well-informed speakers committed to their respective parties' core principles. Also interesting: all four were strongly against the Iraq war; three of them supported universal health care; and three of the four were strongly pro-choice. These are important parts of the debate, and they are voices that the American people deserve to hear and know about. (As an aside, a large number of PUMAs state they are voting for McKinney.)

    They get people thinking? (2.80 / 5) (#1)
    by andgarden on Tue Sep 23, 2008 at 11:32:24 PM EST
    Is that just by running for President and Vice President? If so, why?  

    In my opinion, they delegitimize any points they might have by running as spoilers.

    Completely agree (none / 0) (#31)
    by flyerhawk on Wed Sep 24, 2008 at 07:28:06 AM EST
    Nader may have a couple of good ideas but he wants to radically change everything thus discrediting whatever good ideas he may have.

    Exactly what most Republicans (none / 0) (#61)
    by jondee on Wed Sep 24, 2008 at 02:54:03 PM EST

    Plus, he's craaaazy.


    Spoilers? (none / 0) (#50)
    by alexei on Wed Sep 24, 2008 at 01:34:06 PM EST
    What is that?  So, Obama and McCain don't have to earn our votes by presenting cogent arguments to other view points?  These two are in an echo chamber on the issues, with marginal differences for the most part.  Voters don't have a right to hear these issues presented in a different light or are you one who believes that voters are incapable to discern the "correct" path and the "correct" person to elect.

    I ageee - get all of those on and have a real debate and not the sham ones that the "major Parties" foist on us.  Actually, let's have the League of Women Voters administer the debates again.


    That's not a very progreesive viewpoint (none / 0) (#55)
    by jar137 on Wed Sep 24, 2008 at 01:57:15 PM EST
    I don't like Nader (1.00 / 1) (#44)
    by glanton on Wed Sep 24, 2008 at 12:08:40 PM EST
    And hope that he doesn't tip this election to McCain.  That said, I respect those who are seriously considering voting for Nader.  Unlike certain others who are currently chipping away at the Dem Standard Bearer, public policy substance and ideologically-based issues underpin the Naderites' discontent.  I entreat them not to do it, but they have legitimate political and ideological concerns, and they are right to complain that those concerns have been blacked out of the media limelight for decades.  

    Obama of course will do what Gore did, and ignore the concerns Nader is speaking to.  He will rely on the Wildean Principle and Dare Not Speak Nader's Name.

    Sigth.  We have heard far too much about pigmentation and ovaries, not nearly enough about the War Machine, the Corporate Lockdown, Media Consolidation, wars on privacy and Speech, wars on Education and Health Care Accessibility, the Drug War, etc.  This is, too say the least, unfortunate.  

    Nader's politics are in fact not very radical by any fair standard.  He just isn't a corporatist, and so he has to painted as a radical.

    Nader's time has passed (none / 0) (#2)
    by befuddledvoter on Tue Sep 23, 2008 at 11:32:42 PM EST
    I like him.  I never blamed him for the Dems loss.  It should never have been that close.  But, it is very close again.  I don't want him anywhere on the stage with Obama and McCain.  

    I agree about Gonzalez.  That would be very refreshing and perhaps just the jolt Palin and Biden need on criminal justice.  

    Tomorrow's WP/ABC Poll (none / 0) (#3)
    by CoralGables on Tue Sep 23, 2008 at 11:48:20 PM EST
    In a huge change over the last 2 weeks, tomorrow's poll gives Obama a +9 at 52-43 among registered voters.


    Obvious outlier (5.00 / 1) (#9)
    by andgarden on Wed Sep 24, 2008 at 12:08:33 AM EST
    Obama is probably ahead, but not by this much.

    Agreed but... (none / 0) (#10)
    by CoralGables on Wed Sep 24, 2008 at 12:13:38 AM EST
    If their methodology is the same as two weeks ago, it's an 11 pt swing. Was the McCain at +2 an outlier? or the Obama at +9.

    At the time, McCain + 2 was plausible (5.00 / 1) (#13)
    by andgarden on Wed Sep 24, 2008 at 12:21:46 AM EST
    Right now, Obama +9 is not. He may end up there, but I wouldn't count on it.

    Boy, what an early night that would be. Obama would like win Indiana at 7PM ET, and we could all go celebrate.


    Funny you should... (none / 0) (#16)
    by CoralGables on Wed Sep 24, 2008 at 12:37:42 AM EST
    bring up Indiana.

    I checked earlier today to see what Obama was still doing there and they have 32 offices open. By comparison I could find one for McCain.

    You are probably absolutely right. If Obama manages to come back and take Indiana the party will start very early. At a very minimum, the campaigning being done there will be great for all the down tickets races across that state.


    Certainly an outlier (none / 0) (#30)
    by flyerhawk on Wed Sep 24, 2008 at 07:26:18 AM EST
    But that is a big swing in the same poll.  

    It would be helpful to tend the variance in the poll to see if it tends to swing a lot.  But I have to get to work so I can't look it up now. :)


    thanks, I'll get a post (none / 0) (#4)
    by Jeralyn on Tue Sep 23, 2008 at 11:50:18 PM EST
    up on this soon. (Feel free to discuss here in the meantime.)

    Actually (5.00 / 1) (#5)
    by CoralGables on Tue Sep 23, 2008 at 11:55:44 PM EST
    I made a slight mistake. The +9 for Obama is likely voters. Registered voters are a +10.

    A fourth of those surveyed (none / 0) (#7)
    by Cream City on Wed Sep 24, 2008 at 12:00:33 AM EST
    who are "registered voters" are not registered to vote at their current addresses?  What the heck is that?  

    It is good to see some attention in this to likely voters vs. registered voters.  It is past time for pollsters to focus more on likely voters.  But a fourth appear to be most likely to slow down the lines at the polls, if they're even in same-day-registration states.  The rest had better hie themselves to their city and town halls, if this poll is to have predictive value.


    poorer people move around quite a bit (none / 0) (#67)
    by of1000Kings on Wed Sep 24, 2008 at 03:59:31 PM EST
    at least from my experience...considering they rent instead of own...

    as do young people...(and moving for college)

    these people really need to be kept from voting if the repugs have a chance....


    I'll take that +9 with a large grain of salt. (none / 0) (#14)
    by Don in Seattle on Wed Sep 24, 2008 at 12:23:04 AM EST
    Still, it's awfully nice to see the north side of 50% in any national poll.

    Erg...my blood pressure!!!! (none / 0) (#6)
    by coigue on Tue Sep 23, 2008 at 11:59:12 PM EST

    On top of everything else, Nader is 74 years old. (none / 0) (#11)
    by Don in Seattle on Wed Sep 24, 2008 at 12:16:25 AM EST
    He has become an irrelevance -- the fringe Left's answer to Harold Stassen. Why can't the Greens depose him?

    Gonzales is a far more attractive figure than Nader (and infinitely more plausible than the late Peter Camejo). He would get twice as many votes this year if he hung up his own shingle.

    And that's still not saying much.

    Didn't the Greens already (5.00 / 3) (#17)
    by nycstray on Wed Sep 24, 2008 at 12:41:49 AM EST
    depose of Nader? He's not their candidate. McKinny is. And she should be at the debates also, imo. Open up the conversations. It might push Obama to the left a bit  ;)

    Yeah (1.00 / 1) (#29)
    by flyerhawk on Wed Sep 24, 2008 at 07:23:41 AM EST
    and then he could lose just like you hope he would.  

    Perhaps I'm not satisfied with (none / 0) (#65)
    by nycstray on Wed Sep 24, 2008 at 03:25:02 PM EST
    Republican Lite or this Unity crap. Maybe I want someone that's really going to fight for my equal rights/healthcare/etc. And so far that's neither candidate.

    Strangest political ad of the week (none / 0) (#12)
    by andgarden on Wed Sep 24, 2008 at 12:19:43 AM EST
    Roger Wicker (R) goes after Ronnie Musgrove (Barely D) for supporting Clinton/Gore, and therefore (not really, but it's an ad) NAFTA.

    Al Gore is shown saying (correctly) that NAFTA is good for America. But the ad is odd: Wicker absolutely did vote for free trade while in the House. Musgrove doesn't really have a record on trade, but because he's a southern populist my guess is that he's philosophically opposed to it.

    In any event, it's obvious that the DSCC attacks on Wicker over trade have worked, and it's funny how ideology blurs between regions and candidates.


    I would like (none / 0) (#15)
    by Makarov on Wed Sep 24, 2008 at 12:23:08 AM EST
    to see Nader in a Presidential debate. If only for the reasons you cite for the VP candidates.

    Having Nader at the (none / 0) (#18)
    by mg7505 on Wed Sep 24, 2008 at 12:52:12 AM EST
    debates might make Obama look more moderate -- the same thing that having a far-right wing candidate up there would do for McCain. This could be good; I don't see Nader peeling away many leftists from Obama, but he may push Obama quite comfortably into the laps of some centrists.

    Of course the flip side is Obama might be linked TOO strongly to Nader, and come across as too far left. Hard to say which effect wins out.

    But obviously I wish Obama would just mover closer to Nader/Kucinich/Gonzales in his beliefs.

    I would like to see what would happen (4.00 / 3) (#20)
    by nycstray on Wed Sep 24, 2008 at 01:00:44 AM EST
    if Obama is actually a Democrat, he should end up agreeing with Nader (or McKinny) on some issues, or would at least have to defend some beliefs if Nader (or McKinny) claims Obama doesn't stand for them. He might have to come out stronger on the environment (like he means it!), womens issues (like he means it!) etc.

    Oh brother (none / 0) (#28)
    by flyerhawk on Wed Sep 24, 2008 at 07:22:26 AM EST
    If Obama were actually a Democrat?  

    So now he would need to agree with Cynthia McKinney on various issues to prove his bonafides as a Democrat?



    He's weak in some areas that are (none / 0) (#64)
    by nycstray on Wed Sep 24, 2008 at 03:21:52 PM EST
    a concern to some of us. Things he shouldn't be weak on. AND, he has a heck of a hard time calling himself a Democrat and really fighting as a Democrat. So yes, if he had to agree or defend his stand on some of those issues, then so be it. It would HELP him with his party and holdouts.

    Public financing
    "above my pay grade"
    not reaching out to Hillary voters but reaching out to Evangelicals
    Waffling on Iraq withdraw


    McKinney?! (none / 0) (#71)
    by michael098762001 on Wed Sep 24, 2008 at 06:24:05 PM EST
       Hmm. Her campaign is full of those , "9-11 was an Inside Job!, " "Truther, " loons. Her running mate, Rosa Clemente in her acceptance speech at the Green Party convention in Chicago thanked one of the Black Liberation army thugs that killed a bunch of cops during a botched Brinks Truck robbery in Nyack, NY in '81, with the pathetic remnants of the Weather Underground. http://lerterland.blogspot.com/2008/07/greens-part-two.html

    where's ron paul? (none / 0) (#25)
    by Kensdad on Wed Sep 24, 2008 at 05:08:49 AM EST
    we need to hear the voice of someone who isn't drinking the "bailout kool-aid"...  apparently, obama and mccain have no idea what to do.  they are just trying to score a couple points by acting all pious about taxpayer money and CEO compensation without really offering anything to the debate...

    i'm gonna go out on a limb and bet that ron paul isn't supporting largesse for Wall Street on the taxpayer's dime!

    neither obama or mccain have credibility on this issue.  mccain has to know that he can't stick to no new taxes while supporting trillions in bailouts, while obama has to know that he's not gonna have any money to pursue new social programs after the bailout money has been tacked onto the national debt...  neither candidate is being honest.  but hey, this is politics!

    My man Ron Paul.... (none / 0) (#38)
    by kdog on Wed Sep 24, 2008 at 10:11:49 AM EST
    is probably suffering from severe shock in the wake and can't even speak...or he is planning the revolution part two:)

    Ron Paul (none / 0) (#70)
    by michael098762001 on Wed Sep 24, 2008 at 06:18:55 PM EST
       I don't get the attraction by some leftists, progressives and liberals for Ron Paul. He is for a totally deregulated capitalism. Yee-Haw, lets destroy even more of the New Deal legacy that Reagan and Dubya?!

    What times are (none / 0) (#73)
    by jondee on Thu Sep 25, 2008 at 01:41:35 PM EST
    these when someone shat out by Ayn Rand offers a harder hitting ( and, IMO more accurate) critique of the "regime change" pathology than either "Change" man or Our Lady of the faux-Left.

    McCain campaign astroturfing (none / 0) (#26)
    by JoeA on Wed Sep 24, 2008 at 06:14:46 AM EST
    letter to editor pages across the US.

    Why am I not surprised?

    Good article reprinted on Salon from the original Dutch.  It's an account from a journalist who went undercover as a volunteer with the Obama and then McCain campaigns.  For McCain she was installed at their Virginia headquarters and instructed to ghost write letters to the editor which would be "placed" in local papers after having locals sign them at the bottom.  write "letters to the editors"

    "You can be whoever you want to be," says an inviting Phil Tuchman. "You can be a beggar or a millionaire. A mom or a husband. Whatever. You decide!"

    Nader: Drawing Votes - From McCain? (none / 0) (#32)
    by vector on Wed Sep 24, 2008 at 08:58:54 AM EST
    In this NY Times article http://tinyurl.com/4m83jp , Nader argues that he is actually taking votes away from McCain.  

    It's too bad (none / 0) (#33)
    by blogtopus on Wed Sep 24, 2008 at 09:13:21 AM EST
    Nader had to mess with the 2000 election: A choice between the positive policies of the Democratic party or something different...

    Part of me wonders if things could get any worse under McCain, and I have to say my inklings of the amount of "worse" we can get with this guy are getting stronger each week.

    It makes my blood boil (none / 0) (#34)
    by mgb on Wed Sep 24, 2008 at 09:27:04 AM EST
    To see Nader on TV. It's like seeing OJ, an assassin walking around free with a smirk on his face.  There's a lot more blood on Nader's hands, though.

    Oh please.... (5.00 / 2) (#39)
    by kdog on Wed Sep 24, 2008 at 10:14:39 AM EST
    he's got the cleanest hands in the race.

    The blood is on the hands of the Bush voters and the people who voted for every member currently "serving" (lol) in Congress.


    Nader refuses to accept the reality (none / 0) (#42)
    by Iris on Wed Sep 24, 2008 at 11:19:31 AM EST
    that we have a 2-party system in this country.  It won't change until election laws change away from privately-funded campaigns and the winner-take-all method.

    Consider this: if Nader had not been on the ballot in Florida 2000, we never would have invaded Iraq, the NSA wouldn't be spying on us, and we would have already started working on climate change.

    I understand that he wants to teach the Democratic Party some kind of lesson, but at what price?


    No, if the Supreme Court (none / 0) (#58)
    by jar137 on Wed Sep 24, 2008 at 02:25:05 PM EST
    did not hand the presidency to GWB those things would not have occurred.  Blame the Democrats for standing by and allowing that to happen instead of blaming a man who has worked his entire life for the greater good of the people of this country simply because he dared to run for president.  It's not a good thing to scapegoat a decent man to satisfy your own blood lust.

    That's outrageous (none / 0) (#56)
    by jar137 on Wed Sep 24, 2008 at 02:11:41 PM EST
    How dare you blame Nader (blood on his hands?  awfully melodramatic) for trying to make the country better by running for president.  And your "dudgeon" is based on the false premise that all of the Nader voters would have gone for Gore.  You must not think too highly of democracy with your views.

    Amnesty for Drug Offenders.... (none / 0) (#37)
    by kdog on Wed Sep 24, 2008 at 10:07:16 AM EST
    gets me so excited it makes me wanna get a job at Diebold so I can rig all the machines to ring up every vote for Ralph Nader.  

    Sun god bless him.

    Why not? (none / 0) (#43)
    by ctrenta on Wed Sep 24, 2008 at 11:48:49 AM EST

    I don't see any problem with Nader and Barr being included in the debates, provided they qualify under the rules put forth. Personally I think having Nader and/or Barr widens the perspectives on issues voters care about.

    Including Nader and Barr would be refreshing, not to mention enlivening or enrichen (if that's even a word) democracy. I don't think they'll garner enough votes to make a difference in this election. Besides, I think Obama and McCain can handle their own on stage, should they include Nader and Barr.

    If Nader wants to answer the debate questions, (none / 0) (#54)
    by Newt on Wed Sep 24, 2008 at 01:54:35 PM EST
    he's welcome to put his answers on his website and those who want to hear what he has to say can go listen.  Regardless of Nader's position on FISA and the war, most people recognize that he cannot win the presidency.  Therefore, he is extraneous to this debate.  Much as I agree with Nader, he would be clogging up the discussion, distracting the audience we need to reach, and diluting the message of McCain=Bush Failed Policies.  

    It will be great if Obama hammers McCain on the economy over and over, including McSame's championing of deregulation.  McCain will imply that the Dems caused the Wall St. meltdown, and Obama should be ready to contradict those claims, clearly and succinctly with repeatable sound bites. We do NOT need to remind Indies and moderates that lefties are against the war no matter what, or that lefties want socialized health care, or that lefties don't think FISA is a good idea.  Yes, that's all true, it's what many of us here think and believe.  But right now, during this debate we need to convince people who don't agree with us on those issues that Obama can make their lives better because he'll find ways to fix the economy.

    Nader just confuses the issue and helps the GOP remind moderates that lefties are wacko, and Obama's a leftie to them.

    (Would someone PLEASE give Ralph a job so he stops running for president...)

    Silence the opposition (none / 0) (#57)
    by jar137 on Wed Sep 24, 2008 at 02:14:26 PM EST
    to promote democracy!  War is Peace!

    Matt Gonzalez (none / 0) (#69)
    by michael098762001 on Wed Sep 24, 2008 at 06:12:46 PM EST
      One minor quibble, it is Matt Gonzalez.
      I lived in San Francisco when Matt ran for Mayor vs. Gavin Newsom. He ran a strong race getting 47%, IIRC. Greens I knew in S.F. before moving to Denver, are still peeved w/Matt though for disappearing from the SF poltical scene after his defeat.
      Nader has a really odd ad. Hate to give a Right-wing blog a few more hits but, here 'tis,

    Yeah how self-absorbed (none / 0) (#72)
    by jondee on Thu Sep 25, 2008 at 01:34:15 PM EST
    can you get: daring to use your visibility to make insightful prescriptions concerned with the public good.

    I'd say the time for beneficiaries of galloping nepotism, who've been thouroghly greased by the insurence lobby and the hard Right board of AIPAC, fobbing themselves off as representative of any kind of viable "left" has passed.