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Thursday, June 21, 2007

Another Run?

posted by on June 21 at 10:40 AM

’08 is going to be messy:

Ralph Nader says he is seriously considering running for president in 2008 because he foresees another Tweedledum-Tweedledee election that offers little real choice to voters.

“You know the two parties are still converging — they don’t even debate the military budget anymore,” Nader said in a 30-minute interview. “I really think there needs to be more competition from outside the two parties.”

Nader also has some nasty words for Hillary Clinton…

“She is a political coward,” Nader said. “She goes around pandering to powerful interest groups on the one hand and flattering general audiences on the other. She doesn’t even have the minimal political fortitude of her husband.

…which prompted this response:

Chris Lehane, who worked in Bill Clinton’s White House and Gore’s 2000 presidential campaign, said of a possible Nader candidacy: “His entry into the race, even to those who voted for him in 2000, would be just another vainglorious effort to promote himself at the expense of the best interests of the public. Ralph Nader is unsafe in any election.”

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ugg. i voted for the guy in '00, and regret it, as i'm from florida. i definitely am more of a "vote for the lesser evil" guy now.

Posted by konstantConsumer | June 21, 2007 10:50 AM

Oh my god. GO AWAY NADER!!!

Posted by Carollani | June 21, 2007 10:57 AM

I have lost all respect for Nader. I think he is being paid under the table by the Republicans.

Posted by elswinger | June 21, 2007 10:58 AM

I voted for him in 2000, but only because I knew that it wasn't going to be close in Washington, and because at the time, it really did seem like there wasn't enough of a difference between the parties. But now, after six years of Bush, after an administration that pulled off shit that would have made J Edgar Hoover blush, it makes me wonder if Nader has actually read a newspaper since 1998.

Posted by Gitai | June 21, 2007 11:03 AM

I've gone from mild support in 2000 to complete disgust in 2004 to pity now. Nader must suffer from mental retardation, or at least some form of chronic brain damage. It's blindingly obvious that the guy reeks of shit and no one wants him around. But like any mentally ill person on the streets for most of his life, the poor man is oblivious to his own stink. For everyone's sake, someone needs to give him a bath, get him on some stronger meds, and lock him away in a safe, secure hospice.

Posted by Gurldoggie | June 21, 2007 11:04 AM

If Nader were part of a viable third-party movement, one that included a broad coalition of groups, and one that could show some tangible evidence of support from a significant percentage of the voting public - then he might have some creds as a serious candidate.

But, if he's just going to jump in as a spoiler, I don't see how the net effect can be anything other than what occured in the 2000 election debacle.

And I don't think this country can afford to go through another one of those.

Posted by COMTE | June 21, 2007 11:07 AM

he was wrong about Al Gore. Nader should stay the fuck away.

Posted by duncan | June 21, 2007 11:08 AM

While the points that Nader makes are valid and possibly true, I can't help but hope that he goes and fraks himself in hell.

Posted by Original Andrew | June 21, 2007 11:10 AM

10 points for the use of "vainglorious" in a sentence.

Posted by mason | June 21, 2007 11:13 AM

I wish he could find a better way to make a point.

Posted by monkey | June 21, 2007 11:16 AM

You people are such pussies.

He was RIGHT about Gore, less we forget who Al picked as his running mate.

I have voted for Nader in EVERY election since '96, and will continue to do so. I REFUSE to hold my nose to vote. I am slightly more appreciative of what shreds are left of our democracy that most of the Stalinists left on this board.

Posted by ecce homo | June 21, 2007 11:17 AM

will everybody please just shut up and VOTE for the man? EVERYBODY? unless he wins, he's clearly not going away.

Posted by adrian! | June 21, 2007 11:26 AM

Ralph Nader must die. Sadly, he never will.

Posted by Fnarf | June 21, 2007 11:28 AM

Why don't the democrats pass some election reform (instant runoff voting, etc.) so this spoiler crap never happens again? At least 2 of the last 4 presidential elections were decided by an irrelevant spoiler.

Posted by jamier | June 21, 2007 11:34 AM

Perot's 19% wasn't exactly irrelevant.

That having been said, a run off format would be tremendously better.

Posted by dirge | June 21, 2007 11:42 AM

Does Nader really think Al Gore and George Bush were the same. Does he really think Gore would have appointed the Supreme Court Justices Bush did?

Posted by elswinger | June 21, 2007 11:53 AM

Because electoral reform in the US is impossible. It would require congressional action, which is no longer possible.

Posted by Fnarf | June 21, 2007 12:11 PM

Oh my god. Go away. My political optimism meter just slipped a few notches.

What makes him think that him being a candidate will help the political situation in this country one iota?

Isn't Mike Gravel already spreading the "shake up the establishment" message (or, the "throw a rock in the lake that is our government" message)? Without being a real threat to the outcome of the election?

Posted by Julie | June 21, 2007 12:45 PM

What does Nader want, someone like Castro perhaps, before he throws his Ballot in?
Has voting and a candicacy require a sudden large movement of the haves vs. the have nots to get us the right leader?
If thats his medicine, I don't want any.
give me HRC or Obama anyday.

Posted by DreadLion | June 21, 2007 12:48 PM


...but I can't help but agree with him on Hillary Clinton.

Posted by Dianna | June 21, 2007 12:51 PM

But i do agree with Naders argument that there need to be more debate and solution to the military budget.

Posted by DreadLion | June 21, 2007 12:51 PM

Ralph Nader has spent his life in service, but most of what people have said here and elsewhere is just a regurgitation of what the corporate media has fed them: Nader is ego-centric, vain, a spoiler. Time to start thinking people. It's the system that's spoiled, and like at least two others have said, instant run-off voting would solve any "spoiler" issue.

Meanwhile, while the system is still corrupt, I I still won't be voting for anyone, Republican, Democrat or otherwise, who continues to support the war in Iraq. I don't think it's too harsh to say that when you vote for Democrats, you vote for killing people. Look what happened when they got Congress. MORE TROOPS IN IRAQ. MORE DEAD PEOPLE.

Why should I vote for them?

Posted by erin | June 21, 2007 12:58 PM

@22. I don't think Nader is vain or ego-centric. But, given the current voting/electoral system, I don't see how his candidacy in 2008 would help make things any better in this country (assuming that he will not win the presidency, which he won't).

I can't think of any way in which we are better of because he ran in the last elections. I'm open to suggestions....

Full disclosure: I voted for Nader in 2000, but lived in a state that would never have voted for Bush, so felt it was "safe".

Posted by Julie | June 21, 2007 1:10 PM


Just. Stop. Running!

Posted by Will in Seattle | June 21, 2007 1:30 PM

@23 I think that at the very least, he provided people (like me) an option to vote for an anti-war candidate. I believe that most Nader voters would not have voted in the presidential election at all if he had not run.

At best, he did a lot more than that. Nader tirelessly reminded people that the two corporate parties would not end the war, would in fact continue to fund it, and would continue to work for their best interests: the corporations. Those are their largest donors, and these donors push Dems/Repubs toward policies that hurt the people.

I believe that there has to be an alternative to Democrats and Republicans, don't you? The Democrats have the power, and they are doing nothing to stop the war. They gave Bush the surge, they gave him $120 BILLION. What kind of opposition is that? Nader is working for that alternative, so I support him and anyone else who's doing the same.

Posted by erin | June 21, 2007 1:35 PM


As far as Nader is concerned, yes, Bush and Gore are exactly the same. Nader has been ignored by the Dems for 20-plus years. Neither the Dems not the Republicans give a shit about the issues that Nader cares about.* His ego can't handle that.

*He doesn't care one wit about the poor, women's rights, or gay rights.

Posted by keshmeshi | June 21, 2007 1:46 PM

I am a utilitarian. In other words, I am concerned with what the outcome or net effect of Nader having run in '00 and '04.

In '00, the net effect was that Bush was elected president. I absolutely do not believe that most Nader voters would not have voted. Every single Nader voter I know would have voted for Gore if Nader hadn't been running (and would have voted for him if we had been in a swing state). I totally agree with you that there should be an alternative to Republicans and Democrats (which is why I even voted Nader in the first place, to give the Greens 5% of the popular vote). But, in the end, I firmly believed that Bush would have been so terrible for our country as President, that I would have sacrificed that good for the good of not having Bush be President.

In '04, I appreciate that he gave people the option to vote for an anti-war candidate, but, what has been the net effect? We still have no viable solution to the situation in Iraq. Did he actually accomplish anything with his tireless reminding?

Posted by Julie | June 21, 2007 1:55 PM

I voted (and volunteered) for Nader in 2000. It was my first presidential election, and I wanted to, just once, vote for someone I honestly believed in. Also, I lived/live in WA, so I wasn't worried about swing-state crap. I just wanted that precious 5%.

But this? Seriously, I know you are against the system, but I liked you better when you shut the hell up and keep working with people instead of name-calling and making yourself out like the great hope of the nation. I didn't vote for him in 04, and I won't in 08.

Posted by Jessica | June 21, 2007 2:02 PM

He doesn't care about the poor, women's rights, or gay rights? That must be why he started the Center for Women's Policy Studies (in 1972). Or why he supports gay marriage (gore and kerry didn't!)...and that MUST be why he campaigns for a LIVING wage so much!!!!! Come on. You can find this stuff on wikipedia.

Posted by erin | June 21, 2007 2:03 PM

Everyone here is assuming that a Nader campaign only siphons Dem votes. Does anyone have the numbers on where all the Nader votes actually came from?

Posted by Paulus | June 21, 2007 2:09 PM

Paulus, that's a pretty safe assumption. Do any of the conservatives you know like Nader?

Posted by Matt from Denver | June 21, 2007 2:12 PM


How about him getting votes from people that:

A - wouldn't have voted anyhow

B - wouldn't have voted for a mainstream party candidate.

Id vote for Pat Buchanan before any of these pussy ass democrats who can't stand up with a spine and act out the convictions that they claim to share with the majority of the american public.

Instead, they keep shoveling shit and calling it ice cream. The good little democrats eat the shit and think they are getting to better of the "Man".

Posted by ecce homo | June 21, 2007 2:21 PM

@ 30, the numbers vary depending on what poll you look at, but CNN's exit polls in the 2000 election said:

47% of the Nader voters to Gore
21% to Bush
30% would have abstained from voting

Posted by Julie | June 21, 2007 2:24 PM

Nader reminds me of Jack Kuroac.
pure hyperbole.
Naders chant '1 2 3 4 what the hell are we fightin for? say whaaaat!'
Debate the warbudget, I want to hear it louder amen. Thats Nader for ya.

Posted by DreadLion | June 21, 2007 2:35 PM

Jack Kerouac/ wikipedia

Posted by DreadLion | June 21, 2007 2:41 PM

@18 Gravel is a fucking nutcase, and his latest statements have led me to believe he cares about the Constitution less than Bushco. Part of his platform is a Bill of Attainder against Bush and Cheney, and he wants a national referendum system.

Posted by Gitai | June 21, 2007 2:53 PM

Perhaps Nader has outlived whatever usefullness he may have had to the electoral process, but what most people are saying here is pathetic: that we should just sulk to the polls and vote for the candidate that doesn't make us too sick, or this idea that Nader is somehow responsible for the 00' election fiasco. It's not his fault that Bush was appointed by the state supreme court in Florida, nor was it his fault that the democrats (Al Gore specifically) sat on their hands. The election was stolen, Democrats let it happen, yet Ralph Nader is to blame? Nonsense. Democrats need to stop rationalizing their own cowardice and stop scapegoating crazy old men.

Posted by douglas | June 21, 2007 2:57 PM

@37 There are lots of “ifs” that would have led to Al Gore becoming President in 2000 (as he deserved) – “if we didn’t have the electoral college system”, “if there was a run-off vote”, “if there wasn’t voter fraud in Florida”, “if the Supreme Court had made the right ruling”, “if the Democrats hadn’t sat on their hands”. But, you can’t deny that “if Ralph Nader hadn’t been a candidate” deserves to be one of those ifs. He had an impact on the outcome in 2000 (as did all those other things).

Posted by Julie | June 21, 2007 3:12 PM


All right, I overstated. But what about his statement calling those issues "gonadal politics?" He doesn't care about the real victims of Bush as much as his pet anti-corporate issues.

On the issue of corporate influence, Democrats and Republicans may as well be identical. They will do nothing to stop or mitigate that influence.

Posted by keshmeshi | June 21, 2007 4:30 PM

@38 An impact, yes. But does that necessitate blame? Or responsibility? Holding the democrats accountable for not taking proper action in the face of obvious fraud makes more sense than dumping the whole mess on some third party clown whose participation didn't actually decide the election. Al Gore won, yet Bush became president, that doesn't really fall on Nader's shoulders or those who voted for him.

Posted by douglas | June 21, 2007 5:05 PM

I voted for Nader in 1996 and 2000, because I was fed up with Clinton and anyone associated with him after Don't Ask Don't Tell, "welfare reform," the unending sanctions and bombing against Iraq that killed thousands for no positive effect, NAFTA, the WTO, to name just a few. Gore's previous record was as a wonk who ran in 1988 as a center-right alternative to several much better candidates and spent much of his time encouraging his wife to rail against rock music. Clinton gained my respect post-1998 for standing up to the right-wing during the impeachment mess, but Gore ran away even from that. Gore's choice of Lieberman just confirmed what we knew about him since 1988.

For the record, there's no way I would have voted for Gore if Nader hadn't been running in 2000. I might have written in Bill Bradley or Paul Wellstone or pulled the lever for a really fringe third party, but I wouldn't have voted for Gore.

In hindsight, Gore looks like a fucking statesman and Clinton's triangulating half-measures look like the New Deal. But that's just overreacting in the other direction, thanks to the horrific debacle that is George W. Bush.

But Nader's even more delusional than any of us. He's had seven years of this nightmare just like the rest of us, and yet he's still talking like it's 1999. I think it's because ultimately his entire career has been about himself and not about the ideas he champions. He's not personally hurt by policy differences between the parties, so why care that millions of other people are? Someone has to perform an intervention, except that he's alienated all of his old allies and friends.

Oh, and if Gore was the nominee this time, I'd vote for him without hesitation. I'd prefer if it were Edwards, Obama, or even Hillary though. The second he has any real taste at power, we'll have the old Al Gore back, and while he was technically elected I don't think he could repeat the feat. If electability's the deal, there are half a dozen better choices already running.

Posted by Cascadian | June 21, 2007 5:21 PM

You mean Nader's not dead yet? Isn't he like 175 years old?

Fuck off, Ralph. You're a self-centered, self-righteous asshole. Kind of like Bush.

Posted by The Retard's Candidate won't die | June 21, 2007 6:15 PM

All I have to say to those of you who did or are planning to vote for Nader:

So long as you're voting FOR him, because of his specific stances, and NOT as a way to express your antagonism AGAINST someone else, then I totally support your decision, even though I vehemently disagree with it.

If you're just voting for Nader as a protest against the two-party system, then a hearty "Fuck You", because you're NOT making things BETTER.

Posted by COMTE | June 21, 2007 11:56 PM

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