No one wants you here.
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Ugh, indeed. I was going to comment on this, but then I just wrote it as a post on my own blog.
It’s pure ego, nothing else. There is no other rationale for his candidacy, because this time there *is* an inspirational candidate in the race. His objection is that that candidate’s name is not Ralph Nader.
Look, I hate Nader as much as the next guy – he cost Gore the election, but I don’t think its an ego thing. He said publicly many times that he would not run if Edwards had won the nomination. His argument simply is that Obama has ignored ‘his better instincts’ and is no longer a true progressive. I don’t think that argument is without some grounding. I won’t vote Nader, and I hope no one will either, but this was avoidable.
Nader cites “dissent” as his primary justification for entering the race. What is he dissenting from? If he’s not dissenting from Edwards but is dissenting from Obama, then I am unclear about his intent. Is he entering the race to promote an Edwards-ian defense of the American poor? This hasn’t historically been Nader’s issue.
I see what you are saying, Ben, but the guy has to know that the only effect he can have is to draw votes from the more progressive of the people he will be running against (be it Hillary or Barack). this goes back to my earlier post about how it takes a long time in politics to figure out what balance between idealism and pragmatism you want to have. I seriously considered voting for nader in 2000 for the reasons that made sense. it also had a very low probability of making any difference in Illinois. But I wonder if people in Ohio or Florida thought similarly?
I do think he wants to make a difference, but the way to do it is by making sense and building coalitions, not by agitatitng a fragile coalition that needs to win for the sake of the very people he claims to be arguing for.
I am more sympathetic (actually) to the idea that he is trying to make the system more open, because then a third party vote (even if it loses) can be meaningful. But the idea that his running is going to improve the life of poor and working class Americans is laughable because he has NO chance of winning and this tactic will only piss off the people who might otherwise be loyal to your cause.
LB–good point about the distinction between idealism and pragmatism. Like you, I remember thinking that Nader was a pretty savvy politician after his Green party won enough of the 2000 election to receive federal funding.
Here’s a hypothesis: Nader is running so that he can lobby/spook the Democratic nominee into supporting some of his Green Party platform before subsequently withdrawing from the race.
He has gone away. Did Nader affect any state in 2004? I predict this will be even more so the case in 2008. He is in danger of becoming the Harold Stanson of the independent movement.
I mean Stassen of course.
LBN: Can you give the link to your post on pragmatism and idealism? I can’t find it by clicking or doing a site-targeted google search.
Belle Lettre: I was just referring to her comment above.
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