Monday, February 25, 2008

A Waste Of Air

There were probably a million stories that Tim Russert could have featured on Meet The Press yesterday. This probably should not have been one of them:
WASHINGTON -- Consumer activist Ralph Nader launched an independent campaign for the White House on Sunday, criticizing the Republican and Democratic candidates for not addressing issues "that are supported by a majority of the American people."

"You go from Iraq to Palestine/Israel, from Enron to Wall Street, from Katrina to the bungling of the Bush administration, to the complicity of the Democrats in not stopping him on the war, stopping him on the tax cuts, getting a decent energy bill through," he told NBC's "Meet the Press," and you have to ask yourself, as a citizen: Should we elaborate the issues that the two [parties] are not talking about?"

This campaign is Nader's fifth try for the presidency. He ran limited races as a write-in candidate in 1992 and as the Green Party nominee in 1996. His greatest success came in 2000, again as the Green Party candidate, when he won more than 2.8 million votes; four years ago, as an independent, he got 465,650 votes out of 122 million cast.
Anybody remember Harold Stassen?

The less said about this, the better. Among the myriad reasons we're in the mess we're in right now, Ralph Nader's candidacy in 2000 has to be right at the top of the list, along with Gore's inability to carry even his home congressional district (and by extension, the state of Tennessee).

The only thing Nader seems to be running is from his reputation as a tough-minded effective advocate. Running from, as well as ruining. People won't remember his effective work for consumer protections. They'll remember him as the useful idiot who changed the course of this country for the far worse, ushering in a regime that, rather than piss people off enough to work for change, cowed them and bullied the American citizenry into sheepdom.

Thanks, Ralph: you've set back the progressive cause, in particular the protection of the average American from the fascistic collaborations of corporations and government, for centuries! Nice. Really nice. Where we once had off-the-books influence peddling and legislative agendas, things we as a people could fight, we now have direct interventions by the entities with money into our lives, our health, and now our sacred fortunes.

Tell me, you honestly think this nation is better off today than it was eight years ago, when you stuck your nose into it the first real time?

I'd imagine even a bloated egoist such as yourself would have to, however grudgingly, admit no.

And maybe that's the question you need to ask yourself before you ramp up to speed on this campaign.

You scored less than 3% of the popular vote in 2000. You scored less than half a percent in 2004.

If there is a God, you'll owe the American voting process votes when the dust settles this time around.

Go away. Seriously.