Sunday, February 24, 2008

The return of Ralph Nader

Ralph Nader is running for President because the two contenders for the nomination of the Democratic Party aren't far enough to the Left for his tastes. Here's a video announcing Nader's candidacy.

In particular, Nader is afraid Obama won't be tough enough on Israel. Red State has a transcript of Nader's recent accusation that Obama has 'sold out' to the Israelis.

I give you the example, the Palestinian-Israeli issue, which is a real off the table issue for the candidates. So don't touch that, even though it's central to our security and to, to the situation in the Middle East. He was pro-Palestinian when he was in Illinois before he ran for the state Senate, during he ran--during the state Senate. Now he's, he's supporting the Israeli destruction of the tiny section called Gaza with a million and a half people. He doesn't have any sympathy for a civilian death ratio of about 300-to-1; 300 Palestinians to one Israeli. He's not taking a leadership position in supporting the Israeli peace movement, which represents former Cabinet ministers, people in the Knesset, former generals, former security officials, in addition to mayors and leading intellectuals. One would think he would at least say, "Let's have a hearing for the Israeli peace movement in the Congress," so we don't just have a monotone support of the Israeli government's attitude toward the Palestinians and their illegal occupation of Palestine.

There is always room to the Left in Democratic Party policy debate, always an open flank in a way that resembled the German-Allied race to the sea at the outset of the Great War. The only thing that stopped the extension of the front in 1915 was the English Channel. There is no English Channel in politics so the drift Left simply goes to the asymptote. The other striking thing about Democratic politics is how large a role personality plays. Politics in the Left is characterized by the extreme longevity of its personalities; Nader has been around almost as long as Castro.

Mainstream politics is the handmaiden of ordinary life. And the wheeling-and-dealing that people like Nader find so distasteful is really the consequence of ordinary politics being about jobs, family, security, living and dying. About it being rooted upon the earth. But ideological politics is about ideas; fine definitions; intensity of vision. It is about alternative paths to paradise. And that's why fringe politics generates factions in ways that mainstream politics never does. There is only one earth but there are many heavens. A guy like Ralph Nader will always be looking to turn the corner to recover the perfect vision he once glimpsed. No one described the dogged pursuit of illusion better than F. Scott Fitzgerald in his character of Gatsby. Nothing, not even the reality of Daisy would ever fill Gatsby's hunger for what was once glimpsed and lost.

He talked a lot about the past, and I gathered that he wanted to recover something, some idea of himself perhaps, that had gone into loving Daisy. His life had been confused and disordered since then, but if he could once return to a certain starting place and go over it all slowly, he could find out what that thing was. ...

One autumn night, five years before, they had been walking down the street when the leaves were falling, and they came to a place where there were no trees and the sidewalk was white with moonlight. They stopped here and turned toward each other. Now it was a cool night with that mysterious excitement in it which comes at the two changes of the year. The quiet lights in the houses were humming out into the darkness and there was a stir and bustle among the stars. Out of the corner of his eye Gatsby saw that the blocks of the sidewalks really formed a ladder and mounted to a secret place above the trees—he could climb to it, if he climbed alone, and once there he could suck on the pap of life, gulp down the incomparable milk of wonder.

His heart beat faster and faster as Daisy’s white face came up to his own. He knew that when he kissed this girl, and forever wed his unutterable visions to her perishable breath, his mind would never romp again like the mind of God. So he waited, listening for a moment longer to the tuning-fork that had been struck upon a star. Then he kissed her. At his lips’ touch she blossomed for him like a flower and the incarnation was complete.

Cults are dangerous things, the more so because they are driven by real visions. But in time they become less about visions then obsessions. Ralph Nader isn't running for President. He's looking for his Sailor from Gibraltar.


Blogger Elijah said...

tick tock

2/24/2008 05:55:00 PM  
Blogger eggplant said...

I don't think even the moonbats are stupid enough to get burned by Nader again.... Then again, the moonbats are remarkably stupid.

If Nader splits Obama's base then that would be a good thing. However I strongly suspect Nader is yesterday's news.

2/24/2008 06:18:00 PM  
Blogger Fat Man said...

Ralph has jumped the shark. He got very few votes and had no impact on the outcome in 2004. He will get even fewer votes this time.

Besides, both Obama and Hillbilly are much more hardcore leftists than Gore was in 2000. Ralph may be to their left in some puristic way, but not very far, and not so much that it counts.

Ralph's position on Israel is not an ideological difference between him and the Democrats, it's an ethnic thing. Ralph is an Arab.

2/24/2008 06:24:00 PM  
Blogger Whiskey said...

I agree with Fatman though Nader's influence MAY draw Obama further leftward. There's no basis to suggest Obama understands that elections nationwide are won in the center among the middle/working class.

2/24/2008 06:37:00 PM  
Blogger Asher Abrams said...

I take an admittedly unhealthy interest in the doings of Ralph Nader. True confessions: I voted for him in 2000, back when I was an active Green Party member in Oregon.

As I recall, one of the Greens' goals was to "push the Democratic Party farther to the left". I think it's fair to say the Greens succeeded; or at any rate, the goal was achieved.

It may well be that "there is always room to the Left in the Democratic Party policy debate", but the Democrats decidedly do not like competition from the Left. One of the things that bothered me about the DP then, and still does, was that there is an "entitlement mentality" among Democrats; that is, they believe they are "entitled" to the vote simply by not being Republicans. It did not occur to them then, and it will not now, to refute Nader's agenda items or to offer more reasonable ones. Instead they will accuse him of "siphoning off" votes that rightly belong to Democrats, as if a citizen's vote were overpriced gasoline.

The cult of victimhood on the Left will play itself out this November, even if the Democrats win, but especially if they lose.

Back in 2000, my DP friends warned me that "a vote for Nader is a vote for Bush". From their perspective, then, I guess I could truthfully brag that I voted for George W. Bush twice.

Go figure.

2/24/2008 06:41:00 PM  
Blogger Panday said...

Thank God.

He's going to suck away everything left of Code Pink. A small amount of votes, but who knows how close an election might be?

2/24/2008 07:16:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Moved from previous thread:
He's left enough and weird enough for all, I would think.
Weird Meaning Against Nearly Everything Good for America.
Obama worked with terrorist
Senator helped fund organization that rejects 'racist' Israel's existence

JERUSALEM – The board of a nonprofit organization on which Sen. Barack Obama served as a paid director alongside a confessed domestic terrorist granted funding to a controversial Arab group that mourns the establishment of Israel as a "catastrophe" and supports intense immigration reform, including providing drivers licenses and education to illegal aliens.
Study: 3 in 4 U.S. mosques preach anti-West extremism.
Secret survey exposes widespread radicalism
ht - Al-Bob

2/24/2008 07:46:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

The larger the mob, the harder the test.
In small areas, before small electorates, a first-rate man occasionally fights his way through, carrying even the mob with him by force of his personality.
But when the field is nationwide, and the fight must be waged chiefly at second and third hand, and the force of personality cannot so readily make itself felt, then all the odds are on the man who is, intrinsically, the most devious and mediocre — the man who can most easily adeptly disperse the notion that his mind is a virtual vacuum.

The Presidency tends, year by year, to go to such men. As democracy is perfected, the office represents, more and more closely, the inner soul of the people.
We move toward a lofty ideal.
On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart's desire at last, and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron.

HL Mencken
Baltimore Evening Sun
26 July 1920

2/24/2008 07:59:00 PM  
Blogger Whiskey said...

Doug Mencken was wrong on any number of things. You might easily say that the Presidency puts a premium on organizational efficiency and a good team.

Clinton's 1992 team was pretty good, electorally speaking. Focused on winning the middle.

Bush's 2000-2004 team was fairly mediocre, focused on winning the base "plus" just enough to squeak by. Kerry and Gore also.

Obama's team seems based on the Bush team. McCain's team seems based on the Clinton 92 team.

Because dealing with a national audience, you must have intermediaries and enough savvy to present yourself in such a way as your intent is easily grasped through all the media clutter by a distracted and cynical electorate.

And have enough "coaching" to avoid: looking at your watch in a debate, riding in a tank, weasel answers on emotional issues, while presenting yourself as "strong/patriotic" etc.

2/24/2008 08:13:00 PM  
Blogger Alexis said...

Apparently, the grandniece of Harold Stassen is annoyed that her late relative is being compared to Ralph Nader.

2/24/2008 08:16:00 PM  
Blogger eggplant said...

Stephen Renico said:

"He's going to suck away everything left of Code Pink. A small amount of votes, but who knows how close an election might be?"

Everything left of Code Pink makes a loud shrieking sound that the MSM loves to cover but as Stephen said, "A small amount of votes". I suspect the extreme moonbats are numerically insignificant.

2/24/2008 08:36:00 PM  
Blogger jj mollo said...

Doug, that survey sounds very interesting. The article hints at some resourceful and probably expensive investigation approaches. I remain skeptical. I looked at the CSP site, but there was no mention of the report or even the project. Is WND really that far ahead of publication?

2/24/2008 08:40:00 PM  
Blogger jj mollo said...

What I really want to know is whether the sample of mosques was random.

2/24/2008 08:41:00 PM  
Blogger watimebeing said...

Nader? Wasn't he dead? Or does he live on so long as GM makes stuff?
Mind you I knew one of the people who died, one of the folks in his book and I really do think Ralph did a fine job with that bit of journalism, however that was 1960's early 60's really early 60's. Other than creating the dim and entitlement minded PERG organizations, there is nothing that indicates Nader has anything. he might even have less experience than Obama.

2/24/2008 09:01:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

JJ Mollo,
The Stuff on Obama sounds real, however, and real Scary.
I still rely on Steve Emerson's 1994 Video, "Jihad in America"
as the source for my opinion on Mosques in America.
Allowing Hitler Youth Groups here in WWII would have not been more insane than the stuff Steve Filmed going on.

2/24/2008 09:20:00 PM  
Blogger Pax Federatica said...

stephen renico: He's going to suck away everything left of Code Pink.

There are people to the left of Code Pink? Who knew?

Between this and Louis Farrakhan's endorsement, it's not been a good weekend for the Obama campaign, at least not as far as its November prospects are concerned.

2/24/2008 10:37:00 PM  
Blogger Peter Grynch said...

I'm surprised deceased commedian Pat Paulson hasn't jumped into the race on the heels of the Nader announcement.

2/25/2008 03:33:00 AM  
Blogger Peter Grynch said...

If I was the head of the Ku Klux Klan, I would endorse Barack Obama. He could say "We're not anti-Black, we're pro-White!". This would cause many liberal heads to explode. His organization would get tons of free publicity, and he could justify doing it based on Barack's positions on Israel.

Brilliant political ju jitsu!

2/25/2008 03:38:00 AM  
Blogger Peter Grynch said...

It's worth reading the hiarious commentary attached to this article announcing Barack's response to a Nader run...

Flock of moonbats!

2/25/2008 04:33:00 AM  

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