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Ralph Nader Is Running for President:
News here.
Guest today:
One more possibility to prevent the Clintons' return to the White House.
2.24.2008 12:02pm
Syd (mail):
Seeking once again to fulfill a non-existent demand.
2.24.2008 12:12pm
Duffy Pratt (mail):
If his trendline continues, he should get somewhere around .033% of the vote.
2.24.2008 12:21pm
Guest today:
So long as his run harms Lady Macbeth, I'll cheer it!
2.24.2008 12:45pm
Dave Hardy (mail) (www):
I thought he was killed by a Demo mob after the last election?
2.24.2008 12:47pm
A. Zarkov (mail):
This will get interesting. Nader can do something Hillary can't—attack Obama from the left. Hillary can't do that because that would scare her contributors. She can't attack from the right because that would amount to attacking her own positions. All she can do is say, "I'm more experienced." However she made a tactical error by pushing her time in the White House as some kind experience and that got no traction. She tried the race card through Bill and that failed because blacks are sacred for the Democratic primary voters. All she has left is to nit pick at Obama's imperfections-- another losing tactic. Obama will most likely completely ignore Nader, but if for some reason he doesn't that will open up new opportunities for Hillary. If Obama moves left to cope with Nader that will give Hillary the opportunity to attack from the right. But David Axelrod is too smart to allow Obama to that. If Obama attacks Nader from the right he risks angering some of his primary votes, so he won't do that either. It's much too late for Nader, they can safely ignore him.
2.24.2008 12:49pm
Dennis Nicholls (mail):
Hubris, thy name is Nader, the nadir of our politics.

[Hillary get nomination via MI and FL delegates] + [Nadir gives dissatisfied Dems a place to bolt] = President McCain.

Do you think Nader would drop out for nominee Obama but not for nominee Clinton?
2.24.2008 12:52pm
CEB:

This will get interesting.


No it won't. Nader is more irrelevant now than he's ever been. Virtually nobody except for idiot college freshmen pays any attention to him.
2.24.2008 12:55pm
GV:
Nader got less than .5% of the vote last election when the democratic candidate (Kerry) wasn't exactly loved by liberals. Obama is broadly supported by liberal voters, so I don't see how Nader will even get the number of voters he received last time.
2.24.2008 12:59pm
BT:
For Nader to get any traction with D's voters, you would have to assume a significant % would be unsatisfied with Obama (assuming he is the nominee). I just don't see that this cycle. If Hillary were the pick, he could get some play. But with BO, no way. There are too many positives (his race, positive attitude, very liberal voting record, stance on Iraq, cross over appeal, etc.) for D's to not support him, even if he moderates some of his positions for the general election.
2.24.2008 1:03pm
H Bowman, MD:
Ralph who?


Oh, yeah....I remember....right.
2.24.2008 1:07pm
pluribus:
Nader was on Meet the Press this morning. Said that he probably got Gore more votes in 2000 by forcing him to take more "progressive" (code for leftist) positions. Said Gore's loss could be attributed to many variables other than the fact that he (Nader) ran, such as Gore's failure to carry his home state (Tennessee), his failure to carry Clinton's home state (Arkansas), etc. Said that if the Democrats can't win by a landslide in 2008 with him also on the ballot, they need to go back and retool. I have never been a Nader fan, but it's wrong to label him a nut, certainly wrong to dismiss him as an irrelevancy.
2.24.2008 1:13pm
dearieme:
Do you think that Mr Nader has had an affair with Senator McCain?
2.24.2008 1:14pm
Syd (mail):
If Obama moves left to cope with Nader that will give Hillary the opportunity to attack from the right.

There is no reason for Obama to cope with Nader at all until after Obama gets the nomination. Nader doesn't affect the Democratic nomination.
2.24.2008 1:40pm
Pliny, the Elder (mail):
If Sen. Obama is insufficiently leftist for a voter, that voter is just in the wrong country. As far as I can tell from discussions I have had with fellow Obabma supporters, he is to the left of most of his supporters. Nader is without a constituency in a race between Obama and McCain. (An "extreme right-winger" might have a shot at 5-6%.)
2.24.2008 1:49pm
Wugong:
Nader is irrelevant enough at this point to make Ron Paul look like a kingmaker.
2.24.2008 1:52pm
callao (mail):
The story does not say what third party he is running with.

If he does not have the Greens, Reform Party or some other organization backing him, he will have a tough time making the ballot in every, or any, state.

Ho-hum. He's not a factor this year.
2.24.2008 1:53pm
33yearprof:
Great! Let them beat each other to a pulp.

I saw this on the 'net this morning.
[quote][Psychiatrist] Rossiter says the kind of liberalism being displayed by the two major candidates for the Democratic Party presidential nomination can only be understood as a psychological disorder. * * *

Dr. Rossiter says the liberal agenda preys on weakness and feelings of inferiority in the population by:

* creating and reinforcing perceptions of victimization;
satisfying infantile claims to entitlement, indulgence and compensation;
* augmenting primitive feelings of envy;
* rejecting the sovereignty of the individual, subordinating him to the will of the government.[/quote]
link
2.24.2008 1:56pm
Dave N (mail):
And we should care, why?
2.24.2008 2:04pm
Syd (mail):
Apparently he's planning to run as an independent, although there's a move to draft him for the Green Party nomination who otherwise will have to face a Cynthia McKinney nomination.
2.24.2008 2:08pm
EH (mail):
33year: What exactly is "the liberal agenda?"
2.24.2008 2:11pm
arbitraryaardvark (mail) (www):
The story does not say what third party he is running with

I'm pretty sure the story is wrong. It's a fairly major goof.
It's an AP story running in the Washington Post. AP generally doesn't correct its errors, WaPo usually does.
There's nothing at Nader's web site about any third party.
The story says Nader has run third party twice, in 2000 and 2004. That's wrong. In 2000, he was the Green Party nominee, and got lots of votes. In 2004, he was an independent, and didn't. Nader's an election lawyer, and a social critic, who knows how to run for president for fun and profit. More power to him. He'll probably come in 4th, maybe 3rd. He'll probably win a few lawsuits. Overall, he improves the system by offering another choice and fighting some broken election laws.
2.24.2008 2:16pm
Randy R. (mail):
I'm sure Fox News will be more than happy to include him in the debates.

Also, Rossiter claims that liberalism itself is a mental disorder. And he's quoted by the World Net Daily. Doesn't seem like there is much crediblity there.
2.24.2008 2:25pm
seadrive:
I don't understand the undercurrent on this blog painting Obama as being left of Clinton. Agreed that there is not much difference, he seems a bit more centrist to me. For example, his health care plan gives the taxpayer a tad more freedom, and also allots a bigger part to the non-governmental sector.
2.24.2008 2:38pm
JB:
The "Obama is left of Hillary" meme comes from the "Hillary is Bill 2" meme. Since Bill Clinton's policies 1995-2001 were farther right than Obama's rhetoric has been, people assume that Obama will be farther left than Hillary.

As a conservative poster someone else put it, "To conservatives, there is no difference. They're arguing over liberal minutiae. It makes as little sense to us as Romney and McCain arguing over who is more conservative makes to the liberals."

I'm not surprised that conservative bloggers and commenters don't really understand the differences between Obama and Hillary.
2.24.2008 2:43pm
curious about habeas quote (mail):
This is slightly off-topic, but i'm trying to remember who said a fairly famous quote about habeas corpus, something like "There is no more habeas corpus in the federal system"? I think the context was some judge or professor lamenting Teague v. Lane or AEDPA's procedural hurdles. I hope someone here can refresh my recollection as to exactly what the quote was and who said it. Thanks!
2.24.2008 2:45pm
Syd (mail):
That should be 1996 and 2000. He was the Green Party candidate both times.

He had the nomination of the Reform Party in 2004 although he was running as an independent.
2.24.2008 2:49pm
Dave N (mail):
Ah, yes, the Reform Party, the original vehicle of Ross Perot; nominating Pat Buchanan in 2000 and Nader in 2004. Talk about political irrelevancy (and a party that seems to stand for absolutely nothing).
2.24.2008 3:04pm
eyesay:
33yearprof wrote
Dr. Rossiter says the liberal agenda preys on weakness and feelings of inferiority in the population by:

* creating and reinforcing perceptions of victimization;
satisfying infantile claims to entitlement, indulgence and compensation;
* augmenting primitive feelings of envy;
* rejecting the sovereignty of the individual, subordinating him to the will of the government.
Those are reactionary talking points and nothing but a caricature of liberalism. It is conservatism, not liberalism, that preys on weakness. For my entire life, conservatives have bleated "Vote for us, only we can protect you from the commies/immigrants/gays." The conservative assertion that banning gay marriage strengthens heterosexual marriage is pure bullshit, but it preys on those who lack the moral strength to exist side-by-side with diversity.

I could attack all of these points, but I'll conclude with this. It is not liberals who subordinate the individual to the will of the government, it is conservatives. Liberals believe that if we can trust a woman to be a mother, we must also trust a woman to control her reproductive life. Liberals believe that what goes on between consenting adults in the privacy of their bedrooms is their business, not the government's.
2.24.2008 3:11pm
LM (mail):
Don't knock Rossiter. He's almost as credible as Dr. Laura.
2.24.2008 4:00pm
LM (mail):
By the way, of Obama or Clinton, Nader and McCain, isn't McCain now the second youngest candidate in the race?
2.24.2008 4:05pm
SP:
Why are we talking about Rossiter? Plenty of "experts" tell us that right-wingers are deranged or have a low IQ. I think all these studies, left or right, can and should be trashed.
2.24.2008 4:05pm
The Real Bill (mail):
It doesn't matter whether your personal ideology is liberal, conservative, libertarian, green, etc. It's only when you try to impose your ideological beliefs on others that you step into the realm of the psychologically disordered. Although, I think that terminology is too kind. I call it evil.
2.24.2008 4:24pm
LM (mail):

It's only when you try to impose your ideological beliefs on others that you step into the realm of the psychologically disordered.

I couldn't agree more. Of course, when I do it, it's a patriotic call to common sense.
2.24.2008 4:43pm
Just Dropping By (mail):
Do you think Nader would drop out for nominee Obama but not for nominee Clinton?

If he was going to do that, why on earth would he bother declaring his candidacy at this point in the process instead of waiting until after March 4 and seeing what the result was? No, he's in this for his own reasons.
2.24.2008 4:44pm
MarkField (mail):

I'm not surprised that conservative bloggers and commenters don't really understand the differences between Obama and Hillary.


Paraphrasing LOTR: to the shepherd, sheep look alike. To the sheep, they look very different.


Why are we talking about Rossiter? Plenty of "experts" tell us that right-wingers are deranged or have a low IQ. I think all these studies, left or right, can and should be trashed.


Exactly.
2.24.2008 4:51pm
The Real Bill (mail):
I couldn't agree more. Of course, when I do it, it's a patriotic call to common sense.

; P
2.24.2008 5:04pm
Cornellian (mail):
Nader will win.*


*(assuming the winner is chosen according to which candidate has the most oversized ego)
2.24.2008 5:08pm
DiverDan (mail):
I recall that William Jennings Bryan was roundly derided for losing three times as a Presidential Candidate -- He was even referred to by some as "the Ass of 1900" [as an aside, Bryan was the inspiration for L. Frank Baum's "Wizard of Oz" series, which were written as political satire]. In Bryan's defense, at least he ran as the chosen nominee of the Democratic Party, and lost two comparatively close races in 1896 and 1900. Nader is simply a publicity hound who knows that he hasn't got a shot in hell of winning, he runs just for self-agrandizement, and the consequences be damned. I have to admit that, as someone who thinks a win by either Clinton or Obama would be bad for the country, I'm grateful for whatever minimal damage Nader might do to the Democratic nominee, but I'm frankly a bit embarrassed by the unseemly spectacle of Nader running again.
2.24.2008 5:19pm
LM (mail):

Nader is simply a publicity hound who knows that he hasn't got a shot in hell of winning, he runs just for self-agrandizement, and the consequences be damned. I have to admit that, as someone who thinks a win by either Clinton or Obama would be bad for the country, I'm grateful for whatever minimal damage Nader might do to the Democratic nominee, but I'm frankly a bit embarrassed by the unseemly spectacle of Nader running again.

If it makes you feel any better, I've read some fairly credible (to me at least) reportage that since 2000 his agenda has been largely driven by a desire to punish the Democratic Party for having the effrontery to blame him for the 2000 election. If true, it's pretty ironic he'd choose that method of punishment while continuing to deny he had anything to do with the 2000 results.

Since I have neither the time nor inclination to hunt down a link to the article in question, feel free to take this as only my unsupported speculation. (But it's not.)
2.24.2008 6:03pm
HLSbertarian (mail):

Liberals believe that what goes on between consenting adults in the privacy of their bedrooms is their business, not the government's.


...unless of course what's going on in there IS business.
2.24.2008 6:08pm
John Burgess (mail) (www):
CEB: au contraire...

You forget, of course, those who were freshmen in the 70s and 80s! With today's freshmen, they must represent an enormous block of votes!
2.24.2008 6:18pm
George Weiss (mail):
ha.

and people thought obama was in danger of being assassinated!
2.24.2008 6:27pm
Elliot123 (mail):
Hillary had the nomination locked up.
McCain was through in August of 2007.
Obama is a novice state legislator.
Nader won't matter.

Exactly how many votes did Nader get in Florida in 2000?
And what was Bush's official margin in Florida in 2000?
And where was that election decided?

Don't count Nader out yet. Global warming. Evil corporations. Unequal pay. Ruined environment. Lobbyists.
2.24.2008 6:46pm
Jmaie (mail):
I don't understand the undercurrent on this blog painting Obama as being left of Clinton. Agreed that there is not much difference, he seems a bit more centrist to me.

Based on 2007 Senate votes he is more liberal, according to the National Journal. There are those who dispute NJ's methodology and/or non-partisanship, but the ranking will likely have traction with the majority of Republican voters without the time or inclination to examine Mr. Obama's position papers (assuming he wins the nomination).
2.24.2008 7:08pm
BruceM (mail) (www):
I always support anyone's right to run for office, and I hate the notion that a person shouldn't run because he will cause the lesser of the other two evils to lose the election. It's an unamerican argument based on 20/20 hindsight and post hoc rationalities. While I don't love Nader, I do respect him and I've always supported his right to run for office.

That being said, Nader is absolutely irrelevant in this election and it's gotten to the point where simply by "announcing his candidacy" he looks like an insane fool. If the word "quit" is not in your vocabulary, you're an idiot. It's far time Nader gave up. Not because he'll take votes away from someone else, but beacuse the people have spoken - he's not wanted. Hell, people don't even want consumer advocates anymore. We like our cheap, unsafe products, and anyone who speaks out against shoddy manufacturing and causes prices to go up can rot in hell. Nader is so irrelevant it's not funny. Unsafe at any speed? Who cares, as long as it gets good gas mileage and I can buy it with a cheap loan.
2.24.2008 7:36pm
LM (mail):
There are several groups/periodicals that do these rankings, some more ideological than others, but pretty much all come out with comparable numbers. The liberal ADA rankings for '05 and '06 (the two years Obama was in the Senate -- '07 hasn't been completed yet) had Obama at 97.5% and Hillary at 95%. McCain was somewhere around 15%.

Obviously, for any rational conservative, the ideological difference between Obama and Hillary should be inconsequential. As for the conservatives willing to entertain the notion that McCain is to the left of Hillary? When reason departs, anything's possible.
2.24.2008 7:43pm
whit:
y'know from the whole libertarian angle thing. i don't think dems can blame nader for the loss. (although some only partially blame him and claim it was stolen by the scotus bla bla bla).

people are responsible for their own actions. iow, it's not nader, it's nader VOTERS.

they voted for him in sufficient #'s to give bush the election. they have only themselves to blame.
not michael moore (for pimping nader) and not nader. themselves
2.24.2008 7:51pm
eyesay:
BruceM wrote "Hell, people don't even want consumer advocates anymore. We like our cheap, unsafe products, and anyone who speaks out against shoddy manufacturing and causes prices to go up can rot in hell."

How, then, do you account for public reaction to Hallmark/Westland Meat Packing Co.'s use of forklifts and other aggressive measures to coax non-ambulatory cows to the slaughterhouse? According to the Wall Street Journal, Hallmark/Westland will probably shut down permanently.
2.24.2008 7:56pm
JK:
Is the National Journal list where people are getting the "#1 most liberal senator" line? If so its obviously utter crap; Obama is more liberal than Bernie Sanders? That doesn't even pass the laugh test.

Wasn't John Kerry also dubbed the "most liberal senator"? I have a feeling that the democrats could nominate Joe Leiberman and all the sudden he would be the most liberal democrat of all time.
2.24.2008 7:58pm
c. vanhallenbeck:
Elliot123 has it spot on a usual
2.24.2008 8:27pm
c. vanhallenbeck:
Elliot123 has it spot on AS usual
2.24.2008 8:28pm
Gary Anderson (mail):
What if Nader picks Huckabee as a running mate?

And Huckabee, for his own odd reasons, accepts?

Imagine what they could charge for speeches then, and what sporting good fun this race could be!
2.24.2008 8:30pm
BruceM (mail) (www):
eyesay: Simple, the public reaction is an emotional response to cruelty to animals. It has nothing to do with cheaper products. People like to know that the animals they eat were not tortured or slaughtered inhumanely. We don't have a problem eating meat, but when we're told the meat we're eating comes from animals that are unnecessarily harmed or otherwise mistreated, we feel bad. We don't like to feel bad, so we complain. But most importantly, meat doesn't cost less when the animals are mistreated. A steak from a cow humanely stunned before it was slaughtered costs no more than a steak from a cow that was unnecessarily beaten and tortured to death.
2.24.2008 8:41pm
eyesay:
BruceM: I grant you that a preference for humane animal husbandry, or perhaps a preference not to know about inhumane animal husbandry, is a factor re the Hallmark/Westland Meat Packing Co. However, there is an awareness that down cows are more likely to have mad cow disease or other health problems that make them unfit for consumption.

People do want consumer advocates. We are very concerned about China selling cheap, unsafe products, especially involving human food, pet food, and toys that children might put in their mouths. And if the price of safety is that prices have to rise a bit, so be it.
2.24.2008 8:59pm
Elliot123 (mail):
It would be interesting to show the public a detailed film of how cattle, poultry, and pigs meet their end. I wonder what the reaction would be?
2.24.2008 9:20pm
Daniel Chapman (mail):
Uhhh... the problem is that the cows were SICK, not that they were shoved, prodded, lifted, pulled, or whipped into the slaughter house. "Non-Ambulatory" means they won't move on their own, and therefore aren't supposed to be used for human consumption.
2.24.2008 9:32pm
PETN Sandwich (mail):

Elliot123 (mail):
It would be interesting to show the public a detailed film of how cattle, poultry, and pigs meet their end. I wonder what the reaction would be?


Inadvertently got into one of those discussions before - said I would prefer to butcher the the cow/goat/chicken myself, at least I know it was fresh and healthy... maybe some logistics problems with getting the local supermarkets to stock livestock... but would be worth it.

Didn't know I was talking to a hardcore Vegan.


Yes! I want my meat fresh and healthy.


Is THAT the reaction you want?




Back on-topic: Ralph Nader would approve.
2.24.2008 9:37pm
Orielbean (mail):
if you guys want an animated laugh about meatpacking, google/youtube the Meatrix. it is great.
2.24.2008 9:49pm
Dave Hardy (mail) (www):
It doesn't matter whether your personal ideology is liberal, conservative, libertarian, green, etc. It's only when you try to impose your ideological beliefs on others that you step into the realm of the psychologically disordered. Although, I think that terminology is too kind. I call it evil.

The problem is where you define personal ideology. The Vikings would have objected to my beliefs that random homicide is inconsistent with a decent world, and that pillaging is not a proper way to earn a living (i.e., that gaining goods by violence is bad, gaining them by mental maneuvering is good). At the other end, we can all agree that religious persecution and blue laws are going too far. The real issue is where you draw the lines, given the natural tendency to see personal ideological beliefs as no more than matters necessary to a functioning (or perhaps fair) society.
2.24.2008 9:50pm
LM (mail):
... which is why our founding social contract is long on structure and process, and relatively vague on substance. Morality, ideology and the like are fine for informing our individual choices and voices, but try getting any ten of us to agree on what that looks like as a working document to normalize everyone's behavior. So we saved ourselves that civil war by declining to define our substantive norms with any specificity, and just agreeing to abide by whatever ethical codes we arrive at under what we stipulate are fair ground rules (the Constitution), with each of us bringing our own understanding of morality and/or preferred ideology to that discussion.
2.24.2008 11:06pm
BruceM (mail) (www):
Fortunately with food there is strict FDA and USDA oversight, regulation, monitoring, and enforcement so that meatpacking companies can only skimp to a limited extent.

The whole consumer advocate paradigm has shifted from using a few individual whistleblowers like Ralph Nader out there bringing attention to defective products to using dead children. If Ralph Nader had been rabble rousing about defective cheap toys from China posing a danger, nobody would have listened because the alternative is more expensive toys, and people have become skpetical of people like Nader. But when a handful of children either die or get badly harmed due to the same defective toys, we pay attention and take the defective products out of the stream of commerce.

I don't mind. I'd rather have a few dead children than annoying rabble rousers whining about every single product and industry out there. Moreover, using dead children is much more accurate. The Naders of the world can be wrong about the risk of a given product, and they can also be biased against a product or industry or individual manufacturer. Children who are harmed or killed by that same product, however, are the best, most direct indicator of the product's defective nature. So, yay for dead children.
2.24.2008 11:45pm