Greg Cohoon (drmellow) wrote,
Greg Cohoon
drmellow

Nader in '04

I see that Ralph Nader has officially entered the presidential race (and washingtonpost.com just lost a link to their story about it because when I tried to put it in this entry, it linked to a "sign up for access" page). The only way to look at this is that it's good news for Republicans. Even the Green Party, who ran him last time, is distancing themselves from him:
"It's of absolute, utmost importance that George Bush is not re-elected." -- Pat Lamarche, Green Party candidate for Maine governor in 1996, in calling for the party not to field Nader or any other candidate in 2004.
Nader will be unable to successfully even come close to winning the White House. The only votes he'll succeed in picking up would likely never vote for a Republican candidate anyway. Everyone knows all of this. The only winner in this situation is Nader's ego.

Republicans, of course, welcome Nader into the race:
"We're happy that Ralph Nader's joined the fray. Good. Bring some more on. Maybe Jesse Jackson can run, and Justin Timberlake will get on the ballot. Who knows? Bring in all of them ... because we're solidly united behind George Bush." -- Arkansas Republican Gov. Mike Huckabee.
Hrmmm, a Jackson/Timberlake ticket? It's got a good beat and you can dance to it! Oh, that's Jesse Jackson, not Michael? Well, you can still probably dance to it.

The Democrats don't seem very happy about it, and I don't blame them:
"I think that Ralph Nader is proving that the only master that he serves is his enormous ego." -- Scott Maddox, chairman of the Democratic Party in Florida
Maddox is absolutely correct. Attempting another run at the White House in '04 proves that Nader does not truly believe in what he preaches. If he did believe in it, he'd wake up and smell the roses and realize that if he seriously attempts another run, it will only serve to hurt what he says he believes in.

All of the above quotes are from Quotations about Ralph Nader's candidacy for president, a piece that ran in today's edition of SF Gate. My appreciation goes out to my favorite advocate for copyright reform and public domain law, Lawrence Lessig, who mentioned it in his blog. Previously, he raised two questions for Mr. Nader, which really brought out the only way a Nader candidacy could be beneficial for people who suport Nader's causes:
So two questions for Mr. Nader:

(1) Do you agree that even if it would be best if you were President, it would be second best if a Democrat were President rather than President Bush?

(2) If so, then will you promise that if 2000 repeats itself -- if it is clear that you are not going to be elected president, but probable that votes for you will deny the Democrat of the Presidency -- then you will ask your supporters to vote for someone else?

Because if Mr. Nader can answer both questions "yes," then I’m all for his candidacy. His views, his integrity, and (except for one important gap) his judgment certainly deserve to stand on the stage with any Democrat, and with President Bush.
Judging by Nader's past behavior, I seriously doubt he'll ever consider answering "yes" to the second question. Like I said at the top, Nader's candidacy is nothing but good news for the Republicans. For that reason alone, I heartily welcome him!
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