June 22, 2004

Ralph Nader Jumps the Shark

I enjoy reading Marc Cooperís blog. I never know if Iíll go over there to argue or applaud, and I like that. Unpredictable is good and besides, heís one of the most pleasant people to disagree with youíll find. (Well, unless youíre far right, in which case you probably wonít enjoy it so much.) Anyway, today Iím not arguing.

We both liked Ralph Nader the last time around. I liked him because he was honest and because he reminded me of the old school Democrats, the kind they donít make any more. After 9/11 he doesnít make me think of FDR so much as a kookier and more rumpled George McGovern. Thatís really not what Iím looking for at the moment.

Nader is up to his armpits in all sorts of other problems I wasnít aware of until now, and Cooperís on it.

Posted by Michael J. Totten at June 22, 2004 01:23 AM

Obviously, I'm biased, but Nader's not so much a politician as a political extortionist. He doesn't need to win; he just needs to present a 2-3% vote threat to Kerry in order to get bargaining leverage. Leverage to negotiate for what? Most charitably, you could say for the positions that Nader believes in; less charitably, for the expansion of the personal power and glory of Ralph Nader.

A negative campaign like this one plays to Nader's advantage - lots of mudslinging will drive a number of people to look for a third alternative, and Nader will have the name recognition. If I were Republican, he might be the best investment of my campaign contribution dollars.

Posted by: Mithras at June 22, 2004 04:11 AM

Nader's honest?

Nader knows that since 1996, when auto emission standards were raised forcing auto manufacturers to construct light weight autos in order to comply with higher auto emission standards, auto fatalities have risen.

Naders knows this but has chosen to downplay the information because 'saving the environment' is far more important than proptecting human lives.

Nader is an environmental imperialist trying to rule the world by using a weapon called junk science.

Posted by: syn at June 22, 2004 04:53 AM

Correction the word is "protecting"

Posted by: syn at June 22, 2004 04:54 AM

Nader & his raiders did some good back in the day. When I hear his tax proposals now, I recoil in horror. Sorry, Ralph. You lost me.


Posted by: chris in st. louis at June 22, 2004 05:40 AM

syn -- You wouldn't suppose the increased fatalities have ANYTHING to do with the large number of additional SUV's and other "light truck" monsters crashing into the people who drive reasonably-sized cars? Or the way states are now allowed to set their own speed "limits"?

Speaking of "junk science", you may be interested -- even the Pentagon is getting in on the act, with its latest report stating that yes, Virginia, global warming is a real threat:

I read Nader's interview with Pat Buchanan in the AMerican Conservative. I disagree with him on the war and on trade, but I liked his tax policies quite a bit: tax work less, tax waste and wealth more.


Posted by: Markus Rose at June 22, 2004 08:45 AM

I have a bit of an advantage in this thread.I haven't paid attention to Nader since his 1 claim to fame way back in the distant past and never thought he was really a legend except in his own mind.
Now to be totally selfish,I think it's wonderful that he picked Camejo and may recieve the Green nomination.
ANYTHING that may cause some portion of the loony left to NOT vote for F*K works for me.Even if by happy accident Ralphie can be a force for good by helping to drive a stake through the heart of a particular brand of decayed "progressivism". BRING IT ON,Ralph !!

Posted by: dougf at June 22, 2004 08:46 AM

I like Nader, he may be the salvation of the liberal soul.
Kerry is more like a pod-person, from the movie "Invasion of the Body Snatchers." Something that makes one human is missing.

Posted by: James at June 22, 2004 09:00 AM

Markus – the similarities between the extreme left and paleo-conservatives is old news. Nader and Buchanan have so much in common it’s hard to believe that they’re different people. The interveiw you linked to is very Gollum/Smeagolesque..

PB: You used the term “congressional puppets.” Did John Kerry show himself to be a congressional puppet when he voted to give the president a blank check to go to war?

RN: They’re almost all puppets. There are two sets: Congressional puppets and White House puppets. When the chief puppeteer comes to Washington, the puppets prance.

Puppets prance??

Of course, they share the same attitudes towards Israel (we hates it)

They’ve both been sitting in the dark for way too long…

Posted by: mary at June 22, 2004 09:01 AM


The report you cite is nothing of the sort you claim it is.

First and foremost, if you do some background research, this wasn't a "supressed" "secret report." It was one commissioned by the DoD from an outside contractor to explore the range of what-if scenarios. What-if scenarios are no more a relfection of what will happen than these reports are an indication that we fought a full-scale nuclear war on the Korean peninsula any time during the last half century.

If you've been doing any watching of things military for the past century or so, you'll see that having learned the value of advanced planning, industrialized militaries learned the value of planning for many continegncies.

And, by the way, while you're busy telling me about the how the world is going to get all toasty, could you do a bit of reading about the Atlantic Conveyor Current and go reconcile these things for me? I get all confused what with the various sky-is-falling scenarios I've heard religiously for the last several decades.

Posted by: Bravo Romeo Delta at June 22, 2004 09:41 AM

"Romeo" -- I didn't say the world was going to get "all toasty." The Atlantic Conveyor Current changes your article references is a major concern. The flooding of highly populated, low-lying countries like Bangladesh is another one. You are absolutely right it is a contigency not a forgone conclusion -- about as likely as Saadam someday getting a nuke and eventually teaming up with Al-Qaeda if we hadn't taken him out. That is, something worth planning for and giving a damn about.

Posted by: Markus Rose at June 22, 2004 09:51 AM


The main point that I'm hitting on here is that, by and large, climatologists worth their salt recognize that they have horrifically incomplete models of global climate change. The folks who seem to be the biggest advocates of this, that, and the other are running around with new 'sky is falling' scenarios diametrically opposed to the theories those same folks were brandishing five years ago.

If you go back to, let's say, the seventies, the world was supposedly about to be plunged into an ice age. Then the world was going to be faced with massive starvation, famine, and food riots in the US by 1980. After that we had a brief nuclear winter bit (check out the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists clock-thingy). Then it was acid rain. After acid rain, it was global warming. After global warming, it's teh Atlantic Conveyor Current. Here and there you can also dig up some stuff about supertornados and the El Nino/El Nina events.

Are there serious concerns that deserve further study? Yes. Much better science is needed. But the original assertion that you made that the article you cite as being evidence that global warming is a real threat is still nothing of the sort.

Moreover, are the flooding evidence and the possibility of a temperature drop mutually exclusive items?

Finally, unless you want to get into a really, really long, drawn-out debate about proliferation issues, game theory, risk assessment, decision making, and verifiable hypothesis - a discussion that would do precious little to advance your primary argument about climatological issues, I would ask that you just take that strawman right back off the table, if you would be so kind.

Posted by: Bravo Romeo Delta at June 22, 2004 10:49 AM

Romeo -- My understanding is that what people are most worried about not so much "global warming" as "polar warming", that is, a melting of the polar ice caps -- which if extensive enough could cause BOTH flooding in Bangladesh and temperature drops in North America and Europe (due to changes in the gulf stream).

Posted by: Markus Rose at June 22, 2004 11:40 AM

Aaaaargh! I can't believe you would compare Ralph Nader to FDR, Michael! Franklin Delano Roosevelt was probably the second greatest President we've ever had!

Ralph Nader has been George McGovern from day one. His foreign policy is demilitarization and pacifism. FDR was no pacifist, my friend. Had it been up to him, we would of gotten into World War 2 long before Pearl Harbor.

When I think of your "old school Democrats", I think of Truman and Kennedy and Scoop Jackson. To lump Ralph Nader in with any of these truly great men is beyond revolting!

Posted by: Grant McEntire at June 22, 2004 11:46 AM

As far as I understand it, the influx of fresh water would result in a global decrease in average temperatures - thus expanding the ice cap, and reclaiming fresh water until currents had been restored.

But, all in all, the mechanics of this are, I am guessing, something beyond our respective scopes of expertise.

I object solely to your pat assertion that global warming is a done deal. The pronouncements we've heard on climate changes from the last several decades have taken on the concreteness of tea leaf readings.

If may be a threat. It may not. Whole lots of things may be threats. Then again, whole lots of things may not. We just aren't entirely too certain.

And running hither and yon legislating this, protesting that, and screaming about the other is not a basis for reasonable, rational policy making.

Posted by: Bravo Romeo Delta at June 22, 2004 12:10 PM

Grant: To lump Ralph Nader in with any of these truly great men is beyond revolting!

Chill! I thought so only before 911, only in a vague way and by comparison with the Gorebot, and that was because I had never heard Ralph Nader utter a single word about foreign policy or the military.

Today we are in complete agreement about Mr. Ralph.

FDR is far and away my favorite president of the 20th Century. The only other president who vies with him for my top spot ever is Lincoln.

Posted by: Michael J. Totten at June 22, 2004 12:14 PM

Romeo, others --
I do find it interesting that so many of the people obsessed with how evil the Arabs are, particularly the Saudi Arabs, at the same time fight tooth and nail against those of us who would get serious about weaning the world economy from its junkie-like dependence on Arab oil, as well as on archaic technology of the internal combustion engine. You guys talk a tough game, but at the end of the day, you're Saudi flaks! You deserve an all expenses paid vacation to Riyadh!

Posted by: Markus Rose at June 22, 2004 12:50 PM

So, Markus,

Does anything in your post have to do with my original assertion that climatology is not so fully developed as to be a sound foundation for instituting massive global programs?

Secondly, have you, anywhere, whatsoever said anything in this thread about energy independence, fuel efficiency, or the like? As I recall, we've been discussing global warming.

Third, would you support drilling in ANWR to at least make some strides to reducing the market share of Saudi oil?

Fourth, could you explain how the internal combustion engine is "archaic" and what that has to do with the price of tea in China? And before you answer, if you want to go on chasing after this specious argument you've brought to life, I expect you'll have some actual functional meaningful definition of archaic, a notion as how that relates to anything else at all. Like how "archaic" has to do with your original assertion about global warming.

Or, if you would prefer, you can just call me Saudi-lover five times.

[NB: No interest in going to Riyadh - lousy bar scene]

Posted by: Bravo Romeo Delta at June 22, 2004 12:58 PM

Markus: I do find it interesting that so many of the people obsessed with how evil the Arabs are

Who are you talking to, exactly?

Posted by: Michael J. Totten at June 22, 2004 01:05 PM

Michael -- the people I have in mind stress Saudi involvement and complicity in the spread of Islamic extremism, and usually go a step further to 1)link this support with Arab culture and, especially, Arab religion (with obligatory Quranic jihad quotes) 2) see Saudi funding of hate-spewing madrassas as part of an intentional effort at sabatoge of the West and Jihad, as opposed to the half-assed attempt of a corrupt regime to coopt popular dissent by appeasing fundamentalists.

Ring a bell? Want specific people? I'm afraid Commentary Magazine's website doesn't let me look through their archives without paying up front... I'd say that Mary posts a lot of sentiments of this sort on her website (http://www.whataretheysaying.org/blog/)
Also, I'm not criticizing theses views here...only saying that if one holds them, shouldn't one also greatly desire to reduce the degree to which the whole world depends on thse unsavory characters for oil, and wouldn't one also be interested in the growing scientific indication that continued dependency on Arab oil could lead not only to more madrassas, but also to serious ecological difficulties?

Romeo -- I bring up the internal combustion engines and fuel efficiency, because they are important parts of dealing with the "grave and gathering threat" of man-made climate change that you seek to minimize.

ANWR under the best case scenario would yield about 2.5 million barrels a day...the world today consumes about 80 million barrels a day, and this amount rises by several billion a year. http://en.ce.cn/Insight/t20040611_1050107.shtml
I'll go along with drilling in ANWR, but only as part of a serious energy conservation/energy independence policy: raising CAFE standards on cars, imposing them on light trucks, fuel or carbon taxes, and making the US part of a revised Kyoto Treaty (one that includes China and India).

Posted by: Markus rose at June 22, 2004 02:00 PM


Hold up one second here, this "man-made climate change that you seek to minimize" is not something I seek to minimize. In fact, my essential argument is that the jury ain't back yet.

Secondly, ANWR in and of itself isn't a panacea - it is just another step in the larger picture.

But, I'm still waiting for this notion of what you propose to replace this internal combustion engine. That, and an explanation of what anarchic has to do with anything. Like it or not, petroleum products are the king of energy density for us right now. If you want to switch to something that is less energy dense, feel free, but have some strong compelling reasons to switch to something that is less efficient.

At any rate, I am still disputing the basic assertions you appear to be making about climatic change.

I'm also not sure I automatically buy the automatic connection between indepdendence and conservation you do.

Final interesting tidbit about your use of word "serious" to describe what would be needed in energy independence. Under the Ford Administration, the US adopted a stance of energy independendence. Since then the US has gone from obtaining 50% of its oil from foriegn sources to 60%. Whatever we've got now sure as heck ain't serious. On the flipside, all it would take to absolute scuttle any independence/conservation movement is for the Saudis to produce oil freely at market prices.

Posted by: Bravo Romeo Delta at June 22, 2004 02:41 PM


I agree with most of what Mary and Commentary Magazine, to use your examples, say about the Middle East. But if you take that to mean I think "Arabs are evil" it's really going to piss me off. I have Arab friends (yes, really, and we have interesting discussions about all this stuff), I'm learning Arabic, and I'll be in an Arab country less than two weeks from today. None of those things would be true if I thought "Arabs are evil."

Posted by: Michael J. Totten at June 22, 2004 02:41 PM

Michael - Thomas Friedman made this distinction during a question and answer session I saw him speak at during a book tour in Bethesda Maryland a couple years ago. I see the same distinction. We're talking gut feelings about other peoples motives here:

You hate Islamic extremism, its stupidity, violence and hostility toward Jews, women and the West because you think Arabs can do better.
You're genuninely interested in Arabs, their view of the world, and their future.

You're different from those who despise Islamic extremism, its stupidity, violence and hostility toward Jews, women and the West, because it threathens them, their own, and those they care about it. They would prefer a world were they wouldn't have to know anything more about Arabs than they currently know about people who live in Papua New Guinea, Gambia or the Faeroe Islands. They hate Arabs because they're mostly Islamic extremists. They don't expect them to do better. They're condescending assholes.

You're firmly in the first category, although I wonder why you seem to extend the benefit of the doubt to so many people whom to me clearly belong in the second category...

Posted by: Markus rose at June 22, 2004 04:35 PM

Bravo romeo -- I didn't say "anarchic" about internal combustion, I said "archaic." As in, old-fashioned. You know, if we can send a man to the moon, why are we still burning dinasour shit?...

I'm just starting to read up on this. Let me finish "The End of Oil" by Paul Roberts which I just started last night, and maybe I'll be able to say more...

Posted by: Markus Rose at June 22, 2004 04:40 PM

Want specific people? I'm afraid Commentary Magazine's website doesn't let me look through their archives without paying up front... I'd say that Mary posts a lot of sentiments of this sort on her website

Markus - do you disagree with things I've posted on my website? I assume, then, that you tried to comment, and the comments failed. If there's a problem with my comments section, just let me know. I made some modifications lately, there may be problems.

If you interpreted anything as being anti Arab, could you please point that out? I have mentioned the Arab militias that are currently enslaving & killing Sudanese for the crime of being black. Did you have a problem with that?

Otherwise, there's nothing I can think of.

Posted by: mary at June 22, 2004 05:39 PM

Nader entered public life a fraud. Thomas Sowell -- "Years later, extensive government tests showed that the Corvair's safety was comparable to that of similar cars of its era. But, by then, the Corvair was extinct -- killed off by the crusade that earned Nader a place as a kind of secular saint in the media." http://www.townhall.com/columnists/thomassowell/ts20040303.shtml Read Sowell's 'The Vision of the Anointed: Self-Congratulation As a Basis for Social Policy' for more on Nader. http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/046508995X/qid=1087964404/sr=1-4/ref=sr_1_4/104-7887635-0800732?v=glance&s=books

Posted by: Stephen M at June 22, 2004 09:28 PM

Grant & MJT,

Not trying to pick a fight (or argue about which order they finish), but it just ain't right to talk about "Greatest Presidents" without mentioning Washington....

Posted by: curmudgeon in san diego at June 22, 2004 11:08 PM

nader another fdr? he, and we, should only live so long.
my disillusionment with st. ralph, unlike grant mcentire's, doesn't even have to do w/his foreign policy, which i hadn't thought about. nader's idea of government is worse than command-and-control, it's discipline-and-punish. he'd rather stop the country in its tracks than let anybody try, let alone get away with, something he disapproves of _ which includes almost everything.
i haven't systematically studied it, but the impression i get from following his writings off and on over 30-odd years is that in nader's view:
-- no risk is ever worth taking;
-- no compromise is ever justified; and
-- no error is either trivial or innocent.
political give-and-take, of course, is corrupt by definition.
i suspect the good nader has managed to do, compared to what he's wanted to do, is something like upton sinclair writing 'the jungle' as a call for socialism and getting the pure food and drug act.

Posted by: greeneyeshade at June 23, 2004 12:36 AM


Dude, I only mentioned that FDR was the second greatest President we've ever had. And Michael only mentioned that Lincoln was the first (on which I totally agree, by the way).

If you would have asked me who #3 was, I would have said Washington. He was the only President who had it well within his power to become King. He turned it down and walked away. For that, he ought to go down as not only one of the greatest Presidents in America but also one of the greatest men in all of history.


Posted by: Grant McEntire at June 23, 2004 12:38 AM


Oh no, buddy, my disillusionment with Ralph Nader (no saint, I'm afraid) extends way beyond foreign policy! I just happened to pick that horse in the moment.

He came and spoke to a small crowd at my university a week or so ago. I was tempted to bring rotten vegetables.

Posted by: Grant McEntire at June 23, 2004 12:42 AM

One reason FDR fails, in my book, is that he had 8 full years, 1932-1938, to get America out of a Depression, and he failed, miserably. Then, instead of following Washington's (GREATEST pres.; significantly for leaving after two terms), example, decided he would hold on to power until death, much like African revolutionary bozos.

Yes, FDR had fantastic, soothing, words; and I truly believe he tried hard to be good (like Carter? best man, worst pres 20th). But FDR's social security system was unsustainable from inception, for instance; and like most Lefties he failed to understand that the best anti-poverty program involves more private, peacefully funded jobs.

(Funny how poor folk, for whom FDR tried hard, but basically failed, support him so much for his attempt. Similar to poor blacks who, for 30 years already, have supported Dems and Teacher's Unions, yet as Bill Cosby said, more than 50% of black boys still don't graduate from High School.)

Lincoln did 3 huge things: ended slavery (great!); kept the Union together (mediocre); fought the worst war America's been involved in (terrible). Reality is full of costs and benefits. No Lincoln lover I've talked to can answer this question:
how many Americans would have had to die in Lincoln's war before you think it was too many to be worth the benefits?

The UKIP party wants the UK out of the EU -- I support democratic states being able to leave prior "Unions". Lincoln decided to conquer the democratic Confederate States. If the UK leaves the EU, should France & Germany conquer it to make it stay? (The new EU Constitution provides a way to leave; I've read in a brief note).

Lincoln used too much violence; and created the conditions for making the United States a great Power; but the cost was too high. Peace and slavery containment was possible, and better (in hindsight).

Important is the fact that Brazil ended Slavery in 1886 without a civil war. There's no proof, but I believe Southern Slavery would have ended before Women could vote, even without the War.

Realistic costs & benefits are important for Iraq, too. Where, so far, the benefits for Afghan & Iraqi people seem pretty high, and the costs, in American lives & money, seem pretty low.

I do NOT believe the Islamic Middle East would have become democratic w/o the US army in Iraq. The access to oil for kleptocratic leaders is too easy. I'm certain Iran would have developed nukes; and sooner or later Iraq; and terrorists would get them, and use them. Again, no proof for this self-negating prophesy, since it's based on past inaction, already corrected. Still, until the main oil exporting countries are democracies, there's such a high probability of terrorists getting nukes/ WMDs, that I support forceful regime change.

(Nader's not really worth commenting on.)

Posted by: Tom Grey at June 23, 2004 07:54 AM

And Marc Cooper has a great post about his opposition to defending Clinton's perjury. His integrity goes up two notches!
(I don't think MJT would like Marc to get on his case, either -- not that there's much risk, so far.)

Posted by: Tom Grey at June 23, 2004 08:03 AM

Mary - As you know, I have written several times in your comments section, which works fine. I have no problem with you joining lots of other people in criticizing the barbarism (possibly genocide) going on in Sudan. I did find your suggestion of a Saudi government-Al Qaeda axis, and your endorsement of some kind of US push for Saudi regime change, unpersuasive, and I recall we had some exchanges on this matter. And I had picked up on a tone of contempt for Arabs in some of your posts and comments. Obviously, this is a subjective impression. I will now look in your archives for some supporting examples and I apologize in advance my associating you with such sentiments is genuninely unfair.

We digress. I should have been more careful in making my point, which remains: why do so many who oppose the Saudi government support also support energy policies that lead to greater U.S. and world dependence on Saudi oil?

Posted by: Markus Rose at June 23, 2004 09:06 AM


I consider FDR one of the worst presidents (tons of wasteful unconstitutional increases in the size and scope of government and internment of the Japanese. He also had no respect for the seperation of powers, threatening to "pack" the supreme court if they refused to approve the creation of his blatently illegal alphabet soup government agency bonanza). We have him to thank for the Ponzi scheme called Social Security. I do appreciate that, in the end, he committed the nation fully to WWII.

Lincoln can be thanked for the income tax, although he did end the blight of slavery.

Posted by: Matthew Cromer at June 23, 2004 11:06 AM

Sorry should say "thanked"

Posted by: Matthew Cromer at June 23, 2004 11:07 AM

Markus - Umm.. was the tone of contempt for Arabs present in the permanent links to Iraqi bloggers, the many posts inspired by those bloggers, or the many complaints about the German habit of beating up on Turkish immigrants?

I don’t see much to admire about Wahhabism, but I don’t like other homicidal cults (the Lord’s Resistance Army, Thugees) either. It’s just a silly prejudice, I know.

And all that silliness about a Saudi/al Qaeda alliance – it’s nuts, I know. Especially when the Saudis are currently promising to grant amnesty to all terrorists in the Kingdom. You can see what sworn enemies they are..

If you wanted to accuse me of bigotry, you could find plenty of examples of anti-UN, anti-PETA and anti-Chomsky stuff. Or you could link to this post with overtly homicidal implications.

why do so many who oppose the Saudi government support also support energy policies that lead to greater U.S. and world dependence on Saudi oil?

As a Prius owner who supports wind/hydrogen/waste recycling/solar/nuclear energy sources, I can’t begin to answer that question.

While your searching my site, I’ll reread your comments. As I recall, you said some interesting things.

Posted by: mary at June 23, 2004 01:20 PM

Mary -- I don't doubt that Al-Qaeda probably is being assisted by members of the Saudi security forces. I wouldn't be surprised if they receive assistance from members of the Pakistani armed forces as well. Or even members of the United States armed forces! But I don't think these makes the governments of these countries directly complicit. The fact is that militant Islam is an ideological cancer, and its growing.

I think its important to distinguish between Wahhabism and militant Islam, on the one hand, and Islam, on the other, and you appear to neglect to do this in posts such as this, from May 12:

"What would happen if everyone knew the truth about Islam?"

in which the words "knew", "truth" and "islam" are hyperlinked to, respectively, an account of the bigoted statements of Sheikh Abd Al-Rahman Al-Sudayyis, an account of the killings in Sudan, and an account of Irshad Manji's book. Now I actually find all of these links interesting, informative and somewhat persuasive (particularly Ms. Manji's viewpoint, my comments to the post at the time notwithstanding). But the context in which you present them creates an unfair generalization about the whole religion.

Anyway, this and similar posts are what came to mind when Michael asked me for examples of people who were "obsessed with how evil the Arabs are..." I think that I went bit too far and I should have chosen my words more carefully.

Posted by: Markus Rose at June 23, 2004 03:47 PM

Marcus – like most westerners, I try to make a distinction between militant Islam and moderate Islam. From my point of view, as a non Muslim, it appears that militant Islam has about as much in common with mainstream Islam as Christian white supremacists have in common with mainstream Christianity. Militant Islam appears to have gained more power than it should because of generous funding from wealthy Islamists. The fact that nearly all of the wealthy folks in Islamic countries also rule those countries leads me to believe that the governments of these nations are heavily involved.

Iraqis call the foreign insurgents ‘Wahhabis’. It’s also a fact that Wahhabism inspired the current Islamist revolution. They’re not following Sufi traditions.

I chose to refer to just ‘Islam’ in that post because ‘Islam’ is the word used by Irshad Manji. In fact, most moderate Muslims don’t make a distinction between militant Islam and regular Islam. I don’t know why they fail to make that distinction. Do you?

And back to Ralph Nader, he does have a lot in common with Buchanan, doesn't he?

Posted by: mary at June 23, 2004 07:09 PM

oops - Markus..

Posted by: mary at June 23, 2004 07:10 PM

>>>"If Camejo could muster more than 100 Republican or conservative votes (disgruntled or not) nationwide it would be a miracle. So much for Nader’s notion of appealing across ideological lines."

Cooper's wrong. Nader isn't trying to win GOP votes or appeal across party lines. He's trying to siphon off, or threaten to siphon off Democratic votes on their left fringe. If he's successful at that, he'll get their attention. That's all he wants, their attention, and some crumbs off their table.

Posted by: David at June 23, 2004 09:31 PM

Nader, Buchanan --

they agree on a few issues, which happen to be the ones that both are stressing these days (Middle East policy, trade).

The American Conservative is printed on the same paper and looks a lot like the Nation.

they're both marginalized outsiders with small followings. That's the key similarity, I think. Republicans don't take Buchanan seriously. And unless he's running for President, the Democratic Party doesn't take Nader and his ideas very seriously.

Their cultural gulf is as wide as can be. I don't see how an actual alliance between them could ever work, and the only people who seem even a little enthusiastic about one are eccentric leftists like Gore Vidal or Alexander Cockburn.

(an interesting thing about the history of Pat's kind of economic populism is that it used to get a great deal of support from Christian fundamentalists. William Jennings Bryan, for instance.)

personality wise, I've always liked Pat, seems like a nice guy who would make a decent neighbor. Ralph seems much less likable, I wouldn't be surprised at all to find out that he's a major league asshole as a human being.

Posted by: Markus Rose at June 24, 2004 07:29 AM
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