Ralph repents? Or something?
October 31, 2002 10:40 PM   Subscribe

Ralph repents? Or something? The man many Democrats see as just a few steps short of an evil spawn of Satan for being a 2000 election spoiler has issued statements of support for 13 non-Green candidates in tight races. These are all Democrats, including Jean Carnahan (Mo.), Tim Johnson (S.D.) and Tom Strickland (Co.). "I certainly don't want Republicans controlling Congress," Nader said. What happened to the "things have to get worse before they get better" theory? Or has the situation in D.C. indeed grown so bad that at least some Dems. are turning far enough left for Nader? (Note: He'd thrown support behind Wellstone, even though there's a Green candidate for Senate in Minn.)
posted by raysmj (44 comments total)

 
Again (and again, and again, and again, and again, and again, and again, and again) ... it is arrogant, simplistic and offensive to call Nader a spoiler. That assumes that my vote would have gone to Gore if Nader wasn't there. Guess what? That's bullshit.
posted by RavinDave at 11:40 PM on October 31, 2002


Man. I am steering so clear of this thread that I can see my hand through it.
posted by tweebiscuit at 11:57 PM on October 31, 2002


Do I really need to point out that many Democrats did indeed call Nader a spoiler? Is that somehow not a fact now? Did I need to put "alleged" in there, like in a police blotter? If so, consider this a clarification, and the last you'll hear from me. Carry on.
posted by raysmj at 12:00 AM on November 1, 2002


Yeap, democrats who bitch about nader can eat a cock. I really can't stand those people.

Al Gore is one of the most obnoxious, arrogant, boring people in the world. I had no idea how bad bush would be, and might have voted for him or not bothered (or perhaps even voted for heiglan(sp?)) if it hadn't been for Nader. Not all of us are idiot party-line zealots who only care about their 'team' winning but seem to believe that the other team is super-evil or some other idiotic crap.

That said, bush has turned out way worse then most people would have imagined.
posted by delmoi at 12:08 AM on November 1, 2002


Oops, broke my own rule.

Look, do we really need to hear the "Was Nader a spoiler?" argument again? This shit has been going on for two years now -- we all know the arguments, we all know what we think, and we're just going all end up hating each other.

(Metafilter: We all hate each other.)
posted by tweebiscuit at 12:12 AM on November 1, 2002


Yeap, democrats who bitch about nader can eat a cock.

ha
posted by Steve_at_Linnwood at 12:15 AM on November 1, 2002


Listen you fuckwits...

Wait. Nevermind. Carry on. Thought I was somewhere else.
posted by Ljubljana at 12:21 AM on November 1, 2002


Breaking my own rule here too, but for a good reason. A correction: Nader has released statements of praise for 13 House Democrats, in addition to assisting the Senate Democrats mentioned in the FPP.
posted by raysmj at 12:51 AM on November 1, 2002


"To that end, Mr. Nader is giving Democrats credit for their stances on issues important to his consumer advocacy group, Public Citizen, though he is not exactly endorsing them."

So I take it, that in races with a both a Green candidate and a Democrat candidate he is endorsing the Green, but saying nice things about the Dem?

I guess my question is one of strategy and not of policy:

What do the Democrats plan to do with Nadder in '04? Can you stop him from running? Do you encourage the Reform party, in an attempt to split the Republican vote as well?
posted by Steve_at_Linnwood at 1:16 AM on November 1, 2002


Speaking of Nader, here are 480 reasons why he continues to be an important voice, in American politics.
posted by Beholder at 1:17 AM on November 1, 2002


So does this mean that Nader concedes there really is a difference between the two major parties?
posted by nofundy at 4:48 AM on November 1, 2002


nofundy: Between Green & DNC, or DNC & GOP?
posted by Steve_at_Linnwood at 5:09 AM on November 1, 2002


I'm more liberal than the Democrats, however I will always vote for a Dem in federal elections because not only are they the "lesser of the two evils" (I can't just not vote) but also I cannot in good conscience let the Republicans have control as that will worsen my own cause. Supreme Court and federal judge nominations are VERY important and affect us all for a long time to come. I admit it's not the most noble way to go, but having someone on the other side get to pick a Supreme Court justice that will be there for decades makes me sick (and I would expect conservatives to feel the same way, and act similarly). So reading this makes me say to Nader, "F*$! you assh#le!" for 2000. Harsh, I admit, but that was my reaction.
posted by evening at 5:27 AM on November 1, 2002


Yeap, democrats who bitch about nader can eat a cock.

I hear most of them prefer game hens.
posted by adampsyche at 5:37 AM on November 1, 2002


What I can't stand is the Green Party line that there is no difference between the two mainline parties. The motivating message that Nader spread - vote for me because really there is just one Republicrat party running this country - was complete bullshit. There are important and serious differences between the parties and their longstanding domination of the American political scene is not evidence to the contrary.

I think that at least some of the Democratic anger at the Greens came/still comes from this attitude.

And fine, I can understand people being pissed at the assumption that their vote would have gone to Gore in the absence of Nader in the election. However, Bush only "won" Florida by a couple of hundred votes, and according to CNN, Nader received 96,837 votes. Is it so unlikely that even 1% of the people who voted for Nader would have voted for Gore had Nader not run? I don't think so. Nader's absence from the race would have kept a lot of his supporters home, but I think enough would have voted for Gore to tip the balance, and that is why I think the label "spoiler" still applies.

**sits back to await cock.***
posted by thewittyname at 5:39 AM on November 1, 2002


480 reasons, one for every voter who turned out for him on election day. Maybe some other "important" political figures will turn out for the Democrats like Roger Clinton or Gary Condit. He couldn't swing 5% in 2000 who cares who he backs now.
posted by Pollomacho at 6:19 AM on November 1, 2002


Stolen from some satire site, now probably defunct.

WASHINGTON (Reuters) -- Speaking at the National Press Club, Ralph Nader argued that his organization "Ralph Nader" (formerly the Green Party) was still relevant because "everything is the same except us." Asked for clarification, Nader said to the crowd, "quick, name two things." Someone shouted "Elephant," someone else, "toaster." "No difference," Nader replied. "If you want toast, you may as well stick pieces of bread in an elephant." Nader refused to take anymore questions because "all questions are the same."
posted by ednopantz at 6:24 AM on November 1, 2002


You know, this reminds me of that old question about West Virginians:

Q: If you divorce your wife, is she still your sister?
A: Yes, and she can home for Christmas, too.

Which is how I feel towards Ralph in this context--c'mon home for Christmas, honey.
posted by y2karl at 7:17 AM on November 1, 2002


I had no idea how bad bush would be

You didn't?!? It was all there to see, man....
posted by rushmc at 7:20 AM on November 1, 2002


actually, nader's argument wasn't that both parties were exactly the same, just that "both" presidential candidates were being funded by the same corporate interests and would inevitably enact similar legislation on behalf of their benefactors.
posted by mcsweetie at 7:24 AM on November 1, 2002


Wow, my comment is still up. I thought it might have got deleted by now :P

Anyway, I'm not sure if these 'endorsements' or whatever correlate with the specific 'tight' races or not, but it is entirely possible that he simply endorsed candidates that he actualy felt were good, rather then worrying about control of the government.
posted by delmoi at 7:31 AM on November 1, 2002


Well since Nader pulled a whopping 2% in Missouri, I'm sure his endorsement of Carnahan will mean the deciding factor there once again (Gore won Missouri in 2000 by 4%, twice Naders totals, Carnahan's DEAD husband won his race by more than Nader got for pres. as well)

On a side note, which is a worse proposition, Ashcroft loses and becomes Attorney General in 2000 or wins and the Senate keeps Republican majority?
posted by Pollomacho at 7:49 AM on November 1, 2002


On a side note, which is a worse proposition, Ashcroft loses and becomes Attorney General in 2000 or wins and the Senate keeps Republican majority?

**Head explodes and feathers descend.**

Ralph hasn't said whether he'll make another run in '04 or not. I'm guessing it'll be another very tight election and he will realize that he won't get his 5% (again) and probably save himself the time and money. If it's not looking like it will be a close election, then I'm guessing he'll run. He's a smart man. Sometimes he does get a bit blinded by his own personal goals, though. (and yes, I supported him in '00 and have no regrets).
posted by Ufez Jones at 8:03 AM on November 1, 2002


Repent? I think not.
posted by rbellon at 8:13 AM on November 1, 2002


There are important and serious differences between the parties and their longstanding domination of the American political scene is not evidence to the contrary.

"Important and serious" is a matter of opinion. Everyone is concerned with different problems, and there's nothing strange about the idea that there might be quite a few voters who feel that neither of the major American parties is interested in their concerns.
posted by Mars Saxman at 8:17 AM on November 1, 2002


That said, bush has turned out way worse then most people would have imagined.

I did my research. Didn't you? Voting for the lesser of 3 evils is just as silly as voting for the lesser of 2.
posted by jragon at 8:41 AM on November 1, 2002


I'm now regretting my vote for Nader in '00, since he is endorsing Carnahan in MIssouri at the expense of a perfectly good Green candidate. I voted Nader (despite the fact that I disagree with nearly everything the man stands for) because I felt the man stood behind his principles and I was sick of him getting the high hat from the two major parties. But now, I guess even poor, touselled, principled Ralph bows low to the DNC. So fuck him. He can go on and be the most boring sociology professor at Bumblefuck Community College for all I care.

Carnahan is a gubernatorial appointee who was appointed to the Senate (single digit salute for you voters!) after her husband was killed prior to the election but the voters of Missouri still voted for him (OK, his opponent was Ashcroft, but for pete's sake the guy was DEAD! A dead guy! sheesh). That Nader endorses her and snubs the Green candidate (a scrappy lib named Dan Romano, for all you playing at home) simply because she's the incumbent is horseshit.

A sad day for alternative party politics.
posted by UncleFes at 8:48 AM on November 1, 2002


Sweet, sweet vindication.

"I certainly don't want Republicans controlling Congress," Nader said.
Wow, Nader gets it. Two years too late, but he gets it.

Evening, thank you. I had given up hope that even a single far-left person understood the whole point.
posted by Ynoxas at 8:56 AM on November 1, 2002


Well UncleFes you've still got Pat Buchanan.

So if the people of MO rejected Ashcroft for a CORPSE, why is it that we languish complacent while he sits in a far more powerful position?
posted by Pollomacho at 8:58 AM on November 1, 2002


Well UncleFes you've still got Pat Buchanan.

Hey, yeah!

*cheers up, digs brown shirt out of trunk in attic*

why is it that we languish complacent while he sits in a far more powerful position?


Because it's an appointed position. No voter put Ashcroft in as AG anymore than they put Carnahan in as Senator from the Show-Me state.

Ah, it's all going to be academic in a two years. Bush'll be out, some Democrat will be in, and all the good and bad Bush has done will be replced with the good and bad the new guy does. Business as usual.
posted by UncleFes at 9:06 AM on November 1, 2002


Ynoxas, if every far-left voter had missed the point, Nader would have pulled far more votes than he did. There are some of us out there that understood compromise long before November 2000. Were that maybe 1 or 2% of the FL Nader voters understood the point, things might be quite different now (or less different than they are from Nov. 2000)
posted by Pollomacho at 9:09 AM on November 1, 2002



"I certainly don't want Republicans controlling Congress," Nader said.


Wow, Nader gets it. Two years too late, but he gets it.



Well, without all the Nader supporters coming out to vote in the 2000 Presidential election, it's unlikely Democrats would have control of the Senate like they have today.
posted by gyc at 9:58 AM on November 1, 2002


Well, it isn't like Nader came out to support Landrieu who's running on an "I support Bush!" Democrat ticket. There's no green opponent here, and there might even be a runoff although I doubt it.
posted by mblandi at 10:12 AM on November 1, 2002


Al Gore is one of the most obnoxious, arrogant, boring people in the world.

...The thing I never got was how being boring is a reasonable objection to a presidential candidate. Vote against him cause you don't like his policies, but not because he's boring. I can think of a few reasons why having a boring leader would be advantageous.

I always thought that you voted on platforms, not on charisma or lack thereof. But then I'm a Canadian....
posted by SoftRain at 10:18 AM on November 1, 2002


Ynoxas, thank you for understanding as well! It's always nice to know you're not alone :)

And I agree, SoftRain, that one should vote on platforms, not the way one looks, etc. And since when is intelligence a bad thing for a world leader? Hopefully people have learned from this debacle that when you have a less than bright person in charge it reflects badly on the entire country, let alone does horrible things to it (like letting Ashcroft do whatever he wants). How many of us are actually embarrassed to be American when Bush says some really stupid things?

I'll end my rant there before I get into too much trouble.
posted by evening at 10:30 AM on November 1, 2002


This is just the kind of crazy talk we've come to expect from or "neighbors" up in Canadia! Voting on platforms and not on pizzazz, sheesh, next you'll be expecting candidates to be coherent and stand for "issues", why don't we just let the commies have the launch codes and get it over with?!? This is obviously coming from a country that doesn't have the guts to take it all the way to the hoop with a real American hero like our man Bush!
posted by Pollomacho at 11:24 AM on November 1, 2002


I always thought that you voted on platforms, not on charisma or lack thereof.

Apparently, the (almost) majority of Americans, like women, prefer to choose "dangerous and unstable" over "staid and predictable."
posted by rushmc at 11:50 AM on November 1, 2002


I would agree with Nader that there is no difference between the major parties. I am just as unhappy with Bush as I was with Clinton. What seems funny to me is that everyone is acting like night and day have switched. Most of the arguments that go on these days are all about how the current guy is doing the same stuff the last guy did. Depending on who you voted for, your arguments have flip flopped.
posted by thirteen at 11:59 AM on November 1, 2002


Apparently, the (almost) majority of Americans, like women

The majority of Americans ARE women. But I'm not sure what that has to do with anything.
posted by Mars Saxman at 12:26 PM on November 1, 2002


I think Nader has just said that there IS difference between the parties. What part of "I certainly don't want Republicans controlling Congress" was unclear? Nader knows that although not as far left as he, the Democrats generally can and do enact legislation that is much closer to his personal stance than the Republicans generally enact. The President has very little power to steer the boat left or right he is only the one who executes the will of the legislation that's why they call it the executive branch and not the dictatorial branch, as of now anyway.
posted by Pollomacho at 12:43 PM on November 1, 2002


thirteen writes: Most of the arguments that go on these days are all about how the current guy is doing the same stuff the last guy did.

Way overstated, I think. Some arguments start over people accusing the last administration of doing things the current one does also, and vice-versa. But many of these similarities are not ideological in nature: such as the Pres campaigning on the taxpayer's dime. While admittedly Clinton wasn't even remotely as liberal as his image (both favorable and unfavorable) suggested, he and Bush are still polar opposites on some very basic issues and their cabinet appointments are downright extremist when compared to each other.
posted by George_Spiggott at 2:21 PM on November 1, 2002


I think those differences seem more extreme when you like one more than the other. I do not care for either , and would have a very hard time deciding whether or not Ashcroft was worse than Reno or not. Obviously there are differences between the parties, but not enough to matter to me, both of their goals are dystopian.
posted by thirteen at 2:42 PM on November 1, 2002


Is this the same Ralph Nader who hemmed and hawed about supporting Paul Wellstone? Paul Wellstone, the liberal's liberal? I think Ralph's time is finally up.

I had given up hope that even a single far-left person understood the whole point.

That's what happens when you read Metafilter.
posted by owillis at 3:08 PM on November 1, 2002


Well, without all the Nader supporters coming out to vote in the 2000 Presidential election, it's unlikely Democrats would have control of the Senate like they have today.

I guess I should mention that the Democrat's control of the Senate has nothing to do with the 2000 Presidential election and has everything to do with one man who jumped into the middle of the aisle.
posted by Matt_K at 3:31 PM on November 1, 2002


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