Hillary Clinton

Spoiling for a(nother) Fight

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Ralph Nader has creaked the baby-proofed door open for another presidential bid. His fourth (or fifth, if you count his 1992 write-in campaign).

BLITZER: [I]f Hillary Clinton gets the Democratic nomination, would that encourage you to go forward and put your name on the ballot?

NADER: It would make it more important that that be the case.

Electorally, this is pretty meaningless. The 2000 election ruined Nader's reputation among his prospective supporters. From that election to 2004, his vote collaped by 84 percent, from 2,883,105 to 463,655. He's not expecting to have any electoral impact; he just wants to keep his name on peoples' lips and sell some books. (Notice which Democrats he says could get him to stay out of the race, if they won the nomination: Dennis Kucinich and Mike Gravel.)

If you're actually still interested in Nader, it's a good time to read Justin Raimondo's close-but-no-clove-cigarette 2004 Nader endorsement.

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  1. Clove? Cigarette?

    You misunderstand Nader: this isn’t about selling books. He’s — I know it’s hard to believe, especially if … well, never mind — actually quite sincere.

  2. Heh heh.

    I think back to Nader’s 1992 campaign. At the time I drove a 1963 Corvair and thought it would be ironic to have a “Nader for President” bumper sticker on it.

    So I contacted his campaign office and had them mail me a bumper sticker.

    I could never quite bring myself to actually put it on the car, and for years I kept receiving annoying calls from his campaign (and later the Green party) soliciting money, votes, maybe some of my time.

    I finally got fed up and told the poor granola chick that called me why I wanted the bumper sticker, and to stop wasting their time and money calling a Minarchist libertarian trying to get support. Poor girl sounded like I’d just shot her puppy afterward, thanked me and hung up.

    I never heard from them again.

    Anyway, as far as I can tell, I actually cost him money instead of made him money, so I’m not sure if running again is a good idea for him from a financial position (not like he knows anything about finance or economics, nor does he care).

  3. Justin, I only mean that your endorsement suggested Nader was more libertarian than anyone might have suspected, but that it didn’t convince me that he deserved the votes of libertarians (or the “old right”). I’m not sure how sincere he is. His oddball attempt, in 2004, to win the Green nomination by not running for it, convinced me that he’s really just in it for the adoration and the attention these days.

    And “clove cigarette” was maybe a pun too far.

  4. I’m with Justin on the sincerity question. If Nader wanted adoration, he wouldn’t keep up a pattern of behavior sure to further alienate his former friends in the Democratic Party.

  5. Everyone sticks to the golden-egg laying goose.

  6. Jesse

    It’s more about his self-image of courageous and righteous crusader against the evils of the world. Whatever makes him look good in his own mind is right, regardless of the consequences.

    Nader is useful to have around. From a libertarian perspective, he has a 90% track record of being wrong. If I haven’t got time to research an issue, I check Nader’s position and go the opposite way.

    As for the adoration, Nader couldn’t alienate his fan base unless he committed gross indecency in front of the Lincoln Memorial. To his supporters, he’s against Big Corporations and therefore Can Do No Wrong.

  7. 00=====D

  8. “actually quite sincere”

    I have no reason to doubt this. The man is a dickhead, but I’m not sure he can help it.

    If I can troll for three seconds here: does anybody else see a parallel between the LP and Nader in the sense (and only in this sense) that the LP and Nader have a position and will take actions, sometimes herculean efforts, that work against their own ideals because they can’t compromise or make a practical concession?

  9. Ah, but the question before the house is will the American Left have wised up by now? Will they run away screaming from Nader, or will he be able to sway enough petulant college kids who hate “global capitalism” because their Rage Against The Machine CD said so?

  10. Akira

    Is that the “Rage Against the Machine CD” produced by SONY or the one produced by Turner?

  11. “If I can troll for three seconds here: does anybody else see a parallel between the LP and Nader in the sense (and only in this sense) that the LP and Nader have a position and will take actions, sometimes herculean efforts, that work against their own ideals because they can’t compromise or make a practical concession?”

    Yes, though I really don’t understand Nader’s guiding principles. It is this fuzzy notion that we are all being screwed all the time, and if you just pass enough regulations that won’t happen anymore. Because, you know, regulatory bodies don’t screw anyone.

  12. Ralph Nader: Unsafe In Any Year

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