Re: If this is gonna be that kind of party...

1

Wow, a rare case of Apo pwnership.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 02-24-08 7:15 AM
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Was this already linked in the comments? I haven't been around much recently.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 02-24-08 7:29 AM
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Yep. I couldn't find the comment, though.

I knew someone who was a grad student at Texas A&M. She told me that a significant fraction of the white kids there wondered why black kids had to come there, since they already had Prairie View A&M.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 02-24-08 7:41 AM
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Here was the comment.

I beg your indulgence to gloat for a moment: I PWNED APO!!!! I PWNED APO!!one!


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 02-24-08 7:44 AM
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Awesome indeed.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 02-24-08 7:44 AM
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All we Texans are awesome thank you. I myself may walk three miles for orphaned dogs today.

I have not seen enough in Obama to believe he deserves this, or so much more than Clinton to think Obama deserves this. Obama is not promising MLK level change, fuck he isn't even promising to end the war.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02-24-08 7:53 AM
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Drat, McManus pwned.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02-24-08 7:53 AM
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Trolling is undignified, Sifu. And it won't make us click through to your website.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 02-24-08 8:01 AM
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Aaaaaand, Nader's running.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 02-24-08 8:04 AM
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What an unbelievable moron.

I hope -- actually I'm reasonably confident on this score -- he doesn't break three dozen votes.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02-24-08 8:07 AM
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Nader's running? Now that's trolling on a grand scale.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 02-24-08 8:14 AM
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Have I been plagiarized? Is the footnote in 7 an acceptable format? Can we ruin Tweety's internet career, exiling him to some obscure backwater blog?


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 02-24-08 8:15 AM
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Yeah, it isn't clear to me who he believes his constituency is at this point.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 02-24-08 8:21 AM
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Seriously, Sifu. Who do you think your constituency is?


Posted by: mrh | Link to this comment | 02-24-08 8:25 AM
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Listen to me speak and you'll have your answer.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02-24-08 8:27 AM
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Nader's in! Thank goddess! I'm off to shear the alpaca so I can knit a Vote Ralph t-shirt.


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 02-24-08 8:29 AM
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Alpaca fur t-shirts are itchy.


Posted by: washerdreyer | Link to this comment | 02-24-08 8:31 AM
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That better be an organic alpaca, Goneril.

Resolved: It is immoral for Ralph Nader to run for President.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 02-24-08 8:32 AM
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Self-knit hair-shirts are virtuous.


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 02-24-08 8:33 AM
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Resolved: It is immoral for Ralph Nader to run for President.

Eh, he's assumed crazy old man status now. I think he just likes being on TV. I'll take side bets on whether he gets more votes than LaRouche.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 02-24-08 8:38 AM
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I am with Cala in 18. Nader is a self-absorbed ass.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 02-24-08 8:38 AM
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Immoral, I don't know. Obnoxious, certainly.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 02-24-08 8:43 AM
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15: Human sacrifice, dogs and cats living voting together - mass hysteria.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 02-24-08 8:46 AM
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Nader/LaRouche '12! Double the none!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02-24-08 8:52 AM
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18: Actually, it's a cyborg.

Alpaca Augmenters for Nader!


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 02-24-08 8:52 AM
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Eh, I don't think you can any problems that might arise on Nader this time through. It's on any '08 Nader voters.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 02-24-08 8:54 AM
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Former Senator Phil Gramm was fond of announcing that he had had "a lifelong love affair with Texas A&M."

The only times I have ever heard my father use a multisyllabic obscenity were when Gramm appeared on television.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 02-24-08 9:10 AM
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You know who I wish was running?

Zombie Harold Stassen.


Posted by: Wry Cooter | Link to this comment | 02-24-08 9:18 AM
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He could have Zombie Pat Paulsen for VP.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 02-24-08 9:22 AM
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Zombie Sargent Shriver would be a good choice if he wasn't married to Shwarzenegger.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02-24-08 9:24 AM
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30 - Sargent Shriver is still alive.


Posted by: Wry Cooter | Link to this comment | 02-24-08 10:01 AM
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he's assumed crazy old man status now.

That's not a far stretch from the crazy young man who thought the Corvair of the early Sixties was "Unsafe At Any Speed". That asshole-publicity-hound should rot in a badly staffed nursing home.


Posted by: Biohazard | Link to this comment | 02-24-08 10:01 AM
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32 - the Corvair was not unsafe at any speed?


Posted by: Wry Cooter | Link to this comment | 02-24-08 10:02 AM
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A strong indicator of the insanity of the Republican party is Tom Delay's denunciation of Texas A&M and Baylor as too liberal.

People who denounce Harvard are batshit crazy, but Delay doesn't feel that they're crazy enough. He had to trump them. There can't be more than a couple of dozen fully-accredited colleges in the U.S. conservative enough for DeLay.

And before the law caught up with him, he was one of the ten most powerful men in U.S. government.

Next time you run into a Republican who regards himself as intelligent and sane, throw DeLay in their face. He stands to the Republican Party as Ward Churchill would to the Democratic Party, if a.) Churchill were actually a Democrat and b.) Churchill had once been the most powerful man in the House of Representatives.

Really, purging your life of your semi-criminal Republican idiot friends is cleansing and liberating, like taking a bath or giving up sniffing glue.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 02-24-08 10:07 AM
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31: don't ruin my fantasy, man.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02-24-08 10:07 AM
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Bullshit, Biohazard.

Democrats are such fucking morons. It's people like you that drove Nader crazy.

Nader's mistake during his early career was believing that it was possible to talk to Republicans. He refused to work with the Democrats in a partisan way, and ended up finding that they ignored him too. When Clinton was elected he had hopes that Clinton wouldn't be a corporate stooge, but they were false hopes. Clinton owed Nader nothing, and he owed the corporate groups tens or hundreds of millions of dollars, and we see how it turned out.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 02-24-08 10:11 AM
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I saw a Corvair once with a Nader-related license plate. Of course, I can't remember what it said now, but it amused me at the time.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 02-24-08 10:16 AM
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And now he's potentially running against Barack Obama, who has so many small donors he is less reliant than any major party candidate in memory on corporate money.

He's an American hero, that Nader.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02-24-08 10:16 AM
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33: It was trial-lawyer unsafe and G.M. was as stupid back then as it was later when the Japanese cars started making inroad into their market. However, I and lots of others raced Corvairs in gymkhanas and never had one flip while VWs used to tip over with ease.

36: Nader's mistake is he thinks he's at least a godlet if not more. So far he's given us GWB. What's next?


Posted by: Biohazard | Link to this comment | 02-24-08 10:21 AM
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24, 30: Lyndon has his theories about this year's election, but does not seem to be offering himself as an alternative. Maybe he will do so in 2012.

Democratic option: Following the London orchestration of Obama's downfall, Hillary Clinton is also eliminated in some way, and Bloomberg's machine grabs the Presidency and, with the support of Schwarzenegger, institutes the immediate reign of a neo-Schachtian, corporativist fascist program of Lazard Frères-created George Shultz 'revolution in military affairs' crony Felix Rohatyn, in the U.S.A."

The "Republican option" includes: the not entirely excluded possibility of Lenora Fulani as successor to Condoleezza Rice.

I nominate "not entirely excluded possibility" as the ur-litotes of political speculation.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 02-24-08 10:25 AM
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Lazard Frères-created George Shultz 'revolution in military affairs' crony Felix Rohatyn

Wha?


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 02-24-08 10:37 AM
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42

40 - is there a link for that?


Posted by: Wry Cooter | Link to this comment | 02-24-08 10:38 AM
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42: Yes, here at LaRouche's Executive Intelligence Review.

Check out "Is the Devil in Your Laptop" while you are there.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 02-24-08 10:45 AM
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I believe that Nader also went after the VWs, but got less PR and $$ for it. The old VW was very unsafe, though people tended not to think about it much.

Corvair anecdote rejected. Sorry.

People are reading back from now and 2000 to beginning of his career, and that's bullshit. And it sort of does show what's wrong with the Democrats.

A lot of the stuff that hurts the Democrats now (voter suppression, inane and biased media) was stuff that the Democrats allowed to happen over the protests of The Nation, Chomsky, Nader, and various other leftists who have been disappeared by the received wisdom. In many cases individual Democrats consented to these things either because they had received large sums of money from the malefactors, or because they felt that their "centrist" faction within the party would be helped.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 02-24-08 10:51 AM
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Ralph Nader vs. Volkswagen

This is the best I can find, but I'm pretty confident that Nader did criticize the VWs.

Googling Nader brings up a lot of intemperate nastiness from Corvair lovers, Democrats, and free-marketers.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 02-24-08 10:58 AM
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Seatbelts will kill us all one day, John.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02-24-08 10:59 AM
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There was enough black voter suppression in Florida to swing the 2000 election, but the Gore people told Jesse Jackson to lay off. Fucking Democrats. They'd rather lose and blame Nader than win and owe Jesse Jackson something.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 02-24-08 11:03 AM
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So far he's given us GWB. What's next?

A punching bag? Call it a public service.

Nader does, yeah, seem basically crazy, or at least completely inscrutable at this point. Haven't there been some anecdata to the effect that if Hillary wins the Dem nomination, some people intend to vote third party? There you go.

If we wind up with a President McCain, somebody will have to shoulder the blame, and it probably won't be the terrorists.

John is right here:

People are reading back from now and 2000 to beginning of his career, and that's bullshit.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 02-24-08 11:06 AM
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49

Blame is not like a pie, where every time you cut off a piece, there's less to go around for everyone.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 02-24-08 11:09 AM
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On a more cheerful note, my liberal friend's Republican GF hates McCain and is OK with Obama. Politics works in mysterious ways. I should have kept my mouth shut, but I'm rational to a fault. I asked her why she didn't like McCain, who's a 95% pure conservative and quite an impressive guy. She basically doesn't like him because he's a politician and makes political deals. I quit arguing, since I only carry rationality so far, but how silly can you get?

Obama really is a blank slate that people project things on, but that's OK I think. Irrationality allows some people to back away from their toxic political beliefs without admitting that they've changed their mind or that they were wrong. I'm sure that the couple is happier now that politics isn't an issue.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 02-24-08 11:13 AM
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But blaming Nader has allowed a lot of Democrats to avoid looking at themselves. Motherfucking Democrats. Motherfucking two-party system. Motherfucking U.S. of A.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 02-24-08 11:14 AM
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So far he's given us GWB. What's next?

A punching bag? Call it a public service.

Really?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02-24-08 11:16 AM
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49: I know! We should make a bumper-sticker out of that.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 02-24-08 11:16 AM
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If you guys (Democrats) had been trying to dialogue with the left instead of trying to dialogue with the mythical "rational conservative" unicorns and mirages, we'd all be a lot better off now.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 02-24-08 11:19 AM
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But blaming Nader has allowed a lot of Democrats to avoid looking at themselves.

The day after we inaugurate President Obama, I'll go back to reading the leftist press from Europe and flirting with Green politics.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 02-24-08 11:20 AM
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I just now decided I'm not going to fight about this on two blogs at once.

I


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02-24-08 11:22 AM
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Sheeeit. I <3 u, John!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02-24-08 11:22 AM
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I wasn't talking about considering a left alternative. A lot of the left was willing to work with the Democrats and tried to help them out and clue them in (e.g. on media consolidation and voter suppression), but after 1988 the Democrats refused to listen. That's what the DLC was all about, and the DLC power in the Democratic Party was really only broken about 2004 or 2005.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 02-24-08 11:25 AM
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Come again?


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 02-24-08 11:26 AM
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I agree with 58, but puzzlingly have completely different opinions about Nader. I think the missing piece is that John and I are soulmates.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02-24-08 11:27 AM
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Way back in the day (1971):

"I agree with Ralph Nader," says William Ruckelshaus, administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency. "We are in danger of creating a water wasteland if we permit to happen in the future what has happened in the past." Ruckelshaus promises "radical changes" in law enforcement.

Context: Nader's group really leading the way on some pioneering efforts on pollution laws, Nixon's EPA head publicly agreeing (he may have been talking out his ass, but imagine anyone in Bushco responding positively to a report of that nature.) Since then I think both Nader and the National Republican Party have gone completely in the tank (repubs mostly already in there in '71). I agree with John on not retroactively demonizing Nader for his early work, but can we not all agree that he has had what amounts to a "Bobby Fisher lite" personality meltdown and today serves merely as a cautionary tale of what happens when the man becomes the message.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 02-24-08 11:30 AM
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52: I don't see your point. I don't really want to fight about whether Nader is to blame for GWB, and therefore Iraq, either.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 02-24-08 11:31 AM
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I was just pointing out that claiming that allowing GWB to take power -- whether or not that's what actually happened -- was in any way a "public service" is really, really gross.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02-24-08 11:32 AM
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Sifu, there's a smart fight here and a dumb fight over there. But I'll go over there and smarten it up, if that's what you want.

I'm not defending Nader now or Nader in 2004, and what he did in 2000 was a disaster. On the other hand, people are reading 2000 etc. back on his whole career, and that's bullshit since it's not done in an intelligent way. (There is a common thread from the beginning: an unwillingness to work within American party politics. But it only became fatal in 2000.)

There were multiple problems in 2000, and Nader was one of them. Anti-Nader screamers tend not even to know about the other problems. (For example, what I just said about voter suppression and Jesse Jackson. I learned about that from the Guardian, BTW, not from Democrats or from any Americanpublication. George Palast).


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 02-24-08 11:33 AM
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60: I agree with 58, but puzzlingly have completely different opinions about Nader.

Same here. My only quibble is that it was not just DLC, but the whole tired, stale Democratic Congress and Party (a trend long before DLC was formed) that ultimately collapsed under its own weight of complacency and privilege in the face of Gingrichism in the early 90s. Very few in that whole sorry group paid any attention to what they were really facing.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 02-24-08 11:35 AM
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64 is fair enough on all counts. The smartening might be a challenge.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02-24-08 11:37 AM
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The turning point for Nader came in 1992. During Reagan Bush he had found that no one listened to him, even people who had listened to him before, but he had expected that Clinton would. But Clinton didn't; Clinton was a corporate Democrat. Nader went nuts, but he wasn't imagining things. I blame Clinton.

But yes, from the beginning Nader should have worked to form a faction within the Democratic Party. He was working on the sweet reason bipartisan paradigm, and seemed not to understand how politics works or who the Republicans really were.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 02-24-08 11:37 AM
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I was just pointing out that claiming that allowing GWB to take power -- whether or not that's what actually happened -- was in any way a "public service" is really, really gross.

Oh. No, of course not. The "public service" was in provision of a scapegoat for what was, from a myriad of other perspectives, a complex and fucked up couple of presidential elections. Explanations for GWB's ascendancy can plausibly be provided in a number of ways. It seems irresponsible to me to put it all on Nader.

Trust me, I take the current state of affairs quite seriously.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 02-24-08 11:39 AM
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George Palast

Greg Palast, babe.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 02-24-08 11:43 AM
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In 2004, the guy gathering signatures outside our grocery store for Nader bore an uncanny resemblance to the proprietor of the comics shop in The Simpsons. I swore at him for being an idiot, but inwardly appreciated how perfect he was in his role.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 02-24-08 11:48 AM
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I liked the Green Party. In 2000 if I'd been old enough I might have voted for Nader because he was the Green Party candidate and there was the whole "5% of the vote --> federal financing in the next election" thing. What happened to the Green Party?


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 02-24-08 11:52 AM
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Nader's an evil shit, who knowingly hurts people for propaganda ploys, including people I care about. (The link is to Patrick and Teresa Nielsen Hayden's web site. Teresa is severely narcoleptic. Public Citizen, Nader's organization, pushed to ban Cylert, one of the most effective narcolepsy drugs and often the only one that works for its beneficiaries, in the face of strong evidence that it was vastly safer than most of the alternatives and about it often not being replaceable. People I like are suffering entirely needlessly so Nader could rack up a propaganda coup against a drug coup. And this is his standard operating policy these days - he has altogether abandoned any sensible accounting of risks and benefits and harms. The world is not lacking in targets with vastly better reckonings on this kind of accounting, and he won't make it. Fuck the bastard. May he experience some fraction of the hell I've seen friends in thanks to his efforts.)


Posted by: Bruce Baugh | Link to this comment | 02-24-08 11:54 AM
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I do, however, entirely agree with John about the evils of the Democrats' rightward shift. Nader's the wrong guy and has been for a good while now, but there's a gap that shouldn't be there, too.


Posted by: Bruce Baugh | Link to this comment | 02-24-08 11:59 AM
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What happened to the Green Party?

This is a very good question. In 2004 there was some very serious intraparty self-destruction. Nader parted ways over the party platform, and they were pissed and told him to go to hell; Nader's behavior was puzzling. The Green Party was accused separately of some dastardly stuff in Ohio, taking campaign money from republicans, arguably destabilizing the Dem vote there. Bad shit.

I honestly don't know where things are now.

This from 64 is interesting:

There is a common thread [in Nader] from the beginning: an unwillingness to work within American party politics

The consensus now is that an unwillingness to work within American party politics is a Bad Thing. I tend to think, though it pains me, that that's right: it's a sort of political realism, an admission that nothing but incremental political change has a chance of success (such as it's defined).


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 02-24-08 12:06 PM
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Bruce and I seem to be converging on the idea that Nader is especially evil for also destroying the Green Party.

On the other hand, since it was eliminated, the Democrats have in fact moved to the left. I blame John Edwards.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 02-24-08 12:07 PM
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Nader had an idealistic conception of democratic politics which as far as I know was not grounded on any historical understanding of how politics works. He actually had a reight-libertarian past and met Bill Buckley when he was quite young. He may also have learned from the anti-institutional left of the 60s, from Saul Alinsky et al, or even from Gandhi, for all I know, and it had sort of a rationalist technocrat angle to it, the kind that really resents politicians. But it only worked for a little while, and he kept to it stubbornly long after it quit working. And sometimes the most idealistic become the most cynical.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 02-24-08 12:12 PM
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And sometimes the most idealistic become the most cynical.

As soon is one is convinced that nobody else is as idealistic as he is, this is the only way to go.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 02-24-08 12:14 PM
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I just now decided I'm not going to fight about this on two blogs at once.

Damn it, Sifu, I fell for your ruse. Now I'm reading some blog where I don't recognize anyone's name but yours, and where people seem angry in earnest, non-ironic ways.


Posted by: SEK | Link to this comment | 02-24-08 12:15 PM
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You know, Edwards isn't the only one responsible for moving the Democrats left. The primary electorate moved left, esp. its most active members. Edwards responded to them first with the most specific plans on domestic policy. I'm not trying to deny him credit for that let alone dismiss it as a cynical election strategy--though he probably was aware that it was his best shot at the nomination. It's appropriate for a politician to respond to his constituency, that's how the system's supposed to work. And Edwards was much more willing to respond to people like us than most politicians, & it pressured Obama & Clinton to the same. He deserves credit, but he's not the sole cause. Public opinion matters, & it can both pull on & be pushed by politicians.


Posted by: Katherine | Link to this comment | 02-24-08 12:22 PM
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I would not blame Nader for 2000. I don't blame the Naderites for 2000 either. Running again in 2008, when you know you won't win, and know that the best case scenario for you will hand the government to the group that's happy with neverending war, is an exercise in vanity that leads to a lot of dead people.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 02-24-08 12:24 PM
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What annoyed me about the pro-Nader arguments in 2000 is that they seemed incredibly ahistorical. In Presidential elections, the Democrats got killed in 1972, eeked out a small win in 1976 against a non-entity who was appointed by a crook, lost to a boob in 1980, got killed by the same boob in 1984, and lost to an unlikeable blue-blood in 1988. Then, once in power, they prompted lost control of Congress in 1994 in an election where (IIRC) no Republican was defeated. In a lot of ways, the Democrats drew the wrong lesson from those elections. (And one of the strongest arguments for Obama is that power over the party will pass to people who haven't internalized those wrong lessons to the extent the Clintonistas have.) But the idea that a certain kind of left-wing politics is not that popular is certainly plausible, and I never heard a convincing argument in 2000 from Naderites that in any way made sense of the electoral history of the preceding twenty years.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 02-24-08 12:25 PM
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To me the big change is the move to a more grassroots / netroots approach less dependent on big donors. Combined with this are political information channels not controlled by the party pros, the TV networks, etc. Kos and others pioneered it, Dean ran a prototype, and Obama seems to have learned how to do it.

At this point I expect Obama to be President and Congress to be more strongly Democratic. At that point primary challenges against the Bush Dogs become the main task, and my present Congressman (Collin Peterson) is high on the list. Enough to make me want to stay in Minnesota.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 02-24-08 12:27 PM
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Nader did not destroy the Green Party: it refused to accede to an iconic party leader, perfectly in keeping with its constellation of beliefs. It later acknowledged that a robust third party was not viable, or even wise, given our current political climate.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 02-24-08 12:27 PM
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81 - No Republican incumbent lost in the House, but Maria Cantwell knocked of Slade Gorton.


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 02-24-08 12:31 PM
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s/of/off/


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 02-24-08 12:31 PM
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Nader was so anti-partisan that he kept at arm's length from the Greens. He had some kind of puritanical attitude to the effect that any kind of political bargaining or interest-group influence at all is a bad thing. I think that a technocratic streak is behind that. A lot of economists, for example, think of politics entirely as a bad thing which makes rational technocratic policies impossible.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 02-24-08 12:32 PM
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I persuaded an economist he should be a Democrat instead of a Republican by telling him that the Democrats were now the party of dispassionate technocrats.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 02-24-08 12:34 PM
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Researching the provenance of my own mention of "Zombie Harold Stassen," I see that there are actually two google hits for the term - here, in a TPM comment thread, and here in a Tapped comment thread. Although referring to different situations, these two comments appear to have been written by the same guy - "joejoejoe."

As such, I may have, like George Harrison, unknowingly plagiarized joejoejoe in my earlier comment. I apologize to him, if he's reading this, to you all, and of course to Zombie Harold Stassen himself.


Posted by: Wry Cooter | Link to this comment | 02-24-08 12:35 PM
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Eh, no big whoop.


Posted by: Zombie Harold Stassen | Link to this comment | 02-24-08 12:36 PM
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84 - Maria Cantwell knocked off Slade Gorton in 2000, not 1994 Gorton easily defeated Democratic challenger Ron Sims.


Posted by: Wry Cooter | Link to this comment | 02-24-08 12:37 PM
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Attempting to win a modern Presidential election by running as a third party to the left of the Democrats demonstrates a reckless ignorance of American politics.

If Nader or the Greens want(ed) to make a difference they should run for Congress.


Posted by: mrh | Link to this comment | 02-24-08 12:38 PM
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Doesn't Nader live in California? He could run for Tom Lantos's seat.


Posted by: Wry Cooter | Link to this comment | 02-24-08 12:39 PM
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93

81, 84: Likewise, no Republican incumbents lost Senate races, but several Republican challengers did.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 02-24-08 12:40 PM
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86: Agreed, John.

As for Nader running again in 2008, it's a stupid thing that I can't imagine having any effect whatsoever, so I don't see the point in becoming exercised about it at all. It's already admitted that he's become loony: just be sad.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 02-24-08 12:42 PM
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And the Greens have changed their approach to run for local offices, with some success. It's actually the same approach the moral majority types used back when, with a great deal of success. Forget Nader.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 02-24-08 12:46 PM
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96

Good.

What local offices?


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 02-24-08 12:50 PM
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As for working inside or outside partisan politics...it seems like stating the obvious to say "It depends on the task", but there it is.

Changing the way we count votes toward the electoral college, for instance, is likely best done through an independent effort. It'd take 10-20 years, at a guess, and require a lot of grassroots work to get more direct counting methods and delegate allocation schemes put in place and given the test of time, plus a lot of media work to keep it going as a background topic of interest, and periodic pushes on themes of fairness and accountability, and like that. Declining to do anything to help push the very worst from office because there's no push right at the moment for the tallying scheme one prefers is just stupid - the job of getting relatively tolerable candidates into office is not directly comparable to the job of changing infrastructure. Even if the same people put a lot of effort into both, they're not the same job.

Supporting the relatively good candidates doesn't destroy your ability to also push for structural reforms. Working on the structure doesn't require you to pretend that there are no meaningful choices within the system right now. Duh.


Posted by: Bruce Baugh | Link to this comment | 02-24-08 12:51 PM
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What local offices?

There was a reasonably plausible Green candidate for SF Mayor a couple of years ago. Gavin Newsom ended up winning, but not easily, and he had to run way to the left of what he'd obviously expected.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 02-24-08 1:05 PM
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I give up. Life is too short to wait for Yglesias to reload & refresh.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 02-24-08 1:15 PM
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100

Kobe!


Posted by: Becks | Link to this comment | 02-24-08 1:35 PM
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101

Vote Papoon! He's not insane!

http://www.cafepress.com/firesign/4898199


Posted by: Dr Paisley | Link to this comment | 02-24-08 2:09 PM
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Have y'all seen this? Plus a followup.

Obviously, there are a lot of people wandering into Obama crowds and asking quiz questions to find out if all O supporters are whirly-eyed morons or not. And this guy, once he gets his bearings, acquits himself nicely (better than I would if some annoying bellicose dude shoved a camera up my nose and asked policy questions).

I know it's not a big deal, but with all the highlighting of Obama supporters who can't, off the cuff, talk about his policies, it's nice to see a video in which one does.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 02-24-08 2:21 PM
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103

By the way, did the PVU students also walk back?


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 02-24-08 2:25 PM
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I mean, once their point was made, couldn't they send some buses or something? I bet they were tired. Not everyone can walk 14 miles in a day.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 02-24-08 2:26 PM
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Well, AWB is all high-minded and shit, but I am going to show you all this. It pleases me, somewhat.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 02-24-08 2:26 PM
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106

103 made my dissertating afternoon.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 02-24-08 2:29 PM
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Well, AWB is all high-minded hungover and shit


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 02-24-08 2:29 PM
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108

The interviewer in 102 is an asshole.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 02-24-08 2:31 PM
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I know. I would not have been able to keep my cool if I were Derrick. About 15 seconds in, I would have just told him to fuck off. But D seems to win him over about halfway in.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 02-24-08 2:34 PM
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105: I have an awesome picture from my friend's wedding of the groom and one of his attendants drunkenly mimicking that pose. The best part is that unnoticed by both her husband and the photographer, the bride snuck into the background of the shot and mimicked them, which just made the whole picture perfect.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 02-24-08 2:35 PM
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African Americans are easily able to walk 14 miles in a day, because of the veldt.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 02-24-08 3:17 PM
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My town (affluent deep blue suburbia) is a hospitable environment for the PIRG canvassers who show up every summer soliciting contributions door to door. I have a well-practiced speech that I recite to them at the door: "I will never contribute any amount of money, no matter now small, to any cause, no matter how worthy, that has any connection, no matter how tenuous, to Ralph Nader."

Since the canvassers tend to be 17-19 years old, they have no idea what I'm talking about and probably think I'm a muttering old crazy man.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 02-24-08 6:19 PM
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There are plenty of good reasons to avoid the PIRGs, but none of them have anything to do with Nader. He was never part of the group; as far as I can tell, PIRG used to name-drop him back before 2000, when he was still admired by liberals, and since then has been quick to note that he never had anything to do with their organization.

As for Nader himself, I'll second what Emerson said about Nader's progression, and add that Dems should stop hyperventilating over Nader's latest run. The notion that Nader is "stealing votes" from the Dem candidate is silly and asinine; if the Democratic candidate can't convince Dem-leaning voters to vote for them, the Democratic candidate is pretty fucking weak. There's always going to be some protest alternative to voting Democratic, whether it's Nader or the Greens or a write-in or just staying home. The issue isn't the siren lure of Ralph Nader, seducing erstwhile Democratic voters into his fiendish clutches. The issue is that the Democratic Party has to convince voters to vote for the Democratic candidate.


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 02-24-08 9:45 PM
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113: you know, I think what's always bothered me is that low-information Nader voters in 2000 bought the narrative not because of a sophisticated grasp of issues and policy, but because they got suckered by the GOP's spin -- that GWB was practically a Democrat -- and let it bleed into their own sense of alienation while thinking they were somehow fighting the machine.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02-24-08 9:50 PM
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114: that GWB was practically a Democrat

Well he practically was, but then he got to Washington and discovered that the Democrats there weren't like the Democrats in Texas and so he had to adjust his tactics to counter their partisanship. (This is pretty much what I heard Dame Cokie Roberts claim in an interview recently.)


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 02-24-08 10:29 PM
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74
This is a very good question. In 2004 there was some very serious intraparty self-destruction. Nader parted ways over the party platform, and they were pissed and told him to go to hell; Nader's behavior was puzzling. The Green Party was accused separately of some dastardly stuff in Ohio, taking campaign money from republicans, arguably destabilizing the Dem vote there. Bad shit.

As I vaguely remember, the Greens said that they wouldn't campaign in swing states in 2004, precisely to avoid a repeat of 2000 while still trying to maintain and strengthen their party's brand. I don't know how accurate that is -- maybe I remember wrong, maybe Ohio's Green Party didn't want to play along, maybe it was bull to begin with -- but if so, it definitely raised my opinion of them. To the extent that 2004 was bad for them, I don't know what they could or should have done differently; in 2004 and 2008, the differences really are a hell of a lot wider than they seemed in 2000.


Posted by: Cyrus | Link to this comment | 02-25-08 8:55 AM
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If Nader or the Greens want(ed) to make a difference they should run for Congress town council, even though I'm already parsimwned.

When I heard this yesterday my first response was, "Wow, the Republicans are that worried?" Seriously, all pretenses of political correctness aside, if Nader thinks he can point at a vocally anti-war black dude or a vocally pro-choice woman and say, "See, they're just like Republicans, just a bunch of honkies in over-priced suits!" well, good luck with that. I can't imagine him picking a better time to piss into the wind and I can't imagine a better way for some worried-ass Republican to burn some extra cash. Let Nader's 2008 run be a funeral pyre, I say.


Posted by: Robust McManlyPants | Link to this comment | 02-25-08 9:28 AM
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