Nader 2008 is a reason to care

The NYTimes and about 425 other news outlets are reporting Nader’s announcement that he will consider running. Good for him.

The only thing stopping him, as anybody reading would know: ballot access is hard as hell.

So with all the major major party candidates in favor of the war, and more importantly, the discretionary freedom to enter into similar, better planned wars when they become the Great White Father, why would you even think of voting for any of these jokers.

There must be some good reason. Family loyalty, failure of imagination, lethargy, prejudice and careerism are all understandable, but inexcusable. But toadying by impertinent foriegn journalists with MAs is a dispicable combination. of all of the above.

UK Guardian senior correspondent Richard Adams does what the blairites do best and sucks up to whatever Foundation is footing their liquor bill. He’s a good boy for the DNC, condemning Nader as he does.

Mr. Adams has been drinking with some bright young things of the DNC, no doubt. I hope he’s getting laid, otherwise it would all be too sordid.

In even bothering to dismiss the Nader candidacy, Adams betrays a naive interest in the U.S. politics that must be endearing to his Washington friends. Its an affliction shared with many US liberals, who read the Guardian, as an allegedly impartial international source. Neither the paper nor their US readership is close enough to American politics to recognize that in fact, very few people are interested in establishiment politics.

This should be easy enough for the paper to determine by its own standards of measuring the health of British political parties. Parties are judged by the participating council -level membership and the democratic traditions of their constituent bodies. Blair has been roundly condemned for his hostility to the unions that still largely compose the Labour Party, and for running down public participation in favor of raising cash from large private donors. The criticism extends as far as calling Blair’s regime “American-style leadership” but never constently addressing the failures of the US system.

If this same analysis were applied to the Democratic party, the condemnation would be apoplectic. There is no “membership” in the Democratic Party. Its is supported entirely by fundraising. There is no consultation by “the Party” with the public beyond its solicitation of funds.

Every dollar from the AFL-CIO is thrown in a pot with donations from corporations and industy political action committees. Then the money is directed through the magic of political consultancy into targeted campaigns building brand loyalty with the percieved “constituencies”, amorphous national socio-political descriptions, sliced for susceptibility .

To the extent that these campaigns work “the Party’s” likely vote will be a majority of the likely voters. Then the constituencies are presumed to be satisfied. If the campaign fails, then a majority of the likely voters will not support the positions of “the Party” and the admixture of policies will be adjusted untill to polls trend upward again.

The Guardian is inept in its US social and political coverage, clearly overwhelmed by the whole thing. See for example its Xmas story on guns in Alaska, like it was indicative of anything. The Guardian in America is like Michael Moore in Japan.

Not to mention the paper’s dedicatedly wrongheaded commitment to individually lecturing strategic Ohio voters ahead of the 2004 election on how stupid they were to let the state go for Bush in 2000. So the paper arguably had as much to do with spoiling Kerry’s campaign, as Nader did with Gore’s. The hate mail they received was hilarious.

Having learned absolutely nothing, Adams’d tell you that the fundraising donnybrook in the two major parties is too exciting for alternative acts. Guardian cartoonist Steve Bell got it more or less right on the British press’ continual humping of Tony Blair’s leg (Here’s Bell’s comic strip June 19).

Meanwhile, on planet Earth, there are continual reminders that the Democrats did not, do not, and will not act to practively stop a war or defend the interests of the nation at large, or even their branded constituencies.

Cindy Sheehan recently suspended her protest in Texas partly out of disgust with the Democratic Party and the state of politics in general in the US. I’m including a statement she made on Democracy Now at the time, not because it is speaks directly about Nader, but because her frustration is generally felt by a large number of politically active individuals who are constrained to work with the Democrats:

AMY GOODMAN: And I want to read a few of the comments of our listener and viewers and readers around the world that came in at On electoral politics, Gordon Brown, a teacher in Switzerland, asked, ‘Who do you believe would make the best next president of the United States?’ Leslie Bonnet of California writes, ‘Will Cindy join the Green Party, which has steadfastly advocated for peace and against the invasion of Iraq? Will Cindy consider running as a presidential or vice presidential nominee with the Green Party?’ Barbara and Graham Dean said, ‘What can all of us in the peace and justice movement do now to give you back your hope that we can indeed change the dangerous course this government has forced upon this country?’ And they ask, ‘Would you consider running for Congress?’ Paul said, ?Given what you?ve described as the corruption and deception that exist in both the Republican and the Democratic political parties and how the huge appropriations of money for defense contractors have become such a force in the US economy, do you have any hope we will return to being a nation that stands for right instead of being a nation that has to have something to fight?’ And another listener/viewer, John Stauber, says, ‘What is your opinion of MoveOn and the role it played in the recent congressional debate over war funding?’ Take your pick.

CINDY SHEEHAN: Well, of course, I’m not going to run for election. I don’t — you know, I’m very disillusioned with our political system. If we don’t wake up in America and realize that we have to vote out of our courage and integrity for candidates who reflect our own beatitudes, and not the beatitudes of the war machine and the corporations, we are — we’re doomed. And if we don?t get a viable third party — or some people say second party; you know, the Democrats and Republicans are so similar, and their pockets are lined by the same people — we are — our representative republic is doomed, where George Bush has assumed all the powers to himself and Congress has given him those powers. And we really need an opposition party in this country. But we vote out of our fear. We go and we vote for the lesser of two evils, and we always end up getting somebody evil. And, you know, I say ‘evil,’ not in the Christian sense of the word. But, you know, I do believe that.

“I’m not going to join any party. If I do vote again and if I do become, you know, politically active, it will be independent. I’m not going to, of course, run for anything, be in the system. I have been asked by the Green Party to run for president, but, you know, that’s not anything that I want.”


Posted on June 22, 2007, in Politics. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. you’ve been tagged by adjunct whore–go visit.

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