Thursday, January 31, 2008

Nader '08: Wha -- frickin' -- hoo

There are a number of people in Oshkosh who have an affinity for Ralph Nader, so I'll try to carry on in this vein with a modicum of respect, but haven't we seen this before?

I'm not talking about the "spoiler" label from back in 2000 (I'll let others whine incessantly about that), but rather his dismal 2004 campaign. If the last time around is any indication then this is exactly what to expect this time around:

Phase 1: Announce candidacy, claim to be the candidate of change and progressive values and say things like "The system's broken!" or, more likely, "Multinational corporations are threatening the fabric of our democracy utilizing a monopoly of power that they have unjustly stolen from the people ... [snoring]"

Whoa! Sorry about that -- must've dozed off there for a second. Anyway, you get the point: Big guys are screwing the little guys, only what can be said in seven words Ralph will inevitably use 700. Republicans will chortle, maybe even give him some money. Most people will ignore him.

Phase 2: Most people, that is except for the Democrats, who will sue the bejesus out of him in an effort to keep him off as many ballots as possible.

Phase 3: Nader will come out and say something like "I'm the victim of powerful special interests who wish to silence me through a conspiracy of legal retribution!" This will partially correct. There won't actually be any "conspiracy" since it will be done very publicly and out in the open. Chances are the Democrats will win a few of these legal battles. Nader grumbles.

Phase 4: Nader gets shut out of the debates, gets almost no attention from the media, and raises no money. Rather than assume this is because his messaging sucks, or that he's ungodly boring, or that his campaign advisers do a wake and bake every morning before they arrive at the headquarters he blames "the corporate media."

And right here is the putative end of Nader's campaign. This point -- it's not my fault, it's the fault of the corporate media -- which he will inevitably make (even if it is true) is where he stops being the standard bearer of progressive values/causes and starts becoming the Left's Alan Keyes because the message no longer has anything really to do with causes or the media and now has everything to do with Ralph Nader.

Nader's campaigns amount to little more than glorified lecture tours. The Democrats are going to do everything in their power to make his life a living hell this next year and I don't blame them for doing so. There are a lot of people, both Democrats and Republicans, who would like to see their names on the November ticket, but they agreed to do things the hard way through the party system. Nader has every right to do what can for an independent bid, but he should expect to be treated like on of the big boys when he does. It's the cover charge to this night club.

* Here's what Wonkette had to say about the Nader news.

* Here a great McSweeny's spoof on Nader's legacy.

1 comment:

capper said...

I thought Nader was dead. Or was it just wishful thinking?