Skip to main content

What Makes Ralph Run?


Hostilities have commenced between Ralph “The Spoiler” Nader and U.S. Sen. Chris Dodd, who put his presidential campaign to rest recently having garnered about 1% of his party’s vote in reliable Democrat presidential primary polls.

Commenting on Ralph Nader’s entrée into the presidential race, Dodd offered, “Eight years ago, obviously he cost Al Gore the election, in my view, no question about it. We've paid an awful price the last eight years because of one man's ego."

This caused an unamused Nader to respond, “Why are they so keen on denying voters the free choice of their candidates? Why don't they pick up these progressive issues? Running for office is free speech. It's the consummate expression of the First Amendment. I'm to blame for Kerry's loss?"

The notion that Nader lost the election for Gore is something of a red herring. Florida may have slipped away due to Nader, but Gore was unable to win his own state, Tennessee, Bill Clinton's state, Arkansas, or West Virginia, usually reliably Democratic. A win in any of these states might have put Gore in the White House.

The way to neuter spoilers, Nader said, is simple. Had Democrats favored the elimination of the electoral college, Gore today would have been president, because he led in the popular vote. And if the Democrats were concerned with spoilers, they could adopt an instant runoff system. Voters in such a system could rank their preferences; in the absence of a majority win, the second choice scheme would eliminate the possibility of spoilers.

In neither case would the reforms Nader favors have prevented a Nader candidacy. Spoilers generally enter the race at the primary level, and Nader has not yet suggested eliminating the practice by eliminating primaries, however “simple” such a reform may be.

This is classic Nader: Propose a “possibility” that has little chance of being adopted and then, when the tug of resistance sets in, you may accuse party leaders of being far less progressive than yourself.

"The Democrats,” Nader said, “have got to stop whining, stop scapegoating and look in the mirror and ask how they've continually lost instead of landsliding in election after election against the worst Republican Party in history.”

In fact, it is Nader’s bete noir, the two party system, that is the real spoiler, said the spoiler. "The two parties are so indentured to corporate power that they have turned corporations into our masters."

Should we eliminate corporations to eliminate their political influence? Ralph may have a simple way to do it. In the meantime, we might work at providing real competition in the market place by eliminating the grosser forms of political interference that causes corporations to hire lobbyists to insure their interests in a congress that has used regulations and burdensome taxes as campaign financing bargaining chips. If you get congressional politics out of the board room, you won't have so many paid corporate lobbiests in the political kitchen.

Comments

Anonymous said…
Zeroing in on only one part of this message, It would suggest it is true that any major party representative who complains about a decision by a third party candidate or an independent to enter an election is being hypocritical if they don't support a majority voting system for single-winner elections -- one like instant runoff voting that accommodates voters having more choices. This is the norm in presidential elections around the world. See www.fairvote.org/irv for more
Anonymous said…
I’m not necessarily opposed to instant run offs. Neither, I may note, are McCain or Obama. Apparently, Nader also favors instant run offs. I am opposed to lumping together those whose views are sometimes similar and suggesting that there are no important distinguishing difference between then, a bad habit Nader has fallen into. That methodology would force us conclude that because Nader, McCain and Obama agree upon instant run offs, there is not a dime’s worth of difference between the three which, in Nader’s case, would be an obvious and glaring idiocy. And yet, this is what he does every time he insists that because Republicans and Democrats do not feed from the same financing stream, there are no differences between the parties.
Don Pesci said…
Sorry, that should have read "feed from the same financing stream..."

Popular posts from this blog

The Blumenthal Burisma Connection

Steve Hilton, a Fox News commentator who over the weekend had connected some Burisma corruption dots, had this to say about Connecticut U.S. Senator Dick Blumenthal’s association with the tangled knot of corruption in Ukraine: “We cross-referenced the Senate co-sponsors of Ed Markey's Ukraine gas bill with the list of Democrats whom Burisma lobbyist, David Leiter, routinely gave money to and found another one -- one of the most sanctimonious of them all, actually -- Sen. Richard Blumenthal."

Dave Walker, Turning Around The Misery Index

Dave Walker, who is running for Lieutenant Governor on the Republican Party ticket, is recognized by most credible political observers as perhaps the most over qualified candidate for Lieutenant Governor in state history.
He is a member of the Accounting Hall of Fame and for ten years was the Comptroller General of the United States. When Mr. Walker talks about budgets, financing and pension viability, people listen.
Mr. Walker is also attuned to fine nuances in political campaigning. He is not running for governor, he says, because he had moved to Connecticut only four years ago and wishes to respect the political pecking order. Very few people in the state think that, were he governor, Mr. Walker would know less about the finance side of government than his budget chief.

Murphy Stumbles

U.S. Senator Chris Murphy has been roughly cuffed by some news outlets, but not by Vox, which published on April 16 a worshipful article on Connecticut’s Junior Senator, “The Senator of State: How Connecticut’s Chris Murphy, a rising Democratic star, would run the world.”
On April 15, The Federalist mentioned Murphy in an article entitled “Sen. Chris Murphy: China And The World Health Organization Did Nothing Wrong. The lede was a blow to Murphy’s solar plexus: “Democratic Connecticut Sen. Chris Murphy exonerated China of any wrongdoing over the global pandemic stemming from the novel Wuhan coronavirus on Tuesday.
“’The reason that we’re in the crisis that we are today is not because of anything that China did, is not because of anything the WHO [World Health Organization] did,’ said Murphy during a prime-time interview with CNN’s Anderson Cooper.”