via Crooks and Liars
So Ralph Nader has launched an exploratory website that ironically asks “Which side are you on?” Right back at you, Ralph.
Last time around Nader was backed by Koch’s
rightwing think tankcorporate front group, Citizens for a Sound Economy (now FreedomWorks), so don’t be surprised this time when the billionaire-financed rightwing attack machine Freedom’s Watch backs him with their supposed $250 million dollar war chest. I’m just saying. CNN’s Abbi Tatton tells that Nader is saying that if he can “raise 10 million dollars and to rustle up enough lawyers to help him get ballot access, then he is definitely going to do this,” and we already know Ralph doesn’t have a conscience problem with getting his back scratched by Republicans. (My emphasis.
There is a fine line in politics between wanting to serve because you think you're the best person for the job and just being an narcissistic, attention-crazed media whore. I used to think Ralph Nader was the former, but now I'm convinced he's the latter. I'm not railing against third party candidates by a damn sight - I wish we would have six or seven viable parties. All I'm saying is that had Nader not been in the 2000 election, we would be in a far better off state of affairs than we currently are. I'm talking to you, Florida Recount, SCOTUS.
However, I don't think his entering the race this time will have nearly the detrimental effect to the Democratic candidate as it did in '00. Progressive internet activists and Netroots websites now have an enormous impact on elections - case in point: Ned Lamont defeating Joe Lieberman in the CT Democratic primary in '06. He wouldn't have stood a chance without progressive organizations such as Move On or Act Blue and websites like FDL or DailyKos taking up his cause. And I'm quite certain that these same organizations and websites will do everything in their power to successfully ensure that a Nader candidacy has minimal impact on contemporary Democratic voters - in that registered Democrats will not be tempted to vote for Nader this time around. His appeal just isn't that strong anymore. People are starting to get sick of him.
However, the end result of the CT general election is what scares me the most about the upcoming national general election (Lieberman, as an independent and now a neo-con, defeating Lamont). While I'm not lending much credence to Nader as a viable candidate, there's another person still considering a bid who we aren't hearing much about: Michael Bloomberg (Unity Party?? - I'd like to see just how unifying they really intend to be). Just like the CT general election, a Bloomberg candidacy has the potential to attract a large portion of pronounced independent voters, who without his entering the race, are likely to vote Democrat in the fall - he may even swing a percentage of moderate Democrats. This also holds true for some Republican voters that have become so disenfranchised with the GOP in the last several years that they are considering voting Donkey in November.
Could Bloomberg garner enough votes to actually win the election - not even close! Would his candidacy disproportionately effect the election in favor of the Republicans - hell yes - especially if the GOP nominee is John McCain, who at one time was very alluring to many Independents and Democrats alike (circa 2000). Democrats that refuse to vote for a Republican but don't like Hillary or Barack's politics would almost certainly vote for someone like Bloomberg if the Republican nominee is McCain - remembering the days when McCain didn't seem like such a bad guy and thinking "Eh, if he wins, he wins (Walnuts, that is) - He can't be as bad as Bush". (I know that seems like a bit of a stretch, but this is just my opinion.) Also, don't forget that Bloomberg IS a registered Republican, and we've seen how national politics can turn a seemingly moderate Republican into a war mongering neo-con psycho! 9iu11iani - AHHHHH!!!
So to wrap this up (these are just my opinions):
Nader - Pretty much a has-been joke at this point.
Bloomberg - Major threat to any Democratic nominee. He can't win, but he can swing enough votes to give the Republicans a majority of the electorate.
I feel very strongly that if Bloomberg enters the race, we are in for one hellish fight to end this near decade of mind-numbing neo-conservative dumbassery.
UPDATE: TBogg summed up the entire portion of this post pertaining to Nader in one concise, eloquent sentence:
Ralph Nader is now officially the genital herpes of the body politic.
As I said, beautiful!