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Saturday, February 17, 2007

Posted by Jill | 9:11 AM
I've already decided that if Hillary Clinton is the Democratic nominee for president, I'm not going to vote for her -- not unless I see some damn strong contrition for her Iraq war vote and an end to her attempts to prove she has a penis by saber-rattling at Iran. We need George Bush with a uterus the way we need a second navel.

That said, there is one other person I absolutely, positively would NEVER vote for, and that person, who pops up every four years like a bad penny, and does little else these days, is Ralph Nader:

Former Green Party presidential candidate Ralph Nader said he is considering a presidential run in 2008 and strongly suggested today he would enter the race if Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton wins the Democratic Party nomination.

"She's just another bad version of (former President) Bill Clinton,'' Nader told KGO radio host Ronn Owens in San Francisco.

Asked to describe Clinton, a front-runner for the Democratic presidential nomination a year in advance of the primaries, Nader said: "Flatters, panders, coasting, front-runner, looking for a coronation, not taking on the huge waste in the military budget as a member of the Armed Services commission, never going after the corporate crimes against pensions, against workers. ... She has no political fortitude.''

Asked specifically if he would run in 2008, Nader said it is "too early to say. ... (I'm) considering it. We're going to see what the Democrats come up with.''

Nader made the statements in San Francisco while on a book tour to push his new memoir, "The Seventeen Traditions.'' Nader also spoke at the Commonwealth Club in California.

Nader gained more than 2.7 percent of the national popular vote as the Green Party candidate for president in 2000, which some analysts said came primarily at the expense of Democrat Al Gore and helped Republican George W. Bush win the White House. In a second run four years later, Nader gained less than one-half of 1 percent.

Phil Trounstine, who worked as communications director for former Democratic California Gov. Gray Davis, said Nader's hint that he might run for president again may tarnish his reputation as a longtime progressive and consumer advocate.

"To an awful lot of people, Ralph Nader appears to be threatening, once again, to play the role of a spoiled brat whose purpose in life appears to be ... electing Republicans by draining off votes from Democrats,'' said Trounstine, who heads the San Jose State Center for Policy and Research.

Nader's presidential aspirations are viewed by many as evidence that he is on "an enormous ego trip with potentially destructive impact,'' Trounstine said.

Ya think?

Even if there are still people out there who believe that this country would be no different from the ruin it is today had Al Gore been president, the fact that Ralph Nader accepts campaign money from GOP donors should give them pause.

And for those inclined to once again vote for Nader, let me just ask you something: What has Ralph Nader actually DONE over the last six years? What has he done to actually try to effect change in this country, other than pocket Republican cash while running fringe races for the sole purpose of keeping the country in Republican control? What does he actually DO? The fact that Nader makes some valid points about corporate power is meaningless, if all he does is come out every four years, put some Republican money into his pockets, and run presidential races he can't possibly win.

I'm all for a protest vote, particularly if the nominee is a corporatist war hawk AIPAC tool like Hillary Clinton. But if Ralph Nader had actually read anything about George W. Bush in 2000, he would have realized that as "centrist" as Al Gore may have been, there WAS, in fact, a huge difference between the two candidates. I'll be the first to agree that the Democratic Party has some serious problems in its supposed role as an alternative to Republican corporatism, and that some kind of true progressivism has to either find its way back into the party or replace it. But I don't see Nader makeing any positive contributions in that area. If you want to write in Howard Dean, or Russ Feingold, who aren't even candidates, I'll applaud you, because they really HAVE been out there in the trenches trying to effect change. But voting for a Republican tool like Ralph Nader is truly throwing your vote away in an appalling way.

(hat tip: C&L)


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