Ralph Nader announced last Sunday that he was
going to run as an independent (NOT as a Green),
there was much moaning and gnashing of teeth.
Lots of Democrats wailed that he COULDN'T run,
that he would take votes away that were needed
to get that lying son of a bitch out of the White
House. (Many Democrats refer to Putsch as "That
Lying Son of a Bitch" I think this is inappropriate.
It is a mouthful, and a pain in the ass to type,
so I propose in the interests of efficiency, we
just refer to him as "TLSOB". Purists can take
documents that have the letters TLSOB in them,
do a global search and replace using any decent
word processing program, and get the desired results
without all that extra typing).
announced, and people immediately had visions
of him getting a crucial 2,000 votes in Florida,
giving Putsch a second term, and finishing America
off once and for all.
gonna happen. Don't sweat it.
I know a lot of lefties in the party. This year,
they're mostly Dennis Kucinich people (and if
you think they make a tiny fringe, reflect on
the fact that Kucinich got 30% of the vote in
Hawaii, the only state he campaigned in for last
week's primaries). A lot of them leaned toward
Ralph in 2000. In fact, some of them discussed
whether to vote for Ralph or Al in 2000, and my
response was, "This is California. Gore is going
to win the state with a couple of million votes
to spare. If we were in a close race, like Florida
or Ohio, I would beg you to vote for Al. But Al's
got California wrapped up. Vote for Ralph if you
want, and send 'em a message."
I talked to some of those same people this past
week. Not one of them is interested in voting
for Ralph. Getting TLSOB out of the White House
is far more important. Oh, some of the Kucinich
people are talking about sitting on their hands
if Dennis washes out (and at this juncture, he
is not going to win the party nomination. But
trends suggest he could be a force to be reckoned
with four or eight years down the road.). I've
got some ammo to counteract that impulse further
down in this piece.
conclusion is that Nader won't get one half of
one percent of the vote from the left.
everyone is so busy worrying about what Nader
is doing that nobody seemed to be interested in
hearing why he was doing it. I missed his announcement
on the pundit show, and wouldn't have known either,
if it weren't for the fact that Jon Stewart's
"Daily Show" broadcast what Jon described as a
is running as a conservative.
wiping your screen. Your eyeglasses are fine.
I said Ralph is running as a conservative. He
says he wants to provide a voice for conservatives
-- REAL conservatives -- who are appalled by the
fantastic and grotesque budget deficits (hard
to imagine, isn't it, that the GOP sponsored a
Balanced Budget Amendment just eight short years
ago that would have forbade deficit spending?),
the PATRIOT/ACT, America's interventionalist foreign
policy, the catastrophic dismantling of environmental
and health protections, and the open pandering
to the religious whacks.
target base would describe a sizeable chunk of
the American population, including about half
of what is considered Putsch's "base."
aren't neo-fascists, even though neo-fascists
delight in calling themselves "conservative."
It's a very important distinction, one made far
too seldom in American politics. Conservatives
-- real conservatives, and not the vicious Tony
Scalia and Pat Robertson corrupt parodies -- are
loyal to the constitution, support separation
of church and state, and place a high premium
on individual liberties. There's areas where liberals
and conservatives disagree, obviously; both, for
example, favor free trade, but liberals believe
government must provide worker and environmental
protections, and have a good social safety net
in order for it to work. Both favor free enterprise,
but disagree on the amount of regulation needed
to prevent capitalism from self-destructing. And
to the basic tenets where both sides agree, the
differences are comparatively minor, and can be
debated in good faith in a free and open society.
now, both sides need to work to ensure that we
HAVE a free and open society in order to have
such debates. A lot of conservatives have realized
that Putsch and his ilk are out to destroy all
media, mostly puppets of the same corporations
that pull Putsch's strings, deliberately downplayed
Nader's speech about appealing to conservatives.
They know a challenge from the legitimate right
could split their support, and no amount of vote
stealing in the election could cover for it.
keep an eye on Nader, and if you know any conservatives,
let them know that Ralph is reaching out to them.
In the meantime, keep an eye on Pat Buchanan,
too. He wrote a brilliant essay in American Conservative
Magazine deconstructing the neo-conservative movement
(allies with the neo-fascists, this is the group
that got us into the Iraq quagmire). He might
be looking to defeat Putsch, too.
the meantime, the right wing smear machine is
already running full tilt against Kerry. Along
with the busted smears about the intern in Africa
and the ludicrous efforts to claim that he didn't
really win the medals he did in Vietnam, and the
forged "Jane Fonda photo op," the claims are made
that he waffles (a claim made by a man who simply
lies, instead), that he married for money, that
his wife, who owns WalMart stock, is a hypocrite
for criticizing their employee policies (apparently
neo-fascists believe stockholders have no right
to an opinion), that he "threw someone else's
medals away", that he "looks French" and even
that he's "secretly of Jewish descent." Those
last two tell you all you really need to know
about the mindset of the neo-fascist movement.
came at the same time that discouraged Kucinich
supporters were talking about just blowing off
the Democrats because they didn't want just another
waffling centrist in the White House.
right wing has a favorite tactic in their smear
campaigns of throwing two opposite and mutually
exclusive accusations out, hoping one or both
with stick with an inattentive public. In this
instance, at the same time that Putsch was accusing
Kerry of waffling on his votes and contradicting
himself every two minutes, Limbaugh and the toads
at Newsmax and Free Republic came out trumpeting
an Americans for Democratic Action survey that
showed that based on voting records, Kerry was
one of the most CONSISTENTLY LIBERAL members of
for Democratic Action is the oldest and most respectable
liberal group in America. They were founded in
1947, and stand as a reminder that this isn't
the first time neo-fascists have tried to subvert
America, and the country survived their last attempted
usurpation of the Constitution in the dawn of
the cold war. They're solid, they're reliable,
and about as staunchly liberal as you can get.
released their list of top lifetime liberals,
based on voting records. Voting records is where
the rubber meets the road, of course. Talk is
cheap. Tell me how a representative VOTES, and
I'll tell you if he's worth a damn or not. One
reason Putsch got into office was because he doesn't
HAVE a voting record, having never been elected
to any legislative post, so people had to go on
the claims he made on his own behalf, which of
course turned out to be lies.
scored well, of course. Nobody has ever claimed
he wasn't liberal, and willing to stand for his
beliefs. But among all members of the House and
Senate, he came in fourth out of the five hundred
and thirty five. It was an extremely good score,
as you might expect from Dennis.
most consistently liberal was Ron Dellums with
a 96. Tied for second, with Maxine Waters, was
none other than John Kerry, both with 93. Kucinich
came next, with a 90. (John Edwards was tied with
Ted Kennedy for fifth, with 88).
the neo-fascist right, of course, that's terrible.
So they'll keep pumping that one, along with the
claims that Kerry wasn't really hero (like AWOL
was) and that he's got an inconsistent voting
record. It's always funny when they accidently
tell the truth and shoot themselves in the foot.
everyone who supports Dennis: Kerry's going to
get the nomination, and Dennis will support him.
Bank on it. And Dennis will be right to do so.
Remember that ADA rating. Remember that Kerry
DID serve, DID win a Silver Star, a Bronze Star
and THREE Purple Hearts. Remember he spoke out
against the war when it took courage to do so,
and even faced Congress to do so. He IS liberal,
and he DOES have the courage of his convictions.
he's running against the worst president in American
history, a craven man intent on giving America's
wealth -- and our freedoms -- to the undeserving
stay home because Kerry "isn't as steadfast" as
Kucinich. He is. In fact, even more so. And that's
high praise indeed.
conservatives: Remember your roots and ideals.
Remember your love of freedom, your love of the
Constitution. Vote for Nader.
get TLSOB out of the White House!
if you happen to live in California's Second District,
and you generally liked this essay, then you will
like Jeffery Vance, one of three Democrats running
in hopes of knocking off Wally Herger. He wants
to include liberals and conservatives against
the common foe on the far right. Support him Tuesday,
and if he wins, let's get Herger out of there!
Posted: March 1, 2004