Sunday, February 24, 2008

Is Ralph Nader in Bed with the GOP?

While the title is somewhat tongue-in-cheek, one has to wonder. Sunday on Meet the Press, Ralph Nader announced his candidacy for president.

It's interesting that one of the numbers he used to support his candidacy is a poll by Frank Luntz, a GOP pollster. He says that 80% of Americans would "consider" voting for an Independent candidate this year.

Why is he listening to a GOP pollster? Shouldn't he be listening to an Independent pollster? If I didn't know better, I'd wonder if the GOP put out that number to help Nader make his decision, knowing that Nader will pull voters from the Democrats.

Sure, a lot of what he says may make sense. But he can't win. There is no way he can win. Why waste time and money on this? And let's consider the natural resources he'll use use up in terms of energy and more in this "Green Party" run (and yes, I realize they are not solely about "green" in environmental terms).

I am a practical person. Looking at this bid in those terms, this bid makes absolutely no sense. So why bother?

Is Nader an impractical person? Or is he just in bed with the GOP?

In the 2000 election, when Nader took more than 97,000 votes in Florida. Bush won Florida by just 537 votes. Exit polls show that voters would have gone for Gore 2 - 1 if Nader was not on the ballot. Nader is why we have Bush in office.

Of course, it could also be said it had something to do with the Supreme Court, Katherine Harris, Jeb Bush and others - but without Nader we wouldn't have had to worry about any of that.

The video below shows Nader's announcement. What it doesn't show is what Russert said afterward:
RUSSERT: As you know, Ralph Nader, they'll be Democrats all across the country who are going to find this very disturbing news, and they'll point again to 2000. This was the vote count. Al Gore winning the popular vote, but you've got 2.7 percent, nearly three million votes, in 2000. Then Florida, Florida, Florida. As you remember, George Bush won Florida by 537 votes. You've got 97,488. Democrat after Democrat says to this day, Ralph Nader, if your name had not been on that ballot, Al Gore would've carried Florida. Exit polls show he would've carried Nader voters 2-to-1. Gore would've been president and not George Bush. You, Ralph Nader are responsible for what has happened the last seven years.

NADER: Not, not George Bush? Not the Democrats in Congress? Not the voters who voted for George Bush? But there were Democrats in Florida, 250,000 of them. You know, I wish we'd have Al Gore on this program someday Tim and ask him, "Why did you not become president in 2000?" And I think what he's going to tell you is he thought he did win Florida, but it was taken from him before, during and after the election from Tallahassee. Katherine Bush--you know the secretary of the state...

RUSSERT: Katherine Harris.

NADER: Harris, rather, and Jeb Bush, all the way to that terribly politicized Supreme Court decision.
Yeah, yeah, like I said, without Nader, no worries about the Supreme Court decision. Although Nader goes on to say if the Democrats can't take the election in a landslide, then they ought to fold up shop.
RUSSERT: How would you feel, however, if Ralph Nader's presence on the ballot tilted Florida or Ohio to John McCain and McCain became president, and Barack Obama, the first African-American who had been nominated by the Democratic Party--this is hypothetical--did not become a president and people turned to you and said, "Nader, you've done it again"?

NADER: Not a chance. If the Democrats can't landslide the Republicans this year, they ought to just wrap up, close down, emerge in a different form. You think the American people are going to vote for a pro-war John McCain who almost gives an indication that he's the candidate of perpetual war, perpetual intervention overseas?
What an idiot. I hate to diminish his past accomplishments but - what an idiot. The thing is the GOP plays the fear card and many Americans fall for it, as though the Democrats would say to terrorists "please come here and kill us." How many people have you heard say that security is their number one bullet point? And that only the GOP can give us security (a totally foolish statement).

While Nader is likely not in bed with the GOP, he might as well be. Since this announcement, forums and comments all over the web have been that Nader just gave the election to McCain. Many of those posts came from GOP voters. While that may be an exaggeration, I wish we didn't have to take that chance.

Watch his announcement:

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