The real reason Nader shouldn’t run


by James Clay Fuller, 3/5/08 • It is a bit of a shame that Ralph Nader has declared again for the presidency of the United States.

That is true, I think, not for any of the reasons corporate liberals and reliable members and backers of the Democratic National Committee are bleating about, but for another reason that I’ve yet to see anyone else mention:

In the event that the Democrats turn what was a huge, almost natural, advantage this year into electoral defeat – a distinct possibility — Nader again supplies them with an excuse and a way to avoid facing up to their own incompetence and lack of solid moral or practical grounds for holding office.

Personally, I don’t want them to have any ready excuses – none that might seem plausible to the befuddled public, at any rate.

The kingmakers, or in this case queenmakers, of the Democratic Party determined many moons ago that it was Hillary Clinton’s turn to run for president. Hey, she’s a Clinton, Bill is a great campaigner (they thought) and she absolutely will not disturb the organization or distribution of power.

If forced by the perhaps not fully subjugate Democratic electorate, the entrenched leadership will, somewhat reluctantly, accept Barak Obama as their candidate, operating on the reasonable assumption that he is pretty much their sort anyway and can quickly be brought to heel. It probably would have been his turn sooner or later anyway.

But what if their nominee, be it Clinton or Obama, loses in November?

That, I repeat, is a very real possibility, moving toward probability as Clinton gets nastier and ever more arrogant.

The vicious attack machine of the country’s far right is only beginning to rumble in its hole, and the Democrats evidently are as ill prepared as ever to deal with that machine once it is fully operational. And — gender and color aside — neither Democratic candidate chosen by the media barons and the party hacks looks all that much different from the empty suits the Democrats have paraded past us in election after election for more than a decade.

Obama can speak effectively, actually fire up a crowd, which, I grant, is a marvelous change from Gore, Kerry and, yes, Hillary. But eventually, if he’s nominated, his words are going to need the kind of content that makes the growing army of disaffected liberals believe he’s worth spending a vote on or he’s going down.

He’s not likely to come up with that content.

It would lose him any real support from the party organization and, because it comes late in the game, confuse all those deluded voters who believe we can compromise our way to some sort of livable accommodation with corporate powers and the far right.

So, having again forced upon us a candidate with no real positions to bring back the long-ignored liberals and readers and thinkers, with no real story to tell, the DLC, DSCC, DCCC and all the rest of those people who long ago earned their grade of D, will have to have their excuses ready.

Nothing easier than blaming Nader again. And the excuse probably will be believed again, at least by enough of the great army of the muddled, to keep all those D people and their over-priced consultants in business for another four years.

That is not a happy prospect.

(Nader will not cost the Democratic nominee the election by the way. He didn’t take away their “victory” in either of the two previous presidential elections either. They lost it themselves through the usual combination of general ineptness, intellectual dishonesty and lack of spine.)

Let’s face a heretical truth: The best possible outcome of the November 2008 presidential election, for this country and its people, may be the election of John McCain. And, yes, if elected he will be a horrible president, probably something close to as bad as George W. Bush.

The thing is, a McCain win could give us one — undoubtedly final — shot at creating a Democratic Party, or some other-named party, that can both win elections and govern honorably and effectively.

A Clinton win won’t do that. It’s highly unlikely that an Obama victory will do it. And successful use of the Nader excuse might keep the old party hacks in charge of the Democratic Party, leaving them free to choose another bad candidate and lose again in four years.

If Clinton or Obama gains the White House – which assumes that George Bush doesn’t use the power he granted himself last year to take control of all branches of government for as long as he deems necessary – all of the corporation loving, billionaire snuggling, empire-approving hacks of all of those D organizations stay in their plush offices, seeing to it that no essential changes are made.

They’ll allow a little cosmetic change in health care but, hey, donations pharmaceutical companies and insurance companies and all of that crowd pay a lot of Democratic Party bills. This year, in fact, Hillary Clinton is by a considerable margin the top political recipient of their largesse.

Iraq? Lotta campaign money from all those arms industry giants and we don’t want to deal with accusations of being “soft on terrorism.”

Constitution? Well, geez, we gotta hold the White House for the good of the people, which means we won’t be stepping on any communications corporation toes, nor offending any of those dangerous guys from the mercenary army organizations nor feeding the right wing think tankers any ammunition by shutting down Guantanamo or getting really serious about stopping “special rendition” and torture because that would make us seem “weak on defense,” etc., etc. endlessly.

In fact, maybe we should lay a few bombs on Iran just to prove how tough we are.

That’s your prospect. That’s the likelihood. And which of the Democrats is likely to give up all those juicy virtually dictatorial powers that Bush has declared for the presidency?

Neither? Right.

What we’ll get is a few new shades of lipstick and eyeshadow for the White House pig.

On the other hand, if McCain gets in, he’s going to feel compelled to show that he’s even leaner and meaner than G.W., and his vile temper is bound to become more apparent. The meanness will become too obvious for the press barons to successfully cover up. The wars will go on, the festering of the Middle East will continue according to the Bush plan, McCain is bound to cross swords dangerously with Vladimir Putin….

We’re talking really ugly, folks.

And that’s probably what it will take for Democrats and their natural constituency to, finally, throw out the self-serving fools who have turned the party into a branch of the Corporate Party.

Well, at least there is some chance that could happen, and there is no chance with Clinton or Obama.