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Sunday, February 24, 2008

The Country has not learned its lesson.

Who is more populist than John Edwards, greener than Al Gore, older than John McCain, and has an ego that puts Bill Clinton's to shame? RALPH NADER. Because stupid Americans have not suffered enough under the Bush Presidency, Nader's "principles" have driven him to try to get John McCain elected president. Such a noble, selfless man, that Ralph Nader.

To be clear, I understand that the Republicans had a lot to do with getting Bush in office, but I don't want to turn a blind eye to Nader's role in 2000 and now in 2008. Ralph Nader: American hero.

10 comments:

Matt Dick said...

I'm all for your bitterness. But Nader did point out two things:

1) Each third party candidate in 2000 had more than 600 votes in Florida.

2) He actually, honestly, doesn't think the democrats are any better than Republicans. I point this out every time you spew invective at him: you hold him to a funny standard. Choose any person who didn't actually vote for Al Gore and you have a person equally responsible for not voting for Al Gore. Seriously, you are criticizing a man for not giving his voters over to someone he doesn't want to be president. How absurd is that?

Again, Ralph Nader thinks Barack Obama would make a destructive president. Why are you especially angry with him for working for a different outcome? Because he robs voters who might otherwise vote for Obama or Clinton, of course. But as Nader pointed out on Sunday, if the Democrats don't win in a landslide over the Republicans in November, saying that this is somehow Nader's fault is just missing the point.

JimII said...

Ralph Nader gets special scorn from me because I feel like he should be on our team. It's the same reason that Baptist rhetoric can make me angrier than Muslim rhetoric. I feel betrayed when someone from my team says somthing awful.

This Sunday we read about the woman at the well, and it illustrates a similar dynamic in Jesus' time with Samaritans. The Samaritans we basically Jews who remained behind during the exile and inter-married with the Assyrians. But, because they were close to the Jews of Jesus' time, they were hated more than would seem reasonable.

Also, Ralph Nader said the Al Gore and G.W. Bush were no different. He is okay with that decision today. So, I mean, I don't know what to say about that.

Matt Dick said...

Nader is not on your team. If you make peace with that truth, this may be easier for you

Mystical Seeker said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
JimII said...

Well, the comment deleted by the author was a good one for those who are not represented. I'll respect the author's desire not to be associated with the comment, but it was basically, if neither guy represents me, who are you to say I should vote for your guy.

That's fair. I certainly understand that. If your choices were Hitler, Stalin and Jimmy Carter, but Jimmy Carter was a third party candidate, who would you vote for? Jimmy Carter, I get it.

What I don't get, is how a person can look at the country from 1992-2000, being run by a very conservative Democrat, and then look at the country from 2000-2008, and believe there is anything similar about these two political parties.

Did anything get better, for liberals, under Bush? No. Not one damn thing. He was universally worse for the environment, civil liberties, personal privacy, corporate influence over the government, peace, economic justice, etc. Was Clinton perfect, or hell, even very good on some of these. No. But the Democratic Party is a universally better choice for liberals than the Republican Party.

If the choices were Hitler, George W. Bush and Jimmy Carter, and Jimmy Carter was a third party candidate with no chance of winning, I'd vote for Bush. I think to do otherwise is indefensible because there is stuff in the real world that actually happens.

If this was 2000, and you claimed that the difference between Bush and Gore is too little to matter, fine. I think you're wrong. I would yell at you if we were talking in public, but then I'd feel bad and have to apologize. But in 2008 you say the difference is too little to matter? You are living in some world I don't recognize.

Mystical Seeker said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
David said...

JimII:

"What I don't get, is how a person can look at the country from 1992-2000, being run by a very conservative Democrat, and then look at the country from 2000-2008, and believe there is anything similar about these two political parties."

"The spirit of liberty is the spirit that is not quite sure it is right." - Learned Hand

Just because you don't recognize the similarities doesn't mean the rest of us are similarly clueless. You seem to forget that it was Bubba who bombed civilians in Serbia, that is was Bubba who threw millions of poor mothers and their children off welfare, that it was Bubba who sat by and watched the genocide in Rwanda, that it was Bubba who squandered the "peace dividend."

The only place you can even begin to draw a distinction is the invasion of Iraq--which Bubba's wife (and just about every other Democrat in Congress except for Russ Feingold and Barbara Lee) voted to authorize--and Dubya's disasterous occupation policy--which Sen. Clinton and Sen. Obama voted to fund each time they were asked to do so.

I get it that you still find a meaningful difference in there somewhere but you're not being charitable nor reasonable when you suggest that a couple of percentages of the entire electorate who don't see things the same way you do are idiots--or traitors to the Communist, er . . . I mean, Democratic Party line.

"But the Democratic Party is a universally better choice for liberals than the Republican Party."

Ah. I see. Well, there's no use bothering to have any more conversations here. With friends like these who needs enemies? I'll be unsubscribing from your RSS feed now.

It's been fun mostly, up until the end, at least.

Be well,

David Johnson
Chandler, Arizona

JimII said...

David,

I wrote, "But the Democratic Party is a universally better choice for liberals than the Republican Party."

You wrote, "Ah. I see. Well, there's no use bothering to have any more conversations here. With friends like these who needs enemies? I'll be unsubscribing from your RSS feed now."

I have mixed feelings about this. It makes me genuinely sad to know that we can't converse on these topics AND much of what I write has more to do with the relationship between faith and politics than the mechanics of politics.

But, that said, if you think that the proposition that the Democratic Party has been better for liberals than the Republican party is controversial, then we do operate in such different worlds that it probably isn't possible to exchange ideas. Not with the facts we base our ideas on being so different.

Perhaps you could just read the more interesting posts. But, I understand your frustration, and recognize that this might be too difficult.

Love,
JimII

Matt Dick said...

What I don't get, is how a person can look at the country from 1992-2000, being run by a very conservative Democrat, and then look at the country from 2000-2008, and believe there is anything similar about these two political parties.

Nader takes a long view. In fact I would imagine that 200 years from now it's not going to be as easy a distinction as it seems to you and me. Clinton fired a huge number of missiles into Iraq for exactly the reason that Bush invaded.

Again, from our vantage point, Clinton's and Bush's approaches seem totally different. A few centuries from now it might seem (it may inevitably seem) as if Clinton started the invasion and Bush continued it.

People are lost in the historical picture when we lose the granularity of temporal proximity. I'm reading from multiple historians now that we should start talking about WWI and WWII as really just one conflict with a hiatus from fighting in the middle. If that's possible just 80-50 years later, why is Iraq of the turn of this century going to appear different? Before you (quite reasonably) start pointing out lies in front of the UN, just think about how absurd a Jew in England in 1941 would think it for us to say WWI and WWII are the same conflict.

JimII said...

Again, from our vantage point, Clinton's and Bush's approaches seem totally different. A few centuries from now it might seem (it may inevitably seem) as if Clinton started the invasion and Bush continued it.

Yeah, okay. But this post is about voting. It is about making that binary decision every four years. And in that context, I stand by my assessment that not only is it true to say that the Democratic Party more effectively furthers the goals of liberals, that the proposition, which is admittedly emperically and deals with abstract ideas, is about as true as such statements can be. In no small part because it only says the D's are more helpful.