Quantcast

'Conservatives for Nader. Not a Large Group.' | The Nation

  •  
Katrina vanden Heuvel

Katrina vanden Heuvel

Politics, current affairs and riffs and reflections on the news.

'Conservatives for Nader. Not a Large Group.'

Ralph Nader continues to fantasize that his candidacy will succeed in peeling as many Republican and Independent votes away from Bush as progressive votes from Kerry. But, as comic Jon Stewart quips: "Conservatives for Nader. Not a large group. About the same size as 'Retarded Death Row Texans for Bush.'"

The problem is that, as Micah Sifry writes in his smart weblog, all the polls show Nader drawing anywhere between 3 and 7 percent of the vote, with the internals skewing heavily to the left. Sure, some people who will vote for Nader would otherwise not vote at all. But it's clear that most of Nader's support--whether he tops his 2000 showing of 2.7 percent or not--will come from many who would otherwise vote for John Kerry.

This does not deter Nader. In a front-page story in yesterday's New York Times and in a live on-air appearance on the brand new liberal radio network Air America, he seemed to relish tweaking friends and former allies. He even hung up the phone in a live on-air interview with one of Air America's hottest radio hosts, Randi Rhodes, who was challenging him about why he felt the need to campaign in swing states, among other key issues. The click came after the two engaged in a bitter discussion about progressive values and political strategy in this election and beyond.

Let's hope Nader has a more productive dialogue with Democratic presidential nominee John Kerry when they meet sometime this month in a meeting requested by Nader.

As for my position on Nader's candidacy, check out The Nation's " Open Letter" from the February 16, 2004 issue and our editorial from March 15.

Before commenting, please read our Community Guidelines.