February 16, 2003
Here we go again

Emma from The Oregon Blog, Barry Deutsch, and Nathan Newman are arguing about that moldie oldie Nader v. Gore. My sympathies are pretty firmly with Nathan on this one. In particular, I'm right there with him as he goes, for the umpty-millionth time, against the "there's no difference between Democrats and Republicans" canard:

Just false. In last fall's resolution on Iraq, the MAJORITY OF DEMOCRATS IN THE HOUSE voted against the war resolution.

Let me repeat. A MAJORITY OF HOUSE DEMOCRATS VOTED AGAINST THE WAR RESOLUTION. And it was the new Minority Leader, Nancy Pelosi, who led the forces to defeat the war resolution. And the man who would have been President, Al Gore, came out firmly against intervention.

It's not bad arguments on behalf of Nader that bother me most. It's arguments that just flat out don't tell the truth. Maybe the Naderites are so blind that they can't even notice reality, such as actual voting tallies or the position of Gore on intervention, but it's what makes their whole position seem so ridiculous and disconnected from any kind of reality.

Maybe the reason why there are so many dishonest arguments on behalf of Nader is because the man himself starting using them immediately after the election, as chronicled by Matt Welch, who spent several months in 2000 covering the Nader campaign and also voted for Nader. Welch demonstrated just last year that Nader continues to dissemble and fudge. It's no wonder that the same untruthful arguments are recycled by his supporters.

One thing that tends to get overlooked in the whole did-Nader-cost-Gore-the-election debate is that there were other factors in Florida that worked against the Democrats. Putting aside the infamous butterfly ballot, there's the fact that thousands of black voters were improperly removed from the voter rolls before the election. Given that blacks voted for Gore at a 93% clip in Florida, that's a sizeable chunk of support lost.

I'm not a Green voter. They don't support my values nearly as closely as the Democrats do. Sure, I wish the Democrats were more liberal on various issues, but they're a hell of a lot more liberal than the Republicans are.

Finally, I'm not particularly impressed by Green claims that the Democrats can't win without them. I don't think there's enough Green voters to justify expending a lot of effort to woo them. Nader got 1/37th of the vote in 2000. I'd rather have that tiny slice than not, but if I can't get it I'll look elsewhere. There's lots of other fish in the sea. The 2004 election is going to be won by turning out the base and by winning over independents. The Greens can get on board or stay on the sidelines. It's up to them.

Posted by Charles Kuffner on February 16, 2003 to Other punditry | TrackBack