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"America has two great dominant strands of political thought - conservatism, which, at its very best, draws lines that should not be crossed; and progressivism, which, at its very best, breaks down barriers that should never have been erected." -- Bill Clinton, Dedication of the Clinton Presidential Library, November 2004

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Sunday, February 24, 2008


Nader's Nadir

posted by Aziz P. at Sunday, February 24, 2008 permalink View blog reactions
Ralph Nader is back!

Ralph Nader goes on NBC’s Meet the Press tomorrow morning, stoking speculation that the consumer advocate is gearing up for another presidential bid.
An email to supporters from Nader’s presidential exploratory committee ticked off a list of issues that have been “pulled off the table by the corporatized political machines in this momentous election year,” including defense budget cuts, opposition to nuclear power, and a single-payer national health insurance system.

well, single-payer would be great, but opposition to nuclear power? defense budget cuts? It's like he's stuck in 1962. He's the candidate for Counterpunch, and exhibit A of why I think the Progressive movement is fundamentally conservative (and stands apart from the liberal mainstream).

As I argued previously, in one sense Nader's run will benefit the Democratic nominee, because it will permit them to distance themselves from the ultraleft fringe and make a more compelling case for the independent vote in the general election.

Most of the people who would vote for Nader are the ones for whom even Edwards was too conservative. The turnout from these types is going to be miniscule. The only reason Nader had an impact in 2000 was because he drew enough independent voters to him. This year with Obama (likely) and McCain fighting over the independent vote, Nader wont get any oxygen. Nader can't improve on his 2004 performance and will likely do even worse this time around. So let the Progressive Left choo-choo-choose Ralph as they please. This election is the Liberal Moment, and it's our turn. We won't be denied.



Well, I won't make the mistake of voting for him this time (Well, I did so in 2000 because I really didn't like either candidate and I didn't look too closely at Nader's positions outside of he wasn't "one of them"... Sorry about that.)

As one who always described himself as a conservative leaning constitutionalist who ended up voting for Nader in 2000 and for the Libertarian ticket in 2004, I really want to vote for Obama this time around. Policy-wise, I'd probably be closest to Ron Paul, but I don't think he would make a good president; I feel Dr. Paul (and more representatives like him) would better serve the country in the Legislature. But in the past year, I've changed my view of how to choose someone for President. Now, I look less at their policies and more for someone who would lead with wisdom and intelligence. And that is something I see in Obama more than any of the other potential candidates.

Though, in truth, it's likely that I'd be voting for Hillary anyways if she ended up as the Democratic nominee, though it becomes more of a "lesser of two evils" vote there. That really depends on how she wins it, though (I.E., the super-delegates fiasco...)


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About Nation-Building

Nation-Building was founded by Aziz Poonawalla in August 2002 under the name Dean Nation. Dean Nation was the very first weblog devoted to a presidential candidate, Howard Dean, and became the vanguard of the Dean netroot phenomenon, raising over $40,000 for the Dean campaign, pioneering the use of Meetup, and enjoying the attention of the campaign itself, with Joe Trippi a regular reader (and sometime commentor). Howard Dean himself even left a comment once. Dean Nation was a group weblog effort and counts among its alumni many of the progressive blogsphere's leading talent including Jerome Armstrong, Matthew Yglesias, and Ezra Klein. After the election in 2004, the blog refocused onto the theme of "purple politics", formally changing its name to Nation-Building in June 2006. The primary focus of the blog is on articulating purple-state policy at home and pragmatic liberal interventionism abroad.