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I've been thinking about the 97,000 Floridians who voted for Ralph Nader in 2000. Wonder how they're coping these days.

Of course they didn't exactly vote for Bush. And they didn't screw up the Gore campaign. And they didn't design Palm Beach County's butterfly ballot. And they didn't knock 50,000-plus mostly African American voters off the rolls.

In the end Al Gore lost Flordia by 527 votes, supposedly. I say supposedly because a statewide all-county recount as mandated under state law was never carried out - so, really, we don't know what the final tally was.

What we do know is that when BushCheney took office, his first priority was to gut the country's environmental laws and climb in bed, metaphorically speaking, with Big Oil and energy flimflammers like Enron.

The second priority was the invasion of Iraq. Of course it took three years, a terrorist attack and juiced up intelligence to pull that one off.

Now we have more than 2,037 dead and 17,000-plus wounded American soldiers and between 25,000 and 100,000 dead Iraqis, most of them civilians. And the war drags on even though the administration makes noises about victory as if any day they'll announce Mission Accomplished Again.

We also have a lot of other woes we never thought we'd have. As David Orr writes of the current administration:

[The Republicans under Bush have] chosen to lead by deception, ignore economic reality, refute science when its findings are inconvenient, foster class divisions, snub the poor, vitiate laws and regulations that protect the environment and public health by stealth, destroy venerable alliances, flaunt international law, undermine the foundations of democracy at home, and destroy the capacity of government, painstakingly created over many decades by Republicans and Democrats alike, to solve serious public problems. The Party of Lincoln has become a gang of thieves given to cutting taxes for the wealthy and willing to "do whatever it takes" to stay in power ...
That's the government the 2000 election wrought. So, yes, there WAS a difference between Bush and Gore.

By now those 97,000 Green Party voters have scraped their Nader/La Duke stickers off their bumpers. Hell, they've probably gotten rid of the cars.

And I bet if you polled every voter in the hurricane-battered, currently red state of Florida, you wouldnt find more than a few thousand willing to admit they voted for Ralph Nader back in 2000.

But they'll never be able to forget who they are, will they?

National Debunker

Originally posted to dbnkr on Fri Nov 04, 2005 at 01:53 PM PST.

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Comment Preferences

  •  yeah they fucked up (none)
    but it's 5 years later now.

    And most of them seem pretty damn repentant.

    How long are we going to make them twist in the wind for exercising their right to make up their own mind?

    •  OK, This is Getting a Little Scary (none)
      We think too much alike.  

      That should make you concerned.

      The revolution will not be televised, but we'll analyze it to death at The Next Hurrah.

      by Dana Houle on Fri Nov 04, 2005 at 02:01:38 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Here is my take on Nader and his 2000/2004 runs (4.00)
      1. I DO NOT blame Nader for running 2000. Every good citizen entitled to that right.

      2. I DO blame Nader for misrepresenting Gore, by likening Gore to Bush in that campaign (I think his words were "there isn't enough difference between Bush and Gore", which evidently was absolutely unfounded; Isn't there "enough difference" between $200 Billion budget surplus per annum and $300 Billion budget deficit of Papa Bush, not to talk about Chimpy's $500 Billion?)

      3. I VEHEMENTLY BLAME some Nader-cohorts such as the so-called "Environmentalists Agaisnt Gore", who said "Many of our members support Ralph Nader, and others believe that even having George W. Bush in the White House, under the eye of an energized environmental community, will lead to better protection for nature and wildlife than we can expect from Al Gore.". See here, and here.

      4. I DO NOT blame Nader voters in 2000, but I criticize them for poor judgement.

      5. I VEHEMENTLY BLAME Nader for running in 2004, having seen what happened in 2000.

      6. I strongly criticize the remaining 2004 Nader voters in 2004 for utterly lacking judegment. And applaud the 2000 Nader voters that switched to Kerry.

      Fair enough?

      •  A couple of further points (4.00)
        1. There is absolutely no doubt in my mind that Gore would have wrapped up FL and possibly even NH, had Nader not run, and would've had an easier time winning OR/WI so Gore could've potentially gainfully   diverted the resources spent in those states. Gore may have won upto 300-330 EC votes if Nader were not a factor.

        2. I DO support the notion of a multi-party democracy, but without Runoff Voting it is a no-go, and is proving to be essentially fatal even to the claimed causes of the current visible advocates of third parties.

        •  And (4.00)
          Gore was pouring resources the last couple days into "safe" states because of Nader.  Taking 5% of the vote in MN (and there were plenty of other similar states) caused valuable resources to be used in states that never were previously up for grabs.  
        •  What's with Nader taking GOP help in 2004? (4.00)
          This factcheck article states:

          But it is well documented that some Republican-leaning groups have worked for Nader, and that a few wealthy Republican donors have given money to the Nader campaign.

          Now, with that fact, basically, Nader and his cohorts have lost any credibility whatsover they had left by that point, in my opinion.

  •  I'm As Harsh as Anyone... (4.00)
    ...around here about Nader, and unrepentant Nader supporters.  When I was still a guest blogger I wrote a piece about the stunning irresponsibility of Nader's 2004 campaign, and his refusal to accept responsibility for his role in the 2000 debacle.    But I don't know what's accomplished by grinding it in the face of people who voted for Nader in 2000 if they're not running around defending their decision.  

    One of my best friends voted for Nader in 2004.  (In Michigan, which Gore won by 5%.)  He says it was a dumb decision, and he kicks himself for not recognizing how bad Bush was.  I'd be kicking his ass if he was still spouting the crap about Gore being just as bad as Bush, about Nader and his supporters not sharing some responsibility for the Bush win, etc.  But if people aren't running  around saying that crap, and especially if they were "popular front" types in 2000, let's practice "big tent" politics and not demonize them.

    The revolution will not be televised, but we'll analyze it to death at The Next Hurrah.

    by Dana Houle on Fri Nov 04, 2005 at 02:01:02 PM PST

    •  If They Were Popular Front Types... (none) 2004.

      The revolution will not be televised, but we'll analyze it to death at The Next Hurrah.

      by Dana Houle on Fri Nov 04, 2005 at 02:02:36 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Besides. (none)
      It's more fun to rub it in my friends noses that actually voted FOR Bush. Nothing's more fun than watching their faces when they complain about Bush and I remind them that I warned them in 1999.
    •  Demonize Nader not... (4.00)
      ...his supporters.  For them, causes are more important than personalities - and most of the time I agree.  But you have to draw the line somewhere, and the Nader supporters are guilty of no more than a lapse in judgement.  

      Nader was (is) pathologically narcissistic, and his blithe willingness to inflict Bush on us is proof.  Was he really so vain to think that he could spark the great American political reallignment?  All he did was create a cascade of horrible unintended consequences.  In the end, the only good thing about Nader is that he may well have strengthened the very Democratic party he despises so much.  

      I still can't find a silver lining for that other Nader-like narcissist, Judy Miller, the 2004 spoiler.  

      •  Ralph Nader, Suicide Bomber (4.00)
        Anyone who ever doubts that Ralph Nader is a whore needs to read this...

        Article from the "Village Voice" written by Harry G. Levine...

        ...Later I was introduced to Nader's closest adviser (his) nephew, Tarek Milleron.

        When I suggested that Nader could gain substantial influence in a Democratic administration by focusing his campaign on the 40 safe states and encouraging his supporters elsewhere to vote Gore, Milleron leaned coolly toward me with extra steel in his voice and body.

        He did not disagree.

        He simply said, "We're not going to do that."

        "Why not?" I said.

        With just a flicker of smile, he answered, "Because we want to punish the Democrats, we want to hurt them, wound them."

        There was a long silence and the conversation was over.

        Where are we going and why are we in this handbasket?!

        by Ranting Roland on Fri Nov 04, 2005 at 03:35:41 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Oh my god I still live (none)
    in shame for voting for Nader in 1996. I did it because I thought Clinton needed a kick in the ass to make good on the left-wing agenda I was hoping for.

    I actually thought in 2000 that Nader was a total asshole. He could have formed a coalition, but became an ego-centric iconoclast instead. I have hated the green party ever since, for being politically inept.

  •  Here's an unsurprising correlation (4.00)
    For each of the 50 states + DC, I've plotted the difference between Kerry's share of the vote in 2004 and Gore's share of the vote in 2000 vs. Nader's share of the vote in that state in 2000.

    Image Hosted by

  •  The Supreme Court was lost with those votes (4.00)
    I don't like specifically blaming those voters for the Gore loss. He had problems with his campaign, no doubt, and let's all say it out loud...the GOP stole Florida.

    But, the very exisitence of those voters in a campaign where every left of center person in this country should have been very suspicious of George W. Bush and anyone who would back him, shows how clueless a lot of people on the left were about the stakes of the 2000 election.

    Those votes cost us the Supreme Court. That reason alone should have made Nader Supporters Gore supporters.

    •  I have worked with the greens (none)
      in some recent campaigns and while their idealism is great, they are not practical.  Their idealism is often too rigid and I sometimes see elements of those ideas on this blog site.  They are Americans and have a right to do what they want, but I sure don't want their inflexibility running the Dems into the ground.  Democrats must get control of this government again, and I don't want the greens screwing us again.

      Those who can make you believe absurdities, can make you commit atrocities-Voltaire

      by hairspray on Fri Nov 04, 2005 at 02:28:44 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Politicaly Naive (none)
        That is the killer part. Organizing as a block. Raising money. Campaigning for Nader in DEMOCRAT primary, all of these things could win this block a seat at the table to affect party positions. It would have to come with the realization that a small group like that will not get everything they want, and that they will have to compromise.

        But with money, organization, and motivated foot soliders to offer the Party Nominee, they would haveg gotten a lot further with their agenda with this approach than with a third party candidacy.

        And for damn sure would have protected the issues that needed protection on the SCOTUS and in the Congress.

        Hopefully a lesson learned.

        •  It is rare that I make any defense of Nader (none)
          of the loyalists, but I did think that Gore particularly didn't do a great job at reaching out to those voters and I always considered them natural allies.  Nader did his share to make sure that the alliance was not made, but  I think the Gore campaign team made a decision at some point not to bother with the Naderits and instead do that "go to the middle thing" that is so trendy.  I am not so sure that that had to be an "either or" choice.  Gore was an excellent environmental candidate and I felt he could have definitely picked off some Nader types, but it just never happened.  

          So I can't be angry at a group of people for not following someone who ignores them.  I can be angry with Nader and I am and I won't explain - it has all been said before.

        •  Yes, very naive (none)
          to suggest that the left should have just trusted a party that Sister Souljahed it for eight years. Lefties and Greenies did plenty of nose-holding and campaigning for Clinton in 1992, thinking they would get something out of it. What they got was a little lip service, a lot of abuse and a lot of nothing.

          To suggest patronizingly that people should have just worked within the system is to utterly ignore the antagonism of the DLC toward the left over the eight years of Clinton's presidency.

          "Those who would give up essential liberty, to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety." -Benjamin Franklin

          by Septic Tank on Fri Nov 04, 2005 at 03:33:28 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  what they got (4.00)
            was far superior to anything they've gotten in the last 5 years (with 3 more to go).  There's a point, sometimes referred to as 'adulthood', where you have to be able to think beyond the immediate desire and/or emotion and make quality, strategic decisions.  
          •  Keep cutting your nose off then (none)
            What they got after 2000 was a hell of a lot worse than what they got before 2000.

            It is just the simple truth. Deny it at your political peril.

      •  Inflexibility? (none)
        Say something bad about globalization and Demcorats would throw a fit. Same with corporate welfare and "donations". Seems like Democrats are more rigid than anything. At least Greens allow free thought.
  •  Democracy (none)
    Sorry, it's called a democracy. Deal with it.

    We need more Naders and other options.


    You see, what confuses the world is the incongruity between the swift flight of the mind and matter's vast clumsy slowness...

    by Hauer Santos on Fri Nov 04, 2005 at 02:13:44 PM PST

    •  It's Called a Winner Take All System (4.00)
      Deal with it.

      This isn't parliamentary politics. You lose by one vote, you lose everything. Options as you call them are not going to be found outside one of the two major parties. The change you are politiking for has to be brought within the Democratic party, or it will die on the vine...after causing a few more election losses.

    •  but (none)
      we need Runoff Voting system (IRV, e.g.) to go with third parties, or otherwise the real crooks will continue to reign supreme.

    •  Oh, we're dealing with it... (4.00)
      And we will be for the next thirty years.
    •  It's this kind of crap (none)
      that reminds me that it is NOT POSSIBLE to dump on Nader enough.

      Nader voters are just, in many cases, like big dumb rocks.  They have a few ideas, repeat them endlessly and can't see that Bush is really worse than Gore.

      Much worse

      "Every normal man must be tempted at times to spit upon his hands, hoist the black flag, and begin slitting throats." - H.L. Mencken

      by dataguy on Fri Nov 04, 2005 at 03:31:42 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Oh well (none)
        If people want to vote for 3rd parties, they have the right. This is a democracy, not a fascist nation....unless you want that. Based on comments here, Democrats would support a one party fascist nation.
        •  Hey, I have no problem with that (none)
          However, if you insist on voting for Nader which is your right, i will insist on calling you a moron, because anyone who votes for Nader is, verifiably and truly, a moron.

          So, be a moron, I don't care.  Just don't ask me to respect your intelligence.

          "Every normal man must be tempted at times to spit upon his hands, hoist the black flag, and begin slitting throats." - H.L. Mencken

          by dataguy on Sat Nov 05, 2005 at 02:47:23 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  Remember (none)
    Nobody is entitled to anyone's vote. Democrats need to work hard for votes.

    If you are going to complain, complain about an undemocratic first past the post voting system.

  •  unfortunately (4.00)
    there was no choice other than Nader in 2000 for anyone who was interested in:

    National Healthcare
    CIA and other Secret agency reform
    Decreased Military Spending
    breaking up the media monopolies

    I remember watching Nader speak and thinking, "he's the only one saying what I want to hear"

    That said, I still took the coward's way out and voted for Gore, precisely because I guessed Bush would be pretty bad for the country, and Nader had no chance of winning.  

    There was also the issue of the 5% level, which, if achieved, would have guaranteed Green Party matching funds for the next election.. something a lot of progressives supported.  

    Nader was the last chance for any third party movement to take hold in the country for a LONG time, small chance as it may have been.

    As such there is still no representation for those of us not lucky enough to live in the districts of the few real liberals left in this congress.

    Selfishly, I'm more pissed at John Edwards for surrendering his Senate Seat, and leaving us here in NC with the syncophantic Richard Burr in his place.  Him and Dole make perfect wingnut bookends, and we're stuck with the both them for at least 3 more years.

    Nader was right about one thing.. We need something different than a 2 party winner take all system in this country.

    For those of you that continue to blame Nader for Gore's loss, I'll just say that if Gore 2005 happened to be around in 2000, it would have been no contest.

    I'm mad as hell, and I'm not gonna take this anymore!

    by MarkinNC on Fri Nov 04, 2005 at 02:15:46 PM PST

    •  Yeah, It's About What You Want to Hear (3.00)
      Never mind that Nader was never going to do anything about any of those issues, BECAUSE HE WAS NEVER GOING TO WIN!!!!!

      So, in the end, rather than make a responsible choice, you indulged in a vote that made you feel good, rather than one that was cast in the interests of the entire country and was directed toward one of the only two candidates who had a chance to win.

      What you did was the equavalent of not voting, because you did nothing to keep Bush from getting control of the White House.  

      You cast your vote because of the way it made you feel, not for what it could have done for the good of the country.

      The revolution will not be televised, but we'll analyze it to death at The Next Hurrah.

      by Dana Houle on Fri Nov 04, 2005 at 02:20:05 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Oh joy, another Nader flogging diary... (none)
    ...almost as popular as Civil War reenactments among the folks who like to re-fight the same battles over and over.

    What about the 12.5% of self-identified Democrats who voted for Bush in Florida? Are we beating them up too?

    I mean, it's not like there's anything happening now that we should be paying more attention to...

    "What does the contents of my underpants have to do with national security?" -- Hank Hill

    by GreenCA on Fri Nov 04, 2005 at 02:16:24 PM PST

    Talk about beating a dead horse. Who still blames Nader for 2000? Why not blame the millions of Floridians who failed to show up at the ballots? Why not blame Gore himself for running one of the most inept campaigns of modern electoral history?

    It makes me sick to think that Democratic operatives were actually going to state commisions to get Nader's name struck from ballots across the country. Talk about un-Democratic.

    Did the Democratic Party not back the war in Iraq? We can go point by point and argue how much of a difference between Democrats and Republicans exists. The fact is, time and time again the Democratic party has displayed the same lack of spine that drove those 97,000 people to believe that a viable 3rd party option was the best hope of saving our democracy.

    Before you blame others, blame yourselves. When you continue to embrace mediocrity and excuse the ineptitude of the campaign ran in 2000, the more Kerry in 2004's we're going to get. Remember 2004? All the Green Party people throwing their support behind Kerry? We still lost!!! And by an even larger margin!

    So STOP IT! The horse is dead.  

    •  Jeeze (none)
      Take responsibility.  NOBODY is saying it's ALL Nader's fault.  But he and his unrepentant supporters think they bear no responsibility for what happened.  

      The revolution will not be televised, but we'll analyze it to death at The Next Hurrah.

      by Dana Houle on Fri Nov 04, 2005 at 02:21:20 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Stop (4.00)
        Like I said. Every Green threw their support behind Kerry in '04 and we still lost.

        What responsibility? Those people went through the process of registering, showed up at the polls on that November day, and willingly voted for a candidate who they full well knew had no chance of winning. 97,000 people. What does that say to you about Gore's campaign in 2000?

        Why would you ever blame someone who actually showed up to vote, for the way they voted? It's every citizens right to vote their conscience. Like another comment said...thousands of self-identified Floridian Democrats voted Republican in that election. Yet people always want to bring up Nader.

        We need to work on demanding better from the Democratic Party and stop letting the Bob Shrums of the world run our campaigns.

      •  LOL (none)
        Typical liberal. Can't take responsibility for their actions. Run a centrist, poll chasing campaign that supports globalization and lakc of vision then blame others for losing.
    •  Apparantly it's not (none)
      90,000 people motivated enough to register and vote in Florida bought the line of Nader bullsh!that there was no difference between the two parties, and Gore was exactly like Bush.

      Well, he was fucking wrong.

        •  prove what? (none)
          that Gore would have appointed the crazy fucking neocons to run our foreign policy? and given our INTEL and energy policy to Dick Cheney? that he'd be campaigning to legalize torture as American policy? that he would have sat on his ass in the summer of 2000 while INTEL poured in that Bin Laden was up to something? that he would have ignored Richard Clarke when Clarke got worried that summer? that he would have sat on his ass for 7 minutes after being told the country was under attack? that he would have appointed people like Brownie to run FEMA into ground?
    •  Who? (none)
      I blame Nader. He cost Gore FL, NH and possibly one other state.

      "Every normal man must be tempted at times to spit upon his hands, hoist the black flag, and begin slitting throats." - H.L. Mencken

      by dataguy on Fri Nov 04, 2005 at 03:33:01 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Greens didn't GIVE UP the Fight for the 2000 elect (none)
    All Gore did.  

    Give the Greens a break.  

    The democratic party chose not to fight in 2004 either, when the election was stolen.

    How are you feeling now as a registered democrat?

    •  Good point (none)
      While Kerry gave up like a little girl, Greens and Libertarians fought voting fraud while Kerry ignored the issue. Seems like the 2 major parties don't care for democracy.
  •  Instead of talking about what we lost... (none)
    ... because of the Florida Nader voters, why not talk about what we got as a result?

    1. DailyKos
    2. Backlash against corporate Dems
    3. Very energized base
    4. A new progressive movement that would have never taken hold because of "status-quo."
    5. A challenge to the DLC
    6. A halt to our steady slide toward conservative policies

    Yeah, I know. It sucks having Bush in office, but in the end, we'll be better for it if we seize the opportunities as they present themselves.


    •  That's to Dean/Dean Movement's credit (none)
      "   1. DailyKos
         2. Backlash against corporate Dems
         3. Very energized base
         4. A new progressive movement that would have never taken hold because of "status-quo."
         5. A challenge to the DLC
         6. A halt to our steady slide toward conservative policies

      Most of those are direct results of the Dean 2004 movement (I think "campaign" does not do justice).

      More to the point, if not for Dean running in 2004, we'd running around trying to find who is not Republican-lite/hard in the Dem. party.

    •  Yes! Focusing on the final vote tally is simply (none)
      a wrongheaded way to analyze the impact of that year's Nader campaign on the election.

      Indeed, many disaffected liberals who would not have voted at all because "there is no difference between the two parties" (a still-popular concept I never adopted, despite some merits) registered to vote only because of Nader's run.

      These Nader liberals then switched their votes to Gore, to make their vote "count": Nader might even be the reason Gore won the election that year.

      I think I read that two out of every three Nader supporters voted for Gore in that election.

      Stop feeling guilty for being an active citizen!

      Novus Ordo Seclorum. Since 1776.

      by Ignacio Magaloni on Fri Nov 04, 2005 at 02:39:40 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  i'd like to add (none)
      1. total GOP control of the Judicary

      2. Orwellian environmental policy that destroys what it claims to protect

      3. a healthy budget turned into a massive debt

      4. 2,000 dead, 20,000 injured in Iraq with no end in site

      5. likely loss of Social Security in the coming years due to the budget crises the GOPers are creating

      6. immediate dangers of Medicaid collapse because of the same policy

      7. growing influence of the Christian right in almost every social and cultural issue in the country.

      oh yeah, what a great thing it was to have the symbolic Nader campaign. really taught a valuable lesson.
  •  Yeah, pathetic (4.00)
    If you know how pathetic, reactive, appeasnik, mushmouthed, milquetoast, vacillating and corporatist the Democratic party was and is, and you're bashing Nader voters for trying to force some accountability to the base by putting a little scare into a corrupt D.C. party leadership (accountability to the base being the rallying cry of the left blogosphere), shouldn't you be experiencing some cognitive dissonance? Oh, well. Whatever makes you feel righteous, I guess.

    "Those who would give up essential liberty, to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety." -Benjamin Franklin

    by Septic Tank on Fri Nov 04, 2005 at 02:25:13 PM PST

    •  Different spheres of change... (none)
      In politics, back whoever will cause less damage.  Politics is the art of the possible, not the art of the ideal.  That's not being "righteous", it's being patient.

      The problem with Nader (and with respect, some Nader supporters) is that many of the issues that he placed front and center actually require a decade or two of patient organizing, education and effort before they ripen. The primal scream won't work if the groundwork hasn't been laid and the issue is not recognized as a crisis by more than 50% of the voters.

      •  The toxic brownfield that was the 2000 party (4.00)
        The Democratic Party in 2000 wasn't laying any groundwork for a progressive future. They were just standing on the grave of the left, planting petunias and trying to keep it from popping up again to terrorize their corporate sponsors.

        I won't defend Nader, but I do think that the obsessive anti-Naderites miss an important point about the Democratic party. It's fine to advocate incrementalism, but for the most part, the D.C. Dem establishment isn't doing that. They don't really stand for anything at all. Their vision is a sort of bland, centrist/corporatist status quoism. There are a precious few exceptions, like Feingold, Boxer, Reid, Pelosi and Conyers, and with any luck, we can get some more in there. But fundamentally, it remains a pretty bankrupt bunch.

        Once, the Democratic Party brand was about the American Dream and fighting for the little guy. The party was never perfect. At the best of times, it was a haven for segregationists as well as goo-goos. But once upon a time, it stood for a noble ideal. Fifteen years of Clintonism and New Dem hackery have wiped away all traces of that legacy.

        I'm sure some of the Naderites in 2000 literally believed that Gore really was just as bad as Bush, but those that I knew didn't. They were just furious with a party that had, in fact, abandoned them and treated them with contempt. They felt powerless and furious, and I don't blame them. Tell a factory worker in the Upper Midwest who's been laid off for 11 years to vote for the party of Clinton and NAFTA, the party that kicked him in the gut and pissed on him for good measure, that went out of its way to humiliate him. No way. Go and gloat at him now if it makes you feel better, but he's not gonna bawl repentantly.

        The only form of accountability a lefty voter had then was to not vote or to vote for a marginal candidate. Now there's the blogosphere, but back then, that's all there was. And it makes me sick to see people who share that frustration condescending to good people.

        "Those who would give up essential liberty, to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety." -Benjamin Franklin

        by Septic Tank on Fri Nov 04, 2005 at 03:26:06 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  One more thing (none)
        The consistent theme in these anti-Nader screeds is that Nader voters were stupid, juvenile punks who shot themselves and us all in the foot because they couldn't wait 80 years for their turn to steer the party or something. That's such gloriously condescending bullshit. The people I knew who voted Nader in 2000 weren't college kids. They were smart, mostly middle-aged veteran activists and political junkies who'd run local campaigns and knew all about tactics both macro and micro. They'd been bitchslapped for eight years and told, "Oh, yeah? Who else you gonna vote for?" And so they answered: "How 'bout that crazy guy over there with the megaphone?"

        "Those who would give up essential liberty, to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety." -Benjamin Franklin

        by Septic Tank on Fri Nov 04, 2005 at 03:47:34 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Meiosis and mitosis. (none)
          To divide or not to divide?  Seems to me the mirror image these days - hopefully - is the Republican Party enjoying a little wonderful divisiveness for a change.  Maybe the security moms and white fiscal conservatives will be at war with the fundies, and they can savor their ugly little revolt.  I'm not saying that Gore and Clinton shouldn't have accommodated their base and been a little bolder with progressive policies.  I hated Clinton's immigration "reform" as much as anything the Republicans have done.  But you want the other side to split, not your own.  

          So yea, I preferred being bitch slapped in 2000 to having my head handed to me on a platter.  And yea, abandoning Gore in 2000 - at least in the swing states - did seem a little immature to me. I'm just thankful now that it looks like the Republicans who might be splitting.  

          •  Is this divisiveness academic to you? (none)
            Because I get the impression that to a lot of Nader haters, it is, and I suspect that's because these issues don't really affect them. But trade issues affected me and mine directly when I was growing up, and we paid a price for Clinton's allegience to corporations. I guess if my material circumstances weren't affected either way, I could afford to be sanctimonious and above-it-all, myself.

            "Those who would give up essential liberty, to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety." -Benjamin Franklin

            by Septic Tank on Fri Nov 04, 2005 at 06:49:46 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

    •  Please don't fall off your high horse (none)
      ... you might hurt yourself.

      The piece was a retrospective at a time when, finally, the wheels are coming off the Bush kleptocracy; the purpose wasn't to feel self-righteous, refight the 2000 election or to bash.

      As I pointed out in graph 2, there were lots of  reasons why Gore lost Florida, not the least of which was that he ran a lousy campaign.

      But reading the mewings of former Nader supporters and other muddleheads is ever amusing. The ambitions of this group "putting a little scare into a corrupt DC party leadership" is really quite charming.

      Elections have consequences and there have been consequences galore for the Bush/Cheney takeover of the executive branch (see quote in post).

      What I'm interested in as a writer is the human side of the drama, including the continuing inability of those enternally naive Nader voters to accept their share of responsibility for the disaster that followed.

      •  Ever think Gore screwed up? (none)
        His campaign shown the problems caused under Clinton when he was VP. That won't win elections. Only consistant, non-corporate platform can win.
      •  Well, aren't you fucking precious? (none)
        Yes, dear, elections have consequences. So do policies. So did the policies of the DLC under Clinton and Gore. For some people, they weren't merely fodder for blog posts. Keep on kicking those eternally naive Nader voters and feeling superior. I'm sure you'll write that great American blog post one day.

        "Those who would give up essential liberty, to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety." -Benjamin Franklin

        by Septic Tank on Fri Nov 04, 2005 at 06:53:56 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Fuck you right back, Jack (none)
          If knew me, assclown, you'd know I'm more than critical of the DLC as well as the usual suspects who pose as Dem political consultants and media advisors, and the go along to get along crowd in Congress. In fact if you bothered to read the fucking post, you'd know that I don't have much good to say about the way Gore ran his campaign, either. As for kicking Nader voters, the point I was making was that more than a few of them must be kicking themselves about now. And, yeah, elections lead to policies. And how are the policies of the Bush administration working out for you, you prissy little shit?
  •  it seems relevant (none)
    to note that Nader had PATHETIC showing in 2004, and Kerry still lost. As far as I know, Nader votes didn't spoil any states for Bush last year. In both Florida and Ohio, the discrepancy between Bush and Kerry was greater than the total Nader votes.
    •  It only (4.00)
      shows that Nader didn't cause further damage in 2004. It doesn't absolve Nader and his cohorts for the original damage.

      The fact that he ran again in 2004, having seen what happened in 2000 is my strongest grievance against him.

      To me, it demonstrates that their objectives are more along the lines of erecting third parties at the expense of the Democratic party, instead of doing what is necessary to realize the causes they claim to stand for.

      •  We lost in 2000 because of the STOLEN ELECTION (none)
        Nader didn't disqualify all of individuals that had similar names to the felons in florida.  He didn't own the instruments that perform the counting.  I'm so sick of this stupid argument.  We lost in 2000, because the election was stolen, plain and simple. Geez, wasn't that 5 years ago anyway?  Why are we having this rehashed discussion?  Unless is some freeper troll ...
  •  I Voted for Nader (none)
    ...and although I don't live in Florida I don't necessarily regret it.  The Democrats have been a piss poor party for a long time now and at the time I really was angry at Gore for not supporting the type of platform that I think Democrats should be pushing.  The influence of corporations is still, through Bush, the greatest threat to this nation and I'm not convinced that a Gore presidency would have changed that much.
    I voted for Kerry, sent him money and look want i got...another Bob Shrum (Dem campaign consultant) organized failure. (what is that, like SEVEN in a row?)  

    I really wanted Dean, and now at least I've got 'im as DNC Chair.  But really, don't go around saying, oh those damn Naderites, they lost us the election.  Gore lost 'cause he didn't stand for anything and he wouldn't fight.  The Gore we have now, who makes inspirational speeches about global warming, would be NOWHERE around had he made it into office in 2000.

    At least now we have Dems with a backbone ...but the jellyfish syndrome is not entirely dead.

    I think the jury is still out.

  •  Recipes are flying on another diary... (none)
    ... but if one can use them now to express nothing more than general distaste for a subject, excuse me while I go scan the entire Joy of Cooking to dump here.

    Congratulations, National Debunker, on your impressive hindsight. As always, knowitallism is just this side of godliness.

    I, former '00 California Naderite, believe Nader's point was and remains valid. (Until we have a viable option among the two parties, we need to work on building one that IS viable and speaks for somethign other than corporate interests.) Today, Kos and other factors are building from the ruins of the Democratic Party something that is real and viable. No such thing existed in 2000.  

    "He's a REAL cowboy, with his makeup on..." --Blaze Foley

    by since1969 on Fri Nov 04, 2005 at 02:41:38 PM PST

  •  I forgive the Nader voters (none)
    Most of them, anyway.

    There were far more than 97,000 registered Democrats that sat on their asses on election day instead of voting. I haven't heard as much ire directed their way as there has been at the Nader voters.

    If there are any 2000 Nader voters around who still believe that Gore would have been as bad as Bush, go ahead and give them hell. They live in some alternate universe--apparently the one inhabited by Ralph Nader himself (or, at least the version of Ralph Nader that appeared after the pod hatched).

    I thought Bush would be bad, but he has been unimaginably worse than I expected. I'm sure there are more than a few Nader voters who feel the same way.

  •  Sheesh (4.00)
    Why can't Democrats understand that we live in a democracy. People can vote any way they if they want. Some people vote Libertarian so why not bitch about them?

    Seems to me that Nader voters voted correctly. Bush and Gore was talking about privatizing Social Security and increasing globalization because both were owned by the same corporations. No difference other than cultural issues but they agreed on economics.

    Gore never should have conceded just like Kerry. Democrats don't have the balls to wait until all votes are counted to see who really won.

    •  response (none)
      -->"Why can't Democrats understand that we live in a democracy. People can vote any way they if they want. Some people vote Libertarian so why not bitch about them?"

      Please see my points in this comment.

      -->"Seems to me that Nader voters voted correctly."

      Well, we'll examine your supporting argiments.

      -->"Bush and Gore was talking about privatizing Social Security and increasing globalization because both were owned by the same corporations."

      Can you show evidence that Gore supported any substantial privatization of social security?

      Clinton (and maybe Gore) I think were supportive of creating private accounts using budget surpluses, and not converting the existing system into a privately run entity.

      -->"No difference other than cultural issues but they agreed on economics."

      What differences do you not see between:

      A) 8 years of spurring economic growth and turning record deficits in record surpluses of the Clinton/Gore admin.

      B) the exact opposite record of the Bush/Cheney Regime?

      -->"Gore never should have conceded just like Kerry."

      Gibberish. Gore fought the FLorida battle for 35 gruelling days, and had no recourse left after the SC ruling.

      -->"Democrats don't have the balls to wait until all votes are counted to see who really won."

      This is a lie as it pertains to Gore in 2000.

      Your supporting arguments of your claim "Nader voters voted correctly" are either inaccurate or are not backed with evidence.

      •  How about.... (none)
        NAFTA which lead to CAFTA which will send more jobs overseas which lead to lower wages and health benefits diappearing. All so CEOs can make more money at our expense? I think not. 90's were great but I voted for Gore since he was more intellectual than Bush and Nader annoyed me. However, I wore a gas mask since Gore supported NAFTA even though MI lost jobs over it.

        If a secure economic future makes me a Dem traitor, so be it. I never vote for party but for the candidate. I hate blind ideology.

        •  see (none)
          every trade deal will result in likely job loss (correlated to imports) and job gain (exports).

          In addition, in the case of the US (which has few large-size equals, economically speaking), one also has to look at the long term need to nurture new markets for continued economic growth.

          I know these facts: in 2004, Mexico exported around $150 Billion to the US, but it also imported roughly $100 Billion worth of goods and services. Considering that Mexico has a much lower GDP, as a percentage of its GDP it imported from the US a LOT more than the US imported from Mexico as a pctg of its own GDP.

          So, to me, NAFTA does not sound bad at all.

          As for CAFTA, I am not as well aware of how it differs from NAFTA, but the simple fact that the Straight-F GOP crafted it (which implies that the corporate lobbyists probably scripted it) is sufficient reason for me to oppose it. But one will have to either study both the deals closely, side by side, and/or wait for the results from CAFTA also to come in, before we can judge its effectiveness as a mutualy beneficial trade deal or otherwise.

  •  what if! what if! (none)
    Nobody knows what would have happened if Nader hadn't run. It's way too complex. Hell -- we can't even predict the weather 24 hours in advance.

    I was a disaffected voter. I disliked Clinton and didn't vote in the 90s. The WTO riots in Seattle woke me up to the ills of corporate dominance, and Nader was the candidate talking about it. So I started paying attention to politics again.

    In the end, though Washington was safe for Gore, I pulled the trigger for him anyway. He won me over because of his love of the environment, and his work ethic.

    So Gore got my vote because of Nader. Am I the only one? Who knows. Nader initially polled higher than his final vote tally in quite a few states.

  •  I voted for Nader in 2000 (none)
    I live in New Jersey, and my wife and I actually volunteered to run the Nader 2000 outreach for the campaign in our county.  I do not regret having voted or volunteered for Nader in 2000.  Here's why.

    As awful as Bush & Co. are, we all should realize that it's not all (or even mostly) about Bush as a person.  Sure, he's a craven, arrogant, small-minded, nasty, stupid s.o.b., but the many disasters of his administration didn't emerge from his very limited mind.  They're part of a decades-long right-wing effort to destroy our democracy and hand it over to Big Business and, to a limited extent, the Christian Right.  Even the invasion of Iraq, as we all know, was planned out in the early 90's by PNAC.  They took advantage of the "opportunity" of 9-11, but it wasn't as if the GOP wasn't planning to do this at some point.

    I basically took the position, which I still hold, that the DLC is a 5th column for the forces of corporatism and the economic elite in our country, and that their dominance of the Dems made a GOP victory literally inevitable at some point.  The 2000 election was almost certainly stolen -- but the GOP got themselves in the position to steal it by out-organizing the Dems for at least 20 years, and the DLC folks in charge of the party would never have turned it around.

    A Gore/Lieberman victory in 2000 would, in my mind, have (a) solidified the DLC's dominance of the Democratic Party, and (b) almost inevitably led to a McCain or equivalent victory in 2004.  And even if McCain isn't as awful a person as Bush, he still represents the same interests and would be pursuing largely the same policies.  And I have to say that the DC Dems' behavior in the first 4 years of Bush & Co. did virtually nothing to make me think they would have had the tiniest bit of backbone in dealing with a House and Senate controlled by the GOP.

    If the fight in this country is between a looney-right GOP and a center-right Democratic Party, I really think there's no hope for my children's future -- they will not grow up to live in a democracy.  I made a decision in 2000 that a Gore/Lieberman victory would cement the Dems' identity as a center-right party, and I decided I couldn't participate in that process.  So I volunteered and voted for Nader in 2000.

    "Run, comrade, the old world is behind you!" -- Situationist graffito, 1968

    by Pesto on Fri Nov 04, 2005 at 05:13:42 PM PST

    •  Yes... (none)
      Thanks for reinserting "the big picture" into this argument. Even if we take back the White House in 2008, it ain't over. The Democratic Party has the capacity to be a far worse monster, because so many who support it are willing to turn a blind eye to it's worse instincts (and I ain't talking about sleeping with interns).

      Give me a Democrat who is willing to stand up and talk about the danger of corporate concentration and their influence over government. Give me a Democrat who is willing to talk about the direction this country is heading in, with the ever widening gap between rich and poor and upward mobility becoming more difficult in America than most developed nations. Give me a Democrat who is willing to call this what it is! A CASTE SYSTEM. Give me a Democrat who's willing to question the wisdom of the ruling classes. Give me a Democrat with half that much grit and determination and you have won a Democrat for life. I would go to bat for that kind of person.

    •  Thanks (none)
      For supporting America and democracy. Now if Democrats can do that.

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