Game Over, Man

We note that the aging, self-centered gadfly Ralph Nader has announced his intention to screw up yet another presidential election.

One has to wonder what he could possibly be thinking. Does he figure that at almost 74 years old he is a more attractive candidate than he was in 2000, when he got a paltry 2.7% of the vote — just enough to put George Bush in the White House — or in 2004, when he managed only 0.38%? Does he reckon that what it will take to snap the legions of breathless young Obama congregants out of their ecstatic thralldom is to offer them one last chance to be led by a cantankerous old grouch?

Face facts, Ralph: at this point in your career, you make Dennis Kucinich look unstoppable. Go write a book or something.


  1. bob koepp says

    Malcolm – Do you dismiss entirely the political value of symbolic action? Surely this is how Nader views his “run,” and surely he doesn’t expect to determine the outcome of the looming election.

    Posted February 24, 2008 at 4:25 pm | Permalink
  2. Malcolm says

    Hi Bob,

    Do I dismiss entirely the political value of symbolic action?

    In this case, I think so, yes. A lot of people are so annoyed with him for helping hand the White House to Bush in 2000 that he will irritate at least as many people as he manages to impress with the persistent importance of noble causes, or whatever it is he thinks he’s going to accomplish. There has to be something else he could do. He’s done a lot of good in his life, and this is unnecessary.

    Posted February 24, 2008 at 7:58 pm | Permalink
  3. Malcolm says

    Don’t get me wrong: I don’t mind if he runs; it’s a free country, as they say. I just think it’s sort of silly and sad, that’s all.

    Posted February 24, 2008 at 9:29 pm | Permalink
  4. the one eyed man says

    My guess is that Nader will be the contemporary equivalent of Harold Stassen — runs every election, gets a lot of free press, and achieves nothing –

    Posted February 25, 2008 at 12:29 pm | Permalink
  5. Malcolm says

    The most telling response to that would be: “Harold who?”

    Posted February 25, 2008 at 1:59 pm | Permalink
  6. the one eyed man says

    I suppose the answer to that would be: the Ralph Nader of his day.

    Stassen ran in every Presidential election for decades, all to no avail: he got about as many votes as Pat Paulsen. Hence he became something of a running joke in American politics.

    Posted February 25, 2008 at 5:28 pm | Permalink
  7. Malcolm says

    Well, you and I are old enough to remember Stassen, of course. But I expect that many of Obama’s supporters barely even remember Nader’s 2000 presidential bid, let alone his revolutionary 1965 exposé of the automobile industry’s disregard for safety (as exemplified by the “sporty” Chevy Corvair).

    Posted February 25, 2008 at 5:35 pm | Permalink
  8. the one eyed man says

    Yeah, but the Corvair had a push button transmission, which made it totally cool in my eyes.

    Ralph Nader did some great things, but don’t get me started on the 2000 and 2004 campaigns. Some people just don’t know when to get off the stage.

    Posted February 25, 2008 at 5:42 pm | Permalink
  9. Malcolm says

    I do think it’s fair to say that Nader put Bush in the White House. (This assertion could, of course, lead into a rather arcane conversation about causality.)

    Even if you think Nader would have made a fantastic president (God help you), it’s then a perfect example of the best being the enemy of the good (assuming, of course, that you can contort yourself so as to see Al Gore as “the good”).

    Posted February 25, 2008 at 5:56 pm | Permalink

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