24 February 2008

Nader Buzz

What's the word on the (cyber) street about Nader's announcement today that he'll run for president again?

This headline from TPM sums it up: Bush's Chief Enabler Signs On.


UPDATE: Steve Benen has a slightly more developed analysis:

The unpleasantness of 2000 notwithstanding, Nader appears anxious to run yet again — but as I’ve mentioned before, it’s just not quite clear why.

By his own admission, Nader doesn’t expect to win, he doesn’t expect to change the Democratic Party’s agenda, he doesn’t expect to appear in the debates, and he doesn’t even expect to make the ballot in every state. So, what exactly is the point here?

Asked about this a few months ago, Nader said, “What third parties can do is bring young people in, set standards on how to run a presidential election and keep the progressive agenda in front of the people. And maybe tweak a candidate here and there in the major parties.”

Is it me, or is this wildly unpersuasive? Major parties can and do bring young people into the process; in fact, Barack Obama seems to be pretty good at it. For that matter, Nader’s multiple efforts have never affected election standards, and his campaigns have generally done a poor job of promoting progressive ideas, instead focusing on his personal disdain for the two major parties.