Political savior or wart that won't go away?

By Geraldine Sealey
Published February 21, 2004 2:23AM (UTC)
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On left-leaning political weblogs, the buzz about Ralph Nader's expected announcement to run as an independent candidate was pretty much what you'd expect -- schizophrenic, with a tilt toward dismay over whether Nader would once again siphon votes from a Democratic candidate. On Daily Kos, a blogger named Copernicus posted a provocative assessment that Nader's reemergence was an inevitable result of "corporate rich" John Kerry appearing as the Democratic front-runner. "Now comes the comeuppance to a Democratic party machine and elite or establishment media that would not ultimately not tolerate (sic) an outsider candidate, and which together sunk the Dean candidacy. John Kerry -- your war is now on two flanks. Congratulations, you've been Gored. Substract a couple percent from your eventual turnout at the polls. You've lost the independent thinkers and the portion of the liberal street that is not corporate rich but instead wants major change."

That position, apparently not anti-Nader enough for some Kos visitors, was promptly gored in the "Nader is in!" forum. "Does anyone actually believe that that nutjob is worth throwing the game back to Bush??" asked Michael in a message titled "Oy. Flipping. Vey." Greg asked: "What are you so happy about? Four more years of George W. Bush? You were right, everyone else was wrong? I'll bet that the millions who have suffered real pain from the Bush presidency are delighted that your precious principles are being affirmed by the 'protest' candidacy of Ralph Nader."


Nader was apparently waiting to see how Howard Dean's candidacy fared before announcing his plans, which would suggest he is the candidate Deaniacs can run to now that their man is out. So how's Nader's decision faring at Dean's Blog for America? Again, mixed reviews in the Dean blog's Nader forum. Someone named Callidus says: "Ok now I'm thinking about moving to Canada..." But ForeverVermont approved: "That is GREAT !!! Nader = a real CHANGE for America goodbye skull & bones Bush, and goodbye skull & bones Kerry."

Another poster slapped Kerry, the Democratic National Committee and the centrist Democratic Leadership Council, which frequently sparred with Dean during his volatile candidacy, for provoking Nader's protest candidacy. "They chose to attack and undermine the one Democrat who could have beaten Bush and whose presence was also keeping 'spoiler' Ralph Nader out of the race. Shot themselves in the foot again." Still another poster quoted a gynecologist she used to date, whose ex-wife was such a pain. Something he said about his ex is applicable to Nader, says Political Amazon: "Like a bad case of genital warts, she never really goes away."

Geraldine Sealey

Geraldine Sealey is senior news editor at Salon.com.

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