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Not a Chance

by JOSH FRANK

 

Watch out for the Democrat backlash, Ralph Nader is running for President as an Independent. Of course most agree Nader’s run will not accrue nearly as many votes as his 2000 tally. Nonetheless these weak-kneed liberals are fearful of their deranged “spoiler” scenario.

Hollow political observers like The Nation’s Eric “I have no spine” Alterman, will surely bark a shrill (read kick-me dog) denouncement of Nader’s bid — the whole while failing to articulate a coherent strategy for challenging the corporate entrenched Democrats as they genuflect at the feet of Republicans’ every whim.

And if you plan on backing Nader you better sport a flak jacket, for there is a shotgun shell of scare tactics about to blast your way. As if Bush alone has placed our heads in a collective noose. Don’t be fooled, Bush’s loyal Democratic henchman have been at his side the whole while.

The 2002 congressional elections should have been a wake-up call for the bewildered Democrats, as their feeble opposition cost them control of the Senate. One month prior to that November election the Dems caved and voted in support of Bush’s Iraq War Resolution. This after the Dems’ overwhelming endorsement of Attorney General Ashcroft’s Patriot Act, with Russ Feingold’s sole dissenting vote in the Senate. But don’t forget it was trusty Feingold who helped Ashcroft achieve his royal fervor in the first place. Thanks again for one that Russ.

Yes, the Democrats also supported the smart-bombing of Afghanistan. And no they didn’t go after Bush for his friendly ties to Kenny Boy Lay of Enron, even though Bush flew around on the crook’s private jet campaigning in 2000. How could they? They too pandered to Enron and ol’ Kenny Boy’s bank roll. Nor did the Democrats question Bush’s forest plan, which was mirrored after language Democratic Senator Tom Daschle slipped into a bill in the summer of 2002.

Daschle’s legal jargon, backed by the Sierra Club and other Big Green traitors, allowed logging on First American’s holy land in the Black Hills of South Dakota, without having to abide by environmental restraints or environmental lawsuits. But we better blame those darn Naderites for that one. Never mind more Democrats voted for Bush in Florida than Ralph Nader, it is still that ego driven Nader’s fault, damit!

How about the Supreme Court? Bush will surely shift the court if he is allowed to appoint a judge in the next four years, right? Don’t fret, that is just another Democratic scare tactic. Alexander Cockburn summed it up best in an article he penned in July of 2000:

“A Democrat in the White House is no guarantee of a liberal on the Court. Truman put up four, all of them awful. By contrast, Eisenhower nominated the great liberal William Brennan, and Gerald Ford picked John Stevens, the court’s current liberal champion, and indeed, the only justice to rule against two oil companies in one of the recent batches of Supreme Court decisions. Nixon’s nominee, Harold Blackmun, wrote the Roe v. Wade decision. Twenty years later, Bush Sr.’s nominee, Souter, wrote the Planned Parenthood v. Casey decision in 1992 reaffirming the “essential holding” of Roe v. Wade, and arguing that “choice” was now installed in the national culture. The Court echoed that view in its recent upholding of the Miranda rule.”

Sure Gloria Steinem will be bussed around swing states dispensing her panic that those back alley abortions will surely return if Bush isn’t dethroned next November. But how will John Kerry, who is of late rhetorically attacking free-trade, enforce tougher worker rights abroad while teenage girls continue to sew our Gap clothes and Nike sneakers for pennies a day? He won’t, because Kerry is no feminist or human rights champion. In fact Bush has done more to upset the free-trade community than any Democrat is recent history. Scary thought indeed. So anyway back to Ralph.

Nader is now publicly calling for the impeachment of the President. It is a reasonable request. Bush has led America into a war based on disinformation and lies. The Republicans attacked Clinton for a cigar and an intern, but the Democrats won’t go after Bush for misleading Americans into war. Why? It’s simple; the Democrats on the whole supported the illegal invasion, which was piggybacked on the Clinton and Gore Iraq Liberation Act signed back in 1998.

And now we have Senator John “I committed war crimes” Kerry leading in polls across the land. However, the Skull and Bones blood brother of George W. Bush isn’t offering us any solid alternative to politics as usual. It would be nice if he were. But Kerry won’t repeal Bush’s Tax Cuts for the rich, pull out US troops in Iraq, or sign the Kyoto agreement. In fact prior to the Iraq debacle Kerry professed, “The President is authorized to use the Armed Forces of the United States as he determines to be necessary and appropriate in order to … defend the national security of the United States against the continuing threat posed by Iraq.” What a leader Kerry, isn’t.

So as the “liberal intelligentsia” retreats back into empire defense mode, don’t be afraid to stand up in opposition. If it means supporting a third party candidate like Nader, so be it. The chattering classes will surely scream that this is Nader’s nadir. But it isn’t. It’s the Democrats’ and all those who follow the “Anybody But Bush” mantra blindly. You won’t be a “spolier,” the rotten Democrats already have that one covered.

JOSH FRANK can be reached at: frank_joshua@hotmail.com

 

JOSHUA FRANK is managing editor of CounterPunch. His most recent book is Hopeless: Barack Obama and the Politics of Illusion, co-edited with Jeffrey St. Clair and published by AK Press. He can be reached at joshua@counterpunch.org. You can follow him on Twitter @joshua__frank

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