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FATTENING WALL STREET — Mike Whitney reports on the rapid metamorphosis of new Fed Chair Janet Yallin into a lackey for the bankers, bond traders and brokers. The New Religious Wars Over the Environment: Joyce Nelson charts the looming confrontation between the Catholic Church and fundamentalists over climate change, extinction and GMOs; A People’s History of Mexican Constitutions: Andrew Smolski on the 200 year-long struggle of Mexico’s peasants, indigenous people and workers to secure legal rights and liberties; Spying on Black Writers: Ron Jacobs uncovers the FBI’s 50 year-long obsession with black poets, novelists and essayists; O Elephant! JoAnn Wypijewski on the grim history of circus elephants; PLUS: Jeffrey St. Clair on birds and climate change; Chris Floyd on the US as nuclear bully; Seth Sandronsky on Van Jones’s blind spot; Lee Ballinger on musicians and the State Department; and Kim Nicolini on the films of JC Chandor.
The Liberal "Intelligentsia" v. Nader

Things They Should Consider

by AL KREBS

Before the Democratic Party and its "liberal intelligentsia" unleash its expected vindictiveness upon Ralph Nader’s candidacy for president in 2004 it might consider the following:

* Al Gore (with an able assist from the U.S. Supreme Court) lost the electoral vote for president in 2000. He not only lost his home state but that of his president. If his managers had spent less time in that campaign attacking Nader’s candidacy and more time arranging at least one trip to West Virginia, a traditional Democratic state, Gore would have won that state making Florida irrelevant.

* Arguments that Nader work within the Democratic Party for genuine change, as Howard Dean’s populist candidacy in recent months leading up to the current primaries demonstrated, only begets the wrath of a Party establishment intent on preserving its power and the present "two party duopoly" governing our country.

* Progressives believe it is important to "defeat Bush at any cost," but as Nader points out "while it is important that Bush must be defeated," Democrats are currently incapable of it "without someone running a third party campaign with a strong Bush critique pulling them in the right direction."

* The tendency of progressives tied to the Democratic Party, while admitting to the party’s sizable failings, is to still cling to the idea that "this is not the time," to run a third party campaign from the left. "They have no breaking point, no point of termination" Nader points out. "They watch Democrats in office offer them one defeat after another without ever being willing to establish a termination strategy, a point beyond which too much is too much."

Thus if the Democratic Party spent less time and effort trying to seduce its "corporate paymasters," exhibit a willingness to wage an unintimidated and full bore attack on George W. Bush’s domestic and international policies while returning the party of the people to its Jeffersonian populist roots there would be no need to waste its scarce resources continuously and needlessly attacking Ralph Nader.

AL KREBS is the editor of the Agribusiness Examiner, one of CounterPunch’s favorite newsletters. He can be reached at: avkrebs@earthlink.net