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PARIS, THE NEW NORMAL? — Diana Johnstone files an in-depth report from Paris on the political reaction to the Charlie Hebdo shootings; The Treachery of the Black Political Class: Margaret Kimberley charts the rise and fall of the Congressional Black Caucus; The New Great Game: Pepe Escobar assays the game-changing new alliance between Russia and Turkey; Will the Frackers Go Bust? Joshua Frank reports on how the collapse of global oil prices might spell the end of the fracking frenzy in the Bakken Shale; The Future of the Giraffe: Ecologist Monica Bond reports from Tanzania on the frantic efforts to save one of the world’s most iconic species. Plus: Jeffrey St. Clair on Satire in the Service of Power; Chris Floyd on the Age of Terrorism and Absurdity; Mike Whitney on the Drop Dead Fed; John Wight on the rampant racism of Clint Eastwood’s “American Sniper;” John Walsh on Hillary Clinton and Lee Ballinger on the Gift of Anger.
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