Why Ralph Nader is running

Hint: says Obama is "supporting the Israeli destruction of the tiny section called Gaza."

By Mark Kilmer Posted in | | | Comments (43) / Email this page » / Leave a comment »

Ralph Nader told Tim Russert on NBC's Meet the Press this morning that he is running for President. Russert was visibly upset, pleasing with Nader that he might give the election to John McCain just as he had done for George Bush in 2000:

Gore would've been president and not George Bush. You, Ralph Nader are responsible for what has happened the last seven years.

Surely Nader does not want that. Nader tells us that he believes that large corporations have taken over our government, but could this be a code for something else. Why isn't Nader supporting presumptive Dem nominee Barack Obama over John McCain, whom he sees as a continuation of the "criminal, recidivistic regime of George Bush and Dick Cheney"?

Let's let Ralph speak for himself:

Read On…

Nader tells us that he finds Obama to be a "person of substance," which surprises those of us who have watched Barry on the campaign trail: change, change, hope, unity, hope, change. But Ralph believes that Obama is campaigning this way because he has "censored" his "better instincts." Why?

Nader, from page 2 of the MTP transcript:

I give you the example, the Palestinian-Israeli issue, which is a real off the table issue for the candidates. So don't touch that, even though it's central to our security and to, to the situation in the Middle East. He was pro-Palestinian when he was in Illinois before he ran for the state Senate, during he ran--during the state Senate. Now he's, he's supporting the Israeli destruction of the tiny section called Gaza with a million and a half people. He doesn't have any sympathy for a civilian death ratio of about 300-to-1; 300 Palestinians to one Israeli. He's not taking a leadership position in supporting the Israeli peace movement, which represents former Cabinet ministers, people in the Knesset, former generals, former security officials, in addition to mayors and leading intellectuals. One would think he would at least say, "Let's have a hearing for the Israeli peace movement in the Congress," so we don't just have a monotone support of the Israeli government's attitude toward the Palestinians and their illegal occupation of Palestine.

I heard the words fly from the man's mouth like so much drunken spittle this morning, and I dropped a pencil. This was on purpose on my part, to be sure, but I was stunned by the rhetoric. In the 21st Century?

Russert, of course, ignored that and skipped back to something less embarrassing:

But would you prefer, as an American citizen, to have Barack Obama or John McCain as president?

That wasn't the point for Ralph Nader, who finds both candidates too be controlled by that infamous cabal of bankers, big corporations, media elites, etc. You know, the "Israeli lobby."

Hey, Barry did speak to AIPAC in March of 2007 [transcript].

The U.S. and our partners have put before Hamas three very simple conditions to end this isolation: recognize Israel’s right to exist; renounce the use of violence; and abide by past agreements between Israel and the Palestinian Authority.

Of course, this was in the same speech in which he called for the "isolation of Hamas and other extremists who are committed to Israel’s destruction."

I'm not familiar with Obama's alleged anti-Semitic ravings from before he ran for office in Illinois, but Nader says that they're there.

Although this is from The New Republic (Feb 4) and thus might or might not be true, here is the claim of a Gregory Levey, writing for them:

Each time I have asked a spokesperson from AIPAC, the influential pro-Israel lobbying group, about the organization's opinion of Obama, they have stressed that they are satisfied with Obama's positions on the Middle East. When I asked again recently, Jennifer Cannata, an AIPAC spokesperson, would once again only say, "Like all the leading presidential candidates, the senator has a strong record on issues of importance to the pro-Israel community."

Levey cites an anonymous "AIPAC official" as saying that the organization is "uncomfortable" with Obama's willingness to speak to Israel's enemies.

So we're left with Ralph Nader running for President because Barack Obama does not oppose Israel with enough zest and with AIPAC being "uncomfortable" with Barry's would-be friendliness with Israel's enemies. This means, of course, that Nader is a confused.

It's not surprising. If he takes votes from the Democrat, it would be a fine thing, but I'd hate to imagine what he might call his party.

[ADDENDUM: In a comment affixed to the Sunday Show Review, cordpt offers us this sample of the "old Barry" on Israel, from The Arabist: Obama's flip-flops.]

[ADDENDUM NO. 2: On her tour bus, Hillary had this to say about Nader's just-announced candidacy:

"This time I hope it doesn’t hurt anyone,'' she said, acknowledging that Democrats pay a higher price for Nader's candidacy than Republicans do. "I can’t think of anybody that would vote for Sen. McCain who would vote for Ralph Nader.''

Yeah, I imagine the anti-Semites would cling to Obama.]

« Dueling June Obama fundraising claims?Comments (2) | Sunday Open ThreadComments (42) »
Why Ralph Nader is running 43 Comments (0 topical, 43 editorial, 0 hidden) Post a comment »

The "Nuke Tel Aviv" ticket?

Proudly supporting John S. McCain for President (McCain/Romney?)

probably the only VP candidate who could make Nader sound sane.

And Rightly So!

Ego - that's why he is running. Now how this aging dinosuar thinks he will get more than .38% of the vote he had in '04 is beyond me, but delusional ego is ego none the less.

at this point it is his raison d'etre. What is Ralph Nader if not a presidential candidate? What is he supposed to do, get a job at Wal Mart?


Molon Labe!

Nader HATES Wal-Mart. Do Starbucks have greeters?

better :)


Molon Labe!

I think he knows that most Americans are really tired of all politicians and there is no one in the race that is really all that appealing. The biggest ego out there today is Obama. I normally vote republican and this year will be no different because I can't stomach the thought of Obama being President; not becuase I like John McCain. We are not a democracy we are a two party system and that sucks.

I am sick of having to vote for the "lesser of the two evils" every 4 years I feel this way. Is there no one out there that will actually work for America and her people?


We're a Republic. If we were a Democracy that would be bad. Democracy brings instability and tyranny.

And look, if you want to effect change, quit thinking of yourself as high and mighty, and get down into party politics just like everyone else. That'll get things done.

Quit looking for reasons to excuse yourself from politics, and instead look for reasons to get more involved, if you want real change.

HTML Help for Red Staters
"If we want to take this party back, and I think we can someday, let’s get to work." – Barry Goldwater

is what we are. We are a republic yet we elect our officials democratically. I am not high or mighty I feel that Congress has forgotten who they work for. Party politics as you say are what is wrong with the country.
I in no way excuse myself from politics at all, and no matter how involved I become there will be no real change, becuase of the two party system we have in place. The far left and right wingers have lost sight of middle America where most of us live.


And yeah, you're excusing yourself from politics when you set yourself out as different from everyone, and don't get involved in a politicay party.

Get off your high horse and stand for something.

HTML Help for Red Staters
"If we want to take this party back, and I think we can someday, let’s get to work." – Barry Goldwater

You are living in a fantasy world it you think all Ameicans agree with the way our Congressional leaders are running this country. I am not high and mighty what I am is fed up with party politics and the ass kissing they do to get where they are instead of doing what they have promised the voters who put them there they would do. I live in middle America where I pay more taxes than most and get very few breaks. You know where most of us live. You tell me how either of the two candidates running are going to change anything that is going on. Have you heard Obama actually say how he is going to bring hope to America? No. John McCain? Well we know where he stands for the most part; though one would not percieve him to be a conservatives conservative. It is just another popularity contest with a lot of hype from Obama and the same old crap from McCain.


anybody agrees with Congress?

I think he said something more like, "quit whining, get off your butt and get involved in the hard political work". But then again, he can speak for himself.
CongressCritter™: Never have so few felt like they were owed so much by so many for so little.

HTML Help for Red Staters
"If we want to take this party back, and I think we can someday, let’s get to work." – Barry Goldwater

Hey no mocking of Starbucks they take more of my money then any company.

threatening venti cups

Mike "Gamecock" DeVine @ The Charlotte Observer
"One man with courage makes a majority." - Andrew Jackson

...because Howard Schultz (their new-old CEO) remembered that they're in the coffee business.

I used to think of SBUX as basically a real-estate company. Until real-estate collapsed.

...my office. I go the other direction, to the Little City, where the coffee is actually good (I drink black only), the hippie breakfast foods are awesome (fresh fruit in natural yogurt with granola) and the place is locally owned.

That's a decision I'm always comfortable with.

...every office. In fact sometimes there's a Starbucks directly across the street from Starbucks.

Drink Good Coffee. You can sleep when you're dead.

in our Meijer Stores. (They are like WalMart in MI)

in there to read propped up in the cushy ottomans and scare the bejesus out of them that I'm going to proselytize!

Drink Maxwell House at home.

Mike "Gamecock" DeVine @ The Charlotte Observer
"One man with courage makes a majority." - Andrew Jackson

is if you're friends with an employee who doesn't drink coffee, and gives you their free pound for the week :)


...that I was hiring people who don't like to drink coffee, I'd start calling my subordinates and asking them a lot of challenging questions, in a big hurry. And in a very loud voice.


...company is that they've always been super-diligent about the locations they open. This is a core business competency for them. Say what you will, but they're always in locations that have a potential to support a high revenue-per-square-foot (which is the key metric in retail businesses), regardless of what is being sold.

Another company that has also been exceptionally good at this for decades is McDonalds, the restaurant chain. Their standards are more lenient for the franchisee-owned locations, but the stores that are corporate-owned are golden.

Now the problem of course is that the value of commercial real estate is going to collapse this year. And Starbucks is having to go back to their knitting and figure out how to sell more of their mediocre, overpriced coffee.

I didn't think Starbucks owned the real estate but leased most of it.

Tim Harford used Strbucks and coffee shop competition over prime real estate to illustrate the power of scarcity as driver of costs at the start of his pop-economics book the Undercover Economist (I read them all becuase they often contain good anecdotes for my speeches). The conclusion of his rift is that the reason why Starbucks and other coffee chains make little profit is because their competing over scarce, prime real estate (people don't go out of there way to get coffee; or so he hypothesizes). So landlords are profiting on overpriced brown water (not a coffee drinker myself).

That dictates a particular strategy for where they will locate their stores. A long-term location lease is roughly equivalent to ownership from a business planning and cost-of-capital perspective.

As I say, they've traditionally done well at it, but they've reached a size where it gets harder to do. Schultz has started cutting head count and concentrating on increasing the value of their basic coffee product offerings, instead of opening new stores. I don't follow SBUX closely, but it seems like this is basically the right idea.

Retail is something I know almost nothing about, but I would guess that now would be a terrible time to be opening new stores, for two reasons: first, the slowing economy; and second, long-term leases in favorable locations will be one heck of a lot cheaper twelve months or so from now.

Its true the cost of capital is basically the same - the accounting impact of the decreasing asset value may differ.

While I agree in a broad sense about not opening new stores, for a product that competes primarily on location (like starbucks) i would think now is a great time for healthy busiensses to swoop in and take over the desired real estate that comes free - if you don't a competitor will.

I also don't follow Starbucks, and have never worked with them which is rare, so I don't know much about their startegy or model in particular.

It's an incredibly important question whether or not to push into new stores now. Wait too long, and your competition may indeed get in, but they might be saddled with capital costs that will cause them to fail. Go too early, and your competition might be saying the same about you!

When push comes to shove, these are the decisions that investors pay CEOs to make. But again, I don't know squat about retail. When it comes to commercial real estate, the smartest man I know is Sam Zell. He sold nearly everything a whole year ago. (And what business did he decide to get into instead? Newspapers. That's a head-scratcher.)

In a business that I know quite well (infotech) I see a land-grab shaping up for new technologies that can enhance the value of enterprise "platforms." It's a pretty different dynamic than you've traditionally seen in Silicon Valley, but acquisition values are still on the high side. Higher than you'd expect given the putrid stock market.

Timing is everything. And if there is one thing I've learnt the msot successful companies are the ones who make the smartest growth moves in downturns when everyone else is focused on cost containment.

But you say it like companies had a choice in the matter :-). These days, equity investors reward growth above all else, so there may be a systemic bias on CEOs to grasp for opportunities even when they may not make financial sense.

It's a pretty interesting dynamic. Once upon a time, an acknowledged measure of business success was longevity. In an age of professional management that is responsive primarily to financial investors, the incentives have changed. If you totally blow a business up by expanding it too fast, you get acquired for peanuts and someone else just picks up the pieces. Brave new world.

And if I heard anyone else say the things I'm saying now, I'd wonder if I was listening to an old fuddy-duddy. LOL!

Interestingly, Hillary has also changed her stances on Israel. She originally was biased in favorite of the PLO (remember the kiss) and now is a committed Israel supporter. And Dick Morris has also written about her pro-PLO origins.

It is a shame the Dem leadership have lost their enthusiasm for Israel, and have become the party that supports the terrorists throughout the world. Their worldview is increasingly bizarre.

PS: But I do not accuse them of being "traitors." They honestly believe that catering to terrorist will lead to peace. They are just foolish appeasers.

He'll prevent Obama from wondering too far to the center during the general. The Lefty kooks will have alternative to keep Obama honest.

"Honor is self-esteem made visible in action." - Ayn Rand, West Point, 1974

I think even people dumb enough to like Nader have wised up after helping us elect Bush in 2000. The leftists still dumb enough to vote Nader are mostly the kind of cranks who would find some other 3rd party joke to vote for if Nader wasn't running.

I don't expect Obama to move any further left than he would anyway, out of fear of his voters drifting to Nader. If anything, Nader is a "Sister Souljah" to make Obama look "moderate" in comparison.

is that you are forgetting that a portion of the base of the Dem party consists of the kind of cranks who would vote Nader if Obama did not toe their line.

Nader counter the notion that he let Bush beat Gore in 2000 by pointing out that he actually secured more votes for Gore by dragging him to the left.

That's a nice fantasy. All of those people just streaming to the polls to vote for Gore because Nader dragged him kicking and screaming to the left.

Al. Gore.


Gone 2500 years, still not PC.

but does he have any bizarre monetary policies?

However, I did find this statement from the nader.org site, from a Jan 14th post titled: What the Candidates Avoid

4) You won’t hear a call for our income tax system to be substantially revamped so that workers can keep more of their wages while we tax the things we like least, such as pollution, stock speculation, addictive industries, and energy guzzling technologies. Nor will you hear that corporations should be required to pay their fair share; corporate tax contributions as a percent of the overall federal revenue stream have been declining for 50 years.

Give Ralph more time to do something "useful" with his rope, as the old saying goes, and we probably won't be disappointed.

And Rightly So!

Ralph Nader is a bizarre monetary policy made flesh.

It is my utmost Hope that he gets double digit support. OK, so that's a daydream, but we can Hope, can't we?

Yes We Can!

Gone 2500 years, still not PC.

"I believe we must adjourn this meeting to some other place." - The last recorded words of Adam Smith.

Nader might hurt Clinton, if she somehow pulls it off.

Looking at his web page:

Nader wants full single payer, nationalized medical care.

Nader wants to cut the military budget.

Nader wants CO2 emission taxes.

Nader wants to impeach Presdient Bush (which doesn't exactly make sense as a Presidential campaign point, but there you go)

Nader wants to destroy corporations in America

HTML Help for Red Staters
"If we want to take this party back, and I think we can someday, let’s get to work." – Barry Goldwater

Redstate Network Login:
(lost password?)

©2008 Eagle Publishing, Inc. All rights reserved. Legal, Copyright, and Terms of Service