Well the news every democratic supporter fears is now a step closer to reality- Ralph Nader is thinking of running again for president. This will be his third time,and today on Democracy "Once-upon-a-time" today.
The interviews are important today because they start it with David Bonior, National campaign manager for John Edwards. He represented Michigan in Congress from 1976 to 2002. His review of Edwards run and what he thinks of Ralph are all well constructed and fair assessments.
The term Progressive it seems applies to Edwards and Nader more than Obama or Clinton, the establishment candidiates.
One thing about Edwards is that he once again quit before the real fight begins. How come he couldn't wait until Super Tuesday to decide to quit? And then his neutral stance- is that to show he wants the other candidates to continue to push his ideas until he makes a decision about who to back?
http://www.democracynow.org/2008/1/31/w ... overty_and
Bonoir- There were a number of reports that you may have seen from nonprofit organizations and other media organizations that look at the media in terms of its balance, fairness and those kinds of things, and they show quite clearly that Obama and Clinton were getting six, seven times more press and coverage than John Edwards’s message was getting.
John Edwards also had a message that took on some of the corporations in this country, particularly the oil industry, the health insurance industry and the pharmaceutical industry, and others. And he was a threat to a lot of corporate America. So both of that, I think, helped keep his message to a level which unfortunately didn’t reach enough people.
Amy goes on to introduce Ralph Nader-
Ralph Nader launched a presidential exploratory committee to decide whether to run as an independent. Ralph Nader ran on the Green ticket in ’96 and 2000, as an independent in 2004, which would make him three-time presidential candidate. On his website, Ralph Nader is urging supporters to “discipline the corporate crooks and lobbyists and their corporate candidates." He joins us now in Washington, D.C. in studio.
Ralph Nader, what are your plans?
RALPH NADER: Well, I’ve launched the exploratory committee with a website, naderexplore08.org, for those who want to get more details, in order to test the waters in three areas. One is to see if we have an adequate number of volunteers to run a robust fifty-state campaign that would include a network of pro bono lawyers to deal with the obstruction to ballot access that the Democrats engaged in in ’04, filing twenty-three lawsuits against us in just twelve weeks in that year, most of which we won. And second, to get adequate resources, contributions, donations—obviously, we’re not taking any money from corporate sources or political action committees. And that’s possible on the website naderexplore08.org. And finally, to get a talented, committed staff that connects with people’s daily lives and that can help organize one thousand people in each congressional district, not just for ’08, but also for ’09 and later. Congress really is the pivot institution that is most susceptible to change by popular forces, and, of course, it’s the most powerful branch of our government, if they care to use that power, like the impeachment power or the war declaration power under our Constitution.
Nader has some nice things to say about Edwards and don't forget he stated that he would run if Hillary seems to be the winner-
Amy- ...Nader—you had said that “Edwards now has the most progressive message across a broad spectrum of any leading candidate I’ve seen in years,” while he was running. Are you coming in because he just left and you saw this progressive stance dropping out of the race?
RALPH NADER: Well, I didn’t expect John Edwards to drop out so quickly, because he said for weeks that he was going to go all the way to the convention, and there were reports that he was going to have enough delegates to perhaps broker the convention between, say, Obama and Clinton. So that was rather disappointing. But the signs were clear that he was coming in third. So he did provide a very good service in focusing on poverty, which was a no-no word for years by the Democratic Party, including President Clinton. He would always refer to the middle class as if he didn’t have fifty million men, women and children in dire poverty in the country’s—in the world’s richest country.
AMY GOODMAN: I wanted to—
RALPH NADER: So I think there’s never enough forces of justice, Amy. There’s never enough forces of justice to combat the concentration of power in the hands of the few used against the many in our country, representing giant corporations who basically have turned Washington into corporate-occupied territory.
AMY GOODMAN: David Bonior, your response to the possible run of Ralph Nader for president of the United States?
DAVID BONIOR: Well, I’ve always been an admirer of Ralph Nader and his record, his long record, as he has just indicated, over forty-something years, and his work as a public citizen has just been one of the more outstanding efforts in this country on behalf of working folks and social and economic justice. So, you know, I really admire his work and his voice. And we need voices like Ralph Nader’s in this country speaking up on these issues. .......And so, Ralph has a long record—there’s no doubt about that—the longest probably of any progressive in this country, but there are others we need to bring along, and young people, of course, are one in which he’s after, obviously, with his website and his entrée to the race. And—
AMY GOODMAN: And what do you think, David Bonior, of Ralph Nader running for president? What do you think it would mean for the presidential race in this country?
DAVID BONIOR: I think it’s always important to have voices that express progressive views and populist views. I mean, I’m glad Ron Paul—I mean, I don’t agree with Ron Paul on very many things. In fact, you know, it’s wherever the ’tween shall meet. When we were in the House together, we used to actually vote on things together, because we came from a different perspective.
AMY GOODMAN: So would you encourage Ralph Nader to run?
DAVID BONIOR: I’m sorry, I can’t hear you.
AMY GOODMAN: Would you encourage Ralph Nader to run?
DAVID BONIOR: That’s Ralph’s decision. And I’ll—we’ll watch and see how this develops, and we’ll watch and see how the other candidates respond in the Democratic race.
The interview continues with Ralph and Amy about halfway down after the Bonoir interview they repeated here-http://www.democracynow.org/2008/1/31/ralph_nader_launches_presidential_exploratory_committee
His response to being a "Spoiler"-
RALPH NADER: Well, if you ask Al Gore, he’ll give you ten reasons, each of which independently was a cause of his losing. He believes he won—I agree he won—in Florida, but it was stolen from him before, during, and after the election by the Secretary of State and Jeb Bush, all the way from Tallahassee to that atrocious political decision by the Supreme Court. There are a lot of “what if’s,” Amy. What if he got Tennessee? What if he got Arkansas? What if the mayor of Florida didn’t go to Madrid and not bring out thousands of his votes?
Anybody who looks at an independent or third party candidate, whether it’s a Green Party candidate or Independent Party candidate, and uses the words "Are you taking away votes from the Democrats?” in my view, is basically saying that small party candidates are second-class citizens. Either we have an equal right to run for elective office in our country, or we are basically developing a two-tier system, where the two dominant parties, with all their commercial support, control the votes in this country. So either none of us are spoilers, because we have an equal right to run, or all of us, because we’re trying to take votes from one another, are spoilers. There’s no stratification. When that word “spoiler” is used to attach to a small party candidate, that, to me, is clear political bigotry, just as if it was used against a class of voters years ago during the pre-civil rights era. So I think ballot access is a major civil liberties issue, and people in this country, whether they like it or not, must recognize how discriminatory that word is and must try to adhere to what the polls tell us, that they really want more voices and choices and that about 60 percent of the people of this country want a viable third party, even though they may not vote for that party.
So we have to get over it, and liberals especially have got to get over their easy abdication of least-worst voting for the Democrats, where they don’t put any pressure or they don’t make any demands on the Democrats, because they fear that the Republicans are worse. That sets up a system where the corporations are pulling 24/7 the Democrats in their direction to become corporate Democrats, like the corporate Republicans, and no one is pulling the other way. Why? Because they’re all freaked out by the Republicans, and they’re going for least-worst voting. All the bargaining power of progressives and liberals atrophy with that attitude.
So if they don’t want to support a small party candidate, if they don’t want to go to our website, naderexplore08.org, and see the reasons in that remarkable letter by my supporters that’s on that website, see the reasons why we are testing the waters, then they at least have to make demands on the Democratic Party, which they did not make in ’00 against Gore and they did not make against John Kerry. In fact, they had a moratorium on demonstrations against the war in ’04.
Don't think one can argue with him here or are we a country that restricts candidates for president, like the two parties do to their own and the media does as well at their discretion. Doesn't give one much faith in the electoral procedures that have developed does it?
Read what he thinks of Obama and Clinton as they both fit the definition of protective imitation.
They’re too close to Hillary Clinton. Hillary Clinton is a corporate Democrat. There’s no better evidence of that than the Fortune magazine cover story in June of last year, which basically said business loves Hillary. Hillary is a big business candidate.
And so, I think the healthcare proposal is a perfect example by Barack Obama of this protective imitation. Why doesn’t he go for full Medicare? Why doesn’t he go for a deeper analysis of the healthcare problem in this country, namely the need to emphasize prevention of disease and trauma, the need to knock out $220 billion of billing fraud and abuse, according to the Government Accountability Office and Malcolm Sparrow at Harvard University, against the need to reduce malpractice and stop blocking action to go to the courts for the tens of thousands of people who are injured or killed because of the small percentage of reckless doctors operating in this country who should have their license suspended? He should also focus on the enormous administrative expense savings from full Medicare—one payer, not 1,500 payers and cross-billings, etc., that are now taking about $300 billion to $400 billion.
If Obama is the black candidate that cares for the poor of both races he should be the one to enact full medicare coverage for all and see what it gets him. There's a lot of poor people who would consider him a strong candidate for their interests. but then again, why encourage the poor to vote- and for their own interests as well.
Great interviews- go to the second URL to get both in one posting.
The race is getting interesting. Would you go for an Obama/Edwards ticket?