Saturday, January 30, 2010

another Lily...unsafe at any speed

So I heard Ralph Nader on Tom Hartman's radio show riffing on how bad the Supreme Court decision on corporate political spending is.

Not a word did Mr. Nader utter about how this was his fault. Not a word about how, if he just let Mr. Gore run for president without him sticking his "it doesn't matter which party is elected" nose into things, neither Mr. Roberts or Mr. Scalia would have been in a position to make this happen.

So, a Lily for you, Mr. Nader. You are responsible for something happening and you blame someone else.

No matter how cynical I get, Mr. Nader, it's hard to keep up with people like you.


Anonymous said...

excuse me but Gore *threw* that race three times!

sorry to say it but it's true

1.] when he stopped saying what people wanted to hear because his corporate contributors demanded it

2.] when, by his own admission [!], he didn't do enough to contest voting irregularities in FL

3.] If you saw Michael Moore's Farenheit 9/11, you see Gore shouting down the Congressional Black Caucus on a "point of order" when *they* tried to contest voting irregularities in FL... that's like saying if i mug you in a hospital quiet zone, you can't yell for help

frankly, as VP, he sat there quiet while Clinton 'privatized' thousands of acres of public lands, ended unions with NAFTA, WTO, etc, starved the poorest children in the US by 'ending welfare as we know it" [but increasing welfare to corporations], signed the Telecommunications Act of 1996 which ended the public ownership of the airwaves and also said that 'you can't sue microwave companies on health concerns [imagine if tobacco co's had gotten a law like that...]

then he throws the race for president 3 times

then he makes one movie and gets the Nobel Peace prize?!?!?!?

meanwhile, Nader is responsible for saving 100's of thousands of lives with seatbelts and gave us the Freedom of Information Act, the EPA, OSHA, lead aprons when you get xrays at the dentist, and when you get paid for being bumped from a flight and the clean air act and the clean water act... etc etc etc???? he gets blamed for Gore losing

to me, the Dems blaming Nader for their losses is like a hooker blaming Mother Theresa for having V.D.

but the human race is famous for not knowing who their friends are

read "crashing the party" by Ralph Nader and see the dvd "an unreasonable man"

Tmothy Travis said...

Notwithstanding what you wrote--which is an excellent defense, although hyperbolic and containing several quite debatable points that puff Mr. Nader up in the way he puffs himself up.

It does it address my point.

I have hoped for decades that Mr. Nader would show some introspective skill, some humility and some compassion.

Instead his prideful arrogance and his being centered on himself and his own "hero" status continue unabated.

Your list of his accomplishments seems to me to lack integrity in the same way Mr. Nader showed in the radio remarks I addressed.

You give him credit for things he does not deserve credit for, and you give him far too much credit for things in which he had a hand.

You are right, though, in that sometimes we don't know who our friends are--nor do we always accurately asses the source of our problems (pride, arrogance and so on).

And I didn't know Mother Theresa ever had VD. ;=)

Thanks for the comment.

Steve Krulick said...

Is this hoary nonsense about Nader still fogging scapegoaters' brains?

What about the nearly 300,000 Dems in Florida who ACTUALLY VOTED FOR BUSH? The votes for Nader, from Repubs and Indies as well as Dems, were less than one-third that, and added nothing to Bush's column, and subtracted nothing from Gore's, the tally equivalent of staying home. One should have expected that a registered Dem wouldn't actually vote for the Repub opponent, requiring TWO Gore votes to overcome it!

But, since Nader's numbers went from 7% a week before the election to less than 3% in it, tens of thousands of Nader supporters likely DID hold their nose and vote for Gore, GIVING him Florida AND the election! You're Welcome!

Or don't you agree GORE WON the electoral and popular vote, as the media consortium proved, making your complaint moot?!! (Even DLC head Al From said it wan't Nader's fault, and polls showed that had Nader not been in the race, Bush would have done better and possibly WON outright!)

If anyone's to blame, blame the Supreme Court Five, Katherine Harris and Jeb Bush (Gore and the Dems did nothing to contest the tens of thousands of black voters purged from the voter rolls, which they knew about for months before the election), Gore's own cowardice in not pursuing his win, his Everglades debacle, or pissing off Clinton so he didn't campaign, or gaming a cherry-picked recount, as well as losing Tennessee and Arkansas, AND, of course, the 300,000 Dem traitors in Florida. Nader had NOTHING to do with any of those "banana peels" that Gore slipped on.

Gore didn't own my vote! I wasn't going to vote for him OR Bush anyway; had Nader not run, I might have selected another third party choice, or stayed home (Tell me how my vote for Nader in NY "gave Bush the White House"). But 300,000 Dems in Florida voted for BUSH, a double whammy! I don't see you blaming THEM, and that's three times the Nader vote, which votes gave ZERO to Bush's tally, and took no votes off Gore's!

But Gore WON and only GORE blew it!

Oh, and then there was the prospect of "President Joe Lieberman"! How many votes did THAT cost? What if Lieberman became prez before or after 2008? In a parallel universe, Gore or Joe might have gotten us into WWIII!

You are a scapegoater! Grow up and stop blaming the victims!

Tmothy Travis said...

Thanks for your comment, Steve.

I had no idea there was such a vigilant cottage industry out there working with such diligence, and such an array of information, misinformation and dust thrown into the air to confront--although not completely turn back, as it turns out--criticism of America's Corvair Cesar!

I have hoped for a long time that Mr. Nader's self centered arrogance, envy and pride might be tempered with some integrity, humility and the ability to both show appreciation for the contributions made by others as well and to acknowledge mistakes he has made, along the way. I am sure that introspection will break upon him, one day, a day to which I look forward.

Meanwhile, I can agree with you that it would be good for people to stop blaming the victims. You are right; that is an especially vicious kind of scapegoating.

Thanks, again, for your comment.


Anonymous said...

with all due respect, there is more to the story of Ralph Nader than what you are willing to see

this is from “On The Issues”

Since 1996, when Nader made his first presidential run, people have considered Nader a political figure. But in fact that is not the focus of his career — his actual focus has been as a consumer advocate and legal activist. His long list of accomplishments include:
1965: Published “Unsafe at Any Speed”, about GM’s Corvair, and started the movement for auto safety which resulted in seat belts & airbags, as well as the establishment of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
1966: Coined the phrase “Corporate Welfare” and started the movement to address the issue.
1971: Founded “Public Citizen” (the formal name for his group nicknamed “Nader’s Raiders”), an umbrella organization of groups working on consumer rights and government corruption. Nader’s organizations are credited with establishing:
The Safe Drinking Water Act
Freedom of Information Act (FOIA)
Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
The Consumer Product Safety Commission
1980: Founded Multinational Monitor, a magazine covering multinational corporations
1993: Founded the Appleseed Foundation, a funding organization to assist with local change and activism.
2000: Published “Crashing the Party”, about how the two-party system quashes outside opinions and candidates.

please note: in 2000, there were a total of 6 third party candidates all of whom got more votes than the # of votes that Gore "lost" by

it's almost funny: yearn for a car that the manufacturers KNEW was dangerous junk and demonize someone who has fought "for the people" for decades...

Tmothy Travis said...

Thanks for the run-down, Anonymous. I think that's fair.

I appreciate Nader and his work. I don't denigrate either what he has accomplished or what others have accomplished while he gets the credit for it. I was in the room and took the measure of the man when he visited the University of Oregon back in the day to launch OSPIRG and I continue to support it financially.

I also continue, based on everything I have seen and heard of him since, to believe that he possesses all those personality traits with which I then and have now characterized him.

I am and was aware of everything on that list of accomplishments. But there are some things about him you don't acknowledge and at which you and other bristle.

If he had supported Gore (which, of course he was not obligated to do) regardless of the man's shortcomings the outcome would more likely have been different than it was when Nader chose a fruitless and quixotic run with no chance of winning or even making a positive difference.

All he could possibly have accomplished (aside from stroking his own ego) was what happened and look AT everything that flowed from it.

Not the only one? No. When I hear one of them popping off about something like this campaign finance decision I'll give them a Lily, too.

And so what if he wasn't the only one? Would YOUR mother have let YOU off the hook for that lame mitigation?

Think of all the people who have stood by and let something bad happen that they could have tried to prevent. None of them was the only one. So what? What difference did that make to the people who had to live with the bad outcome?

As a leader he didn't care that the people for whom he tries to be a champion might be better off if he suppressed his ego and tried to prevent what he knew would be a disaster.

That's his choice to make, and mine to be critical about.

As I have said several times, now, the man is an arrogant, self centered person who has limited his own effectiveness (and done damage to those of us he says he stands up for) with the kind of reckless talk he talked on the Hartman show and the reckless behavior he showed by running in 2000.

Perhaps(I speculate)his current wrath at SCOTUS is a manifestation of qualms he has about that decision in 2000 and the ramifications of an outcome that, if he did not cause it, he might well have contributed to it (extending him the benefit of the doubt) and certainly he did nothing to prevent it--although he could have.

Did he owe it to the D's or to Gore? No. I never said he did. But he knew the possibilities and shrugged them off as though they made not (as I believe he characterized it) "a dimes worth of difference." He knew it would make a big difference and ... well, the post was about his being cynical. That was cynical.

I have not even a been a member of a political party since 1994 or so (although I had to register as a D to vote in the Oregon primary election for the first time in years this last go 'round) and I certainly understand the problems with the two party system.

This post of mine was about him and his cynical lambasting of a situation he at least contributed to, without a word of regret or acknowledgment at the possibility of his complicity in the outcome.

I don't yearn for a Corvair (my mother owned one when I was 16 or so and I didn't like it) and I don't demonize Ralph Nader.

But I don't give him more credit than he deserves, and I certainly don't think he's a man of integrity about some of the things he's done.

Thanks, again, for the discussion.

Steve Krulick said...

Why did you bother to thank me for a comment it seems you didn't read, or certainly didn't "get"? If there's ANY cottage industry out there, it's been over a decade of Nader-bashing, absent any substantive evidence to support the claims, and, yes, demonizing him, deny it all you may.

Pray tell, WHAT in my post do you consider misinformation or dust in the air? Seems like you are just making a blatant assertion to avoid addressing my points. I can back up each point I made, but I didn't want to turn this into a treatise.

By contrast, your criticism is simply your opinion, based on some personal pique, it would seem, and not any objective criteria. You offer no support for your ad hominem claim of "self centered arrogance, envy and pride"! Are you a mind-reader? Are you a psychologist? Did you work for Nader? Who are YOU to say he hasn't shown appreciation to others, or hasn't acknowledged mistakes (assuming what YOU think are mistakes ARE mistakes)? You "took the measure of the man" from across a room and determined from that all you needed to know?

I worked for Nader in NY state (and challenge you to show how my vote for Ralph in NY "gave Bush the White House"!), and so had copies of most of the audio and video coverage, what little there was, and copies of most articles.

Care to show when and where he said what you claim, that there wasn't "a dimes worth of difference" between Gore and Bush or the Dems and Repubs? He NEVER DID! (Although it seems more true than ever, with passage of time.) Just because the lie is repeated over and over, doesn't make it true! So, if your claim he was cynical was based on a false premise, then it's a moot claim.

Where, other than in you own mind, is there evidence that Nader ran to "stroke his own ego"? First, is there anyone you can think of who thinks he has the stones to be president who ISN'T possessed of an enormous ego? Many of them couldn't hold Nader's shoelaces in terms of accomplishments or intelligence.

Nader ran to put on the table the issues that the Dems and Reps refused to discuss. He succeeded -- as well as someone facing the financial and political hurdles an alternative candidate faces could be expected to succeed.

I wrote this in 2001, and it's more true than ever, proving Nader was RIGHT ALL ALONG!:

"The "events" have proved him terribly right: the election process is a sham; money hollers and politicians jump; people are disenfranchised and ignored; corporate control of politics and the government is more solidified than ever; the media kisses Republicrat butt and follows its corporate paymasters' worldview; there is no practical, meaningful difference between the Dems and Reps if the Dems merely rubber-stamp the Rep's appointees and agenda."

Then, in a later post, you go right on repeating the same blatant assertions from BEFORE my post, as if you blithely ignored the critical points I made that refuted your previous claims. Didn't Nader meet with Gore? Didn't Gore refuse to debate with him and treated him like a nobody? Didn't the Dems practically spend more time and money attacking Nader than they did Bush and the Repubs? Did Gore make any effort to LISTEN to Nader's simple suggestions that would have let Gore take the high ground so that Nader COULD have backed away as redundant?

Steve Krulick said...

Part II

Didn't you read that there are polls that showed that HAD NADER NOT RUN (a logical impossibility though; WE don't live in a UNIVERSE where Nader didn't run, so, logically, it is valid to say "If Nader hadn't run, I would be king.") Bush would have done BETTER, and might have even WON outright! Do I need to post the numbers before you accept it? Thus, by running, and getting votes from Repubs and Indies as well as Dems, he HELPED Gore win, particularly by energizing his own supporters to go out and vote, many of them who helped elect Dem candidates down the line, and many of whom switched to Gore at the last minute, insuring Gore's win. Particularly when perhaps up to two million votes were stolen, prevented, ignored, thrown away.

NO person reading the polls in early 2000, or looking at Bush, would have thought that Gore could lose. If a sitting two-term VP under a popular president (subject to debate), in a booming economy (subject to debate), during peacetime (subject to debate), couldn't whip a smirking, squinty-eyed, ex-cocaine-user, ex-drunk (subject to debate if he's still ex), AWOL-from-National-Guard shirker, "compassionate" killer of blacks, women, and mentally-retarded teens, sentence-mangling doofus sock-puppet privileged son of a sentence-mangling political hack privileged father, failed businessman corporate welfare king, with the slimmest resume of any presidential candidate in 100 years... If Gore couldn't beat THAT, then he didn't deserve to win!

Even though he DID win! Gore WON Florida. Blame Jeb and Katherine and the SCOTUS Grinches for stealing the victory from Gore. Then blame your man for rolling over and licking GOP ass and conceding the theft. Which makes the Nader scapegoating moot.

"The assertion that Nader's marginal vote count hurt Gore is not borne out by polling data," Al From [DLC founder and CEO] wrote in the DLC's report. "When exit pollers asked voters how they would have voted in a two-way race, Bush actually won by a point. That was better than he did with Nader in the race."

Stanley Greenberg's poll found that if Nader had not run, Gore would have gotten only 38 percent of Nader's voters and Bush would have gotten 25 percent. (Most of the rest would have stayed home or voted for another third-party candidate.)

YOU'D love to assume every vote Nader got came out of Gore's hide, and there's no evidence of that; indeed the available evidence shows that Gore wouldn't even have gotten the majority of those. But "logic dictates" that EVERY Dem who voted for Bush was a vote Gore should have been able to count on; but whether or not that was so, it was certainly a vote NOT given to Gore BUT given to his strongest opponent, the eventual "winner," and THAT was why Gore didn't win outright by a huge majority.

50 million Bush voters, Jeb Bush, Katherine Harris, the SCotUS, and Gore's incompetence put Bush in the White House.

It's as if we, as a group, threw a 100-foot rope to a drowning Gore 102 feet away, yet Gore made no attempt to MOVE the two feet closer necessary to GRAB it, but YELLED at us for not having thrown a 102-foot rope, and then blamed US for his going under.

Steve Krulick said...

Part III

Thanks to Gorebot fear-mongering, perhaps 5 MILLION Nader supporters held their nose and voted for Gore. And what did they get for their efforts? A Gore who bashed them and Nader, and who didn't even stand up to claim that voters who GAVE him the plurality were disenfranchised. What a wimp! I bet many now wish they'd voted for Nader after all.

But blame Nader? Focus on one tiny factor among thousands? Hey, blame the 50 million fools who voted for Bush, including 10%+ of registered Dems who voted for Bush. YOUR man Gore failed to get enough people to buy HIS BS over Bush's BS to make it the slam-dunk it should have been.

Say there are two football teams, The Tennessee Gore, and The Texas Bush. The Gore has (have? hate those non-plural team names!) all the advantages going into the game: they lead the league and have more experienced players. The Bush is/are bumbling lightweights, the old NY Mets as it were. The Gore has the odds. But they play so poorly in the game, making mistake after mistake, fumble after fumble, that by the last few seconds, it's Bush 7, Gore 6. Every Gore player has done a lousy job, every call from the coach has been stupid, and the Bush team, though not better than mediocre, has managed to hold them to a near tie.

Finally, in the last play, the Gore field goal kicker is brought in for the first time in the game. From the 30 yard line, he kicks the ball and it scores! But there's a flag thrown down!
The ref (maybe a distant relative of the Bush team's coach?!) calls a penalty and the kick is disqualified! The Gore coach disputes the call, and nobody else saw the supposed infraction.
There's almost a riot as the benches clear and the fans bellow. After normalcy is restored, the play is re-done. The nervous kicker kicks again, but this time the ball hits the upright, missing the 3-pointer by inches. The gun goes off. The game ends with The Bush the winner.

Now, despite ALL the mistakes and lousy playing on the part of the Gore during the ENTIRE game, there are some who might want to lay the ENTIRE blame for the loss on the kicker. But, if the penalty call was bogus, and the kick was actually good all along, the kicker helped WIN the game for The Gore -- just as Nader supporters falling on their swords by voting for Gore helped Gore win Florida and the Nation. But by the rules of the game, the questionable call stands, the second kick failed, The Gore lost, and the kicker IS held to blame for the loss -- just as the Nader-bashers would have it so in the election.

Tmothy Travis said...

Hi, Steve

I say thanks for your posts because you have taken the time to write them and everyone's time is valuable. I appreciate it when anyone spends time with what I think--even if they believe that I am unbelievably dense to think it.

I have posted all of the comments you sent because fair is fair and I owe anyone still interested in what either of us may have to say about this the chance to read everything that both of us wrote. I owe you that because, as I say, you took the time to write them. But I think I am done, here, after this, at least with you.

It's not unusual to have two people claiming that the other person is ignoring what they wrote and not giving it proper weight. It used to my job to argue that way, myself, and I heard it often enough from the bench, heaven knows.

But saying that isn't presenting any evidence of anything--it's just argument. I have read your evidence, assessed it, and I don't agree with you.

Based on what I have seen of him, in person and in the media, what I have read and otherwise learned, I think--and, yes it is my opinion, as your opinion is yours--that he is arrogant, prideful and that, at times, what he says lacks integrity.

Seeing different behavior from him will change my mind. I didn't see that, though, on the Tom Hartman show. Everything I heard him say was consistent with my opinion.

I have repeated what I wrote before you wrote anything because, as I say, your case seems as unconvincing to me as it seems unassailable to you. If my lack of agreement indicates to you that I didn't read what you wrote then I'd guess you are overestimating its ability to convince me. I'm not saying you are certainly wrong--the problem could be on my end.

Perhaps one or the other of us is completely correct, here, and one or the other is (or perhaps we are both) so far off of the farm as to not be able to hear the rooster crowing.

You maintain that Mr. Nader was a helpless and an innocent victim who was abused and misused and is completely in the clear for responsibility--or any possibility of any responsibility--for the fruit of the Bush years and therefore my saying he lacks integrity and is prideful and arrogant is wrong.

But, by the way, I have gone from expressing a certainty about Mr. Nader's responsibility to saying words like "possible" and "probable" and the like (while continuing to believe what I believe)--affirming his good work and the validity of some points you and anon made, but notwithstanding that I believe he did an unacceptably cynical thing.

Perhaps you do not value conciliation, while holding to your point of view, as much as you value contentious strife, even after it becomes apparent that it will not carry the day. We all love a good scrap, after all, even if none of us always understands where the limits of "good" might lie, the limits beyond which we do ourselves and others damage.

You have not even said that someone might disagree with you in good faith. You have said that I need to "grow up," and stop being a "scape goater" and a "Gorebot" and ...well, all those other names you've called me. You don't even give me "credit" for being stupid--I'm just willfully malevolent.

But that's not evidence, it's not even argument. It's just bullying and grandstanding, Steve. It sounds like the tone of Fox News, to me.

I'll post whatever else you want to write but I'm not seeing this as a fruitful discussion or as one edifying to either of our conditions.

Thanks, again, Steve.

Steve Krulick said...

1. I didn't call YOU a Gorebot. Read it again. Maybe you are projecting. Nor did I call you, or suggest you were, dense or stupid or "willfully malevolent." That's a strawman and possibly more projection, if not just a diversion.

Since I didn't SAY it, it isn't MY evidence or argument, but YOUR strawman diversion, like the reference out of the blue to Fox News, a pure ad hominem not even based on ME!

But you are, by any definition, a scapegoater. And possibly passive-aggressive, like Arfy in Catch-22, thanking and going-along to a point, but then undermining it with strawmen and evasion. And then throwing in the towel when unable to refute the evidence or logic presented, as if *I* am the one responsible for that!

2. I have only begun to put in evidence to support my claims, because it takes up space. How many polls and numbers must I provide before you accept them?

3. YOU have provided NOT ONE FACT or bit of evidence to support YOUR claims, so your demands are one-sided, perhaps hypocritical.

4. Calling it bullying and grandstanding doesn't make it so! Providing specific examples might help your claim; I'm still waiting for you to back up your claim that I posted MISINFORMATION and DUST!

Nothing in your latest post even addresses ANY of the points I made, AGAIN! You just dance around them.

You say you don't agree with what I presented; well, HOW SO? What did I say specifically that you disagree with and WHY? What counter-evidence do you offer? Where have you supported YOUR claims, as I asked?

We all have a right to our OPINIONS, but NOT to our own FACTS, as Daniel Moynihan said.

5. Yes, when one has made up one's mind, and has concretized beliefs, one RARELY lets anything enter that isn't "consistent" with one's already-formed opinion! Once you have "determined" someone is "arrogant" anything he says likely goes through that filter and hence reinforces that belief. But you still didn't answer MY questions about HOW you know this!

6. I didn't say Nader was "helpless" or "innocent" (your words, not mine), though he WAS abused beyond deserving, but what connection does THAT have to the conclusion you draw from that: "and therefore my saying he lacks integrity and is prideful and arrogant is wrong."? It's your strawman only, and has no logical connection to the premise you misrepresent.

I simply asked you to support your CLAIM that he lacks integrity and is prideful and arrogant, and you failed that.

7. You want to have it both ways! You back-pedal, but hold onto your original claim, yet fail to support it still!

8. YOU frame it as a choice of conciliation or strife, but that is not necessarily so. How about just sticking to and supporting your original claim with something concrete, or refuting MY arguments with more than a dance around them? By failing to actually address MY points, YOU are not acting in good faith.

YOU are slandering a man's character and blaming him for things of magnitude, yet when I call you on it, to PROVE it, you can't even TRY, but attack ME as well!