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Nader: Republican Presidential Candidate?

Posted by Rick · July 19th, 2004 · 9 Comments

As a friend of mine wrote when he forwarded an email about this story to me: “And they’re complaining about MoveOn.org.”

The Michigan Republican Party submitted more than 40,000 signatures last week in a bid to get independent presidential candidate Ralph Nader on the state’s November ballot.

Of course, this is not really about helping Nader. It is all about helping President Bush and hurting Democratic presidential candidate John F. Kerry’s campaign in a closely contested state.

The Michigan GOP denies that, of course. Matt Davis, a spokesman for the group, said it was merely concerned about third-party candidates being left off the ballot. He could not name, however, another third-party or independent candidate his party has helped.

As Bob has repeatedly noted, this is all just another example of how both sides play “the same game.”

Oh…wait…the Democrats aren’t working to nominate third-party candidates in a deliberate effort to do to their opponents what they cannot do themselves.

Categories: Politics-In-General


9 responses so far ↓

  • 1 nick meyer // Jul 21, 2004 at 7:53 am

    Alls fair in love, war and politics. And just to reaffirm that both sides play the game, what is up with Sandy Berger?

  • 2 Rick // Jul 21, 2004 at 9:10 am

    You lost me on that one, Nick.

    I’m guessing from knowing your unshakeable political position and the comment that you think Sandy Berger counts as an proof that Democrats are playing “the same game.”

    You’ll need to explain how that works.

    “The game,” as has been discussed here, is of pulling out all the stops to trash the other side regardless of the propriety or the truth of the matter. “The game” being played is one in which one lies, twists, or otherwise inappropriately attacks and damn the consequences. The game is one in which we don’t try just to score a political win, but to destroy. How was it that Republicans were advised by strategist David Horowitz? Oh, yeah: “In political conflicts, the goal is not to refute your opponent’s argument, but to wipe him from the face of the earth.” (Horowitz, The Art of Political War: How Republicans Can Fight to Win (2000) p. 24.)

    One of the mild examples — so mild it almost looks like regular politics to those who don’t remember the days when candidates at least paid lip service to the issues — would be hammering away at things like “he’s a boring candidate who uses Botox” when you actually know (assuming you’re an intelligent human being) that it’s not really true but seem so when people have heard it so many times they become convinced (like believing Fruit Loops is a healthy breakfast) and that whether one is exciting or boring has nothing to do with how well one can do the job of President. It’s knowing that even if it were true (and I don’t know if it is) that a candidate used Botox, this wouldn’t tell you anything about his abilities as President anymore than it would tell you if he’s a good driver. (Ironically, by the way, what makes a candidate boring these days is discussing important issues. What makes them interesting is avoiding those issues and cracking jokes about the other guy’s Botox treatments that you aren’t even sure he had.)

    Some less innocuous, but still somewhat mild, examples are hammering at the fact that a candidate is somehow illegitimate because he’s a millionaire lawyer. The constant harping on the fact that someone made millions defending the helpless, while you made millions taking them to war for more oil. The guy who helped a little girl whose intestines were sucked out by a defective pool pump, which wasn’t fixed by the company even though they knew it had hurt other kids before is a bad guy because he made lots of money while defending cases like this. (Which, incidentally, also means he’s quite good, because many lawyers don’t as well. And on cases like that, they tend to lay out a lot of their own money before they make any back; on losing cases, their clients aren’t usually out the money, the lawyers are.) Somehow being a millionaire oil man when oil costs the same per barrel as it did 20-30 years ago, but gasoline is way more expensive…that’s okay. It’s even okay if you did this in spite of the fact that your company failed (as happened with President Bush’s oil company, even though he pocketed millions from it).

    I also personally think it’s harmful to the nation to harp on the lawyer thing, because the illegitimate way it’s done, it encourages a distrust for law. And what is it our nation is based on again? Oh, yeah…until recently, we took pride in being “a nation of law.” Most of our Founding Fathers were lawyers — that’s how they were smart enough to build a Constitution that lasted almost 230 years…almost. It’s okay, though, if we continue hammering the idea that the very thing upon which our nation was built is disgusting and evil.

    And, by the way, do you think Bush, Cheney or any of their friends ever use lawyers? Do you think that when they do, they say, “Now, look. It’s okay to lose if it turns out we’re in the wrong here. Just don’t do anything that gets us out of trouble when it wouldn’t be right to do it.”

    Much more serious, though, are making claims that we have to go invade other countries that haven’t attacked us, just because they have something we want. Yes, we know it’s against international law to invade sovereign nations. Yes, we know that virtually all the nations of the world belong to the United Nations and that there are laws and procedures for how these things are done. But doggone it, we want oil and higher approval ratings! We need a war! Wars bring Americans together! (They do, actually, historically, but that’s not a reason to have one.) So we argue weapons of mass destruction when we know they don’t exist. When we get caught on that one, we argue that it was the “moral” thing to do; as if we had a shred of morality after starting a war based on lies. As if our moral basis were actually significant when we don’t invade every other country — just the one that has the second largest oil reserves in the world and gives us a foothold in the middle east for our armed forces — when those other countries (remember Korea?) have actually done what we accused Saddam of doing.

    On the political front, of course, we need to hammer away at lying and making up reasons to get rid of people who won’t (as Bill O’Reilly is fond of saying) “shut up.” Or who won’t, as Vice-President Cheney is fond of saying, “f*ck off.”

    So what about Berger? Even as the story is being repeated ad infinitum and Republicans are insistent that he broke the law because he made notes while researching for his part before the 9/11 commission — remember them? They were commissioned by the President to get to the truth about 9/11, so we could be safer. Only he doesn’t like what they’ve said, so now we need to find a way to show that there’s something fishy with it; to make them “shut up” or, barring that, to nullify their message. And even in the story being reported, Berger is said to have been openly taking notes, not privately, and no one saw fit at that time to say, “Hey, Mr. Berger. You can’t do that. Better stop.” I mean, who knows? He might have used that information to help the President, so why say anything until after the information ended up helping the commission write a report the President didn’t like. Besides, this way, we get three birds with one stone. Nine months after the investigation starts, just in time for the run up to the elections, that’s when this story will make it to the light of day. By then he’ll no doubt be involved in working closely with Democrats — after all, that’s who he is, a Democrat — and if we wait to say anything until the right time, we’ll get to re-invoke all the bad stuff about Democrats right then. Maybe we can make some hay out of Bill and Monica then, too! We’ll dredge up all the immoralities of the Clintons and other Dems! Whoa!

    What’s that? The 9/11 report is coming out Thursday? Oh…coincidence…coincidence. What’s that? Charges probably won’t be filed because the FBI and others in the investigation don’t believe he broke the law? You see? That’s why we need to replace all our current law enforcement systems with Homeland Security run by Republicans! Somebody get Ashcroft on the phone! I want to know how this could (not) happen!

    Just be sure we don’t tell anyone that what Berger did was contributing to the ability of the 9/11 commission to do the job of understanding how to make the United States safer, while revealing top-secret national security secrets not just once, but twice (both incidents are mention in this article) was done by us for the sole purpose of…well, getting people to shut up, of course!

  • 3 nick meyer // Jul 21, 2004 at 2:55 pm

    In my train of thought, the “game” is ANY tactic used by either side to distort or hide the facts. The fact is that Mr. Berger removed classified documents and then due to his,(in his own words) sloppiness, trashed some. We all know the historical importance of any classified documents, but a man in his past and present position should be more cognizant of that fact than you or I Rick. He , and you, seem to think there was nothing illegal about what he did, he was just being sloppy. Just as his ex boss seems to think the same way about his misdoings in office. Maybe getting taken care of orally while holding the office of The President of The United States by someone other than your wife, then lie about it to the American people is not illegal, to say the least it sure was sloppy. Do we know exactly what the trashed documents had to reveal? He is a sneaky democrat, an advisor to mR. kERRY. Did mR. kERRY want to hide something that was damaging to the Democratic held White House at the time? Hmmmmm. The Democrats would’nt do anything illegal!! BOTH SIDES PLAY THE GAME!!!!!!!

  • 4 Rick // Jul 21, 2004 at 6:39 pm

    Hmmm…if the Democrats started routinely altering the news so that Republicans looked bad, when they knew that the way in which they were manipulating the news was actually not just “spin,” but also a lie, that would be the same game.

    If the Democrats somehow told corporations, “If you give money to Republicans, we will mess you up,” that would be the same game.

    If the Democrats began to put out stories that Bush had been featured in the protester’s section of a communist “museum of war crimes,” that would be the same game.

    In fact, the Democrats don’t do these things. Even recently, when they had an opportunity to hammer and hammer and hammer two very real facts: 1) Jack Ryan tried to get his wife Jeri, of Star Trek fame, to have sex with strangers in public and 2) Vice-President Cheney will possibly be indicted by the French government for illegally bribing government officials in Nigeria. Even with these potential corruption issues begging to be exploited for political gain, you’ve heard very little (if anything) from Democrats.

    Hell, I’m thinking of switching parties; I may register this year as a Democrat.

    Compared to the people you (and Bob) insist are just playing “the same game,” these guys are friggin’ saints.

  • 5 Mark // Jul 22, 2004 at 8:54 am

    Nick, I thank my lucky stars that guys like you keep talking about Clinton getting a blow job. With the current appointed occupant of the White House lying about everything from the desertion of his post in the National Guard, reasons for going to war and getting 900 American men and women killed, the cost of his Medicare program, etc. — it would be easy for the rest of us to forget what’s really important in the scheme of things. Where would we be without guys like you to point us back to the things that really matter?

  • 6 nick meyer // Jul 22, 2004 at 9:20 am

    Rick, I do not consider as fact, the remarks of a disgruntled woman going through a divorce. I know personally, as fact, that a scorned woman going through a divorce will say and do anything to hurt their ex. Again you should know this considering your choice of career. Where is the “PROOF” that he tried to get her to have sex outside the realm of normal married behavior. Unless you have an inside track that we do not know about I also would keep silent on this issue like all your other democratic heroes. As far as the Vice President’s case goes, we need to wait and see. Yes it has been stated as fact that he PROBABLY will be charged. In my mind probably is like almost. I almost stepped in dog doo-doo and probably would’ve been pissed off. I probably would’ve stepped in dog doo-doo had I not been paying attention. There is a very fine line here and the Democrats do not want to cross it before all the facts are out. BOTH SIDES PLAY THE GAME.

  • 7 Rick // Jul 22, 2004 at 10:27 am

    Nick, do you seriously think that a congressman would quit his job just because some disgruntled person told a lie about him? Were you aware of the fact that both Jack and Jeri Ryan tried to keep the public from finding out about this? They considered it a personal item, which it is. The public shouldn’t need to know about such things, in my opinion, since I don’t believe that there is a connection between even the sexual piccadilloes of people and there abilities to do their jobs. But if one wants to hammer away at “blowjobs for Bill” and ignore “bombs for Bush,” then it only seems fair to point out that sexual indiscretions are not limited to those in the Democratic party.

    First, a correction on something I stated earlier. The Ryan comment should have said that he tried to get his wife to have sex with strangers watching in sex clubs; not that he tried to get her to have sex with strangers. And I would say the “proof” you asked about is that he admitted it was true. As he put it:

    [T]he worst that can be said about me is that I propositioned my wife ? my wife! ? in an inappropriate place

    He also stated that,

    . . . the media’s focus on candidates’ personal sex lives serves no public purpose and is harmful to democracy.

    I wholeheartedly agree with his statement.

    Nevertheless, as his critics pointed out, what he did — and just in case you forgot and you want to ask again for proof, he admitted he did it — is inconsistent with the values Republicans wish to shove down everyone’s throat.

    It’s nice to know, however, that your politics are so high-minded and rock-solid that you preferred to trash his wife than to accept the story. That doesn’t seem surprising to me. I apologize in advance to anyone who is offended by this comment, but one reason I’m not writing as much these days is the effort seems incommensurate with the potential benefits. People don’t discuss anymore; they dispute. This itself would not be so bad if it weren’t for the outrageous way in which it occurs, independent of truth.

    Mark has indicated that he thinks my criticisms of readers’ intelligence are a bit much. He has suggested I apologize. I may be wrong — I’ve been wrong before and will be again — but I believe that the intelligent readers are aware they weren’t the targets of earlier diatribes. Yet I believe that the majority of Americans — of various political stripes — are locked into their positions without having actually reasoned their way to those views and will brook no news, articles, comments or views that contradict what they already believe. Their views appear to have been sold to them like so many other “products” in America and they’ve been bought on the same basis: Pretty pictures and big ideas unconnected with reality. And I believe that before they will accept the possibility that the leaders of their party may not be the best choices for leaders, they will simply refuse to accept the truth — even when someone admits it’s true, as Jack Ryan did.

    Incidentally, I don’t know that I believe Ryan’s campaign should have collapsed on these facts. I’m only — and I mean only — pointing out that it’s symptomatic of what I think ails the entire country that someone would automatically reject this story and blame the disgruntled wife. (You seriously don’t need to answer this question, Nick, but was your reaction — really — the same when you first heard about Clinton’s blowjob, while he was still denying it? Just ask and answer the question to yourself; do a little soul-searching. Compare that reaction to the one about the Ryans’ story.)

    I’m entirely convinced that some of the readers here are intelligent. Some are more intelligent than me. Some others can’t even figure out what I mean by the phrase “the same game” as evidenced by being able to say, in the same paragraph, things like “There is a very fine line here and the Democrats do not want to cross it before all the facts are out. BOTH SIDES PLAY THE SAME GAME.” That shows that we aren’t talking about “the same game.” Because the game I’m talking about involves lying, stealing, warring and whatever else it takes to — as David Horowitz’ advice to Republicans put it — “wipe [political opponents] from the face of the earth.”

    See, the United States of America is composed of millions of people with more than just two views. Rather than wiping one’s political opponents from the face of the earth, we should be building real coalitions in order that the government can truly be of the people, by the people and for the people. The goal, as Lincoln put is, is that this nation “shall not perish from the earth.”

    And I propose that “this nation” includes one’s political opponents.

    The party in power gets to have most of what they want; they won the election, showing the majority of people, for whatever reasons, agreed to that. But read Federalist Paper No. 51 (authored by James Madison) sometime. The government our Founders envisioned was deliberately hampered — its power split among various branches, including the legislative, administrative and judicial — in a purposeful attempt to prevent the majority from running roughshod over the minority.

    And the reason for that is — to slightly modify Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address — we should have a “government of all the people, by all the people, for all the people. And our goal should be that that government, not the one that labors to wipe its political opponents from the face of the earth, shall not perish from the earth.

  • 8 nick meyer // Jul 22, 2004 at 3:23 pm

    Mark, get over the blow job. The point I made, and continually make, as you tried to do with President Reagan dying his hair, is that he lied to us all about it. I don’t care about the act itself, it is the cover up and deception that occured after the fact. My point is that both sides mislead, lie, cover up etc… I have never said, and will never say that President Bush is a saint. But you need to accept the fact that BOTH SIDES DO NOT ALWAYS TELL THE TRUTH, and that is wrong. You act as if it is not in your heroes nature to lie. Get into reality my friend. AS Rick correctly pointed out it is no ones business but the affected parties. What does affect us is the cover up and lies. And Rick it is the same game. Deceptions, lies. cover ups. BOTH SIDES PLAY THE GAME>

  • 9 Mark // Jul 23, 2004 at 8:24 am


    This is rich! YOU keep bringing up the fact that Clinton was able to get girls — something Republicans always talk about because they KNOW they will LOSE on the issues — then you tell ME to get over it!

    If you’re so concerned about lies, Nick, what about the lies about the reasons for getting more than 900 American men and women, as well as more than ten thousand Iraqi civilians, killed in an overseas war against a country that was not a threat to us? Do BOTH SIDES start unprovoked wars that leave us less safe than we were before. Do BOTH SIDES REFUSE to go after the people who aided and abetted those who attacked us on September 11?

    Wake up and smell the coffee, Nick.

    J.C. Watts, Senior (father of one-time token black Republican Congressman J.C. Watts, Junior) once said that, “a black man voting for a Republican makes as much sense as a chicken voting for Colonel Sanders.”

    I think the policies of the current appointed administration make it logical to extend that observation to say that someone making less than five million dollars a year voting for a Republican makes as much sense as a chicken voting for Colonel Sanders. I must admire the marketing prowess of the Republican party getting so many working men and women, the very ones they like to exploit, to support their elitest policies. At the same time, I consider it one of the great tragedies and moral travesties of our time.

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