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St. Ralph: NoLabelsUnityUnitedForUnityHotSoup’16!

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A new book articulates a thrilling new political vision! 

What if Washington politics were no longer defined by partisan gridlock but instead by a cross-party alliance that forged solutions? The alliance would be unstoppable.

Rarely has a more vacuous and useless question been asked with greater frequency. Who’s selling this Tom Friedman pap this time?

That’s the premise of the new book “Unstoppable: The Emerging Left-Right Alliance to Dismantle the Corporate State” by longtime political activist and five-time presidential candidate Ralph Nader, who contends that such a left-right alliance is not just the stuff of imagination but is actually emerging.

Of course! Now the argument this rather lame fantasy of non-politics politics is actually happening might have some slim basis in reality; I’m sure some libertarians are happy about Nader’s campaign to stop libraries from being constructed unless they meet St. Ralph’s precise aesthetic specifications. But what’s the other evidence?

“On Capitol Hill, I’m seeing more and more in Congress, left and right,” Nader told “The Fine Print.” “It was a vote in the House over a year ago over the NSA snooping, it almost broke through … so we’re beginning to see formulations that once they click together, they’re unstoppable.”

So conservatives helped join an anti-NSA coalition so unstoppable it was stopped. A majority of Democrats voted for the anti-NSA amendment and a majority of Republicans (including the leadership) voted against it, proving that both parties are the same.

Nader expects there is going to be a growth of left-right alliances in Congress, pointing to the war on drugs

I’ll grant this is one issue where, historically, a Naderite analysis of the parties has some purchase. But who are the Republicans who oppose the war on drugs?

and bank regulatory efforts as areas of possibly confluence

HAHAHAHAAHAHAHAHAHAHA! Oh, mercy. Right, I’m sure Republicans opposed Dodd-Frank en masse because it didn’t go far enough. Surely, you’re typical hack dreaming of a non-partisan politics would be savvy enough to leave an issue like this out rather than explicitly embarrassing themselves. I assume there’s also a chapter in Nader’s new book about how there will be a cross-partisan alliance favoring upper-class tax increases.

Nader has his own vision for who he’d like to be president and has even put forward a proposal of 20 billionaires who he encourages to run for president – a list that includes media mogul Oprah Winfrey and environmentalist Tom Steyer.

Yes, I’m sure our transcendence of political limits will be attained by random billionaires with no political support. Bloomberg/Koch ’16!

When it comes to the current president, Nader said that Obama has violated the Constitution on several occasions and should be impeached.

And…exit. Hopefully Rand Paul will be able to cross party lines and save us all.

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  • Billionaires for president. Awesome. If there’s anyone underrepresented in government, it’s billionaires.

    • DrS

      That Nader, he’s a real radical lefty.

      • I bet he was humming “The Internationale” the whole time while typing this book!

        • DrS

          That’s the new advertising theme for ITT, correct?

          • DrS

            (ITT? Update your references, DrS)

    • Anonymous

      Lots of millionaires but I don’t think that many if any actual billionaires officially holding office. Clearly that is why we have problems in Congress.

      • Haystack

        Yup. Billionaires just sitting on the sidelines helpless in their ability to control events as Congress carries out the wishes of the hoi polloi.

        • giantslor

          Billionaires don’t need to hold office. Even after buying jets, yachts, mansions and small islands, they still have plenty of money left to buy politicians.

      • “Represented” as in representational government.

      • rea

        Now that Bloomberg is out of office . . .

      • Manny Kant

        Well, Bloomberg obviously was holding office until a few months ago. Jay Rockefeller’s uncle is a billionaire.

      • Nathanael

        Actually, there’s an idea I’ve floated occasionally, a bit tongue-in-cheek….

        Billionaires are our new Lords.

        In England in the 1400s and beyond, the Lords were *required* to attend the meetings of Parliament *personally*.

        They usually didn’t want to. They had other things they would rather do.

        So the King sent his army to drag them in at swordpoint and forced them to take their seats in the House of Lords.

        Forcing them to personally attend and debate actually creates more responsible behavior on the part of the Lords than the behavior we have now. Lords behave much worse when they can simply delegate their political interference to lackeys.

        So — why not just create an actual House of Plutocrats (it can replace the Senate), declare that every billionaire is part of it, force them to show up *in person*, and prohibit them from interfering in our government in any other way whatsoever (just as Lords could not vote for the House of Commons).

        It would be a more honest system than the current system of behind-the-scenes bribery and manipulation.

    • tomsk

      It’s not the first time he’s made this ‘splendid’ ‘proposal’. Everyone’s aware of his previous masterpiece, right?

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Only_the_Super-Rich_Can_Save_Us!

  • wjts

    What if Washington politics were no longer defined by partisan gridlock but instead by a cross-party alliance that forged solutions? The alliance would be unstoppable.

    Detective Max Hellhammer Ralph Nader’s proposed political coalition is a loose wolf and a lone cannon bold new vision for American politics. His Its unorthodox methods may upset his precinct captain and the bean counters in the City Hall entrenched political interests, but no one can deny that Max Ralph gets results and closes cases saves America!

    • jim, some guy in iowa

      “loose wolf and a lone cannon” is going to be my favorite phrase of the day

    • EliHawk

      “You’re off the case, Nader!”

      • Scott Lemieux

        “But sir! I have proof that he’s head of an international drug cartel!”

        • Malaclypse

          That’s LaRouchie’s beat, kid, and you know it. You don’t have his chops.

          • Jon H

            Now go downstairs and meet your new rookie partner. Jones. Alex Jones. Show him the ropes.

            • Halloween Jack

              “You don’t know what it’s like out there on the streets, kid. The hard stares, the cold shoulders, the mutters that you threw the election. It’s a town without pity, a boulevard of broken dreams, a death trap, a suicide rap. I’ve seen it chew up countless better men than you and spit ’em out. What makes you think you got what it takes?”

              “9/11 thermite waco benghazi infowar socialist texas moonhoax fluoride black helicopter black president benghazi infowar infowar”

              “Gotta say, kid, I like your moxie.”

    • Warren Terra

      Starring The Green Party as Nader’s partner who just has to work this one last case before they can hang up their gun and go realize all of their dreams, and who instead is inevitably but tragically cut down at the end of the first act, dying so Nader can fight on.

  • Murc

    “Unstoppable: The Emerging Left-Right Alliance to Dismantle the Corporate State”

    Among other things, if you’re in favor of dismantling the corporate state you are, broadly speaking, not right-wing. Who does not know this?

    When it comes to the current president, Nader said that Obama has violated the Constitution on several occasions and should be impeached.

    This is just silly from anyone who considers themselves on the political left.

    I fucking hate the Obama Administration, but even I can’t think of anything they’ve done that’s unconstitutional. Illegal, sure. Incompetent and cowardly, absolutely. Unconstitutional? Not buying it.

    • mds

      Unconstitutional? Not buying it.

      The argument could be made in certain cases of unilateral execution of suspected terrorists living abroad. But even there, no one of any influence on the right gives even the tiniest shit about the rights of accused (non-white / Muslim) terrorists, not even Randstand Paul. They’d gladly “join” with the left in impeaching and removing Obama and Biden, but they continue to this day to defend torturing suspected terrorists, and still get sexual release from thinking about how Jose Padilla was broken after being seized on American soil. So I’ll consider the right wing my partner in restoring Constitutional norms when they stop wiping their asses with every part of it except the Tenth Amendment and the second clause of the Second.

      • Nathanael

        The pervasive 4th amendment violations are pretty blatantly unconstitutional. All the searching of everyone’s electronic communications, and even their mail, without probable cause or warrants. Everything Snowden revealed that the NSA was doing.

        This stuff is blatantly and dramatically unconstitutional: the 4th amendment was passed *specifically to prohibit* this sort of “general warrant” stuff.

        The imprisonment of people without cause (often “cleared for release”, no less) in Guantanamo Bay, also unconstitutional.

        The kangaroo courts set up to convict the people tortured at Guantanamo Bay, also unconstitutional.

        Obama’s done lots and LOTS of unconstitutional stuff. Every single unconstitutional thing he’s done was also done by George W. Bush, however.

        So I don’t pay any attention to right-wingers complaining about Obama’s constitutional violations, unless they also complained about Bush’s constitutional violations, which were *exactly the same*.

    • Frank Somatra

      Drone strikes against Americans.
      NSA wiretapping.
      Intrasession recess appointments (more debatable, as the Senate is clearly violating its own constitutional requirements, but I think if Bush/Reid had done the same as Obama/McConnell are fighting about, liberals would not be backing the Republicans)

      But, uh, yeah. The executive branch is a big place, and I’m happy with plenty of other things that they have done (or leaned in the right direction towards).

    • UserGoogol

      Among other things, if you’re in favor of dismantling the corporate state you are, broadly speaking, not right-wing. Who does not know this?

      It’s entirely possible to be anti-corporation and right-wing. Even if being right-wing is defined in respect to protecting the powers that be, corporations can be viewed as a deviant modernist corruption of the good old days. It’s not that hard to find such people digging around on fringey parts of the Internet.

      The problem is that forming an alliance between unpopular fringey views at different ends of the political spectrum and vaguely populist moderates isn’t exactly going to be a very strong coalition.

      • Nathanael

        “It’s entirely possible to be anti-corporation and right-wing. Even if being right-wing is defined in respect to protecting the powers that be,”

        The term right-wing came out of the National Assembly in revolutionary France and referred to the monarchists. I therefore define right-wing exactly that way, as authoritarians who believe in divinely appointed authority.

        “Even if being right-wing is defined in respect to protecting the powers that be, corporations can be viewed as a deviant modernist corruption of the good old days. It’s not that hard to find such people digging around on fringey parts of the Internet.”

        Yeah. The “corporations suck, bring back the king” group is pretty darn fringey, though, and rather hard to ally with.

  • Benny Goodman

    Is it possible that the last fifteen years of Nader’s life have been a gigantic trolling operation?

    • N__B

      Goddammnit.

    • Bitter and Deluded Lurker

      Yes, and the first 65 years of his life were just to set up the last 15.

    • redrob64

      That’s harsh. I prefer to think of him as performance artist whose oeuvre is dedicated to demonstrating the absurdities of the US economic and political systems. He seems more out of touch and outlandish because parody is becoming increasingly difficult.

      • LeeEsq

        Many satirists have been felled by Poe’s Law.

      • Jon H

        If that’s the case I wish he’d switch to a more useful art form, such as shooting paint out of his ass.

    • SamR

      So at some point he’s just going to say “The Aristocrats!”?

      • Ralph Nader

        “Right, the Aristocrats! We should follow them”

        • Jordan

          FINALLY a funny aristocrats joke where the punchline is actually involved!

      • SFAW

        I wish I had read this before my own use of same.

        Damn rootless cosmopolitans and Illuminati controlling my mind again.

        • Warren Terra

          That’s the problem – I’ve got a list of twenty billionaires who should be controlling your mind instead. You’ll like the list, it’s got Oprah on it!

    • LeeEsq

      Did you bring your orchestra?

    • drkrick

      Closer to 40. His performance when Joan Claybrook, a former associate, was working for the Carter Administration is perfectly consistent with what we’re seeing now. He seems to hate people in inverse proportion to how much they disagree with him short of perfect alignment.

  • calling all toasters

    The Naderbot needs to update its firmware.

    • Murc

      Oh, it has. But they used the code from Romneybot 2.0 to do it.

      It could be worse. He’s not killing hobos anymore.

      • calling all toasters

        So, Naderbots are people?

        • SFAW

          So, Naderbots are people?

          Originally from Newton Haven?

        • Warren Terra

          They can incorporate, so, sure.

  • DrDick

    I think I just threw up a little in my mouth.

    • Joe

      “ralph”

      • Toberdog

        Driver of the porcelain bus, don’cha know.

  • sibusisodan

    Nader has his own vision for who he’d like to be president and has even put forward a proposal of 20 billionaires who he encourages to run for president

    So his problem is that Romney wasn’t rich enough?

    • Aimai

      So: combo super villain billionaire is the obvious answer. Isn’t that called Mecha Billionaire?

      • DrS

        Iron Man.
        Maybe Peter Thiel

        • N__B

          Lex Luther was elected president.

          • DrS

            Heh, I forgot that the ultracapitalist arms dealer isn’t the villian in Iron Man.

            • Warren Terra

              Well, one of them is.

          • kenjob

            i much prefer lex “do you know how much power i’d have to give up to be president?” luthor.

        • JMP

          Iron Man was Secretary of Defense for a time, and later head of S.H.I.E.L.D. (when he basically became an outright villain for a while), but he’s never held elective office.

  • McAllen

    So the left and right are going to join forces, and this new alliance is going to somehow be further to the left than the current left? This is a thousand times more inane than the usual “let’s put aside partisan bickering” arguments, because at least those arguments don’t propose that the new coalition will end up anywhere other than somewhere in the center.

  • mattH

    I Caught DemocracyNow interviewing him for a minute last night. I don’t know that she ever harassed him about anything, but Goodman was certainly praising him in her intro. I had to turn it, things weren’t looking too good.

    • Gwen

      Amy Goodman is occasionally enlightening but often insufferable. Sounds like she was in yippee mode again last night.

      • politicalfootball

        Yippie puncher!

  • jim, some guy in iowa

    I wonder what Lewis Lapham thinks of this kind of thing. he worked really hard at building the St Ralph myth and in the end it soured me on Harper’s

    • Bitter Scribe

      Add this to the long list of reasons why I think Lapham is an overrated, self-important ass.

      • I certainly hope “naming your new magazine Your Name Quarterly” is on that list.

        • Warren Terra

          “I’m so great, you should pay $15 an issue for a magazine based on little more than my name!”

    • Scott Lemieux

      Ah, I still remember Lapham’s particularly embarrassing cover rim job of Nader, “A Candidate in Full.” Lapham’s last-person-to-the-party strident but banal criticisms of Bush were particularly unreadable in that context.

      • brewmn

        Yet Harper’s was a much better magazine when he was in charge. I’ve had enough of their erudite Firebaggerism, and will be letting my subscription lapse after having one for nearly thirty years.

        • Warren Terra

          The longform pieces are still good, but the survey-of-random-stuff section has slipped badly (and was probably never going to fare well once the internet made random viral snippets something you could find without a magazine helping), and the overwrought pompous editorials are completely insufferable.

  • SFAW

    I believe the politically-correct response to Mr. Nader’s breathtaking, genius-level solution is:

    Go fuck yourself, Ralph. Haven’t you been complicit enough already in destroying America? Better yet: I hear the super-de-duper best way to have your ideas accepted and trumpeted by one-and-all is to commit seppuku, so whyn’t ya try that? I don’t think you’ll be lacking for kaishakunin volunteers, either. So, in closing, dear St. Ralph: go fuck yourself.

  • Bitter Scribe

    Ralph, you contributed enormously to fucking up the 2000 election and giving us George W. Bush. Isn’t that accomplishment enough for one lifetime?

    • tnh

      if Al Gore wanted to win he shouldn’t have selected Judas LIEberman who everyone knew was just going to take orders from neocons and internationalist bankers

      • SFAW

        Like the Rothschilds, no doubt.

      • Malaclypse

        internationalist bankers

        I’m sorry, your dog-whistle wasn’t quite loud enough. Can we denounce rootless cosmopolitanism while we are at it? And the crime against humanity that is gefilte fish and Manischewitz wine?

        • tnh

          internationalist bankers destroyed the economy in 2008. As Dick Durbin says banks control the government. LIEberman and his type are responsible. when the occupy pointed this out but Bloomberg violently broke them up. People like LIEberman and Bloomberg cannot be trusted to do what’s right for working Americans.

          • SFAW

            Juden ‘raus!

            Back to Freeperland with you

            • tnh

              freerepublic is Zionist central they look at the hate they spread against the boycott divestment and sanctions movenment. They only care about the 1% not the 99%

              • SFAW

                Yeah, them dirty Jews control Free Republic. It’s a international conspiracy, I tells ya!

                You forgot the Trilateral Commission, the Black Helicopter Society, the Blue-Helmet Cadre, the Seven Santini Brothers, and the Lollipop Guild.

                Now, please FOAD

                • MPAVictoria

                  And the Reverse Vampires. Never forget the Reverse Vampires.

                  /We are through the looking glass here people!

                • Brad Nailer

                  Don’t forget the Flying Wallendas!

                • SFAW

                  Don’t forget the Flying Wallendas!

                  You’ll notice they don’t fly, so much as plummet.

                  Too soon?

          • Malaclypse

            Could you tell me exactly what you mean by “internationalist” bankers, as opposed to, say, Countrywide and their shit mortgages? Because, really and for true, I want to know.

            • tnh

              all capital nowadays is internationalist. thanks to free trade agreements like NAFTA if American workers cost to much the rootless cosmopolitans who make up the 1% can move a factory to Mexico or China. the 1% gets richer while everyone else gets screwed.

              • Malaclypse

                rootless cosmopolitans

                Man, you just can’t help yourself, can you?

                • tnh

                  what do you call a greedy capitalist pig who sells out the American worker?

                • Malaclypse

                  Well, I don’t normally need to fall back on badly-disguised anti-Semitic terms. Let’s count, shall we? 1) internationalist bankers (still undefined), 2) rootless cosmopolitans, 3) neocons, and 4) Zionists.

                  Now, you might notice that the last three have jack fucking shit to do with your supposed economic analysis. Yet you needed to use them anyway.

                  If Trotsky ever got anything right, it was when he said anti-Semitism was socialism for stupid people.

                • DrDick

                  what do you call a greedy capitalist pig who sells out the American worker?

                  Mitt Romney? Paul Ryan? Republican?

                • sparks

                  I’ll bite. What do you call a greedy capitalist pig who sells out the American worker?

                • SFAW

                  Hey Malaclypse –
                  Don’t I get any love for dragging the Rothschilds into this?

                • Malaclypse

                  You would, except you forgot the Illuminati and the Stonecutters.

                • SFAW

                  Dr Dick –
                  Romney’s not a Jew, he’s a Moron. And Ryan is a Moron-in-Waiting.

                • SFAW

                  The Illuminati! How could I forget them?

                  I hang my (apparently empty) head in shame.

                • Malaclypse

                  How could I forget them?

                  Well, I could tell you about the mind-erasure rays, but then I’d need to kill you. Or just erase your mind. Again.

                • wjts

                  I don’t like the way the rootless cosmopolitans make their matzo toast points for caviar with the blood of Christian proletarian babies.

                • SFAW

                  what do you call a greedy capitalist pig who sells out the American worker?

                  “The Aristocrats”?

                • tnh

                  Romney and Ryan are nothing but pupets for the people like Sheldon Adelson who really control the economy. Thanks to Citizens United these rootless cosmopolitans can control the country without anyone knowing about

                • Malaclypse

                  I’m shocked – shocked, I tell you – that you are worried about a pissant casino mogul and not the Koch brothers. Nobody at all understands when you say people “like” Adelson.

                • SFAW

                  And, apparently, I was wrong: he didn’t come here from Freeperland, he’s visiting from Stormfront.

                • N__B

                  Nobody at all understands when you say people “like” Adelson.

                  I don’t like Adelson, I love Adelson. He’s the bravest, kindest, warmest richest casino owner in Macau.

            • DAS

              Oddly, when my wife and I purchased our current apartment, around the table at the closing were myself (Jewish), my wife (Jewish), the real estate agent, who also was the then owner of our apartment (Jewish), the attorney for the co-op (Jewish) and our attorney (Jewish). Interestingly, I don’t think the attorney for the bank was Jewish … neither was our mortgage banker … indeed the bank and its subcontractors seemed to be an entirely Goyish affair (although I know many people think the president of the bank we are using is Jewish because of his name).

              • Nathanael

                If we’re going to make ethnic generalizations accurately, modern Banks are mostly controlled by WASPs. …or sometimes Brahmins.

                Now that banking is considered socially acceptable, it’s been completely taken over by the upper crust of society. Not really surprising if you’ve read your Veblen.

        • SFAW

          And the crime against humanity that is gefilte fish and Manischewitz wine?

          As long as they leave the MadDog alone.

          “Oh the Catholics hate the Protestants,
          And the Protestants hate the Catholics
          And the Hindus hate the Moslems
          And everybody hates the …. ”

          … someone, I can’t recall who, though.

          • Ahuitzotl

            .. English

            • SFAW

              Nah, only the Frogs hate them

              • Ahuitzotl

                talk to an Aussie, a Scot or an Irlandois about that :)

                • SFAW

                  I stand corrected. And I should know better, wot wif bein’ married to an Irish-American lass.

      • Pseudonym

        The internationalist banker is the white male of the corporate state.

      • LeeEsq

        Its been ages since we had a good Zionist-Banker-Bolshevik conspiracy rant on this site. Maybe we should get J. Otto Pohl involved. That would really be special.

        • I do not believe there is now or ever has been a Zionist-Banker-Bolshevik conspiracy. I went to the Bank today and I am pretty sure everybody there and their bosses all the way up the chain to HQ off of High Street in Accra are not Jewish. They certainly are not Bolsheviks. I do, however, wish you a happy International Workers’s Day.

    • DrS

      By his current ‘logic’ shouldn’t he have been pushing Gore to move further to the right then?

  • joe from Lowell

    They’re going after the Corporate State.

    You know: the NSA and drones. Drones are extra-corporate-y.

    Did I mention that is all very well thought-out?

    • You want well thought out? This is from the Amazon blurb:

      “Americans can reclaim their right to consume safe foods and drugs, live in healthy environments, receive fair rewards for their work, resist empire, regain control of taxpayer assets, strengthen investor rights, and make bureaucrats more efficient and accountable.”

      I’ll bet that sentence read better in the original Power Point.

      • JKTHs

        I can totally see how you advance those goals by working with the far right.

        • L2P

          It’s all straight out of the Republican Platform!

          • mds

            Well, they had to put it somewhere after they removed it.

      • Haystack

        And ponies!!

      • JustRuss

        Dear god, I thought you were joking. I’ll never doubt you again, Mr Sweatpants.

      • joe from Lowell

        I’ll bet that sentence read better in the original Power Point.

        I’ve written sentences like that, but only towards the end of a long meeting.

      • swearyanthony

        Yeah, it killed when they presented it at TED

  • Avattoir

    Oh GORF: what a maroon that Nader is, figuring he can grift honest billionaires out of their hard-earned billions by bathing them in praise juice about how special they are and how they deserve to run the country because those damn politicians – of BOTH PARTIES, mind you: it’s bipartisan! – are ruining the country. Who would possibly go for such a line of hooey?

  • Gwen

    I remember back in 2000 (I voted for Ralph) that the problem was that the Democrats and Republicans were uniting way too much. Now you’re telling me they’re not uniting enough?

    I’m not going to go so far as to compare Ralph to Lyndon LaRouche, but the general tenor of his pronouncements usually seems to be “the system is wrong and I am right.”

    …Nice bubble you got there, guy.

    • SFAW

      Now you’re telling me they’re not uniting enough?

      What’s that old saying? “A fool’s inconsistency is the hobgoblin of better minds”? “Do as I say, not as I do”? “Hey! Look over there! Halley’s Comet!”?

    • JustRuss

      While I’m not going to defend this bipartisan drivel, I will try to get into Ralph’s head, because why the hell not? Nader ran the most successful grass-roots third party campaign of the last half century (I’m not counting Perot as grass-roots), and got exactly zero traction from the corporate media. I think he feels that if he couldn’t do it, no one can, and I can’t see any reason to disagree with him.

      Billionaires, however, are a whole different ballgame(job creators!!!), and could be our only hope to shake up our dysfunctional system. He’s used all his plays, this is his Hail Mary. I don’t buy it personally, but I see where he’s coming from. That’s my diagnosis, worth every penny you paid for it.

      • politicalfootball

        How about John Anderson? He made a much better showing than Nader.

        Or does he also not count as grassroots? Or are you using a definition of “success” that involves doing maximum damage to the country?

        • SFAW

          Or are you using a definition of “success” that involves doing maximum damage to the country?

          Well, using that definition, St. Ralph may have (indirectly) been the most successful politician of the last 20 years.

          • Nathanael

            So, if Nader is now (bizarrely) advocating more billionaires running for office, does that mean he’s now, retroactively, a Perot supporter?

            Nader is an egotistical nut.

      • Malaclypse

        As mentioned above, both John Anderson and George Wallace did better.

        • EliHawk

          Yeah, unless we take as “Grass Roots” someone who is both not rich and has never held political office, then Nader doesn’t qualify as “most successful grass-roots third party candidate.” And by that point, you’re essentially writing off virtually every successful third party presidential candidate in history.

          • rea

            Eugene Debs got 901,551 votes in 1812.

            • rea

              or rather, 1912.

              • Breadbaker

                1812 was just his overture.

                • SFAW

                  What with him bein’ a commie and all?

        • JustRuss

          Point taken, but Wallace barely makes the 50-year cut, and both of them had to deal with a much less crappy media. Hell, Anderson appeared on Saturday Night Live. And yes, I am moving the goalposts.

          • Knitley Pickler

            So did Nader. Before Anderson.

            • Knitley Pickler

              I realize that my meaning was unclear there, so: Ralph Nader was host of an episode of SNL. John Anderson merely did a walk-on. You really do not want to use that show as an example of the media giving Anderson an easier time than Nader.

  • Matt

    Shorter Nader: “I can see people from all parts of the spectrum joining together in common purpose. Sure, the purpose is ‘tell Ralph he’s a fucking idiot’, but still…”

  • SFAW

    So I went to the Yahoo News article on this thing. Reading the comments, I thought I had been redirected to Red Stoat or FreeperNet. Most of the ones I read (before I surfed away, because I didn’t want to throw up my lunch) were ranting about the commie/bocialist Dems, and how they control teh government, and we need to adhere to Original Intent, and so on and so forth.

    It’s really depressing to think that those imbeciles are actually allowed to vote.

    • joe from Lowell

      The Yahoo News comment threads are the dumbest thing on the internet, and also the most aptly-named.

      • SFAW

        Not Erick Erickson? (Re: “dumbest,” not “most aptly-named.”)

        • LeftWingFox

          Collective derp outweighs individual derp.

          • DrS

            The Derple United Will Never be Derpfeated!

          • N__B

            Since deep is negative intelligence, I would think that the more you collect in one spot, the more likely it is to float away.

            • DrS

              Hmmm, by that logic, the only thing keeping Tea Party rallies from floating away is the weight of their (Government Health Care provided!) motorized scooters.

              We should liberate them.

              • N__B

                If “liberate” is defined as per Catch-22, then the various right-wing grift organizations have beat us to it.

          • Warren Terra

            But surely when looking at a Yahoo forum of assembled derp, you will be moved to say that you have found the greatest collection of anti-intellectual derp here on the internets since Erickson derped alone?

            • SFAW

              Ah, but Erickson’s derp is as the derp of ten, because his brain is pure empty.

      • JustRuss

        and also the most aptly-named.

        Golf clap for that.

  • Since the problem is billionaires, it’s a little unrealistic to think that the solution is billionaires.

    • SFAW

      Excellent point.

      I’m a hundredaire, maybe St. Ralph the Dim will pick/anoint me?

    • L2P

      If there’s one thing billionaires hate, it’s corporations.

    • calling all toasters

      Why? Maybe they are, like alcohol, the cause and solution of all of life’s problems.

    • CD

      only thing that stops a bad guy with a billionaire is …

      • I think the appropriate formulation is “the only thing that stops a bad guy with a billion dollars is a good guy with a billion dollars.”

        • Nathanael

          Unfortunately, history does tend to bear out this assessment during many periods. The exception is that a competent warlord can get rid of a bad guy with a billion dollars *very quickly*.

          Unfortunately, the only thing which stops an evil warlord is a good warlord…

          Yeah, I’m a bit pessimistic about the potential for mass action. Historically, it seems like it only works if it is done in concert with established, powerful, wealthy, upper-class leaders.

          Even the Haitian Revolution was led by the class of people second-from-the-top, although in that bizarre society the class second-from-the-top were slaves.

  • Glans

    The Corvair was a good little car. It had problems, of course. It should have been mended, not ended.

    • sparks

      It was mended. Then ended. The 1965-69 models didn’t have the rollover issue due to a revised rear suspension straight off a Corvette.

    • They did, but by then sales were pretty weak. By 1967 you could get a Camaro with a V8 for about the price of a Corvair.

      If you wanted economy (most didn’t) you could get a Camaro or Chevy II with a 6 cylinder.

  • Dr Ronnie James, DO

    “When it comes to the current president, Nader said that Obama has violated the Constitution on several occasions and should be impeached.”

    I had an interaction recently with somebody who felt seat belt laws were unconstitutional (ironic in a Nader thread noted). I’m starting to think most Americans believe in a “personal Constitution” that conforms precisely to their personal beliefs, much like the “personal relationship with Jesus” completely divorced from source text that many churches espouse.

    • SFAW

      much like the “personal relationship with Jesus” completely divorced from source text that many churches espouse.

      “Jesus? Yeah, I knew the suckah. I told him ‘Boy, don’t you go fuckin’ with no money-lenders!’ ”

      Sorry, old memories getting dredged up.

    • Malaclypse
      • DrS

        Ooh, meta.

      • Blogside Assistance

        We’ll have your comment up and running in just a moment, ma’am.

        The Onion

  • Jerry

    Ummmm… Ralph, we already have tons of active bipartisanship in Congress. Unfortunately, it only shows up to support issues that benefit the 1%, the surveillance state, and the bomb-the-shit-out-of-everyone crowd.

  • DAS

    Right, I’m sure Republicans opposed Dodd-Frank en masse because it didn’t go far enough.

    If you take certain GOoPers and Tea Partiers (as if they are distinct) at their word for it, this is, in fact, true. The argument is that Dodd-Frank really is an example of regulatory capture and that if the Dems really cared about better banking practices they would have reinstated Glass-Steagall.

    Of course, if the Dems did try to reinstate Glass-Steagall, the GOP would have opposed it vigorously. But that obvious truth won’t stop the GOP from lying about why they opposed Dodd-Frank. And no doubt that Nader, being the stooge he is, believes various GOoPer claims about opposing Dodd-Frank because it didn’t go far enough.

    • mds

      and that if the Dems really cared about better banking practices they would have reinstated Glass-Steagall.

      If a Democratic Congress really cared about better banking practices, they would have joined with Republicans in … reinstating a regulatory framework repealed by a Republican Congress. Uh-huh. Did any Republican members of Congress actually suggest this at the time Dodd-Frank was being considered? Because I could have sworn they were too busy blaming excessive government regulation, Fannie Mae, and the Community Reinvestment Act.

      • DAS

        If you really wanna throw up a little, Google glass seagall tea party. You will find such articles as this one in an august newspaper called the “Tea Party Tribune”. The article fails to mention either the “GOP” or the “Republican” party by name. It’s as if Clinton single-handedly repealed Glass Seagall.

        So, in case you didn’t know … righty-tighties claiming that Dodd-Frank is weak-sauce and regulatory capture and that even Glass Seagall wouldn’t have gone far enough is a thing. The hypocrisy … it burns. But somehow Ralph “the car is burning” Nadar doesn’t notice the hypocrisy?

      • Nathanael

        I think one Republican member of Congress did suggest stuff like this. Right! I know who it was!

        Walter Jones of North Carolina! He said that it had been a mistake to repeal Glass-Steagal and he cosponsored the bill to restore Glass-Steagal!

        Walter Jones is facing a heavily-funded primary challenge for not being a sufficiently orthodox Republican.

        Sure, I’d be happy to vote for Walt Jones. Like Charlie Crist, he ain’t gonna be a Republican much longer.

    • Shwell Thanksh

      They must have all been busy playing golf the day Phil Gramm and his cronies held their photo-op with a chainsaw and a stack of “bidness regalashuns” as they gutted it, eh?

  • Nick

    To the Author of this Post:

    Don’t you ever tire of reading loathsome crap on the Internet, and then arguing with dishonest actors?

  • Nick

    Also, you know what’s funny? Congress is bipartisan — the current gridlock ISN’T partisan at all. If Congress was partisan, shit would get done.

    The solution! Bipartisanism! Since the two parties have failed to come together in Congress, let us make a new venue in which they can do so.

  • Anonymous

    Ralphie is great for American politics. There should be more people like him, and by like him i mean 3rd or even 4th party choices, not insane choices. Ive never voted for him, but the fact that he gets some of the vote means that when presented with a republican and a democrat, some percentage of people prefer to vote for a lunatic rather than the establishment.

    • Shwell Thanksh

      You know what would be great for American politics? If Ralph joined one of the “Tea Party” parties. I’ll make the popcorn.

    • Nathanael

      We need proportional representation or approval voting. The two party system is failing and as a result people are simply not voting, or voting for no-hoper candidates.

      With proportional representation or approval voting, the transition to a new party system is *much smoother*. With our crappy first-past-the-post election system, it’s usually bloody.

  • Richard

    Am I the only person here who has distinct, and even rather fond, memories of the late, great Harold Stassen?

    • SFAW

      I mention him all the time (where “all” = about every 3-4 months), but no one seems to care.

      Philistines.

    • Does no one remember Pat paulsen?

  • DAS

    BTW, I am not surprised at all about Nadar turning all Mealy Mouthed Moderate here. At some cognitive level, there is little difference between the Nadarite “both sides are really the same and both bad” and the Goldilocks approach of “both sides are equally bad”. The only difference is whether you follow up your “both sides are bad” critique with “so you should support a Quixotic presumably left wing party with no chance of actually winning but a large chance of throwing the election right-ward” or “the truth is somewhere in the middle”

  • Blogside Assistance

    So, yes, Ralph Nader is a putz.

    Nonetheless, I think this book is a reflection of something real. I think situational left-right vs. center alliances could start popping up in different situation.

    They won’t ever elect a President, obviously, but things might become a little less predictable in Congress.

    • joe from Lowell

      Here, let me help you out with that.

  • The prophet Nostradumbass

    On the book’s dust jacket, is St. Ralph sporting a halo, or is he wearing a cape and tights with a big “R” logo on the chest?

  • Shwell Thanksh

    Great post title, but how could you forget the Concord Coalition?

    Yeah it pre-dates St. Ralph, but for me it’s the original bipartisan! ending deficit spending! promoting a balanced budget! advocacy group — spending rich people’s money to flood the mailboxes of the 99% with counter-to-our-own-interests appeals to suck it up for the 1% in the name of eating our vegetables.

    For America!

  • Beth

    You foresaw my comment: HAHAHAHAAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

  • ajay

    What if Washington politics were no longer defined by partisan gridlock but instead by a cross-party alliance that forged solutions?

    Forge: v.t., to counterfeit, to fake, to produce an illicit copy or version of something, normally an object, document or currency.

  • Nathanael

    “What if Washington politics were no longer defined by partisan gridlock but instead by a cross-party alliance that forged solutions?”

    And what if ponies shitted rainbows? Do we really care?

  • Pingback: “Run Away As Fast As You Can!”: Ralph Nader Wants Liberals To Back Rand Paul. Don’t Do It. « mykeystrokes.com()

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