Saturday, February 21, 2004

I'm Ralph Nader, Bitch!

Like David Chapelle's exquisitely rendered Rick James skit, Ralph Nader just doesn't seem to give a damn what other people think of his loppy antics.

The Corsair worries in the dead of night that all those young college students -- idealists, really -- who have not been broken down by a life of sleazy compromise and corporate whoredon, like me, your humble blogger, will flock to a Nader run. All those disgruntled Dean and Kucinich voters will probably give Ralphie a hearing, thus, in the process, siphoning votes away from the eventual nominee, you know, the one guy who actually stands a chance of beating Bush. (ed note: The Corsair still hopes John Edwards is the eventual nominee)

I'll always have love for Nader, I suppose, for his admirable past contributions to the protection of the weak over the years -- his auto safety reform, his lobbying reform, his useful citizens groups, and history will surely have a warm, if small, place for him, but I do not understand this quixotic run. Nader will not win; he cannot. He will be lucky if he pulls more than 4 percent. The folks at make a powerful argument.

Nader has been such an effective critic of the pursuit of power for the sake of ego, but lately, well, ever since 2000, when he actually made a political difference on a national scale, his eyes have betrayed a certain ... inamorata ... with his newfound "player" status. The greater good is becoming less important as the stubborness of old age crystalizes all those persnickety personality faults acquired over a lifetime fighting in the political wilderness.

Something faint but sinister is emerging, in the manner of second act of Wagner's Parsifal, from deep within Nader's once blameless public-crusader persona ... a smile erupts abruptly when there shouldn't be one, when the subject of influencing the final vote count comes up. I don't know. I believe a great man has fallen prey to the pursuit after the Wagnerian Ring of Power. Very sad; very Gollumesque, chasing after "his preciousss!". Even saints can be sinners, it seems.

Of this point I am certain: if Nader got a little nookie once in a while, the Democrats wouldn't be in this bind.

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