From Denny: Might the 2012 election finally get off the snooze button? Ralph Nader, for decades the legendary consumer advocate, hopes to liven things up a bit for President Obama. No one is happy with the GOP offerings and few are enthused about a second term for Obama.
How a primary challenge can help America
Nader's insurgency effort to recruit a pack of liberals to run against Obama should prove to be some exciting politics. At the very least it will accomplish two things: one, it could give the Democrats a chance to compare Obama to other possibilities and ensure his standing in the party to get him reelected should he perform well with them.
Two, some hard-charging liberal base competition will push Obama to quit masquerading as a Republican in Democrat's clothing and give a hard push to helping the middle class reinstate their job losses and put this chaotic economy back on track.
Democratic strategists gnashing teeth over Nader move
Many Democratic political strategists are fearful of the possible competition, considering the angry mood of the public. Well, folks, that's what you get when you follow the Bush era with too much of the same kind of policies and cavalier attitude toward job loss.
Strategist Donna Brazile wrote her plea on CNN this week against the horrid thought of raising up a challenger to Obama. Remember, though, she was campaign manager for the 2000 Gore campaign vs. Bush which Gore lost.
The 2000 election was stolen by dirty tricks Bush and Rove, not by Nader as the spoiler as the Democrats like to spin the tale. Come on; the Supreme Court was stacked with corrupt justices who gave the election to Bush - nor did Gore fight for the final count either - which months later proved he actually won the election. Two bad calls.
Nader's response to the wimpy fear mongers who are terrified of competition
Nader believes a robust competition for Obama will actually strengthen him rather than undermine him.
From Ralph Nader as he announced his recruitment effort Monday: "Just the opposite. If [Obama's] smart, he'll welcome it, because nothing's worse than an incumbent president slipping in the polls, being constantly on the defensive, being accused by supporters of having no backbone and running an unenthusiastically received campaign. That's a prescription for defeat."
Nader also added: "He's got a lack of enthusiasm with his base. If he goes through a one-year presidential campaign with mind-numbing repetition - responding to crazed Republican positions - he is not going to activate his base. He will be put on the defensive, just the way he is now."
Nader sent out a "Dear Colleague" letter to 150 potential sympathizers. In it he and his allies claimed Obama has turned his back on his liberal base and its progressive agenda. It was one scathing letter in tone.
Some of the particulars contained in the letter:
* his decision to bail out Wall Street's most profitable firms while failing to push for effective prosecution of the criminal behavior that triggered the recession
* escalating the wars in Afghanistan and Pakistan while simultaneously engaging in a unilateral war in Libya
* his decision to extend the Bush era tax cuts
* his acquiescence to Republican extortion during the recent debt ceiling negotiations
Some high profile people who signed this letter are academic Cornel West, writer Gore Vidal, actor Peter Coyote and singer Michelle Shocked.
Who is on the list of potential challengers?
Nader said the names and the number of those candidates, even where they would be fielded are still in the working it out phase. There are fast-approaching filing deadlines which mean organizers certainly will be forced to move quickly to get these candidates on the ballots.
Will Nader run as a candidate in 2012?
At the moment he says no to that idea but has not completely ruled it out. My guess it might happen if the recruited list fails to invigorate voter interest.
From Nader about his intentions to raise up a primary challenger to Obama:"I don't have an ax to grind here," Nader said. "I'm not maneuvering for anything. I'm not a registered Democrat. I just want, as a citizen, to have a rigorous debate on all the matters we've worked on for decades: consumers affairs, environmental protection, new taxes, new ideas, new excitement."
Good ol' Ralph Nader, you can always count on him to rock the boat and stir the pot - and make career politicians' lives absolutely miserable. :) A lot of Independents and Democrats will be watching to see who he will raise up as alternatives to Team Obama's sluggish response to reestablishing the middle class losses. Who knows? Maybe it will be a good thing for the Democrats as well as the nation however it turns out. The ball is in Obama's court now. Game on.
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