Friday, July 01, 2005

well, ralph, i hope you were right...

...was my first thought upon reading the news of Sandra O'Connor's impending resignation. As a virtual walk down memory lane, here's Ralph during the 2000 election campaign (source):
Nader said he did not think there would be much difference between the justices Gore would choose and those Bush would appoint. After all, Democrats had helped confirm Justices Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas, hadn’t they? Besides, “You can’t really predict how Supreme Court justices will behave.” And he called the possibility that a court packed with Republican appointees could overturn Roe v. Wade a “scare tactic.” Nader said that even if Roe v. Wade was overturned, the issue “would just revert to the states.“... [Nader] described the party’s opposition to abortion as just for show, ”just for Pat Robertson.(source) “
And, just to continue the stroll, here's Michael Moore writing on the eve of the 2000 election:
This is their mantra: "IF BUSH IS ELECTED, HE WILL APPOINT JUSTICES TO THE SUPREME COURT AND THEY WILL DECLARE ABORTION ILLEGAL!" Well, I've fallen for this before and I ain't fallin' for it again. In fact, I will go so far as to say that George W. Bush, if for some reason he is magically elected, will NEVER do ANYTHING to make abortion illegal.
(I know, I know, I should really just let this go, given that it was two elections ago and all. I know this. It's not like I don't know this. Plus, it's not like I didn't rant about Nader enough before the last election--here and even more annoyedly here. I know, I know.)

6 comments:

astrid jane said...

I can't believe both Rhenquist (who, granted, is so bad I'm not sure Bush could do any worse, anyway) and O'Connor (who, while not my favorite, at least voted with the lefty's sometimes and was an important swing vote) are likely stepping down while Bush is president.

However....the great Gore/Nader wars of 2000 created nasty divisions in the Department, and among my friends. In fact, a disagreement on this very topic was the final nail in the coffin of my 3 year relationship with my ex. I'd really hate to see all that anger stirred up again, with a lot of inflammatory anti-Nader rhetoric. But, I'm going to go ahead and do it anyway...

I hate Ralph Nader. I hate him more than people hated JR on Dallas, more than viewers hated Puck on the first season of the Real World. My hatred of Nader burns so forcefully and so bright that, if it could be harnessed, it would singlehandedly solve the energy crisis. It is the ultimate renewable natural resource. And don't tell me.."Oh, move past it. it's over. Bush won a second term and you can't blame it on Nader this time."

oh...but I can, and I do. If Gore had become president in 2000, he'd most likely have run again as an incumbent in 2004 (against whom we can't know.) Odds are very good we'd be in the second Gore administration right now--with a ratified Kyoto treaty, no fear whatsoever of having Roe v. Wade overturned, and an Attorney General who has some respect for the Geneva Convention... (Especially important considering that Gonzales is one of the names cropping up as a Supreme Court nominee.)

Thanks, Ralph, you fucking self-righteous dickweed....

Anonymous said...

FYI...Puck was on the Real World during the third season in San Francisco, back when RW participants were not drunken miscreants, and were forced to keep their own jobs.

astrid jane said...

I partially retract my earlier statement. It would be more correct to say that I hate Ralph Nader more than viewers hated Puck on the third season of The Real World.

jeremy said...

I voted for Puck for President in 2000. I couldn't help it: I was voting my conscience.

Anonymous said...

I'm with jab. just the mention of ralph nader is enough to instantly change my normally cheerful disposition to one of absolute rage.

Even if you set aside the fact that Nader threw the 2000 election to Bush (and he did), Nader contributed to the belief among the public that there is no real difference between Democrats and Republicans, so it makes no difference who you vote for. He fed into and flamed the discontent people had with politicans without offering a viable alternative. He helped take issues and policy off the table, by arguing that most of them didn't matter and that it didn't matter who was in power. Case in point was how he discussed the importance of Roe v Wade.

I remember another grad student trying to convince me to vote Nader in 2000 (who naively belived he could actually win - the other student, not me) and actually trying to make the Nader argument that it didn't matter who was president when nominations for the Supreme Court came up, because republicans and democrats were virtually the same. She used the fact that Clarence Thomas was approved by a Democrat-controlled Senate as evidence of this. I pointed out that if George Bush had not been president, Clarence Thomas would never have been nominated, so she tried to move to a different argument. I'm sure that my derision was perfectly evident. I'm not sure that we ever spoke again after that day.

I really hate those who talk about how you shouldn't have to compromise your "principles" when you vote, by choosing the "lesser of two evils". They are essentially using the same argument that those who fall back on a "conscience clause" to argue why their tax dollars shouldn't be used to fund abortions for poor women or that doctors shouldn't have to help gay folks who come in with medical problems (see the recent advancement of such a bill in Michigan as an example). I believe that this is selfishness at its height. They don't care who gets hurt as a result of their decision, just so long as they don't have to "compromise their integrity". How many people have died in Iraq so that those folks who voted Nader in 2000 could maintain their sense of selves as the "real" progressives?

-tlb

jeremy said...

tlb: Great points! I agree the argument that "the Democrats approved Clarence Thomas" is one of the most disingenuous/uninformed arguments among the countless irritating arguments offered by Nader supporters. As you note, Thomas was nominated by a Republican president and would not have been nominated by a Democrat president. Thomas was also confirmed by a vote of 11-46 against by Democrats and 41-2 in favor by Republican senators (moreover, one Democrat 'yes' vote and one Republican 'no' vote were from Senators who later switched parties). It takes a remarkably self-satisfied ideology to move from this to the inference that Democrats and Republicans are the same with regard to who they want on the Supreme Court.