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Inaugural Ideas: Second Thoughts for Third Parties

Ralph Nader (Dominic Bracco/The Washington Post)

You'll never guess who really, really wants to go to the inauguration: Ralph Nader.

The sometimes cantankerous outsider has sent an open letter to Barack Obama asking that third-party candidates -- the Libertarian Party's Bob Barr, the Constitution Party's Chuck Baldwin and the Green Party's Cynthia McKinney -- be included among the Democrats, Republicans, business execs and others at the January ceremonies.

"I have not spoken to any of them about this recommendation," Nader writes. "To avoid any semblance of self-interest, I will delete my name from this list and watch the event on C-SPAN."

Oh, c'mon -- the man's dying for an invite.

Nader called us to elaborate: "In other Western European countries, it's a political courtesy to have their competitors. It's a demonstration of unity." Er, competitors? Obama and John McCain got 123 million votes combined; other presidential candidates received a total of 1.5 million votes nationwide, with Nader in the lead at 685,000.

Nader assumes that both McCain and Sarah Palin will have some role in the inaugural weekend and, frankly, seems to want some of the same respect. The swearing-in? "That's the best and most visible," he said. "I don't expect to be invited to an inaugural ball."

If the president-elect does cough up a ticket, will Nader behave? "I don't have to be asked to be respectful," he chided us.

By The Reliable Source  |  November 14, 2008; 1:03 AM ET
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GTFO here....shuddup Ralph Nader...

Posted by: NotYourAverageSinner | November 14, 2008 1:17 AM | Report abuse

This is a dangerous man without common sense, a fool. He's unable to recognize anything but his own ambitions. Makes Chomsky look like a genius (which may be the case). If he had compromised with qualified Democrats we could have avoided Bush, and he could have had input to the establishment. Instead we got Bush 2....

Posted by: SisyphusinSoho | November 14, 2008 7:23 AM | Report abuse

You know...Why any respectable newspaper would give this racist any news print is beyond me as evident in this feed: Where he refers to President-Elect Barack Obama as an "Uncle Tom" as he is being interviewed by Fox News Sheperd Smith. Stay home, Nader and I agree with the first commenter where he told you to, "shuddup" To think our new president-elect would even think of inviting him shows that he is a nut-job.

Mary MacElveen
Sound Beach, NY

Posted by: MaryMacElveen | November 14, 2008 7:45 AM | Report abuse

I am always perplexed when people refer to Nader as a "nut-job." Is this just because of his vocal, quirky mannerisms? Or does it instead come from the fact that he so constrasts with the homogenized political elite of this country?

I'm not a Nader voter, but the guy has pretty much had our backs on the consumer protection front for four decades. There is definitely a debt of gratitude that's oustanding here.

Posted by: scroot | November 14, 2008 8:56 AM | Report abuse

Oh, wonderful!
I guess Palin is going to be in the dunk tank at the Inaugural festivities.

I can't see any other role she could possibly have.

Posted by: rw-c | November 14, 2008 9:06 AM | Report abuse

For those who still erroneously blame Ralph Nader for the Bush years, see "an unreasonable man". Basically, Gore threw the race by not doing enough to contest voting irregularities as well as shouting down the Congressional Black Caucus when they tried to. Plus, early in his campaign, he stopped talking about things that people wanted to hear.

Nader actually tried to help Kerry win twice. First, he gave Kerry 21 pages of info that people would have wanted to hear. Then, he said: "let's pick 3 issues: i'll say them and you'll say them and you'll win." The three issues were:
1. workers rights
2. fair corporate taxation
3. crackdown on corporate crime
...but Kerry wouldn't even say those words...

And don't forget, the Dems rolled over on the war in Iraq, no child left behind, the environment, etc etc

As to his recent comment, Obama went before a church group and said "the reason families break up is that men leave..." without mentioning the minimum wage gap, the healthcare gap, the housing gap, the education gap, etc... What do you call that?
This is the person who gave us the Freedom of Information Act, the EPA, OSHA, and so much more. The least folks could do is get the facts straight... but the human race is famous for not knowing who its friends are...

And Nader, unlike Obama and McCain:
1. opposed wall st bailouts [taxation w/out representation!]
2. supported universal health care w/choice of doctor
3.supported same sex marriage
4. supported ending the drug war
5. opposed the death penalty
6. supported $10 minimum wage
7. supported bringing ALL troops home from iraq NOW
8. opposed mercenaries and contractors in Iraq
9. supported 2 state solution in mid east [like the MAJORITY of people there do!]
10. opposed NAFTA, WTO, etc
11. opposed FISA, etc
12. opposed invading iran
13. opposed PATRIOT act
14 opposed offshore drilling and nukes and coal: he supported solar development, etc

so, who's really on your side? get your info from the source... it's your country, you know...

Posted by: rctabnik | November 14, 2008 12:09 PM | Report abuse

For those who said Nader Can’t Win:

People like to say that as if they’ve really thought about it: first, thanks to the hard work of countless volunteers, Ralph Nader was on the ballot in 45 states and the District of Columbia...and people don't realize that the ballot access laws differ state to state and are absurdly difficult to deal with. For example, in Texas, a third party candidate needs 50,000 signatures and they must be from registered voters who have not voted in a primary! Is that democracy?

secondly, to the extent that the statement is true, we must ask “why?”. The answer is that the Dem/Rep one corporate party with two heads has done everything they can to subvert democracy and make it almost impossible for a third party candidate to win regardless of how deserving he or she may be..

They took the Presidential Debates away from the people, away from the League of Women Voters, and made it the property of a private corporation that is headed by the Dem/Reps! And, while not letting Ralph in the debates because he " not a factor..." they blame their losses on him, citing him as "...a factor..."! What hypocrisy! Even though Mr. Obama said that he was willing to debate anyone, this never happened. Finally, the corporate-owned media gives almost no time to third party candidates and we accept this!
The differences between the two candidates were far outweighed by their similarities, as expressed in past emails.
Yet people reward this subverting of democracy with their vote.

Concerned about the Supreme Court? So am i; but i also remember that the Dems rolled over on that as well as everything else including the war in iraq, ‘no child left behind’, the environment, impeachment, you name it...
We could have stood up for Democracy and voted for someone who works for "We, the People": Ralph Nader.

Posted by: rctabnik | November 14, 2008 12:24 PM | Report abuse

one last word about 2000:

in FL, there were a total of 6 third party candidates, all of whom got more than the # of votes that Gore 'lost' by, so why blame Ralph Nader?

it just sounds like the Democrats are saying: "my doggy ate my homework..."

Posted by: rctabnik | November 14, 2008 12:29 PM | Report abuse

Of course Ralph Nader should be invited with the other third party and independent candidates!He received nearly 700,000 votes President-elect Obama, create the appearance of a multi-party democracy that has not a bought and paid for corporate major party system with media, like the Post, ever prepared to bow down to this Big Money Purchase.

Posted by: steveconn1 | November 15, 2008 2:59 PM | Report abuse

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