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Ralph Nader and Cardozo the Parrot

Ralph Nader is running for president (again).

And, he's not happy because the media, he argues, isn't taking him seriously.

What better way to counter that idea than to appear in a YouTube video talking to a parrot named Cardozo and musing whether he would get more coverage if he dressed up like a panda?

You think we're kidding? Check out the video below -- produced by Nader's presidential campaign:

The video -- begging to go viral, we think -- tries to use humor (who says Nader is humorless) to make a serious point, a point Nader made to The Fix recently during a recent visit to the Post's editorial board.

"If they can close us down, they can close anybody down who is running for president as a third party candidate," said Nader, warning that the lack of coverage of his candidacy by the mainstream media is a dangerous development for democracy.

"It's like we're non-persons," Nader said, adding later that the dearth of coverage of his campaign is "unwitting political bigotry toward third party candidates."

Is Nader right? In 2000, it's hard to argue he wasn't a factor; he took nearly 2.9 million votes nationwide (2.7 percent of the overall vote) including 96,837 votes (2 percent) in Florida. Four years later, however, Nader was far less influential, taking 411,304 total votes and not even appearing on the ballot in Ohio, the state that decided the result.

Do those showings merit Nader more coverage than he is getting right now? Why or why not?

By Chris Cillizza  |  September 17, 2008; 5:27 PM ET
Categories:  Eye on 2008  
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Next: Wag the Blog: Is Palin Teflon?


I believe that Americans have heard all and everything Obama and McCain have to say. Good heaven! I see their faces on television every time I turn it on.
I would like very much to hear what Ralph Nader and other third party candidates have to say. The people want them to take part in the debates.
Not only that, I am sure that the corporate advertisers would gain a larger audience if Nader and others were included.

Posted by: Bev Anslow | September 21, 2008 7:17 PM | Report abuse

The only people threatened by a 3 way debate are those that actually believe that the US is a democracy. Unfortunately we live in a republic folks and the media is helping the two major parties into seeing voting as an either or scenario. There is nothing wrong with having choices. Nader is a breath of fresh air. When he talks he doesn't speak in generalities and he doesn't sound like every other word is a lie.
Other countries aren't threatened by multi-party systems and they are more involved in the political process. America better get with the program or our government will just be "installed" while we aren't paying attention.

Posted by: Heidi | September 21, 2008 4:48 AM | Report abuse

Not much has changed, election-wise, in the past 8 years .. here we are again, 2 major party candidates as close to the center as their party will let them and the country split down the middle with all unsure of which way it will fall. Left to the current system, will this change in 4 years? 8 years? Or we always be voting AGAINST someone instead of FOR someone. Those of us who got scared into voting for Kerry in '04 are waking up to this reality.
Mr. Nader is on the ballot in 45 states, and can be written in in 4 of the remaining 5 states. He is on the ballot. He is a presidential candidate. And we all know that if he has a chance to debate the two major party candidates a majority of viewers would judge him to be the most capable of performing the job of President. So yes, he deserves coverage. For the time being, what a shame to have the judgement of the media standing between us and democracy.

Posted by: amvkimura | September 21, 2008 3:35 AM | Report abuse

I would like to make a couple more point about the "spoiler" hype. As Nader is now polling between 5 to 10 percent nation wide without virtually any media coverage and debate privileges, then logically the figure would dramatically change with equal media coverage and debate access.
Also, there are viable 3rd party conservative candidates this year as well including Bob BArr and Chuck Baldwin. Also, Nader isn't the only third party left winged candidate running. Cynthia Mckinney is also running and is polling at more than 1 percent nationwide.
This shows that that a vast number of voters are dissatisfied with the media spotlighted McCain and Obama and want change in the inequality of the election process which included more voices and choices and equal coverage to viable candidates. If a candidate is able to be be eligible on most ballots they are viable.
If people do not vote for a candidate for endorsement on specific issues and instead focus on generalities and hype, then those choices are actually spoiling the elections for themselves and others.

Posted by: Shell Rowe | September 20, 2008 10:49 PM | Report abuse

Um to counter those insults about Ralph's running, Many many people and organnizations begged him to run making him almost dutybound to enter the race. Nader is running between about 5 -10 percent nationwide and that's with this near total media blackout.
The fact that the media latched on to the parrot video again shows that Nader was right on another fact:The media focus more on trivialities then on real issues.
The majority of Americans want change which is both McCain and Obama contend there are about. But these are slogans. Although many supporters focus on the hype and slogans because that is what the media reports,real specific issues are either not being addressed or the views between the two candidates are very similar.
The fact is that both Mccain and Obama support the patriot Act, though McCain sates he is opposed to abortion he has made it clear that the law will not be overturned in the foreable future making both candidates no different on this issue beyond personal belief systems.
Neither candidate talks about dealing with poverty such as raining the minimum wage, both support the death penalty. The list of commonalities between McCain and Obama go on and on including talk of applying cosmetics to animals.
This country cannot become a true democracy until there is election equality.
Until Perot got millions of votes, the polling percents were much lower.In fact Nader at his cuurent polling standards would have been eligible to enter the debates. However, now, instead of being run by the impartial league of Women Voters , it is run by 2 former main party National committees.
How about putting up a poll on this site asking people if they would want Nader and others to have equal coverage with access to the debates. You will find that the majority want and need Nader as well as want to hear other viable candidates voices.

Posted by: Shell Rowe | September 20, 2008 9:57 PM | Report abuse

It's interesting to look over the comments. Very few people who are critical of Nader actually have something substantive to say. Instead, they rely on name calling to make their point. What most people need to understand is that Nader's campaign is not about him, but about the millions of people in this country who share his views. If Nader didn't run, I wouldn't even bother voting, and neither would millions of other people. Our elections are a farce, plain and simple.

And for those of you who think blaming the media for everything amounts to whining, perhaps you should spend some time analyzing it. The mass media IS corporate America, and is dependant upon advertising dollars from other corporations. There is a good reason they don't cover Nader - if they did, advertisers would withdraw their ads. Nader and the other third party candidates are the only people willing to take on corporate America, and it's dominance of our society. They make him irrelevant by silencing him. Even in 2000, he had hardly any media coverage. I remember very clearly. Having a few spots in the press on isolated occasions does not amount to much, considering the mass media talk about McCain and Obama all day, every day. How can Nader compete with that?

Posted by: Mitch | September 20, 2008 9:47 PM | Report abuse

Follow the money

Hurry up and wait
Troops idle in the kill zone
Our USN as ducks in a bathtub


Ron Paul
Mike Gravel
Dennis Kucinich

Posted by: Ralph Cynthia | September 19, 2008 10:39 PM | Report abuse

Obama is up by five in the Gallup daily tracking poll. His lead has gone up by one point each day this week.
Here is the headline:

Gallup Daily
Gallup Daily: Obama Now Leads McCain by 5 Points
At 49%, support for Obama is near his record high for the year
September 19, 2008

Posted by: NM Moderate | September 19, 2008 4:07 PM | Report abuse

I think it's hilarious that washington post sarcastically states in the opening line that the media isn't taking Nader seriously. Then only posts an article about him when it's a video they made to prove a point - that the media doesn't take them seriously. And then finally the media covers the unserious video. But not the important stuff like how Nader predicted the current Wall Street crises 8 years ago.. And actually has a plan to make sure it doesn't happen again and to ease the blow.. Nader the consumer advocate who is the only candidate who has proven that he will protect us from corporate crime so that the tax payers don't have to pay tens of billions of dollars to bail out the corruptors. How ironic.

Posted by: J Savage | September 19, 2008 3:07 PM | Report abuse

Representation in our federal government is decided by the two party system. You can obviously argue that this is undemocratic and that representation would be more representative if more parties and more diverse influences were chosen to make governmental decisions. We have what we have, and it is not parliament.

The closest thing we have to parliament is our local government. If we want to change the direction of political partisanship in this country it must start on the local level. These movements toward alternative perspective can ultimately grow powerful enough to influence state government and in turn federal government.

That’s what I think… at least for now…

Posted by: foghorn | September 19, 2008 11:42 AM | Report abuse

Mr Nader shuld not run for President. He knows he can't win and it is a disservice to his credibility that he tries to sell that he can. Instead he should be what he does best, be a unbiased critic of the status quo. Unfortunatley Mr Nader has a god product in bad packaging. He knows little of human nature. It is human nature to not want to be unendingly berated about how the glass is half empty. And it seems Mr Nader never says anything positive, surely there must be something? He acts as if the "good" will take care of itself so let's focus on the problems. Mr Obama on the other hand speaks of "hope" which is admittedly rather vague and not realistic, yet, it is inspiring enough to perhaps get people involved. Mr Nader seems truly mystified that his message of "truth" which details the long list of problems in our country is not wildly embraced by cheering crowds the way that Mr Obama's message has been. Human Nature, Mr Nader. If you are really interested in the outcome then you will market with an eye towards the human condition and human nature, and the common man's desire to be inspired, after which he will face the most difficult of problems with the passion it will undoubtedly take.

Posted by: thinklikechess | September 19, 2008 2:25 AM | Report abuse

To be covered, Ralph Nadar has to make news. He isn't making any. While a very close count in Florida made him seem the spoiler in 2000, the fact is that his quixotic presidential run is getting old now. He has notheing new to say and has not captured the imagination of any significant amount of supporters.

The news media does not owe marginal candidates "coverage" just to see if with "coverage" they break out of the one-percenters. Coverage follows whether there is a story there. A "story" to the media is a tale that attracts interest.

Nadar is trying to be the tail wagging the dog. If he was leading a movement of any significance, the media would be covering him.

Posted by: AlaninMissoula | September 18, 2008 9:33 PM | Report abuse

The public access computers I have to use do not allow me to listen to the video taped by the Nader Campaign.

As a recipient of the Washington Post online, I used to comment on this FIX which is not a FIX yet, and has been in need of the right stuff to net the title FIX, for the entire duration. I did not notice, did anyone else, that THIS PARROT FILM was the ONLY film POSTED BY THE FIX that devotes supposedly serious attention to the FACT that Ralph Nader is INDEED RUNNING AS A SERIOUS CHALLENGE AGAINST THE TWO PARTY CORPORATE CORRUPTION OFFERED BY THE TENDERED FRONT RUNNERS, PUT UP FRONT OVER THE OTHERS BECAUSE THE MEDIA WANTED THEM...Chris wanted them as much or more than any other news reporter that I saw. Money was the obvious obvious criteria he used for front runner.

Nader is extremely saddened by the media coverage, obviously.

Chris thinks he is proving something other than what he indeed is proving...NADER IS RIGHT ON and this is indeed sad, true to tell, NO, I would NOT choose this method of getting media limelight. I WOULD FORCE THE RIGHT STUFF DOWN THEIR THROATS.

62% are registered OUTSIDE the two parties, and oh yes, I TOLD THIS BLOG AUDIENCE that statistic back when I first researched national voter registration for all 50 states and discovered that when Nader told the media in 2004, "this country does not belong to two parties [translation to Chris and other two party money endeared reporters who love money over government for people, utterly and completely, translation is that it belongs to a nation of people at a majority level shown in the November popular vote BY PEOPLE for PEOPLE in office, not corporate two party corruption with SUCH platforms in our faces)." True as an obvious truth, but shown as understood by the voters themselves, because the states, 24 of them did not choose to register party. 26 states OFFER party DECLARATION, it is not binding, it is supposed to indicate an identification.

No one believes you have to be a Republican to vote, or a Democrat to vote. Everyone believes you have to be a citizen, and to be capable of CHOOSING a PRESIDENT not a party. Parties are supposed to produce a candidate who is good enough to potentially net a majority.

Nader doesn't need to belong to a party. I am not Nader, but I do understand the meaning of a registered Independent. It means you are NEITHER of the two parties, and that you believe you may have the good values of either or both, but neither is who you are or who you believe represents the country's national truth. And, that CHOICE when strong is supposed to be open to an Independent CHALLENGE against the two.

The Independents do not have to choose a Republican or a Democrat, and WE ARE THE MAJORITY.

Posted by: Elizabeth Ellis | September 18, 2008 8:20 PM | Report abuse

Nader got on the ballot in 45 states. Barr got on in 42. Baldwin is in the race, mckinney is in the race. Obama is in the race, Mccain is in the race.

Cover them all equally, and then we will see where the duopoly stands.
Why not?

Posted by: Justin | September 18, 2008 7:20 PM | Report abuse

I agree, if Ralph ever got an opening in the debates, the other two would be finished.

Posted by: jerri | September 18, 2008 6:54 PM | Report abuse

Why not give more media coverage to Nader? The answer is simple: because the corporations have too much to lose if Nader gets into office. Nader's been dropping bombs on these people since day one, protecting the American public every step of the way. He takes no money from PACs, none from the corporations. He's not in anyone's back pocket, and the people that really OWN this country can't afford a REAL maverick like Nader in the White House. So here's the challenge: if Democrats are so confident in their darling Obama, and Republicans are so confident in their dottering old man, let Nader debate them. If Nader is such a has-been, then what do the two major parties have to lose? If their platforms are so rock soild, why not let other candidates debate? Or here's an even better question: if Obama and McCain are such great Americans who truly want the best for their country, why are they not asking the debate commission to allow third party candidates into the debates, so Americans, the people that are supposed to be running this country, can see EVERY choice they have in a live debate? As Americans, aren't we taught that choice is good? When you walk down the cereal aisle at your local grocer, don't you see a hundred different kinds of cereal? Isn't it the same for every other product? Isn't it the same for religion, television channels, auto makers, everything right down to toilet paper? And yet, two candidates get the majority of the press. The simple fact is that the two major parties have sham candidates, and have run nothing but sham candidates for the past thirty years, and they've successfully divided the American public on every single issue. As a result, American politcs has become nothing more than a soap opera. Meanwhile, the congress enjoys a pathetic approval rating, the economy is in the toilet, our education system continues to suffer, our current president has trod all over our liberty, our constitution, and our soldiers in a war of choice, and all the two major parties can do to rectify the situation is blame each other. It's time for Americans to wake up and choose someone who will affect real change, and neither the media, nor the corporations want that to happen.

Posted by: James | September 18, 2008 6:54 PM | Report abuse

I can't believe people are still arguing that third party candidates are the spoilers. Both parties brought us to this point. If people would really study recent history they'd see Obama is NOT much different from McCain. Besides, they blame Nader for running. No! Blame me for voting for him! My vote, My choice! Same for a million other smart voters! 100 Million people in America don't even vote! Blame them if you want as well!

Posted by: Jenn | September 18, 2008 6:49 PM | Report abuse

With all of Obama's millions and the priceless media fawning he has received, Obama can't seem to pull ahead. Where would he be if the media had been fair? He would not be. Nader/Gonzalez 08

Posted by: Vi | September 18, 2008 6:04 PM | Report abuse

With all of Obama's millions and the priceless media fawning he has received, Obama can't seem to pull ahead. Where would he be if the media had been fair? He would not be. Nader/Gonzalez 08

Posted by: Vi | September 18, 2008 6:04 PM | Report abuse

I have no doubt that if Nader/Gonzales had received 10% of the media coverage that Obama got we would have a three way race, after all it only takes 34% to win in a three way race. Have you noticed any Obama or Mccain bumper stickers? I still see Kerry and Bush stickers from 04. At the end of the year when TIME magazine names it's person of the year, it should be the Media. For the embarrassing cheerleading for Obama. Nader/Gonzales 08

Posted by: Tina | September 18, 2008 5:39 PM | Report abuse

>>Nader is not a new commodity and he has been unable to maintain any sort of interest in any real portion of the electorate.

If the media stopped covering Obama or McCabe, how much interest would they be able to maintain? Media coverage == interest. They should cover Nader and all 3rd party candidates. Period. Enough interest was generated to get Nader on the ballots in 45 states, and the right to be a write-in in 4 others.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 18, 2008 4:29 PM | Report abuse

Well, apparently Ralph knows his stuff as he has been predicting our current financial meltdown since 2000. Meanwhile, Obama and McCain have been taking millions from the very companies whose unscrupulous business practices have gotten us into this mess in the first place.

Posted by: Rachel | September 18, 2008 2:50 PM | Report abuse

The media should spend a lot more time reporting on all of the 3rd party candidates, not just Nader. Lipstick on a pig? Really thats all you can talk about? That is what matters when choosing a president? Really? Nader (and many of the other 3rd party candidates) deserve a lot of media attention because instead of ridiculous theatrical nonsense, they offer a lot of fresh ideas that the American people deserve to hear and hear often. Nader, Barr and the others have been and continue to be spot on when it comes to many issues. For example, Nader has been warning us about the current financial crisis for over a decade. You would think that deserves at least a little bit of coverage. Most of the third party candidates want a major overhaul of the fed. This is something that is painfully relevant right now and suspiciously absent from the platforms of McCain and Obama. You can sum it all up with this: Somebody is not doing their friggin' job when you can get more substantial information about American politics by reading a small, Russian newspaper!

Posted by: EnlightenMe | September 18, 2008 2:46 PM | Report abuse

Is the system rigged against third parties? Yes. Is Nader being treated unfairly? No.

The lack of coverage of the Libertarian Party, which for some reason seems to be making slow and steady progress election after election, is unfair. Ron Paul struck a chord with a minority, but a sizeable minority, of supporters. Not covering him was unfair. Nader is not a new commodity and he has been unable to maintain any sort of interest in any real portion of the electorate. Not covering him is perfectly justifiable.

Posted by: muD | September 18, 2008 2:43 PM | Report abuse

Political reporters at places like the Washington Post, NY Times, etc are more akin to the house slaves taking pride in their stature. Nobody reports on Nader, nobody reports on Barr, nobody reports on McKinney. You say, well where does it end? It doesn't. It's called the Internet. But what did happen to professional journalism? At least bloggers have some variety. Journalism is become some perverted version of itself that, to make matters even worse, takes pride in the fact. How hard is it to write a report for the day on McCain, Obama, Nader and Barr, maybe throw in McKinney or Baldwin? Perhaps you Chris should think about taking pride in something crazy like, hmmm, variety of coverage? Working to maintain democratic ideals? As of now most political reporting is a farce.

I haven't decided who to vote for yet, but I'm glad information exists beyond the vomit people are force fed on a daily basis.

Look on the bright side Chris, at least you got this far with an article on a third party, why not keep going?

Posted by: NotSure | September 18, 2008 2:02 PM | Report abuse

The fact that so many Americans are opposed to third party candidates has to have Washington, Adams and Jefferson rolling in their graves.

While they were fully opposed to a two party system their biggest mistake was not incorporating that idea into the constitution.

Only two developed democracies have a two party system. Jamaica and the US. One has the highest rate of election related violence in the world the other has the most financially restrictive barriers to entry.

How can you call this a democracy if nobody is representing the people and we refuse to acknowledge candidates who do?

Posted by: Southeasterner | September 18, 2008 1:52 PM | Report abuse

Bottom line. Nader would destroy these two in a debate. Absolutely destroy them. If Nader's in the debate, Nader wins.

Just like Jesse Ventura when he was below 10% in the gov race of Minnesota then got into the debates and won. You Democrats better cling to your talking points because if Nader get's an opening... Obama and McCain are done.

Posted by: powerob | September 18, 2008 1:51 PM | Report abuse

Democrats for John McCain and Sarah Palin in 2008

Posted by: Rachel | September 18, 2008 12:46 PM | Report abuse

Nader has complained for decades that the system is rigged against 3rd (and 4th and 5th) parties.

Yet, when votes he received in a critical state determined the outcome of a Presidential election (Florida - 2000) he denies that those votes had anything to do with the outcome. I'd say that the Naderites voices were heard, even if they didn't like the outcome.

He's gone from gadfly to curmudgeon. Come the election year when he finally doesn't run, nobody will miss him anymore.

Posted by: Nor'Easter | September 18, 2008 12:43 PM | Report abuse

I'll be voting for Nadar.
NO Obama ( inexperienced corporate candidate)
No McCain (experiencd corporate

want change--- throw out both parties

Posted by: Anonymous | September 18, 2008 11:55 AM | Report abuse

Nader is 100% right, and the fact of the matter is, whether people want to believe it not, the media does play a complicit role in the shape our country is in today, by not breaking out of the platform of topics and agendas the two parties dictate should be up for public discussion and awareness. When we look at whats happening today in an abstract form we forget that the majority of the crap we're living through could have all been avoided if we had alternative voices at the tables and on the TV's making sure politicians don't fall back of this eternal return of corruption and excuses.

Posted by: Rodrigo | September 18, 2008 11:49 AM | Report abuse

Mr. Sillizza, I guess the real question would be :
What is the media's role in American politics? Why even wonder about covering a candidate that has qualified to be on the ballot in most states? What happened to objectivity? Are there any journalists left in America who objectively cover a political election? Or, is everyone just 'a commentator' these days? Do you work as a cultural gatekeeper who 'manages' perceptions and expectations or defines 'political reality' for voters? What gives reporters the right to exclude a specific candidate from coverage, if they are a real journalists? It seems to me, that if reporters or editors black-out the coverage of the Nader campaign, they actually participate in the election directly. The corporate media has been manipulating elections, by censoring Ralph Nader's access to the press, every time he ran. Voters 'get it', media blackout of Nader campaign, elevates his stature as a candidate and reduces media's credibility.

Posted by: George Tatevosyan | September 18, 2008 11:42 AM | Report abuse

The American Ruse &
when Black Friday comes.

Honesty or lies?
Compassion or greed?
Intelligence or narrow-minded?
Guts, or go along to get along?

Ralph Nader
Cynthia McKinney

Ron Paul
Mike Gravel
Dennis Kucinich

Jesse Ventura
H. Ross Perot
President Carter

Posted by: nader PAUL mckinney | September 18, 2008 11:05 AM | Report abuse

Ralph Nader is a bitter old has-been who was powerful and influential once but isn't any longer.
The media don't take him seriously because there's nothing about him that deserves to be taken seriously. His candidacy delivered the US into W's hands-- I don't argue against him running but hey, the votes came out of Al Gore's hide, not W's-- and he's arguably responsible (indirectly) for the miseries we've suffered since then.
I don't hate the guy but I'm long past the point where I wish he'd just go away. He's a tired, sad embarrassment.

Posted by: DB | September 18, 2008 10:05 AM | Report abuse

The "Nader is a spoiler" argument assumes that the votes belong only to the Republican or Democratic parties, which I think is nonsense.

Americans expect choice and competition all the time whether at the food store or at the job. Why shouldn't Americans expect the same in Presidential elections? We have two Presidential candidates this year whose campaigns are filled with former Bush or Clinton Administration re-treads. How is that the "change that we need"? I am surprised that the media has not mentioned the "Keating 5" or that Obama is funded in large part by Big Finance.

Check out the book "You Can't Be President: The Outrageous Barriers to Democracy in America." It's eye opening.

I am no longer convinced that any useful changes can come out of the Republican or Democratic parties. They have nothing more to offer the American people. Rather, I am concentrating more of my attention on making the system fairer so that we can have real competition during these contests. I think we should be demanding a single federal standard for federal elections rather than the current inconsistent system that raises all sorts of barriers to real competition. We should also work to eliminate Gerrymandering to force Congressional incumbents to actually compete for votes.

The whole system needs to be shaken up.

Posted by: Bryan | September 18, 2008 9:11 AM | Report abuse

Nader was right, put a stupid animal in your video and boom, coverage. Sports reporters at the washington post are better than the political reporters, they ask tougher questions and don't just swallow the press releases given to them.


Posted by: Alex35332 | September 18, 2008 8:47 AM | Report abuse

For those who are concerned about how Nader influenced the 2000 election unfavorably for Gore and are concerned about the same thing happening to Obama in 2008 I would like to remind you that the Democratic candidates are not entitled to our votes purely for the reason that they oppose the Republican candidates. If large media outlets, as a matter of policy, gave attention to perhaps the 2 or 3 leading independent candidates, the merit (or lack of) of these candidates would quickly become apparent to voters. These same media outlets, after all, give us plenty of gossip on celebs.

There are a number of popular positions that are not even up for debate in the contest between Obama and McCain.

1. Single-payer healthcare
2. Ending the war in Afghanistan, not just Iraq
3. Reducing military spending
4. Meaningfully reducing corporate influence on the fed gov't
5. Support for same-sex marriage
6. Election reform
7. Rollback of Patriot Act / FISA violations of civil liberties.

In addition, there are other proposals where Obama/McCain are very similar to each other and/or have proposals that are inadequate (environmental platforms are a good example of the latter.)

As a citizen who favors an agenda that contains at least some of the above-mentioned items, I simply do not have candidates to support apart from Nader or Cynthia McKinney. Further, while I'm no fan of McCain, I am skeptical about the claim that Obama will be much better. I think it is important to remember recent failings of the democratic party with regard to ending the war in Iraq, health care for children and FISA.

Posted by: nunyerbus | September 18, 2008 8:42 AM | Report abuse

Ralph Nadir

Posted by: AsperGirl | September 18, 2008 8:14 AM | Report abuse


Each voter is supposed to vote for the most skilled, experienced and qualified candidate for president. That's it.

Let's get back to the basics of voting, ignore the other nonsense about how one is to vote only for the most popular guy, and get this country back to where it needs to be.

Ralph Nader is the only person of exceptional skills, experience and qualifications to be president. And he has two more things that the other candidates don't--he has integrity and absolute loyalty to represent "we the people" and not the corporations in this country.

Nothing else--including political hijinks --matters. We desperately need a president today who will really, indeed, absolutely FIX the problems obvious in American government.

Democratic government is only possible with Ralph Nader.

Posted by: Esprit64 | September 18, 2008 7:17 AM | Report abuse


Voted One of the Nation's Best Blogs for the Election of 2008:

Bookmark it now !


Voted One of the Nation's Best Blogs for the Election of 2008:

Bookmark it now !


Posted by: Anonymous | September 18, 2008 5:50 AM | Report abuse

Man, a lot of people have really demonized Nader for running.

As for me, I blame the idiots who thought Bush would be a credible president.

Posted by: DDAWD | September 18, 2008 3:16 AM | Report abuse

Inherent in any 2-part system, whether biological, cosmological(think binary stars)or political, is the inevitable drifting toward "sameness". The 2 parts learn to live/work with each other by becoming more alike. That's why only the "wedge" issues really differ between them anymore.

Until the 2 party death grip on our government is destroyed the American people will not have a voice in the workings and priorities of the government; the priorities will continue to be determined by corporate-bought professional politicians. There are almost no public servants left in D.C.

The legislative and regulatory structure that makes it near impossible to challenge the 2 entrenched parties must be dismantled.

Lots of other countries have multi-party elections and it's long past time to change American politics to sweep out the crooked 2-part symbiosis of Demo-rat and Repignican.

Posted by: LALALA | September 18, 2008 1:31 AM | Report abuse

Ralph Nader is an egomaniac. His self import and the insufferable self righteousness of his idiot followers reminds me more of the religious nut from the right than of genuine liberals. Nader has worn out his welcome.

Posted by: mibrooks27 | September 18, 2008 12:23 AM | Report abuse

I am a strong believer in rights of candidates and parties to be represented in national debates and elections. There are, however, realities that would tend to mitigate the actual practices of such rights, and we rely on the good sense of human beings to appreciate and honor those realities for the benefit of the public good. Ralph Nader has been a crusader since the 1960s and the country owes him a debt for his tireless effort on behalf of auto and road safety. Likewise for a good many other concerns for which he has worked. But today, the nation is closely divided between the ideas of the candidates of the two major parties. Ralph Nader's refusal to withdraw from the 2000 race when it was clear that to remain would probably jeopardize a win for a progressive (and we have seen rational) platform was hubris. For him not to see that a similar conflict for the White House is shaping up now is both nearsighted and selfish. At some point, we must accept that not every point of view can be placed on the table at once. If Mr. Nader's true interest was the best interest of all the country, he would stop blaming media and the major parties and accept that the people do not have time for additional distractions. But I don't suppose we ought to expect reasonable behavior from this old warhorse.

Posted by: Jazzman7 | September 17, 2008 11:35 PM | Report abuse


It is not a matter of only Republicans do bad things. Rather, Republicans only do bad things. Common sense sees right through the chablis and bree GOP country club set that just sees us as a tax mine.

Exact and complete quote from Carly Fiorina, no matter what consumate Right Wing partisan liars would have you believe. On the record, and fact checked:

Carly: "Well, I don't think John McCain could run a major corporation, I don't think I could run a major corporation, I don't think you could run a major corporation,"

Carly continues (this part conveniently left out by the Right Wing McCain lap-doggers) "It is a fallacy to suggest that the country is like a company. So, of course, to run a business, you have to have a lifetime of experience in business, but that's not what Sarah Palin, or John McCain have. Businesses are held accountable for poor business practices, bad investments, and breaking the law. Sarah Palin and John McCain simply would not have to answer to any of those three concerns were they in the White House."

Come on folks! Don't drag this out. You're keeping the inanity of the Bush-McCain Failed Talking Points in the rotation!

This is just one example of daily bias by the Post, CNN and the NY Times.

These numbers were before the surge.

Did you know that 47 countries' have reestablished their embassies in Iraq, leaving only 145 that have not?

Did you know that the Iraqi government
currently employs 1.2 million Iraqi people in exotic jobs ranging from human landmine clearance to IED shielding on the exterior of vehicles transporting officials?

Did you know that 3100 schools have been renovated, 364 schools are under rehabilitation, 263 new schools are now under construction; and 38 new schools have been completed in Iraq, while only 4000 have been destroyed?

Did you know that Iraq 's higher educational structure consists of 20 Universities, 46 Institutes or colleges and 4 research centers, all currently operating without any students?

Did you know that 25 Iraq students departed for the United States in
January 2005 for the re-established Fulbright program and were never seen or heard from again?

Did you know that the Iraqi Navy is operational? They have 5 - 100-foot patrol craft, 34 smaller vessels and a naval infantry regiment which have been used primarily for piracy in the Gulf, and for raiding small villages along the banks of the Tigris and Euphrates.

Did you know that Iraq's Air Force consists of three operational squadrons,
Which includes 9 reconnaissance and 3 US C-130 transport aircraft (under Iraqi operational control) which operate day and night, and will soon add 16 UH-1 helicopters and 4 Bell Jet Rangers, as well as 7000 paper airplanes donated by American school children?

Did you know that Iraq has a counter-terrorist unit and a Commando Battalion which have both engaged American forces in combat, or retreated from combat situations when fighting along side American forces?

Did you know that the Iraqi Police Service has over 55,000 fully trained and equipped police officers who regularly engage American forces in combat?

Did you know that there are 5 Police Academies in Iraq that produce over 3500 new officers every 8 weeks, all of whom defect within days to the insurgency?

Did you know there are more than 1100 building projects going on in Iraq intended to replace the more than 80,000 structures destroyed since the invasion?

They include 364 schools, 67 public clinics, 15 hospitals, 83 railroad stations, 22 oil facilities, 93 water facilities 69 electrical facilities, and assorted defensive walls, barriers, and fortifications.

Did you know that 96% of Iraqi children under the age of 5 have received the first 2 series of polio vaccinations, as well as a lifetime supply of PTSD?

Did you know that 4.3 million Iraqi children were enrolled in primary school by mid October, but that by November 2.6 million girls had been removed?

Did you know that there are 1,192,000 cell phone subscribers in Iraq and phone use has gone up 158% since the integration of cell phones as detonators on IEDs?

Did you know that Iraq has an independent media that consists of 75 radio stations, 180 newspapers, 10 television stations, and 6000 "Armed Truth Squads"?

Did you know that the Baghdad Stock Exchange opened in June of 2004, and has since lost only 4,200% of its opening value?

Did you know that 2 candidates in the Iraqi presidential election had a
televised debate recently because it was too dangerous to debate in front of a live audience?

Phil Gramm was actually in favor of a Sub-Prime crisis. This is a known, and very well publicized fact. He knew that if US banks were able to diversify without any government regulation, that a sub-prime crisis could be created through inevitably loose lending policies.

He's on record as the sponsor of the bill that created it, and he continues to support that same bill today, as it achieved precisely what he set out to accomplish: An economic climate that would artificially increase the asset wealth of America's poor and through the use of a deliberate campaign of misinformation, encourage these same individuals to carry more debt. Once this had been achieved, the bill was designed to then create the economic environment (through rapid deregulation) that we have seen over the past several years; a rapid loss of available credit and available jobs leading directly to an enormous loss of wealth amongst the poor that would lead them to remain on the bottom with low education and poor skill sets. The end game? Simply the creation of an environment wherein more major corporations (the primary backers of Gramm and McCain for decades) could abandon American workes for cheap foreign labor, thus providing maximum profits for the very top 1% of society. These 1% have been further protected by the Bush-McCain tax cuts, which actually increased taxes on 95% of Americans (the bottom 95%).

This is so basic, and so well known that only a complete fool would argue against it. Why else would it be news?! Honestly... Plan and simple facts.

Hah! Laughable! When the going gets tough, the Republicans leave for Crawford, or Aspen. No worries there, as its a Democrat's job to save the country. Again.

The correlation between hard work and success is limited. Obviously, Obama is where he is because he worked hard and earned it. Bush and McCain are where they are because their fathers and grandfathers worked hard.

McCain has never even paid a bill in his life, so why should we trust him to protect our money? I don't think we need another silver spoon republican trying to run the economy. Just look at what happened under Bush: 56 million Americans who were middle class in 2000 are now out of work and considered below the poverty line. 23 million Americans who had health insurance in 2000 now do not.

McCain actually wrote the bills that caused this. Look it up! This is so basic that it hardly gets any attention. Obama is from a food stamps family, and federal assistance combined with his drive and natural ability helped him pull himself up by the boot straps. McCain was a bottom of the barrel student, mediocre officer, and quickly corrupted legislator. Had he not been born with high social status he would have never been able to land back asswards where he has.

Maybe you missed this. McCain owns at least seven houses and counting. It strikes me that these uber-rich Republican elitists who own so many houses are a real problem for the rest of us in that they drive up real estate values by gobbling up land and hoarding away homes. We wouldn't have had a banking meltdown if we hadn't had a subprime meltdown. We wouldn't have had a subprime meltdown if the average American had been able to afford a single home. The average American can't afford a single home because these chablis swilling country club loving Republican elites collect homes like the rest of us collect credit card bills.

Just so these crazy Bushies and McCainiacs don't pull the wool over your eyes on de-regulation... Here is the basic low down on what's behind it. Simple. Straight forward. Factual.

The Glass-Steagall Act of 1933 established the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) in the United States and included banking reforms, some of which were designed to control speculation. Some provisions such as Regulation Q that allowed the Federal Reserve to regulate interest rates in savings accounts were repealed by the Depository Institutions Deregulation and Monetary Control Act of 1980. Other provisions which prohibit a bank holding company from owning other financial companies were repealed in 1999 by the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act. Yes, that Gramm.

First repeal of the Glass-Steagall act allowed banks to determine what interest rates they could pay on savings, thus eliminating from our society sensible government oversight by the the Federal Reserve banks.

Second part repealed by the Gramm-Leahy act was that of the idea that a bank should be FORCED to not be able to invest in other forms of business. This was yet another portion of the bill aimed at preventing the government from protecting average Americans by maintaining a strong and balance economy by preventing companies over reaching.

The entirety of this bill is correctly attributed to our current sub-prime mortgage problem. This problem started on the banking side through de-regulation and led directly to predatory lending practices.

The Gramm-Leahy-Bliley act was signed into law by a Bill Clinton, who did not have the votes in Congress to prevent it.

It had positive economic results, allowing some finanacial companies to consolidate their resources and operate more efficiently, thereby saving money and increasing the value of their companies and increasing the value of the shareholders holdings in those companies.

Prior to the repeal of this law, foreign bankers held a financial edge against US banks because they were free to diversify their investments. Repealing this law allowed US banks to catch up with foreign banks and increase their value as a company. Again, increasing the value of their stocks to their stock-holders, but also removing necessary regulation to prevent predatory schemes.

Yes, it did allow companies the freedom to make good and or bad investments, just like any other company, but without necessary regulation to prevent abuse of the system.

The vast majority of banks are at risk, but are currently stable because they made wise investments. Some are not doing so well because they got caught up in too risky of deals, such as interest-only loans. They took a risk, they lost.

Buyers were duped into accepting these risk terms on their loans. That is the fault of predatory lenders.

Democrat president Bill Clinton had the option of veto-ing this bill but chose not to. He supported the bill and signed it into law in 1999 because the Republicans had the votes in Congress to ignore the veto.

One of the prime sponsors of the bill was this man, also a REPUBLICAN.
John McCain

Posted by: Nick Collins III | September 17, 2008 11:19 PM | Report abuse


Once again, "anonymous" at 10:31 p.m. is using this site to communicate sick, disturbing and menacing threats against candidates and their supporters.

This is the same cut and paste that appeared here the other night.

Will you please forward that post to your webmaster and to WaPo legal counsel?

Posted by: scrivener | September 17, 2008 11:18 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: Nick Collins III | September 17, 2008 11:11 PM | Report abuse

No, because his candidacy is as much a distraction as porcine cosmetics. Nader could have continued be a legitimate force for governmental and economic reform, but his decreasingly credible campaigns have rendered him an irrelevant caricature of the heroic consumer advocate of the 60's.

Posted by: FlownOver | September 17, 2008 11:08 PM | Report abuse

Go Ralph! You were right on the Wall Street speculators, when many doubted you. We need you as President.

Posted by: Larry | September 17, 2008 10:49 PM | Report abuse

The idea of a "debate" with three or more points of view is a fools fantasy. As it stands, with two clear choices offered, many in the electorate remain undecided. How much then, will they stand to gain by having a different proposition laid out for each of the major issues underlying this year's election? Ralph Nader or Ron Paul may have some worthy thoughts on the possibilities for addressing our problems; so might any of us. We have representative government. There are avenues to feed ideas to our legislators or to the executive short of becoming the chief executive. The people must remain focused on the issues: international relations, economics, democratic principles of our country.

Posted by: Jazzman7 | September 17, 2008 10:47 PM | Report abuse

I am a strong believer in rights of candidates and parties to be represented in national debates and elections. There are, however, realities that would tend to mitigate the actual practices of such rights, and we rely on the good sense of human beings to appreciate and honor those realities for the benefit of the public good. Ralph Nader has been a crusader since the 1960s and the country owes him a debt for his tireless effort on behalf of auto and road safety. Likewise for a good many other concerns for which he has worked. But today, the nation is closely divided between the ideas of the candidates of the two major parties. Ralph Nader's refusal to withdraw from the 2000 race when it was clear that to remain would probably jeopardize a win for a progressive (and we have seen rational) platform was hubris. For him not to see that a similar conflict for the White House is shaping up now is both nearsighted and selfish. At some point, we must accept that not every point of view can be placed on the table at once. If Mr. Nader's true interest was the best interest of all the country, he would stop blaming media and the major parties and accept that the people do not have time for additional distractions. But I don't suppose we ought to expect reasonable behavior from this old warhorse.

Posted by: Jazzman7 | September 17, 2008 10:37 PM | Report abuse

I was about to say that this ad wouldn't work to get Nader votes, but did get him some free press right here!

He would get more votes and press if he would just field dress a moose and make believe he'd turned down bridge money.

Posted by: Sunshine | September 17, 2008 10:35 PM | Report abuse

Wonder if it is true that Obama has solicited OJ Simpson to bump off mutual opponent of both parties specifically tonight to win in November and election has little to do with issues and popularity?

Apparently the mutual opponent is wealthy and exposed corruption within both parties and is presently targeted.

Or will the GOP solicit Guiliani-like mob ties such used by his protege, ex-NYPD commissioner and was indicted and doing jail time today? Or solicit Gotti, Jr. whose conspiracy and murder trial is currently going on? BTW, OJ's kidnap and robbery trial is currently going on too.

Will both political parties engage in the popular law enforcement practice of "sweetheart exchange deals" where convicts commit crime/murder in exchange for less jail time, conveniently covered up and real culprits are not suspected?

If so, will OJ's trial get suddenly dropped and he walks away scot free as part of the sweetheart exchange deal?

Given this information, will we too have to worry about our physical safety? For example, will my husband have to worry about his life while jogging after work as is his routine tomorrow in the Hackensack, Bogota and Teaneck areas in NJ? Will I have to worry about my bus ride to and from the Port Authority tomorrow afternoon? Do we have to worry about being bumped off in the middle of the night inside our home?

What do you think?

Posted by: Anonymous | September 17, 2008 10:31 PM | Report abuse

In 2000, Nader was compelling because he made the argument that Clinton's third way politics - his triangulation - of liberal and conservative had betrayed his Democratic base. He hurt Gore more because it made him look so similar to GW that many liberals didn't think it would matter who won than because of the actual number of his votes in swing states.

By 2004 and certainly by 2008 it is now clear that Nader is of by and for Nader not some larger movement of the Left.

Posted by: SFCA-DREW | September 17, 2008 10:29 PM | Report abuse

Cardozo the Parrot looks just like Barack Obama with the same IQ

Posted by: ttl | September 17, 2008 10:02 PM | Report abuse


Why would Charlie Gibson's ignorance of the Bush Doctrine cause you to vote for Obama over Nader?

Posted by: achall | September 17, 2008 9:56 PM | Report abuse

I won't be voting for you this election although I did in past years. I have decided to cast my vote for Obama with that this will be effort to stop the end of the world which will surely begin if McSame is elected



I literally stopped what I was doing and stared frightened at the TV, temporarily mezmorized by such ignorance and then decided immediately to vote for Obama, maybe next time.

Posted by: Angela | September 17, 2008 9:41 PM | Report abuse

Chris: I noticed that, with this bit of nonsense and the SNL skit of the last weekend, you are directing our focus to the loopier side of this campaign.

With that in mind, please hold forth on Cindy McCain foaming at the mouth over the way "The View" has been carrying on.

Posted by: bondjedi | September 17, 2008 9:36 PM | Report abuse

Nader is a true American.
He would have been part of the Boston Tea Party.
The media are fat and lazy.
They are very very well paid. They don't want to rock the boat.
They have gotten along just fine with the country as it is.

So when Nader presents American values - a true love or freedom - caring for one another - distrust and even contempt for authority - revolutionary spirit - the media run away as fast as they can.

They care about us not one whit.

Posted by: Arthur Brightman | September 17, 2008 9:36 PM | Report abuse

I won't vote for Nader, I did in 2000. For the first time in my life I voted for a democrat in Kerry cause Bush was so bad. I will vote for Obama this time and hope for the best. But McCain is a whacko.

Posted by: guitaristo | September 17, 2008 9:32 PM | Report abuse

John McCain's top ten temper explosions ...


"Ross Perot, who paid her medical bills all those years ago, now believes that both Carol McCain and the American people have been taken in by a man who is unusually slick and cruel – even by the standards of modern politics.

‘McCain is the classic opportunist. He’s always reaching for attention and glory,’ he said."

In her acceptance speech, Sarah Palin approvingly quoted Westbrook Pegler, who among other things was a racist, an anti-semite and a fascist who advocated killing Robert F. Kennedy.

In Spanish, there is a phrase, "To s/he who understands, few words are needed."

Palin's literary choice speaks volumes about why her ignorance does not portend bliss for the American people and their ideals.

In this time of economic turndown, a moment when the search for scapegoats may be just around the corner, it might be wise to remember the words of author Sinclair Lewis, which hopefully will not turn out to be prophetic:

“When fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying the cross.”

Barack Obama has stood firm on employee free speech rights, fighting to make sure that those who dare commit the truth on behalf public integrity, the taxpayer and national security are protected.

John McCain refuses to commit to real whistleblower protections.

Even now, conservative free speech groups are furiously lobbying him to take a stand, in part to try to neutralize Obama's leadership on the issue.

I know how important this is, having won the U.S. Office of Special Counsel's "Public Servant Award"--the highest award given in the federal service to whistleblowers and, in my case, the first one given to a national security whistleblower. []


What are his people afraid of?

A little ethical dissent in government?


Posted by: Martin Edwin Andersen | September 17, 2008 9:24 PM | Report abuse

Have we been reduced to "drudging" through "parrot" poop to find a story? Chris stand up for your country or move to South America. I realize this is harsh but hey, read the headlines. Show us what you've got. If not now, when?

Posted by: smallddem | September 17, 2008 9:09 PM | Report abuse

Ralph Nader's Record of Accomplishments
Instrumental in the passing of the following legislation:

National Automobile and Highway Traffic Safety Act (1965)
Clean Water Act (1968)
Clean Air Act (1970)
Co-Op Bank Bill (1978)
Law establishing Environmental Protection Agency (1970)
Consumer Product Safety Act
Foreign Corrupt Practices Act
Mine Health and Safety Act
Whistleblower Protection Act
Medical Devices safety
Nuclear power safety
Mobile home safety
Consumer credit disclosure law
Pension protection law
Funeral home cost disclosure law
Tire safety & grading disclosure law
Wholesome Meat Act
Natural Gas Pipeline Safety Act
Federal Coal Mine Health and Safety Act
Wholesome Poultry Product Act
Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA) 1970
Safe Water Drinking Act
Freedom of Information Act
National Traffic and Motor Vehicle Safety Act

Founded or sponsored the following organizations:

American Antitrust Institute
Appleseed Foundation
Arizona Center for Law in the Public Interest
Aviation Consumer Action Project
Buyers Up
Capitol Hill News Service Center for Concerned Engineering
Center for Auto Safety
Center for Insurance Research
Center for Justice and Democracy
Center for Science in the Public Interest
Center for the study of Responsive Law - 1969
Center for Women Policy Studies
Citizen Action Group
Citizen Advocacy Center
Citizen Utility Boards
Citizen Works
Clean Water Action Project
Clearinghouse for Professional Responsibility
Congress Project
Congress Watch
Congressional Accountability Project
Connecticut Citizen Action Group
Consumer Project on Technology
Corporate Accountability Research Group
Critical Mass Energy Project
Democracy Rising
Disability Rights Center
Equal Justice Foundation
Essential Information
FANS (Fight to Advance the Nation's Sports)
Fisherman's Clear Water Action Group
Foundation for Taxpayers and Consumer Rights
Freedom of Information Clearinghouse
Global Trade Watch
Government Purchasing Project
Health Research Group
Litigation Group
Multinational Monitor
National Citizen's Coalition for Nursing Home Reform
National Coalition for Universities in the Public Interest
National Insurance Consumer Organization
Ohio Public Interest Action Group
Organization for Competitive Markets
Professional Drivers (PROD)
Professionals for Auto Safety
Public Citizen
Pension Rights Center
Princeton Project 55
PROD - truck safety
Public Citizen's Visitor's Center
Public Interest Research Groups (PIRGS)
Resource Consumption Alliance (conserve trees) 1004
Retired Professionals Action Group
Shafeek Nader Trust for the Community Interest
Tax Reform Research Group
Telecommunications Research and Action Center

Read or book or learn some history. What have John McCain or Barrack Obama ever done that you or your fellow American's ever benefitted from? It takes a real idiot to show so much disrespect for one of the greatest Americans in the history of this nation.

Posted by: Karen | September 17, 2008 9:02 PM | Report abuse

Ralph Nader's schtick is get his 15 minutes of fame. Basically he's a community organizer like Barack Obama, Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson and a few other shakedown artists who get in front of a bunch of Socialist and Communist-thinking malcontents to tell them how wonderfull a system of Socialism and Communism is compared to our capitalist one, and how everybody is supposed to share the wealth equally without having to work for it.

Posted by: madhatter | September 17, 2008 8:59 PM | Report abuse

I just think of Stassen.

Posted by: Publius | September 17, 2008 8:55 PM | Report abuse

Of course Nader is a factor, or the media wouldn't be ignoring him and only allowing the voters the "option" of hearing from the 2 corporate-funded candidates.

But then again, there are 3 other candidates in this race too:
Independent presidential candidate Ralph Nader is on the ballot, so far, in 46 states.

The Libertarian Party’s Bob Barr: 44 states.

The Constitution Party’s Chuck Baldwin: 37 states.

And the Green Party’s Cynthia McKinney: 32.

Run, Ralph, Run.

Posted by: NaderHood2004 Member | September 17, 2008 8:49 PM | Report abuse

This is sad. The


I think that "John McCain Sings Streisand", an old SNL skit, has a better chance of going viral:

Posted by: AsperGirl | September 17, 2008 8:44 PM | Report abuse

America needs as many non-Democrat and non-Republican candidates as possible.

I won't vote for him (yet) but we have to have him in the presidential debates or we will have a conversation on lipstick and lower taxes with no real issues being discussed.

I would rather see Cardoza than Palin in the White House!

Posted by: Southeasterner | September 17, 2008 8:28 PM | Report abuse

hey ralphie...take a nice long walk over a really short pier.

Posted by: jatox | September 17, 2008 8:23 PM | Report abuse

Answer to your question...


Let's get back to the issues.

Jersey John

Posted by: Jersey John | September 17, 2008 8:21 PM | Report abuse

I don't get it.

Yesterday it was a post about Hillary Clinton, a total irrelevancy at this point. Everybody had finally forgotten about her except the Harpies and maybe "Mrs." Billie Jean King." But you brought her up again. Why?

Now it's Ralph Nader, who forty years ago was a legitimate consumer advocate, in fact the term was invented to describe him. Today, though, he embarrasses America and himself as a professional spoiler. He gets in the presidential race every year for the sole purpose of siphoning off enough votes so the other guy wins. The media, which no longer does actual reporting, never discloses who funds and sponsors his foolishness. If they did, Nader would be exposed and would have to go. But they don't so we are forced to indulge Nader's selfish dishonest charade and watch him game the election process to our national detriment.

Will the next post be about John Anderson, Leona Fulani, Cynthia McKinney, or Ron Paul? Let's get back to folks who matter.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 17, 2008 8:15 PM | Report abuse

Nader is not a legitimate candidate. He is either a willing or unwitting Republican operative and he should be treated that way. He was on the ballot in 2004 and got less than half of one percent (less than 1 out of every 200 votes). On the other hand, I'm all for Barr getting more media coverage.

Posted by: renu1 | September 17, 2008 8:13 PM | Report abuse

His campaign ABSOLUTELY deserves a ton more press. This time he's on the ballot in 45 states--even more than 2000, and he's polled pretty consistently at 5-6%, that's at least about 10 million Americans who believe his message is so important they're willing to go against the grain and support it despite a virtual media blackout. And many of the issues he's campaigning on are majoritarian on top of that. Those 10 million Americans (and I count myself among them) have a right to be heard on a national level. I can't even imagine a non-fascist argument that we don't.

Posted by: betterthannader | September 17, 2008 7:52 PM | Report abuse

well, if he gets matching funds to run for President (from the tazpayers) the taxpayers ought to have the opportunity to hear what he has to say in the presidential debates

Posted by: steve | September 17, 2008 7:46 PM | Report abuse

When republicans think "third parties," they think of Perot, who they blame for Bill Clinton. When democrats think third party, they think Nader, who they blame for W. In other words, everyone's been burned at least once and now is twice shy.

Example -- Am I the only one who thinks "An Inconvenient Truth" was really Al Gore's way of making the 2.7 million Green Party environmentalists who bought the "no difference between Gore and Bush" koolaid cry themselves to sleep every night? Could have had Global Warming Al. Instead got Oil W. Those are 2.7 million voters who get queasy just hearing Nader's name.

Posted by: Nader | September 17, 2008 7:34 PM | Report abuse

Nader has a sense of humor. Corporate control of the media is no joke. They shut out the peace movement and were cheerleaders for war. Fox shut out Ron Paul and MSNBC shut out Dennis Kucinich. Corporations get to decide who's a serious candidate by giving them serious corporate cash and coverage of the horse race that hides the fact that Obama and McCain are owned by the same corporations, it's just they're giving Obama a little more cash.

Nader is the candidate with the best platform and record. In any real democracy he would get fair coverage. He's going to be a factor because he's polling well in swing states (he'll get my vote in Ohio) and he's on more ballots than he's ever been on before.

Posted by: Yossarian | September 17, 2008 7:31 PM | Report abuse

What an insufferable catch-22 question! You're asking whether he is viable enough to be covered, knowing full well he is only viable when he is covered. How convenient. You're the one that started the "fact" that there was no sexism against Clinton, the press just hated her. Or was that Dana? (sorry can't tell you white guys apart). Now the republicans are pushing that no sexism they saw for all its worth. Nadar should be covered and you should go the way of Lehman bros.

Posted by: cristine | September 17, 2008 7:29 PM | Report abuse

Ralph Nader and his organization qualified to be on the Ballot in 45 States plus the District of Columbia. Why was this not covered ? You do know that Nader qualified for 43 ballots in 2000 ? If Nader was a factor then why wouldn't he be a factor now ? He has raise substantial sums of money through Direct Appeals, Online Fund Raising and Federal Matching Funds. Not only should Nader be covered he should be present on the Dais for ALL of the forth coming CPD Presidential Debates. His running mate Matt Gonzalez who was President of the San Francisco Board of Supervisor and responsible for a 5 Billion Dollar annual budget (slightly bigger than Wasilla Alaska) should also participate in the Vice Presidential Debates.

Posted by: Bob Marston | September 17, 2008 7:18 PM | Report abuse

The video is certainly not "An Evening with Garrison Keillor". It is not amusing. It is utterly devoid of entertainment value and it does not convey any message except for the whine about the lack of media coverage.

Who is Gonzalez, anyway?

Posted by: MarkInAustin | September 17, 2008 7:15 PM | Report abuse

I wonder how much help the Republicans are giving Ralph this time to screw up the election. This is his 4th run (at least). For all the good he had done, he and the Supreme Court helped plant the disaster we now have. He has always been a purpose without a life, but the rest of us have both purpose and lives.

Posted by: ejgallagher1 | September 17, 2008 7:09 PM | Report abuse

Yay!!! It's the Republicans who suffer this time (unlike the American people who have suffered through 8 years of Dubya due to Nader). Give Barr all the coverage he can take!!!!

Nader?, McKinney? (eek - she was my rep for far to long!) -- who cares. Fred sez <50K votes between them!

Posted by: fr3dmars | September 17, 2008 7:05 PM | Report abuse

This is very amusing, but it still means that Nader has reached a new low.

Posted by: matt | September 17, 2008 7:04 PM | Report abuse

It might be a fair argument to suggest that he should receive as much media coverage as his political campaigns receives in vote percentage. I haven't seen any statistics on the coverage he's received this campaign, although one could argue that if he's getting anything above two percent of the total media coverage, then it's disproportionately in his favor. Anything less, and he's getting less than he deserves.

More important to me, though, is that Ralph Nader is a known quantity to most of the electorate. The fact that he hasn't garnered more political support or media coverage speaks volumes about his overall appeal.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 17, 2008 7:04 PM | Report abuse

In my mind, Ralph Nader is simply a Republican operative.

I do not have respect for an egomaniac who thinks we are stupid enough to believe that there is no substantive policy difference between the GOP and the Democratic party.

Nader is the reason we have had 8 years of Bush. He has no credibility and is an insult to a progressive's intelligence.

Republicans love him, as well they should. He is part of their campaign strategy to claim a 3rd Bush term.

Great CNN video of the lies of McCain/Palin and a blueprint for a knockout Obama ad campaign are at:

Posted by: scootmandubious | September 17, 2008 6:58 PM | Report abuse

Why should anyone pay any attention to this megalomaniac? Like some vampire or half-dead mummy, he reappears every four years in answer to his own inner call to save the country. In the interim, of course, he has done absolutely nothing of note that would qualify him in any substantive sense to hold the office to which he possesses such a manifestly unjustified sense of entitlement. In view of the incontrovertible fact that he cost Al Gore the election of 2000 by campaigning hard in Florida and elsewhere with the argument that Bush and Gore were like tweedledum and tweedledee, and has since that time absolutely and repeatedly refused to take ANY responsibility for the catastrophe of the last 8 years, why should any one listen to him at all? This ad is unintentionally revealing in portraying Nader as what he truly is: a pathetic, aging, narcissistic crank.

Posted by: Rick | September 17, 2008 6:58 PM | Report abuse

Nader and his organization have qualified to be on the ballot in 45 States plus the District of Columbia. Why was this not covered ? You do know that Nader was qualified on 43 States in 2000 ? Nader is also raising considerable sums of money through direct appeals, online fund raising and Federal matching funds. These accomplishments entitle Nader not only to be covered but to be present on the Dais of the forth coming Presidential Debates.

Posted by: Truthie | September 17, 2008 6:56 PM | Report abuse


Ralph, you were my hero. I was one of the original consumer reporters, a class of modern journalism that didn't really exist until you came along (okay, that's unfair to Upton Sinclair and other "muckrakers", but we're talking more recent history, starting with the era of the Corvair and the Pinto and such).

You're supposed to be someone who understands the workings of the power elite. So why do you think you have to be president to effect change? You should know better than most that unelected power elites exert enormous influence over national policy and international affairs.

So why can't you continue to crusade as you have for lo, these many years, from the outside, as that necessary countervailing force? Why do you feel this unrequited need for executive office, when you've already done more as a private citizen to better peoples' lives than many presidents have done?

This is the question you should be putting to Cardozo. Please do a sequel and please answer the question -- and do not just parrot a line.

And give Lorne Michaels a call over at Saturday Night Live; he'll listen to you now! Maybe you can answer that question "live from New York."

Your puzzled friend,


ps - Oh Ralph: Will you read this and tell me what you think? I need some help with this, right away:

Posted by: scrivener | September 17, 2008 6:52 PM | Report abuse

You almost have to feel bad for Nader. In 2000, he got a taste of what it feels like to be relevant in presidential politics.

Now, eight years later, he's like a crack addict: willing to do anything to get even the slightest of fixes.

Posted by: JamesCH | September 17, 2008 6:51 PM | Report abuse

Frankly, people voted for Nader and it got them George Bush. Voters are not going to be as stupid this time around. third party candidates might make sense if we had a run-off system, but in a winner takes all system it makes sense for interest groups to coalesce around a strong party.

Posted by: freeDom | September 17, 2008 6:49 PM | Report abuse

Don't misunderstand the video as a pathetic complait. It was a youtube video response to youtube video entitled:

"Hurricane Ike - Bear Visits Galveston"

which has recieved half a million views.

The video when viewed in context of was making fun of corporate media's priorities in covering a man in a bear suit on the beack before a Huricane, rather than covering issues covered in his campaign such as an inadequate "pay or die" healthcare system.

Posted by: Huricane Bear | September 17, 2008 6:39 PM | Report abuse

On a day when our government is bailing out the folks who turned our economy into a shell of its former self, maybe y'all ought to be reconsidering the one candidate who told you so instead those other two shills.

Posted by: Red States | September 17, 2008 6:34 PM | Report abuse

Ross Perot mounted a genuine third-party challenge (twice) and got plenty of coverage. So did John Anderson. I guarantee Michael Bloomberg would have as well, had he jumped into the ring last year. Ron Paul is still getting some attention, too.

Nader has had his moment. I honor his service, as we say, but today he is no longer much more of a factor than other, very minor, third-party candidates. The issues he raises are already raised by mainstream candidates and the press. Don't cover him if you don't have the resources to do so. Democracy will survive.

Cardozo also has so much more stage presence than Ralph Nader. Now there, I see star potential.

Posted by: Fairfax Voter | September 17, 2008 6:33 PM | Report abuse

Ralph jumps off the deep end with this one. He needs to get back ON those meds immediately!

Winner of "...Best 2008 Campaign Spot Featuring A Parrot..." award.

What's next, policy discussions with a pig wearing lipstick?

Posted by: realitycheck | September 17, 2008 6:28 PM | Report abuse

Nader also made it onto Red State. Looks like humor is one of the only ways to get some people's attention.

We're out there, we vote, and we are not ignorant.

Posted by: Red States | September 17, 2008 6:27 PM | Report abuse

Ralph Nader is on 45 state ballots, which is very impressive considering that that the ballot obstruction laws were even higher for an independent candidate than when he previously ran as a 3rd party candidate. He has also qualified for public financing.
The latest zoby poll shows tha >50% of americans want Nader to be in the debates and that includes Ron Paul who endorsed Nader & all 3rd party candidates.

Let Nader debate so that people against the Iraq war AND Afghanistan war can be represented to the national public.

Posted by: Student Nader Raider | September 17, 2008 6:27 PM | Report abuse

Hey Ralph, maybe the issue isn't third parties. Maybe people are tired of *you*.

Posted by: Harold Stassen | September 17, 2008 6:10 PM | Report abuse

How could you guys actually sit there and say he's getting press? The whole skit with the bird was about how he gets less press than the panda bears at the DC zoo. He is correct. Now compare that itty bit of coverage to how much others get for lipstick pig stories. UNREAL. The man has the answers to the problems. Start giving a damn about the issues and you'll start seeing your desire to vote for Nader rise and your wayward desire to strategize your vote by choosing a "lesser of two evils" start to fade.

If you have an issue that's important to you, take the time to find Nader's answer for that issue. It's a tough challenge but I'm sure you can do it. You are already on the internet reading this.

Whatever the issue, if you want to see action... just google "Nader" and whatever the issue is and you'll see a history of action on it.

Posted by: powerob | September 17, 2008 6:04 PM | Report abuse

Will Cardozo get an appointment to the Supreme Court? If so, Nader has my vote!

Posted by: Optimyst | September 17, 2008 6:03 PM | Report abuse

Well, if this video was supposed to show he's not an irrelevant kook, it is a spectacular failure. If this somehow goes viral, people will be laughing at Nader, not with him.

Probably both Nader and Barr deserve a little more coverage than they get. But only a little. In any "first past the post" electoral system, nationwide third parties have an insurmountable structural disadvantage. Given that reality, the media rightly concentrates on the two candidates who might possibly become president. That's the system we have. I wish Nader had used his once enormous gravitas campaigning for electoral reform instead of for president -- that might have done some good.

Posted by: Joey | September 17, 2008 6:00 PM | Report abuse

What is Mr Nader running for President of? Johnny Dep fan club?

Posted by: bsimon | September 17, 2008 5:43 PM | Report abuse

If you want to vote for Ralph Nader, then vote for Ralph Nader. I'm always leary of people who blame the media for everything going wrong in their lives, and Nader is no exception. The dude has been on Meet the Press, Face the Nation, etc.; is a popular campus speaker; and has generally been in the limelight for the last 40+ years.

Posted by: bondjedi | September 17, 2008 5:33 PM | Report abuse

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