Monday, July 12, 2004

Nader/Dean Debate

At the National Press Club, independent presidential candidate Ralph Nader debates former Democratic presidential candidate Howard Dean.



1 comment:

Sheryl said...

Awesome debate! I like the idea of having debates between Nader and the progressive candidates of the Democratic Party.

Nader was being dishonest again though when he suggested that Dean was an odd man out for his peace position stance. In case he's forgotten, Carol Moseley-Braun was a peace candidate; Dennis Kucinich was a peace candidate; Al Sharpton was a peace candidate; Bob Graham of Florida was also a peace candidate. I think something like 126 ??? members of the House of Representatives voted against war powers. 23 in the Senate. This is the same way he smeared Gore. By implying things that just plain aren't true.

I think they should have a series of debates between Nader and the Progressives in the democratic party. Carol Moseley-Braun should be next. She really can argue against being a spoiler candidate, because she showed that even if you know you can't win, you can still get your ideas out on the table without ever compromising a single vote.

She took part in almost all the democratic debates and then dropped out and endorsed Dean. (Seems like Ross Perot did the same thing with Clinton.) Moseley Braun bloody well got her ideas on the table first. Nothing wrong with that. I have a lot of respect for what she did. Like the times she brought up the problems with financing education with property taxes. Things like that are very important, but just wouldn't have been discussed otherwise. Even Kucinich started his speech at the Texas State Convention saying something like, "won't it be great with Kerry in the White House." So he too got his ideas on the table, although I wish he had not undermined Dean's support in the process by dividing the peace community. Moseleye Braun was the best though, because she didn't smear people who were in her idealogical camp to pick up votes.

If you think about it, having Nader debate people like Dean and Moseley Braun is a great compromise, because it keeps the issues alive on electoral reform, but at the same time it allows the dems to explain why voting for Nader is political suicide.

Also, it forces the media to give the left more air time to explain their views. And it reinforces the idea that debated ideas are better thought out than half baked presumptions.

As I said in my own blog though, Nader is full of it when he says that you might as well vote Green in securely Republican states like Texas. He knows full well that if we can force Bush to spend money in Texas to defend his turf then that is less money he can spend elsewhere. And in the same way, if Kerry did spend his money in Texas to appease the liberals in Texas, that too is less money he can spend on more achievable states. What would be good is if Kerry could make more pit stops here and charge up the troops rather than just blowing us off. Just to remind the activists that they are important and courageous for taking the positions we have. Etc, etc.

Plus I think considering how much political dialog occurs on the internet these days, I think it's a mistake to assume things stop at borders.

I emailed a question for a New Hampshire debate, and when they asked it, the reporter assumed I was from New Hampshire. Nevermind that it was being televised nationally. But it just goes to show that you can affect politics in neighboring states in the same way that the saudis affect politics from another country or our government can affect things in Iraq. Ideas do not stop at borders.

So I don't think the support for any candidate has an affect that is limited to any region. Furthermore, it is much easier to win with a united front than a divided one.

[PS I have a more detailed account of my opinions about this on my own blog.]