July 06, 2012

On Second Thought, It Is All Nader's Fault

One of the more pathetically transparent and easily refuted lies told by committed Democratic tribalists is that the outcome of the 2000 election was all Ralph Nader's fault. The more idiotic Democratic partisans will proclaim that, if only that rotten Ralph hadn't selfishly and stupidly siphoned votes from the messianic Albert of Gore, Saint Al would have ascended to the White House on gossamer wings, the U.S. never would have gone to war in Iraq, American dependence on oil would have been swept away by the windmills of our minds, we would have rediscovered and recommitted ourselves to "true" American values (which have nothing to do with anything the U.S. has actually done, mind you, but are to be found in the record of the fantasy United States brewed in the shallower pools of the stagnant minds of these professional delusionists), the world would have been born anew -- and every single one of us would have our own adorable puppy dog along with a fucking rainbow.


I've made the arguments set forth in the linked article many times myself over the years, too many times over too many years. I'm not going to make them any longer.

For all I know, Nader himself may well believe he's the reason Gore lost. Why do I say that? Because Nader believes several massive boatloads of unmitigated shit.

I am not going to be the only person who must spend half an hour cleaning vomit from his keyboard. So please accompany me on this brief tour of the tortured byways of what passes for Nader's mind. He begins thusly:
If the Democrats in Congress were all drinking water from the same faucet, there might be a clue to their chronic fear of the craven and cruel corporatist Republicans who dominate them.

But they don’t, so we have to ask why their fear, defeatism, and cowering behavior continues in the face of the outrageous GOP actions as the November election approaches.
Keep in mind that the purpose of Nader's column is to "save" the Democrats from what he perceives as self-immolation. One might wonder why he believes such a desultory group of gutless, fear-ridden maggots can be "saved" at all. The only reason that he offers is that they still call themselves "Democrats." How marvelously subtle and unexpected.

Nader's next paragraph might erroneously lead you to believe that he intends to get to the real problem:
The explanations go back some years. The Democrats have long receded from the Harry Truman days of “give ‘em hell, Harry”. But their political castration occurred in the late seventies when the Democrats were persuaded by one of their own, Congressman Tony Coelho (D-Calif.), to start aggressively bidding for corporate campaign cash.
Ah, so perhaps the Democrats began to pursue an agenda that was notably friendly to corporate interests? But Nader immediately abandons this line of inquiry, to return to the reliable theme of irredeemably loathsome Republicans who "torture" Democrats. No wonder the poor Democrats are dominated by fear and weakness: they're "tortured daily"!

And then we read a paragraph that reduced me to open-mouthed astonishment. Nader intends the following as an indictment of "the unpopular agendas pitched by these Wall Street puppets" -- by which he means "Republican leaders." This is the paragraph:
One would think that politicians who side with big corporations would be politically vulnerable for endangering both America and the American people. These corrupt politicians promote corporate tax loopholes and side with insurance and drug companies on costly health care proposals. They defend the corporate polluters on their unsafe workplaces, dirty air, water and contaminated food, push for more deficit spending in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, neglect Main Street based public works-repair-America-jobs programs, support high-interest student loans, cover for oil industry greed at the pump, and are hell-bent on taking the federal cops off the corporate crime beats.
There is one slight problem with this analysis: it perfectly describes the Democrats' program. The abominable -- and now constitutional! -- health "care" bill was championed not by Boehner or Cantor, but by Barack Obama. The wars in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia, Libya, and on and on are prosecuted by the Obama administration. The same is true of every item in Nader's list.

Moreover, the program of systematic assassination by secret decree is not the invention of George W. Bush, but of Barack Obama. As I have noted many times before, this program represents the assertion of absolute power. Absolute power has been claimed and is fervently supported by Democrats. For any semi-decent human being, this should kill the Democratic Party until such time as it renounces the murder program fully and repeatedly, and then acts over a period of years to demonstrate that its renunciation is genuine.

I consider it impossible that Nader just happens to miss these points. I am forced to conclude that either he is now willing to lie across the board, including on every matter of the gravest significance, or he has become the victim of his chosen self-delusions to a degree that renders his brain non-functional in any meaningful sense. See my recent post on self-made stupidity and blindness for more on the latter point.

The column is remarkably and childishly confused. Strewn among the formulaic denunciations of "extremist" Republicans is this admission: "Unfortunately, on military and foreign policy there isn’t much of a difference [between the parties]. So the bright line will have to be on domestic issues."

But a few paragraphs later, Nader writes:
There are plenty of bright-line issues for the Democrats. Get tough on Wall Street and corporate crime, protect pensions, end the wars, tax the corporate and wealthy tax-escapees, launch community-based public works programs, provide full Medicare for all, expand health and safety programs, to name a few.
Given his own admission, why in the world does Nader include "end the wars" on this list? But it is equally delusional to believe the Democrats will adopt any of the programs he identifies. To the contrary: the Democrats have provided voluminous evidence demonstrating that they feverishly oppose all such programs.

In brief, and as I have also said many times before, the Democrats act as they do because they are pursuing the programs and goals they want to pursue. The evidence is all around us, in the mangled, bleeding bodies of countless victims abroad, and in the increasingly desperate lives of more and more Americans at home. All a person has to do is open his eyes and look at it.

This is precisely what Nader and all those who have similar beliefs refuse to do. Once again, from five goddamn years ago:
[The explanation] is very simple, and it goes to the progressives' central articles of religious faith: The Democrats aren't really like this, not in their heart of hearts. The Democrats don't actually favor a repressive, authoritarian state. The Democrats are good, and they want liberty and peace for everyone, everywhere, for eternity, hallelujah and amen.

People who continue to believe this have evicted themselves from serious political debate, and they have willingly made themselves slaves to their enthusiastically embraced self-delusions. They confess a comprehensive ignorance of history, a stunning inability to understand the political developments of the last century, and a desire to place the story they have chosen, primarily because it flatters their own false sense of vanity and self-worth, above every relevant fact.
So you know what I think, Ralph? Not only do I now think it's your fault that Gore lost the 2000 election, I think that every terrible thing that has happened in the last half century is your fault!

I also know that it's your fault I can't lose 20 pounds. You bastard.

From now on, when idiot Democrats blame you for what are manifestly their own failures, you can defend yourself if you choose to. Good luck with that. You'll need it.