[sixties-l] Re: Hitchins on Nader

From: Michael Rossman (mrossman@igc.org)
Date: 11/21/00

  • Next message: Tom Nagy, Ph.D.: "Re: [sixties-l] Date: Mon, 20 Nov 2000 20:40:29 -0500"

    >   "Neil Friedman"  wrote:
    > I distrust the use of a complicated anaysis to disprove the obvious. What
    > the Nader candidacy did was take over 78,000 votes in Florida. If Nader had
    > not been on the ballot, Gore would be president.
    Can simplistic analysis "prove" the "obvious"? At the moment, it appear that
    Gore will win; so blaming Nader for his defeat is moot. But if Gore loses,
    who's to blame? Gore suipporters' stupidity, in not properly instructing
    masses of voters they turned out in how to cast ballots, apparently cost Gore
    at least 15,000 votes. Gore advisors' stupidity, simply in so distancing his
    candidacy from Clinton, clearly cost him many more in Florida alone. So did
    their stupidity in otherwise muting and center-izing his campaign. Gore's
    stiffness and cowardice (need I explain?) likewise cost him enough votes to
    swing Florida, and other close states lost to Bush.  
    I imagine others can point to yet more factors as decisive. How then are we to
    rank them, in assigning blame for a (putative) Gore defeat? The urge to blame
    it first or foremost on Nader is clearly a political choice and projection --
    to my mind either thoughtless or despicable. If Gore loses, his own campaign
    will be chiefly and centrally responsible. What then do Friedman, and others
    thinking similarly, stand _for_ when they turn their eyes from Gore-Co.'s
    failures outward to pin the blame on Nader -- i.e., on a candidacy
    representing a genuine effort and committment to (begin again to try to) break
    out of the bipartisan box? Rather than rational analysis, this position seems
    to me in general to reflect self-serving defensiveness about having chosen not
    simply to vote for Gore rather than Nader, but also to actively urge others to
    do so -- in short, to campaign actively against any effort to break out of the
    box. This is retrograde politics rather than progressive, no matter how
    earnestly one construes its relatively-near-term consequences for the Supreme Court.
    	Michael Rossman  <mrossman@igc.org>

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