I’m speaking of Ralph Nader, of course. His decision has already provoked the expected whining from the partisan Democratic types, including former FCC Chairman Reed Hundt:
People can disagree about whether the corrective leader is Clinton, McCain or Obama, yet all but extreme, angry, illogical, and utterly estranged people will agree that Nader has no business again trying to tilt an election in a divided country to someone with whom he surely disagrees, namely, John McCain. So why is the press covering him?
Got that? Only the most “extreme, angry, illogical, and utterly estranged people” could view Nader as anything other than the devil incarnate. Leave it to a former top Clinton bureaucrat to be so sure (and full) of themselves that they can write such partisan tripe. And he continues:
[T]he media should ignore him consistently and firmly. He has no measurable support. He has no credibility on issues. He does not deserve to be on Meet the Press; he does not deserve press coverage of any kind. Only if and when polls show he has a few percent of support might he plausibly deserve mention.
Right, because the media dedicates so much print and airtime to alternative points of view as it is. Why, we can’t let our coverage of Britney Spears’ crotch give way to actual intellectual discussion or coverage of the likes of Ralph Nader or Scott Ritter, or any number of others who question the establishment bipartisan consensus. For the former chief regulator of the public airwaves to adopt the tone of a high school principal while admonishing disobedient reporters for covering anyone outside of the major two parties is revealing, if not at all surprising.
As a commentator at another site pointed out, being a mainstream partisan Democrat means believing two contradictory things simultaneously: that George Bush stole the 2000 election from Al Gore, and that Ralph Nader is a “spoiler” who cost Gore the election. Then again, one shouldn’t expect consistency from people who view the world through partisan eyes, whether as a member of the Blue team or the Red team, and certainly not from the likes of Reed Hundt, who owe their careers to their commitment to partisanship.
Republicans in the late 1990s screamed bloody murder when Clinton bombed Serbia, adopting the most strident of non-interventionist rhetoric. Of course before that time and certainly since, the same Republicans have endorsed bombing everywhere from Tehran to Paris with nary a concern about “policing the world.” And the Democrats have, clearly, been no better. Commitment to principle flies out the door when it’s your team in power.
Anyway, rather than vilify Nader or accept Mr. Hundt’s directive that I dare not speak his name for fear I will be visited by the ghost of Franklin Delano Roosevelt and led on a journey to a mythical Gore-Lieberman (that second name is, conveniently, often dropped by Mr. Nader’s Democratic critics) White House, why not just let the man speak for himself? Or channelling Mike Gravel/John Lennon on “partisan censorship”, why won’t you let Nader say what he wants to say (power to the people)?
So for all of you committed partisans out there, here he is from last Sunday’s Meet The Press: