Nader and his rightwing “support”

Nader and his rightwing “support”

This is from the NY Times, no less. Are powerful forces now plotting to destroy Nader by smearing him with stories of him buddying up the rightwing to get on ballot? Absolutely. And since Nader is, in fact, doing just that, he is providing them with way too much ammunition. Within a few short weeks, he may well be smoking rubble.

Odd alliances form in efforts to place Nader on the ballot

Democrats have sued to keep Mr. Nader off the ballot in Arizona and Illinois and may be planning a similar challenge in Texas, but Republicans and some conservative groups in Oregon, Arizona and Wisconsin are feverishly, if not cynically, mobilizing to get him on ballots in those states in a drive to siphon votes from the likely Democratic nominee, Senator John Kerry.

In Wisconsin, a conservative group said it was preparing to follow Oregon’s example, by urging Republicans to sign petitions when Mr. Nader’s signature drive begins next month.

And a nonpartisan group has filed complaints against this.

And on Wednesday, a political watchdog group, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics, filed a complaint with the Federal Election Commission, saying the two Oregon conservative groups — Citizens for a Sound Economy and the Oregon Family Council — were violating federal campaign laws with their actions on behalf of Mr. Nader, which amounted to illegal campaign donations.

Citizens for a Sound Economy even has a phone script to aid in getting Nader on the Oregon ballot so as to “split” the Democrats.

“He’s grasping at straws,” Ross K. Baker, a professor of political science at Rutgers University, said of Mr. Nader’s alliance with the Reform Party, which drew most of its votes in the last three presidential elections from disaffected Republicans. “It suggests that this is somebody acting with a degree of desperation. He has a drive to run that propels him, irrespective of the consequences. He risks appearing to be a figure of ridicule.”

The sharks of the Democratic world, refreshed after their little snack at the Green Party convention, are heading straight for Nader now. I doubt he will survive.

I find the events of the past few days; the David Cobb nomination and takeover of the Green Party by the DemoGreens, his VP candidate saying she may well vote for Kerry, and Nader’s embarrassing , dare I say “degrading”, alliance with the rightwing to get votes, to be sad and depressing. More than a few Green activists are shell-shocked by all of this. They see years of work and dreams just vaporizing.

But then, this is an unusually turbulent political time, even for an election year, and sometimes things can turn around fast. Opportunities can appear out of chaos. Let’s hope so.