Tags: Nader's | Exposé

Nader's Exposé

Monday, 23 February 2004 12:00 AM

Ever since the onset of the Age of Embarrassment – i.e., the Clinton Years – the Democratic National Committee has been masquerading as the party of moderation, conscientious horticulturist of the great American middleground.

Surely you remember: New Democrats. Democratic Leadership Council. Triangulation. Third Way. All that happy horse hockey.

The big idea was to convince the electorate that something old was new again, that what still was no longer is. Above all, it was to scoop political kitty litter over the unsightly, odoriferous evidence of the persistent presence of the radical left at the very entrails of the Democratic Party.

It was necessary to expunge from political awareness the nagging memories of electoral disasters led by the ultra-liberal likes of George McGovern, Michael Dukakis, Walter Mondale and Al Gore.

It hasn’t worked. You have to hand them this much, though: Those hard-line leftists are a hardy-perennial species. Beat them fair and square, and they let election results roll from their backs like water off ducks. Pound them into the ground like tent pegs, and next spring there they are, sprouting green again.

The ugly large secret of the Democratic Party nationally is that the very core of its existence, its indispensable constituent base are the left-wing loonies.

That hasn’t always been the case. Woodrow Wilson, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Harry S Truman and John F. Kennedy managed for the most part to keep them on a leash or in the dog house. Under Lyndon B. Johnson, they were allowed back into the White House, along with all their fleas and ticks. And under Bill Clinton, they reappeared, scratching and scooting across the Oval Office carpet.

When he was president, Clinton, who perceived himself the grand navigator of skittering along an imaginary equator somewhere between ideological poles, largely by lacking a true magnetic north of his own other than self-gratification, contented himself with cobbling together his “New Democrat” coalition.

He turned over to his national party chairman McAuliffe the feeding and housebreaking of the crazies. Too bad for the grand ol’ Democratic Party, the leftists were by then rolling in megabucks, and McAuliffe was only too happy to peddle off what was left of the party’s FDR-HST-JFK birthright.

The out-of-sight left under Clinton and McAuliffe steadily gained control of the national Democratic Party apparatus. McAuliffe was too busy playing political auctioneer and Clinton too busy playing, period, to pay much attention. Clinton always did, still does, consider himself above and grander than any political party.

Thanks to Clinton’s crudities, the Democratic Party’s left wing and George W. Bush’s contrasting character and policies, the Republicans began their return to power in 2000 and 2002.

Now it’s 2004, and the country, though still more conservative than liberal, is rather closely divided. Each of the major parties must appeal to substantial segments of the sort-of independent middleground in order to win the presidency and control Congress.

Yet neither party can afford to lose much of its fundamental core in the process of trying to attract from the middle the votes necessary to win.

At this awkward moment, along shambles Nader, announcing he, without burden of the Green Party this time, will be running again for president.

McAuliffe and Co. are going bug-swattin’ nuts. First, they denounce Nader, probably correctly, as an egotist (which anyone running for public office must of necessity be to one degree or another). Then, they try to laugh and giggle him off as of no consequence.

Don’t let them hornswoggle you. None of that washes.

If Nader is inconsequential, then why are Democrats hyperventilating so?

Rickety as he may appear, Nader is still consequential, not yet at his nadir. Democratic geniuses should be hyperventilating. It is entirely possible Nader may siphon off, if even in two or three key states, enough votes on Nov. 2 to assist the reelection of President Bush.

But what does that say of the Democratic Party nationally? It says its essential core – the one block it cannot hope to win without – is the socialist left epitomized by Nader and his true-believers.

The mask is off, thanks to Nader, whose one remaining charm is that he doesn’t seem to mind whose whiskey he adulterates.

When asked by a television reporter for his take on Nader’s resurrection, John Kerry, that quintessential windsock, said he’s not worried: “I intend to appeal to everyone.” (A surefire recipe for appealing to slightly more than no one.)

Kerry, who hijacked Howard Dean’s extremist mantle, and Nader are ideally suited to claw one another for the far-left core of the Democratic Party.

Just wait. With Nader nattering from the anti-capitalist left, Kerry will be listing ever-leftward to out-radical him. What a way that is for the Democratic Party to disappear into the early-November sunset.

Now, if enough of the Deaniacs, with or without their Howard, decide Nader is just what the doctor ordered ….


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Ever since the onset of the Age of Embarrassment - i.e., the Clinton Years - the Democratic National Committee has been masquerading as the party of moderation, conscientious horticulturist of the great American middleground. Surely you remember: New Democrats. Democratic...
Monday, 23 February 2004 12:00 AM
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