s; global warming and other ecological degradations; genetically engineered foods without labeling; Occidental Petroleum's plans to drill on the sacred homeland of the U'wa tribe in Colombia; the prison-industrial complex; the widening income gap; sweatshops; the need for mass transit; tobacco industry and its lavish $1,000-a-plate event for "Blue Dog Democrats,"; and the giant media conglomerates. Simply put, the entire agenda for progressive liberal politics. This is wishful thinking. Not because his laundry list is false (though who knows?), but for what it leaves out. For instance, the protesters waving banners for socialism, or the ones who spray-painted "GUNS DON'T KILL PEOPLE - COPS KILL PEOPLE!" Or the California hippies at the Democratic Convention praising Fidel Castro
and handing out Maoist newspapers, or perhaps the Green Party candidates in Missouri standing right next to a smiling Nader and declaring, to a cheering audience:
We always thought Communism would bury us. It's not Communism that's going to bury this country. It is going to be buried -- it's well on it's way -- and it's by capitalism.
When you fail to rebuff supporters who espouse nonsense, when you in fact ascribe coherence to incoherents and pander to them with vague John Reed talk of "workers and peasants," you are not building a pro-democracy movement, you are erecting a political circus tent for unchallenged freaks. It is no wonder that the Far Left bungled so badly after Sept. 11 – so many of the Free Mumia set are unused to their goofy ideas being fact-checked by comrades, let alone noticed by political opponents. Sure, it's not Ralph's duty to correct every mistake he hears, or actively scare off his own meager following. But surely he and his buddies want the Republicans to repudiate their Falwells and Buchanans (which they have done, for the most part); the very least Nader can do in return – unless he's content to forever be the butt of Jon Stewart jokes - is confront his Far Left bungled so badly after Sept. 11 – so many of the Free Mumia set are unused to their goofy ideas being fact-checked by comrades, let alone noticed by political opponents. Sure, it's not Ralph's duty to correct every mistake he hears, or actively scare off his own meager following. But surely he and his buddies want the Republicans to repudiate their Falwells and Buchanans (which they have done, for the most part); the very least Nader can do in return – unless he's content to forever be the butt of Jon Stewart jokes - is confront his own coalition's Castroites.

Posted by at February 14, 2002 01:44 AM
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