Nader may run in 2008. Have we learned the lessons? / w. poll

Ralph Nader may just run again this year.  He is hedging his bets, but the signs are there: e.aspx?type=domesticNews&storyID=200 7-02-04T190207Z_01_N04353722_RTRUKOC_0_U S-USA-POLITICS-NADER.xml&WTmodLoc=US NewsHome_C2_domesticNews-1

<WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Former presidential candidate Ralph Nader on Sunday left the door open for another possible White House bid in 2008 and criticized Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton as "a panderer and a flatterer."<br> ...
On whether he would be encouraged to run if Clinton gets the Democratic nomination, Nader said, "It would make it more important that that be the case."
Democratic candidates he likes include former Alaska Sen. Mike Gravel and Ohio Rep. Dennis Kucinich, he said.>

Well, he appears to only like the Democratic candidates who have no shot at winning, just as he has always done ever since he started running for president.  Whether it is Hillary, Edwards or Obama, he'll probably swoop down from his perch and announce another "protest candidacy."  Hey, nothing wrong with that, anyone is entitled to run for president.   BUT, and that is a huge BUT....  whoever votes for Nader is voting for yet another four years, perhaps eight years of conservative GOP presidency, more conservative judges, one, perhaps two more Supreme Court justices selected by a Republican president.

More below the fold...  

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myDD Not Just A Neoconservative Echo Chamber

OK, now that I have your attention, please forgive me for the tagline.  I would like to have some help here.  It seems that there has been a fair bit of discussion on the positions of various candidates for the nomination for president of the Democratic party vis a vis the war in Iraq and now, perhaps more importantly, the impending, hypothetical, war on Iran.

This brings up a matter of policy, or perhaps ethics and values, of the progressive Left, if there still is such a thing, on the subject of the position the US in the world and the relationship which we choose to epitomise in our affairs with other nations in our global community.  Where do we stand?  What is and is not acceptable or desirable for the future of this country, and the world, as our leaders conceive it?  What is the ethos of the progressive Left?  Have we, unsuspectingly, sipped from the forbidden chalice of hubristic neoconservative Kool-Aid?

I do not want to frame this discussion as a champion of some Cloud-Cuckoo-Land utopian ideological wishful thinking.  This is a practical problem of politics, domestic US politics, and the ability to reach out to the constituency, as it stands today, and forge the genuine electoral power to win an election with a mandate that is aligned with the core beliefs and future direction of the electorate and the party.

So here it is, FWIW.  What are the strengths and weaknesses of the following propositions as policy for progressive Democratic candidates in the 2008 election:

1. Unequivocally reject unilateral military attack by the US against soverign powers in the absence of a casus belli and a formal declaration of war by the Congress of the United States.

2. Unequivocally reject the option of a nuclear first strike by the US and re-establish the nuclear alert status of launch-on-warning as the nuclear war policy of the US armed forces.

3. Reassert the existing US committment to the Geneva Conventions of 1949, the writ of habeus corpus and conventions of international law ratified by the United States in respect of the rights of foreign nationals detained by the United States and held under our jurisdiction.

There has always been, in our body politic, and in the hearts of our true allies and beneficiaries, an unwavering faith that the principles which this country was founded on, and which have served us so well through the challenges and obstacles of our history, as abstract and visionary as they once seemed, are the bedrock of this country's greatness.  

Perhaps we need to review those intangible but essential ethical and moral values that have led us to believe that the United States is destined to be great among nations and lead the world by example, something we have perhaps come to take too much for granted, and see if we need to rededicate ourselves to these values once more, however we now conceive them.  This seems to be a process that is renewed in each generation and it may be more than past due.

Your comments and criticisms are are welcomed.

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Who Won Round One?

Consider what took place over the weekend.  Hundreds of future super-delegates to the 2008 convention in Denver, with the ability to vote at that convention, gathered at the DNC convention in Washington. And, of course, these are the movers and shakers of the national Democratic Party.  They can really help you.

As a presidential candidate, here is your FIRST chance to really sell these delegates on you, and your candidacy.  What do you do?  I think the answer is: you give the best speech you can give.  You try to touch them with your words, convince them, and sell them on you, and your candidacy.  Simply put, you want these people to support YOU, not one of those other candidates.  This is really kind of round one in the presidential race.

So...what I wanted to ask the MYDD community is: who do you think gave the best speech to this particular audience?

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John Edwards is Done, But He Doesn't Know It Yet

Cross-posted at

I have been warned that I may be banned from MYDD.COM for expressing this opinion. Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting If so, see the warning and read more opinions like this one at my new Francis L. Holland Blog,

John Edwards, along with Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, says that America needs national health care.  However, John Edwards has made the immense tactical mistake of proposing new taxes to get there. tent/article/2007/02/04/AR2007020400892_ 2.html?sub=AR As a result, now the anti-tax Republicans AND Independents would spend just as much money to defeat Edwards' tax increases as they would to defeat Hillary's womanhood.  Just as Reagan beat Mondale in 1984, a Republican with a "no new taxes" pledge would beat Edwards like an old rug in the 2008 General Election.  Seeing this clearly, Democrats will refuse to nominate Edwards, because even among Democrats new taxes are not that popular.

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Clinton, Netroots and 2008

Right now Hillary Clinton looks to be the presumptive favorite to win the Democratic nomination, and with it, the White House in 2008.  Her pathway forward is fairly clear, and will take a page from 1999 George W. Bush, and push that she is the inevetable winner and that the entire party should get on board and ignore the early February excitement of a fizzling last ditch opponent to her.  The problem for me and people like me, as the Hotline Survey demonstrates, is that the netroots activist class has a very divergent and negative opinion on her. 

I think that she can win the White House, but I also think that she will be at best a mediocre president trapped by her incrementalist and anti-progressive instincts.  Her political instincts rely on slamming her allies to attract marginal support from the fickle and the opposed.  This style works for her, else she would not be a major national political figure, but it does not strengthen the Democratic Party or progressives in general.  For instance, despite spending over thirty million dollars to cruise to a commanding Senate victory in 2006, her campaign was unable to move several swingable House races to good Democratic candidates. 

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