Sunday, October 28, 2012

Votes are earned or they're not earned

"Ralph Nader stole Al Gore's votes!"

If you think that dumbness has died, you haven't been to Salon where stupidity is not only welcomed it's encouraged -- hence the columns of Joan Walsh.

When an actual piece of writing that exhibits genuine thought does accidentally make it up at Salon, count on the howler monkeys to descend.  So when Matt Stoller offered his left critique of Barack Obama, it was time for the howler monkeys to distract and to show just how nasty they are in the comments: 

  • Rocket88Salon Core Member
  • Saturday, Oct 27, 2012 07:10 AM CDT
If you want to amend the Constitution to make third parties viable, let me know where to sign up.
Ralph Nader's hands are covered in Iraqi blood.

  • blockhead
  • Saturday, Oct 27, 2012 09:28 AM CDT
So are the hands of people who voted for him in Florida.

Ralph Nader's hands are covered in blood?  Not only that, but so are people who voted for him in Florida?


Those of you who voted for Nader in 2000 outside of Florida are apparently okay.

Even so, that's a whole lot of guilty people.

Ralph Nader didn't steal a single vote in 2000.  This has never been established and it will never be established.  To steal a vote, Nader would have had to have controlled the machines or the count or gone in an voted in Florida under the name of registered voters who then showed up at the polls and were told they couldn't vote because they'd already voted.

That's what stealing a vote entails.

Now people choosing to vote for a candidate?  That's not stealing a vote.

Candidates should earn your vote.  Al Gore struggled in 2000 because he didn't earn the votes needed.  Tennessee was Gore's home state.  He failed to carry it.  His selection of Joe Lieberman turned off huge numbers of voters.

Al Gore's online mistress Bob Somerby loves to play that game, blaming Nader because Gore couldn't run a decent campaign before the election or in the aftermath following an election.

Al Gore owned one and only one vote: His own.

Every other vote, he had to earn.

His failure to earn those votes isn't because of Alexander Cockburn or any of the other people Bob Somerby wants to blame.  The failure goes to the candidate.

It is amazing that Bob Somerby has now spent 12 years battling over the 2000 election when his former college roommate long ago let it go.

Al Gore failed to earn the votes needed to make Florida not be a toss-up.

He and his campaign failed during the recounts as well.

Blaming Nader is stupid because it assumes that Al Gore, because he was on the Democratic Party ticket, was somehow entitled to people's votes.  No.  A candidate must earn support, a candidate must earn votes.

Al Gore ran as a centrist Democrat with a right-wing running mate (Lieberman).

Following 2000, if people had been honest, the Democratic Party might have moved to the left.

But if the problem is that someone 'stole' your votes, you never have to examine why you and your party didn't connect with more voters.

Al Gore's failed campaign (which won the popular vote -- nationally and in Florida) became an attack on Nader precisely so that party officials could continue the rightward movement of the Democratic Party.

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