Tuesday, October 16, 2018


Nothing at all shocking about this, really:

Liberal Shock: Ralph Nader Touts Mike Bloomberg 2020

Political activist and Green Party presidential candidate, Ralph Nader, who is known for being tough on Democrats tells Ari Melber it would be good for Mike Bloomberg to run against Trump as a Democrat in 2020, saying “Wall Street is his weakness” but that “he could shake up the Democratic Party”.

Actually Nader doesn't say Bloomberg "could shake up the Democratic Party” -- he says the former mayor "could shake up the Democrat Party.” That comes at the end of the clip above, and I'd be uncertain that I heard it right, but Nader also says "Democrat Party" at 2:14 of the clip. (He slips and says "Democratic Party" earlier, at 1:52.)

Here's what Nader says about Bloomberg (at 4:28):
ARI MELBER: When you look -- you're looking at the next election. Then you see Mike Bloomberg now re-registering as a Democrat. I imagine you view him as a classic corporate politician. He's moving parties based on where he may have a political opportunity. Do you think it would be bad for the Democrats that Mike Bloomberg run or become the nominee?


MELBER: What about Wall Street?

NADER: Wall Street is his weakness. He's for corporate welfare. On the other hand, he's not your routine Wall Street guy. He's an entrepreneur and he thinks for himself. I think he could shake up the Democrat Party. And I think -- 'cause I've known him and talked with him -- I think he rues the day that he didn't run four years ago.
A reminder: Bloomberg's plan that year was to run as an independent. Because he's pro-gun, anti-coal, and fairly socially progressive, he would have taken exactly zero votes from the Republicans, while taking enough votes from Democrats to put New York State (and possibly Connecticut and New Jersey, as well as his birth state, Massachusetts) in play. I guess Ralph Nader thinks that would have been just fine.

Nader says in the clip that the current GOP is "the worst Republican Party in history" (true) and thus easily beatable by a competent opposition (which does not inevitably follow from the first proposition). He doesn't like Trump now. Let's see what he was saying in 2016:
Ralph Nader, the former Green Party presidential candidate and lifelong consumer activist, says Donald Trump's dizzying presidential candidacy hasn't been all bad, while Hillary Clinton is winning the Democratic nomination by "dictatorship."

... in an interview with U.S. News, Nader expressed more positive thoughts about Trump's candidacy than Clinton's.

The liberal activist says Trump has brought some important issues to the fore.

"He's questioned the trade agreements. He's done some challenging of Wall Street – I don't know how authentic that is. He said he's against the carried interest racket, for hedge funds. He's funded himself and therefore attacked special interest money, which is very important," Nader says.
Does Nader fall for Nigerian prince emails, too?

Nader's praise of Bloomberg shouldn't surprise us too much -- remember that the great foe of plutocracy once published a 700-page novel with the title Only the Super-Rich Can Save Us! -- a sentiment which he appeared to express with utter sincerity.

Here's the plot, according to the book's website:
What if a cadre of superrich individuals tried to become a driving force in America to organize and institutionalize the interests of the citizens of this troubled nation? What if some of America's most powerful individuals decided it was time to fix our government and return the power to the people? What if they focused their power on unionizing Wal-Mart? What if a national political party were formed with the sole purpose of advancing clean elections? What if these seventeen superrich individuals decided to galvanize a movement for alternative forms of energy that will effectively clean up the environment? What if together they took on corporate goliaths and Congress to provide the necessities of life and advance the solutions so long left on the shelf by an avaricious oligarchy? What could happen?
What if unicorns ate right-to-work laws and pooped clean energy?

The details of this fantasy are, as one reviewer described them, about as plausible as you'd imagine:
In Mr. Nader's tale, billionaire investor Warren Buffett is so dismayed by the ineffectual and chaotic government reaction to Hurricane Katrina that he hatches a plan to "redirect" American society. He summons a brace of moguls -- Ted Turner, Barry Diller, Ross Perot and George Soros, among others -- to a secret Maui location, along with such celebrities as Bill Cosby, Yoko Ono and Warren Beatty. As they confer together, they find that they all -- surprise! -- agree that Something Must Be Done.

The news media soon dub this cabal, in one of Mr. Nader's typically tin-eared phrases, "the Meliorists." ...

Here ... is an actual passage from "Only the Super-Rich Can Save Us!": "As promised, Ted Turner and Phil Donahue had put their heads together to brainstorm about a mascot for the group's efforts. Ted's thoughts naturally ran along avian lines, and it wasn't long before they hit on the idea of a parrot.... Patriotic Polly hit the airwaves in fifteen-second spots shown on thousands of stations, and it was an immediate smash."
Yeah, that would be a game-changer, right?

I'm with Charlie:

(Portions of this post previously appeared on the blog in May 2016).

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