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In Distraction 2004

November 04, 2004

Open Letter to Terry McAuliffe: How to Blame This on Nader

Dear Terry,

First of all, please don’t let the door smack you on the ass on your way out of town. Despite recent evidence of the contrary, it has long been the understanding of those who follow your career at ReverseVoteSwap.org that a party chair is judged not just by how much money he can extort and how effectively he can smash independent left campaigns, but also by the frequency with which he wins elections. While you have certainly proven yourself quite capable at some of your job requirements, your decisive defeat in what should have been the easiest election in decades leaves you looking like a baseball player who is unequaled when it comes to spitting and scratching but doesn’t know which end of the bat to hold.

But before you retire to the dustbin of history, ReverseVoteSwap.org can think of one important area in which we can collaborate. Specifically, we each have a vested interest in publicizing Ralph Nader’s work in pulling serious progressives away from the Democratic party. We, of course, are proud of the votes Nader received in this election; it is less controversial to be a revolutionary socialist right now than it is to have simply pulled the lever for the candidate you agree with, and therefore Nader supporters represent the political core of future movements to defeat you and your GOP cronies.

Conversely, you just really need someone to blame this catastrophe on.

We assume you are currently debating how best to blame Ralph Nader already, despite the fact that you were essentially successful in removing his campaign as a factor this year. We just want to offer some friendly advice, as you are doubtless busy packing up your possessions as you prepare for demotion to the Democrats’ farm team. (You’ve probably heard this already, but have you considered working for the Republicans? We suspect you would fit in equally well with them. They’ll likely be hiring after picking up so many new seats.) Why not try some of our ideas as a time saver?
  1. Nader’s vote total nationally exceeded the difference between Bush and Kerry in Ohio.

    It is true. Nader took more votes from Kerry nationally than Kerry lost to by to Bush in the key swing state of Ohio. If Nader supporters were serious about defeating Bush, they would have all moved to Ohio in time to vote for Kerry, allowing him to win that key swing state! Nader supporters, how can you look yourselves in the mirror?

  2. Kicking Nader off of ballots took away resources that otherwise could have been used to make John Kerry a good candidate.

    It is true. Kicking Nader off of the ballot in Oregon, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, Texas, and elsewhere meant doling out millions to the best-connected, most expensive right wing business lawyers in the land. That money could have been spent trying to make Kerry less terrible. Nader supporters, how can you live with yourselves?

  3. Having a real progressive candidate who clearly wasn’t going to win showed how worthless the choice between Bush and Kerry was and kept progressive voters at home.

    It is true. Ralph Nader’s despicable ego campaign did two things at once. It proved that John Kerry wasn’t a progressive, and when we smashed Nader’s campaign, it showed progressives that building a real left alternative will be a depressingly difficult process. Had Nader not run, thus doing us the double favor of not illustrating how backwards Kerry is and not forcing us Democrats to show what unprincipled things we’re willing to do to smash the left, many depressed progressives likely would have just held their noses and voted Kerry instead of staying home and drinking their troubles away. Nader supporters, how can you be so naïve?

  4. Were it not for Nader, Cobb supporters could have stumped directly for Kerry.

    It is true. Most Cobb supporters really just wanted to support Kerry everywhere, but were embarrassed into running a pseudo-campaign due to Nader’s candidacy. Had Nader not been struggling to build a left alternative, Cobb supporters would not have needed to give lip service to party building, and therefore could have simply worked for Kerry in every state, providing us with a critical edge. Nader supporters, why are you betraying yourselves?

ReverseVoteSwap.org offers blanket permission to use any of these excuses. You don’t even have to give us credit, but we obviously would love to be publicly condemned by you if you should find the opportunity to fit us in while arguing that your party must move even further to the right. We admit that our excuses are a little thin, considering the fact that there is absolutely no reasonable argument to be made that Nader is to blame for your party’s shameful defeat. However, if the Bush administration has taught us anything, it is that in a pinch, a constantly shifting web of contradictory half-truths can stand in for one big lie.

Good luck in your future endeavors. You should look into any openings in the tobacco lobby. They are always looking for slick operators willing to tell people that up is down.


Posted by convener at November 4, 2004 10:41 PM