The Rittenhouse Review

A Philadelphia Journal of Politics, Finance, Ethics, and Culture

Tuesday, July 06, 2004  

Together With Media Miscellany

John, John [*]
Some redundant blogging. Sen. John F. Kerry has selected his running mate: Sen. John Edwards (D-N.C.). But you knew that already. I knew it hours ago. I got the e-mail.

A pretty good choice, I think. Certainly beats the hell out of former Sen. Al Gore’s dubious selection four years ago, though that’s setting the bar rather low. (Of course, Sen. Kerry’s nod to Sen. Edwards requires the approval of the Democratic National Convention. Ha ha, as they say.)

It’s inevitable, so I’ll say it now, just to get it out: “Vote for John John!”

Predictable Punditizing [*]
Sen. Kerry has won the backing of the National Education Association. Prepare for the high priests and priestesses of the right-wing puditocracy, the non-teaching likes of George Will, Hilton Kramer, Phyllis Schlafly, Linda “What Did I Know? I Can’t Speak Spanish.” Chavez, Michelle Malkin and, of course, Paul Gigot, to go berserk. More than usual, I mean.

O.! [*]
New York Times columnist Frank Rich catches Oprah Winfrey engaging in a bit of “index checking” with former President Bill Clinton’s memoirs (see second paragraph).

Tom Tomorrow [*]
Read Tom Tomorrow today. At Salon (subscription or day pass required).

That Barack Obama Article
I finally remembered where I read the article about U.S. Senate candidate Barback Obama, Democrat of Illinois, that I mentioned here on June 22. It was in the New Republic, of all places: “Race Against History,” by Noam Scheiber (posted at May 24; issue date: May 31). [Subscription required. (No, I don’t subscribe to the New Republic; I read a friend’s copy.)]

Nader’s Desperation
Norman Solomon, writing in the Baltimore Sun (“Nader Adrift,” July 1), offers commentary on the desperate and selfish tactics of Ralph Nader without really bashing the Green Party:

Presidential candidate Ralph Nader is standing on a bar of soap in a political rainstorm. Midway through 2004, while his electoral base shrinks, one of the great American reformers of the 20th century is drifting out to sea.

When the Green Party’s national convention refused to endorse Mr. Nader for president a few days ago, the delegates were not rejecting his strong anti-corporate and pro-democracy politics. On the contrary, the convention was acting on the basis of such principles. Greens from every region of the country recognized that Mr. Nader -- proudly unaccountable to any institution but himself -- has steered his campaign into a steadily worsening tangle of contradictions.

Activists struggling to build a viable Green Party with a truly democratic process found that Mr. Nader preferred to remain aloof. Four years ago, he was the party’s presidential nominee but declined to become a member. This time, he ruled out accepting the Green nomination. But he did express a desire for the party’s “endorsement” -- and its ballot lines in two dozen states.

Mr. Nader promised no accountability for his campaign. In the driver’s seat, with hands tight on the steering wheel, he offered to take the Greens for a ride. […]

Mr. Nader’s credibility is at a new low after sinking steadily this year.

“I’m going to take more votes away from Bush than from Kerry," he claims. Yet the overwhelming majority of polls say just the opposite. And by selecting a vice presidential candidate who will be anathema to conservatives, Mr. Nader indicated that defeating Mr. Bush is actually quite low on his list of priorities.

Nearing the conclusion of his essay, Solomon offers his own personal -- and very good -- reasons for turning his back on Nader.

(Thanks to reader H.F. of Daylesford, Victoria.)

[* Note: Additional items may be posted to “Political Notes” after initial publication but only on the day of publication, excluding post-publication addenda. Such items, when posted, are designated by an asterisk.]

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