Friends In High Places

It's always good to know that important people are reading your blog. I had no idea that I had such influence, but here it is:


By Ted Rall


What if the other Democratic candidates came together at a joint press conference to announce that they were dropping out of the race to endorse Dean? If nothing else, cash-starved states would love it--the average primary costs taxpayers $7 million. More to the point, it would save Dean roughly $75 million--enough to close the money gap with Bush.

A more ephemeral but bigger benefit would be the message that a unified Democratic party could send to the electorate. Canceling the primaries would convey that Democrats are no longer a clumsy amalgamation of special interests. We're organized, it would say.

Cancelling elections to save money and send a message of unity is such a good idea. But, you know, it might be better to utton-bay your ips-lay lest the GOP get the same idea about the general election. Course, it's pretty hard to pull that off. Even Saddam had to at least stage elections in order to pretend to have some democratic legitimacy. Maybe we could get Diebold to rig one of those on-line polls for us. That would save money AND allow us to argue that we shouldn't cancel elections as a matter of principle.

Rich or poor, black or white, liberal or conservative, anyone who loves America must set aside their usual biases and prejudices to open their eyes to the truth: Bush is not just a Republican. Not only is his radical "neoconservative" Administration illegitimate, it is neofascist.

Patriots must support the candidate with the best chance of defeating him, whoever he is. That man is Howard Dean.

I've been thinking about this for a while myself. Knowing all we know about George W. Bush, it is not only selfish to support anyone other than Howard Dean. It is, I'm afraid, unpatriotic.

In fact, if I'm not mistaken, I think I see a 5th column forming from within the Democratic party. Ted doesn't come out and say it, but I will. The taint of treason will cling to any candidate who doesn't drop out right now.

The outcome of the Democratic primaries is now a foregone conclusion. Why should Dean and his fellow Democrats waste more than $100 million between them--some estimates rise as high as $150 million--to beat each other up over relatively minor differences of policy and tone? The DNC ought to read the business pages. Ours is an age of monopoly and amalgamation. Bigger wins over better except when better happens to also be big. Divided Democrats can't beat unified Republicans.

Rumor has it that Ralph Nader (news - web sites), whom I respect deeply as a man of integrity and intelligence and for whom I voted in 1996 and 2000, is mulling over another run. Nader should take a pass this time. Just this once, let's pull the left together. We can go back to tearing each other apart in December '04. I promise.

This is a man who knows what he is talking about, so I urge all of the candidates to listen to him. His record proves that he has a keen sense of political strategy and I have no doubt that he is on the right side of history this time too.

Update: Let me make this perfectly clear once and for all. I do not give a flying fuck that Al Gore endorsed Howard Dean. The entire Clinton Gore administration along with Tony Blair and Fidel Castro could endorse him and I wouldn't care. Endorsements are ALWAYS part of the primaries, folks. Take your complaints to that asshole Richard Cohen. I'm making a different argument.

Neither do I hate Al Gore or Howard Dean. I like both of them. And I like Bill Clinton and I like Teddy Kennedy and I like John Edwards. I am a Democrat. Not only will I vote for Dean if he gets the nomination, I will vote for Joe Lieberman if he gets it and I can't stand the guy. I think I am aware of the danger Bush presents.

I could not resist posting this Rall piece because it is seriously promoting something I set forth as satire just 2 days ago. I thought that was particularly ironic coming from a Naderite, but it also reflects a bit of the unpleasantness I've come across recently whenever I write about the primary. I keep getting a whiff of absolutism that I don't think is very productive. I suspect that I am dealing with some young people who are caught up in the moment so I don't pay a whole lot of attention to it.

But, Ted Rall is not a naive young person and his words about patriotism are just as offensive as when the Republicans do it. Democrats can at least agree about that, don't you think?