Thursday, August 21, 2008

I Hate The War

* One of the dumbest things I've seen was a panel with that chick from the Nation, Kristen van Whatever, at Emily’s List. It was the day that Dean finally -- FINALLY -- said something about the sexist media coverage, after Hillary had conceded of course and when she referenced it as if this was some great thing, Dean's name got booed. She seemed surprised by it and asked if it was about Florida and Michigan. It clearly was not. Finally, someone explained to her that it was because Dean had sat silent until the primary was over and then acted like he suddenly discovered the sexism. To her credit, Salon's Rebecca Traister knew exactly why women were angry with Dean and the party and said that one of the things that needed to be discussed was how not all of the misogyny came from the media and the right and why it was only after Hillary conceded that the sexism could be discussed at all.

The above is from BDBlue's "A New Agenda" (Corrente Wire) and Katrinket vanden Heuvel continues to receive 'raves.' So Katrinket couldn't grasp how offensive the sexism was? That's only surprising if you haven't read the waste of time journal she is editor and publisher of.

The Nation? Hmmm. July 2007:

"Are You A Writer For The Nation? If so, chances are you must have a penis"
"Are You A Writer For The Nation? If so, chances are you have a penis"
"Are You A Writer For The Nation? If so, chances are you have a penis"
"Are You A Writer For The Nation? If so, chances are you have a penis"
"Are You A Writer For The Nation? If so, chances are you have a penis"
"Are You A Writer For The Nation? If so, chances are you have a penis"
"Are You A Writer For The Nation? If so, chances are you have a penis"
"Are You A Writer For The Nation? If so, chances are you have a penis"
"Are You A Writer For The Nation? If so, chances are you have a penis"
"Are You A Writer For The Nation? If so, chances are you have a penis"

From that article:

As Ava and C.I. noted in real time, and as Ruth noted this spring, that is where you would find a book 'review' by centrist Peter Bergen entitled "Waltzing With Warlords" which allegedly would address three books: Sarah Chayes' The Punishment of Virtue: Inside Afghanistan After the Taliban; Ann Jones' Kabul In Winter: Life Without Peace in Afghanistan; and Rory Stewart's The Places in Between. Page wise, the smallest of three was the one written by Rory Stewart in . . . 2004. Reviewed for the January 2007 issue, a 2004 book. [An expanded version was published in May of 2006. Still far too old to qualify for a review in a January 2007 issue.] Why include a book that was three years old at this point? One of the many puzzling questions pertaining males the magazine has consistently raised in the last six months.

Our guess is when you want to cook the book 'review' against women, you'll go to any lengths. Centrist and pig Bergen opens his alleged book review reflecting on the obvious image for a war-torn Afghanistan:

I open it and step into a world far removed from the dust-blown avenues of Kabul, where most women wear burqas and the vast majority of the population live in grinding poverty.At one end of a long room is a well-stocked bar tended by a Chinese madam who assesses us with a practiced calculus. In front of her are more than a dozen scantily clad smiling young Chinese women sprawled over a series of bar stools and couches.

What does that have to do with the three books? Not a damn thing. But Bergen wants his jollies and apparently feels everyone needs to know that he visits bordellos. How proud his parents must be! His former classmates, probably not at all surprised.

Having set the (low-brow) tone, Bergen quickly rushes to explain not all women, apparently, know their place. No, apparently, some women reach beyond their 'natural' abilities such as Chayes and Jones, both of whom are too 'emotional' to write about Afghanistan.

Bergen finds Chayes "angry," "disillusioned," prone to "a smidge of self-congratulations" and not at all trust worthy (". . . we have to take Chayes's word for it"). Bergen finds Jones even more of the text book example of the female 'hysteria' noting that she fell for "trope," that she, too, is "angry" (we're guessing most women Bergen encounters are angry and that Bergen can find the reason for that just by looking in the mirror), that she suffers from a "tendency to see sinister conspiracies where they don't exist" (so irrational, those women), and much more! The funnin' never stops for Bergen.

Then it's time to turn to the male writer and all the troubles with (women) writers go out the window as Bergen informs us of "Stewart's beautifully written book," offering "picaresque stories, of adventures on the road is a critical point that is often overlooked by Westerners with dreams of transforming Afghanistan into a place where women enjoy equal rights" (killjoys!), "skeptical" (as opposed to the "disillusioned" Chayes), "erudite" and so, so much more.

The book 'review' is nothing but a pig going Oink-Oink-Oink! For those who know no better, Sarah Chayes is a Harvard graduate and a professional reporter who left NPR to live in Afghanistan and work to improve conditions in that country. While she was doing that, Bill Moyers didn't find her 'emotional' and, in fact, had her on as a guest for a lengthy segment of what was then Now with Bill Moyers where she spoke with David Branccacio. Journalists, including Amy Goodman, have interviewed Chayes since she has written her book and we're aware of no on air meltdowns.

In fact, most feel Chayes, a professionally trained and respected journalist, is a reliable source for what she observed with her own eyes while in Afghanistan. To assist gas bag Bergen, what Chayes does is considered reporting. That may be confusing in a new world disorder where 'reporters' are encouraged to run with official statements and give them complete weight -- even when they contradict with the journalist's own observations. Who, what, where, when -- the journalism basics -- are what Chayes covers and Bergen can't handle that kind of reality (from a woman) so he has to point out that, in a first-hand recounting, we [gasp!] are dependent upon the author's observations.

Ann Jones has contributed to The Nation before and, we're sure, is quite aware that there is no more damning phrase from that magazine than being said to possess "a tendency to see conspiracy theories." That is The Nation's equivalent of "Your mother!"

Not only is Jones an author, she's also a journalist and photographer -- with a doctorate as opposed to Bergen's B.A. and, we're sure, the B.S. he's more than earned from years of gas baggery. As for her alleged conspiracy theories, Nation Books only bestsellers, both by Gore Vidal, also argue the (true) narrative that, in the 90s, a proposed pipeline in Afghanistan trumped all other concerns for the US government. That's not a controversial theory to anyone but pigs who 'reported' for commercial TV 'journalism' (which is where Bergen hails from -- the lowest of all forms of journalism). Those not late to the party (that would be feminists) were calling out Afghanistan in the 90s while paid lobbyists were presenting PG-friendly versions of the country to Americans. Jones knows what she's writing about. Gore Vidal knows what he's writing about. The only one lost, intentionally or not, is Peter Bergen. [The February 25, 2007 "The Nation Stats" notes that Jones weighed in with a letter and that Bergen elected to ignore the bulk of it.]

That a three page plus book 'review' trafficking in the worst forms of sexism raised no flags to those in charge of the magazine goes a long, long way towards explaining how readers ended up with the first six months of The Nation this year.

Katrinket vanden Heuvel's magazine (that she edits and publishes) managed to make it through the first six months of 2007 and it published 255 male bylines and 74 female ones during that time. The Nation tried to pre-empt the article by rushing out an e-mail saying they were aware of the problem and that they were fixing it. Oh really? Before that article went up at all community sites, The Nation knew of the problem and was fixing it? Well then the second half of 2007 should have found a marked improvement; however, that's not what happened, now is it?

"The Nation featured 491 male bylines in 2007 -- how many female ones?" asked The Third Estate Sunday Review. The answer: 149. This happened while Katrinket was trying to get credit for being a female editor and publisher. And it was just as bad in 2006 which is why we ended up covering the issue to begin with.

It's not a minor issue. When Katrinket thinks she can get away with that crap, even after The Nation's e-mailing mid-way through 2007 saying they know about the problem (and trying to kill the article) and her magazine makes no effort to improve the number of female bylines published, you're dealing with a Queen Bee. A woman who defines "female success" as "I got mine."

So the hostility she and others at The Nation aimed at Hillary non-stop in 2008 shouldn't have been a surprise to anyone paying attention.

Katrinket likes to pretend she gives a damn about other women in her writing (when not using her writing to define testicles as the source of the strength). So it's no surprise that uber trash Katrinket not only encouraged the trashing of Hillary (never forget, she farmed out her coffee-fetcher to Barack's campaign where he is the official campaign blogger). She, Betsy Reed, Laura Flanders and other 'strong' women felt the best way to attack Hillary was always to question her womanhood. Let's break it down for Katrina who may be confused (she does think testicles are the measure for strength -- any Crying Game secret you need to share, vanden Heuvel?): Hillary is a woman. She is not transgendered. She is 100% woman. Barack, whom The Nation insisted repeatedly was "Black" is, in fact, bi-racial. And the divide there is 50% Black and 50% White. They never questioned the role they assigned him but they repeatedly questioned the gender of Hillary.

As late as June 4th, Katrinket was wanting to insist, "The women of The Nation are the first to deplore the sexism in media commentary this primary season". In what world? Katrinket started out 2007 printing a 'book review' that slammed two women in the most stereotypical terms and the 'book review' opened with a trip by the male pig to a bordello. That should have said a lot. But as for "the women of the Nation" (yeah, Katrina makes it sound like they've just shot their Playboy spread -- her idea of 'classy') . . .

Self-loathing lesbian Laura Flanders never called out Barack's use of homophobia in South Carolina. What's a few gay bashing incidents that could arise from that when she's found a man to love? It wasn't enough for her to lust over Barack, she also had to rip apart Hillary. She did that by lying and distorting Hillary's record. She did that by pretending Hillary spoke out in the 90s for women and never said another word when, in fact, Hillary was calling attention to what was being done to Iraqi women in the first year of the illegal war. There's much more to list but the point is Flanders whored for her man. As a lesbian, it may have been a first for her. It was not a 'last.' She showed up on KPFA, where she refused to inform listeners that she (like all other guests on that two-hour 'analysis' of the Texas debate) had publicly endorsed Barack Obama. But that 'woman of the Nation' did find time to twice refer to Hillary's laugh as, yes, a "cackle." How very 'feminist' of Laura Flanders. At what point does she plan to apologize? Vast Left is calling Rachel Maddow out at Corrente and Maddow needs to be called out. But Laura Flanders shamed herself. And thinks she can walk unscathed. And thinks she can get away without taking accountablity for her actions. And get away with being this century's Rose Marie. Good news, America, Sally Rogers finally landed herself a man!

There's Betsy Reed, Katrinket's jug-eared Queen Bee running mate. Bitsy showed up in May with what will no doubt be the title of her own life story, "Race to the Bottom." In it, Bits pulled Katrinket's trick of pretending to acknowledge sexism briefly. Both women refused to call out Nation cover boy Keith Olbermann. Strange, wasn't it?

Like the tired, musty relic that she is, Bits couldn't really acknowledge sexism. She had to trash women who did (Robin Morgan, Gloria Steinem -- Flanders also trashed Robin) and put forward the idea that an "oppression sweepstake" was being played out. That would be by the "Gypsies, Tramps and Thieves" at The Nation and many other outlets. But it was the "GTT" of The Nation who started it with their non-stop claims of racism and, in fact, their defining a bi-racial man as "Black" in order to forever play the race card. Remember it was early 2007 when Professor Patti Williams tried to lie on KPFA that Barack voted against the Iraq War and remember how nasty and rude she got when she was pulled away from her non-stop recitation of "First Black Man To Be President Of The Harvard Law Review!" because a caller with a MidEastern accent dared to point out that Barack wasn't in the US Senate in 2002. Remember how Professor Patti snarled? They decided long before the election where they were going. It was Katrinket that paired Barack's campaign with Facebook and did so via the 'institute' she runs on.

Bits is nothing but a liar. An unwanted liar, to be sure. (Ha, ha, Betsy, heard about it! Laughed at you! Now passing it on to everyone I know!) But she is a little liar, a little lying sack of s**t and that's all she ever be. So of course, in her lie filled column, she felt the need to 'source' herself via ULTIMATE LIE FACE Melissa Harris-Lacewell.

For those not in the know (click here), Amy Goodman invited her roll dog Melissa Harris-Lacewell on Democracy Now! and some of you are saying, "Yes, she ripped into Gloria Steinem." Yes, there was that set-up, where Amy and Melissa plotted ahead of time and Amy flat-out lied to Gloria about what she was walking into (Gloria does not participate in anything that can be viewed as a cat-fight -- sad news for Goody because when Gloria caught on to what was actually going down, she remained calm and allowed Melissa to disgrace herself even more than usual). But before Melissa showed up for that grudge f**k, she had been the week prior. That's right, Melissa Harris-Lacewell who would brag about being part of Obama's campaign during her attempted attack on Gloria, was on Democracy Now! the week prior. And, wouldn't you know it, she found time to praise Barack. Understand, she just happened to catch his speech in New Hampshire. Or that's the LIE Amy Goodman and Melissa wanted the audience to believe. It is unethical for someone with a campaign to go on a broadcast and talk up their candidate without revealing to the audience that the person speaking is part of the campaign. But LIE FACE LACEWELL thought she could get away with it and so did Amy Goodman. That was a HUGE ethical breach. And it's what's harmed Goody's show with NPR because that little stunt is against NPR guidelines -- NPR's written, ethical guidelines. Goody tried to play like she didn't know anything about it. But prior to having LIE FACE on the show the first time, she'd joined LIE FACE on Jesse Jackson's show and she knew Melissa.

So it's hilarious that Bits wants to cite Melissa Harris-Lacewell as reputable.

[For those late to the party, in March, LIAR LACEWELL would top that moment. She'd go on PBS' Charlie Rose. All other panelists would be reporters. Melissa was billed as a professor. Not only did she never disclose -- nor did Charlie -- that she was with Barack's campaign, not only did she float the treat of a 'brown-out' if Barack didn't get the nomination, she also took it upon herself to talk about how 'some people' were upset with Tavis Smiley. She left out the part where she launched those attacks with her blog post "Who Died And Made Tavis King?"]

But that's the lying crowd a jug-eared, sad woman has to run with. She lies because she is so very pathetic. Which is how she includes this:

A mere three days after Obama spoke those words, Bill Clinton made this statement in North Carolina about a potential Clinton-McCain general election matchup: "I think it'd be a great thing if we had an election year where you had two people who loved this country and were devoted to the interest of this country. And people could actually ask themselves who is right on these issues, instead of all this other stuff that always seems to intrude itself on our politics." Whether or not this statement constituted McCarthyism, as one Obama surrogate alleged [. . .]

Obama surrogate? I seem to remember Bill Ayers' brother screaming "McCarthyism!" from Aging Socialite's Cat Litter Box. Do you really want to go there, Betsy? Do YOU really want to go there? Media Matters called out what Bitsy's floating nonsense when Chris Matthews floated it previously.

She also lies (and tries to play a race card) by doing what The Nation did repeatedly -- claiming the only ones who supported Hillary were White. Gary Younge couldn't tell the truth in The Nation (or at the mag's website) but writing for the UK's Socialist Review in July, he could let a little slip out. From the July 29th snapshot:

Writing for the UK's Socialist Review, Young's Obama-devotion is not rushed to maximum high and includes the following:

"[Obama] is being consumed as the embodiment of colour blindness," Angela Davis, professor of history of consciousness at the University of California, Santa Cruz, told me last year. "It's the notion that we have moved beyond racism by not taking race into account. That's what makes him conceivable as a presidential candidate. He's become the model of diversity in this period... a model of diversity as the difference that makes no difference. The change that brings no change." Finally, he did not build a multi-racial coalition but a bi-racial one. Clinton's base has been erroneously portrayed as simply the white working class and older white women. But in California Latinos and Asian-Americans went much more heavily for Clinton than whites did and made her victory possible. The same was true with Latinos in Texas. Indeed the only state where Obama won the Latino vote was his home state of Illinois. And even then by just 1 percent.

Gary Younge, has it been erroneously reported? Yeah and you certainly did your part to PUSH THE LIE in your other two outlets.

The two outlets were The Nation and the Guardian of London -- both party organs. They couldn't tell the truth in The Nation. Maybe that's a good thing? If you remember, Amy Goodman devoted a lengthy segment to smearing Puerto Ricans as racists after Hillary won the primary there. So maybe it's a good thing that The Nation just stuck with, "Hillary's support is all White!"?

Women of the Nation, Katrinket? There's Katha Pollitt who found time to twice call out sexism in the Democratic primaries. Twice. Katha must have worked up a sweat on that. Poor thing. Twice she had to do her damn job. The job that wrongly has her credited as a 'leading feminist' when all she is a sad, sad woman, the Charlotte Rae den mother to the push-up bra 'feminist' set.

Which brings up back to Katrinket and her 'women of the Nation' column which CBS re-posted and which, as Ava and I pointed out, no surprise, got a lot of sexist pigs in the comments cheering Katrinket on with lines like, "Maybe if she" Hillary "did a Playboy spread she could get some votes." That is the audience for Katrina's crap. It's the audience for the crap that all the women and men produced at The Nation. Are we supposed to forget John Nichols attempting to spread a fasle rumor and claiming he was researching it and would have more soon? (Barack's campaign told Canada not to worry about Barack's NAFTA talk. When caught, his groupies went into overtime. John Nichols went to Canada and showed up on Democracy Now! to smear Hillary with a false rumor that she was the one doing the talking. Johnny Five-Cents never had a follow up because there was none. He's never retracted nor apologized for his lie.)

Katrina dispatched her minions to go after Hillary. The same way she used an intern to scrub her Wikipedia entry of the references to her father's past spying career. (Katrina, tell your interns not to use the same handle they use on their MySpace page. It was very easy to track down after friends at the magazine gave a heads up to how you were using the interns.) She's a liar, she's a public liar. Her resume (that she oversaw) includes the lie that she won an award from Planned Parenthood. No, she did not. The award went to The Nation magazine. She was not singled out on the ballot nor when the award was handed out. She did not win an award from Planned Parenthood, the magazine did. But she insists upon claiming she otherwise to this day.

To make it as clear as possible, here is the lie still posted in her Nation bio: "She is a recipient of Planned Parenthood's Maggie Award for her article, 'Right-to-Lifers Hit Russia'." Here are the 1994 Maggie winners (from Planned Parenthood's site):

The Nation magazine for "Eastward, Christian Soldiers! Right-to-Lifers Hit Russia"
Concord Monitor (NH) for series "Sex Education -- Teen Realities"
Chicago Tribune for series "Saving Our Children: When Kids Have Kids"
Concentric Media and KTEH-TV for When Abortion Was Illegal: Untold Stories
Home Box Office for Talking Sex: Making Love in the '90s
KSBW-TV for Not Me: Innocence in the Time of AIDS
WBBR 1130 AM for "Condom-Phobics"

Katrina did not win that award, The Nation magazine was given that award. When the Maggies want to note an individual, they do so. Such as:

Teen People magazine for coverage of our issues
Mike Peters for cartoons supporting reproductive health and rights issues
Natalie Marie Angier for Woman: An Intimate Geography
Judy Mann for columns covering our issues
NBC-TV for 3rd Rock from the Sun -- "Sex and the Sally" episode
MTV/Kaiser Family Foundation for True Life: I Need Sex RX
The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation for their website,
NBC-TV for The West Wing -- pilot episode
Ani DiFranco for "Hello Birmingham"
Eve Ensler for The Vagina Monologues
John Irving/Miramax Films for The Cider House Rules

Or, in 1997: "The Washington Post for a series of cartoons on family planning, legislation, and abortion rights by Herb Block." Or 1996, "The Nation magazine for Katha Pollitt's columns on the abortion issue." Or 1992: "The Washington Post for series of cartoons on family planning and legislation by Herb Block." Or 1990, "San Francisco Examiner for series of columns on reproductive rights issues by Suzanne Salter." The 1995 award went to the magazine, not to Katrina vanden Heuvel. By Katrina's logic, Sandra Bullock should begin billing herself as an Oscar winning actress because Crash won the Oscar for Best Picture.

One of the biggest laughs on Bette Davis was her lie that she was nominated for Of Human Bondage. She was not. But she managed to repeat that lie over and over and no one bothered to check. After Bette repeated that lie for decades (as a two time Best Actress winner, there was no need for her to repeat a lie about a nomination), Joan Crawford finally got sick of it and began correcting the record with reporters in the seventies. It was very embarrassing to Bette but, like Katrina, she had no one to blame but herself because there was never a reason to lie and, sooner of later, someone was bound to check it out.

The award went to The Nation magazine. It did not go to Katrina. It's a sad and telling lie about someone who's ego runs wild and is so insecure that she must repeatedly claim to have won an award that was awarded to the magazine.

Katrinket vanden Heuvel is a Queen Bee. She's not going to make space for women (when you run 491 male bylines in one year and only 149, it's very obvious that you're not interested -- even remotely -- in equality). That topic was dumped us and only after female writers had taken the problem to a number of outlets in 2006 and all took a pass on covering the issue. Katrina's got a vagina, it doesn't make her a feminist. She took part in the pile on, she took part in demonizing Hillary. That's only surprising if you're unaware of that infamous book review she elected to run where two women were trashed in stereotypical, sexist language by a reviewer who wanted to open his 'book review' by sharing his 'fun' in bordellos. No one was done a favor by people refusing to call out Katrinket. The Iraq War wasn't done a favor because it is Katrinket who banned the term "war resister" from the print version of the magazine, it is Katrinket who regularly turns down articles on "war resisters" (which is why writers -- even male ones -- know to shop them elsewhere -- if she's called out enough, she'll offer it as "an online exclusive"). She's an immature school girl, even all these years later. And the illegal war isn't a concern for her anymore than sexism is. Of course she couldn't grasp that women were outraged, she only hangs with Queen Bees and men.

Before she took the reigns as publisher (she was already editor), The Nation could and did cover war resisters, did have a few fine pieces on the illegal war. Since then? She even destroyed the one article that should have won the writers awards in 2007. (Maybe she did so out of jealousy?) She demanded that it be watered down and watered down until it was really nothing worth reading (and angered everyone who participated in that article by speaking to the reporters).

It's over, I'm done writing songs about love
There's a war going on
So I'm holding my gun with a strap and a glove
And I'm writing a song about war
And it goes
Na na na na na na na
I hate the war
Na na na na na na na
I hate the war
Na na na na na na na
I hate the war
Oh oh oh oh
-- "I Hate The War" (written by Greg Goldberg, on The Ballet's Mattachine!)

Last Thursday, ICCC's number of US troops killed in Iraq since the start of the illegal war was 4141. Tonight? 4145. That's seven more and, yes, M-NF only released four death announcements (they let DoD 'make the announcements' for the others). Just Foreign Policy lists 1,252,595 as the number of Iraqis killed -- the same as last Thursday.


Can a fast-food business model save lives in Africa? Next on NOWSNEAK PREVIEW FOR BLOGGERS: See the entire show RIGHT NOW at:
Show Description:Can the quality of healthcare in developing nations be transformed by the same principle that makes fast food such a success here? NOW travels to Kenya to continue ongoing coverage of an enterprising idea: franchising not burger and donut shops, but health services and drugs in rural Africa.
American businessmen have been teaming with African entrepreneurs to spread for-profit clinics around the country in the hopes of providing quality, affordable medical care to even Kenya's poorest people.
In this show, NOW chronicles how the Kenyan facilities weathered recent violent unrest, as well as the program's expansion into Rwanda.
Also on the show, a massive program to dispense medicine for people with HIV/AIDS in poor countries is changing lives and restoring hope. A small team of photographers is capturing those amazing transformations on film, hoping their compelling images will bring attention to the importance of drug access in the developing world.
The NOW on PBS website ( will feature personal stories and more photos from the front lines of the fight for global health, including amazing photographs of those suffering from HIV/AIDS and discovering hope.

And lastly, independent presidential candidate Ralph Nader has a lengthy Q & A,
"Transcript of M.E. Sprengelmeyer's interview with Ralph Nader" (Rocky Mountain News):

Q: Which party are you running under this year?

NADER: Independent.

Q: Isn’t . . . did you try to get the Green Party nomination . . .?

NADER: No, no. Right from the beginning, I didn’t. They have a convention in Chicago in July.

Q: If you’re trying to build a movement that’s going to pick up steam over time, why not do it within one party and if you win the nomination, great . . . I mean, why not stay with the party that took you last time?

NADER: The Green Party is not a functioning party. It doesn’t have any discipline. And it doesn’t have any maturity. It drives out the best Greens who come in, stay around, look around at all the bickering and internal rivalry and say, “Let me out of here.” Even the green candidate who was elected to the City Council in San Francisco is not an active Green anymore. He’s supporting Obama. He’s one of the highest elected officials . . . So it’s not a functional party. I left them with almost 3 million votes in 2000. I went to dozens of states afterwards to try to strengthen them. I went to 40 fundraisers at my expense, and they frittered it away. So I really think you have to start a citizen movement or independent movement first before you have to start a party.

I wish we had politics without parties. I really wish we had elections without parties. If you look at the statements of Jefferson and Madison, George Washington and others, they didn’t like parties. They were sucked into it finally, but they thought parties were factions, bickering, inward-looking, selfish, driven by pure ambition to grasp more control of power. But the system is such that it almost requires parties after a while in order to gain any order of magnitude. But you don’t want to go into a party that basically collapses on the candidates, can’t even raise money.

Q: Doesn’t that undermine your argument, though, from the start if you say you’re going to start a movement and get this set of ideas. And it’s not . . . you don’t want something that devolves into being just being a fight over ambition, one person’s ambition. But then you move to another party, and each time, the ideas that come in your breast pocket with your list of issues that come just with you, doesn’t it kind of undermine that argument about building a long-term movement and sustaining a long-term movement if you do that?

NADER: It could if you built the right kind of party, but to build the right kind of party, one or two people can’t do it. I have my hands full being a candidate and I haven’t seen people who can build a party, who’d do the administrative work, the organizational work, the fundraising work, to build the party that has its goal on the best interests of the American people instead of perpetuating itself. So it’s really, those people are few and far between, and my urgency is to put these issues on the table in 2008 and hope that after 2008 we can have some momentum to start Congress watchdog lobbies in congressional districts, which would turn Congress around because there’s nothing really organized out there other than economic interests and single-issue groups. There’s no citizen organization out there, say, with a couple thousand people willing to spend five hours a week on the average, put in 200 bucks, have a full-time staff in each congressional district. You’d have a remarkable impact on members of Congress with these kinds of issues. But there’s nothing out there, it really is unbelievably non-organized. The people are non-organized out there, except on things like some of the civil rights issues and the economic interests: the auto dealers, insurance agents . . . That’s why people on the Hill think they can away with turning their backs on the people, because their people are not focusing on them. They’re not getting the kind of energy that bird-watchers in the district give, bowling league fans give. We’ve got to watch Congress. I mean, members of Congress take 22 percent of your income and can do a lot of things bad and good. And we’re not watching them.

Q: So when you go to Denver this summer, whether you’re on the street or at a symposium, what is your message going to be? And in this election . . . what’s your highest point you think you could get in this election . . .?

NADER: If you read this article two weeks ago in Politico by Jeremy Lott, he thinks we’ve already had an impact over the last eight years on the Democratic Party. It was quite an eye-opener to me that he writes that way. I don’t even know him. He didn’t even interview me. But he said “the Democratic Party is now Ralph Nader’s party.” Of course, that’s a little ambitious. But he’s reflecting a pull. They are talking more populist. For heaven’s sake, they criticized WTO and NAFTA. Regardless of whether they’re going to follow through, the first step of reform is lip service. (Laughing.) And they’re giving a lot of lip service in a variety of areas — nowhere near what I would hope them to do. So it’s a tugboat candidacy at a minimum.

That’s what we’re hoping for. What the parties did in the early 20th and the 19th century. I mean, Norman Thomas actually had quite an impact on Franklin Delano Roosevelt. He was, like, looking over his shoulder even though Norman Thomas didn’t get that many votes. Huey Long had an impact on Franklin Delano Roosevelt. Thought he was going to challenge him in ’36. And certainly . . . there were other parties that have gotten quite a few votes, really did have an impact. Now, it’s tougher these days because parties are more cast in stone than they ever have been, for all the reasons we’ve talked about and more. But you have to keep trying.

See, I have a sense of history about this. Every social justice movement was started by people who didn’t win, didn’t win, didn’t win, didn’t win, didn’t win. Then someday, they or others won. So they were willing to endure defeat. It’s not easy to endure defeat, because we’re living in a country that loves winners. But all I say to the people of this country is just be as smart a voter as you are a sports fan. You do your homework, you know the history, you know the statistics, you know the strengths and weaknesses of the players, the coaches, the managers. You can, in a sophisticated way, second-guess them. You can show how they made serious mistakes, even though they get paid a lot more to run that game than you do. But above all, you don’t just root for the winners, you root for the team that’s closest to your heart and your mind, even if that team loses again and again like the Chicago Cubs.

Be as smart as a voter as you are a sports fan and we’d have a much more throbbing and functional democracy solving a lot more problems.

Q: Is your point really that if Democrats, if Barack Obama loses an election or Al Gore loses an election, that they need to look at their own house if they want to assign any blame?

NADER: Exactly. They’ve got to look in the mirror and stop looking for scapegoats or blaming it on Swift Boats. The Swift Boats did harm Kerry. Why didn’t he turn it around and show the American people the vile way that Bush was low-balling U.S. soldier injuries in Iraq in order not to arouse the public against the war? So he was undercounting U.S. soldier injuries, because the Pentagon had a criteria that the only injuries that count are the ones that were experienced in actual combat. Well, it’s not that kind of war, so the injuries are three times . . . I told Kerry that. I even put it in a letter to him. And yet, no. Here’s a guy who was in Vietnam and he’s the one who’s on the defensive, not the sophisticated draft dodger who supported the Vietnam War, George W. Bush.

So mistakes, when you don’t know who you are, when you don’t have a sense of your identity or your tradition, when you engage in protective imitation of your adversaries, when you define yourself by how much worse your adversary is than you when you’re challenged by liberals as a party, you’re going to make mistake after mistake after mistake, and you’re going to lose.

I mean, it’s pretty hard, you know, to lose this election for the Democrats. You know, George W. Bush is an easy act to follow. But they may end up doing that. Look what Obama has done in the last few weeks: pandered to AIPAC and the Israeli lobby to a point where he offended even conventional politicians. Good heavens, why did he have to do all that? There is an Israeli-Palestinian peace movement, after all. The world is condemning the blockade of Gaza from medicine, electricity, fuel, food, drinking water. It’s against international law. Then he avoids public funding, calling it a broken system, but by dropping out of it, he breaks it even more. He’s following the same path of flip-flopping cowardliness that his predecessors have followed and have lost. And the Democrats have to work overtime to lose, but they could pull it off. They could pull it off and lose.

The e-mail address for this site is