Watching tonight's Democratic presidential debate, I couldn't resist wondering whether Ralph Nader's infantile fancy as the Harold Stassen of the 21st century could somehow harm the Democratic nominee in the race to reach the few voters that could fall victim to Nader's eccentric rantings. As VP Gore's foreign policy director for his 2000 presidential campaign, I believe Nader epitomizes the absolutely contemptible capacity of spoilers to sacrifice the nation's future on the altar of vanity. When Nader rejects the notion that he served up George Bush to an undeserving nation, he is no different than any two bit, has-been autocrat who will use demogoguery to hide the awful truth.
When Tim Russert unfortunately provided Nader his Meet the Press platform to announce yet another quixotic presidential bid, did Nader commence by raling against polluters of the environment? Did he condemn Bush for his failed presidency? No, that would have been too wise and the right thing to do. Instead, Nader rolled out his favorite soiled canard to condemn Israel's treatment of Gazan Palestinians governed by their terrorist clique known otherwise as Hamas, and Barak Obama's "regretable" conversion to a pro-Israel policy. Could it possibly be that It was a mere oversight by Nader that the very group that rules the Palestinians Nader champions also rejects the very two state solution that Nader bloviates is the only viable solution to the conflict, and deploys rocket terror to kill innocent civilians inside Israel (of course, I know that Israeli retaliation has resulted in civilian casualties).
Pity Nader. When he had the chance to put his best foot forward, he chose to put his foot in his mouth. Nader has made it a life mission to doubletalk his way around the Arab-Israeli conflict -- a major foreign policy challenge that he knows far less about than he is willing to admit. As an advocate of a viable Palestinian state that is not incompatible with my passionate support for a strong, safe and secure Israel, I know how easy it is to become a self-righteous one-dimensional advocate for one side or the other. But Nader has pecuniary motives that led him to make the Palestinian cause his inaugural topic during his "MTP" appearance. It was the quadrennial resumption of his quest for campaign donations from pro-Palestinian sources both here and abroad -- sources that he has consistently refused to fully disclose to the public during his "off presidential year escapades" -- a glaring testament to Nader's highly selective "truth in advertising."
Fortunately, Nader's announcement was greeted with a welcomed unified national outpouring of derision. Fortunately, Americans have learned a painful lesson that supporting Nader delivered the White House to Bush-Cheney. For the increasingly few who may toy with the prospect of supporting a Nader campaign, President Al Gore has a bridge in Brooklyn he would like to sell you.