The reviews on Ralph Nader's decision to mount another run at the presidency are in -- and they aren't pretty.
Marc Cooper of The Huffington Post portrayed Nader as a paper candidate who can't even expect to influence the discourse of the race:
Nader is far too smart a man to know that he has any chance of winning anything. What he, and whatever few supporters who will join him, will argue is that by running he will somehow force Obama - or Hillary if she wins the nomination--to move to the left.
This is, of course, nonsense. All of the factors that contributed to Nader's dismal finish in 2004 are many times more potent this cycle. His candidacy will force nothing, except the voters to view Nader as some sort of bizarre spectacle. The competing candidates will see him as little more than a nuisance.
Matthew Yglesias over at The Atlantic sarcastically ridiculed Nader's characterization of the two-party race as dominated by the same corporate interests:
After all, there's not a dime's worth of a difference between a candidate promising tax cuts, pushing more health risk onto individuals, a re-invigoration of George Bush's campaign to dominate the world through military force, and an industry-friendly approach to environmental issues and his rival who's promising substantial socialization of medical risk, a 80 percent reduction in carbon emissions, and end to the war in Iraq (and to the mindset that led to war!), universal preschool, etc. Well, sure, there's judicial appointments -- abortion, gay rights, etc. -- and some small fry stuff about whether or not the NSA will have unrestrained surveillance powers. But basically it's just the same two corporate clones running on virtually identical platforms.
And again in The Atlantic, Nader friend James Fallows sounded a more somber note:
I will always like and respect Ralph Nader and will always admire the wonderful things he has done. But I wish to God that he had not made this decision, or will reverse it soon. (And, I am sorry that saying this will make me an enemy in his eyes.) He is a better man than his recent decisions indicate.
What do you think about Nader's decision to run again?