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Jayne Lyn Stahl Headshot

Between Barack and a Hard Place

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Just when it looked like things were finally starting to stabilize, and the Democrats were about to have a nominee, along comes Hurricane Ralph. To paraphrase the Stones' hit, with the news of yet another last minute Nader incarnation, we now find ourselves "between Barack and a hard place."

This isn't about whether one "likes" Ralph Nader or not, or even whether he has good intentions. The road to hell, after all, is paved with good intentions. And, frankly, Nader's motives for wanting a piece of the action are at least as suspect as any other of the contenders.

Make no mistake, this is about one thing and one thing only -- his inimitable timing. Like a shark in the water, Ralph Nader smells blood, and blood to him means victory. Lest you think this is about the issues, don't be duped.

Nader is concerned about issues, yes, but he is more concerned about upheaval than promoting change. If he were concerned about the issues he claims to be, he'd have entered the race from the beginning. What has he been doing for the past year -- playing Scrabble? Was he waiting for Kucinich to leave? We had a candidate with the same platform as Nader's -- Kucinich -- and I suspect that Nader will capture the same percentile of votes in November Kucinich would, and just enough to cause a Republican upset.

The naivete of the American electorate never ceases to amaze. To this day, no one mentions Iran-Contra when discussing Ronald Reagan, and he is venerated. No one mentions that George H.W. Bush lied to the American people about his knowledge of Iran-Contra, and no one seems to care. Instead, few will forget that William Jefferson Clinton lied to a federal grand jury about an extramarital affair.

Anyone not concerned about Ralph Nader's nascent interest in running is ingenuous to the point of absurdity.

Just when it looked like Obama was getting close to having the nomination locked up, when Edwards walked out for the sake of Party unity, and we're finally down to a two person race, along comes our Nader to virtually ensure that whatever momentum Obama picks up between now and November won't get in the way of a decisive McCain win.

The Democratic Party must do whatever it takes to keep Nader off the stump. Forget about Al Gore's role in brokering the convention. Instead, the former vice president's time may be put to far better use by paying a visit to the former consumer advocate, reminding him of his role in bringing eight years of warfare, and economic inequality to America, and urging him, in the interest of national security in the best possible sense of that phrase, to withdraw from this crucially important race.