Tomasky has a new story in the American Prospect, “Gang Green: The Democrats can cure their Ralph Nader problem by attacking him — immediately and ferociously.” Tomasky writes
First, if it was the intention of Nader voters in New York or Massachusetts (or any state Al Gore was certain to win in 2000) to send a message to the Democrats, that’s an understandable and respectable intention. But as the Christian Coalition model shows, such messages are far more effectively sent inside the party than outside it– the Greens really influence almost nothing in this country, whereas the Christian Coalition, with its power in the GOP, influences almost everything.”
Tomsaky speculates that about half of Nader’s 2.8 million voters in 2000 are beyond redemption, but that the other half–the one that learned that some is better than none–is amenable to reason. What should the Democratic candidates for president do about this? Attack Nader early and often, and in the process, shore up centrist credentials:
Attack Nader right now, and with lupine ferocity. Say he’s a madman for thinking of running again. Blast him especially hard on foreign policy, saying that if it were up to the Greens, America would give no aid to Israel and it would cease to exist, and if it were up to the Greens, America would not have even defended itself against a barbarous attack by going into Afghanistan. Have at him, and hard, from the right. Then nail him from the left on certain social issues, on abortion rights and other things that he’s often pooh-poohed and dismissed as irrelevant. Cause an uproar. Be dramatic. Don’t balance it with praise about what he’s done for consumers. To the contrary, talk about how much he’s damaging consumers today by not caring who’s in charge of the Food and Drug Administration or the Federal Communications Commission.
Well, Mr. Tomasky, I’m not running for president and I’m not sure that I can convey “lupine ferocity” in a blog, but I’ll give it a shot.
UPDATE: See this CalPundit post for more.