Will Ralph get another free pass?

Four years ago, when Ralph Nader ran for President, he got more or less a free pass both from his opponents and from the press. Gore didn’t want to alienate Nader voters, Bush knew that none of the Nader votes were coming from his column, and the press, after years of getting good stories from Nader and his colleagues, treated him as sacrosanct.

One of the bitterest lessons I learned as a young and naive liberal staffer on Capitol Hill was that the “public interest research” produced by the Nader groups was systematically fraudulent. Every time I actually got into an issue deeply enough to understand the details — nuclear power, toxic waste, pharmaceutical regulation — I discovered that the Naderites had no more respect for the facts than the industries they were fighting: in some cases, less.

So let’s hear a little less about St. Ralph this time. Someone should ask some pointed questions about how he got to be a multimillionaire. (Hint: What happens to the royalties on the books that the underpaid Public Citizen employees write under Nader’s by-line?)

Author: Mark Kleiman

Professor of Public Policy at the NYU Marron Institute for Urban Management and editor of the Journal of Drug Policy Analysis. Teaches about the methods of policy analysis about drug abuse control and crime control policy, working out the implications of two principles: that swift and certain sanctions don't have to be severe to be effective, and that well-designed threats usually don't have to be carried out. Books: Drugs and Drug Policy: What Everyone Needs to Know (with Jonathan Caulkins and Angela Hawken) When Brute Force Fails: How to Have Less Crime and Less Punishment (Princeton, 2009; named one of the "books of the year" by The Economist Against Excess: Drug Policy for Results (Basic, 1993) Marijuana: Costs of Abuse, Costs of Control (Greenwood, 1989) UCLA Homepage Curriculum Vitae Contact: Markarkleiman-at-gmail.com

4 thoughts on “Will Ralph get another free pass?”

  1. Mark A. R. Kleiman Takes A Swing At Nader

    One of the bitterest lessons I learned as a young and naive liberal staffer on Capitol Hill was that the "public interest research" produced by the Nader groups was systematically fraudulent. Every time I actually got into an issue…

  2. Nader: Ego Ego Ego

    If there's not a dimes worth of difference between the parties, then I have a dime for St. Ralph and he can stick it up his pompous, arrogant ass. Seems he wants to run again. Fine. Then maybe this time…

  3. Squeal like a Chalabi

    Like my earlier post, Josh Marshall asks some questions about Ahmed "Oink Oink" Chalabi, albeit with less steam pouring out of his ears and less curse words:
    However that may be,

  4. Nader

    Al Hunt in the WSJ ($) on why Nader shouldn't run:The greatest risk for Mr. Nader is not losing, a foregone conclusion, or even throwing an election to George W. Bush, as onerous as that is to those who've worked

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