Paul Jacob

Nader's back, spoiling again. That's the story according to Democrats, at least. But exactly what is Nader spoiling? John Kerry's latest makeover?

Nader damages Kerry more than by merely siphoning off liberal votes; Nader blows Kerry's anti-special interest jive right out of the water. Nader is the real liberal populist that John Kerry plays on TV.

Two Sides?to a Personality

If you like Kerry's rehearsed attacks on Washington lobbyists--the same fellows funding Kerry's campaign--Nader can give those lines off the cuff, with feeling and, more importantly, believability.

Kerry claims his special interests "haven't gotten anything" for their contributions. That may be true; they likely gave the money simply to be left alone (as I point out in my Common Sense e-letter. But why then is Kerry attacking President Bush and his Democratic rivals for similar fundraising?

For John Kerry there are two sides to everything: if done by himself it is above reproach; if done by President Bush it is a shade of evil. Arrogance this thick gives extra meaning to Kerry's statement: "If you liked the first eight years of Bill Clinton, you'll love the first four years of John Kerry."

When we get beyond personalities to issues, it only gets worse for the Senator. Kerry has managed to compile a lifetime congressional voting record more liberal than the other Massachusetts Senator, Ted Kennedy, while also voting for huge chunks of the Bush agenda. But Kerry's pro-Bush voting record certainly hasn't stopped him from hitting Bush for these Kerry-supported policies.

Trade

Kerry's most ferocious attacks on Bush come on trade policy. "President Bush is promoting the outsourcing of American jobs," he told ABC News. "I don't think he's stood up and fought for the American worker."

But as Kerry's Democratic opponent John Edwards points out, Kerry voted for NAFTA, for "fast track" authority for the president, and for the president's Chilean, China, Singapore, Caribbean and African trade agreements. And Kerry recently admitted to The New York Times that even in a Kerry Administration "outsourcing will continue."

So if you oppose Bush on trade, do you vote for Nader, who agrees with you, or for Kerry, who voted for the Bush policies?


Paul Jacob

Paul Jacob is President of Citizens in Charge Foundation and Citizens in Charge. His daily Common Sense commentary appears on the Web and via e-mail.