From the Huffington Post:
That’s the main reason why I think Nader shouldn’t run again in 2012; it would only get liberals riled up, impeding the more important task of making the Obama presidency less dreadful. Also, Nader has been there and done that; he’s fought the good fight and he deserves a hero’s rest. But his 2000 strategy, unwise then, is timely now. Obama can’t be nudged and Democrats, left to their own devices, are useless. But they along with Obama probably can be dragged kicking and screaming. That can only happen, however, if they are challenged electorally in a way they can’t ignore; a way that will hurt. The time is past for a safe states strategy.
I will continue to vote Green when I can, and even to give them a little money now and then, but it’s clear now, as it wasn’t a decade ago, that the Green Party is a lost cause. And there’s no other barely acceptable “third party” on the horizon. Thus an independent candidacy is all there can be. This is what Nader did in practice, if not in theory, every time he ran, even in 2000. I think he was wrong not to put party building first back then. But that’s not an issue now.
If not Nader, then who? Alexander Cockburn argued in The Nation (November 29) — a venue open to some of the most rabid Nader-baiters, Eric Alterman, for example — that Russ Feingold should run. Having followed Feingold from a perch in the state he represented, I have my doubts. He is hardly a man of the Left. But I could be persuaded, especially if, as 2011 unfolds, it looks like a commonsense “maverick” approach on campaign finance and banking regulation and the like is more viable among former Obama voters than reliably progressive stances.