Ralph Nader's recent entry into the presidential race has been greeted with a Bronx cheer by much of the political blogosphere, and with good reason. The left is particularly perturbed by Nader's insistent refusal that he did not throw the election to Bush in 2000, that he isn't crippling the Green Party by splitting their base every four years, and the consideration that Nader just doesn't seem to be a very nice or honest person. But I welcome his candidacy, as his attempts to monopolize the nuclear power issue only serve to strengthen the cause of nuclear energy. With enemies like these, we don't need allies.
If you visit Nader's campaign site you'll notice an interesting pattern- Nader's campaign insists that Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama are both pro-nuclear, and that only Nader represents a true anti-nuclear, "pro-solar" agenda. His "issues" page states that only Nader will take nuclear "off the table" and use "solar energy first." So far his campaign hasn't issued a detailed declaration of its position on the issue, but given the priority they seem to have assigned it, I expect one within a few weeks. On the "News and Analysis" page of the website, they offer the following links (original text preserved):
I believe this is a most fortuitous development for nuclear power, and I wish Nader all the success in the world in convincing the anti-nuclear movement that the Democratic Party is their enemy. There could be nothing better for nuclear power than to have the far left drive a wedge between the anti-nuclear movement and mainstream politicians. If the Democrats decide that they can't rely on the support of the anti-nuclear lobby, the primary reason for them (in general) to oppose nuclear power will be eliminated, and nuclear power will become, for all practical purposes, a non-partisan issue. Then we could see a broad bipartisan program to realize GNEP and start solving our energy problems instead of goofing around. And without the support of the Democratic leadership, the anti-nuclear movement would probably disintegrate as a major political force in the United States.
So go ahead, Ralph. The anti-nuclear movement is yours to keep. And if you want to drive a wildly popular Democratic politician like Obama into the pro-nuclear camp, we'll be more than willing to accept the gift.