America’s Suicide Bomber


Ralph Nader, the newest entrant in the presidential race, is sure to implode, but not before he wreaks some panic among Democrats. He’s our own homegrown suicide bomber of politics.

Suicide bombers elsewhere are exploding, not imploding. Yesterday, on the road from Baghdad to Karbala, one of the schmucks killed a couple of dozen of pilgrims at a rest stop:

A suicide bomber on Sunday attacked a crowd of Shiite pilgrims heading toward the city of Karbala to visit the Shrine of Imam Hussein, killing at least 40 people and wounding at least 100, Iraqi officials said. The American military said that at least 60 people had been wounded.

And in Pakistan, one of Nader’s kissing-of-death cousins targeted a cop:

A suicide bomber struck Pakistan’s military headquarters in Rawalpindi Monday, killing at least eight people, including the army’s top ranking medical officer, military officials said.

Nader, however, is the only suicide bomber who publicly announces his intentions:

Nader announced his candidacy on NBC’s Meet the Press, as he did four years ago. He said he is running to draw attention to issues ignored by the major candidates in both parties, citing corporate crime, workers’ rights, military spending and foreign policy.

“You take that framework of people feeling locked out, shut out, marginalized and disrespected,” he said. “You go from Iraq to Palestine to Israel, from Enron to Wall Street, from Katrina to the bumbling of the Bush administration, to the complicity of the Democrats in not stopping him on the war, stopping him on the tax cuts.”

Sounds as if Nader’s the one who’s feeling locked out, shut out, marginalized, and disrespected.

The latest episode of HBO’s The Wire, the best piece of investigative entertainment ever seen on TV, is once again instructive. Detective Jimmy McNulty‘s “serial killer” — a fake murderer springing only from McNulty’s imaginative scam to get more money for police work — warranted an FBI profile. And McNulty himself fits the profile — especially the part about the “killer” feeling superior to everyone else.

Back to reality: For once, the New York Times put perspective in a political story — probably because Adam Nagourney didn’t write it:

On Sunday, Mr. Nader officially announced that he would seek the presidency as a third-party candidate one more time — driven in part by his frustration over the efforts to thwart his last run.

“If there was no other reason to run — other than the civil liberties, civil rights issue of ballot access — it’d be worth it,” Mr. Nader said in a telephone interview after announcing his candidacy on “Meet the Press.”

Worth it for whom? Nader’s quixotic quests for the presidency are reminiscent of Harold Stassen‘s. Only no one’s laughing, except for the Republicans. If McCain‘s people are smart, they’ll start siphoning campaign funds to Nader. So far, the only campaign contributor to Nader in the past six months appears to be one Patricia Gilmartin of Homewood, Illinois, according to federal campaign records. And, schizophrenically, she also has given money to Barry Obama.

Nader came to fame with his auto exposé, Unsafe at Any Speed. But he just can’t seem to take his pedal off the metal. Take it out of first gear, Ralph. Your whining is annoying.