This is about the most annoying piece I’ve read lately: 

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/02/29/AR2008022902786.html

In brief, Shoen, the author of a book about “the end of the two-party system”, considers with glee the prospect of independent candidacies from Ralph Nader and Ron Paul.  He complains that some pundits have dismissed Nader’s chances with scorn.  But no!  He can act as a spoiler,  just as in 2000!

 Shoen points to a poll taken six months ago that suggested that Nader could get 4% of the vote.  Why would this be a good thing?  He even concedes that Nader won Bush the presidency– an enormous setback to Nader’s own causes. 

Unless our election process is changed (and good luck with that), the only thing a third-party candidacy is good for is publicity; and really, why not just write a book or get on Oprah?  The human reaction of party leaders to a flanking movement among the extremists is not, I would say, to embrace their position.  It’s annoyance.  Nader’s last four presidential runs have not m0ved the Democrats closer to his positions.; if they’ve had any effect at all, it’s to accelerate their move rightward. 

Someone’s put it much less nicely here: http://www.suspect-device.com/blog/?p=2014

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