By Alex Constantine
(First posted Sep. 17, 2004; revised)
During the 2004 election year, Marc Cooper critiqued Peter Camejo, Ralph Nader's running mate, for his supposed "Trotskyist" ties - a fair denunciation or one of Cooper's obscene mudbaths? My own fact-checking into Comejo's past reveals Cooper be a cynical con artist in the opinion-molding biz.
Lest anyone come away with the mistaken impression that I am defaming Cooper, a doyen of the controlled left, by discussing his red-baiting tactics and basic dishonesty - serving to discredit leftist leaders - a search of the Internet yields the same observation from a number of independent critics, eg.:
" ... In recent articles, [Marc] Cooper and [David] Corn both volunteer their “advice” in scurrilous red-baiting attacks on the anti-war movement."
" ... when he is not busy redbaiting the antiwar movement ... "
" ... journalist Marc Cooper, who has perfected these sorts of redbaiting attacks ... "
Marc Cooper - the Nation-Pacifica-NPR-alternative weekly (he's multi-media and he's everywhere) circuit commentator who is forever scrutinizing progressive movements for signs of communist influence to publicize and cluck his tongue over - noted in a June 21, 2004 Internet posting, entitled "Nader's Nadir," that Peter Comejo, Ralph Nader's running mate, was, in the '60s, sponsored by the "Trotskyist" Socialist Workers Party (SWP).
"Even as he insists he’s capable of peeling off substantial numbers of disgruntled Republican voters," Cooper wrote, "Nader nevertheless tapped Peter Camejo, a Green Party honcho with an exclusively leftist appeal, as his VP choice today."
Nader should be taken to task for failing to draw enough Republicans to his "lonely" run for high office?
Further, Peter Camejo, Cooper spat, "has been a dusty fixture on the radical left for literally decades. Back in the sixties, Camejo ran for president on the ticket of the Trotskyist Socialist Workers Party. Camejo got 5% of the vote as the 2002 Green Party candidate for California Governor. Last fall he ran again in the recall election but by the end of the race was mostly polishing the apples of doomed Democratic candidate Cruz Bustamante."
The rest of us recall that Peter Camejo was the sole voice of rationality in the recent California governor's race. Nader couldn't have shown more integrity in his selection of a running mate. Camejo spoke eloquently against the war in Iraq, villified war profiteers and blind Pentagon idealogues for sacrificing the lives and interests of the country in the pursuit of illicit geopolitical and economic gains, while the other candidates performed in an embarassing comic opera of whorish marionettes.
Indeed, in his youth, Peter Camejo's name was tied to the SWP. Cooper, who echoes the Birchite rhetoric of the Cold War -- the Bureau claimed falsely in 1975, before the Pike Commission, that the Socialist Workers' Party had intimate ties with the "Fourth International" (Pike Report, p. 171) - fails to mention that the SWP was a very clean organization.
According to the Pike Report, published in 1977, the SWP has "avoided illegal and potentially violent confrontations with the authorities during any sort of civil protest. Nevertheless, this had no apparent impact of 34 years of productive spying." Party members, Camejo told Pike's investogator's, were even "forbidden by the SWP to smoke marijuana."
The FBI had no incriminating information on Camejo or the Party whatsoever (Pike, p. 172), despite tight surveillance of their activities: "The bureau apparently formulated a philosophy, in this case, to justify their investigation," Pike's commission observed.
"Considerable resources have been allocated to compound the error."
For instance, he FBI's Internal Security agents engaged in a "massive" intelligence operation to undermine the SWP. Landlords and fellow employees of SWP members were interviewed. "The FBI," Pike reported, "also maintained intensive surveillance of most, if not all, of the SWP's 2500 members."
In their attempts to discredit the SWP, Hoover's agents engaged in tactics that were undeniably "Stalinist." But Cooper has an axe to grind with an organization that even Hoover found to be blameless, forcing the beefy, criminalized director of the Bureau to render his groundless "Fourth International" smear.
As Cooper himself notes, Camejo's past is obscure to most of us. But Pacifica's own Prince of Darkness has dredged it up, without elaboration, as if a 40-year-old alliance has the slightest bearing on the 2004 election race, and somehow marginalizes Nader.
In his criticism of the running mate, he borrows the rhetoric of a David Horowitz or Sean Hannity. Yet again, Cooper engages in Red baiting, and we can only ponder his motives. No one else in the press is making an issue of the candidate's "Trotskyist" past. Why does Cooper, who can find Camejo's past ties, fail to point out Bush's ties to any number of ruthless killers, fascists, swindlers and terrorists on the Right.
The full text of Cooper's remarks:
Monday, June 21, 2004 - Nader's Nadir
What’s up with Ralph Nader? He’s making less sense every day. While he eschewed the Green Party this time around to run an “independent” presidential campaign, and even as he insists he’s capable of peeling off substantial numbers of disgruntled Republican voters, Nader nevertheless tapped Peter Camejo, a Green Party honcho with an exclusively leftist appeal, as his VP choice today.
Camejo, a Bay Area-based fund manager, has been a dusty fixture on the radical left for literally decades. Back in the sixties, Camejo ran for president on the ticket of the Trotskyist Socialist Workers Party. Camejo got 5% of the vote as the 2002 Green Party candidate for California Governor. Last fall he ran again in the recall election but by the end of the race was mostly polishing the apples of doomed Democratic candidate Cruz Bustamante.
If Camejo could muster more than 100 Republican or conservative votes (disgruntled or not) nationwide it would be a miracle. So much for Nader’s notion of appealing across ideological lines.
The Nader campaign – what there is of it—now seems to be driven by the same bureaucratic imperatives of any traditional campaign, albeit on a micro scale. Ralph now just wants to get on as many ballots as he can, at whatever cost, and with whomever it takes to get there.
My colleague Dougie Ireland, already outlined earlier this year Nader’s grim alliance with whacko cultists – a marriage cooked up to get Ralph on the New York ballot. Now Nader’s choice of hack Camejo is aimed not at winning any serious number of voters but rather at picking up the Green Party’s formal endorsement, along with its ballot line in 22 states.
The Greens meet in convention this week where in between “twinkling” at each other they will decide whom if anybody to nominate for president.
Lawyer David Cobb has been leading with a plurality of delegates promising to run a “strategic” campaign that would not draw votes from John Kerry in key toss-up "battleground" states. But Nader now might also pick up the delegates that had been pledged to Camejo.
Nader could very well then finish this weekend as, once again, the official Green nominee. But the Party itself is almost certain to emerge from the convention weakened and split.
I don’t think much of this matters very much as I wrote earlier this year. The Green Party, like Western Civilization, is a good idea that never really got off the ground. Nader, meanwhile, seems to be rapidly squandering a lifetime’s worth of well-earned respect. Running a third party campaign during this election cycle would have been tough enough even if conceived and implemented in the most thought-out, strategic, and serious manner. Now, with Camejo as his running mate, Nader’s lonely quest threatens to turn into nothing more than a carnival sideshow.
Posted by Marc Cooper on Monday, June 21, 2004 at 04:30 PM |
Some of the commentary that followed this posting at one blog:
Cooper and Corn are narcs
by its real simple to figure out... Saturday, Sep. 18, 2004 at 1:03 AM
How come people in the establishment left don't recognize the CIA connections of these two shills of the man? Corn basically facilitated all of the talking heads in "UNCOVERED" and Cooper talks more anti-Left and anti-Arabic crap than Hannity and Coulter put together. Somebody give them the boot so they can go work for Jill Powers..snap!
if he had more to contribute...
by more rational Sunday, Sep. 19, 2004 at 10:15 AM
Camejo's morph into a liberal is less drastic than Coopers morph to Democratic party shill, and less drastic than Kerry's shift from an anti-war activist to a pro-war DLCer.
Yeah, Cooper's probably a spook
by Carolina Sunday, Sep. 19, 2004 at 1:41 PM
Glad some of our news wire contributors recognize Cooper as a likely shill for the Dummycrats and the military industrial complex. Among other things, Copper is an apologist for the Warren Commisson cover-up of the JFK assassination. The full brazzeness of this disinformation has been readily exposed in John Armstrong's 2003 book 'Harvey & Lee."
If more people read Armstrong's book, they'd realize why progress has been in a nose dive for the last 40 years [the exact time period since the publication of the Warren Report in September 1964].