it's bullshit that Nader lost the election for Gore. Gore won Florida. He didn't have the political savvy or chutzpah or guts to figure out how to hold onto it. Not to mention, Gore couldn't carry his own fuc*ing state. You can't pin that on Nader.
I can pin Gore's loss on his inability to carry his own state (though I could pick any other state he didn't win as well). Or on the "butterfly ballot" that confused people into voting for Buchanan. Or on the failure of Gore to try to recount overvotes as well as undervotes (apparently Gore would still have lost if only undervotes were recounted
, which was the only course considered by either party). Or on Nader, without whom Gore would almost certainly have won a majority in Florida.
Just because there are multiple causes doesn't mean each cause gets the other off the hook. Had the butterfly ballot been differently designed, Gore probably would have won. Had the campaign tried to get overvotes counted, Gore probably would have won (assuming it hadn't been stopped by the Supreme Court, which after all stopped the recount that was going on at the time). And had Nader not run, Gore probably would have won. I see no reason to privilege one of these causes over the others.
The only objective in Afghanistan is to get Bin Laden.
Perhaps you think that's the only objective, and you're entitled to believe that, as many others do. Others think getting bin Laden is moot at this point and that al Qaeda can operate as independent cells (whether that cuts before or against escalation is subject to debate). Still others think the objective is to prevent the Taliban from having a base from which to destabilize Pakistan, which has nukes, which could draw in India, which also has nukes.
I'm not saying what point of view is right, only that reasonable people can disagree, and that there are other conceivable "objectives" out there. Whether they're worth American lives and money, well, that's what makes this issue so difficult. But I think it's wrong to dismiss them out of hand.