Thursday, June 26, 2008

Ralph Nader: “Reprehensible and Delusional”

That’s what Obama communications director Robert Gibbs called Nader after he accused the presidential hopeful of trying to “talk white” and of appealing to “white guilt” the other day during in an interview with a Denver newspaper, The Rocky Mountain News. While Nader had, I believe, some legitimate criticisms, most of the examples he provided fold like a cheap suit when subjected to the scrutiny of a quick fact-check.

For example, Nader omitted to mention a few pesky details such as: Barack Obama wants crackdown on predatory lending; Obama is No Fan of Payday Loans; EPA Accepts Obama Proposal to Eliminate Lead Paint from Schools, Childcare Facilities; oh, and the fact that Obama wrote at such length in his first book about working on an asbestos-removal campaign, he’s actually been accused of taking too much credit for the effort.

And what about Nader’s own campaign site? References to payday loans: zero. References to predatory lending: zero. References to asbestos: zero.

All that notwithstanding, perhaps I’m not alone in thinking that there’s a certain degree of legitimacy to overarching gist of what Nader was saying about Obama not being significantly different from other prominent Democrats and his not wanting to appear “politically threatening”... moreover, coming across “as someone who’s not going to threaten the white power structure, whether it’s corporate or whether it’s simply oligarchic.” Unfortunately, in the rush to dismiss Nader’s claims and discredit him as fringe lunatic seeking attention, those points seem to have been overlooked by the media.