If you have "no place to go," come here!

Ladies and Gentlemen, Mr. Ralph Nader:

Well, no one could say Mr. Nader is a shy, retiring type:

Nader was asked if Obama is any different than Democrats he has criticized in the past, considering Obama's pledge to reject campaign contributions from registered lobbyists.

"There's only one thing different about Barack Obama when it comes to being a Democratic presidential candidate. He's half African-American," Nader said. "Whether that will make any difference, I don't know. I haven't heard him have a strong crackdown on economic exploitation in the ghettos. Payday loans, predatory lending, asbestos, lead. What's keeping him from doing that? Is it because he wants to talk white? He doesn't want to appear like Jesse Jackson? We'll see all that play out in the next few months and if he gets elected afterwards."

The Obama campaign had only a brief response, calling the remarks disappointing.

Asked to clarify whether he thought Obama does try to "talk white," Nader said: "Of course.

"I mean, first of all, the number one thing that a black American politician aspiring to the presidency should be is to candidly describe the plight of the poor, especially in the inner cities and the rural areas, and have a very detailed platform about how the poor is going to be defended by the law, is going to be protected by the law, and is going to be liberated by the law," Nader said. "Haven't heard a thing."

"We are obviously disappointed with these very backward-looking remarks," Obama campaign spokeswoman Shannon Gilson said.

Of course, Mr. Nader is a racist, because of his sloppy syntax. "Talking white" -- not using slang and cadence associated with AA speech -- is different from speaking only to concerns of the power structure that rarely includes black people. But then, Mr. Nader knows how to get press, and he's not afraid anymore.

(And confidential to Mr. Nader: Thanks for looking at the man behind the curtain.)

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dupager's picture
Submitted by dupager on

i don't think I have read such a completely spot on deconstruction of Barry's operating strategy.

I guess electability for him means ignoring horrendous tragedies like New Orleans and Darfur--not to mention the very real crises in the poor communities that Nader rightly uses to beat up on Barry.

Also, now we see why the Obamanation was SOOO outraged over WJC using the name, Jesse Jackson. Had to severely and righteously nip that comparison in the bud immediately. Thus the venom.


willyjsimmons's picture
Submitted by willyjsimmons on

If Nader wasn't already persona non grata...


But the man speaks the truth, this time.

Salmo's picture
Submitted by Salmo on

Nader is rooting for the apocalypse. He believes Bush's selection advanced the day when the corporate structure he hates collapses. I suspect that he views McCain the same way. Like disaster capitalism, he expects his vision will emerge triumphant from the death, agony, and waste that will accompany the global catastrophe we all see on the horizon. Even were there to be some basis for assuming that he is right, which there clearly is not, I want no part of where Nader's wagon is going. Switching metaphores, you know that he is a snake when you take him in, do not be surprised when he bites.

Submitted by cg.eye on

doesn't mean he fails to make points, on the micro level.

Nader's touching home on issues Obama could easily insulate himself against, just by saying the same goddamn lies every other Democratic politician says, to his base.

Fuck, why is this so hard for him to grasp? But no, not even lip service to the constituency that is throwing all its political weight toward him. Yep, sad.

Davidson's picture
Submitted by Davidson on

Honestly, this was one of the worst comments I read this primary:

It is still left up to voters to decide between a single-headed male candidate and what has been dubbed "Billary" – two heads to match a double set of sex organs. It also means certain kinds of trouble because it both affords the Republicans an almost certain victory and illuminates the confusion and lack of integrity that have always been the problem of "identity politics."

There is nothing the Republicans would love more than running against the political hermaphrodite.

And then he went on:

While Oprah Winfrey and the women who back Sen. Barack Obama have declared themselves free women because they are voting on the basis of that freedom and not the dictates of ideologues, Gloria Steinem and all of the other feminists who kept their mouths shut about the male head when it was sanctimoniously impeached removed any single set of principles from their ideology.

Mind you, Crouch was (rightly) appalled by misogyny last year when it targeted the Rutgers women, but then again they weren't running for the most powerful office in the world and certainly not competing or defending themselves against a black man.

Oh, and he doesn't seem to have too much a problem with an entire horde of Democratic elders actually propping up Obama. Huh.

manahmanah's picture
Submitted by manahmanah on

Payday Loans

On top of protection from exorbitant payday loan interest fees, Barack Obama is also interested in safeguarding consumers from predatory practices in cash advance lending.
Obama’s stand against payday loans is closely associated with the ACORN pro-consumerism group. The Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now is a vehement foe of cash advance lending nationwide...

Predatory Lending

Obama – who introduced a bill to fight predatory lending and punish fraudulent lenders nearly two years ago – outlined his plan to protect homeownership and crack down on predatory lending...


Several community organizers and Altgeld Gardens tenants confirmed Johnson was working on asbestos but said Obama organized residents to act. "He got people to vote with their feet" on the issue, organizer Madeleine Talbot said. At the time, Talbot worked at the social action group ACORN and initially considered Obama a competitor. But she became so impressed with his work that she invited him to help train her staff.

At the peak of the asbestos controversy, Obama worked on it "10 to 12 hours a day," said community organizer Linda Randle, who helped him on the issue.

Lead Poisoning Reduction Act of 2007

A bill to amend the Toxic Substances Control Act to assess and reduce the levels of lead found in child-occupied facilities in the United States, and for other purposes.

Sponsored by Barack Obama (Sens. Clinton and Schumer cosponsors). Also introduced in 2006.

Nader's comments are particularly offensive because he is completely and willfully ignorant of what Obama has actually done on inner city issues.

Aeryl's picture
Submitted by Aeryl on

Saying that Obama doesn't have any plans about it. He is saying that all of Obama's plans to help out the community he allegedly identifies most with, is being hidden. He is not using his platform to address these issues, they are, as with anything substantial with Obama, on his website.

Bill Clinton for First Dude!!!

RedSox04's picture
Submitted by RedSox04 on

Simple rebuttals:

1) Obama FOLLOWED the trends, rather than led on them. As in, his policies went left as it became clear that the public was seeking more activist solutions. He was never on the forefront.

2) Obama rarely emphasizes these policies, instead just asking people to check out his website when he is accused of deemphasizing substance. As we all know, it's the promises the public remembers that are the promises the candidate feels most compelled to deliver, and which are indicative of the candidate's emphasis. E.g., Clinton 1992 = healthcare. Bush 2000 = tax cuts. Obama 2008 = unspecified "change", which is most often equated with post-partisanship or a change in tone.

So whether or not Obama has liberal policies buried deep on his website or not doesn't matter. It's whether or not he makes public promises on them, which clearly hasn't been the case. And given that we've already seen how easily backtracks on even public promises (FISA), I don't see why you'd place any faith in some random website listed policy.

bringiton's picture
Submitted by bringiton on


Man sitting next to Nader on park bench: For the love of God, Shut Up! You're scaring the pigeons.

manahmanah's picture
Submitted by manahmanah on

I concede that I haven't heard Obama stump much on asbestos. I have, however, heard him push the issues of lead safety and predatory financial practices quite a bit. Predatory lending, in particlar, has been a centerpiece of his economic tour. He has proposed a number of initiatives to take on this problem.

Obama takes aim at predatory lenders

Truth Partisan's picture
Submitted by Truth Partisan on

this issue:

see her mailer on this--she quotes Mr. Obama saying it didn't make sense to cap interest rates,

and for more detail see this.

Also from the article above: "“I am a candidate of, from and for the middle class of America,” said Clinton...Striking a decidedly populist tone in both Ohio and Texas in recent days, Clinton said, "I am running to stand up for, to fight for and achieve the solutions to the problems that America faces.”"

How we miss her! Where are the candidates saying these things? Anyone else notice how people (by 15%) are less interested and the media coverage has gotten boring and more unhelpful to solving the real problems in our real lives? She WAS the sparkling populist!

Two links proving the point! Do I get Correntewirepoints?

May I add a cynical postscript? P.S. I would advise, in light of the changes Mr. Obama has made in the last two weeks, that you keep checking the news before you make claims about Mr. Obama's positions."Name your issue -- on trade, taxes, guns, the death penalty, campaign finance reform, FISA -- Obama may well be taking the politically smart position for a Democrat in these early days of the general election.

But the point is that he's taking positions that are at least shaded differently than those he's taken in the past, if not outright flip-flops."

amberglow's picture
Submitted by amberglow on

and it's not cynical to point it all out.

Submitted by lambert on

No points for meeting the baseline!

Don't get me wrong, the links are greatly appreciated. Understand that linking is a liberal value because it allows the reader to form a judgment independently of the writer's authority or rhetoric!

[x] Very tepidly voting for Obama [ ] ?????. [ ] Any mullah-sucking billionaire-teabagging torture-loving pus-encrusted spawn of Cthulhu, bless his (R) heart.

Nervine5's picture
Submitted by Nervine5 on

Or talk about them? Look at his associates and contributers when it comes to talk vs. walk.

Submitted by cg.eye on

A Chicago Sun Times columnist unloads on Nader and his RMN interview -- and her commenters unload right back at her:

One, only one Axelrod plant gets a word in, at the end. It's a beautiful thing, if only to see thoughtful people not go Rah Rah Rah over Nader, but give the same critiques we have, regarding Obama's ability to really help his base.