Opinion: Ralph Nader has some choice (and highfalutin) words for Barack Obama

This article was originally on a blog post platform and may be missing photos, graphics or links. See About archive blog posts.

Let’s say this for Ralph Nader -- he cannot be accused of engaging in sound-bite politics.

This generation’s version of Harold Stassen (an erstwhile Republican who ran for president -- with varying degrees of intensity -- nine times) today issued an ‘open letter’ to Barack Obama. Here’s how it opens:

In your nearly two-year presidential campaign, the words ‘hope and change,’ ‘change and hope’ have been your trademark declarations. Yet there is an asymmetry between those objectives and your political character that succumbs to contrary centers of power that want not ‘hope and change’ but the continuation of the power-entrenched status quo.

We think that means Nader views Obama as a charlatan.

Nader has pressed this case on any number of fronts as he has struggled to gain attention or traction in his latest campaign. In his new missive, he spotlights the Palestinian/Israeli issue:

To advance change and hope, the presidential persona requires character, courage, integrity -- not expediency, accommodation and short-range opportunism. Take, for example, your transformation from an articulate defender of Palestinian rights in Chicago before your run for the U.S. Senate to an acolyte, a dittoman for the hard-line AIPAC lobby, which bolsters the militaristic oppression, occupation, blockage, colonization and land-water seizures over the years of the Palestinian peoples and their shrunken territories in the West Bank and Gaza.

We think that means Nader (an Arab American) views Obama as a sellout.


The entire letter can be viewed here.

Intriguingly, Nader did not feel compelled to send off a simlar dispatch to John McCain (he can read polls as well as the next guy).

A Nader aide, Toby Heaps, told us the candidate believed ‘the most lucid writeup of McCain’s character’ was provided by Phillip Butler, who like the Republican endured years of imprisonment in North Vietnam during the Vietnam war. So Nader last week passed along to the national media the link to Butler’s piece on why he isn’t supporting McCain.

-- Don Frederick