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Waiting for Nader

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Whenever Ralph Nader comes on the tube, which isn't often enough, it's must-see TV. He's in a class by himself. I don't know of any
politician, civic leader or social firebrand who can match him for his
unique combination of level-headed insight, deep intelligence, real
accomplishment and passionate straight talk.

For instance, in a must-see interview that aired this morning on
Democracy Now!, here's what he said about whether our lame-duck
president still matters:

Yeah, he matters because he's a national security menace.
He's a destroyer of our Constitution, a violator of our statutes, a
revoker of our regulations. He's a war monger. He's a war criminal --
clinically a war criminal -- and he's still in charge. And as I said
some time ago, he's a giant corporation in the White House
masquerading as a human being, although I sometimes wonder about the
word "human." I don't think it's possible to see a more obsessively
compulsive person with so much contempt for the traditions of our
country ...

That's just a snippet of Nader's wide-ranging discussion of health
care, corporate government, campaign financing, the current crop of
presidential candidates and the general political realities of the
BananaRepublic. (You can also read the transcript.)

I voted for him in 1996 but didn't in 2000, because I wanted Al Gore
to win. Nor did I vote for Nader in 2004, because I thought it would
mean one less vote to unseat the illegitimate BananaRepublican regime.
As I noted then,

If the American people want to elect the nasty little shit
now in the White House, they should remember they will be indicting
themselves as co-conspirators in his administration's criminal
misadventures. They will no longer have the excuse that he was an
appointed president, thanks to the U.S. Supreme Court, and not an
elected one.

Even so, I still believed Nader had every right to run in 2004. And
now I wish he'd run again, because now I'd vote for him again. His
assessment of the political realities following the 2006 Congressional
elections has so far proved true, unfortunately, right down to the
last detail:

[T]o the extent the Democrats gained the majority in the
House, it was on the backs of some very rightwing Democrats who won
the election against rightwing Republican incumbents. And so, there
was no mandate for any progressive agenda. ...

[One] thing that is good, though, is that there's some very good
veteran chairmen who are coming in: George Miller, Henry Waxman, Ed
Markey and, of course, John Conyers. But to counter that, both John
Conyers and Nancy Pelosi have taken the impeachment issue right off
the table, before the election, and that means there's going to be no
Bush accountability for his war crimes and his inflation of unlawful
presidential authority.

... The Democrats will throw a lot of subpoenas at the White House.
The White House will, of course, drag it on and on and on. And the
public will get fed up with it. The White House has great reserves in
dragging it on and on and on. Because Bush can't rely on Republicans
as a majority of the Congress, he's going to inflate his presidential
power even more extremely and unlawfully, in the opinion of many legal
scholars -- to do through the inherent power of the presidency, as
Dick Cheney and Bush have talked about, what he can't do through the
Congress, which he no longer controls.

That's why the drive to impeach is long past due.

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