Sunday, June 15, 2008

UNDERVIEWS

MICHAEL HORAN, NO SUPPER TONIGHT Last week, The Nation asked-in its lead editorial no less:

"Where is the challenge to the bloated military budget, which equals the total amount spent by the rest of industrialized world? Who’s talking about an exit from the 'war in terror,' which has made us less secure while curtailing our civil liberties? Where is the massive public investment to repair our collapsed bridges, collapsed levees, and bursting schools? Democrats have called for a repeal of Bush’s tax cuts for the wealthiest, but where are the proposals for a truly progressive tax system? Where is the challenge to corporate power and a serious strategy to empower workers to win their share of profits? Who’s talking about our failed "war on drugs," and our faltering criminal justice system? And while there is growing demand that we leave Iraq, who’s challenging Obama’s plan to keep troops in bases there beyond 2009?"

My initial reaction: somebody’s not paying attention. Because I can answer that question without qualification, having watched Ralph Nader get up in front of a small crowd at First Parish Church in Cambridge and discuss each and every one of these issues. Head-on. (Along with tax reform, electoral reform, Palestine, the voting age, single payer healthcare, and etcetera). . . . The question isn’t "who is willing to point out the veritable herd of elephants in the room, and, great, stinking beshitted angry elephants at that?"; the question is why on earth The Nation and its readership, since they apparently share precisely the same ideals, refuse to acknowledge the obvious answer. Of course, what The Nation is really asking is, "what magnificently-funded Democratic candidate bearing the corporate nihil obstat and the Wall Street imprimatur is raising these issues?" To which the answer is, such a beast does not, cannot exist in nature, and the absurdity of of asking this basilisk beast to bite the hand that feeds it–or rather, to devour its keeper whole–is patently obvious..

Nader can’t figure out it either; as he inquired:

"Why are we under the yoke of a two party dictatorship, where people, who agree with one another, are adversaries, if one part of that agreement happens to go into the electoral arena instead of writing articles for The Nation? And so the political bigotry that is directed at any small party independent candidate that challenges the Democratic Party inside the electoral arena, especially at the national level, comes from liberals and progressives addicted to the 'least-worst' voting patterns against these challengers. . . I’m used to corporate lobbyists fighting what we’re doing. I rather enjoy it. I understand them-at least, I know where they’re coming from. The oil companies, drug companies, insurance companies, banks. But how do you understand people who agree with you on most issues and turn around and call you a spoiler? . . . "

The gap between the Nation’s blind eye and Nader’s vision-his eminently pragmatic vision, as befits a man with forty years on The Hill and a jaw-dropping history of legislative success-is the result of sheer timidity on the part of progressive forces in this country, something unknown to their more robust counterparts on the far right (who demand their planks and get them. . .

1 Comments:

At June 16, 2008 6:43 AM, Anonymous robbie said...

One of the favorite activities of the abject Democrat Nader-haters is to encourage conservatives to vote for Bob Barr. Apparently Democrats don't realize that they're just as partisan as any "mindless" right-winger.

 

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