Go Left, Young Man


The Nation's open letter to Barack Obama ("Change We Can Believe In") went up on Wednesday and has collected more than 15,000 signatures since then. What's everyone signing on to?

Since your historic victory in the primary, there have been troubling signs that you are moving away from the core commitments shared by many who have supported your campaign, toward a more cautious and centrist stance–including, most notably, your vote for the FISA legislation granting telecom companies immunity from prosecution for illegal wiretapping, which angered and dismayed so many of your supporters.

We recognize that compromise is necessary in any democracy. We understand that the pressures brought to bear on those seeking the highest office are intense. But retreating from the stands that have been the signature of your campaign will weaken the movement whose vigorous backing you need in order to win and then deliver the change you have promised.

Nothing too exciting here, until you see that one of the initial endorsers is former Salt Lake City Democratic Mayor Rocky Anderson. That's this Rocky Anderson.

Nader's host for his Utah visit was former Salt Lake City Mayor Rocky Anderson. "Ralph Nader seems to be the person who always takes the lead," Anderson said.

Anderson and Nader have been speaking about impeaching President George W. Bush and fighting to be included in presidential debates. Both agree tax policies are unfair, that the war in Iraq has been mishandled and that corporate greed is out of control.

Hm. That'sone strategy: Browbeat Obama into talking up your issues by threatening to endorse the insomnia-curing guy who's been running for president since Miley Cyrus was an embryo. It's a surprise because it's way outside the boundaries of today's Nation. After hosting a spirited debate over whether to endorse Nader or Gore in 2000, the magazine put out a hit on Ralph in 2004 in another "open letter." Apart from the occasional John Nichols blog post, there's nothing about Nader in the magazine this year.