Nader: Obama Is "Uncle Tom," Not "Uncle Sam"


The ongoing liberal revolt against the health care reform bill–which now includes in its ranks Howard Dean, among many others–has given anti-corporate obsessive Ralph Nader yet another opportunity to opine that Barack Obama is a discredit to his race:

"This is what I meant a year ago when I said the next year will determine whether Barack Obama will be an Uncle Tom groveling before the demands of the corporations that are running our country or he'll be an Uncle Sam standing up for the American people."

The quadrennial presidential candidate said the same thing the night Obama was elected, drawing a stern rebuke from…Fox News' Shepard Smith.

Joseph Mailander panned Nader's new anti-Atlas Shrugged novel in our current issue. I wrote about how the anti-corporate crusader speaks lies to power back in 2002. And completists may enjoy my 2000 campaign thumbsucker about Nader's problems with racial politics, written for the aptly named WorkingForChange.com. Excerpt from that piece, whose headline I did not write:

In 19 months worth of columns posted on his Web site, he uses the words "African-American," "black," "Latino," "Hispanic," "minority" and "race" a total of nine times combined, over 69 columns. In one press conference last week, by comparison, he used the words "corporate" or "corporation" at least 57 times. […]

Oh no you di-unt!

His interactions with African-Americans on the campaign trail are telling. On Leno, he sat next to D.L. Hughley, a black comedian from South-Central L.A., and the next day he was still impressed with the encounter. "That D.L., he's the real deal!" he told supporters at a Brentwood fundraiser..

At an Oakland press conference after a meeting with union members, an African American questioner asked Nader why there weren't more nonwhites represented in the discussion.

"It's very simple: Millions of low-paid workers are people of color, and they're not unionized," Nader said quickly, before reciting minimum wage statistics and historical dates of legislation.

At the University of Nevada-Las Vegas, a young black journalist/activist presented the Green Party candidate with a T-shirt. "Right on!" Nader cheered. Later, at a press conference, when the same man was asking his third or fourth long question -- monologues, really -- Nader cut him off with the loud stage voice he employs when telling a joke: "Hey! Equal opportunity for everyone!"

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