Ralph Nader

Nader Goes Around the Bend

Is the anti-corporate crusader so left he's almost right?

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Unstoppable: The Emerging Left-Right Alliance to Dismantle the Corporate State, by Ralph Nader, Nation Books, 240 pages, $25.99

Ralph Nader, the legendary anti-corporate crusader, is the father of many regulations and even more nonprofit advocacy groups. How odd that this liberal hero has authored a book that lavishes praise on right-wing stalwart Pat Buchanan and approvingly cites Grover Norquist, George F. Will, and the Cato Institute.

In Unstoppable: The Emerging Left-Right Alliance to Dismantle the Corporate State, Nader lays out an agenda to bring together conservatives, libertarians, and liberals in the battle against corporate welfare, rampant surveillance, and the military-industrial complex.

At its best, Unstoppable is a wonkish rallying cry for a much needed left-right convergence against the corrupt corporatist center. At its worst, the book is an object lesson in the deep-seated impediments to any such coalition.

The heart of Unstoppable is a 25-point agenda for left-right con­vergence. But Nader's sense of what is plausibly appealing to conservatives and libertarians can be a bit off-kilter. Auditing the Defense Department, curbing corporate welfare, reforming taxes, and breaking up "too big to fail" banks-all of these could certainly find cross-ideological agreement. Indexing the minimum wage to inflation is less likely to meet with a warm reception among non-Democrats.

Nader, for all his outsider status, is a deeply political creature. And in classic Naderite fashion, most of his 25 prescriptions are political reforms rather than policy proposals. Some of them are very good. He wants to give taxpayers standing to sue in courts, "push community self-reliance," "defend and extend civil liberties," and rein in presidential war powers.

Unstoppable accurately diagnoses some of the venality of today's politics, including corruption on the right. Nader winningly groups problems under the labels of "corporatism" and "corporate/statism." He praises principled conservatives and libertarians, and points out how "conservatism" is often abused and twisted to serve the powerful. "The corporatist Republicans let the libertarians and conservatives have the paper platforms," but then they "throw out a welcome mat for Big Business lobbyists with their slush funds who are anything but libertarian or conservative in their demands." I couldn't have said it any better.

One sharp observation is how conservative rhetoric is used to advance stultifying pro-incumbent economic policies. "Since established ways and institutions usually reflect the existing distribution of power, wealth, and property," he writes, "conservatism has been associated with societies where the few dominate the many, ultimately through the use of the police force when all other silent and overt repressions fail."

This use of "conservatism" evokes foreign, nearly fascist, regimes more than American conservatism, but it also echoes New Left historian Gabriel Kolko's important and perceptive use of the word. Writing in the 1960s, Kolko authored a gripping revisionist history of Teddy Roosevelt and the Progressive Period, titled The Triumph of Conservatism. By "conservatism," Kolko meant above all the preservation of the status quo.

Nader is right: This sort of conservatism often trumps other conservative values, such as free markets, limited government, or the humility to eschew central planning. It's the kind of conservatism that championed, for example, the 2008 Wall Street bailouts. The financial industry's giant institutions were revered as accomplishments of capitalism and engines of growth, rather than being correctly pegged as government dependents.

When market turbulence threatened these Masters of the Universe, many conservatives fought to save them, apparently on the notion that longstanding institutions or industries automatically deserve government protection when times get tough. In the end, the 2008 Troubled Asset Relief Program didn't limit itself to the orderly liquidation of failed financial firms, but made sure to save Goldman Sachs, Citigroup, and Bank of America. That's "conservative" only in the most crooked and Kolkoian sense.

Nader demonstrates how pro-market arguments get corrupted into pro-business arguments, and how conservatives and libertarians end up being dupes of the corporations. These are helpful distinctions for the center and left, and contain important warnings for libertarians and the right.

But Nader's whole project of forming a left-right convergence against corporatism often crashes against his bad definition of corporatism: "Corporatism or 'corporate/statism,' as Grover Norquist calls it, is first and foremost a doctrine of corporate supremacy," he writes. "Whatever advances that system of power and status over the constitutionally affirmed sovereignty of the peoples comprises the widening, all-encompassing corporatist agenda."

I define corporatism as state-industry collusion against free enterprise. It's a fairly obscure word, and so Nader is entitled to his own definition. But by totally omitting the central role of government in corporatism, Nader's definition fails to be a useful foundation for left-right convergence. This failure-unsurprising for a liberal gadfly of big business-infects the book and perhaps fatally undermines its mission.

For instance, in an important section called "The Hijacking of the Conservative Label," Nader details some "conclusory and provocative charges" that the corporatist right uses "to end deliberate, evidential thinking." His list of allegedly argument-suppressing lingo includes the phrases "free market," and "stifles competition."

So in trying to engage conservatives and libertarians against corporate welfare, Nader asserts that "free market" is just a buzzword that corporate lobbyists use to dupe credulous anti-statists. But when the economic freedom litigation firm Institute for Justice points out how food truck regulations "stifle competition," are they really just being "conclusory," and trying to "end deliberate, evidential thinking"?

Nader also derides the "right-wing, neocon, corporatist American Enterprise Institute." This mention caught my eye, since AEI happens to employ me as a visiting fellow, with the job description of writing and talking against corporate welfare and crony capitalism. I am called many names, but corporatist is rarely one of them.

My AEI colleagues include James Pethokoukis, who consistently advocates breaking up the big banks, and Ed Pinto, who crusades against Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and other mortgage subsidies. Kevin Hassett, who heads AEI's economics department, famously blasted George W. Bush for ethanol subsidies and oil subsidies, while also calling for a carbon tax.

Nader's calling AEI "corporatist," moved me to search AEI's website for the phrase "Export-Import Bank" (Ex-Im), a federal agency that subsidizes U.S. manufacturers, mostly big ones like Boeing. Of the 25 mentions of Ex-Im at AEI.org, I counted 19 as negative. The rest are either neutral or are written by Norm Ornstein, AEI's most liberal scholar.

Compare AEI's treatment of Ex-Im to the corporatist agency's treatment by Nader's publisher-Nation Books, a sister company of the The Nation magazine. In 2012, The Nation's George Zornick attacked "Far Right Republicans" for threatening to curb or kill the "important" Ex-Im," which "serves a crucial role in boosting American exports."

Along the same lines, Nader in Unstoppable repeatedly praises the Progressive Policy Institute (PPI) as a scrappy opponent of corporatism. Yet in 2013, you could find senior PPI fellows telling Congress to create "a several-billion-dollar 'war chest'" for President Obama "to meet or beat any incentive offered to a company by a foreign government to lure production there." Liberal blogger Matt Yglesias rightly pegged this idea as "a large federal slush fund the executive branch can use to randomly subsidize politically powerful firms."

By making "corporatism" solely about corporations, and not about the unholy alliance between government and industry, Nader misses his own side's culpability in the latter. Advocating corporate welfare for U.S. manufacturers, just like erecting barriers to free trade (a prominent part of Unstoppable), involves harnessing government's power to save domestic manufacturing jobs.

Big-government populism and progressivism easily and often yields corporatism, which Nader seems to miss. In the opening pages of the book, he holds up Franklin Roosevelt as an example of anti-corporatism. This is the same FDR who gave us the National Recovery Act, an attempt to cartelize industry and protect big businesses from the nasty unpredictability of competition. FDR once even tried to move Thanksgiving earlier to please the retail lobby, which wanted a longer Christmas shopping season.

Later, in calling for left-right convergence on the environment, Nader praises "the legacy of conservative philosophers" and their followers, naming U.S. Forest Service founder Gifford Pinchot. Yet Pinchot epitomized Progressive Era corporatism. Historian Samuel Hays wrote in Conservation and the Gospel of Efficiency (1959) that Pinchot's consistent "support of grazing interests did not arise merely for his search for political backing for the transfer [of forest land to the Forest Bureau he headed]. These attitudes revealed his basic view that the reserves should be developed for commercial use rather than preserved from it."

Nader doesn't understand that state power is the sine qua non of corrupt corporatism. In Unstoppable, he bristles at the suggestion. After knocking AEI, he lights into former Cato Institute president Ed Crane for pinning the ultimate blame on government. "Who started the merry-go-round?" of corporate-state collusion, Nader asks. "Can anyone think the state started this dynamic?" His answer: "Business tied to greed and power misbehaved long before Big Government started."

Nader's argument here is weaker than anywhere else in the book. He blames Wall Street, rather than central planners and self-dealing lawmakers, for creating Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. "Corporations have their own ideological imperatives," Nader explains, without providing any supporting evidence. "Governments, such as ours, are not of themselves very ideologically driven."

That seems backwards. Part of the problem with corporations is that they have too little ideology-they have only profit motive.

And Nader seems not to understand how K Street and Capitol Hill interact. Americans were appalled to learn in recent months about hedge fund billionaire Bill Ackman turning members of Congress and the Federal Trade Commission against Herbalife, a nutritional company he had shorted. To Nader, this probably looks like a simple case of a greedy investor corrupting government.

But back in 2006, hedge funds were barely involved in Washington. Their political action committees were modest and their lobbying efforts were low-rent. Then liberal Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) called together leading hedge fund millionaires and billionaires and told them to get more involved. So they did, tripling their political action committee spending and multiplying their lobbying budget by 12 (and hiring Schumer's top banking aide as a lobbyist).

Congress abused Microsoft in the late 1990s until the computing giant started spending more on politicians and lobbyists; it's doing the same to Apple now. Once Big Government ropes these companies into the K Street swamp, that's when the ugly corporatism arises.

Liberals can work with libertarians and conservatives for better policies. More importantly, libertarians and conservatives can learn from the likes of Nader. But first, they need to understand one another better-better than Nader, despite his decades of reaching across the spectrum, understands the right.

For example, here are four things Nader labels as quintessentially "conservative" in Unstoppable: the American Bar Association (ABA), Sandra Day O'Connor, Brink Lindsey, and John McCain.

To review this murderers row of right-wingers: Studies regularly find that the ABA ranks Democratic judicial nominees more favorably than Republicans. (The lawyers' lobby has also pushed for more gun control, gay marriage, and abortion.) Former Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor on various occasions forced the Professional Golfers' Association of America to change its rules under the Americans with Disabilities Act and upheld campaign finance restrictions on political speech. Brink Lindsey, formerly of the Cato Institute, is a libertarian who has espoused "liberaltarianism" and wrote in this magazine that "a clear-eyed look at conservatism as a whole reveals a political movement with no realistic potential for advancing individual freedom." And John McCain? Well, there's a reason his fellow Republicans call him a "maverick"-his hobby is pissing off his own party.

There is undeniably a gulf to be bridged. Kudos to Nader for trying. But if his new book is any indication, Quixotic might have been a better title than Unstoppable.

Related Reason TV video: Ralph Nader on how progressives and libertarians are taking on crony capitalism and corrupt Democrats and Republicans…

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  1. As long as Nader refuses to see the 800 lb gorilla in the room–government–he will continue to be a misguided crank. You can complain about the secondary culprits all you want, but unless you go to the source, nothing will mean anything.

      1. I love profits! Especially my own.

  2. So Nader still misses the point on several things. Big surprise that.

    Fuck him for the seat belt beeper.

    1. I second that.

    2. I am old enough to have read Unsafe at Any Speed. Some of his complaints were valid, but his attack on early Corvairs (my first car was a ’63) was unfair. Yes, if you drove them recklessly they were more likely to flip than most cars, but that was also true of VW Beetles, which had a very similar rear suspension. The fact that he went after GM and not VW seemed telling.

      Plus the diagram in the book showing how Corvairs could be flipped was exaggerated: it showed the rear swing axle moving far more than it physically could.

      1. My father in law modded an old VW by flipping the entire frame over. Made the tires jut outward instead of inward.

        Then he’d take ninety degree turns at 45 MPH. Cool fucking car, that.

  3. So basically Nader did what progressives always do. He claimed that he wants ‘compromise’ and ‘to work together’ but refuses to make any compromises himself while asking the people he supposedly wants to work with to make all the concessions. He then showed he’s not even bright enough to understand the arguments of his opponents, and wasted an entire book on spluttering incoherence.

    There can be no alliance with progs. Even when they’re opposed to corporatism they advocated policies that would make it drastically worse.

    1. There can be no alliance with progs. Even when they’re opposed to corporatism they advocated policies that would make it drastically worse.

      You can substitute pretty much any issue in the place of corporatism and still be right. We don’t call them the evil party for nothing.

      1. Evil party?

        Are you saying “We” are the republican here and “they” are the Democrats?

        Wow…..

    2. Even when they’re opposed to corporatism they advocated policies that would make it drastically worse.

      Because when a prog is opposed to corporatism it’s because they are advocating outright socialism of some sort. Left liberals, who are nearly an endangered species at this point, might drift over the line to embrace a free-market reform or two, but the prog world-view doesn’t allow them to knowingly do so. The prog is incapable of envisioning a society where the government gun holster is not at least unsnapped at all times. It’s their defining characteristic.

      1. Left liberals, who are nearly an endangered species at this point

        Why is that, anyways? Seems like it’s also happening in the UK (no bastion of capitalism to begin with, but now Labour has gone full retard).

        1. Why is that, anyways?

          Because being a lesser evil takes effort? It takes energy to tow the lion between lefty feelz and personal freedom. It requires reflection, reevaluation, the emotional fortitude to actually listen to an opposing opinion and consider you might be mistaken.

          A lot easier to just be a fascist. No thinking required, nothing to divert from keeping the jackboots in pristine face-stomping condition at all times.

          Add that to group-think dynamics, as more and more lefties go prog/fascist/collectivist it becomes harder and harder for left liberals to walk the line without becoming a socially outcast, which most normal people will go to great lengths to avoid.

          1. Hmm, interesting. Why is it that classical liberals can’t do that with American conservatism, which is more a grotesquerie of 19th century American liberalism than anything coherent unto itself?

    3. The real problem is progressives themselves. Conservatives and libertarians need to come together on a planned attrition for progressive kind.

      There will be no real solutions to our problems until progressive numbers are significantly reduced.

      1. Hah Hah……..sounds like a “Final Solution” , which is what I expect of Authoritarians such as you find here.

    4. Your first paragraph also defines Barack Obama’s definition of bi-partisanship.

  4. OT: I can’t stop trolling that retard Russell Crawford.

    I haven’t met a maniac like him in so long, giving him shit is like sweet sweet candy being IV pumped into my brain.

    1. Who’s Russell Crawford?

      1. He’s the dumbass from the Hobby Lobby thread talking about pro lifers being murderers because they spend time trying to save unborn babies instead of saving adult lives.

        I sound crazy just talking about him, don’t I?

        1. Holy fuck, what am I looking at?

          You have a choice, you can save innocent born life dying at the rate of 1.8 each second, or you can choose to let that life die and save a fetus instead. Pro lifers make the intentional choice to let innocent babies die to save fetuses. What is your choice?

          No, if they killed someone by saving a fetus that would be a fallacy.

          What is occurring is that there are both born people and unborn fetuses dying, one may choose to save a born person or let it die and save a fetus instead.

          Not saving is exactly that, not saving.

          The problem arises when a person has a duty to save and does not save. That makes the death murder by omission. You might want to look that up. And keep in mind that pro lifers claim to save babies, yet they save fetuses and let babies die.

          No one said that preventing an abortion kills someone. I said that two things are dying. You choose to save the fetus and let the human die. You can’t save both. But that does not matter all that matters is that you chose the, fetus when there were humans to save.

          I don’t know what’s going on. He seems to think that every woman who has an abortion does so because having the baby would kill her, therefore being against abortion is the same as murdering all those women.

          That’s the only way this insanity can have any sort of sense to it.

          1. Ad Hominemz!!1!

            1. This is brilliant:

              The people on this site are severely confused.
              Lets clarify:

              1) There are only two types of life that can be saved. Born life that has already been proved to be human enough to be born and other life that has not been proved to be human enough to be born.

              2) The Scientific Abortion Laws state that there are more people dying than can be saved. Why is that true and a law? Because everyone and every living thing that science is aware of dies. And therefore there is more life alive than can be saved. Why does that matter and become elevated to a law? Because it clarifies an important human right, the right to control ones own body through bodily autonomy.
              The law makes it clear that one cannot “save” a fetus and thereby ignore bodily autonomy, without causing the death of another human. The Law makes it clear that the only way to save a fetus, that is not a certain life, is by letting a certain life die. The law therefore makes it clear that because everyone is in fact dying, one must choose whom they will save. Passing a law that all fetuses must be saved without passing a law that saves all other life simply puts the life of the fetus above the life of a born person.

              So far all arguments on this site that have been presented are ad hominem fallacies and straw man fallacies. If there is someone here that can argue the real facts then I am ready for a real debate.

              1. everyone and every living thing that science is aware of dies. And therefore there is more life alive than can be saved.

                Gotta admit, Irish — he’s got you *there*!

                1. What does ‘saved’ mean, if everything dies?

                  Also, this word ‘science’? – is apparently just a rhetorical device

                  1. I just finished posting a new argument for him a short time ago.

                    I just simply cannot wait for his response.

                    I’m like a ten year old opening a Christmas present and finding my first game console.

              2. Ermahgerd

              3. There are only two types of life that can be saved. Born life that has already been proved to be human enough to be born and other life that has not been proved to be human enough to be born.

                For all of his obsession with logical fallacies, you’d think he’d be able to recognize when he’s begging the question.

        2. I remember that turd! He us kind of a sick source of amusement, isn’t he? The guy makes me think of this person from high school who got jacking it in the men’s room that we all ripped on.

      2. Who’s Russell Crawford?

        I really liked him in Master and Commander

  5. So we are continuing to beat the Ralph Nader horse again this weekend? What is that, three weeks in a row now?

    1. Ralph Nader is a Horse

      I would watch that movie.

      1. Would he be unsafe at any speed?

        1. At this point, he is glue and dog food.

  6. There can and never will be an alliance with progressives. They put way too much faith and trust in the government and bureaucracy to be considered. They have a dim and cynical view of human nature and believe all of man’s vices can regulated away.

    1. Their answer to solving the problems we agree on tends to be ‘MOAR GOVERNMENT, PLEAZE!’, which is why we’ll never be in the same camp.

  7. Seems like a lot of what he is saying about “covservatism” could also be saud about “liberalism”. His failure to see tgat undermines his own purported agenda.

    1. If it wasn’t such a pain to comment here with android I might consider fixing my typos before submitting.

      1. iPad isn’t much better.

  8. “Liberal blogger Matt Yglesias rightly…”

    Well, that’s something I never expected to read, ever.

  9. “CORPORATISM”

    I confess = I watched the movie ‘The Corporation’.

    It was one of the dumbest things i’ve ever seen. It was an achievement only in how they managed to generate absolute-zero sense out of the few facts at their disposal.

    To this day, I am still finding myself asking people, “Show us on the doll where Procter & Gamble did the naughty thing to you”, etc.

    I have heard people wax at great length of the evil nexus that is ‘corporatism’, yet all I hear is “government has power to do X, so it will”. *because rich people* or something.

    Somehow people keep pointing fingers at Monsanto, Halliburton, Raytheon, KOCH!!, and Goldman Sachs… as though these nests of evil are the things that ‘made government do bad’.

    …And then they go and start acting as though that brilliant observation *naturally* includes every other company on earth as well by default. Because The Hershey Corporartion wants to subvert *democracy*.

    None of it makes any sense to me, and i normally can make sense of even the most convoluted hogwash.

    Anyone suggest some primer less nauseating than Naomi Klein that would convince me that the word *isn’t* complete horseshit, and that people who use it *aren’t* complete morons?

    1. Wasn’t corporatism a libertarian thing 5 years ago? An attempt to point out that what we have isn’t the free market that liberals pretend it is?

      I’ve since learned that if you back liberals too far into the corporatism corner they start calling for a people’s revolution.

      1. Saying, “the free market is highly regulated and biased in favor of those with access to power” is not the same thing as this anti-“corporatism” hogwash, which certainly has no interest in removing the barriers to free(r) enterprise.

        Epi points out the main issue in the first comment – most of these anti-‘corporatists’ are simply transferring culpability for policies they abhor away from Government ‘As Perpetrator’ to Corporations!-“As-Motivators”

        Its basically “The Devil Made Me Do It”, dressed up with some Chomsky.

        1. I was more surprised that they co-opted the term so rapidly than I was disputing that we mean very different things by it.

          1. Yeah, that was impressive. Although the emphasis on corporatism in the last decade or so has been largely addressing the left anti-corporation obsession in an attempt to convince them of the libertarian argument for limited government.

            Unsuccessfully I might add.

            I do think this has played a part in the violent anti-libertarian sentiment in progressive circles. Because so much of the libertarian argument directly addresses concerns of the left it is seen as a threat to their base. In the same way that Democrat activists get violently angered by black conservative voices – threats to the base must be eliminated at all costs.

    2. I hate the way we constantly have to come up with new words to describe shitty ideas that have been around for centuries.Corporatism, fascism, mercantilism, its the same damn thing. Though I suppose if they admitted that the problem is mercantilism then they might look back into history to see what ended its popularity and what the results were.

      1. Oops.

        Gilmore, then don’t read the book in the above link.

        http://amzn.to/1nUGOwk

        1. “”The modern corporation, according to law professor Joel Bakan, is “singularly self-interested and unable to feel genuine concern for others in any context.”

          Wait until this guy finds out his pet fish don’t love him either.

          1. Reminds me of some ridiculous GEICO ad: “But it *can’t* take you to dinner; it’s just a fucking *wallet*!”

          2. What bull. Corporations still have to make their customers happy, or they leave. The VA and IRS and all the rest have no such motivation, and yet boneheads like Bakan think it’s obvious that we should turn to government to protect us from evil corporations.

          3. Unlike government which loves the “little guy”. Big Brother cares, he really does!

            1. You’re right Bill. Big Brother cares and will nurture you, give you medical care, an education, work etc. Just any citizen who lived through the Hitler, Stalin and Pol Pot regimes.

    3. and that people who use it *aren’t* complete morons?

      Most of the people that wail about it on the left fall into the “useful idiot” class. In a sense they are corporatism, or at least part of it, but are too clueless to even realize it. They hear corporatism which sounds a lot like corporation and thus conflate the two and use the result to justify stealing whatever it is they are trying to steal on that given day.

      These useful idiots are the stick part of the corporatist model. Tax breaks, cronyism, etc, are the carrot part. The useful idiots mission is to be the stick for the Top Men to wave at the corporations to keep them in line when there are no carrots available or they have gorged themselves into thinking that they can ignore the political class.

      Leftists that rail against corporatism are about the most face-palm inducing creatures on earth, and it is a mystery of nature how they do not vanish into an irony vortex when they get going. One of my favorite things to do to these fools when they explain how they are speaking truth to power or fighting the man is to explain to them in detail how they are the man, or at least his cannon fodder and that all of these evil crony corporations (I’m looking at you Musk) couldn’t earn a red cent if it wasn’t for the tireless work of useful idiots like the prog faithful.

  10. OMG CORPORASHUNS ALL UP IN UR HEALTHCARES?!

    “Obama to Nominate Ex-Procter & Gamble Chief to Lead Veterans Affairs Department”

    See, we need ‘private sector’ management to dig our dysfunctional sytem out of a ditch….

    …. but actually turning the VA over to the private Sector? GASP Horrors!?

    1. You should give the VA to Rick Scott. After all, he’s proven himself and his corporation to be worthy of the largest frauds in corporate history.

      Horrors!

      Or, you could give them to guys like Ken Lay or other buddies of Bush.

  11. Generally, Nader wants corporations to have less power, because he wants government to have more.

    He wants much corporate power outright transferred to the government. Start with what’s not yet nationalized in our health care system.

    Then, Nader is against handouts to corporations he dislikes, and but still for handouts to corporations he does like. He’s not against corporate handouts, he just wants them to go to different corporations.

    More socialism, different mix of corporatism. Same old shit.

    1. Wait!

      Are you claiming that corporations are not 100% a construct of the big bad gubment?

      It sounds like that’s your point.

      WOW. Double WOW. ALL corporate power should be with the government, as that is who charters the corporations and whose rules they function under. Sure, this involves both state and fed. governments…but it’s still government!

      Same old shit…you guys pray at the altar of big money (corporations)…..without understanding that the entire concept was to be chartered by the government for something which added to the general welfare and happiness of the people.

      In other words – you’re in backwards bizzarro world again!

  12. If you fuckers can put up with the Pope Sucker and Red Tony, why are idiot progs so beyond the pale? Why is mindlessly hating gays so much less troublesome then mindlessly hating business people? I’m not saying we should aline ourselves whole-hog (we did that last time with ‘conservatives’ and got burned bad), but working on one or two issues (within reason) shouldn’t be too difficult. Again, stop playing favorites with ‘the right’, because they have no problem stabbing us in the back at the first opportunity.

    1. In what ways do we have common cause with progressives? I’m talking specifics, not broad platitudes.

      1. Who is “we”? Are you a gang? From what I see here, “we” runs from authoritarians to religious fundamentalists. In other words, Republicans.

        Is that the “we” you speak of?

  13. The teaser intro to Gillespie’s Nader interview, involving mainstream political bullying, got me interested in watching it. But not 15 minutes into the hour-long chat, Nader was already displaying remarkable commie-like ignorance in referring to corporate executive compensation packages as ‘corporate welfare.’

    I’m not likely to welcome Mr. Nader with open arms any time soon. If after 50 years as an activist he still does not understand that private capital can be spent according to its owner’s wishes (assuming, of course, no violence, fraud, theft, extortion, or property damage done to others), then I can’t respect him.

    1. “Private capital”….???

      I thought these were public companies he might be complaining about – companies who fill the BOD with their cronies who then pay the CEO according to what he wants as opposed to what he should earn (or does earn).

      AND, since these inflated salaries and benefits are fully tax deductible, it’s “theft” from the shareholders and the great citizens of our land.

      In other words, a public corporation should not be able to install 100 million dollars worth of art in their lobby and deduct it nor should they be able to pay that to the CEO.

      If only life were so simple as your few talking points! But it’s not….life is chess and you guys seem to like describing checkers.

  14. 25-point agenda for left-right con­vergence. But Nader’s sense of what

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