Ralph Nader, frequent candidate for president, denounced Obama for not having nominated Elizabeth Warren to head the Financial Services Protection Bureau. It made me think of something he said when running for president. Comparing Republican and Democratic parties: “There’s not a dime’s worth of difference between them.”
George Bush against Al Gore was decided by the Supreme Court and ushered in the disastrous Bush/Cheney regime which engineered an unnecessary war and the worst economic collapse since the Great Depression. The attack on the World Trade Towers came eleven months after George Bush had been elected. Had he not fixated on war with Iraq, he might have kept his eye on Afghanistan where Osama bin Laden was tooling up. If the CIA had not been forced to come up with phony intel about Iraqi nuclear programs, it might have noticed something fishy in foreigners taking flying lessons without wanting to know how to land.
Abandoning the Kyoto Accords prompted an Australian senator to say: “The world’s got a pretty simple choice here. It’s between George W. Bush and grandchildren.” But Bush and Cheney, two oil men, were incapable of lifting a finger if it hinted at trimming bloated oil company profits.
After Hurricane Katrina, Bush flew over New Orleans in Air Force One, and sent in troops more intent on jailing people than helping them. Dave Eggers stunning shocking book, Zeitoun, spells out their brutal illegal behavior.
Bush’s tax “reforms” poured gold into the vaults of billionaires while picking the pockets of everyone else. Even worse was his eagerness to trash regulations. Where he couldn’t change laws, he de-funded agencies. Staffs were cut. DC insiders called it “hollowing out.” More than a few realized that mortgage-backed securities—rated AAA by Standard & Poor’s—were worthless. Some spoke up, to be ignored. Others sold short and made millions. The debacle ignited the Depression we’re in right now. Would an Al Gore presidency have wrought any of these ugly tragedies?
Nader faults Obama for not following his personal agenda. Obama does not bluster, mobilized the nation’s finest and nailed Osama bin Laden, and he is repairing, bit by bit, the ragged legacy of eight Bush-whacked years. In 2012, voters have a mighty chance to help by tossing out Tea Party lunatics.
In 1965, Ralph Nader wrote a useful book, “Unsafe at Any Speed,” but he has been sliding downhill ever since. Nowadays, between Ralph Nader and the Tea Party, I don’t see a dime’s worth of difference.