FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Shutting Out Ralph Nader

by DC LARSON

Those relatively few and routinely ignored ‘progressive Democrats’ who robotically urge that the donkey be rallied ’round in times of balloting (‘We’re changing the party from the inside,’ they perenially insist — a job that somehow never generates issue) are pointing to the soon-to-be-chaired hearings on Rep. Dennis Kucinich’s presidential impeachment call as exemplary of the decency inclination amongst their corporatized fellows.

An email recently sent out by online activism coordinator The Pen hailed the upcoming proceedings. “But will they be real hearings..,” it asked, “or just a fly by with action on impeachment itself still expressly off the table?”

Actually, those hearings will prove instead that venerable, powerful liberals in the Democrat-led Congress are as unconcerned about political justice as is any neo-con in Rupert Murdoch’s Rolodex.

The most damning bit at hand is House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s notorious declaration that “impeachment is off the table.” There can be no reasonable hope of conviction when the High Judge so pre-emptively rules.

Given that decree, it can reasonably be predicted that despite any fiery rhetoric, condemnatory assertions or camera-friendly cavortings the impeachment hearings will likely produce, absolutely nothing substantive will come from them.

Comes now the sad tale of Congressman John Conyers.

In a July 23 letter to Conyers, Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, independent presidential candidate Ralph Nader noted that while several witnesses were set to appear during the hearings — including former congressman, now-Libertarian presidential candidate Bob Barr — Nader himself was not on the list.

Nader reminded Conyers that they had had “several conversations and two meetings” focusing on impeachment. And that he had previously drafted a letter to the Chairman laying out options available to him.

“This is not the first time that I have been excluded from testifying on subjects both of us have been concerned about and have discussed,” Nader wrote Conyers in the most recent letter. “Remember your invitation to testify at your unofficial public hearing right after the 2004 elections regarding ‘irregularities’ in Ohio? Within two days, your chief of staff, Perry Applebaum, persuaded you to disinvite me.

“Applebaum has been a problem with my appearing before a Committee Chairman whom I have known, admired and worked with for nearly forty years. He has performed his exclusionary behavior on other occasions…”

The phenomenon of Nader’s being shut out of hearings to which his knowledge and decades of experience might well contribute consequentially, perceived not illogically as Democrat “payback” for daring to exercise his constitutional right to seek elective office, is not a new one.

A 6/25/08 Washington Post article (“Miles to go”) noted that, “Since 2000, Nader has been shut out of places that used to welcome him. Once a familiar figure on the Hill, he is shunned by Democrats when he offers to testify at congressional hearings, even on matters such as auto safety.”

Nader himself observed to the Post that Delaware Senator Joe Biden, Chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee and Judiciary Committee member, had once said of him, “[Nader] better not come up to Capitol Hill.”

Judiciary Committee Chairman Conyers has over decades of senate service earned a reputation as a champion of the public interest. When pressed by independent progressives, Democrats frequently cite him as ‘one of the best.’

But in 2008 and with elections looming, all that deserved renown seems to mean little to Conyers, himself. His presumably willful participation in this uber partisan stuntery — at the expense of the public interest and with high crimes unpunished being the likely result — illustrates to what depths even ‘venerable, powerful’ liberals will dive when the donkey demands.

DC LARSON, of Iowa, is CD Review Editor for Rockabilly Magazine. Among his freelance credits are Goldmine, Blue Suede News, No Depression and Rock & Rap Confidential. This piece originally ran on his blog, http://www.dclarson.blogspot.com.

 

 

 

 

 

Weekend Edition
February 5-7, 2016
Jeffrey St. Clair
When Chivalry Fails: St. Bernard and the Machine
Leonard Peltier
My 40 Years in Prison
John Pilger
Freeing Julian Assange: the Final Chapter
Garry Leech
Terrifying Ted and His Ultra-Conservative Vision for America
Andrew Levine
Smash Clintonism: Why Democrats, Not Republicans, are the Problem
William Blum
Is Bernie Sanders a “Socialist”?
Daniel Raventós - Julie Wark
We Can’t Afford These Billionaires
Enrique C. Ochoa
Super Bowl 50: American Inequality on Display
Jonathan Cook
The Liberal Hounding of Julian Assange: From Alex Gibney to The Guardian
George Wuerthner
How the Bundy Gang Won
Mike Whitney
Peace Talks “Paused” After Putin’s Triumph in Aleppo 
Ted Rall
Hillary Clinton: the Good, the Bad and the Ugly
Gary Leupp
Is a “Socialist” Really Unelectable? The Potential Significance of the Sanders Campaign
Vijay Prashad
The Fault Line of Race in America
Eoin Higgins
Please Clap: the Jeb Bush Campaign Pre-Mortem
Joseph Mangano – Janette D. Sherman
The Invisible Epidemic: Radiation and Rising Rates of Thyroid Cancer
Andre Vltchek
Europe is Built on Corpses and Plunder
Jack Smith
Obama Readies to Fight in Libya, Again
Robert Fantina
As Goes Iowa, So Goes the Nation?
John Grant
Israel Moves to Check Its Artists
Dean Baker
Market Turmoil, the Fed and the Presidential Election
John Wight
Who Was Cecil Rhodes?
David Macaray
Will There Ever Be Anyone Better Than Bernie Sanders?
Christopher Brauchli
Suffer Little Children: From Brazil to Flint
JP Sottile
Did Fox News Help the GOP Establishment Get Its Groove Back?
Binoy Kampmark
Legalizing Cruelties: the Australian High Court and Indefinite Offshore Detention
John Feffer
Wrestling With Iran
Rob Prince – Ibrahim Kazerooni
Syria Again
Louisa Willcox
Park Service Finally Stands Up for Grizzlies and Us
Farzana Versey
Of Beyoncé, Trudeau and Culture Predators
Pete Dolack
Fanaticism and Fantasy Drive Purported TPP ‘Benefits’
Murray Dobbin
Canada and the TPP
Steve Horn
Army of Lobbyists Push LNG Exports, Methane Hydrates, Coal in Senate Energy Bill
Colin Todhunter
“Lies, Lies and More Lies” – GMOs, Poisoned Agriculture and Toxic Rants
Franklin Lamb
ISIS Erasing Our Cultural Heritage in Syria
David Mihalyfy
#realacademicbios Deserve Real Reform
Graham Peebles
Unjust and Dysfunctional: Asylum in the UK
Yves Engler
On Unions and Class Struggle
Alfredo Lopez
The ‘Bern’ and the Internet
Missy Comley Beattie
Super Propaganda
Ed Rampell
Great Caesar’s Ghost!: A Specter Haunts Hollywood in the Coen’s Anti-Anti-Commie Goofball Comedy
Cesar Chelala
The Public Health Impact of Domestic Violence
Ron Jacobs
Cold Weather Comforts of a Certain Sort
Charles Komanoff
On the Passing of the Jefferson Airplane
Charles R. Larson
Can One Survive the Holocaust?
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail