Four years ago, when Ralph Nader ran for President, he got more or less a free pass both from his opponents and from the press. Gore didn’t want to alienate Nader voters, Bush knew that none of the Nader votes were coming from his column, and the press, after years of getting good stories from Nader and his colleagues, treated him as sacrosanct.
One of the bitterest lessons I learned as a young and naive liberal staffer on Capitol Hill was that the “public interest research” produced by the Nader groups was systematically fraudulent. Every time I actually got into an issue deeply enough to understand the details — nuclear power, toxic waste, pharmaceutical regulation — I discovered that the Naderites had no more respect for the facts than the industries they were fighting: in some cases, less.
So let’s hear a little less about St. Ralph this time. Someone should ask some pointed questions about how he got to be a multimillionaire. (Hint: What happens to the royalties on the books that the underpaid Public Citizen employees write under Nader’s by-line?)