Posted tagged ‘liberal’

The Vacancy: A New Beginning

May 3, 2009

We’ve all heard by now that David Souter will retire from the bench this summer. This gives President Barack Obama his first shot at appointing a new Supreme Court Justice. 

He has said that he will nominate someone with empathy and independence. Most pundits expect him to pick a centrist. Most liberals want a hard-lefter. Activists want a woman or minority. Progressives are expecting a disappointment. Republicans are vowing to fight the choice almost no matter what. 

Uphill battles are seldom fun, but are important by definition. I humbly submit a bachelor of Lebanese stock with a decades-long career of public advocacy. An Ivy-trained lawyer, military veteran, son of immigrants, and just about the most successful activist in American history:  

Ralph Nader.

Yes, let me say it again. Ralph Nader. 

If I’ve caught your eyes before you’ve rolled them, let me explain why, though I shouldn’t have to. If you’re too young to have heard much about Nader before he was derided as a “perennial candidate” for President, do a google search. I plan to push this blog as a campaign, and will flesh out his resume as much as I can. But it will help us all if you come to this site informed. Between seat belts, anti-pollution, occupational safety, the Freedom of Information Act, anti-nuke support, food labels, and dozens of other issues that have certainly impacted the life of someone you love (if not yourself), Ralph Nader has pretty much done everything for this country except breast feed it.  

He has always been a consistent opponent of government avarice and corporate greed, as well as a booster for civic empowerment. Many of his old campaign speeches sound like prophecy today. If you want real change, the kind of change that Obama promised, what would be better than putting Ralph Nader on the Supreme Court? Who else could give Scalia, Roberts, and Alito as much hell? Who else would be as tenacious a defender and enforcer of our ideals as a nation? 

Nader-hating “liberals” wouldn’t have to worry about him “siphoning off” votes in future elections. Pragmatic “progressives” wouldn’t have to worry about how he could possibly push legislation through Congress (though he did it successfully enough for three decades somehow). And conservatives wouldn’t be able to dig up any dirt on the guy.

And like your favorite rock star (and unlike Obama), he once sold out Madison Square Garden. Imagine the confirmation hearings with a guy like this: