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Classless Nader 'Uncle Tom' Comment

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By Ben Cohen

I've been contemplating weighing in on this, and decided to do so because I'm genuinely disappointed in a personal hero of mine. Ralph Nader has been a force for good in American politics, sticking to his guns about issues that help regular people, and never backing down to corporate interests. I've admired Nader's opposition to the dominant two party political culture, and his fearless fighting as a consumer advocate. But Nader crossed the line last night, asking whether Barack Obama would be an 'Uncle Tom or an Uncle Sam' President.

Nader is right in saying that the public needs to hold Obama to account when it comes to his fiscal policy. Obama has certainly bowed to corporate interests more than progressives would like, but to use a term like this is just pathetic. There are questions to be asked of Obama, but for one night, it would be nice to forget all that and savor an important moment in history. Nader tried to spoil it, and in the process has helped spoiled his own cause. Amazingly, Fox News behaved admirably, with Sheppard Smith putting Nader in his place. Nader's 'Uncle Tom' line will come back to haunt him very quickly, and he'll find himself without any friends in an already lonely place in American politics. What an idiot.