Power Line readers who mischievously pull for Minnesota Fifth District Rep. Keith Ellison to emerge victorious in his bid for the chairmanship of the DNC are not alone. We have noted that former Obama administration green jobs commissar and Mao man Van Jones is with you. We have noted that Vox’s Matthew Yglesias is with you. In the reductio ad absurdum of this phenomenon, we have noted that 300 U.S. Jewish leaders are with you as well.
Whatever happened to Ralph Nader? As we have frequently noted over the years, only the wrong survive. The five-time presidential candidate carries on among them. Speaking in Washington on a panel at the Progressive Unity Summit — you may have missed it — Nader lamented that the “real Keith Ellison” appears to have disappeared behind a “transformed, conditioned Keith Ellison” that has emerged in his bid for the DNC chairmanship.
The New York Observer’s Madina Toure caught up with Nader after the panel. Nader told Toure: “When he started running for the chair of the DNC, he began changing: toning down his opinions, not repeating progressive positions.”
Where have you gone, Keith Ellison? A party turns its lonely eyes to you.
Nader attributed Ellison’s alleged shift in part to competition for the position from President Obama’s former Secretary of Labor Tom Perez. “And then he said that, because he was losing ground to the establishment who wanted former Secretary of Labor Perez to be the chair, he said, well he would quit his seat, won’t be a part-time chair, starts backing off on Israel-Palestine issue,” Nader continued to Toure. “So I think, do we have the real Keith Ellison or do we have a transformed, conditioned Keith Ellison so desperate for the position that he’s forgotten a lot of his own former courageous stands and is willing to spend the lot of his time raising money from Democratic Party fat cats, which is the prime occupation of the chair of the Democratic National Committee.”
I would concede that Ellison is a shape-shifting kind of guy, but you have to be willfully blind to miss the persistence of the “real Keith Ellison” behind his various personas. I think I could set Nader’s mind at ease, but let’s leave it here for now.