The Daily Beast, May 23, 2014, Full story
By Eleanor Clift
Ralph Nader and Grover Norquist: Washington’s Most Unlikely Bromance
If even these political opposites can agree on a few things, is there possibly hope that Washington can still align to get things done?
Nader has a chapter [in his new book “Unstoppable”]on the think tanks based in Washington that reflect the priorities of their funders. “You go to Heritage, God forbid,” he says of the conservative think tank. “You’re going to be pushing stuff the Koch Brothers are funding. If your views are against corporate welfare, you’re not getting funding for that.” He wants to see funding for groups that promote convergence, a term that he readily admits does not have much box-office appeal. “How about alliance,” he suggests, “The Left-Right Alliance for America.”
A top left-right priority is an audit of the Pentagon. “They say they can’t do it because they move the helicopters around. Hertz moves their cars around, and they can still count them,” says Norquist. “There are real opportunities, and the left-right coalition can’t be a centrist effort. It has to be very conservative and very liberal, it’s the only way you break through the small ‘c’ corruption that everybody in Washington thinks is normal.” Pushing for more transparency in government, civil liberties, reining in the National Security Agency, prison reform, getting rid of mandatory minimums for drug possession, Norquist has a long list, to which Nader adds raising the minimum wage, breaking up the banks too big too fail, and the pushback President Obama got from left and right when he wanted to send missiles into Syria. “Google odd bedfellows, and you’ll see there’s one after another,” he says.