Ralph Nader is applying the same tactics that helped 4 years of unified Democratic government in the late 70s produce pretty much nothing to trying to stop new libraries in D.C. from being built against the wishes of most neighborhood activists:
The Library Renaissance Project’s assorted objections to the Mount Pleasant Library redevelopment plans slowed the process and heaped new costs on the city, with little in the way of tangible results.
“When costs went up and delays were done and additional architecture work was asked for, we ended up with the same design we had presented and that the community had agreed to,” says D.C. Chief Librarian Ginnie Cooper, who’s leaving her position at the end of October. “That took us nine to 10 months and cost us a million dollars.”
The Library Renaissance Project also protested various elements of the redesigns of the branch libraries in Shaw, Benning, and Washington Highlands. But none of those actions drew as much attention, anger, or cost as the group’s lawsuit over the West End Library.
Which all sounds fine, except for one little hitch: The neighborhood groups that exist to represent those interests are universally opposed to Nader’s efforts.
“This wasn’t just a unanimous vote from the [Advisory Neighborhood Commission],” Asher Corson, who’s served on the Foggy Bottom-West End ANC for seven years, says of the support for the Eastbanc project. “This was every group that exists in Foggy Bottom. As far as I know, these groups have never agreed on anything, and probably never will again.”
I had trouble finding any neighborhood supporters of the Library Renaissance Project’s efforts; most neighbors are eager to replace as quickly as possible the current West End Library, which feels wildly outdated next to the branch libraries that have undergone recent renovations. I asked Diener for the names of some allies, and she passed a few along. Most were residents of Dupont Circle, which lacks it own library and makes use of West End’s. Two—a married couple—are members of the West End Library Friends but stopped attending meetings well before Eastbanc submitted its plans for the development in 2011. On the whole, it’s clear that the neighborhood’s sentiment is not with Nader.
I’m sure these actions will lead to new free-standing libraries being built to Nader’s precise architectural specifications any day now, though. Just like the robust Consumer Protection Agency that Reagan created.
As a bonus, Ralph is still happy to repeat the most idiotic non-sequiturs of his most pathetic apologists:
“I have a hundred answers to 2000,” he cuts in. “The first one is, why don’t you ask Gore? Why did he lose? He doesn’t blame the Green Party. He blames Florida. He blames that he didn’t carry his own state [Tennessee], which all by itself would have put him in the White House.”
“Didn’t Bush take away more votes from Gore?” continues Nader, who says a sixth presidential run is “not likely.” “Either we’re all spoilers, or none of us are spoilers.”
In fairness, Romney’s strong showing in Massachusetts and Michigan makes clear that the home state advantage remains a massive force in presidential elections…