Dennis Goes Down

Dennis Kucinich has long been known as the conscience of the U.S. Congress and is a hero to many on the left.

Vehemently opposed to the Iraq invasion, continually pressing for protection of labor rights and for serious action on climate change, against corporate trade agreements, staunchly supporting single payer health care, Dennis has championed the entire progressive agenda as it has, again and again, piece by piece, gone down to defeat.

There is a name for someone who fights good fights, is always on the right side of a losing issue, is always ready hold the little guy’s hand when he gets garroted by multinational conglomerates.

The word for such an excellent fellow is “loser.”

Dennis, like us, is a loser.

But unlike some of us, Dennis is also a good loser.

Even when he is beaten with a stacked deck, when he is forced from the ring by a well placed sucker punch, Dennis can be counted on to decorously withdraw leaving no question that we in the loyal opposition “believe deeply in this noble experiment which we call American Democracy” and in “our vigorous two party system of representative government.”

This is why, as we should remember from 2004, not a word of protest was heard from Dennis when he was prevented by party insiders from addressing the Democratic convention despite his being entitled, due to his strong showing in several primaries, to do just that. Nor was there a peep from Dennis when anti-war signs were pried from the hands of Kucinich delegates by party hacks or when those protesting the pro-war nominee were confined to free speech zones on the periphery of the convention site, in blatant violation of the first amendment.

Nor was Dennis anywhere to be found in the months prior to the 2004 election as the body count mounted in Iraq. What was, in the year before, an active and aggressive peace movement was kept under lockdown least its visibility endanger the Democrat ticket. It has never recovered and remains comatose.

In 2008, the tragedy was replayed as farce, with Dennis barely breaking into the low single digits. Rather than make trouble by endorsing the long shot candidacy of Edwards, Dennis threw his support behind a candidate endorsing pre-emptive strikes on Pakistan, who is calling for 92,000 new troops, explicitly rejects single payer health care, and is a prime mover behind environmentally suicidal subsidies for biofuel and clean coal.

And now we have the spectacle of Dennis pleading for our support against a primary challenge sponsored by the party leadership.

It appears that he can be cut loose since his services will not be needed due to the powerful sedative the Obama campaign and presidency is likely to administer to the left for the foreseeable future.

This is the thanks Dennis gets for his services in confining his potentially troublesome supporters within the DP prison, for never issuing a discouraging word about whatever corporate shill ends up striding up to the podium to accept his party’s nomination while the party sinks the further into the unreachable swamp of neoliberalism.

But ironically, for those of us who support Dennis, and for Dennis himself, his being discarded like a used kleenex, like Cynthia McKinney before him, might be the best news we receive this electoral season.

It will be if Dennis, and others like him, finally get the message that the only hope for the agenda which he has staked his career on is outside the gated community which the Democratic Party has become.

So for those considering contributing to Dennis, the place to contribute should be in an account to support a third party run following his defeat in the primary.

Another possibility, if Dennis has recovered from the shock of his defeat sufficiently, perhaps we can look forward to supporting a Kucinich/McKinney Green Party ticket in 2008 and with it the prospect of a 5% showing which will qualify them for federal campaign financing.

In any case, let’s hope this serves as a wake up call to Dennis and his supporters.

By now, at least, he should know who and where his friends are.

John Halle is a Professor at the Bard College Conservatory of Music and former Green Party Alderman from New Haven's Ninth Ward. Read other articles by John, or visit John's website.

31 comments on this article so far ...

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  1. Lloyd Rowsey said on February 25th, 2008 at 7:56am #

  2. Michael Hureaux said on February 25th, 2008 at 8:15am #

    I wouldn’t hold my breath.

  3. Bizzy said on February 25th, 2008 at 8:17am #

    I’m glad to see that this article takes a critical look at not just the feckless democratic party, but also at Dennis Kucinich. Election after election, Kucinich will energize and excite the left with his willingness to champion left causes (Single Payer Healthcare, War, Impeachment) then time and again he decides to throw his support toward a completely unworthy candidate.

    The article asks the right questions of Dennis, because I imagine that the Dissident Voice community is already well aware of Democrat Party failures … we should also be wary of a party “reformist” who consistently pushes his progressive base back into the party … asking that we support the Kerrys and Obamas who don’t share our worldview.

    Dennis is a needed voice in Congress so I do wish that he is reelected to his seat in Ohio … he is even more evidence of how deep the Democrat rabbit hole sinks, he’ll have to wake up someday and I don’t think I can wear another “Vote Kucinich” button or sing his praises or donate another dime for his presidential bids until he does awaken and leave the party …

  4. Michael said on February 25th, 2008 at 8:36am #

    It will take 4 years of preparation for a 3rd party candidate to have a chance at winning. You can’t go up against the 2 parties with only a few months preparation. The urge to elect an african-american or a woman makes a 3rd party campaign ( Even Ralph Nader ) futile in 2008.

  5. hp said on February 25th, 2008 at 8:50am #

    Perhaps he received an offer he couldn’t refuse.

  6. said on February 25th, 2008 at 8:55am #

    Leave the party?
    I left it long ago … but not for any other party. I simply remain a registered dimmy-crap, but for no other reason than I can’t see any hope any where else. With Nader/Nadir in again, the greens haven’t a snowballs hope in a Huckabee rally, and the left is kept moribund by our fear of being ostracized and fired. (As a public schools employee in a community that thinks Ronald Reagan was a liberal, and W is a centrist, what chance have I to do anything other than put up or shut up?) Alas, in fascist ‘Murikkka, is there any other way?

    Now, here is a thought to think: WWII was not fought against fascism, but fought amongst fascists … and we, fascists, won!

  7. Max Shields said on February 25th, 2008 at 10:22am #

    I agree that the GP cannot mount a substantial Presidential run. In fact, the GP should focus on local, state, and congressional seats and forget about a run for POTUS. It’s a waste of energy and makes the GP look impetent andlike “perennial” losers.

    To be a viable alternative the GP must work toward a coalition of common ground issues if it is to gain any kind of strength to go up against the 2 Parties and their corporate backers.

    A strong local focus will create a real movement and provide the transformative essentials to a meaningful win of the White House. Anything short of that is just hopeless. The GP needs to be organized and stop fighting windmills. Take what are solid values and expand. A movement will guard against the coopting that the Dems do to keep real change from happening. A solid base must be built. Stop the squabbling and get to business of building a real party with allies across the social and economic justice spectum.

  8. El Oaxuco said on February 25th, 2008 at 10:45am #

    Amen to what Max above says.

  9. Peter LaVenia said on February 25th, 2008 at 11:17am #

    I also suggest that the strategy for the left, i.e. the Nader Campaign & Green Party in 2008 should be what could be called “Unsafe States”. The Nader campaign should emphasize the battleground states – places where you could hit the exposed left flank of the Democratic Party. This is the last thing they want, but the most likely course to make the left relevant for the first time in decades. Force the Dems to talk about health care, jobs, and foreign policy as you wade into Ohio, Florida, New Mexico, etc. This would make the Dems at least posture left, and perhaps open some minds up to their flaws. Otherwise I think we would be wasting our time and the media will ignore us.

    Peter LaVenia, co-chair, Green Party of NY State

  10. Virgil Alley said on February 25th, 2008 at 12:37pm #

    I have upset several of my democrat friends because i refuse to support Clinton or Obama for president since they’re both corporate hos.Kucinich was the only decent candidate they had and i was behind him 100%.The lobbyists are spending more money bribeing democrats than republicans because they know they are in trouble this election.Now i consider myself independent and i will decide between McKinney or nader for president.Either candidate has the spine to go toe to toe with the greedy corporations and the ho politicans they buy.Call me a spoiler but at least i vote my heart.

  11. Max Shields said on February 25th, 2008 at 12:41pm #

    How do you propose “forcing” the Dems to talk about those things (I’m assuming you mean with Green candidate doing the forcing)? Nader was roundly shut out of the debates. What would make it different this time? Meaningful change is not about nudging the conversation.

    Secondly, while I noted that Nader is in for a run, I don’t see his party affiliation.

    The GP needs stay/get focused, build a coalition, actively recruit candidates, get organized, load the congress with legislators. That’s where you can throw some real punches. Not this Tom and Jerry puppet show on the campaign trail. We’ve seen the Nader show. He’ll make a great AG whenever a Green is in the WH. But for all we know he’s running as an independent not a Green (he’s not even a registered Green).

    This notion of playing “run for president” with no real organization will be the demise of the GP. Build, build, build. Get some wins. Find progressive common ground. On top of that launch a serious run in 2012. How many GP in Congress today? Let’s get going.

  12. jibbguy said on February 25th, 2008 at 12:48pm #

    The best answer to these questions is forming an all-new coalition 3rd party… With ALL the reform candidates involved (Kucinich, Paul, Nader, McKinney, Gravel, others); with the single platform plank of “We must first make the nation safe to argue in, before continuing the argument!”. This is insure there is no partisan bickering or pre-conceived baggage brought along. So ALL the discontented (greens, Progressives, Libertarians, Indi’s, and honest Conservatives) can join together to take back our country from the liars and criminals. There is every chance that such a group could garner over 35% of the vote, “stealing” equally from both mainstream parties.

    The reform candidates draw straws to see who is the actual candidate, but they all work together, all campaign equally hard as if they were the candidate. All will assume positions of power after the election, along with many elected officials and distinquished statesmen who will “defect” from the major parties when they see this excellent chance for real reform actually, and finally, happen.

    The reform candidates should all seriously consider it: This is the ONLY hope for a third party to succeed, and maybe the only hope to rid us of this wholly-corrupt 2-party system we are stuck with now. Europeans have successful coalition governments all the time… Why must we be forced into two equally corrupt choices?

    I implore our reform candidates to consider this (…as I have many times at other places and at their own sites) : We need you, your Country needs you. This is perhaps our best chance, THIS YEAR, 2008, to take back the government. You will be making sacrifices in ego and prestege perhaps, and risking much including personal danger. But as couragous Patriots, you will be serving our County in the best way possible. And “hanging together” has safety in itself.

    The perfect time to announce the new party is right after the end of the conventions; when the pitiful mainstream party platforms are exposed for what they really are, and the fervor for the corporate candidates has waned. The problems of getting on 50 ballots are difficult, but not insurmountable: “Write-in’s” can still win states if the message gets out. And what a powerful message it is….

    There are ways to get around Big Media, put it on the defensive, force it to cover the new coalition honestly. And there are ways to insure an honest vote. All it takes is huge numbers of energised and highly motivated people from all over the political spectrum working together for a critically important goal. A movement so revolutionary, so irresistable, that it has an excellent chance of sweeping all before it. One fueled by the tremendous indignation towards the lies, corruption, collusion, and creeping tyranny that is strangling our government, and destroying our country. One that rejects the Roman circus of the Red vs. Blue chariot races.

  13. Peter LaVenia said on February 25th, 2008 at 12:58pm #

    Yea, Max, I agree. I’m just saying that we know we need to run a candidate to retain ballot lines and win others, and Ralph can help us do that. I’m not so sure anyone else can at this point. Plus if the GP candidate got 5%, we’d get federal funding automatically for 2012.

    I do believe we’d get tons of media coverage if the campaign focused on the “unsafe states.” A lot of Green issues and the Green name would get out there, at least in those states. Sure, some people would deride us as a spoiler, but we’d probably energize a lot more people too. And we’d be closer to our eventual goal of destroying the Democratic Party and ripping away its left base – which is something we need to be honest about. Running in Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New Mexico, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, possibly Florida almost exclusively might attract enough voters to scare the crap out of the Dems in to an actual debate or discussion on the issues, at which point we could, post-election, expose them for frauds or potentially get them to take action on those issues.

    A presidential campaign for a third party can’t do much to build an organization beyond media – that’s our job. I don’t like the dichotomy of either/or – either we run a presidential candidate, or a Congressional candidate, or local races. A presidential race will not drain resources for a local campaign – those campaigns will be run regardless of who’s running for president.

    The national party is still incredibly disorganized. It’s not going to get more organized if we refuse to run a presidential candidate. The only advantage we’ll get is the ballot lines, potential funding in 2012, and possibly an energized base. Otherwise it’s silly to deride a presidential campaign for wrecking or disorienting the party – it can’t do any of that.

  14. Jerry D. Rose said on February 25th, 2008 at 1:44pm #

    Interesting to read the first 11 comments here and see how the commentary changed from Dennis’ history as a presidential candidate to the prospects of a 3rd party run for the 08 presidency. As a die-hard (with an emphasis on die) Dennis supporter, I’ve been frustrated with his tactical decisions to endorse Kerry, Obama (and even Edwards in 08 when he made a “deal” with him in Iowa caucuses). I’ve also said to many, including people in the Kucinich campaign, that he won’t get much further politically until he gives up the inside component of his “inside/outside” strategy with the Democratic Party. Concerning Nader and other 3rd party or independent candidates, I’ve been evolving in my mind the idea, expressed here, that at this point progressivism needs to be more of a movement than a party, but I think it can be a movement relevant to electoral politics, even in 08 if it plays the opposition game smartly; by which I mean it not give away its heart prematurely to any candidate, Democratic, Republican or independent and make its votes for any one these contingent on their responsiveness to the principles of progressivism: all options on the table in terms of method, but with an uncompromisable set of goals. I see Nader, along with McKinney, with Dennis if he (sadly) loses his congressional seat, “wakes up” and makes an independent run, with Brian Moore, the Socialist party candidate—the more the merrier in terms of insurgent candidates—operating as one commentator said with an “unsafe states” strategy of working on those states in which they can make a difference in the contest between Dems and Repubs. With this strategy, we might force some serious bidding for our votes. If it happens, we can exercise the “option” of voting for main line candidates who support our agenda. If it doesn’t happen (and I don’t think it will), we must have the courage and longer-view good sense of realizing that’s it ok to be a party to an electoral defeat for the Democrats, in that it will make that party more responsive to our views in the next election; much, as I see it, of the way the Christian fundamentalists cared the crap out of the Republicans in the near-miss defeat in 2000 when many evangelicals stayed home, causing the Bush administration to do the Karl Rove thing and tack sharply rightward during his presidency. If we can’t learn from “the enemy,” we can’t learn very much. I have a lot more thoughts along this line and am beginning to correspond with others about it this “plan,” so if you want to join that “conversation,” please contact me at moc.oohaynull@11esordyrrej.

  15. Max Shields said on February 25th, 2008 at 2:15pm #


    All well and good, but Nader is not running, at this time, as a Green. The process for selecting a GP candidate has not completed. So, I don’t know how he provides anything for the GP – unless the status changes.

    I have no qualms in the Dems loosing. I just think energies are better spent building coalitions, supporting movement building around more than one issue – Iraq, and begin at the grass-roots to make real change, build a base, stocking local, state and congressional seats with progressive/greens.

    With State and Fed power the system can be re-constituted around proportional rep, and instant run-off voting. National focus does nothing to change the underlying problems. Regardless of who is in the WH, the problems are systemic and cannot be resolved at the national level.

    Jerry, I think you’ve got some engaging and interesting ideas.


  16. Max Shields said on February 25th, 2008 at 2:26pm #

    Slight correction to the above. I think it is worth while to build upwards to the national (congressional) level.

    The focus is not on the POTUS. We need agitators and real change agents at the congressional level. But while that’s going on all of this must be built solidly on a economic local transformative movement. Forget about left/right, blue/red boxes. Yea there are die hard facists who won’t hear of it, but we shouldn’t throw away whole groups in formative mode, searching for an alternative that makes sense. Keeping at bay the old right/left showstopping terminology that keeps us all stuck will allow the conversation to happen and the narrative to change.

  17. Jonathan Nack said on February 25th, 2008 at 4:08pm #

    I know it’s hard, but it’s way past time for us leftists to grow more politically mature. We need to stop looking for short cuts.

    We have only two major weapons in our arsenal: speaking truth to both power and the people, and organizing at the grassroots to build powerful political organizations. If our candidates don’t speak the full truth, they’re doomed. Without organization, even with truth-telling candidates, we will be left with nothing.

    Rep. Dennis Kucinich and his supporters, fail on both scores. Kucinich could never bring himself to speak the full truth to the people, even though he knows it well. The truth he wouldn’t or couldn’t tell, is that he never had any chance in the Democratic Primary. With the Democratic Party leaders and elites opposed to him, with the corporate media hostile to him, and with no way to even come close to raising the kind of money needed to compete in a cash dominated Democratic primary. Instead of telling us the truth, Kucinich chose to endulge an illusion. He told us that he could win the primary, and that he, and only he, could lead the Democratic Party to victory.

    Kucinich also fails on the organizational score. Rather than work with us to build our own organization(s), uniting with those of us already engaged in this tremendously difficult task, he invited us into the corporate dominated Democratic Party. Wake up folks – the Democratic Party is where progressive social movements go to die. They invite us in, then smother us. Kucinich’s efforts not only do the left a disservice, they do the Democratic Party a huge service, by maintaining the fiction that there’s a place for the left within it. Then, following Kucinich’s entirely predictable humiliating defeat, he endorses a corporate Democrat.

    Kucinich and, more importantly, his supporters need to ask themselves whose interests they are really serving.

    There’s a simple truth here – leftist are not going to take over the Democratic Party. Not now, nor in the foreseeable future, because it is fundementally a corporate capitalist establishment party. I don’t ask you to like that, but I do ask you to deal with it. There are no short cuts.

  18. Brian Koontz said on February 25th, 2008 at 6:28pm #

    Peter LaVenia wrote: “I also suggest that the strategy for the left, i.e. the Nader Campaign & Green Party in 2008 should be what could be called “Unsafe States”. The Nader campaign should emphasize the battleground states – places where you could hit the exposed left flank of the Democratic Party. This is the last thing they want, but the most likely course to make the left relevant for the first time in decades. Force the Dems to talk about health care, jobs, and foreign policy as you wade into Ohio, Florida, New Mexico, etc. This would make the Dems at least posture left, and perhaps open some minds up to their flaws. Otherwise I think we would be wasting our time and the media will ignore us.”

    That’s completely correct. The Democratic Party complained bitterly about Nader in 2000, and we need to hit them again in just that way. Force them to be responsive to 3rd parties by moving to the left in order to capture votes from Nader. Nader shouldn’t be looking at success in terms of how many votes he gets but rather in how far the Democratic Party moved to the left to counter his efforts.

    If the Democratic Party loses the presidency blame THEM for not moving far enough to the left to capture Nader votes, rather than blame Nader for “stealing votes”.

    If the Democratic Party stood on a platform of single-payer health-care, severe reductions in greenhouse gas production, repeal of the Bush tax cuts, increased regulation of corporations, how many “Nader voters” would suddenly find themselves voting Democratic?

    If the Democratic Party makes the wrong choice and hence Nader “steals their votes” they have only themselves to blame.

  19. Jerry D. Rose said on February 25th, 2008 at 7:50pm #

    I totally agree. Brian, see my previous post. While, under the scenario of which we both approve of voting for insurgents unless the major party candidates take progressive policy positions (and I’m thinking foreign policy especially where there isn’t a cent, let alone a dime of difference in their current imperialistic positions), the Democrats would indeed “have only themselves to blame” for their defeat. However, let’s just be aware that it won’t stop them from blaming insurgents, just as they did Nader in 2000 in spite of compelling evidence that they beat themselves in that election as well. My point is we have to be thick-skinned enough to endure the sticks and stones of accusation that our actions will engender both from Party regulars and from some of the nominally progressive pundits who lack the courage of their convictions. In other words, we are, to employ the social psychological jargon, to need a lot of “group support” of each other to allow us to glue our own courage to the sticking place. That’s one reason I’m trying to stir up a “conversation” between others of us who want to do a thing that is good for our country but potentially damaging to our reputations in the general community. So again, moc.oohaynull@11esordyrrej.

  20. James B. Storer said on February 25th, 2008 at 8:14pm #

    At age seventy-five I have no logical reason at all to worry about sticks and stones. I wasted my whole voting life voting for the “lesser of two evils”. No more, even though it is absolutely essential for the preservation of our nation to whitewash the White House. I know that the two-party system is now our greatest danger. I feel we must all work to insist that other parties be given a fair shake, and to change political procedures that have placed the two parties and their corporate and media handlers in a practically impregnable dictatorial position. ten.tcennoctrnull@uhsitraks.

  21. Marcelle Cendrars said on February 25th, 2008 at 9:38pm #

    All wasted words…that never stop flowing. There is not enough energy, cash or time remaining to talk this way. If the number of heartbeats expended on the above, including what was put into authoring the article, were directed toward spreading the word about Nader –without silly limitations– we’d all have a chance at being better off.

    No person who’s spent any significant amount of time within the Dem Party or Rep Party can compete with Ralph at this juncture. All you can do (electorally) is to vote your conscience at this point…and to get others to do so too, if you can. And that means taking an immediate break from this blah blah disease.

    It doesn’t matter (enough) if any of the major candidates beats Ralph…which one of them is very likely to do, of course. What does matter is how you spend your “activist” time from here on out.

  22. Joshua Frank said on February 25th, 2008 at 11:24pm #

    Peter, glad you’ve adopted the Swing State Strategy!

    As for Dennis going down? John, I am usually with you, but Dennis went down years ago. He sold out his delegates in ’04, backing Kerry. He essentially ran for office over the past four years and couldn’t garner over .01% of the vote. Pathetic. He helped derail the antiwar movement and is doing the same thing again.

    Dennis, like the Democratic Party to which is a member, is a wash for progressive causes. We all know this. If Dennis believed in what he says and votes for, he would have left the Party long ago. But alas, he hasn’t. And for good reason. He’s a Democrat, not an activist.

  23. Victoria said on February 25th, 2008 at 11:36pm #

    Dennis Kucinich brought real issues to the early debates, and kept those issues in front of the voters, forcing the rest of the candidates to address each and every point, or obviously stand silent, and Ralph Nader will bring subjects to the surface too, which is good … we just can’t vote for him this time!

    Dennis is 04, and in 08, showed that the war profiteers, the insurance fat cats, and the incredibly greedy CEO’s that are behind the harmful policies that affect so many ordinary Americans … ever widening the gap between rich and poor.

    The time to start a third party is now, gathering folks together … but we must vote for a Dem … either one … in Nov. 2008

    … and then work like crazy, be ready, organized, and financed for 2012. There has already been mentioned on this blog … a lot of good ideas … starting locally for one.

    It is the timing that is not right, this time around for the presidential spot … for one thing we have no momentum, no organization, basically no money, and there is no way that I can see this nation surviving 4 more years heading in the same direction, while a third party works out it’s kinks!

    And to me … there still is a big, big difference between a Democrat … any Democrat, and a Republican, especially a John Mc Cain, running things. Gore, and Kerry, would have not done things quite like Bush II … no way in heck, no how … in my heart, I know that.

  24. Jerry D. Rose said on February 26th, 2008 at 3:54am #

    This string of comments has become an incredibly valuable forum for discussion of progressive political courses of action that, thankfully, transcends the petty level of bashing versus defending Dennis Kucinich. Whatever you think of his past political behavior (I’m obviously ambivalent about it), I’m one who feels he “knows” Dennis and that he would approve just such “frank and earnest” discussion as this; and who knows, maybe he’ll get another epiphany like the one he said he experienced at Shirley Maclane’s ranch while he was in the “wilderness” between being Cleveland’s Mayor and America’s congressman. Nice to contemplate but don’t wait around for that to happen.
    Jibbguy (Feb 25, 11:48 PM…I wish DV would number these posts) provides an inspiring call to arms of the type I’m envisioning. On this comment string and in personal correspondence I hear the dampening footsteps of fear that has kept progressives in the Democratic corral for so long and which says we don’t dare risk leaving it lest we enable another Republican victory. To recover from this need to suck the hind teat of the donkey (to use another mixed-up metaphor), I think we need to distinguish between domestic policy, in which the donkey is decidedly more populist than the elephant, and foreign policy, in which there is not a cent, let alone a dime of difference. As things now stand, vote Republican or vote Democratic, you’re voting to continue the arms race in which our country is the only runner, the imperialist intervention in the economies and governments of countries around the world. you’re voting for the Israeli occupation of Palestine. That’s the notorious “Washington consensus” folks that, unfortunately we asked to buy with a “package” that contains a populist inducement. But that could start to change, under the pressure of a progressive movement devoted to change both domestic and foreign The candidate of “hope and change”—along with the one of “experience”–could hopefully change in the direction we advocate. But we cannot just sit around and hope for the change: we make that change the condition of our support. And hence my “all options on the table” in terms of third party or major party support; and hence the vision so eloquently articulated by jibbguy of a coalition of third party aspirants rather than an internally competing group of independents.
    I’m starting to get a bit of a “committee of correspondence” started on this issue and again you’re welcome to join. You don’t have to agree with my ideas; in fact our disagreements are very important to get aired and ironed out. moc.oohaynull@11esordyrrej.

  25. Max Shields said on February 26th, 2008 at 6:18am #

    I must say, I really think a strategy to move Dems to the left during a campaign cycle seems to be weak. First, rhetoric during a campaign to cull votes is not policy.

    Without seats in Congress and throughout localities this is just a parlor game.

    Also, while I agree that Dennis has not made the ultimate moves away form the Dems, he has done a service and given a voice to issues.

    As far as party building, look at how the Republican Party came into being in the mid-19th Century. It was a coalition. May be some lessons there.

    If the aim is to defeat the Dems than I guess the unsafe is some kind of strategy. But 2000 left the Greens weakened on the national level. So, what are we trying to gain now?

  26. jibbguy said on February 26th, 2008 at 6:54am #

    As a Kucinich supporter for many years, i am very well used to derogatory comments. When the attacks come from ignorant neo-cons, they are often fun to handle. But frankly, i’ve never enjoyed doing so when they come from fellow travelers on the Progressive side.

    Perhaps it is because the Kucinich detractions from the left usually have an emotional basis to them. And that emotion is that of betrayal. However since they are of complex nature and not particularly based on reason; it is difficult for one not feeling them to fully understand. Not to say they cannot be reasonable, but the underpinning motive for generating the arguments appears in many cases to be a justification for that emotion.

    I reject many of these detracting arguments as being far too critical considering the options available for DK . He has always been penned-in by being a party “faithful” ; even after repeated proofs that the party is not faithful to him. Talk about betrayal… But those are his roots. This is his power-base at home, and his honestly felt beliefs, as i see it, are that the party must be changed from within. Personally, i no longer think that is ever likely to happen, unless outside pressures force it to change (…such as a viable 3rd party run that steals away the Progressive wing and threatens to “hold it ransom” for a more left-leaning, reformed Democratic Party). But these things are matters of difference of opinion; of choices of tactics and strategies: Not of betrayal, or of hubris, naivety, immaturity, or calculated deceit.

    For what results would we see if the detractors on the Left had their way? No Dennis in the White House anyway. As an Independent, probably out of Congress (although they are trying to do that now despite his loyalty to the real Party values, it appears that his seat will be safe). His voice no longer heard on the Floor, no longer a tempering “cop on the corner” factor to keep the other Democrat corporate hypocrite phonies in Congress from lying and forgetting their duty in too obvious a manner. When looking at Cynthia McKinney, it is difficult to argue that this course is any wiser than that which DK has taken.

    Up until now that is….. When the monumental events of the ’08 Primary have made everything that has happened in the past, the alleged betrayals of ’04, moot. Impeachment; this explosive forbidden subject changed the rules… Fear of it and other dangerous topics being discussed forced Big Media to show it’s ugly hand of hidden control in obvious ways for all to see (as witnessed not just with DK but even more spectacularly with Ron Paul). And it has even forced the cowardly collaborators within the Democratic Party to try and dislodge one of their own; one of the few remaining honest souls who cannot be corrupted into silence. This is what has changed: The attack on Dennis from within the Party leadership itself. For make no mistake: Howard Dean and Pelosi do not want Dennis around to piss in their soup; they have made that clear by their actions (…or in Dean’s case total inaction while Kucinich was being necklaced). But as a lightening rod for these attacks, these enemies of the people have made the mistake of exposing themselves and revealing their true motives. So it would seem that in light of these events, after a 10th District Primary win DK can really say he has no more reason for loyalty; and that they have left him, and us , in the dust…. Trampled as the other Democrats run pell-mell to grab their corporate cash being dropped wholesale from low-flying planes on a summer’s day; like the candy-drop at an Annual County Democratic Picnic.

    I cannot say if DK is interested in a 3rd party run now (or being part of a coalition movement as described above); if this betrayal of the party towards him has finally changed his mind or not. Perhaps no one but DK can say at this point. But if it hasn’t, i can understand even if i do not agree: For i know it is a difficult choice made after carefully weighing consequences and the potential for doing good.

  27. John Wilkinson said on February 26th, 2008 at 1:16pm #

    “We have only two major weapons in our arsenal: speaking truth to both power and the people…”

    Jonathan, that is precisely the problem. You “progressives” (which you are not) especially do not like the truth, when it refuses to support your arguments (most of the time), any more than the other side. Almost every article I read on this site, and others, is brimming with falsehoods masquerading as “facts”, and made up “facts” authoritatively told by the big kahoonas of the left (or the pretenders). It would be a full time job for me to read and critique articles just on this site, let alone others. (At least here, comments can be posted, one positive thing).

    The reason why you don’t gain any traction is very simple: the American people, for all their uneducated ignorance, have figured you out. They know that you too only care about the money, prestige and power, just like the other side, but the other side is honest about it, they say it outright that they are greedy swine who only care about themselves. You, on the other hand, while being exactly the same inside, think you can snow us with your demagoguery and your high faluting BS.

    So, they (the people) have chosen the greedy, selfish swine, because they know what they’re getting, as opposed to a slithering, slimy snake who speaks with a forked tongue.

  28. carol said on February 27th, 2008 at 2:13am #

    OK, my emphatic reply —
    Dennis J. Kucinich is not only ALL of the GREAT things said above, and NONE of the NEGATIVE ONES, but…
    he is so awesomely brilliant and has such spectacularly clear foresight
    that he is WAY ahead of all said above.
    I believe he foresaw all of this, each and every step. But each step had to happen to wake up the nations — especially this one. The voters still sleeping? Let’s view them as children — bratty ones in some cases needing a strong hand and a different heart to lead them too.

    Dennis is capable of manifesting a whole paradigm that hasn’t even occurred to anyone who has written above. He is VASTLY capable. Do not ever under-estimate him.
    And our dear writer above has concluded much praise by calling Dennis a LOSER?
    Dennis IS ABSOLUTELY NOT, AND NEVER WAS, AND NEVER WILL BE that. Neither am I so long as I stand with him as I will always, because he inspires joy and light in my heart.
    Seeing even a tiny bit of loser in him requires our dear writer above to
    He is HUMBLE: Don’t ever mistake humility for being a loser. It takes a vast soul to be humble, not a small one.
    And GENTLE?
    “Nothing is so strong as gentleness, nothing so gentle as real strength.” (quoted from Saint Francis de Sales)
    So, folks, may I invite you to honor your original impulse — that Dennis IS by far the greatest, and know that he CONTINUES to be so. I do believe WE are winning — in ways that are unfolding even as I type this.
    Be the WE that is winning! Don’t jump ship!
    GO DENNIS!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  29. Evie said on February 27th, 2008 at 6:09am #

    John Wilkerson “You “progressives” (which you are not) especially do not like the truth, when it refuses to support your arguments (most of the time), any more than the other side. Almost every article I read on this site, and others, is brimming with falsehoods masquerading as “facts”, and made up “facts” authoritatively told by the big kahoonas of the left (or the pretenders).”


  30. hp said on February 27th, 2008 at 8:48am #

    And in between the big wordy spiels, the quote filled paragraphs and high falutin thoughts both ideaistic and brutally realistic remains perhaps the tiny truth.
    Maybe it really is no more complicated than Dennis was made an ‘offer he couldn’t refuse.’
    Then again, that would be too easy and perhaps too boring.

  31. Lloyd Rowsey said on March 7th, 2008 at 9:30pm #

    Nice enuf, Carol. I hope you’re celebrating his victory, and the slugs and sluggos and sluggers in this thread be damned!

    I sent him $100 and received a reply with a picture of him and his wife -then sent him $200 more three days before the primary. I suppose they may or may not have time to thank me again. But the Win was thanks enuf.

    I’m about as far as an American citizen can be from supporting the electoral system in Democracy As We Know It, but how insane would any progressive in this country have to be to not support Dennis Kucinich?