Sunday, May 16, 2004

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The last time I'll make fun of Dennis Kucinich

There comes a point in a politician's career when their future prospects appear to be so dismal, the best thing the observer can do is show some kindness, look away, and write about something else.

After reading Rick Lyman's New York Times article about Dennis Kucinich's ongoing campaign, I think that time has come for the good representative from the state of Ohio.

One last excerpt, however:

Before Americans get too engrossed in a general election contest between President Bush and Senator John Kerry, Dennis J. Kucinich would like to remind them of something: He's still out here, working hard every day, slogging from town to town, the second-to-last person still standing in the fight for the Democratic presidential nomination....

At a rally later in Lincoln City, nearly 200 people packed the Bijou Cinema, where Mr. Kucinich was presented with a quilt bearing the logo "Dept. of Peace." This referred to his proposal to create such a cabinet-level agency to promote harmony and conflict resolution, a notion much ridiculed on conservative talk radio shows as emblematic of the sort of fuzzy-headed thinking common among this particular strain of liberal.

"We can change the whole debate in this country, and we've got to do it," Mr. Kucinich said. "It's about the party standing for something, something other than the next check from the corporate interests."

In an almost hushed voice, he continued: "This is a spiritual matter, not just a practical political matter."

The entire time he spoke, an angelic young woman stood at the side of the auditorium with her arms raised above her head, sometimes shaking them gently, as though sending waves through the air.

The young woman, Eden Sky, 27, said she was "focusing," which she described as a kind of praying, a blessing. And she seemed almost puzzled when asked why she chose to focus on Mr. Kucinich. "Because he is the only one worth focusing on," she said.

posted by Dan on 05.16.04 at 11:28 PM


The amazing thing is that Kucinich was taken seriously be Democrats for so long. He was actually given equal time in all the debates with the serious candidates - Dean, Kerry, Clark, Lieberman, Edwards, and Gephart. The result was that everyone's message became diluted and primary voters were unable to truly get to know their candidates. It took a Scream to realize the nature of Dean; Edwards smiled away like a grinning idiot talking about his two Americas; Kerry delivered bromide after bromide and mentioned Vietnam over and over. Real candidates with truly nuanced positions like Lieberman were unable to get their message out amidst the din created by Sharpton, Kucinich, and Braun.

In '08, the debates should be limited to the major, serious candidates. Kucinich served as the elf who repeatedly made preposterously bold proposals that no one took seriously.

posted by: dellis on 05.16.04 at 11:28 PM [permalink]

Nobody likes Lieberman.

As for the Kooch, well, he's hanging out to the lefties who are still loyal Dems. Hopefully, they'll switch to Kerry rather than Ralph.

And the Democratic party, being, well, Democratic, doesn't annoint Kings like some other political organizations that shall remain nameless.

posted by: asdf on 05.16.04 at 11:28 PM [permalink]

Almost every Kucinich supporter I know (and I know plenty in Austin) voted Nader in 2000. It is essential to keep these guys the Democratic Party.

posted by: EricinTX on 05.16.04 at 11:28 PM [permalink]

I never understood why Kucinich was treated like a real candidate but LaRouche is treated like a nutjob. They seem about equally nutty to me.

I love that your "making fun" of Kucinich consists solely of a sympathetic article. You don't have to try to make fun of Kucinich. Just quoting the things he says is much funnier than writing a joke at his expense.

posted by: Xavier on 05.16.04 at 11:28 PM [permalink]

I never understood why Lieberman was/is treated with such disdain by 'asdf' and his/her/its ilk. If Lieberman were on the ticket, I could actually have looked forward to voting this November. Instead, one of the few adults in Washington appears to be treated as a joke by the majority of his party.

posted by: David Fleck on 05.16.04 at 11:28 PM [permalink]

Kucinich and Lieberman are nitch candidates--Kucincih, what ever his stupendous faults, happens to be right on the main things , even if he cannot make them sound sensible, not a bad place to be, considering where many are. Lieberman gives a totally uninspiring stump speech--I heard him give a toothpick-propping-the-eyes-open speech in a union hall in 2000. Talk about non charismatic. This man will never be a President if he has to be elected to become one, not even if he is correct in all the stands he has taken in recent years and his opponent was a George W. Bush who had somehow managed to escape being sent to Gitmo because of the number of Americans who have died due to his mismanagement of the US Government and its policies..

posted by: Jon Stopa on 05.16.04 at 11:28 PM [permalink]

Instead, one of the few adults in Washington appears to be treated as a joke by the majority of his party.

I could say the same thing about Bill Weld.

posted by: kdt on 05.16.04 at 11:28 PM [permalink]

“I never understood why Lieberman was/is treated with such disdain by 'asdf' and his/her/its ilk. If Lieberman were on the ticket, I could actually have looked forward to voting this November. Instead, one of the few adults in Washington appears to be treated as a joke by the majority of his party.”

I also would have voted for Joseph Lieberman. An election of a Jew would give a clear message to the Muslims that it’s time to join the modern world. Lieberman was also the last chance for the Democrat Party to save itself. Instead, it has so far picked, John Kerry, a man who should be held in contempt.

posted by: David Thomson on 05.16.04 at 11:28 PM [permalink]

I think Lieberman's problem (other than flip-flopping on some issues as a VP candidate) is that he mostly _is_ and adult, and thus is willing to say clearly that Bush is right at least occasionally, and that any Democratic President would have had to have made similar choices, etc. He doesn't excoriate Bush and therefore is unacceptable to the sandbox containing some of the above commenters.

Kerry is willing (even eager) to castigate Bush to the extreme. This goes over very well with the ABBs, but I'm not sure how it plays to the non-partisan. I could have voted for Lieberman. I can't conceive of voting for Kerry. He's making me long for the days of lyin' AlGore, the sucking black hole of charisma, who at least had a few opinions that the stuck to.

Kerry's campaign slogan seems to boil down to: "I'm not Bush. Anything he's for I'm against (unless you want me to be for it). Here are my principled stands, subject to change without prior notice."

posted by: JorgXMcKie on 05.16.04 at 11:28 PM [permalink]

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