Democratic Presidential Debate Tonight

April 26, 2007 at 2:36 pm 2 comments

In 2004, I was a firm supporter of Dennis Kucinich.
Dennis Kucinich

I still support Kucinich. His unfaltering left credentials, including the courageous call to leave Iraq immediately, a call for universal healthcare for all, his steady support of labor, concern for doing something about the environment, and his commitment to feminist principles, all position him as the best candidate for president. Far and away he’s the best on all of the issues.

But I’ll be voting for Barack Obama.
Barack Obama
Kucinich perfoms a valuable service by staying in the presidential race, ensuring that a firm leftist voice against which the other “progressive” candidates can measure their platforms is heard. Obama can win though. And what would we be getting with Obama? A center-left democrat willing to listen to people. He brands himself as a relative Washington outsider. I’m skeptical about that, but if enough people (all those contributions, and I’m included, here) hold him to staying well left, he can get some decent work done.

Barack has integrity and a healthy concern for internationalism. He understands that the Bush policies have deen catastrophic and that reparations are absolutely necessary. I heard him speak out against the war in a Teamsters hall in 2002, when he was still an Illinois state senator. While his approach to leaving Iraq is more gradualist than I care for, he has consistently recognized the error of the Bush doctrine of pre-emptive war.

Barack managed to work with a largely republican state senate to get healthcare for every child in Illinois. He can do that for the country. Maybe he can get healthcare for everyone. My father needs it, now. In 2003, I happened to speak on a healthcare panel with him in Chicago. I don’t say this to toot my horn. At the time, as state senator, he was just our progressive Barack.

If you watch the clips on his web site, his height (he is tall) is accentuated. “Linconesque” is the word. This stature will help. And if I may say so, it’s about time we have an African-American president. This should have happened during reconstruction.

I like John Edwards for another go at vice president.
John Edwards
2004 was a debacle, but Edwards has moved well left since his last time out. He’s great, maybe the best, on healthcare and is committed to doing something about poverty. Edwards would be my vote for pres, but I don’t have the stomach to look at any more white men in the white house. Not now, anyway.

And Hillary Clinton, well, she’s an establishment, pro-business, centrist democrat.
Hillary Clinton
I’d love to see a Nancy Pelosi in the White House, a Hillary, not so much. I’m looking forward to the debate this evening (7pm eastern, MSNBC).
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Entry filed under: Barack Obama, Democrat, Democratic Presidential Debate, Dennis Kucinich, Hillary Clinton, John Edwards, Nancy Pelosi.

sympathy with bob Give ‘Em Hell, Mike Gravel

2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. cerebraljetsam  |  April 26, 2007 at 2:57 pm

    you know, kucinich has never struck me as coming even close to having enough charisma to do well in such a race, but I watched a debate with him on cspan recently (breakfast and politics, or some weird shit like that) and he simply wowed my with the arguments he put forth, actually presenting some economically logical and ultimately long overdue analyses of the in fact financially not lucrative monster that is privatized health care, for which universal health care would present under his logic not merely an alternative but a reform(!). great, great plan. additionally, his anti-militarism and intensive focus on education just made me want to go hug him.

    but I do agree with you–no way in hell he is going to go very far as his ideas that are doubtlessly dead-on and direly needed will run into the first of many barriers (fundraising) and end his bid right there. i am with you on obama, even though we can already see him make compromises on his positions, which is simply frustrating–he has no choice if he wants to preserve his chances of doing well. once again it is to me not primarily ideology, but the structure of the election system of the us that kills off ideas and progressive politics before they ever get disseminated to a wider public. so we end up with a “spectrum” of opinions that gives us the choice between conservative/reactionary and neoliberal, a choice that is sold to us as the choice between left/liberal and conservative, cementing the populace’s view that this narrow spectrum of politics presents its full horizon, never realizing that we are voting too often for one and the same thing (consider the old saying: “what the republicans do out of principle the democrats do for the money”). as south park puts it in a re-run of an episode focusing on the 2004 election i saw last night: we end up with the choice between a giant douche and a turd sandwich.

    let’s hope obama is not forced to make too many compromises.

  • 2. skunkcabbage  |  April 26, 2007 at 7:09 pm

    Amen. I’m with you on all of the above. I’m inclined toward Kucinich hugging, myself. Almost got the chance when he was on the picket-line in front of the Congress Hotel back in ’04, prior to the AfL-CIO’s hoo-haa at Navy Pier.

    I’m saddened by Obama’s need for pragmatic compromises. Your point about the structure of the election system is right on. The system has never been about democracy. As we know, the history of US politics is a history of bourgeois hegemony geared toward the maintenance of a massively inequitable status quo. Flavors of turd and douche.

    I hope we can get Barack in and then hold him to some decent progressive legislation. It matters that the US work with the rest of the world for a change. This seems in line with his politics.


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