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Kucinich v. Dean comparison

A table comparing the two on several issues.
Where broad agreement exists, I've omitted the issue to save space. I've also omitted issues where one candidate has no stated position I could find, even though this is a measure of a candidate's relative concern for and familiarity with issues.

The main sources are the candidates' own websites, plus a whole lot of searching via Google. I can't promise every detail is correct; this is one guy's best effort.

Full disclosure: I have several friends on the Kucinich campaign, and I supported him when this started. A few months ago, I was even going to join up, but since I'm in the media, decided it was better to be independent.
I was also very interested in Dean for a while, around February and March, until I decided to support Kucinich.
Make of that whatever you will.

Finally, Dean is basically a good guy, and if he's nominated I'll vote for him in a heartbeat. It's just that it's simply not accurate to refer to him as a progressive candidate. As he told Salon: "I don't mind being characterized as 'liberal' -- I just don't happen to think it's true." I'm also not saying that Kucinich's positions are the "right" ones on every issue;
I just personally agree with him on most of them, and I think other progressives will, too.

PS: I had not the slightest idea how many people would visit this page. According to Memeufacture, a link here from TalkLeft quickly spread all over the liberal blogosphere. Thanks, cool, great -- but I'm not an expert, just a guy trying to figure this out. I've tried to correct any mistakes brought to my attention, but I do make them. Do your own research and thinking.

Table is at  http://www.bobharris.com/kucinichdean.html
thats great 27.Jun.2003 09:34

andy

Thats great buddy cept theres only one small problem

KUNINICH CANT GET ELECTED

support kucinich and you are supporting Bush

Nonsense 27.Jun.2003 11:04

Dean Stinks Almost As Badly As Lieberchump

Kucinich has been elected, Kucinich is elected, Kucinich will be elected. Also Andy, Bush was NOT elected. Support the likes of Dean and welcome Bush 'light'.

Dean's the only one with a chance 27.Jun.2003 11:17

Jumbo

We need to keep in mind how much Bush has sucessfully brainwashed the huge majority of the American people. To think that a true-blue leftist progressive like Dennis Kucinich could overcome (A)Total lack of name recognition, (B)insufficient fundraising base (C) angry-elf appearance in speeches and debates and (D) ultra-liberal platform in an age of Fox News and Clear Channel to get the Democratic nomination and then beat George W. Bush in the general election. I mean just say that outloud and try to believe it might happen. Obviously Dennis Kucinich is the most progressive candidate in the field, but we don't live in a progressive country yet. We live in a largely apathetic, currently pseudo-fascist conservative christian nation. Howard Dean probably won't even get elected but his centrist positions, telegenic (read: masculine) appearance, and years of executive experience put him in a much better position to take Bush out. Right now, to be realistic I would put Kucinich's vegas odds of winning the White House at 1000-1. Dean's chances are more like 10-1 with room to improve. That alone should make any comparison of their positions a moot and irrelevant point. If the left wants a VICTORY and not a statement in 2004 it needs to focus on growing and building support, not narrowing and defining its hardline. Dean has inspired Greens for Dean, Libertarians for Dean, Independents for Dean, and even Republicans for Dean. He has people meeting up on meetup.com every month in over 500 cities in all 50 states. He won't usher in a socialist eco-utopia but he does believe in Global Warming and universal health care. He won't start unnessary wars and he'll cooperate with the world community. Certainly that's preferable to Bush, no? Working for Kucinich is a noble and futile effort in the face of $200 million Republican dollars and a popular wartime president who has largely fooled the working class that Kucinich would need to rely on. In a day and age when many union men and women vote Republican, someone like Dennis Kucinich is going nowhere on a national level.

my position, redux 27.Jun.2003 11:32

someone

"how much Bush has sucessfully brainwashed the huge majority of the American people"

Yes, including most Democrats, who, like Jumbo here, think that Bush has a chance of winning. The truth is that Bush did not win the last election, and that many people are still pissed. Plus, add the disenfranchised Bush voters and the Democrats have a huge edge going into this election. I think that the Democrats will get more votes regardless of who they put up but there are some other issues to contend with that one might want to support the candidate who will get the *most* number of votes (namely because it will make another coup more difficult to achieve). But I outlined my positions in another thread ( http://portland.indymedia.org/en/2003/06/266577.shtml), reposted here for convenience, and because I didn't receive any feedback.



Which I can't verify with statistics yet, but I'm thinking it would an interesting study so I might do it. I would contend that the democratic base is going to vote for whoever the democratic candidate is and that there is a huge base of people who voted for bush in the last election that are now thoroughly disillusioned by his policies and will vote for whoever the democratic candidate is. This gives the democratic candidate a considerable advantage in numbers of voters. Let's not forget that probably the most significant statistic from the 2000 election was that Gore got half a million more votes. So the democrats already had the edge and it is even larger. In addition, look for some rural states, which were screwed under clinton and even more screwed under bush to be easy pick ups for the democrats (tennessee, west virginia). Also look for no changes in states with republican controlled voting mechanisms (texas, nebraska, florida). So, with the democrats in such a good position the question becomes: how could the democrats lose? I mean, just look at how badly the dnc and the party in general has handled the past several elections it would surprise very few to see them screw up 2004. But how would they do it, or, how could the republicans manage to win?

Either bush needs to pick up votes or the democrats need to hemmorage them. The only argument I've seen put forward is for bush to run on a safety and security platform and try to pick up the soccer mom vote. I don't find this argument convincing and I haven't heard any others about how bush will attract any voters that didn't vote for him in the last election. Now, it's much easier to see the democrats hemmoraging voters. The only candidate I've heard long time democrats say they would consider not voting for is lieberman. He, perhaps singularly, has the ability to be too far to the right and lose the moderates and progressives. I haven't heard any democrats say they would not vote for kucinich, but he would lose the bush defectors, who would probably just stay home. However, kucinich, perhaps singularly, has the ability to attract progressives, which may or may not be a net win of voters (I suspect the former and think this would be very interesting to do a study on). Dean is in the same position gore was in, which is good, it means he should win without any problems. He may attract a small number of progressives and he's not likely to alienate the bush defectors. Of all the candidates I think he would be the biggest win, especially with a progressive or minority vice president (moseley braun seems like an ideal choice). Kerry, likewise, should be a big win, he'll ge tthe bush defectors in spades, but he'll lose the small number of progressives that dean might have attracted.

I think the democrats would have to run an exceptionally bad campaign in order to not receive more votes and I think the presidency will be determined, as in 2000, by the strength of the coup vs the strength of the resistance. However, one need only look at the how poorly the democrats' campaigns in 2000 and 2002 to see an emerging pattern. Perhaps then, it is wise to support the candidate who will attract the most voters (like dean, or maybe kerry) to help insulate the candidate from an exceptionally poorly run campaign. But I don't buy that any candidate save, perhaps, lieberman (and even then I suspect he would win, but that it would be very close) could actually get fewer votes than bush and/or not win the electoral college. Even kucinich who is running on nothing more than a relatively uncompromised traditional liberal platform can win, and win easily with a good campaign. But, I would tend to agree that dean, and perhaps kerry will win with more votes, and could more easily survive a bad campaign.

In the end, each of us must do what we feel is right and allow others to do the same. Many (the majority of people) will not vote at all, some revolutionaries (as I see them) will vote for bush to more quickly bring about the end of capitalism and u.s. imperialism, many will vote "against bush" for whomever the democrats run, and some will refuse to vote for a candidate who does not represent them even in spite of bush (as people did in 2000). It's understandable that many want bush out of office (he did get votes from less than a quarter of eligible voters) but I think to do so the real committement needs to be in handling the coup that will occur when the democrats once again get more votes (and win the electoral college without florida). Although I suppose the more votes the democrats win by the easier it will be to defeat the coup, so there's that argument for a moderate again...

Kucinich & Dean 12.Jul.2003 20:06

Tylana Marie Coop

It's true that Dean has more $ and might end up being more electable than Kucinich. But whatever happened to voting for the person with the best vision for America? One reason that Kucinich isn't as well known, despite his good platform on the issues, is because we are dominated by a money-based capitalist society. It's a little early to say that Kucinich is not electable. Even if Kucinich doesn't get the nod, supporting his campaign, could certainly highlight the need for equality for all Americans, environmental protection, universal healthcare, & education funding. I'll vote for Kucinich. If Dean gets the nomination, then I'll vote for him as my second choice.