portland independent media center  
images audio video
newswire article reposts united states

government | imperialism & war

"A serious test of the Democratic Party"

In a meeting of the Democratic caucus, one week ago (Dec. 5), the leaders of congressional Democrats announced support for the appropriation that is going to be brought forward in the spring, for the purposes of continuing to fund the war in Iraq. This development has resulted in a confrontation of the leadership - Speaker Pelosi, Majority Leader Hoyer and Rohm Emmanuel (Chair of the Congressional Campaign Caucus) - and anti-war Democrats.

Dennis Kucinich: I think this is going to be a serious test of the Democratic Party.
Image: AP; composite: Karen Spector / Truthdig
Image: AP; composite: Karen Spector / Truthdig
In an interview with Truthdig research editor Joshua Scheer, Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio) criticizes the leadership of his own party for announcing Tuesday that it would support a massive increase in spending for the Iraq war:

Truthdig: Why do you think [the leadership supports funding the war in Iraq]?

Kucinich: The leadership feels that they can bring about greater transparency [in spending], that they can bring special committees to look at what's gone wrong with the war, and that there's going to be improved oversight.

Truthdig: Were there dissenting opinions ... ? Do you think this will pass?

Kucinich: I think this is going to be a serious test of the Democratic Party. We were put in power because people expected a new direction in Iraq. It goes without saying that they expect greater transparency and oversight, but they also expect us to do something to bring the troops home. Now, if Congress goes ahead under Democratic leadership and votes to approve what some are now estimating as an additional $160 billion for the war in Iraq, bringing the total for the fiscal year to $230 billion, the Democratic Congress will have bought George Bush's war. Now, who would buy a used war from this administration?

Truthdig: Weren't the Democrats elected because of the war in Iraq?

Kucinich: The Democrats came to power because of a strong desire on the part of the voters to get out of Iraq. That's why people voted Democratic. So now, with the Democratic leadership taking a position saying they're going to approve the supplemental budget in the spring, this could be seen by many as a breach of faith.

The most difficult part of the challenge is to get members of Congress to understand that they themselves voted for a bill which went into effect on Oct. 1 that appropriated $70 billion, which could be used to bring the troops home. Unfortunately, our leadership is saying they're supporting the supplemental as a way of supporting the troops. So if we continue to ignore the money that's there right now to bring the troops home, we're losing an opportunity to bring the troops home now. People are now saying that they oppose the war, but they're continuing to fund it in the name of supporting the troops.

They say they're not going to abandon the troops in the field. We're professing a strange love for these troops by keeping them there, because the money's there to bring them home.

Truthdig: For me this is really disheartening, because I feel like I have been lied to, and the American people have been lied to, because the [Democratic] Party was so against extra funds for the war. It's almost like the party has done a bait-and-switch.

Kucinich: I think there's going to be a concern around the country that this does represent a bait-and-switch. I'm hopeful that this position will be reconsidered and that the Democrats will not vote to keep the war going. But at this point, if the Democrats go forward and support a supplemental which by some accounts is now rising to $160 billion, they'll be providing enough money to keep the war going through the end of George Bush's term.

This is the time for Democrats to be uniting to exit from Iraq. And the exit door is already well lit with a sign that says $70 billion. If we support the troops, why in the world would we not use the money to bring them home, instead of spending more money to keep them in? Why would we, when we have money to bring them home right now, appropriate another $160 billion which would keep them there, possibly through the end of George Bush's term?

Image: AP; composite: Karen Spector / Truthdig

 http://www.truthdig.com/interview/item/20061206_dennis_kucinichs_showdown/

Will Kucinich Go All the Way ? 12.Dec.2006 16:23

eve of destruction

Will Dennis proclaim his renunciation of support for any Democratic candidates who continue to support the occupation of Iraq or the U.S.-Israel domination of Palestine/Lebanon? Or are war crimes and crimes against humanity issues that can be brokered for partisan political power?

As long as guys like Kucinich continue to say the right thing but end up backing corporate hacks and hegemonists like Kerry, they will be our enemies, syphoning off energy better used for direct action in the streets.

Impeach For Peace, Action Step... 12.Dec.2006 18:02

bj

~
~ Presidential hopeful, Kucinich is asking for your guidance...
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
A friend of IfP and a major Activist in portland sent us the following...

"My NW Kucinich contact tells me Dennis {Kucinich} is going to throw his
hat into the ring tomorrow for the presidency. I told him to tell Dennis
he'd be wiser to hold off for a month or two and on Jan. 3 hopper the same
bill Cynthia McKinney did Friday and he'd have at least 1,000,000 folks
behind him. The K-man said: 'OK. Get the word out to your impeachment
people to tell their subscribers to write Dennis a message saying just
that.'
Kucinich's email:  dkucinich@aol.com .
Let's go, Gang!!!"

Kucinich on the eve of destruction 12.Dec.2006 23:41

kucitizen

If Dennis did nothing but say the right things, very few of us would still support him. But Dennis also votes the right way, consistent with what he says.

For example - about Lebanon, Palestine and Israel - Kucinich sponsored the Ceasefire Resolution, introduced July 19 of this year. (H. Con. Res. 450.) He regularly risks his political career with votes and legislative actions in support of peace.

Official record of H. Con. Res. 450:

 http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/bdquery/z?d109:H.Con.Res.450

Kucinich has done everything possible to direct the attention of the public to the horrors wrought by the bombing of Lebanon. He made a trip to Lebanon to talk to people there, documenting evidence of U.S. manufacture of bombs used to destroy Beirut.

You can see this in a video of Dennis and Elizabeth Kucinich in the suburbs of Beirut:

 http://www.kucinich.us/node/772/

please excuse incorrect link 13.Dec.2006 00:40

kucitizen

link to the "thomas" website of the Library of Congress should be:

 http://thomas.loc.gov/home/gpoxmlc109/hc450_ih.xml

that's for the webpage for H. Con. Res. 450

a test long ago failed 13.Dec.2006 09:58

Steve

Anybody who is a member of the Democratic party is the enemy of the people. The party has long ago proved that it cannot be lured to defend the interests of the people at the expense of the businessman.

By propping up this diseased body with his 'progressive' rhetoric -- fooling the gullible middle class in the process-- Kucinich proves himself to be a very valuable ally of the rich.

watch out for guys like kucinich! 13.Dec.2006 15:01

silly me

Watch out for guys like kucinich who say things like

"Now, if Congress goes ahead under Democratic leadership and votes to approve . . . . an additional $160 billion for the war in Iraq,. . . the Democratic Congress will have bought George Bush's war. Now, who would buy a used war from this administration?"

and

"This is the time for Democrats to be uniting to exit from Iraq."

Thank god for steve to figure out that it's all about providing cover for pro-war Democrats, betraying "the people at the expense of the businessman" and "fooling the gullible middle class."

gee, i thot it was about exposing/opposing a plan to fool the anti-war movement by betraying the snti-war public. Silly me.

Fool Me Once, Dennis... 14.Dec.2006 14:48

ms_xeno

Well, everyone knows the rest. Every wartime election needs its Kucinich or its Gene McCarthy, doncha' know. Gotta' keep the herd together or who knows what kind of mischief they'll get into...

party hack or progressive: make the choice. 14.Dec.2006 15:13

eve of destruction

Will Dennis proclaim his renunciation of support for any Democratic candidates who continue to support the occupation of Iraq or the U.S.-Israel domination of Palestine/Lebanon? Or are war crimes and crimes against humanity issues that can be brokered for partisan political power?

I know about his support for the ceasefire resolution (What a radical!) and about his legislative work. But progressive Democrats need to prevent his eventual support for hegemons and corporatists (e.g., Kerry and Edwards) from disappearing down the memory hole, just like they let the crimes of Clinton et al (e.g., hundreds of thousands of dead Iraqi children) disappear down the memory hole.

If Kucinich had decided to lead a movement of people who agree with him about most things (a sizable majority according to the polls I've read) instead of the disgusting choice that he made in 2004, he might have eventually lost his seat in Congress, but the movement would be much further along than it is now.

I sent my question above to Kucinich. Do you think he will respond honestly? Or is he just another hack?