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Can Dennis Kucinich Transcend the Dem Party and Primary Obama? We Need Him and He Needs Us!

(531 Obama-dumping days until 2012 election-Hugh's Obama's Scandals List)

Kucinich is one of the VERY few in the belly of the beast -- that horror chamber of mostly profoundly pimped out and betraying representatives -- who is still asserting truth to power.

Can Americans of conscience stand behind him seriously enough to create a ground swell for the 2012 Presidency? Can Kucinich transcend a political party that has so profoundly sold out the welfare of millions of struggling citizens?

Kucinich is saying what seems like the obvious to anyone with a heart and conscience -- okay, a pulse -- but the sociopathic kleptocrats and war criminals are behind the controls of our government enabled by a pimped out, propagandizing media. Kucinich is so “uncool” for the media I relish the opportunity to stand behind him in defiance of them alone. I think it is high time substance shot down style in America!

The election is in 2012. We need to get serious. We need to organize to primary Obama from the left. Why not let Kucinich be the guy? Air Force One sell-out with Obama was painful, yes. Kucinich ain’t perfect and still has some ‘splaining to us, but maybe Kucinich is a stronger but wiser man? One more victim of Obama razzle-dazzlement at a critical time. The 3 P’s of perfectionism have gripped those on the left, “perfectionism, procrastination, paralysis.”

Why not at the very least explore a relationship with Kucinich? Entertain the possibility of a contest from Kucinich? We need to stop whining and rally.

Maybe the “circular firing squad” progressives should uncircle the circle and get serious. I know I have been overly-precious and unforgiving in my own evaluations too often and have been on the damp end of the over-preciousness of others under the rickety progressive umbrella at times. I am inviting such disdain once again now as I write this.

This is what Kucinich spells out in The Nation about the DANGEROUS language in the latest reauthorization bill for the Department of Defense. Take in the horror and the urgency of what we are dealing with:

The Fiscal Year 2012 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) declares that the United States is in an armed conflict with not only al Qaeda and the Taliban, but “associated forces” and individuals, organizations and nations that support such forces. The President could then have the full legal authority to send American troops to engage in acts of war anywhere--Yemen, Somalia, Iran, even the United States--without constitutionally required Congressional authorization and, consequently, without any restrictions or oversight from the American people or Congress.

This bill would also make permanent the degradation of law and human rights which has become Guantanamo. It imposes bans on the transfer of any detainee held at Guantanamo, including those who have been cleared of any charges. This means that the United States would be forced to keep imprisoning men who are known to be innocent or are not a threat. This bill not only allows the imprisonment of innocent people, but could mandate it.

The bill also prevents the use of Article III federal courts for the trial of most terrorism suspects. This circumvents our system of justice and our protections under the Constitution, showing a lack of faith in US law enforcement and courts which are the constitutional venues for stopping terrorism. Our federal courts have a long history of trying terrorist suspects, while military courts are untested, lacking in legitimacy and of questionable effectiveness. Since 9/11, federal courts have prosecuted over 400 terrorism-related cases, while military courts have convicted only six.

It’s as if the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan never happened. These wars cost thousands of lives of our men and women in uniform, and perhaps a million civilian lives, with long-term costs approaching $5 trillion. Yet, in light of the attempt to try to make permanent an authorization for war, it is as if the consequences of the wars we are in have not occurred. It’s as if our “humanitarian” military intervention in Libya, which has helped create full blown civil war and which has ensnared us in yet another military stalemate in the region, never happened. It is as if centuries of evidence of the ramifications of the military overreach of empires never happened. It’s as if the Constitution, which requires Congress to have a say in when and where we go to war and which guarantees U.S. citizens the right to a fair and speedy trial, was never written.

Congress must protect the American people from the over-reach of any Chief Executive who is enamored with unilateralism, pre-emption, first strike and the power to prosecute war without Constitutional or statutory proscriptions.

Permanent, global war is not the answer. It will not increase our national security. Far from ridding the world of terrorism, it will become a terrorist recruitment program.

By the way, this is what David Swanson declares about the bill Kucinich is challenging and recommends each one of us get on the phone and declare our horror and anger about it:

The "Defense Authorization" bill now before Congress, HR 1540, is arguably the worst bill ever considered likely to pass into law. It includes $118 billion for wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, wars a majority of Americans wants ended. But that's not why it's the worst bill ever.

This bill also includes $553 billion for other military waste.  That's enough money to save and improve a lot of lives if it weren't being dumped into the war machine.  But that's not why this is the worst bill ever.

[snip]

This is the worst bill ever because it gives presidents the power to single-handedly launch wars and to lock people up without trial.

This legislation, Section 1034 of the worst bill ever, undoes the limitations on one-man rule put in place by the U.S. Constitution over two centuries ago.  This is the biggest formal shift of power in our government since we've had a government.

We have military operations now in some 75 countries, and a significant war in Libya, all illegal under the U.S. Constitution and the War Powers Act.  But the worst bill ever will erase the War Powers Act, and the Constitution will simply be ignored.

Meanwhile the significant withdrawal that President Obama promised to begin in Afghanistan has been scaled back to a withdrawal of 2.5 percent of U.S. forces

Call Congress today and tell your Representative and your two Senators:

[snip]

Call toll-free 1-888-231-9276.

As for Kucinich’s present formidable political situation, the following was posted by TomCat on Politics Plus:

Ohio, of all states, should hate Republican rule, because the Republican Recession trashed Ohio’s economy so badly that workers fled the state, and they are losing two congressional districts.  To make matters even worse, enough left wing voters foolishly stayed home, that Republicans are firmly in control of the state.  And since Dennis Kucinich is such a perennial pain the elephant’s arse, they are neatly gerrymandering his seat out of existence.  Now, I may not always agree with Dennis, but nonetheless, his voice is far too valuable to lose, so I say, “Go West, Young Kucinich.”  OK, you got me.  He isn’t all that young.

[snip]

Mr. Kucinich is indeed thinking about running, but it would not be another try for president and maybe not even an eighth House race back in Ohio. Instead, the 64-year-old Mr. Kucinich, who first gained fame as the “boy mayor” of Cleveland in the 1970s, is delicately examining the idea of running for Congress here in Washington State next year. Given Ohio’s loss of two House seats, his district is likely to disappear when new map lines are drawn.

But Washington is gaining a seat, and Mr. Kucinich figures his aggressive brand of antiwar, pro-working class politics could sell well in a solidly blue state where he has ideological allies and was popular in his White House bids in 2004 and 2008. It is a somewhat novel idea that could be summed up as: Have seniority, will travel…

WHY NOT RALLY BEHIND DENNIS FOR THE PRESIDENCY AS LONG AS HE MAY BE MAKING A MOVE?

Time to settle on a flesh and blood human being who has a conscience.

Obama tried to neuter Kucinich long ago. I would love to see Kucinich, leader of Americans with conscience, make Obama squirm for a change. Mr. Style being defeated by Mr. Substance. That would be a refreshing personal perk. Having a President who honors the Constitution and has empathy and solutions for the citizenry, the bottom 95% of the population, that is the main goal.

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Jack Crow's picture
Submitted by Jack Crow on

...took a single flight with Obama, and when it was over had tucked his tail, shown his soft underbelly and sniffed the President's ass like a good dog.

He's a sideshow, as with most politics and all politicians.

If you want to put the WH on notice - strike, strike, strike until you're within fighting distance of a general strike. Without compromise. Without corporate compromised union bosses. Without any misplaced faith in the existing structures of office, power and political control.

nihil obstet's picture
Submitted by nihil obstet on

I think Kucinich is better than sideshow or bluster, but I can see how you could disagree. He's rarely in a situation in which his vote approaches being decisive, so he can vote against war, for example, with no consequences. In the one situation where his vote had the potential to make a difference, he folded. I hate that insurance subsidy bill and the horse it rode in on, but people of good will could come to the decision that it was better than nothing. I don't agree, but occasionally disagreement with me isn't totally evil, or so some possibly evil people tell me..

All that driveling aside, Kucinich plays an important role in stating liberal ideas in the political area. Remember how angry Correntians were at the silence of the A-listers on single-payer -- winning the right policy depends at a minimum that someone with an audience keeps stating the right policy. Otherwise, all that the people ever hear is the oligarchic propaganda, and that can powerfully undermine their ability to resist. Kucinich plays an important role in stating alternatives. To the extent that electoral politics can accomplish anything, it's still worthwhile to keep him in office.

DCblogger's picture
Submitted by DCblogger on

Kucinich folded like a cheap poker table on health whatever reform.

the real battle is in the states, in the solidarity movement. we have victories that are within our grasp in the states. If we recall the bad senators in Wisconsin, if we repeal sb 5 in Ohio, and so on, we can build a grand coalition that could elect a truly liberal President in 2016. 2012 is just a distraction from our work.

Joe's picture
Submitted by Joe on

I'd certainly rally for Dennis. But what do I do? Btw, I'd rather support him in the context of a 3rd party challenge in the General, than a democratic primary though.

Submitted by libbyliberal on

of support for Kucinich from disenfranchised Dems and the Greens? Worth exploring. I am always so grateful to hear him speaking out so forcefully and taking action in Congress, though he never has much company there.

will post more and try to find out more. here's his basic site.

http://kucinich.us/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=46&Itemid=58

I think we need grass roots for sure and thank God that is happening, but we need to shore up people, the tiny minority, in the halls of power that are asserting truth and reality to power. Watching them get shoved out, like Russ Feingold, is heartbreaking.

I see Obama as becoming more and more dangerous, and with 2012 I suspect he will come after domestic dissenters even more seriously.

The media, the sell out Congress, and a struggling citizenry, many who can not imagine the depths of the hearts of darkness of our leadership gives the kleptocratic war criminals the perfect climate for destruction and exploitation.

Obama has got to be called out loudly before 2012 election!

Kucinich is saying the truth to power. We need him. He broke my heart post Air Force One, Obama played Lucy and the football with him one on one and he played one more time, but look at the legions who have with the mandacious Obama. Kucinich helped break the momentum of the Obama challenge. But, I am ready to support him in his continued fight despite that. I think it is vital that Obama be primaried by a strong anti-war, anti-Wall Street candidate.

Submitted by libbyliberal on

Kucinich has maintained Obama's reckless decision for US "participation" in the “humanitarian intervention” in Libya -- is impeachable. Calling out the President deserves support and the impeachable refrain should be picked up imho.

It is awesome how FEW in our Congress are not colluding US shock&awe war criminals:

U.S. Representative Dennis Kucinich has taken the passage of two months of the United States in yet another war as an opportunity to reassert the proper role of the President as subject to Congress in decisions of entry into war. Kucinich stated:

“President Obama violated the Constitution by pursuing war against Libya without a Constitutionally-required authorization for the use of military force or declaration of war from Congress. His actions, and now his policy recitations, set the stage for more interventions, presumably in Syria and Iran. His recounting of the reasons for U.S. intervention in Libya is at odds with the facts. There was no clear evidence of an impending massacre in Libya. There was menacing rhetoric and a violent government put-down of an armed insurrection which may have been joined by some with legitimate non-violent aspirations. No one can justify the actions of any parties to this conflict. In any case, discretion requires leaders to move with the utmost care in developing military responses to rhetoric and similar care to intervention in a civil war.

“The UN mandate to protect civilians was exceeded almost immediately and used as a pretext for regime change. The U.S. and NATO are one in Libya. Our nation, through NATO, has taken sides in a civil war which is spreading more violence throughout Libya and putting more civilians’ at risk. The Interim Council of the rebels moved quickly to a $100 million oil marketing agreement with Qatar, unmasking a potential reason for intervention: control over Libya’s vast oil fields which can yield over $300 million in oil daily. The military intervention in a civil war against the backdrop of a struggle for oil casts a shadow of doubt upon lofty rhetoric about positive change, peace and stability. That the U.S. has not intervened militarily in Bahrain and Yemen demonstrates that violent intervention carries high risks and political resolution of conflict is desirable. We must be prepared to seek political resolution of conflicts through statecraft not through military force.”

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Only One Dozen To Restore Congressional War Powers ?
posted 3rd April 2011 in Legislation, War and Peace by Peregrin Wood

Many members of Congress have gumbled about Barack Obama’s circumvention of the power of Congress to declare war or decline to declare war. Obama began U.S. involvement in the war in Libya without any act of Congress, as is legally required under the Constitution and the War Powers Resolution. Obama didn’t even inform the majority of members of Congress of his plans to send the U.S. military into Libya until he gave a speech on television less than 24 hours before the U.S. entry into war began.

How many members of Congress have actually done something to correct the situation, though? Out of the more than 500 members of Congress, only 12 have taken action. On March 29, U.S. Representative Justin Amash introduced H.R. 1212, the Restoring Essential constitutional Constraints for Libyan Action Involving the Military Act, also referred to as the RECLAIM Act for short. The RECLAIM Act would require the cessation of military force in Libya until Congress passes legislation authorizing such action.

The following bipartisan group joined Amash as cosponsors of the bill:

Mike Capuano – Democrat
Jason Chaffetz – Republican
John Duncan – Republican
Chris Gibson – Republican
Tim Johnson – Republican
Walter Jones – Republican
Marcy Kaptur – Democrat
Dennis Kucinich – Democrat
Tom McClintock – Republican
Ron Paul – Republican
Pete Stark – Democrat

There is no equivalent legislation in the Senate. So, of all the hundreds of members of Congress, only the dozen listed here have done anything substantial to keep the White House in compliance with the Constitution in the practice of war.

Given this small backing, H.R. 1212 is not progressing well. The bill has been referred to the House Foreign Affairs Committee, chaired by Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, where it has received no attention at all. There was a hearing on Libya before the committee on March 31, but the RECLAIM Act has not been yet directly addressed by the committee, in spite of its timely nature.

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Four members of the House of Representatives have signed a single letter of protest against Obama’s insertion of the United States in the civil war in Libya. In that letter, Barbara Lee, Mike Honda, Lynn Woolsey and Raul Grijalva have committed not just to log a verbal protest, but to take action, to “fight”“, against the unconstitutional new war. They write,

“With the potential for protracted civil war in Libya, and similar circumstances of unrest and violence in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Côte d’Ivoire, Yemen, and elsewhere, we cannot afford to sidestep critical diplomatic and humanitarian efforts to rely solely upon the deployment of more guns, bombs, and troops. This represents a dangerous path toward perpetual U.S. military engagement around the world.
The United States must immediately shift to end the bombing in Libya. Rest assured we will fight in Congress to ensure the United States does not become embroiled in yet another destabilizing military quagmire in Libya with no clear exit plan or diplomatic strategy for peace.”