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Fri Mar 9, 2012, 10:05 AM

Why Dennis Kucinich Won’t Be Missed

Ouch!

http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/newsdesk/2012/03/why-dennis-kucinich-wont-be-missed.html

Why Dennis Kucinich Won’t Be Missed
Posted by Alex Koppelman



Barring a surprise carpetbagging move to Washington State, this coming January will mark the end of Dennis Kucinich’s time in the House of Representatives. In all, Kucinich will have served eight terms. That’s sixteen years. During that time, unless he suddenly goes on a productive streak over the next few months, he will have passed a grand total of four of the bills for which he was the original sponsor.

When Kucinich lost a primary fight against his fellow Ohio Democratic Representative Marcy Kaptur on Tuesday (the two incumbents were pitted against each other due to redistricting), liberals lost one of their favorite elected officials, and the press lost one of its favorite sources of comic relief. But Congress did not lose a leader.

I made this same basic point about Kucinich in March of 2010. At the time, he’d only succeeded in passing three of the bills he sponsored. Those three were, in chronological order:

A bill “to make available to the Ukranian Museum and Archives the USIA television program ‘Window on America,’ ” a bill “to designate the facility of the United States Postal Service located at 14500 Lorain Avenue in Cleveland, Ohio as the ‘John P. Gallagher Post Office Building” and a bill “proclaiming Casimir Pulaski to be an honorary citizen of the United States posthumously.”


In the two years since then, Kucinich has gotten one more bill passed. It named another post-office building in Cleveland.

Kucinich’s supporters will point out that he advocated for much more than he got passed. He opposed the war in Iraq, he pushed for single-payer health care, he introduced articles of impeachment for George W. Bush and Dick Cheney (and mused about impeachment for Barack Obama), and so on. They’ll be right. But so what? For all of his advocacy for liberal issues, Kucinich got almost nothing accomplished. He’s one of those legislators who becomes a favorite of the base—this happens on both sides; look at Michele Bachmann—by talking a lot while doing very little. Effective legislators build coalitions, they work to persuade their colleagues, they even compromise, if that’s what’s necessary to get legislation passed (or blocked, if that’s the goal). Not Kucinich. Liberals may miss him, briefly, but they’ll forget him soon enough. After all, he left nothing to remember him by.

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Arrow 24 replies Author Time Post
Reply Why Dennis Kucinich Won’t Be Missed (Original post)
babylonsister Mar 2012 OP
tk2kewl Mar 2012 #1
Justice wanted Mar 2012 #3
WingDinger Mar 2012 #4
Justice wanted Mar 2012 #5
babylonsister Mar 2012 #6
Justice wanted Mar 2012 #14
Warren Stupidity Mar 2012 #21
peace13 Mar 2012 #2
Smarmie Doofus Mar 2012 #22
zipplewrath Mar 2012 #7
madrchsod Mar 2012 #8
frazzled Mar 2012 #9
Champion Jack Mar 2012 #10
G_j Mar 2012 #11
The Blue Flower Mar 2012 #12
Blue_Tires Mar 2012 #15
Erose999 Mar 2012 #13
Herlong Mar 2012 #16
excuse not to write Mar 2012 #18
yurbud Mar 2012 #17
Lydia Leftcoast Mar 2012 #19
yurbud Mar 2012 #23
Lydia Leftcoast Mar 2012 #24
Warren Stupidity Mar 2012 #20

Response to babylonsister (Original post)

Fri Mar 9, 2012, 10:07 AM

1. wholeheartedly disagree

Last edited Fri Mar 9, 2012, 11:22 AM - Edit history (1)

without truth tellers like DK we would be far worse off

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Response to tk2kewl (Reply #1)

Fri Mar 9, 2012, 10:10 AM

3. DITTO! Dennis was the voice of the OWS movement BEFORE it was a movement. He looked out

for those of us who are the "average"/working middle class/working poor. He ONLY PASS 3 BILLS BECAUSE CONGRESS IS IN THE POCKET OF CORPORATE AMERICA.

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Response to Justice wanted (Reply #3)

Fri Mar 9, 2012, 10:32 AM

4. So, you value him the same way Repubs value Rand Paul.

 

As a contrarian. I like Kuchinich too. But effective at the job of advancing legislation. Not as much.

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Response to WingDinger (Reply #4)

Fri Mar 9, 2012, 10:35 AM

5. To compare Dennis to Rand Paul is just RUDE B.S.

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Response to Justice wanted (Reply #5)

Fri Mar 9, 2012, 10:42 AM

6. The article compared him to Bachmann; hard to say who is worse. nt

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Response to babylonsister (Reply #6)

Fri Mar 9, 2012, 12:30 PM

14. Which he didn't deserve either.

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Response to WingDinger (Reply #4)

Sat Mar 10, 2012, 09:40 AM

21. The only legislation that advances is that which the kleptocracy approves.

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Response to babylonsister (Original post)

Fri Mar 9, 2012, 10:08 AM

2. It is hard when you work with war mongers, what can I say!

Dennis worked hard for the American people. They can say what they want to about him but they can't change that.

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Response to peace13 (Reply #2)

Sat Mar 10, 2012, 04:43 PM

22. +1 n/t

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Response to babylonsister (Original post)

Fri Mar 9, 2012, 10:45 AM

7. Like the vast majority of legislators

You'll find alot of congress critters with this kind of record. If you want to be a successful sponsor of legislation that actually gets passed, you have to work to get into the leadership of your party, and only a few will actually accomplish that.

Otherwise, the other accomplishment you can do is to give access to the legislative process to voices and groups that otherwise might not have that access. You can get on the committees, you can pass information back and forth, you can get people to testify before committees, and you can write legislation elements and get them before the people that assemble the legislation.

What we lost with Kucinich and Grayson, and Feingold is people who would act as that conduit into legislation. That we will miss.

Obama didn't go to Kucinich's district to campaign for HCR by accident. He knew Dennis' value in the larger process.

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Response to babylonsister (Original post)

Fri Mar 9, 2012, 10:51 AM

8. i suppose alex thinks his words are more important than dennis

well if someone is willing to pay for his drivel then so be it. what dennis has said far out weighs what ever alex has ever written. dennis will be remembered far long than alex.

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Response to madrchsod (Reply #8)

Fri Mar 9, 2012, 11:33 AM

9. No, he's saying legislation is more important than words

I'm bewildered as to why people don't understand this.

Legislators are there to legislate. To have had a career in which you have not been able (or simply did not) move a single bill through the chamber means you didn't really achieve anything. Lots of people can talk: pundits, writers, you and I. Very few, including the vast majority of Representatives and Senators, get their ideas written into law that can change the course of the country and/or of people's lives.

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Response to frazzled (Reply #9)

Fri Mar 9, 2012, 11:39 AM

10. Bingo!

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Response to babylonsister (Original post)

Fri Mar 9, 2012, 11:52 AM

11. big FAIL

for comparing DK w/ Michele Bachmann!

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Response to babylonsister (Original post)

Fri Mar 9, 2012, 11:55 AM

12. What he's good at

Dennis is great at rallying people for a cause. Maybe now he can become an advocate for a national audience where progressive causes are concerned. I agree with those who feel that faith without works isn't worth a whole lot. But if he can rally the progressive faithful to work for what we believe, he'll be doing us all a great service.

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Response to The Blue Flower (Reply #12)

Fri Mar 9, 2012, 03:32 PM

15. That's what I'm thinking as well...

Get more into activism, be a good voice for the left on cable news shows, etc...

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Response to babylonsister (Original post)

Fri Mar 9, 2012, 12:06 PM

13. Dennis' voting record will stand for itself when compared to the GOP lite Blue Dogs and DLC types.


He's done a lot for America by voting "No" on certain legislation. And whether or not some of the bills DK introduced were passed, it was absolutely necessary that they were introduced so that we could record our congressmen voting "no" on them.

I resent the premise of this thread.

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Response to Herlong (Reply #16)

Sat Mar 10, 2012, 01:44 AM

18. So will I

 

Last edited Sat Mar 10, 2012, 07:12 PM - Edit history (1)

The article is BS.

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Response to babylonsister (Original post)

Sat Mar 10, 2012, 12:41 AM

17. so the years Wilberforce spent campaigning against slavery in Great Britain were a waste...

because he didn't draft any bills subsidizing the wig powder industry or naming April national cucumber sandwich month?

We would be better off without a lot the coalitions that have been built over the last thirty years, like the bipartisan ones that passed NAFTA, repealed Glass Stegel, launched two wars, and lots of other wonderful things.

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Response to yurbud (Reply #17)

Sat Mar 10, 2012, 02:11 AM

19. "Bipartisanship" has become one of my least favorite words

For the past thirty years, it has meant "accepting a couple of crumbs in return for doing what the Republicans want."

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Response to Lydia Leftcoast (Reply #19)

Sat Mar 10, 2012, 05:47 PM

23. too often it means ''bye bye democracy''

on some issues, like the Wall Street bailout and corporate welfare, a lot of righties agree with progressives, but both parties ignore public opinion to listen to the money people.

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Response to yurbud (Reply #23)

Sat Mar 10, 2012, 06:14 PM

24. Yes, when the bank bailout was announced, it was only the second time

that the right-wing and left-wing comment writers on my local paper's website agreed. Both sides were indignant that the big banks got bailout money when struggling small business people simply had to go bankrupt.

(The only other issue they have agreed on is that elder abuse should be punished harshly.)

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Response to babylonsister (Original post)

Sat Mar 10, 2012, 09:38 AM

20. Kucinich was and is a voice for the left, a left that has almost no representation

In the federal legislature.

The fact that he proposed legislation that was outside the center-right Washington Consensus, legislation that proposed obvious functional solutions to supposedly intractable problems, such as medicare for everyone, legislation that had no common ground with the right, is what made Kucinich great, not his legislative score card.

I hope Dennis finds another way to bring his progressive voice back to the national stage.

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