I am one of the few Americans who seem surprised by today’s news: Dennis Kucinich has dropped out of the Presidential race.
Now, having lived in the Cleveland area almost all my life, and with clear memories of Dennis’ antics as mayor, I have to say that I knew he wasn’t going to be President, and I knew he wasn’t going to get the nomination, but I was still surprised.
Because just today I got a spam email from his supporters, and it was the best political spam mail I’ve seen since September 2002. No joke. It was good. I disagree with his positions completely, but the spam was a perfectly clear chart listing all the Democratic candidates and their positions on everything from the insatiable opposition to the war in Iraq to for/against the death penalty, and immigration etc. This was a simple presentation that revealed the spin and hype of the Democratic Party’s leaders as well as-by default-it revealed in perfect clarity the misleading and false promises of those same leaders.
More than anything, the email pointed out something to me that I had known before, but neglected to truly believe: Dennis Kucinich was the true hope for America’s left. All the other candidates have come up short. He was the candidate the best represented Codepink, ANSWER, MoveOn, the Daily Kos (and The Daily Show), Buzzflash, Bartcop, Truthout, and the hundreds of anti-war groups as well as activist groups of all sorts. He represented them and their interests truly were his as well. While he was in the race, the base of the Democratic Party truly had a candidate who they could get behind, and if he’d have shown an iota of viability, he’d have run away with all the delegates.
Instead, he slinks back to his Congressional district in Cleveland-specifically to the zip code in America that has the highest number of new foreclosures anywhere from San Diego, CA to Bangor, Maine, from Attu, Alaska to Key West, Fla. Yes, his constituents are in trouble. Yes, many will be evicted, and forced to leave his district. Yes, his seat is highly challenged right now. Yes, he is out of the national race for the Presidency, and those who he represented the best-the DNC’s base-will still have candidates, and leaders, and representatives, but their ideas and positions will no longer be supported and furthered; catered to and pandered for, but not protected or enabled.
As I said, I don’t like Dennis, and I don’t agree with pretty much anything the little Keebler says, but I do think that millions and millions of Americans do, and now they are no longer served by the Democratic Party that kisses their collective butts with such delicate, pandering lips. Those people, Dennis’ supporters, are Americans, and now they will be even further politically alienated; forced to stomach a vote for a candidate that they have to make excuses for supporting.
I feel for them. I have empathy for their alienation, but I also realize the reality of American politics. Someone’s gotta lose, and when you take extremist positions it’s hard to benefit from moderate compromises.