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Dennis Kucinich: Conscience of the Congress

Posted on Mar 8, 2012
AP / Charlie Neibergall

Rep. Dennis Kucinich of Ohio waves after speaking to delegates during the 2004 Democratic National Convention in Boston.

By Robert Scheer

“Dennis will be back, you can count on it; he’s on the right side of things.” I recall those words from a printer in Cleveland who had rented Dennis Kucinich a room in the back of her plant when that city’s former “boy mayor” was living in suddenly reduced circumstances. He was as sanguine then as he was Tuesday night when I spoke with him by phone about his gerrymandered eviction from the U.S. House of Representatives. Although he had just lost the position he has held for eight terms, by the end of our conversation he was optimistic and promised to continue the fight: “I am not about to abandon what I stand for.”

Most of the newly drawn district was made up of the Toledo home base of the fellow Democrat who defeated Kucinich in Tuesday’s primary, Rep. Marcy Kaptur, his more conservative colleague in Ohio’s congressional delegation. What remained of his Cleveland base, which he carried by 75 percent, was not sufficient to stave off the defeat the Republican-controlled state Legislature had intended when it drew the new boundaries in response to Ohio’s loss of two House seats. Kucinich knew it would be a tough primary fight, especially in the face of unexpected attack ads from his former friend in Congress.

With late returns still coming in Tuesday night, he was already thinking of new ways to energize the public discourse. I lightheartedly offered him a job writing a column for Truthdig paying in the low threes. But I was quick to add that I no longer had that spare studio in Los Angeles where he had spent four months writing a book after previously losing office. We’re all downsizing these days—unless you’re among the bailed-out bankers who are successors of those who four decades ago forced Cleveland into bankruptcy and Kucinich from the mayor’s office.

Back in 1979, I interviewed Mayor Kucinich for the Los Angeles Times, where I was working, and for Playboy. The Playboy interview caused him some discomfort with his solid base of Catholic voters, but they and other Clevelanders were warm to his populist instinct, the force that has driven him since his starkly impoverished youth. That populist passion caused him to rouse the ire of the banking elite that insisted that the city divest its municipal power plant to benefit a huge private power company. 

When Kucinich refused to play ball with the downtown banking interests they pulled the plug on Cleveland finances and temporarily derailed his career. But 14 years later the Cleveland Plain Dealer, which has savaged him since his mayoral days, ran a headline conceding “Dennis Was Right” as it belatedly acknowledged that his refusal to sell the plant had provided needed competition to private power, resulting in lower energy costs for consumers.


Square, Site wide
Dennis early on made a choice to rise politically by faithfully representing his people rather than betraying them, as is the norm in politics. In our Playboy interview he made a joke concerning the criticism of all the idealistic young people who had joined him in administering Cleveland: “The real reason the young people I’ve appointed have been criticized is that they haven’t learned to steal yet. If they learned to take bribes they’d be praised as innovative and bright.”

So, too, Kucinich, who has been unfailingly resilient in advocating for the vulnerable, whether they were the working poor in his district or the folks our government bombed throughout the world. He was defeated this week by a fellow House member who prides herself on bringing home government bucks, particularly in defense expenditures. Her pitch to the voters was that her role on the House Appropriations Committee would help keep the pork barrel open, big-city Dem style.

Kucinich never competed in that way. He has been a national symbol of resistance to excessive government power and waste. He also has been a champion of social justice. His has been a rare voice, and one way or another it must continue to be heard. Simply put, when it came to the struggle for peace over war, Dennis was the conscience of the Congress. And he was always at the forefront in defending the rights of unionized workers who once formed the backbone of a solid middle class and who are now threatened with extinction.

Kucinich will surely be back for another turn in public life. As he put it in our Playboy interview:   

“I appreciate Woody Allen’s humor because one of my safety valves is an appreciation for life’s absurdities. His message is that life isn’t a funeral march to the grave. It’s a polka.”

Dance on, Dennis.

Click here to check out Robert Scheer’s book,
“The Great American Stickup: How Reagan Republicans and Clinton Democrats Enriched Wall Street While Mugging Main Street.”

Keep up with Robert Scheer’s latest columns, interviews, tour dates and more at

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EmileZ's avatar

By EmileZ, March 11, 2012 at 1:54 pm Link to this comment

@ ardee

Perhaps, but I am not a “Democratic loyalist”.

Yes, that is right ardee, you were W-R-O-N-G.

bzzzzzzzzzt…. wrong (and no, that is not an opinion, it is fact).

Report this

By ardee, March 11, 2012 at 6:42 am Link to this comment

By EmileZ, March 10 at 8:50 pm

Horseshit. You resent another opinion from one who dares offer it. You are quick to insult and equally quick to take offense.

You are simply another moron.

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EmileZ's avatar

By EmileZ, March 10, 2012 at 9:50 pm Link to this comment

@ ardee

If only you could place as much value on other terms you so often throw around at anyone who questions the supreme authority of your comments, as I am about to do right now.

I, EmileZ, am not, nor have I ever been a Democratic loyalist.

At times you remind me of Joe McCarthy.

Report this

By tony_opmoc, March 10, 2012 at 12:39 pm Link to this comment

If America doesn’t want Dennis Kucinich, he should move
to the UK, with his English wife Elizabeth.

We desperately need a politician who tells the truth,
and by now it seems the USA is a lost cause in its
descent into Fascism.


Report this

By ardee, March 10, 2012 at 8:08 am Link to this comment

By Stupid Git, March 10 at 1:32 am

The real message here is that both major parties indulge themselves when in power by engaging in partisan redistricting. This time it was the Dems who lost ground. In other places and other times it is the GOP. It’s all nonsense in the end as neither party represents we the people any more.

Report this

By Stupid Git, March 10, 2012 at 2:32 am Link to this comment

Just curious: Why with all of the focus on the GOP primaries was the fact that
Kucinich was in such a close race not given more attention on both this site and
many other liberal blogs?

I’m a supporter of Kucinich yet live far from his district so had no idea it was an
issue. If I had I’ve had made donations to his campaign.

I’d like to ask that TruthDig (and other sites) put a portion of attention into the
candidates we should be supporting instead of as much toward those we should
be reviling? Now we have a less than ideal Dem vs. Joe the Plumber… What a
tragedy if Kucincih is replaced by Joe.

Report this
sallysense's avatar

By sallysense, March 9, 2012 at 8:22 pm Link to this comment

a state’s election redistricting?...

how fair is any redistricting board that resorts to crooked measures?...
like cutting public efforts so secret meetings could come together?... 
aren’t fraud and waste and abuse still worth a full investigation?...
and isn’t it integrity’s job to examine impropriety indications?...

why does their federal representative steer state-level mapmaking?...
or why hush-hush two hundred thousand bucks for others taking?...
plus manipulate the civil service status to circumvent state law?...
while a new company forms for subversion and profit over all?...

why waste taxpayer money to rent some hotel room for an office?...
and stay behind closed doors with no transparency to spot this?...
doesn’t direct representation begin and end with its citizens?...
why call phony public meetings only to ignore input given?...

don’t voters deserve to preview all map methods and proposals?...
so who’s hiding public records alongside government protocols?...
will constituents redress and rectify an unethical bias system?...
or shall officials depend upon a rigged area that picks them?!...

Report this

By hawkny, March 9, 2012 at 7:55 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Dennis, you have been at this political game for a long, long time.  Take a break.  Get on the chicken and peas speaking circuit and make a few million to ensure the long term security of your future and that of your family. 

Then, jump back into politics 15 months hence by announcing that you are going to take on that arch-conservative, anti-working people, FOX media darling, John Kasich, in the 2014 gubernatorial race in Ohio.

Report this

By Lorin W, March 9, 2012 at 4:30 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Thank you Robert Scheer. You are a bright spot during a very sad event.

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By Sodium-Na, March 9, 2012 at 2:07 pm Link to this comment

The attempts to defeat him or remove him from Congress have been going on for years. The forces that wanted him out from the hall of Congress were numerous with different agenda and aims. Because Dennis had truly strong supporters in his district,including myself,the evil attempts failed for the last 16 years in the elections between Dennis and his Republican opponents. I am no Democrat and let alone being a Republican.

The “smart” boys of both Republican and Democratic Parties in addition to other political forces pushed to emulate what took place in Texas 20 years ago by redistricting an area that resulted in giving the Republican Party the upper hand in that district. In fact,the Republicans became majority in the House of Representatives,with a mean-spirited character as their Majority Leader-sorry I forgot his last name but his first name was Tom,who ended up in prison for corruption.

Redistricting was the club the “smart” boys finally and happilly found to beat Dennis. As the Texan,named Tom,had paid the price for his wrong doings in Texas,some body might also pay the price for the redistricting that had taken place in Ohio,the result of which was the removal of a conscientious Congressman named Dennis Kucinich against the wishes of the majority of citizens residing in his original district,including me.

Dennis Kucinich for President as Independent,or Third Party’s Candidate…...

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By rcarter, March 9, 2012 at 12:37 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

When Kucinich changed his vote on the Affordable Health Care Act he returned the contribution I had sent him on the basis of his pledge to oppose what had become the ‘Health Insurance Industry Enrichment Act.’  What other politician would have had that sort of integrity?  Perhaps Barbara Lee.  Can we really be surprised that Wasserman-Schulz and the Democratic “leadership” would prefer a pork-barrel Democrat such as Kaptur who serves the interests of the war-mongering “military-industrial complex” as well as the infamous Zionist spy ring AIPAC over an honest politician opposing government waste and supporting social justice at home and around the world—including the Near East?  How long will it take to rid Washington of all the Zionist quislings who put the interests of the neo-colonial apartheid phantasy known as “Israel” above those of America and international justice?

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M Henri Day's avatar

By M Henri Day, March 9, 2012 at 10:14 am Link to this comment

«I do have to mention that, when Kucinich switched his vote on the Affordable Care Act, he sent me a check for the exact amount that I had donated to him to oppose it.  I have NEVER known any other politician to do such a thing.  Just sayin’.»

Thanks for posting the above, Ted - to my mind it tells us a great deal about Mr Kucinich’s personal integrity….


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By Rehmat, March 9, 2012 at 8:14 am Link to this comment

It looks like AIPAC will be able to defeat Rep. Dennis Kucinich, a non-supporter of USrael war on Iran.

In June the Zionist Lobby had slammed eight-term Congressman Dennis Kucinich for visiting Syrian President Bashar Assad in Damascus and praising him. Now, the Zionist dogs are once again chasing him for calling Obama administration to distant itself from the Israel-Firster neocons who dragged the US into war with Iraq in 2003 on cooked-up lies, costing “the lives of thousands of American troops and perhaps over one million Iraqis, that will have a long term cost of $5 trillion and that has further damaged America’s position in the world. Now the same people that brought us Iraq are changing “q” with “n” and advancing a whole new war based on the same type of flimsy predictate that brought us to war against Iraq“.

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By Rowland Scherman, March 9, 2012 at 6:37 am Link to this comment

Darth, that is a fine comment.  Better than mine, which reflexively cast the right
wing of OH as villains who could not win a fair fight.

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By SharonMI, March 9, 2012 at 6:13 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

“How long do you suppose it took Pelosi, Hoyer, Wasserman-Shultz, and Israel to decide between a conduit to the money stream of the MIC, or principals and convictions?”

A New York minute?

At least they didn’t kill him by “suicide” or a small plane crash.

Kucinich, dust off your bullet-proof vest and jump back in! (but please, not as a democrat)

Report this

By ardee, March 9, 2012 at 5:25 am Link to this comment

By EmileZ, March 8 at 5:39 am

We are not friends, I place a real value on that term.

You are simply another silly democratic loyalist , suspending reality in a pointless effort to make silk purses out of Kucinichs’ large ears.

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Blueokie's avatar

By Blueokie, March 8, 2012 at 8:26 pm Link to this comment

In the 2010 Census, Ohio lost a Congressional District.  The State’s Legislature was Republican, due in large part to the Democrat’s failure from 2008 to 2010, there was no doubt Kucinich or Kaptur was going to lose their district.  Kaptur is on the funnel money to the MIC Committee, and brought Pentagon sugar home with her.  Obviously DK would be the one to lose his seat.  How long do you suppose it took Pelosi, Hoyer, Wasserman-Shultz, and Israel to decide between a conduit to the money stream of the MIC, or principals and convictions?  It was the Census results that took DK out of Congress, anything else should be seen as opportunity to appreciate the Democratic Party for what it truly is.

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By Christopher Burrell, March 8, 2012 at 7:51 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Kucinich for President!

He’s the only democrat i would vote for.

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racetoinfinity's avatar

By racetoinfinity, March 8, 2012 at 7:01 pm Link to this comment

@ DarthMiffy - He wasn’t singular.  I guesstimate there are maybe 10-15% of Dem Congresspeople who are principled progressive enough to be called so.  I may be overestimating, but I don’t think by much.

Sad day for the people to lose Dennis in the house.

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vector56's avatar

By vector56, March 8, 2012 at 6:42 pm Link to this comment

“@ MeHere—the only way to get to Congress is with one of the 2-major parties.”

Bernie Sanders was elected as a Socialist; now calls himself an Independent.

Joe (ass-hole) Lieberman; use to be a Democrat, was reelected as an Independent.


Marcy Kaptur was indorsed by Bob Dole.

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By Ted Reynolds, March 8, 2012 at 4:44 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I do have to mention that, when Kucinich switched his vote on the Affordable Care Act, he sent me a check for the exact amount that I had donated to him to oppose it.  I have NEVER known any other politician to do such a thing.  Just sayin’.

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By lberns1, March 8, 2012 at 4:08 pm Link to this comment

I like Kucinich.  I’m somewhat disappointed that he
voted in support of this:

‘Trespass Bill’ Would Violate Peaceful Assembly

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caped amigo's avatar

By caped amigo, March 8, 2012 at 3:15 pm Link to this comment

The timing is propitious: Kucinich for President. The President of a third party that

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By Korky Day, March 8, 2012 at 12:39 pm Link to this comment

Many are talking-writing about Ron Paul picking Dennis Kucinich for vice president.  Not a bad choice at all, in my opinion, to get the peace vote, etc.
Here’s a fun poll (that I wrote) of over 50 vice presidential possiblilites for Ron Paul:

Report this

By ElkoJohn, March 8, 2012 at 11:03 am Link to this comment

I’ve always liked DK, but like the majority of progressives in the Congressional Progressive Caucus, he rolled over too many times for Obama and the power elite of the Democratic Party. Worse yet, the ‘‘progressives’’ never extracted any concessions for rolling over.
However, when Representative Marcy Kaptur stood on the House floor and told folks not to leave their homes unless the banks could prove they were in default, and produce the title to their house—that won me over. That took a lot of guts, and was more helpful to folks who are underwater than any anti-war rhetoric that doesn’t go anywhere in our military-industrial complex country.

@ MeHere—the only way to get to Congress is with one of the 2-major parties. And just like the Democrats have to kowtow to their corporate masters, a would-be Democratic nominee has to kowtow to the power elite within the Democratic Party.

@ Michael Cavlan RN—great post, I’m will you 100%

@ ardee—10-4, both parties are corrupt and now control the presidential debates so that no 3rd party candidate can participate.

@ vector56—with a popularity rating of less than 10%, there’s no way congress can be considered a reflection of the people. Congress is controlled by the 2-Party Dictatorship, which is funded and controlled by the 1%—the rest is just a dog and pony show.

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By MeHere, March 8, 2012 at 10:03 am Link to this comment

Quoting a previous poster: “Why would a principled person belong to a party that does not stand by him?”  And stayed with it until the very last minute when he got pushed out, I may add.

Has Kucinich ever answered this question?  Does anyone have an answer? Does he suffer from delusions like much of the voting public does? I haven’t come across any substantial explanation.

Report this

By John Drabble, March 8, 2012 at 10:01 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Kucinich is more show than go. he once made a speech against the Animal Enterprise Act and then walked out of the room thus allowing the act to be passed. An animal rights activist I know spent three years in a federal prison for operating a website that interfered with profit making for a company that conducted lab testing on animals. The government is requiring him to pat one million dollars in restitution.

Check out wikipedia’s description of the animal enterprise act and Kucinich’s role in it’s being passed into law. he could have stopped it!

Kucinich has spent some time in Seattle this past year. He can move out here and run but I and my progressive friends will consider him a carpetbagger. We know Kucinich says the right things but he’s ineffective.

Report this

By Colleen Clark, March 8, 2012 at 10:00 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The public handwringing over Kucinich is getting over the top. In the primary
election on Tuesday he lost, by a substantial margin, to the incumbent, Marcy
Kaptur of Toledo, who is also a liberal and progressive, albeit with a lower
national profile. If she were my long-term representative I’d have voted for her

I offer a couple of less glowing observations about Kucinich. When Kucinich was
mayor of Cleveland my father (a life-time Democrat and progressive etc etc)
was head of the Cleveland Public Library. For some reason I don’t remember he
didn’t like Kucinich very much - had something to do with his being more
interested in himself than with the city government and was not a staunch
supporter of CPL. The other observation is from an art restorer who works in
the Capitol building and watches many politicians come and go. Whenever
possible she engages them in conversation and explains the importance of
maintaining the Brumidi corridors. She told me that Kucinich was never
interested and even rather rude.

Report this

By Michael Cavlan RN, March 8, 2012 at 9:50 am Link to this comment

Of course Dennis Kucinich caved on the Health Care Bill, after telling us all why it was so bad and worse than no Bill at all.

We can be rest assures that Congressman Kucinich will endorse Obama and his party, the corporate corrupted, pro-war Democratic Party. Even after being thrown under the bus. Just like Elizabeth Warren has when she was thrown under the bus. Just like Senator Russ Feingold did, after being thrown under the bus. A pattern is emerging here.

All of which are attempts to give credibility, some small fig leaf of political credibility to that rotten, corporate corrupt institution known as the Democratic Party. The other wing of the one legacy party, or the one money party, if you like.

Instead of giving the dirty Dems credibility, this has diminished their credibility.

So even though most “progressive” blogs (owned and paid for by the 501c3 Industrial Complex) will flat out refuse to publish articles that put this very legitimate political perspective forward, we will still prevail. We will organize. We will move our nation forward.


Can ya truth-dig it?

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By Michael Cavlan RN, March 8, 2012 at 9:39 am Link to this comment

Rocky Anderson DID leave the Democratic Party and helped to create a new political party, the Justice Party. Rocky Anderson, former mayor of Salt Lake City is now running for president.

Despite the attempts to make this campaign invisible, people are joining. How effective Rocky Anderson is depends completely on us.


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BR549's avatar

By BR549, March 8, 2012 at 9:30 am Link to this comment

Wishingforsanity, March 8 at 6:59 am
“I’ll be writing him in for President. Please don’t tell me I’m wasting my vote. I’ll vote my conscience for the rest of my life.”

Any politician or candidate that railed against NAFTA was a hero to me. Ron Paul, Alan Grayson, Mike Gravel, Bob Barr, Cynthia McKinney, Ralph Nader, Chuck Baldwin and of course Dennis ......... you know, somehow I think that no matter how ideosyncratic they all might have been, had they been allowed to attain office and keep it without the sociopathic bankers using the CIA to assassinate them, this country would actually BE that pinnacle of of a democratic republic we all thought it was. And the rest of the world would be respecting us for the integrity it took to hold this form of government together. Instead, Washington has become a den of slithering pit vipers, using the duopolistic Dem and Rep parties to ram the bankers’ and European royalty’s agenda down our American throats.

I had suggested several races ago that the Constitution supporting, anti-NAFTA candidates should bury their hatchets, band together and come to some agreement as to which one would be POTUS; the rest would all have cabinet positions, etc. But no, it seems that egos prevail, even as our country heads further into the crapper.

Wishingforsanity, no, you’re not wasting your vote. If everyone were to vote their conscience instead of through their wallet or for the lesser of two evils, out of fear, we wouldn’t be in this mess. No one asks, for example, why every candidate opposed to NAFTA has been run off the stage by the media.

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By HeathCliff Rothman, March 8, 2012 at 9:18 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Well done.  Really enjoyed the article, and hope that
Dennis takes up the mantle in Washington State.

Report this

By gregorylkruse, March 8, 2012 at 9:14 am Link to this comment

It’s about time for Kucinich to turn his name recognition into money. Speaking fees and book royalties alone should bring him a million in five years. I would buy a book.

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EmileZ's avatar

By EmileZ, March 8, 2012 at 9:13 am Link to this comment

@ FreeWill and anyone else to whom this may concern,

Go ahead with the “soul destroying” and the “moment in the sun”.

It makes me sad, but I don’t see what else I could say that I haven’t said already earlier in this thread if that is what you call it.

Enjoy the sunshine, and try not to let it destroy your soul you crazy singleminded nuts.

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By faith, March 8, 2012 at 9:09 am Link to this comment

Great article Mr. Scheer.  And I love your last line - life is indeed a polka.

Report this

By FreeWill, March 8, 2012 at 8:59 am Link to this comment

It would be nice to think that this event would spark some sort of catharsis for Kucinich, but I have my doubts.  My faith in Dennis, as with many others, evaporated when he caved on the health care bill.  I have no idea what his motivations for doing so were,  but it showed lack of courage and conviction, just at a time when he could have made a difference.  As individuals we don’t often get these kind of opportunities in life and when they arise it is truly soul destroying not to do the right thing.  As age makes us fatigue easily it’s harder to maintain the fight.  But this is just the time that we have the wisdom and credibility to make a real difference by our action.  With his decision on health care Kucinich sold us out and he sold himself out as well.
  This is what we are left with in the Democratic party that once spoke for the common person and now represents Corporate interests.  We have no leaders willing to stand for and do what is right.  We have instead a bunch of cowards invested in their own personal comfort and safety.
    Dennis had his moment in the sun and blew it.  He will doubtlessly not be remembered for all his accomplishments, but instead for this one great failure.
Polka on.  I think not.  Mr. K. will waltz on to a safe congressional retirement.

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By GoyToy, March 8, 2012 at 8:55 am Link to this comment

Why would a principled person belong to a party that does not stand by him?

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By Jeff N., March 8, 2012 at 8:17 am Link to this comment

offered him a job writing for truthdig paying in the low 3’s?? As in, a couple hundred dollars?  Per article or?

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By Wishingforsanity, March 8, 2012 at 7:59 am Link to this comment

I’ll be writing him in for President. Please don’t tell me I’m wasting my vote. I’ll vote my
conscience for the rest of my life.

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EmileZ's avatar

By EmileZ, March 8, 2012 at 7:56 am Link to this comment

@ Troy Davis

I don’t see what difference it makes. If Kucinich was a Republican it wouldn’t matter, nor would it if he was a Socialist in the Senate who caucuses with the democrats like Bernie Sanders because, damn it, he can still get some things done that way even as a minority of one.

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By Troy Davis, March 8, 2012 at 7:47 am Link to this comment

Frankly, all of these so-called “progressives” who have remained in the Democratic party, languishing in it without having any genuine impact upon its policies and willingly accepting the status quo while loudly chastising the party, are hypocrites.

Any genuine progressive would have left the party long ago and formed a third party to compete against the corporate GOP [Greed Overwhelming Principle] and democratic parties that have sold their souls to the Military Industrial Complex.

Alas and alack, this did not happend because “progressives” were amply rewarded for their fidelity to the “system” and enjoyed their role as the disaffected, albeit allegedly honorable members of an otherwise corrupt party.

Their failure to abandon the party and form a genuine third party representative of the vast majority of American people speaks for itself and screams hypocrisy so loudly as to deafen any bogus claims they make about speaking for the interests of common, ordinary working class, minority, women and other disenfranchised voters.

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By Linda Sutton, March 8, 2012 at 7:06 am Link to this comment

We are in need of a strong progressive here in the 6th District of WA State…Norm Dicks is retiring. This district includes VERY progressive Port Townsend—a town that voted FOR DENNIS when he ran for president. MANY people here are independent—when you register to vote, you do not state a party. So, the only way anyone is officially identified is by joining the political clubs. We have a strong OCCUPY group here as well as a Move to Amend chapter and have just had our City Council by 7-0 pass the “Move to Amend” resolution. MoveOn is also active and often plans political events such as a recent state bank forum (WA Investment Trust). COME ON OVER DENNIS. WE LOVE YOU!!! (met you many times at Teddi Winograd’s)

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By Rixar13, March 8, 2012 at 6:51 am Link to this comment

” His has been a rare voice, and one way or another it must continue to be heard. Simply put, when it came to the struggle for peace over war, Dennis was the conscience of the Congress. ” - Dance on, Dennis.

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Leefeller's avatar

By Leefeller, March 8, 2012 at 6:49 am Link to this comment

Real compassionate progressive politicians are few and far between, I too believe it is a reflection of ignorance, manipulated programing and a real sad state of affairs for the 99 percent! A 99 percent which seems to be prompted to divisiveness instead of cohesion and always against their own best interests.

Reading the comments under EmileZ’s UTube link, says something about division and manipulated and indonrated ignorance! Buying opposing values seems so human, I am realizing humanity has little hope, for the powers that be can mold people into not respecting each other, even foster hate (Rush Limbaugh for example)!  As the Robber Baron stated a century ago; ‘I can hire half the people to kill the other half’ Unfortunately this still seems true today!

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By Paul McGuire, March 8, 2012 at 6:45 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Considering the current state of things in his
party,Dennis has one big flaw: he thinks Democratic and
democratic are not mutually exclusive terms.
Soldier on, Dennis, soldier on. You have buoyed our
spirits more often than not.

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EmileZ's avatar

By EmileZ, March 8, 2012 at 6:39 am Link to this comment

@ ardee

“The Obama plan is nothing more or less than a sell out to continued profits for Big Pharma and the HMO’s. We will still see tens of millions without coverage, the highest health care costs in the world and the worst value for our money. The first place Obama went to vet his plan was the pharmaceutical industry, so typical”

You are for the most part correct, but there were some provisions which will save thousands of lives, abhorent as it was.

“Kucinich waffled, plain and simple, after what was undoubtedly an appeal to his loyalty to his party. That translates to no loyalty to the people and more focus on profits. One may post paeons to Dennis’ history of political activism but someone has to note that he was only a mere mortal.”

Here I think you may being childish.

Perhaps you believe you are responding on a “higher plane”, I see a very twisted, and all too serious form of self-aggrandizing which I fear is becoming terminal.

You are becoming nastier and nastier my friend.

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M Henri Day's avatar

By M Henri Day, March 8, 2012 at 6:29 am Link to this comment

Let us hope that Mr Scheer is correct in predicting that Dennis John Kucinich will be back. As one of few voices for sanity in the US Congress, he has dared to make the US government’s interminable wars of aggression an issue. The news that those who gerrymandered his district have succeeded in manoeuvring him out of the House hardly came as a surprise, but it certainly rendered those of us who hope that H sapiens sapiens will be able to make it through this century without going extinct just a little bit less sanguine….


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By MaxShields, March 8, 2012 at 6:25 am Link to this comment

Principled yes, but he languished in a Party that threw him under the bus long ago, and perhaps used his presence as a “bone” to “progressives”. Because of his minority status (small handful of Reps at best on any one issue) he was a voice with no muscle. In that one could agree with most of what he stood for, but feel the ache of his presence as a display of “impotence”. Kucinich forced us to see that what he stood for had no sway in our politics, nor our governance. He was an outlier. I say all this with the utmost respect for his convictions and the many stands he made; but his stands, nevertheless were a sort of an afront to the very causes it served….

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By ardee, March 8, 2012 at 5:52 am Link to this comment

EmileZ, March 8 at 4:34 am

You are a silly person apparently to focus upon one phrase,“lost his luster” when his position prior to that plane ride was so markedly different afterwards.

The Obama plan is nothing more or less than a sell out to continued profits for Big Pharma and the HMO’s. We will still see tens of millions without coverage, the highest health care costs in the world and the worst value for our money. The first place Obama went to vet his plan was the pharmaceutical industry, so typical.

Kucinich waffled, plain and simple, after what was undoubtedly an appeal to his loyalty to his party. That translates to no loyalty to the people and more focus on profits. One may post paeons to Dennis’ history of political activism but someone has to note that he was only a mere mortal.

Sorry you cannot keep your responses on a higher plane. You want to play like a child, bring it on.

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By EmileZ, March 8, 2012 at 5:34 am Link to this comment

@ ardee & joell

We can only speculate about what happened up there above the clouds.

It is possible that Kucinich actually voted for the Affordable Care Act for the provisions it contained that would help people and save lives.

In the end, it is not such an easy decision.

He made his criticisms known loudly and pulled no punches. He still does to this day, and quite effectively. More so then probably the both of you combined, he continues to champion REAL universal healthcare.

Why the exclusive focus on just that anyhow???

What is the infatuation with smooth shiny objects???

“Lost his luster”... ???

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By WesParker in IA, March 8, 2012 at 5:17 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Kucinich, Wellstone, Humphrey, McCarthy, McGovern are voices that must continue to be heard everyday, everywhere.

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By cyclezealot, March 8, 2012 at 5:17 am Link to this comment

His explanation of Obama’s Air Force One ride to
Cleveland was adequate.. his health care vote was
qualified with his continuing fight for single pay
and his struggle to exempt states from the Obama Plan
on the condition that states are allowed to exempt
for their own states Single Payer plan.. Being
pragmatic , he choose to vote for obama Care only
because it puts some limits on insurance companies..
His vote was in keeping with his struggle for real
reform. He failed us not.. You think Kucinich was in
Obama’s pocket when the US went into Libya or
arresting American citizens without cause. Think
again.. For sure, Obama will never give Kucinich a
plumb job in the state department. He’s much too much  
an independent thinker.

“....stone cold weasel sell-outs….”

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By ardee, March 8, 2012 at 5:08 am Link to this comment

A mixed bag, frankly. The redistricting game is played by both parties and this time the Dems lost. That the Democrats have seemingly forgotten how to win is yet another fact of political life these last decades. Oh well, off topic.

Kucinich lost a bit of his luster when he waffled on the so-called Obama Health Care initiative, in my own opinion. His critique was on the mark yet he allowed Obama to take him for a ride, literally.

Some here remark on the dearth of Congress persons like Dennis. I think that there may potentially be more but the Democratic Party leadership seems tireless in silencing all progressive voices, everywhere.

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By joell, March 8, 2012 at 4:51 am Link to this comment

“....stone cold weasel sell-outs….”

A perfect   description of   Kucinich, a career politician whose   primary   concern   was   getting   reelected. There   was   no   limit to the   abuse and   humiliation little   Dennis   would take   from   the   DLC to   avoid their   threat   of a well   funded   primary challenger.

Maybe war criminal and   Nobel Peace Prize   winner Obama will   give him a 2nd   ride   on Air Force One as   a   consolation   prize.

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EmileZ's avatar

By EmileZ, March 8, 2012 at 4:20 am Link to this comment

@ vector56

It’s complicated, but I believe you are well within your worrying rights.

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vector56's avatar

By vector56, March 8, 2012 at 3:55 am Link to this comment

“WHY is Congress not populated by people him,
instead of the stone cold weasel sell-outs we have now? “

DarthMiffy’s question above may have a simple but terrifying answer.

Could it be that the Congress of the United States is a reflection of the people? If so, then all the “happy talk” on the planet will not change who we are. Liberals at some point might need to face the fact that we may be a permanent minority.

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By cyclezealot, March 8, 2012 at 3:46 am Link to this comment

Thank You Robert Scheer. Your words are well taken.
.From your perch at the LA Times, you well knew whose a
con artist and whose the real deal. Kucinich’s loss at
this time is a tragedy, just when PNAC is angling for
another catastrophe in Iran.. Whether Kucinich was
fighting Daryl Issa at Government operations speaking
up for worker rights or taking on AIPAC, he was there
and among the first to take a fearless stand… .. And
as of today, there is no voice equal to his who is up
front and in their face. And the idiots call Kucinich

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By EmileZ, March 8, 2012 at 3:12 am Link to this comment

He is not only principled, he not only has heart, he is a skillful engaged legislator, and a talented public speaker.

Come out to Washington State if you are so inclined Mr. Kucinich.

Thank you Robert Scheer for not allowing this sad occasion to pass without giving a proper tribute.

I sound as if Kucinich had died. Fortunately he is still with us. May he live forever.

Kucinich Rallies Wisconsin

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By DarthMiffy, March 8, 2012 at 2:38 am Link to this comment

He will be back, and soon! WHY is Congress not populated by people him,
instead of the stone cold weasel sell-outs we have now? Why is Mr Kucinich
so singular???

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