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Kucinich Blasts Democrats
Posted on Mar 23, 2007
Scheer: Now, what about the speaker, because she comes from probably one of the most liberal districts in the country, in San Francisco. She got fiery right before she became the speaker. What’s her responsibility? Why did she tone it down? Why is she compromising with the president?
Kucinich: Speaker Pelosi has her own problem; I’m talking about the entire Democratic caucus here. I’m saying that Democrats should have stood for getting out of Iraq immediately, and we didn’t. And the war is going to go on. The bottom line out of all this is that the president got money to keep the war going. He’ll veto it, and it’ll come back to Congress to come up with a plan that will be even weaker. We should have come out very strong; we knew he was going to veto it anyhow. We should have come out strong and indicated that the Democrats stand for truly getting out of Iraq. We didn’t show that by this bill. You could say, “Well, we reached a timeline”; that doesn’t mean a thing. People say, well, constitutionally it means everything. If it means everything then why didn’t we set a timeline of 90 days. Why a year, why a year and a half? We just have to put an end to this nonsense. We’ve got to get out of Iraq. This war is destroying the aspirations of people, for housing, healthcare, education. It’s ruining America’s reputation in the world. It’s destabilizing the region. The president’s rattling the sabers against Iran, he can use money in this bill to attack Iran. They took out a provision in this bill that would have caused him to have to come back to Congress. It will privatize the oil of Iraq. They call this a victory? For whom?
Harris: Dennis, I’ve been listening to you since probably 2003 when you really started to come on strong in the election. You haven’t wavered on your position about Iraq. You’ve always felt that we need to walk in and take the troops out. I think that you’re quite honest when you say that Democrats didn’t follow through on their promise to get us out of Iraq. Will there really be a change in policy in the way that Democrats are trying to tear down this Republican house?
Kucinich: We have to move past partisanship here. You know, there was a lot of talk about voting with the team today. About Democratic unity. For what? For war? Are you kidding? I mean, how about unity for peace? How about unity to challenge unilateralism? How about unity for healthcare, for education, for jobs? You know, because all those aspirations are directly affected to the degree that we continue to spend more money for war. Don’t forget, we’re talking about at least a hundred billion dollars. All this money going for war. It just has to stop. We are at a turning point in this country’s history. Either we’re going to make a real commitment to peace and to diplomacy and international cooperation, or we’re going to descend into some lower circle of Dante’s Inferno where we have nothing but destruction and where we have all hope lost. We have to take a new direction, and that’s what I stand for. I don’t like having to vote against a majority of the people I serve with in the Congress, but I have to tell you something: I couldn’t see any other place to be today. And you have to remember that I proposed an alternative which is still viable. And it’s HR 1234, and it’s the plan to end the Iraq war, and it’s more necessary now than ever. And when the president vetoes the bill, as he will, I’m going to go back to my colleagues and insist that this bill, HR 1234, is the only way to end the war. And maybe that will be the time that they see the necessity of standing for peace.
Harris: Where can we read about HR 1234?
Kucinich: Go to my website at kucinich.us, OK?
Scheer: Great, thank you, Dennis. The president seems a little bit lost. I don’t know if impeachment, I don’t know about any of these options. How about you? I just want to have a discussion about this. It seems the president has lost his mind. And it seems like the Congress is going any way they feel. It seems like they’re going in the direction the president is going. And you know, even if you don’t like Dennis or Ron Paul or somebody who’s saying end the war—John Edwards—it’s interesting, what are the people supposed to do? I don’t live in San Francisco; neither of us [Scheer and Harris] live there. But you [addressing James Harris] live [in the district of Rep.] Barbara Lee, who’s pretty liberal; Nancy Pelosi’s in San Francisco: Is she serving her constituency? Are you supposed to vote these people out just to let them know? I mean should Pelosi be voted out?
Harris: I don’t think Pelosi should be voted out. I think she has approached the body politic and honored it in the way that it has traditionally been honored. I mean you don’t go into a political house, in my mind, and throw up your arms and demand that that man step down, unless you’re willing to legislate and go through that process. You want him impeached? I say you file the necessary paperwork and impeach the guy. But I don’t think there’s really room for, at least in 2007, anger on the Senate floor. I think they have to set the example.
Scheer: Except for Jim Webb. Who’s honest.
Harris: Except for Jim Webb.
Scheer: It just seems there’s a lack of honesty. The president seems to be in a bubble, and that’s my only point. I’m not for just going crazy and being angry. You talk about angry, the fact is they do represent people—the people of the country are angry and they’re supposed to represent those people. So you know, you don’t have to be angry. I’m not screaming over the mike, you’re not screaming over the mike. People on TV are not screaming over the mike. There should be a way and it doesn’t seem like there’s a way. I’m going to vote: You know, if a Republican candidate or a libertarian candidate comes out and says end the war and Hillary Clinton doesn’t, I’ll vote for a Republican candidate.
Harris: You talk about Bush being in the bubble, you remember after Hurricane Katrina his main aide said we had to rush DVDs to this guy so that he would watch the fallout. He wasn’t watching the news. We know he doesn’t read the newspaper. He is in a bubble and I think influenced by the Lord, as he says; I think he feels like he’s doing the right thing, and I think even though Dennis was very unhappy about the Democratic legislation I think Bush is pissed off finally. I think this legislation at the very least has changed the course and the mind of Bush and he knows he has a fight coming. So I’m happy about that. I understand Dennis’ argument that there should be more, and that promises were made by the Democratic Party when they won the election.
Scheer: Yeah, promises that aren’t kept.
Harris: Yes, promises that are not kept. Well, we’ll keep it there. Please keep digging. And do check out Dennis Kucinich’s bill HR 1234. Give it a Google. For Josh Scheer and our guest today, Dennis Kucinich, this is James Harris and this is Truthdig.
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