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Dennis Kucinich on the Democrats’ Bailout Betrayal
Posted on Oct 5, 2008
By Chris Hedges
Obama’s support for the bailout, however, is his most egregious betrayal. He had a brief, shining moment to prove he could lead, to capitalize on a popular revolt that cut across the political spectrum. He never attempted to address or mobilize the aspirations and passions of the vast majority of Americans. He was as craven, servile and cowardly as the party he represents. He returned to the campaign trail after Friday’s vote as a slick and polished sales representative for our corporate state, telling us to calm down and accept the inevitable.
“Some of the most powerful speeches against this were given by members of the Republican Party who are on the political right,” Kucinich said. “They did a superb job in poking holes in the underlying assumptions of the bailout. They say what they believe. Give me somebody who says what they believe and I can figure out how to get them to a new place. When people say one thing and do another it is very hard to be able to move a debate.”
So let us honor, in our moment of defeat, the handful of elected officials who valiantly defied their party leaderships in the House to stage a remarkable revolt that at first succeeded. Kucinich is one. There were others—Brad Sherman, Marcy Kaptur, Peter DeFazio, Lloyd Doggett and Robert C. “Bobby” Scott. They are about all that is left of the old Democratic Party, the party that once looked out for the poor and the working class. Send them a note of thanks. They deserve it. And if you live in their districts make sure you get to the polls in November. They did not sell you out.
“We had two take-it-or-leave-it propositions and the second one was worse than the first,” Kucinich said, referring to the plan that came loaded with pages of tax cuts. “Tax cuts are antithetical to a bailout. We never solved the problem. There were never any hearings on the bill. This premise, that we could prop up the stock market with a $700-billion investment and create some liquidity, was flawed. The problem is that banks do not want to loan to each other. It is not a liquidity problem. Banks are afraid they are going to collapse in short selling. There is a war going on between security firms and banks. Banks are under assault. They are not loaning. The dynamic is driven by the Accounting Standards Board, the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Fed.”
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“We face a perfect financial storm,” Kucinich warned. “The elements are the deficit spending for the war of 3 to 4 trillion dollars, the trillion and more tax cuts, the war itself and the lack of serious investment in the country. We are being hollowed out. We are going to see more unemployment and more people losing their homes. With $700 billion we could have made a real investment in the country, in jobs, in infrastructure and in homes. Instead, we got robbed.”
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