Saturday, March 10, 2012

Quote Of The Day

Caption: Why is this man smiling? Maybe it's because he's finally leaving Crazytown.

Image credit: U.S. Congress/Wikimedia

Glenn Greenwald tries to sum up the congressional career of Dennis Kucinich, and what his actions and the criticism he garnered for them say about Washington, DC these days:
Would it have been better if he had won more fights? Sure. Could he have been a more shrewd and calculating political operative? Probably. But his failure to get Washington to see the wretched errors of its ways reflects far more on them than it does on him. Faced with a militarized and corporatized state and a cowardly political and media class that enables it, Kucinich did what he should have done: opposed it loudly, courageously, consistently, and passionately.

In sum, Kucinich was one of the those rare people in Washington whose commitment to his beliefs outweighed both his loyalty to his Party and his desperation to cling to political office. He thus often highlighted the severe flaws, deceit and cowardice of his fellow Democrats and their Party as well as the broader political class. That’s why he has to be vilified as crazy and wacky. He’s long been delivering an unpleasant message about the Democratic Party and Washington generally, and like all unwanted messengers, has to be dismissed and marginalized so that this criticism disappears. Thus, those who brought us the Iraq War, Endless War in general, citizen assassinations, the systematic incineration of the Constitution known as the War on Terror, the financial collapse, the destruction of the middle class, and the financial and political supremacy of banker-criminals are sane and respectable. Those who most vehemently opposed those assaults, like Dennis Kucinich, are the “wackiest.”

Dennis Kucinich and “wackiness”
It's hard not to look at what's been happening in DC these days, and not be thoroughly depressed by it. At least, that's true if you're someone who understands what the balance of powers and the Bill of Rights mean, and why they (used to?) exist. We have seen both our power as citizens and our economic well being diminished continually by the actions of both of the major political parties for at least the last twenty years. Yet, most of the time, what we see both in the news and in most of the progressive publications that cover DC is little more than partisan bickering. Contrast, for instance, the amount of virtual ink spilled in the last week over Rush Limbaugh's rude and provocative commentary about a young woman who testified before an ad-hoc Democratic congressional committee set up to discuss birth control, with the near silence on the Attorney General's assertion this week that the U.S. government is free to assassinate its citizens if the President feels the need.

Tell me that's not crazy.

As I've mentioned in the past, some of what is cited as proof that Kucinich is crazy is nothing more than supposition piled on top of nonsense. It is also true that, like his opposite number on the Right Ron Paul, he is someone who commits the ultimate sin in DC - seeing things differently. Like Ron Paul, he only looks crazy until you contrast him to the people around him.

I'd much rather have a Congress and a White House run by folks like Kucinich and Paul than people like Barack Obama, Joe Biden, and Harry Reid. Kucinich and Paul are people who call out what they see as nonsense. Sometimes they don't get it right, but they're way more honest than the whores of the status quo who seem to run just about everything in DC, including the press.

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