Sunday, July 15, 2007

Kucinich rips Edwards and Clinton

"Politics is not about power. Politics is not about money. Politics is not about winning for the sake of winning. Politics is about the improvement of people's lives. It's about advancing the cause of peace and justice in our country and the world. Politics is about doing well for the people."

Paul Wellstone

Perhaps those in the lead for the Democratic nomination for President should reflect back upon these words. Clinton and Edwards both served with the great Senator from Minnesota and perhaps some humility is in order now.

Dennis Kucinich ripped Hillary Clinton and Jphn Edwards yesterday for their plot to exclude other Presidential candidates from future debates.
"This is a serious matter and I'm calling him on it," Kucinich, an Ohio
congressman, said in a telephone interview Friday. "Whispering, trying to rig an
election, then denying what's going on and making excuses. It all reflects a
consistent lack of integrity."

Kucinich's rant came after Clinton and Edwards were caught after a NAACP forum in Detroit, conspiring to exclude the likes of Chris Dodd, Dennis Kucinich, Bill Richardson and others from future debates.
"We should try to have a more serious and a smaller group," Edwards said, and Clinton agreed.

"Our guys should talk," Clinton said, complaining the format had "trivialized" the discussion.

Trivialized the discussion? I think answering questions in a debate by stating "I do not engage in hypothetical questions", trivializes debates, much like Hillary Clinton did in a recent debate.

When confronted, Clinton passed the buck.
"I think he has some ideas about what he'd like to do," she said, adding she liked participating in the forums.

Edwards back pedaled.

Edwards told reporters in Iowa that he wasn't in favor of barring anyone from future gatherings. Rather, he said he wanted to see them separated into two groups of four each, chosen randomly. "The result would be that we would have a much more serious discussion and people would actually be able to see what the differences are between us," he said.

Check out the video of the forum. Go about 55 seconds into the video and you be the judge of what Clinton and Edwards are talking about.

Sounds like Clinton and Edwards are attempting to create their own Roman Triumvirate.
What modern scholars call the First Triumvirate was an informal political alliance of two rival generals, Julius Caesar and Pompey the Great representing the popular viz. senatorial party, with the extremely wealthy businessman Marcus Licinius
. This fell apart after the death of Crassus, and the two other triumvirs fought a civil war, during which Pompey was killed and Caesar established his sole rule as perpetual dictator.

The discussion of Clinton and Edwards tactics reminds me of Joe Bodell's discussion of progressive vs. liberal, posted at Minnesota Campaign Report.
Walz is a moderate Democrat and Ellison a more classic liberal. What unites them is their progressive streaks -- each publicly puts the interests of the people he represents above those of omnipresent lobbyists and monied special interests.

Minnesota Progressives in the mold of Paul Wellstone. Clinton and Edwards are neither progressive nor liberal, by most standards.

Connecticut Senator Chris Dodd blasted Clinton and Edwards as well.
"Celebrity and money are not going to decide this race," he said. "People take some offense at it in these early primary and caucus states."

Candidates like Clinton and Edwards want true progressives like Kucinich and Richardson excluded from future debates because they pose questions and provide responses that seek to hold candidates accountable for their voting record and other actions.

When Congressman Kucinich, who was right about the war in Iraq long before it even started, questions Clinton and Edwards on their voting record, they become uneasy.

It's much easier for them to exclude true progressives than to answer tough questions. By doing so, they can continue the trend of "cookie cutter" debates, which do nothing for Americans who actually want to make a choice before the 2008 elections, and not have the outcome already decided.

1 comment:

Charley Underwood said...

It absolutely amazes me that there is virtually no discussion of any issues in most coverage of the presidential campaigns (or of the U.S. Senate race in Minnesota, for that matter). I mean, here we are spending now $3 billion every week on a tragic war that has killed over 3,600 Americans, around a million Iraqis, displaced about 2 million Iraqis within Iraq and forced about another 2 million to flee the country. And what are we talking about? Who has the biggest campaign chest.

Fine. Clinton and Edwards and Obama have money. But do any of them have the vaguest clue how to get us out of Iraq and how to start spending on little incidentals like slowing climate change or bringing healthcare to our citizens? In my opinion, we had better find a leader, not just a high-priced panhandler.