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Freedom Rider: Farewell Congressman Kucinich

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    by BAR editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberley

    With the gerrymandered defeat of Dennis Kucinich, the Congress has lost its last, best progressive. “Called crazy or wacky, Kucinich is nothing more than what other Democrats ought to be.” Kucinich stood firm, when all in the Progressive and Black Caucuses folded. “If there is no room for one, not even one true Democrat, then there should no longer be any allegiance to that party.”

     

    Freedom Rider: Farewell Congressman Kucinich

    by BAR editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberley

    His eight terms in congress will end this year because he was not tolerated by the rulers.”

    If America were a democracy in the truest sense of the word, our political representatives would in fact represent our interests. They would fight for public education and against wars. We would have single payer health care and affordable housing. Banks would not be permitted to devastate our communities with red lining or foreclosures and the top 1% wouldn’t be allowed to create bubble economies which create havoc around the world.

    But our country is a democracy in name only. We do get to cast our votes periodically, but anyone who does want to represent the interests of the people is not tolerated by this system.

    Dennis Kucinich is such a person. His eight terms in congress will end this year because he was not tolerated by the rulers. Kucinich’s congressional career ended because of the time honored yet often corrupt process of gerrymandering districts. Electoral district lines are redrawn every ten years based on census data, and because the state of Ohio lost population, it also lost congressional seats.

    The Ohio rulers in the Republican-run state legislature decided to redraw lines which pitted two Democratic incumbents, Dennis Kucinich and Marcy Kaptur, against one another. The new district was mostly made up of Kaptur’s old district, and Kucinich was defeated in the primary election.

    Anyone who wants to represent the interests of the people is not tolerated by this system.”

    The corporate media and their pundits were always quick to dismiss Kucinich, and wasted no time in kicking him now that he is down and out. Called crazy or wacky, Kucinich is nothing more than what other Democrats ought to be. He represents the interests of most Americans, and calls out the powerful for their abuse.

    The rightward shift in American politics puts anyone who truly believes in democracy on the outs. When Kucinich sponsored articles of impeachment against George W. Bush, his effort was righteous but doomed, and doomed by his own.

    His fellow Democrats couldn’t get behind him because some of them were collaborators with the Bush regime. Then Speaker Nancy Pelosi couldn’t support articles of impeachment which charged Bush with the crime of torture because she was briefed on and tacitly supported the practice. It is but one example of why Kucinich’s political career was also doomed, and why he finally was unable to dodge that last bullet.

    Dennis Kucinich stood up when no one else would. In 2006, when the first reports surfaced indicating a death toll of 1 million Iraqis at the hands of the United States, it was Kucinich, alone among members of congress, who demanded answers. Not one other member of Congress, not from the Progressive Caucus, or the Congressional Black Caucus joined him. It is that kind of bravery which finally cost him his political career.

    He finally was unable to dodge that last bullet.

    If there can be any criticism of Kucinich it should be leveled over his support of Barack Obama’s health care plan. For many years Kucinich was steadfast in his support of single payer health care, Medicare for all. But Obama was having none of it, and as always crushed the party’s progressive wing in order to get his way. He threatened to campaign against any Democrats who wouldn’t support his wolf in sheep’s clothing corporate health care bail out. Kucinich succumbed to the Obama steamroller and lived to see another day in 2010, but his number was up in 2012 and he will soon be a former member of congress.

    In an era when presidential campaign spending hits the 1 billion dollar mark, and the once progressive Congressional Black Caucus is as corporate controlled as any other, the likelihood of true democracy is slim. The pressures which compromised Kucinich in the health care debate and which finally took him out altogether will not permit his like to emerge again.

    In an era when representing the desires of the people makes one a political outlaw, it is time to ask some hard questions. If there is no room for one, not even one true Democrat, then there should no longer be any allegiance to that party. When the attorney general in a Democratic administration asserts a government right to assassinate at will, then it is passed time to leave that party behind.

    The pressures which compromised Kucinich in the health care debate and which finally took him out altogether will not permit his like to emerge again.”

    If Dennis Kucinich, who was truly antiwar, is shown the door, while the drone-dropping Obama sits in the oval office, then we know everything we need to know. Supporting the Democratic Party is a losing proposition, as Kucinich discovered when his support of the health care bill only postponed his inevitable political demise. We should laud the many courageous stands he took on our behalf, but learn a lesson from that experience.

    Hopefully Kucinich will find other ways to make a political impact. His voice is an important one, and shouldn’t be silenced because he is now out of office. Perhaps being out of Congress will give him greater power, the power to move people to political action without the constraints of party loyalty. It is difficult to imagine a better person for the job.

    Margaret Kimberley's Freedom Rider column appears weekly in BAR, and is widely reprinted elsewhere. She maintains a frequently updated blog as well as at http://freedomrider.blogspot.com. Ms. Kimberley lives in New York City, and can be reached via e-Mail at Margaret.Kimberley(at)BlackAgendaReport.com.

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    Joel, right on AIPAC and Obama's cabinet, wrong on Kucinich

    I don't understand your animus toward Kucinich, I have seen your posts on several sites and all negative. I felt that this representative did stand for me and my rights. He was against NAFTA/CAFTA because he saw that they were bad for the public of the countries and their environments that they only benefited the global corporations and banking. He was not a toady for AIPAC or did he vote for the resolutions that forgave Israel from its violations. He was a democrate but did not follow the party line with blinders on as so many do. I wish there were more in the House of Representatives like him.

    "Constantine's Sword"

    Constantine's Sword,  James Carroll, New York: Houghton Mifflin Co., 2001  History, nonfiction

    "Constantine's Sword" the documentary film, 2007, directed by Oren Jacoby, written by James Carroll and Oren Jacoby.

    Thank You

    Thank you, Sanda, for reminding folks that paranoia about Jews is a deep, old integral part of white supremacist dogma and practice.  The main problem of race is white people, especially rich white people.  AIPAC is a footnote, at best.  If Israel weren't located near "our oil," it would be ignored.

    AIPAC neither "controls" democrats nor u.s. Jews, either

    If AIPAC had the "control" it is alleged to have, mccain would've been elected president in 2008. Not only did voters in general ignore AIPAC's endorsement of mccain in 2008, but u.s. Jews overwhelmingly voted for Obama as well. So much for AIPAC's "control."

    You missed the game

    You think AIPAC would like to be exposed for making King? That was a somewhat bait and switch tactic.  The zionists always wanted to hide the fact that they were orchestrating the presidency of Obama.  You may read the Jewish Defender article The First Jewish President. Even Rupert Murdoch endorsed Obama.  Rupert Murdoch, owner of FOX News, endorsed Barack Obama:

    "We're on the verge of a complete phenomenon," Murdoch said. "Politicians are at an all-time low and are despised by 80% of the public, and then you've got a candidate trying to put himself out above it all. He's become a rock star. It's fantastic. 

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2008/may/30/rupertmurdoch.wallstreetjournal 

    The UnDue Influence of AIPAC / NeoCON / Likudiks Can't be Denied

    The disproportionate influence over US' Mid-East policy by the AIPAC / NeoCON / Likudnik Cabal - along w the US' oil policy agreements w the Arab Oil Monarchies [especially the Saudis] can't be denied. Just as the Little Havana crowd in Miami have undue influence over the US' Cuba - & even Latin American & Carib- policy [I have a theory why that's so but I'll not elaborate here]. But IMO you're right that most US Jews are NOT hard-core AIPACers- which begs the question why AIPAC [& the NeoCONs] which represent a minority opinion within a rather tiny minority [US Jews = 2% of the population] have such disproportionate sway over the US' Mid-East policy?? Because what other organization that acts like an agent for a foreign Gov't, do so-many US poly-tricians both Dim & Repug  [Remember in 2008 both McCain, Billary & Obama paid homage at AIPAC. Has Obama ever missed the main yearly AIPAC meeting since becoming POTUS?] pay such respect to??!! How many other heads of state of foreign Gov'ts have addressed a joint session of Congress [w near full participation of both Dims & Repugs] to multiple standing ovations- as what happened w Bibi?! Even one as knowledgeable as ex-Pres Jimmy Carter has said that most US politicians Dim or Repug don't dare buck AIPAC for fear that they'll get the Cynthia McKinney treatment [In 2008 after Carter's book 'Peace not Apartheid' came out, out-spoken Zionist Alan Dershowitz openly boasted that he TOLD Obama NOT to allow ex-Democrat Pres Jimmy Carter to speak at the Dim's  2008 Pres convention- & in fact Carter did NOT speak on stage!]. If the AIPAC / NeoCONs {NeoLiberals} along w the Wall St Banksters were NOT sure of Obama's 'loyalty'- IMO: Billary would be POTUS!

    Food for Thought: Earlier this yr prior to Bibi's trip to the US & Bibi's & Obama appearance at AIPAC, the editor of the top Jewish magazine in Altanta [GA] made a statement emphatically implying that the Mossad should be prepared to take Obama out if he refuses to along w plans to Bomb, bomb, bomb Iran. What do you think that was all about? Was it just some yahoo shooting his mouth off - or was a message being sent??!! How was this guy allowed to get away w saying that & apparently didn't get a visit from the FBI, Secret Service, Homeland Security - let alone the Gitmo / Bradley Manning treatment??!!

    And Last yr a couple [it's not exactly clear who they were] somehow breached White House & Secret Servce security, & 'crashed' an official hi-level affair hosted by Obama for a foreign head of state. So just what the HELL was that all about??!! An innocuous security breach [ain't no such damn thing at that level] or a message??!!

    Israel, Billionaire Jews & the US Elections- From The Real News

    Note this Feb 1st Real news interview w Max Blumenthal [a Jewish reporter & author who knows about politics in both the US & Israel]. @ http://therealnews.com/t2/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=31&Itemid=74&jumival=7867

    Blumenthal talks about a US Jewish Billionaire named Adelson - who is a major funder of Newt Grinchwitch & is close friend & backer of current Israel PM Bibi. But Blumenthal says that another Jewish Billionaire was a [or thee] major funder to Slick-Willie's & Obama's campaigns- who is also a major contributor to the IDF. 

    Blumenthal then quotes from a book that says that '45% of individual political contributions in American campaigns are from rich Jewish donors...'

    That's 2% of the population that has 40% of all US billionaires who account for 45% of the total amount of individual campain contribution funds for US elections. 

    COMPARE AND CONTRAST

    I judge people by how they act and by what they say. President Obama speaks and acts exactly as if he is either "controlled" by certain special interest groups, or worse, that he shares their simplistic world view.

    We live in a digital age in which most forms of communication are recorded and preserved "forever."Anyone who wishes to do so can view any of President Obama's many public speeches when they are directed towards his idol, Ronald Reagan, or Anglo-Saxonism, or Wallstreet or towards the AIPAC, and the State of Israel and then compare the speeches he makes when they are directed towards Black people. The obvious pattern is that, this President, just like his White predecessors,  is  slavishly devoted to all of the other groups while being openly hostile, indifferent, or contemptuous of Black people and their interests. When Barack Obama publicly acknowledges Ronald Reagan's long and ugly history of racism, and playing racial politics, and when he begins to publicly talk down to AIPAC, Israel,  and Wallstreet, in the same way that he routinely does to Blacks, instead of pandering to them,  maybe the idea that he is controlled by AIPAC, Israel and rich White people will seem less credible.

    AIPAC, JEWS & Obama

    You're   very   naive   John. Obama's   ascendancy   to   President   was  orchestrated.  Many  gullible   people,   especiallly   Blacks,  still  believe    it   was  a   genuine    grassroots  movement.

    AIPAC  &  Wall Street (Jews)  OWN   Obama. The   number  of   Jews  in   high   ranking   positions  in  Obama's   administration    is  astounding. And   its  not  by   choice. Obama  is   just   their    frontman.

    Current Staff Members

    Jack Lew    Chief of Staff to the President
    David Plouffe    Senior Advisor to the President
    Danielle Borrin    Associate Director, Office of Public Engagement; Special Assistant to the Vice Preisdent
    Gary Gensler    Chairman of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission
    Dan Shapiro    Ambassador to Israel
    Gene Sperling    Director National Economic Council
    Mary Schapiro    Chairwoman of the Securities and Exchange Commission
    Steven Simon    Head of Middle East/North Africa Desk at the National Security Council
    Eric Lynn     Middle East Policy Advisor
          
    Past Staff Members

    Rahm Emanuel (2009-2010)    Chief of Staff to the President
    David Axelrod (2009-2011)    Senior Advisor to the President
    Elena Kagan (2009-2010)    Solicitor General of the United States
    Peter Orszag (2009-2010)    Director of the Office of Management and Budget
    Lawrence Summers ('09-'11)    Director National Economic Council
    Mona Sutphen (2009-2011)    Deputy White House Chief of Staff
    James B. Steinberg ('09-'11 )    Deputy Secretary of State
    Dennis Ross (2009-2011 )    Special Assistant to the President, Senior Director for the Central Region to the Secretary of State
    Ronald Klain (2009-2011)    Chief of Staff to the Vice President
    Jared Bernstein (2009-2011)    Chief Economist and Economic Policy Advisor to the Vice President
    Susan Sher (2009-2011)    Chief of Staff to the First Lady
    Lee Feinstein (2009)    Campaign Foreign Policy Advisor
    Mara Rudman (2009)    Foreign Policy Advisor

    How Depressing

    The problem is corporate capitalism, nots Jews.  If Israel were not located in oil country, AIPAC would not exist, let alone be so "influential" (twist-my-rubber-arm style).

    It saddens me to no end to see supposed advocate of black liberation continue harping on this old canard.  What a nightmare.

    How many wealthy members of the Congress and Obama Admin are there?  The percentage is high and rising, and dwarfs the Jewsih number.

    Meanwhile, black people rag on the old white supremacist story about a cabal of Jews running the world...

    good post, joell. it

    good post, joell.

    it certainly goes a long way to explaining the pro zionist agenda that continues to put US and israeli citizens at risk.

    IMAGINE THIS

    Here's an easy experiment for those who continue to insist that anti-Black bias doesn't trump other forms of racial oppression in America. Imagine that instead of Jews or White people, President Obama had filled all of these positions with Black men and women except for the three or four spots he filled with Hispanics, Native Americans, Asian-Americans, or multiracial people. How do you think that the "objective" Western media in "post racial" America would portray such a situation? What would be the response to this from the typical allegedly "colorblind" White American, or from members of the Zionist lobby, or from our "allies" on the left, and in the progressive movement? How would members of other non-White ethnic groups respond to existence of a nearly all Black Presidential advisory establishment? We all know exactly what the response from most of these people would be, it would be unrelentingly negative and destructive. Accusations would be made that the President was showing preference and giving special treatment to (unqualified) Blacks And it wouldn't matter one bit if all that these people did was to continue the exact same foreign and domestic policies as Whites and Jews would. It is so easy to demolish the theory that race isn't the deciding factor in modern America when it comes to how most people see the world that it is ridiculous to waste one's time speculating about how much progress America has made when it comes to dealing with racism. 

    Jewish vs Black Power in the US- A Comparison:

    Jewish % of US Population: 2% - Black % of US Population: 12%

     Number of Current Jewish US Senators: 13 - Number of Current Black US Senators: 0

     Number of Former Jewish US Senators elected since 1900: 22 - Number of Former Black US Senators elected since 1900: 3 [Note: I don't count Roland Burris because he was effectively picked as a place-holder for Barak Obama's IL Senate seat - but was only allowed to do so after he promised to step-down & step-aside when that term ended] - Thus the total number of Jewish US senators elected since 1900: 35 -vs- total number of Black US senators elected since 1900: 3

     Number of current Jewish US Congressional Reps: 27 [= 3Xs the number of reps as compared to their 2% of US population] - Number of current Black US Congressional Reps: 42 [= .75 {IE: 3/4} of the number reps as compared to our 12% of US population]

     Total number of Jewish US Cabinet Officials & Ambassadors [past & present]: 38 - 40 [plus add all those that you've named above]- Total number of Black US Cabinet Officials & Ambassadors [past & present]: 19 - 21

     Total number of Jewish US State Governors [past & present]: 24 - Total number of Black US State Governors [past & present]: 4

    40% of US billionaires are Jewish [= 165 out of a US total of 413]. 18% of Jewish households have a net worth of $1 million or more. - Number of Black US billionaires: 2 [Oprah & marginally so BET founder Bob Johnson]. 1.2% of Black US Households have a net worth of $1 million or more, while 25% of Black US households are in poverty.

    The influence of the AIPAC-Likud-Israel Lobby over US Mideast policy is Strong- IE: Israel [population: 6 -7 million] gets more US foreign aid [$2.5 - 3+billion/yr] than all of Africa combined [population: 1-Billion] - w nearly 65% of Africa's aid going to just Egypt [$1.6 billion] due to the deal cut between Egypt, Israel & the US for the Egyptian - Israeli Peace Treaty.

    And the influence of the Congressional Black Caucus- Was the CBC able to influence ex-CBC member [& supposed Son of an African-Kenyan] O-Bomb-em not to bomb the African countries of Libya & Somalia? How about the CBC's influence on Obama to significantly change [after all he said he was all about 'Hope & Change'] the US' on-going atrocious Haitian policies? How about the CBC's influence on Obama concerning Jobs for Blacks in the US - who overwhelmingly voted for Obama & still overwhelmingly support him?

    AIPAC and Blacks

    In the wake of the AIPAC conference I find it interesting that there is no story on BAR how AIPAC and American Zionism effects on the Black Community.  AIPAC actively recruits Blacks by buidiung affinities on the idea of Jewish "suffering" in order to get Black Leaders to support the Zionist entity known as Israel.  Such relations corrupts Blacks and the silence by the Black Left on Jewish Supremacism provide defacto support to this brand of racism.

    It behoove BAR, epecially for the purpose of CREDIBILITY that Black stand up to Jewish Supremacism especially as it take hold of controlling the Black Left and its leaders.

    Kucinich is a fraud, & he got his.

    Kucinich is neither crazy/wacky nor a "People's representative," but a fraud, running hustles like the tokenistic introduction of impeachment articles against g.w. bush (which bush not only deserves but also deserves imprisonment as well) to front as a "People's representative," & he got his. What kind of "People's representative" votes IN FAVOR OF starting the u.s. war against Afghanistan (as he did in 2001) & IN FAVOR OF the Obamacare legislation (as he also did, despite the fact that 2/3 of the u.s. public supports Medicare For All, which is the exact opposite of Obamacare & is the solution to the health insurance crisis) that guarantees corporate welfare for the private health insurance racket at the expense of the populace that is forced to purchase unaffordable, grossly inadequate PRIVATE health insurance that will end up actually not increasing health insurance coverage for anyone? He'd better've learned his lesson that voting to obey the regime won't keep him in office any more effectively than voting to obey the People's needs, so he should've voted against the Afghan-u.s. war & against Obamacare, since he was going to be forced out of office anyway.

    He Stood Soft

    Weak piece, Margaret.  He caved in on health care to save his own professional skin.  Anybody with a decent bone in their body would have quit the Dimbot Party many years ago.

    I was saddened when Kucinich voted "Yes" on the health care bill

    I stopped supporting him.  Kaptur was good, as far as I can glean, in the fight against foreclosure.  There are no "heroes" just teachers.  Kucinich did really good even before he was in Congress: fighting for continued public control over local electricity.   I was surprised, when he bowed to political pressure and said, "I must support my president" and voted "Yes" for the health care bill, with all its faults.  I'm surprised that I could still be surprised.  One question, for me is, how much can one count on local politicians to be independent of the party and support the constituents, if the party "punks" out?  (One example is the recent ugly, one-more-time performance of the NYS legislature and the governor, who is certainly Republican-policy oriented, who just voted various "kill workers" legislation in Albany, while Cuomo, "son of Mario", signed a redistricting bill that will harm voters.  The coverage on NPR last evening was pitiful on "saving" money as future pensions of state workers were slashed - one more lie on the pile.)

    Constraints of Party Loyalty

    Kucinich was rarely constrained by party loyalty. Last year Kucinich called the attacks on Libya by the the Obama led U.S.an impeachable offense.  Here is a good article about Kucinich from Glenn Greenwald. http://www.salon.com/2012/03/10/dennis_kucinich_and_wackiness/singleton/ 

    Pseudo Left career politician

    Dennis was   the   Pseudo  Left Media annointed  "conscience"  of   the  corrupt    corporate/AIPAC   controlled   Democratic   Party.

    His   role  was  to help   diffuse  and   control   dissent  by    representing  the    illusionary  hope  of    reforming   the   party;  and   to  keep   alienated   voters   in  the   party,  without    their  interests   being   represented.

    There  was   no   limits   to   the    abuse   and   humiliation little   Dennis   would   take  to  avoid   the   DLC's    threats   of  a   well   funded   primary   challenger.

    This   phony anti-war liberal  endorsed  and campaigned  for war   criminal  Obama  in   2008.  Does   anyone   have   any   doubts   this   little   worm would    have  done  the   same   in  2012 to  keep  his   seat?

    Kucinich would   never make   a  career   threatening    decision  like   Cynthia    Mckinney  or   Ralph  Nader.      His    health  care   vote and    endorsing war  criminal   Obama were  really about   protecting   his   congressional   seat.

    Kucinich was  a   career politician and  a  prominent   member   of   the   Pseudo  Left.  I   was   very   pleased  when  he   lost  the   election.

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