Monday, April 23, 2012

When NO Means NO, Dennis Kucinich

Not content with the fact that the newly redistricted Congressional district in Ohio chose Democratic Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur as their candidate to run against Joe the Plumber, Dennis Kucinich has traipsed cross-country back to what he perceives to be the Pacific Northwest ueber-Liberal haven of Washington State, complete with a survey for potential registered Democratic voters.

The survey has one question:-

Should Dennis Kucinich run for Congress from Washington State?

Apparently, Washington has pretty lax residency laws for anyone wanting to run for public office. All you have to do is find a place to rent and register before May 18th to be able to declare yourself a candidate for public office.

It may have escaped Dennis's attention, amidst all the anger, bitterness and general angst at being refused by people literally right from his backyard (not that he ever really lived in Toledo for many years - at least not in the 16 years he represented Ohio's 10th Congressional District. His recently-acquired trophy wife (thirty years younger) hails from the sophisticated part of the Southeast of England (that's London or its leafy suburbs), and somehow, I don't see her settling nicely in a place like Toledo (too much like the deprived part of Bolton, Lancashire - not that she's ever seen that) - but until January 2013, Dennis actually has a job to do: representing the people of the 10th for as long as it's extant.

So he got rejected. It happens to the best of us, but now he wants to relocate, abandon the people who actually did elect him in Ohio, to try to court up the people of Washington State, just because they're supposedly as ueber-liberal as he is?

Something smells here ... oh, wait ... I know ... it's positively parliamentary! You see, in the UK, we have what's known as "safe seats" in Parliament. They're seats that have always been Labour or Conservative since Jesus walked this "green and pleasant land." (Cough, cough). If the devil, himself, stood for Parliament as a Conservative from a safe conservative seat, he'd win. A lot of these safe seats serve as springboards for aspiring young politicians. And you don't have to be from the area you represent.

I live in the Southeast of England, closer to France than London. Until 2010, the Member of Parliament representing the constituency in which I live was from Wales. He lived in London, and had a weekend home in our area. But he'd never lived here full-time, never raised his children here, never shopped here, never had a business here. The house was bought for "residency purposes" and used whenever he'd come back for the odd weekend and photo opportunity. The latest MP comes from closer to home - just North of London. Again, no home here, apart from the ubiquitous one for weekend jaunts.

The MP for Vauxhall district in London is from Northern Ireland. Tony Blair was nominally Scottish and represented a Northeastern constituency which, had he had to live there, he'd probably have died rather than do so.

This is par for the course in Britain, because most people who serve in Parliament are professional politicians - educated to do nothing else but campaign and play politics from the time they enter university. In the US, we call them "carpetbaggers."

Remember Hillary Clinton being called that when she decided to run for the Senate from New York? Dubya Bush was equally one - don't be fooled by the phony Southern accent. In 2009, the voters of Virginia decided they didn't want Terry McAuliffe to be the Democratic gubernatorial candidate because he had a whiff of the Carpetbagger about him. So they elected Bob McDonnell as Governor ... who happened to be from Pennsylvania and, yes, a Carpetbagger.

Go figure.

Maybe Dennis has taken his wife's advice in this. I mean, Washington shopping and lifestyle has to be hard to give up, and Washington state is probably a lot cooler, sociologically and otherwise, than Toledo; but in this last-ditch effort of practically begging to be sent back to Congress from anyplace (as long as it's hip and liberal) is embarrassingly desperate and makes Dennis seem more of a common-and-garden political hack rather than a crusading Progressive.

Even Stank Cenk Uygur thinks as much, because he was certainly taken aback by Dennis's concession speech, when he lost the Democratic nod to Marcy Kaptur. Check it out, and check out Stank's Cenk's rare moment of political acuity.

You know, this is probably why Dennis lost this battle. I mean, here's the man who not only sued the cafeteria in the US Congress after breaking a tooth biting into an olive pit, he also made mincemeat of the media calling for the President's impeachment for his role in aiding Libyan liberty.

Or maybe the reason Dennis lost was because last year, when the world was beginning to turn away in revulsion of the bloody clampdown by the Syrian President on the anti-government protestors, Dennis and wife breezed into Damascus and spent a few days kissing Assad's assad.

After all, it was Dennis who asserted that President Assad was "highly loved and esteemed by the Syrians."

But that's not enough. Last year, it seems that documents found in deposed dictator Muammar Qaddafi's compound show that Dennis was in correspondence with the regime, asking for titbits of information regarding possible corruption in the Transitional Council and evidence of any of the rebels' involvement with Al-Qaeda - probably to show how inept, irresponsible and reckless the President from his own party was in Dennis's attempt to impeach him.

Who would want a Democrat like that?

It seems, not many in Washington, according to Seattle Times Op-ed columnist Joni Balter, who succingtly writes in a recent editorial:

"Should Dennis Run in Washington State?" He should know already that we have plenty of our own politicians, Democrats and Republicans, who can capably fill open seats in the 1st, 6th and 10th congressional districts.

Those who have announced intentions to run know the issues. They know their neighbors, because they have spent more than 10 minutes in their districts. They even know how to pronounce Willapa and Washtucna.

Few among us are clamoring for a politician with five toes in Ohio to come, rent a place to "live," establish residency and pretend that somehow, lickety-split, he is the best person to interpret and translate the needs of Northwesterners.

The Democratic leadership certainly has no use for him.

"I think this is thoroughly offensive to the people of Washington state and thoroughly offensive to his (Ohio) district," said Dwight Pelz, chairman of the Washington State Democratic Party. "He is obviously the ultimate definition of a carpetbagger, a person who moves into a district moments before the deadline, rents an apartment and, instantly, he is a resident of Washington state and a candidate for Congress."

Few Washingtonians can get upset about people moving here and working in the public or private sectors. Many of our top politicians hail from somewhere else: former Seattle Mayor Norm Rice and former U.S. Sen. Slade Gorton, to name two.

The good ones came and spent the time learning about the place before running for office. Kucinich pretends he can straddle big parts of the continent, representing Ohio while flying in to speechify and participate in marches.

Are we supposed to buy the idea that Kucinich is a good fit because he had a seminal experience years ago when he supposedly saw a UFO while hanging out with Hollywood actress Shirley MacLaine near Graham, Pierce County?

(Oh, Lord ... there's a Virginia connection ... my bad).


The law says Kucinich can come here and file for residency before May 18. All he has to do is rent or buy a place to live. Nothing in Washington law says he has to stop representing Ohio. But that doesn't make it the wise thing to do or make him the best fit for any of our districts.

If you think about it, Kucinich would just be repotting the plant, so to speak, trying to match his own liberal politics to fresh soil in Washington.

Another part of the equation: He is just enough of an annoyance for Democrats who worry he will detract from homegrown office seekers in districts with open seats. All of which prompted state Republican Party Chairman Kirby Wilbur to quip that he will pay Kucinich's airfare to the state anytime and every time the congressman from Ohio wishes.

Aye, there's the rub. In trying to be the voice of the most fickle part of the Democratic party, the Progressive Left, Dennis has, inadvertantly, become the most useful idiot the Republicans have at their disposal.

If he truly wanted to do some good, he'd go back to Ohio, maybe get a job at Ohio State, lecturing in political science, start a PAC and start to raise some money. It's not long until 2014, when Ohio Governor John Kasich will be up for re-election. In opposing him, Kucinich would be doing the utmost in promoting Democratic interests and could regain a new political life.

But, at the end of the day, for Dennis, it's all been about one thing: Dennis.


  1. This Seattle-ite says NO NO NO FUCKING HELL NO!

    Stay in what ever shithole you're currently in Kucinich - don't shit up the good thing we have going here in WA state with your "everything or nothing" version of nihilism.

  2. Kucinich was making noises about moving to Washington state last year, so he had to have had a pretty realistic idea of his chances in a new district. For all his popularity with some of the "purity brigade," the reality was that he was a singularly ineffective member of Congress, and when you look at his "value," he was the least valuable Democrat. Given his tendency to be a loose cannon everywhere else, it wasn't surprising that most sane Democrats were glad to see the back of him.

    Trying to find some other place that might elect him back into the house just speaks to his desire to have a podium, more than anything else.