Thursday, December 09, 2004

DNC Chairman--The Case for Kucinich

We have been fielding quite a few queries at the Institute regarding who we think should replace Terry McAuliffe as the Chairman of the DNC when his term expires. We have been resisting weighing in on this since we really don't have a dog in this cat fight, but after some reflection we decided to make our views public.

As you might expect there is a struggle in the party between those that want to take the party rightward to the center, those that want to continue moving the party leftward and those that want someone who can manage the party and raise large amounts of money. We quickly dismissed the latter, the party has been managed into nationwide minority status by a Clinton hand picked, Global Crossings profiteer, who gave the party an arrogant abrasive face, while raising record amounts of money.

No it is time for them to try something different. The Democratic Leadership Council has been sounding quite sensible lately. They are proposing that the party not write off the solidly red states of the South and Midwest. They suggest here, that the party should distance itself from those on the far left.

Most rank-and-file Democrats, of course, are just as patriotic and zealous about vindicating our national honor as any Republican. But let's be honest: Cultural elites with influence in the party often give off more than a whiff of fashionable anti-Americanism. They tend to equate patriotism with jingoism, see America more as a global bully than as a victim of a terrorist conspiracy, haul out the tired Vietnam metaphor anytime U.S. troops encounter difficulty abroad, and are as hypercritical of America's faults as they are forgiving of those of our adversaries.

That is sound advice. They also suggest that Democrats need to nominate candidates that America can trust on national defense and getting the budget under control. The DLC has our sympathies, but we don't think the republic is well served by a two party system where the parties are mirror images. We also suspect that it is more marketing than an expression of their true beliefs. No, we need parties that give voters clear and contrasting positions.

That brings us to Howard Dean ,who is the most vocal candidate for the position as state Democrat officials meet at Disney World this weekend. Dean garnered a loyal following during the primaries among those in the party that are angry about the war in Iraq. But his momentum burned out as anger can only carry a party so far. The party needs someone who is more than one dimensional. Dean, when governor of Vermont was not the liberal that he made himself out to be so we suspect his anger was more opportunism than idealism.

The party needs a true believer at the helm. A visionary. If Dean is qualified after losing to Kerry, the man we consider the worst candidate in decades, then Kucinich is even more qualified. And he is the real deal. From the biography page of his website.

US Representative Dennis J. Kucinich, a Democrat of Ohio, is a dynamic, visionary leader of the Progressive Caucus of the congressional Democrats who combines a powerful activism with a spiritual sense of the essential interconnectedness of all living things. His holistic worldview carries with it a passionate commitment to public service, peace, human rights, workers rights, and the environment. His advocacy of a Department of Peace seeks not only to make nonviolence an organizing principle in our society, but to make war archaic. His is a powerful, ethical voice for nuclear disarmament, preservation of the ABM treaty, banning weapons in outer space, and a halt to the development of a 'Star Wars' - type missile defense technology.

Congressman Kucinich is one of the few vegans in Congress, a dietary decision he credits not only with improving his health, but in deepening his belief in the sacredness of all species.

Kucinich has our backing for Chairperson of the DNC. That dog may not hunt necessarily, but it will certainly forage around for roots and berries.

Congressman Dennis Kucinich

Post linked to Beltway Traffic Jam @ Outside The Beltway