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Wednesday, March 17, 2010

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You're far kinder to Kucininch than I would be. I frankly think he's a conman whose purpose is to keep the lefties from recognizing the complete bankruptcy of the Democratic Party. "Well," they can say, "at least Kucinich is trying to do the right thing." Kucinich is merely the apotheosis of the Progressive Caucus as a whole.

John,

I had a hunch that you would write about this; so I came here straight away on logging onto the internet.

These are not Kucinich's exact words, but he said that he had to support the bill because people are trying to deligitimatize (is that even a word?) Obama's presidency. So, what he is saying is that Obama, who ain't nothing more than a spineless American politician, is more important than the citizens whom he is supposed to be representing.

Oh, well, I am getting ready to be carted off to jail, for I cannot afford, and I refuse, to purchase so-called "health" insurance from one of the soon-to-be state-sponsored corporations. I do have a few years, though, because this health-care reform ain't going to kick-in until Obama is out of office, in 2013 (I doubt that Obama is going to win a second term).

A gently folded shard of paper made to appear as if a crane ready to fly says "Fuck this."

...he had to support the bill because people are trying to deligitimatize (is that even a word?)...

Minus the "at", sure.

...Obama's presidency.

Just as in 2004 he said the issue was "if we’re going to create a rupture that would make it impossible for a Democrat to be elected president." And he brushed off Amy Goodman pointing out that self-identified Democrats backed an Iraq pullout by a wide margin (and in fact 90 percent of the delegates at the convention opposed the war), because it was time to be a good little Democrat, and when push comes to shove Kucinich always lines up with the party.

Rojo, I definitely agree with you that that's Kucinich's function--but I don't think it's conscious or cynical. I think he honestly holds the principles he claims to hold. But like most liberals, he's not willing to take the risk of standing up for those principles when there might actually be a cost for it (which in Kucinich's case would mean losing his seat at the adults' table). And since he's a human being, I'm sure he rationalizes it by convincing himself of all the good he can do otherwise.

If Kucinich "actually holds those principles" then why does he act contrarily?

Give up the ghost, John. Kucinich is a con-man too. Your hero has taken a fall and you need to acknowledge that fall, not make excuses for his poor balance at the time, not to blame it on trying to stay upright but being undone by Rethuglicans. Kucinich is a con-man, an arrogant ass who parades his supermodel trophy wife like a spoiled little kid whose father gave him a new toy.

You know, I'd really love to stop blaming Kucinich's fall on trying to stay upright but being undone by Rethuglicans, but to do that I'd first have to start blaming Kucinich's fall on trying to stay upright but being undone by Rethuglicans.

Does Kucinich know how to fold a pony? Obama promised me a pony.

Kucenich and Grayson and Ron Paul and a few others --e.g., Bernie Sanders-- perform the same vital service that Prez. Shamwow daily performs for the Owners: an occasion for plausible deniability.

As long as Shamwow's president, and Dennis, and the rest are in Congress offering up their quixotic, hopeless, futile measures to halt war or start peace, or spread butterflies, the Owners can point to them and say: See, the whole thing is not a sham, not a kabuki, because there's (either/both) a black man in the white house, and these cranks still wander the halls of Congress. If, they continue, we truly managed things as ruthlessly as you consparanoiacs proclaim, there'd be nobody like them around.

Hegemony creates the spaces in which to contain the protests against itself, to defang, and discard dissent...

If there was ever an occasion for Kucinich to finally repudiate his dark "Judas goat" side, this was it.

Instead, we got fatuous, normative slogans equivalent to "Gotta support the team!", although "Gotta support the star quarterback!" is more accurate.

Beyond that, Kucinich's sketchy apologia amounted to his declaring that he pretty much was left with the prospect of becoming a scapegoat for the bill's failure, or reprising his habitual role of Judas goat who would live to "fight" another day.

But Judas goats like Kucinich (and Sanders, Feingold, etc.) don't actually fight, do they? Oh, they rear up and paw the air once in a while, and bray a good game. But that's only to keep up the spirits of their followers, and ensure that their enthralled charges nod so vigorously that they fail to notice that the leader of their escape party has actually led them out to a side door opening on a chute to the killing floor.

The always-problematic CommonDreams site has crashed or been taken off-line this afternoon. Perusing the comments there, one still finds a few resolute sheep Standing by Their Goat.

Not surprisingly, their rationalizations feature self-flagellating masochism, claiming that the fault is not in the Star Goat, but Us for failing to provide the Goat sufficient support to enable him to confidently take a stand against his party's leadership.

There's also that peculiar righteous cynicism, breezily "forgiving" Kucinich for taking care of bidness because he really had "no choice" to do otherwise in this depraved political vale of tears. One alleged Cleveland resident scathingly asserts that "we" Let Him Down, and explains that Dennis learned his lesson when he attempted to stand up and defend ordinary citizens against the local predatory power company and its political backers.

None of the Kucinich-defenders convincingly explain how he was forced to vote "yes" on this No Insurer Left Behind abomination apart from concurring with his manifestly self-serving "better safe than sorry" policy.

I won't bother to catalogue other fantastic expressions of cognitive-dissonance resolutions, i.e. one chap's assertion that by "seeming" to capitulate, Kucinich is shrewdly lining himself up to fight even more effectively for true health care reform! (He certainly can't fight less effectively, so it's an understandable leap of illogic.)

I'm perpetually on as much as anyone about reactionary anti-intellectual wingnut yahoos and troglodytes drawn to bombastic celebrity demagogues like flies to fresh dung. But it's even more sad and frustrating to read comments from moderate liberal-lites and die-hard Kucinich supporters ratifying this wrong and revealing decision.

Kucinich is neither more nor less than a Judas goat. Yet when he returns to his flock from the killing floor, reeking of gore, he merely has to turn his head, flutter his eyelashes sorrowfully, and bray plaintively; a few sheep immediately start lining up behind his bloody hoofprints.

[cross-posted @ Empire Burlesque]

But it's even more sad and frustrating to read comments from moderate liberal-lites and die-hard Kucinich supporters ratifying this wrong and revealing decision.

Agreed, and that feeling generalizes for me.

John,
When I read these comments condemning Kucinich's folding, I'm reminded of Groucho's comment about not wanting to belong to a club not wanting to have someone like him as a member. Not because I disagree with the general reaction-- I am also disappointed-- but because some of the more strident comments make me think that maybe that's how I come across in the 3d world when I talk to lefties and lefty-ish sorts about why it's important to oppose Obama and his policies, and wonder how much of my arguments are dismissed out of hand because I come across as a mean crazy person who's insensitive to the real-world necessity to compromise, etc.

I also wonder how many people out there don't have a clear idea of the difference between single-payer and the public option, and support the Dems and Obama because they think that doing so will result in some kind of single-payer. Let's face it,"Low-information voters," lots of them, exist on both sides of the spectrum.

My point being, that large numbers of people who consider themselves Democrats or who lean Democratic may have a falsly sunny idea of what the bill contains, a counter-point of sorts to all the simpletons who think Obama is a socialist. The polls consistently show that people who identify as democrats/leaning democratic are in favor of passage. And as a consequence, maybe Kucinich felt his capacity to reach the reachable was exhausted. I still think he was wrong to fold and I'm not trying to excuse him, but I wonder if he felt that doing the right thing would no longer register as such.

I should have written, "...let alone that the final bill will not even contain a public option." I fiddled with my comment a lot, cutting and pasting, etc, so that was left out.

But my point about how many people may have a falsely sunny view of the bill is central to my argument, and my frustration, much like yours and Little Brother's. Of course the bad bill will be magically fixed by the people who made sure it was bad, so I guess I better quit bitching in the face of so much sunniness.

I don't know that they have a falsely sunny view of what the bill contains so much as that they've accepted that this is all they're going to get, and so they're setting about the important work of convincing themselves that they like it. Just as they convinced themselves that voting for Kerry in 2004 (and Obama in 2008) wasn't just an unpleasant necessity, but an honor and a privilege. Which (as I've said before) is one of the main dangers of progressives aligning themselves with the Democrats when the Democrats are doing little or nothing to deserve it.

And I agree with you that people like Kucinich often get treated too harshly by those of us on the left, or that it may come across that way, and that it's important to be aware of it. At the same time, at the moment when I heard Kucinich repeat the offensively absurd claim that he'd kept his pledge (in his debate with Ralph Nader yesterday) there wasn't much anyone could have said about him that I wouldn't have agreed with. I still have some respect for the guy, but he's sorely testing it.

Where is Mikhail Gorbachev when you need him!

[shrug] I'd really like to hate on Kucinich, actually. But since he's just the latest in a long, long line of "principled" toothless Progs, I'm not sure I have any remaining energy to spare on that front.

I amuse myself these days by reminding my spouse that bankruptcy law (his profession) should certainly get another big, uh, shot in the arm when this latest bucket of Obama's tripe is officially poured down our hapless gullets. I've already picked out my slogan for the re-election campaign: Daddy Wants A Boat So Obama Gets My Vote!.

What do you all think?

Will someone please explain, briefly, what it is that some people think is so SUNNY about this bill, falsely or not?
Really, what does it offer to any of us that we can't get now if we're willing to pay lots of money for little of value?

Also, is the 2014 startup date in order to give them time to loot SS, MED/Med to get the money needed?

What's so sunny about this bill is that it's called "health care reform"; next to that, the actual contents of the bill are superfluous.

Catherine:

...Really, what does it offer to any of us that we can't get now if we're willing to pay lots of money for little of value?...

Ummmm... jail time?

Catherine:
...Really, what does it offer to any of us that we can't get now if we're willing to pay lots of money for little of value?...

Ummmm... jail time?
Posted by: ms_xeno

Oh, good, thanks MsXeno for that explanation. I'm sure we're all happy to know that; I know I am.

Don't you love the varieties of this response: "It's a crummy bill, but it's a start." Uh, yeah, like "This antibiotic isn't the best treatment for your illness, but it's a start."

My favorite was the passive-aggressive variation of "Oh, yeah? What have YOU done for us lately? Let's see YOUR credentials on healthcare? Nyah!!" being used to dismiss somebody who wasn't properly appreciative of THE BIIIIIG REFORRRRRM!!

Christ. I think I'd rather just be cussed out and banned than patronized with that kind of self-important shit from The Good Little Democrats.

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