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At school between classes the other day, a buddy of mine asked if I'd watched the YouTube Republican debate last week. I had, so we talked about it. He asked me what I thought. I think Huckabee showed up the best, which is scary given that he has real populist ideals combined with conservative social values... a real Nazi in the making.

My buddy told me he tried to watch the last Democratic debate, but switched it off after 15 minutes because nearly all the candidates he heard speak were attacking Hillary. I'm a political junkie, so I know that at this point, they're all just trying to take Hillary down. My buddy isn't plugged in to every news source within reach, so all the arguing was too much.

Two things should be done in order for us to affect a real change in leadership.

First, I think the Democratic candidates should periodically pick one thing they all agree on, and bring it up purposefully. This way, the crowd sees the Democrats as a whole. The Republican candidates do this all the time. They use Hillary, it's their one rallying point, and every time they bring it up I get the feeling they're all collectively leeching off her popularity. The Democrats need to do this so they aren't seen as constantly bickering... which they are, but only because Hillary is enjoying such a vast lead.

My buddy said he didn't trust Hillary, which is no surprise since that's a common statement. He also said he didn't trust Obama, which is somewhat surprising. I always think Obama sounds very genuine. I got some clarification, and what my friend meant to say was that Obama seems kind of wishy-washy to him. People just don't know where he really stands. I made a point to bring up Edwards, but my friend just said he had no idea about Edwards, since he doesn't have much experience to base a real opinion from.

My second point is that we should completely neglect the concept of winning the election at this point, and strive specifically to pick the candidate we trust the most. We should pick the candidate that - without a doubt - represents our values. This person should be someone that has proven, through real action, not just words, that they really do agree with what we want. I think if we pick the best, honest candidate, the votes will follow.

I realized this second point because my friend said he liked Guiliani and Ron Paul. He said they both represented people that allowed us to make our own moral choices, and were also good with economics. I held my tongue on Ron Paul because I think he's kind of crazy, since I wanted to hear his real opinions. I guess his main point on Ron Paul is that he knew Paul was honest, and wouldn't continue eroding our rights. He like Guiliani because he answered the "Bible question" well.

The advent of several things have made this last point stick in my mind. The passing of HR 1955 that myself, One Pissed Off Liberal, and others have written about. This is a direct attack on the 1st Amendment by  mostly Democrats, agreed upon by most everyone in the House. The second is the well-known refusal of Nancy Pelosi et al. to bring impeachment proceedings against Bush et al. Personally, I think they should be criminally prosecuted, but at the least they should be impeached. The list goes on, really: the Patriot Act, warrantless wiretapping, Abu Ghraib, grotesque overspending, the never-ending war, etc, etc, etc.

The one candidate that has been on the right side of all these issues every time is Dennis Kucinich. I want someone who's going to put their foot down and say no, absolutely no, eroding my rights and responsibilities. Kucinich has been around long enough, and we know where he stands on issues because he's voted on them time and again. We don't have to wonder if the triad of interchangeable top-contenders actually mean what they say, we can pick Kucinich.

I'm gonna have to break with the DKos convention. I'm not going to vote for just any Democrat. HR 1955 has shown me that's not even a possibility anymore. There's no point in having a blue majority if something like HR1955 comes out of it.

I'm voting Kucinich because no matter what you can say about him, you can't say he's not honest. You can't say he doesn't align properly with liberal values. Most of the other candidates, I'm not so sure about. There isn't a doubt in my mind with Kucinich. Sure, I admit some of his ideas are a bit much, but he would have Congress to contend with too if elected. And nominating him would be a fully symbolic gesture that says we, Americans, are done with the shit!

**** edit ****
I just want to laboriously reiterate that my support of Kucinich is less about Kucinich the man, and more about the real votes Kucinich has made. In this day and age of corrupt politicking, we know he's not a bad guy.

Originally posted to jamesia on Sat Dec 01, 2007 at 12:01 PM PST.

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Comment Preferences

  •  why wishy washy? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    why does your friend find Obama wishy washy?  He's the only major candidate who has been against the war from the start.  I haven't seen any argument as to why Obama is wishy-washy.

    •  Yeah, I'm not completely sure (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      triciawyse, phoenixdreamz

      I find Obama refreshingly direct in many ways. At least he said we'd bomb Bin Laden if we found him in Afghanistan.

      To the best of my abilities, the only thing I can think of is that Obama tends to voice a lot of nice-sounding platitudes. He doesn't always translate them into plans of action.

      •  But he does have plans of action (0+ / 0-)

        You need to look a little deeper.  Go to his website and read through his policy details.  More importantly, look up his lengthy policy speeches and papers.  Even better, find a copy of The Audacity of Hope.  You'll read it cover to cover in under two days.

        Obama's at the top of the crowd when it comes to giving specific detail.  The MSM just doesn't cover that much, because they're much more enamored with his celebrity and the fact that he's also a policy wonk doesn't fit into their narrative.

        Don't judge him based on which aspects of his personality the media plays up, and don't judge him based on 30-second debate answers in which Wolf Blitzer is trying to pigeonhole him into a yes-or-no on a complex question to manufacture controversy.  The media  would rather show pictures of Obama in a swimsuit than talk about his innovative, detailed technology plan.  You have to find some of these things for yourself.

  •  Good for you (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jamesia, Robinswing

    Kucinich puts his votes where his mouth is. I am fully behind Barack Obama, but I can totaly see Kucinich's purity, and would love nothing more than to live in the Progressive Utopia he expounds and strives for. I am not being snarky, I am being serious. I think Obama is just the most pragmatic of all of the Candidates on how to get there.
    I can also very easily see how someone who doesn't follow the candidates as closely as we do would see Obama as being "wishy washy". He hasn't been able thus far to master the Sound Byte Answer Format(tm). He is honestly trying to answer honestly his positions on some very complicated, multi-faceted issues in 10 second answers. It is nearly an impossible proposition to be able to do that.
    I am behind him because I have read his positions/solutions on the issues, but not because the MSM gives me the info, I have to seek it out. That sux. I blame the Corporate Media.

    Conformity is the jailer of freedom and the enemy of growth. ..John F. Kennedy

    by irishamerican on Sat Dec 01, 2007 at 12:24:33 PM PST

    •  yes, dennis has purity (0+ / 0-)

      and voting for the one in the primary who bests represents what you want is a way of signaling to whoever wins that there are x number of voters like you, better listen up. On the impeachment thing,  I also would like to see Bush impeached, and tried for treason and punished to the full extent of the law, but on this one I've come to accept that it's best not to. Mainly because we can impeach him but we don't have the votes to convict him, and he'll get off and stay president, deciding, and he'd see it as a mandate, and many Americans will then think he's innocent because he wasn't convicted.  If Americans paid more attention we'd have enough of us clambering for impeachment, all of us who poll against Bush's presidency, but it isn't happening. Seems our rights can be taken away without much outcry, as you perhaps have seen close up with the kids you've spoken with.  Very dangerous piece of info for future Bush's, he tested America and we came up stupid.  

  •  Oh, bother (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cosbo, LaEscapee, priceman, zazzlin

    How are we supposed to pick the candidate we support if none are not allowed to talk about each others' less than honest positions? If they don't do it, the press is sure not going to.

    Incidentally, Dennis Kucinich is not one to shrink from attacking other Demcorats. It seems to me he somewhat relishes knocking down front runner candidates who want to take up the progressive, populist cause because, of course, none are purer than he.

    I remember his somewhat bitter attacks on Howard Dean last time. This time around it seems his ire is directed more at John Edwards, who I would say has come out with a really progressive platform.

    So it irritates me that Kucinich singles out for criticism not the fellow Democrat who is most diametrically opposed to his views, but rather the one with the most similar stances but far more likely than Dennis be actually nominated!

    "In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act," George Orwell.

    by not4bushwa on Sat Dec 01, 2007 at 12:25:02 PM PST

    •  Exactly... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      and in case anyone has noticed, the only candidate who is criticizing Congress, except Kucinich, is John Edwards. I think Dodd is the only standing Senator who has really taken a stand on issues, such as FISA and voting against Kyl-Lieberman. Obama and HRC(Who voted for that neocon legislation) seem to have to have their hand twisted to act in Congress in order to take a stand on anything.

      HR 1955 is a travesty, and we should hear more about it from all candidates, but from what I've seen, the only candidate who stands with conviction and who genuinely feels responsible for any mistakes he has made is John Edwards. That's what being a progressive is and it's irresponsible to assume that someone cannot learn from their mistakes.

      But let's get to my main point; who is using the bully-pulpit on Congress? Threatening to take their Health care away is taking a stand and he can do it.  For those who love to bring up the 27th amendment and HRC's technocratic defense of members of Congress's health care, should read it, again. This defense does not take into account, the history of the bill, and how in 1992, it was ratified, despite the fact that Congress is able to give themselves pay raises within the framework of the 1992 ratification. The amendment was drafted in order to limit pay raises for Congress, and the context of this amendment relates to limiting the disparity between Congress(who is treated like Royalty with no accountability) and the people it's supposed to represent.

      Anyway, I like a lot of Dennis Kucinich's proposals, but he doesn't know how to play the game. You don't say that you saw a UFO, despite it not being a big deal. That framework makes it impossible for him to climb that hill, that is already so steep for him. You have to ask yourself some serious questions.

      Who is viable?

      Who has threatened to hold Congress accountable?

      Who is a fighter?

      If you care about the progressive values of Dennis Kucinich, then you must vote for John Edwards.

      John Edwards is the only electable candidate, but he's also the best. Why? He is the only candidate out of the big three who opposes tort reform legislation.

      by priceman on Sat Dec 01, 2007 at 01:24:00 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  got a problem- (0+ / 0-)

    strive specifically to pick the candidate we trust the most. We should pick the candidate that - without a doubt - represents our values.

    Trust the most- Dodd or Obama

    Represents my values- Edwards or Kucinich

    •  trust to (0+ / 0-)

      do or try to do what they say they will?  They're all trustworthy on that one. Trust that they'll make the wisest decisions with the most input from professionals and experts and open up the decision making process to the citizens?  Let's ask them.  

  •  Agree with some of what you say (0+ / 0-)

    I like this:

    We should pick the candidate that - without a doubt - represents our values. This person should be someone that has proven, through real action, not just words, that they really do agree with what we want. I think if we pick the best, honest candidate, the votes will follow.

    That is what I have done with Obama. Throughout his life he not only talked the talk he walked the walk. He did that as a community organizer. He worked for reform as a state senator. And he is doing that in running for president. I am very happy with my choice, as satisfied as any candidate I have supported in my life and I go back to volunteering for McGovern when I was 17.

    Keep your eyes on the prize.

    by Better Days on Sat Dec 01, 2007 at 12:52:18 PM PST

  •  You underestimate Obama (0+ / 0-)

    Obama is incredibly candid and honest.  Look no further than his two books, including the one he wrote long before entering politics, to convince yourself of that.  Obama's honesty is not as in-your-face as Kucinich's or Ron Paul's, because he actually has a chance of winning and needs to be careful with his wording so he doesn't blow it.  Also, because of his time as a professor he is naturally a perfectionist about his choice of words and he always tries to see and address the complexities of any issue.  So his statements are less "punchy" than Kucinich's, but if you listen to Obama carefully there's never any doubt where he stands or whether he believes in what he's saying.

    Also, if you care about rights, remember that Barack Obama was a professor of Constitutional Law.  Despite being top of his class at Harvard Law and having the opportunity to go into any number of lucrative business law firms, he chose to go into civil rights law and fight for fair voting rights.  On civil rights and the Constitution Obama takes a back seat to NO candidate.

    Don't discount him just because he seems "wishy washy."  If you read his books you'll see where that comes from... a profound understanding of how to build a consensus around good ideas and get things done.  You're right about Kucinich being tempered by Congress--in fact, a Kucinich administration would just be a shift from the too-far-right gridlock of George Bush to a new, far-left gridlock, and nothing substantive would be accomplished.  Barack Obama is the opposite in this respect -- he is more likely than ANY other candidate to actually get his plans passed into law.

  •  Your friend has a problem if he believes that (0+ / 0-)

    candidates pointing out differences with Hillary Clinton is an "attack."  Considering the fact that he doesn't know a whole lot about Edwards, but he does about Clinton and Obama, I think it's pretty clear that most of his info is coming from the big money television news media (NBC, ABC, CNN, CBS, and MSNBC).  

    Maybe your friend needs to stop letting the big money media tell him how to view the world since they characterize every disagreement as an attack.

    He's smart enough though not to trust Hillary Clinton.  I'm surprised he doesn't trust Obama.  I think he really doesn't "TRUST THAT OBAMA COULD WIN."  That's what I'm reading (between the lines) in your conversation.

    He should look more into John Edwards.  Go to his website, and turn off Wolf Blitzer and Chris Matthews' opinions.

    If he like Giuliani, he needs to get out more.

    "The significant problems we face cannot be solved at the same level of thinking we were at when we created them."

    by framecop on Sat Dec 01, 2007 at 02:54:46 PM PST

  •  Wasting a vote on ego (0+ / 0-)

    My views mirror Dennis' on the issues.  He is an egotistical and ineffective fellow, however, who has never convinced anyone of anything other than us fringe types. A vote for Dennis is a vote for two family government, i.e., HRC. Dennis is in a Congressional district that shares his views. Edwards represented a State that is the embodiment of right wing, pro military, pro Bible, know nothingness.  That he is the most progressive candidate who can win the election is driven by his ability to persuade people to a point of view I share. HRC and Obama have become focus group driven "centrists".  That is what lots of money buys us. The Bush/Clinton era has moved the center far to the right which is where HRC lives and Obama feels the need to grasp. Edwards.

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