So Long But Not Farewell to Dennis Kucinich

(Ready Abby's response to Salon's Glenn Greenwald.)

The Daily Show, April 11, 2011:

John Oliver: Help me understand how you have been re-elected in the state of Ohio?

Representative Dennis Kucinich: Harmony and understanding, sympathy, and trust abounding.

John Oliver: Are you quoting the musical "Hair"?

In the end, there just wasn't much harmony and understanding in the race for Ohio's ninth district. Dennis Kucinich, among the wackiest members of Congress, got beat decisively last night by his colleague Marcy Kaptur in very nasty Democratic primary. The two incumbents got lumped together after Ohio lost two seats in redistricting. 

Kucinich was one of the least likely, most memorable members of Congress. He started his political career in the late '70s as the "Boy Mayor" of Cleveland. He entered Congress in 1996, and thanks to two no-shot-in-hell presidential bids, Kucinich came to be a favorite among lefty college kids and Birkenstock-wearers around the country. He was probably best remembered for trying to impeach Dick Cheney for his handling of Iraq and for his presidential push for a Department of Peace. There was also the recent revelation, courtesy of his friend Shirley MacLaine, that Kucinich had an encounter with UFOs. A great round up from the Washington Post highlights some of the particularly bizarre facts about "the vegan ventriloquist" and over at New York, Noreen Malone offers a nostalgic look at the congressman's career

Ironically, it was Kucinich's efforts at political survival that might have done him in. The congressman has flirted with moving to Washington state to run in an open seat there. Kaptur ran ads hammering the possible move and even comparing Kucinich to LeBron James. Fighting words within 100 miles of Cleveland. Kaptur's hardly done facing characters though—she's got to beat the famous "Joe the Plumber" in the general.

Kucinich, characteristically, did not concede in the usual manner, stating that Kaptur "ran a campaign in the Cleveland media market that was utterly lacking in integrity." He may yet take his "harmony and understanding" to Washington state, although that could mean resigning from his current office. Or perhaps The Daily Show can offer him a spot doing his ventriloquism act.

(Ready Abby's response to Salon's Glenn Greenwald.)

Comments

That's how you say goodbye to one of the few Democrats who adheres to liberal principles?

I signed up just to express my complete and utter disgust with your rag. Kucinich was one of the few reasons to have respect for the Democratic Party. He's an honest man compared with the bootlickers writing in this magazine. If you had any decency, you'd apologize for your attack on one of the very few remaining national political figures with integrity... but you have none.

For shame. For shame.

Same here. I registered to post this comment and then I'm going to un-register. "Tom Human" and "American Prospect" are the real jokes. It says a lot that their smarmy character-assassination of Dennis Kucinich is identical to what the Washington Post has been writing about him for years.

Glenn Greenwald says all one needs to know about this crappy fake-liberal web site and "Mr. Human":

"So let’s recap the state of mental health in establishment Democratic circles: the President who claims (and exercises) the power to target American citizens for execution-by-CIA in total secrecy and with no charges — as well as those who dutifully follow him — are sane, sober and Serious, meriting great respect. By contrast, one of the very few members of Congress who stands up and vehemently objects to this most radical power — “The idea that the United States has the ability to summarily execute a US citizen ought to send chills racing up and down the spines of every person of conscience” — is a total wackjob, meriting patronizing mockery."
http://www.salon.com/2012/03/10/dennis_kucinich_and_wackiness/singleton/

Sorry, Tom I meant Abby Rapoport. She's the problem.

Same here. I registered to post this comment and then I'm going to un-register. "Tom Human" and "American Prospect" are the real jokes. It says a lot that they're view is identical to that of the Washington Post.

Glenn Greenwald says all one needs to know about this crappy fake-liberal web site and "Mr. Human":
"So let’s recap the state of mental health in establishment Democratic circles: the President who claims (and exercises) the power to target American citizens for execution-by-CIA in total secrecy and with no charges — as well as those who dutifully follow him — are sane, sober and Serious, meriting great respect. By contrast, one of the very few members of Congress who stands up and vehemently objects to this most radical power — “The idea that the United States has the ability to summarily execute a US citizen ought to send chills racing up and down the spines of every person of conscience” — is a total wackjob, meriting patronizing mockery."
http://www.salon.com/2012/03/10/dennis_kucinich_and_wackiness/singleton/

Like Tom Human I registered to express my disgust with AP for running Rapoport's Kucinich smear.

In what universe is Kucinich wacky? It would be the universe in which America's Versailles on the Potomac determines what is deemed sane.

To the editors of AP: What is it like to sit on the leftwing of a reactionary political coalition?

I have to express my disgust with the intellectual and emotional dishonesty at the heart of this odious establishment-sponsored hit piece. To see what a principled thinker and writer has to say about the supposed "wackiness" of Mr. Kucinich, please see Glenn Greenwald's takedown of this oh-so serious political observer.

"...the state of mental health in establishment Democratic circles: the President who claims (and exercises) the power to target American citizens for execution-by-CIA in total secrecy and with no charges — as well as those who dutifully follow him — are sane, sober and Serious, meriting great respect. By contrast, one of the very few members of Congress who stands up and vehemently objects to this most radical power — “The idea that the United States has the ability to summarily execute a US citizen ought to send chills racing up and down the spines of every person of conscience” — is a total wackjob, meriting patronizing mockery."

See more here: http://www.salon.com/2012/03/10/dennis_kucinich_and_wackiness/singleton

What an Ignorant picture this story paints.

Came here through a Greenwald link, he writes at Salon.com, if you care to be informed you should follow him, not this rag.

Like 2 previous commentors I registered solely to show my disgust with this hit piece.

Amen! I too registered solely to condemn "AP."

Wow.

Easy to be hard, easy to be cold...

According to W.H. Auden, "A friend is the old, old tale of Narcissus."

And for people who only pretend to care about evil and social injustice when a Republican is president, looking at someone whose convictions do not vary must be very unpleasant.

I also created an account to comment on this piece. Wow, what a terrible article; if I wanted to read amateur smear jobs like this, I'd spend more time at Fox news. You call yourself "liberal, progressive, lefty" while running pieces like this? And politics aside, it's just bad journalism; it's intellectually lightweight, substituting analysis and nuance for cheap shots. I know you'll probably try to spin this internally as a success-- you're generating "controversy" and look at all those page hits!-- but I for one will not be visiting again, nor subscribing.

A hit piece with all the honesty, clarity, empathy, and logical consistency of Ann Coulter. I bet American Prospect is so proud of you.

I'm sure if you thought a bit longer you could have come up with something even triter than "favorite among lefty college kids and Birkenstock-wearers around the country," but, maybe not. So while "wacky" Dennis Kucinich was trying to impeach Dick Cheney for lying us into a freaking war, what were you doing? Attending the Maureen Dowd seminar on passing gas when you have nothing substantive to say?

OMG, Ms Rappaport used to write for the Texas Observer?

Molly Ivins must be doing somersaults in her grave.

Perhaps one should be sympathetic to Am Prospect for smearing Kucinich. Such smears are apparently required if one is to be welcomed into the company of Serious, Establishment Democrats.

What passes today for Serious Democrats? Those who'd howl at a Republican for doing what Obama's done: continue/expand aggressive wars predicated on falsehoods, drone-murder innocents in countries with which we are NOT at war, expand international, U.S.-run death squads, continue indefinite detentions without charges, condone torture, suspend habeas corpus, expand domestic spying, etc.

Establishment Democrats appreciate they must embrace these policies if they're to be taken Seriously. American Prospect desperately wants to be taken Seriously by Establishment Democrats. And so American Prospect has no choice but to smear Dennis Kucinich, who's consistently opposed the very vile policies that Establishment Democrats now embrace.

So, congratulations American Prospect! You've proven you deserve to rejoice in the company of the Big Brother Establishment Democrats and neocons who now run the country.

Dennis Kucinich, among the wackiest members of Congress

-- Abby Rapoport

The above comment would only make sense to hypocritical progressives who value blind allegiance to personality over rational, sane, and moral government policy. Today's deluded "leftist" considers disparaging those who call attention to our hideous governmental policies as being a worthy substitute to fighting against those policies.

Being a patriotic American means not being afraid to speak out against indefinite detention of American citizens without due process, government sanctioned executions of American citizens without due process, drone killings of innocent civilians, the perpetual war-machine, and America's support of the occupying 'nation' of Israel that is currently engaging in terrorism, murder, apartheid, and the imprisonment of Palestinian children. Mr. Kucinich has and does speak out against these very things. What about you, Abby?

Ms. Rapoport's insults are probably born out of a combination of opportunism, ignorance, laziness, and cowardice; as such, they are pathetically unpatriotic. She needs to apologize to Mr. Kucinich.

This article is a disgusting show of world-class ignorance. It's not fit for the Weekly World, but you chose to publish it. I have no desire to ever read anything you print again.

Is Abby Rapoport writing for The Weekly Standard now? What's happened to AP? There was a time when the magazine embraced progressive voices rather than ridiculed them in poorly thought out smear pieces. Consider my subscription canceled.

I guess I would be shocked but it's been clear for a few years now that there are many people like Ms. Rapoport who are myopically partisan and seem unaware or at least unconcerned by the vast suffering meted out by our government daily.

I think blue ribbon definitely goes to her mocking treatment of "lefty college kids and Birkenstock-wearers", which seems puzzling, because she seems to have been born into the same class of relatively privileged people she so loathes:

Abby Rapoport served as a writing fellow at the Economic Policy Institute, in Washington, D.C. before coming to Austin. She covered the 2009 legislative session for TEXAS MONTHLY under the tutelage of Paul Burka, the magazine's senior executive. Previously, she blogged for Glamour Magazine and interned at Lapham’s Quarterly. A Williamsburg, Virginia native, she has a degree in history from Grinnell College.

At least Kuttner still brings the noise (sometimes).

If only Dennis had been a cigar-chomping, whiskey-drinking, golf-playing, skirt-chasing war monger... He may have earned a little more respect from the American Prospect. It sucks that Dennis has nothing much to show for his time in Congress.... other than being courageous and correct on almost every important issue that has faced this country over the last 30 years.

One would hope that another writer at the American Prospect would use this opportunity to make it clear how being 'conventional' is killing us.

I'll take Dennis Kucinich any day over the police state-expanding, warmongering, corporate-coddling, bankster-protecting phony occupying the White House (and I don't mean "occupying" in the good sense).

Ms. Rapoport, based on this piece, seems like she is striving for a sinecure among the ranks of the establishment liberals who only have "principles" when they are politically useful. She is sure to go far in a political culture akin to a charnel house.

What's so wacky about a congressman that opposes illegal wars and subversion of Constitutional guarantees at home?!! What's so wacky about a congressman who stands up to his own party's hypocrisy and complicity with respect to crimes against humanity, and nature?!! I included Glenn Greenwald's rebuttal of this lame article that seems to belie AP's alleged liberal credentials. You ought to be ashamed, or at least admit that with respect Rep. Kucinich and others like him you're no different than the corporate MSM.

Glenn Greenwalds response to AP's attack on Rep. Kucinich:
Last week, Rep. Dennis Kucinich was defeated in a Democratic primary by Rep. Marcy Kaptur after re-districting pitted the two long-term incumbents against each other. Kucinich’s fate was basically sealed when the new district contained far more of Kaptur’s district than his. His 18-year stint in the House will come to an end when the next Congress is installed at the beginning of 2013.

Establishment Democrats have long viewed Dennis Kucinich with a mixture of scorn, mockery and condescension. True to form, the establishment liberal journal American Prospect gave Kucinich a little kick on the way out, comparing his political views to the 1960s musical “Hair” (the Ohio loser talked about “Harmony and understanding”!), deriding him as “a favorite among lefty college kids and Birkenstock-wearers around the country,” and pronouncing him “among the wackiest members of Congress.” Yes, I said The American Prospect, not The Weekly Standard.

The Prospect article also praises as “great” a snide, derisive Washington Post piece which purports to “highlight some of the particularly bizarre facts about” Kucinich. Among those is the fact that “he introduced impeachment articles against former President George W. Bush and former Vice President Cheney for their roles in the Iraq war” and “proposed a Cabinet-level agency devoted to peace.” What a weirdo and a loser. Even more predictably, a team of four interns at The New Republic – the magazine that spent years crusading for the attack on Iraq, smearing Israel critics as anti-Semites, and defining its editorial mission as re-making the Democratic Party in the image of Joe Lieberman – denounced the anti-war Kucinich as “ludicrous,” citing most of the same accusations as the Prospect and the Post. [...]

So let’s recap the state of mental health in establishment Democratic circles: the President who claims (and exercises) the power to target American citizens for execution-by-CIA in total secrecy and with no charges — as well as those who dutifully follow him — are sane, sober and Serious, meriting great respect. By contrast, one of the very few members of Congress who stands up and vehemently objects to this most radical power — “The idea that the United States has the ability to summarily execute a US citizen ought to send chills racing up and down the spines of every person of conscience” — is a total wackjob, meriting patronizing mockery.

Both the Prospect and Post recite the trite case demonstrating Kucinich’s supposed weirdness. He’s friends with Shirley McLaine, who believes in reincarnation, and he once (according to McLaine) claimed to have an encounter with a UFO. Is any of that really any more strange than the litany of beliefs which the world’s major religions require? Is Barack Obama “wacky” because he claims to believe that Jesus turned water into wine, rose from the dead and will soon welcome him to heaven? Is Chuck Schumer bizarre because he seems to believe that there’s some big fatherly figure sitting in the sky who spewed fire and brimstone at those who broke the laws he sent down on some stones and now hovers over him judging his every move? Is Harry Reid a weirdo because he apparently venerates as divine the “visions” of a man who had dozens of wives, including some already married to other men?

Neither the Prospect nor the Post would ever dare mock as “wacky” the belief in invisible judgmental father-figures in the sky or that rendition of life-after-death gospel because those belief systems have been deemed acceptable by establishment circles. ”Wacky”, like its close cousin “crazy,” is a term of establishment derision exclusively reserved for those who deviate from such conventions. And that’s the point worth making here: the real reason anyone with D.C. Seriousness, including many establishment liberals, relished mocking Kucinich is because he dissented from the orthodoxies of the two political parties. That, by definition, makes one wacky and weird, even when — as is true for the Obama assassination powers and so many other bipartisan pieties — the actual wacky and crazy beliefs are those orthodoxies themselves (we’ve seen this repeatedly with those who stray from two-party normalcy). In reality, the actual crazies are those who fit comfortably within that two-party mentality and rarely challenge or deviate from it, while those who are sane, by definition, dissent from it (just today, the Super Serious Democratic Sen. Carl Levin, a prime co-sponsor of the indefinite detention bill passed late last year, called for a naval blockade of Iran). [...]

If you think that Dennis Kucinich is a nut because he's against war with Iraq or Iran, he supports Social Security, and he doesn't support giving our Present the power to assassinate American citizens, then the American Prospect is for you. If not, then just delete it from your bookmarks, and support other websites that promote Democratic values.

The author of this despicable hit piece is obviously a New Journalism propagandist looking to make her bones. Hey look at Jay Carney who smeared Bill Clinton and now is presidential press sec. for the greatest bait and switch in history.

I registered only to express what a complete and total piece of garbage I think this article is. The article fails to address any substantive issues regarding Kucinich's political career. Like the fact that he was among the only politicians in washington brave enough to stand up against the Iraq invasion.
Anyway, the article is just a hack piece, why was it published?

I left Prospect behind several years ago just because of pieces like this. I had to request a new password so that I could comment. This piece is symptomatic of what is wrong with the Democratic party. It no longer believes in democracy and it has not even a passing acquaintance with the great moral issues of our time. Prospect is o so clever, but has left truly humane values behind.

"The representative lost last night after a nasty primary fight against his colleague Marcy Kaptur."
Nasty? I can't imagine these two acting like butthats to each other, it just wouldn't happen. Abby, why don't you take a long walk off a short pier?

Intercourse you, American Prospect. If I wanted to read wingnut crap, there's plenty of other places I can find it. I've been reading your mag since it started. No, More. And I'm so very sorry my original post set off your "profanity filter," You hand-wringing grandmas and your overwhelming politeness concerns are everything that's wrong with the Establishment Non-Left.

Very disappointing piece

God this was awful.

Anyone else notice the comments are universally negative? Good job knowing your audience, AP!

Dennis Kucinch will go down in history as one of the true followers of the Constitution. He was dead on right with every action he took to protect our country from war mongering ghouls, to following the Consitution to Impeach the worst president in history. Only blue dog right wing demorats, and uber right wing tea baggers would speak negatively about this man, who was truly a man of the people, for the people. I hope he moves to Washington and there this time as a Senator. If this man had been elected President, we wouldnt be facing fiancial collapse, nor in ever ending wars. The problem for the US, is we have a "corporate owned media" who benefit off the miltary industrial complex, who are owned by zionists pushing for war after war. Dennis is viewed around the world as a peacemaker, a diplomat. He should be Secretary of Peace and Diplomacy, and given the exact same amount of money as the Pentagon. Its diplomacy and sanity we need in our leaders, unfortunately the only ones who get to be president, must cater to Wall Street, the multi national corporate elites and the Pentagon.

Listening the unfunny John Oliver ask him those stupid questions, rag on his beautiful wife is incredible. I would have expected this from Rush the drug addict, or Hannity the Insanity, Or Bill Oreilly the pressitute. Coming from this rag,is truly amazing and disappointing...i will never read this RAG again.

American Prospect's attack on Rep. Dennis Kucinic is a sad commentary on the author and the magazine. There is nothing wacky about calling for the impeachment of Dick Cheney--I wrote a book about the impeachment of Bush and Cheney because their grave abuses of power warranted it. I happen to know something about impeachment having served on the House Judiciary Committee during the impeachment proceedings against Richard Nixon. If it is wacky to demand accountability from a president and his team who put themselves above the rule of law and drove the country into a war on a basis of lies, then God help us as a nation. The author's resort to name calling is despicable as others have said. Dennis Kucinich was a brave and courageous member of Congress; he voted his conscience and he cared about the Constitution and his country. Making fun of him for that--shame on you. He will be missed. Former Congresswoman Liz Holtzman PS I created an account simply to register my disgust.

Disgusting hit piece.

And here's yet another you who signed up expressly to register his disdain and disgust.

To my mind the only remotely interesting question at play is whether this organism known by the proper name Abby Rapoport is capable of following through with the writing of such a piece* because she is utterly indifferent to the contempt and disgust in which she will be held by absolutely every reader, without exception, who stands above a certain ceiling of intelligence; or is herself insufficiently intelligent to fully appreciate how fully univocal this grunt of disgust will be.
Is she stupid enough to think the reaction will actually be mixed, that a few among the intelligent might be mildly amused and laugh of the piece as harmless rather than as spineless?

Not a bit of it Ms. Rappotport.
Be firmly ensured that the question is not whether every single reader of genuine intelligence will view you (inasmuch as your name and words briefly enter their consciousness) as a feckless invertebrate, utterly without intellect or integrity, but simply whether you give a damn.
Perhaps you give a damn, but consider obscurity sufficient insulation to assuage what would be the sting of shame . But is it really possible you take your chances supposing some intelligent readers will think your spineless vacuity no big deal (quite apart from how big a deal anything written by such two-bit hack can be)?
I suspect there is a *limit* to how obtuse a primate capable of assembling intelligent English sentences can possibly be, but if you think such a small name can sustain so massive a burden you are widely mistaken.

*"Such a piece" is quite sufficient; anyone who needs actual descriptors to know precisely what I mean is neurologically debarred from ever knowing it

Abby,

Do think the parents of those children in Afghanistan would think Kucinich's a kook for trying to keep us out of their land so we wouldn't kill them while they sleep in their homes?

Suggestion: Do your job and upset the status quo instead playing 'punch-the-hippie'.

Needless to say, I'll have to convert my question above into a rhetorical one since the parents of those toddlers were probably shot in the head as well. Given that you decided to write a feeble justification for your smear piece in lieu of an apology to Mr. Kucinich, how about doing this instead: Do some investigation (google it) into why President Obama wanted to perpetuate our war effort in Iraq instead of withdrawing as we were ultimately forced to do by Iraq?

In addition: How does he reconcile the above with staying in Afghanistan for the obscenely short time of 12 years? In other words, why is he pulling out so quickly two and half years from now? Why not stick with his original sensible extraction date o 2024? The way I see it, 22 years in Afghanistan is sensible. ['Sensible' in the same sense that killing children and hundreds of innocent civilians with drone strikes is making us safer by not creating more terrorists.]

Ms. Rapoport, surely no one will pay you money to write for them again. wait--perhaps you can become the new designated democrat on fox news.

i used to subscribe to this magazine but it never inspired me or gave me reason to fight for anything i believe in.

kucinich did.

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