KUCINICH, from Page 4
American politics — and of an establishment media whose tolerance of, if not enthusiasm for — lies and emotional demagoguery that enables such behavior. But being appalling makes it no less real, and that’s why, for all his long national profile, Kucinich’s absence from Congress won’t mean much at all.
He told truth to power, sure, but power didn’t care, and not enough other people were convinced of his views that power needed to care. And Kucinich, forever the gadfly, never developed power of his own.
That’s only one reason why a Kucinich candidacy in Washington state would be a long shot.
It’s not entirely clear which district he’d run in, but the obvious choices — the new 10th District in Olympia, the open seats in the 1st and 6th vacated by Jay Inslee and Norm Dicks, respectively, and the 8th District seat held by Dave Reichert — range from swing districts to (in Reichert’s case) solidly Republican. None are a good fit for Kucinich’s progressivism.
The state Democratic Party has been uniformly against him (Democratic Party chair Dwight Pelz: “Will [Kucinich] be remembered as a principled member of Congress or the narcissist who lost two Congressional races in two states the same year?”).
The Republicans — with the chance to win the governor’s office for the first time in two decades — would love to tie Kucinich around Jay Inslee’s neck (Republican state chair Kirby Wilbur offered to pay Kucinich’s airfare: “[He] would show the people how far left the Democrats really are.”)
And, of course, Kucinich would also be ridiculed, accurately, as a carpetbagger and would not have the long local history he enjoyed in Cleveland that somewhat insulated him from partisan attacks there.
Kucinich would bring out a fervent base of local supporters and lots of national grassroots support and money, but he has almost no claim to being an appropriate representative for any of Washington’s districts.
I hope he doesn’t run: His inevitable loss would only drain support from other worthy candidates, further marginalize local progressives and weaken his own post-Congressional voice.
Kucinich, true to form, doesn’t seem to care: He’s all about Dennis. With luck, he’ll find a way to pursue his dreams but leave us out of it.
GEOV PARRISH is cofounder of Eat the State! He also reviews news of the week on “Mind Over Matters” on KEXP 90.3 FM.