Just days ago, Kucinich was condemning the health care bill as a bad, tainted piece of pork. But now, he's the new face of Dem campaign committee rattling the cup for the very ladlers of corporate pork he had been castigating.
Dennis Kucinich is now reaping the reward for his high-profile bug-out on the Compulsory Corporate Profit Act of 2010, also known as "health care reform." And what a pearl of great price it is! Well worth selling out your heatedly avowed principles for! I mean, Mahatma Gandhi himself would traded his loincloth for a pinstripe suit to bag some bling like this! Check it out:
That's right: Dennis is now fronting the big-time money-grubbing operations of party hacks! Just days ago, Kucinich was condemning the health care bill as a bad, tainted piece of pork:
"a giveaway to the insurance industry -- $70 billion a year, and no guarantees of any control over premiums, forcing people to buy private insurance. I just don't see that this bill is the solution."
But now, he's out there rattling the cup for the very ladlers of corporate pork he has been castigating for months, writing in the new donation pitch:
On Tuesday, I ... witnessed an historic ceremony in the White House, where President Obama signed health care reform into law. I am pleased to have played a role in helping make this important moment possible.
Salon's Alex Koppelman -- who just days ago was bashing the still-dissident Kucinich as a loony goon who is not only an "ineffective legislator" but also a pathetic spokesman for his own wacky causes -- now finds true Beltway savviness in the way Dennis has hooked up with party bigwigs to shake some loot from the rubes:
Under current circumstances, though, using Kucinich makes perfect sense. He can appeal to liberals who might not open their wallets for a lot of other members of Congress, and his seal of approval can be used in an effort to convince Democrats who think the reform legislation doesn't go far enough that they should stay active with the party this year anyway.
In other words, Kucinich is happily participating in a PR scam to perpetuate the corporatist party elite that has just -- for the umpteenth time -- betrayed the deepest hopes of its masochistic supporters. And for your real rootin', tootin', "fightin' progressives" like Koppelman, this is a good thing. Because it's smart. It's savvy. It's playing the game.
And the game, apparently, is to keep your sweet progressive self somewhere near the hindquarters of power, just in case you might get a pat on the head every now and then from the honchos -- brutal operators and war criminals who will never, not even once, not even by accident, put any of your vaunted principles into practice.
A more paltry -- and degrading -- ambition can scarcely be imagined. But this seems to be the full extent of the "vision" offered by our modern progressives -- who despite their savvy servility to power still like to fancy themselves as the heirs of Martin King, Mother Jones ... and that old empire-shaking lion in loincloth from India.
Chris Floyd has been a writer and editor for more than 25 years, working in the United States, Great Britain and Russia for various newspapers, magazines, the U.S. government and Oxford University. Floyd co-founded the blog Empire Burlesque, and is also chief editor of Atlantic Free Press. He can be reached at email@example.com.
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This story was published in the Baltimore Chronicle on March 26, 2010.