The Republic of T.

Black. Gay. Father. Vegetarian. Buddhist. Liberal.

My Kind of Democrat

One video is worth another.

This is a voice you won’t hear during the upcoming presidential debate on ABC.

Democratic presidential candidate Dennis Kucinich filed a complaint with the FCC on Friday after ABC News excluded him, fellow Democrat Mike Gravel and Republican Duncan Hunter from its prime-time debates on Saturday.

Kucinich argued that ABC is violating equal-time provisions by keeping him out of the debate and noted that ABC’s parent Walt Disney Co. had contributed to campaigns involving the four Democrats who were invited.

…The network set rules to narrow the field. Candidates had to meet at least one of three criteria: place first through fourth in Iowa, poll 5 percent or higher in one of the last four major New Hampshire surveys, or poll 5 percent or higher in one of the last four major national surveys.

It’s basically the same thing that happened before.

I don’t know how many of you were as appalled as I was at the way that the presidential candidate Dennis Kucinich was totally erased from the last Democratic debate held in Iowa. This was a decision that was made, I can tell, jointly by the one-time voice of AIPAC, Mr. Wolf Blitzer, and, at the same time, The Des Moines Register-or whatever it is called-a paper of no consequence for the United States of America.

Elements of right-wingism are keeping his voice from being heard, even though there are many millions of us (Kucinich is ahead of both Biden and Dodd in the national polls) out here who like to hear his voice. He is in the great tradition of the original People’s Party of the 1880s; he is in the tradition of George Washington and of Thomas Jefferson, and to silence him with a bunch of political hacks who have made such a mess of our political system, pretending these were the only voices who could talk as presidential candidates … is it because of their campaign budgets?

I don’t know that “elements of right-wingism” are entirely behind Kucinich’s exclusion from the Iowa debate, or the upcoming debate, but I know that narrowing the candidates who will be part of the debate effectively narrows the agenda and the issues that will be part of the debate.

As with the controversy over Mike Gravel’s exclusion from the Logo forum, Kucinich has basically been placed in the category of “candidates who don’t matter.” The issues where he stands apart from the accepted field of candidates are essentially “issues that don’t matter.” And the constituencies he fully supports, in contrast to lukewarm acceptance graciously bestowed by the approved candidates, are essentially constituencies who don’t matter.

If nothing else, his absence will allow the accepted candidates to avoid any comparison of their positions with something closer to progressive values.

To that last sentence I might add that none will, so long as we reward them for half-measures. If this is how we reward candidates who actually stand by our community then we don’t deserve any better than we’re already getting, because it’s just reinforcing the notion that any candidate who has the courage to stand for equality is going to be written off by our community as a candidate who can’t win. Lesson learned. Democrats can’t run on their values and be taken seriously, even by our community.

Am I wrong? Convince me that any other civil rights organization would invite candidates to its forum that defended “separate but equal” and exclude candidates who advocate inclusion unequivocally because of how much money they have or haven’t raised.

How many other minority groups would enthusiastically support and contribute to a candidate who supported “separate but equal” but added a belief that separate really should be equal, and maybe even some vague promise to try and make separate equal?

And if that’s not enough, the Texas Democratic party is keeping Kucinich off the ballot because he wouldn’t sign a loyalty oath to support the party’s eventual nominee.

Democratic presidential candidate Dennis Kucinich, along with supporter Willie Nelson, have filed a lawsuit to get Kucinich on the ballot in Texas after they say the Texas Democratic Party rejected his application.

The civil lawsuit was delivered late Wednesday afternoon to U.S. District Court for the Western District of the United States, Kucinich spokesman Andy Juniewicz said late Wednesday evening.

The lawsuit says that Kucinich was informed by the Texas Democratic Party on Wednesday that his application was “defective” because he crossed out a loyalty oath in the application that said he would swear to support whoever the Democratic nominee for president might be.

…Kucinich, a congressman from Ohio, also wants the court to declare that the oath requirement violates the First Amendment and the 14th Amendment in the Constitution.

“He’s right to challenge a blind loyalty oath to the Democratic Party because it’s un-American,” Willie Nelson said in a news release from the Kucinich campaign.

The point, of course, is not that Kucinich wouldn’t support the eventual Democratic nominee. This is a man, after all, who asked his supporters to back Barrack Obama in Iowa, if he failed to meet the cut-off in the Iowa caucuses, which may well have contributed to Obama’s Iowa victory. This is the same man who made an agreement with Edwards in 2004 to support one another in the Iowa caucuses if either fell below the minimum support required to compete, which undoubtedly helped propel Edwards to a second place win in Iowa in 2004.

Does this sound like a guy who doesn’t support fellow Democrats? No. Just a guy who has the integrity to refuse to sign a loyalty oath, not just because it’s the antithesis of everything a Democratic party is supposed to stand for, or because it’s the kind of thing the Republicans would do.

A Republican National Committee practice of having people sign a form endorsing President Bush or pledging to vote for him in November before being issued tickets for RNC-sponsored rallies is raising concern among voters.

When Vice President Dick Cheney spoke July 31 to a crowd of 2,000 in Rio Rancho, a city of 45,000 near Albuquerque, several people who showed up at the event complained about being asked to sign endorsement forms in order to receive a ticket to hear Cheney.

”Whose vice president is he?” said 72-year-old retiree John Wade of Albuquerque, who was asked to sign the form when he picked up his tickets. ”I just wanted to hear what my vice president had to say, and they make me sign a loyalty oath.”

Again.

[T]his would be laughable if it weren’t… well, so extremely laughable:

I, _______________, promise never to abandon my present Republican Party affiliation for the purpose of political gain. …

So, it would be OK to leave the Republican Partei to marry your gay lover? Just asking …

I solemnly pledge to always be a Republican, no matter what promises are made by external forces seeking only to undermine the Republican values I stand for. I can have reasonable disagreement with members of the Republican Party; however, at no point will ‘Party switching’ or quitting of the Party be tolerable.

Signed,

X __________________________________ [in blood?]

So why would the Kansas Republicans feel they needed to force the Kool-Aid down their own member’s throats, I wonder?

And again.

If you’re planning to vote in Virginia’s February Republican presidential primary, be prepared to sign an oath swearing your Republican loyalty.

The State Board of Elections on Monday approved a state Republican Party request to require all who apply for a GOP primary ballot first vow in writing that they’ll vote for the party’s presidential nominee next fall.

Maybe, just maybe, a party should be able to inspire loyalty from voters and fellow party members without needing a loyalty oath. Maybe a party that does need loyalty oaths, or thinks it does, is less than deserving of the loyalty it seeks to enforce. Maybe.

Does it really come down to this? The same old rule that those who have the most get the most? A Democratic party that demands blind loyalty?

If nothing else, Kucinich may raise enough money to have his spot air during the ABC debate. You can donate here if you want to help.

2 Comments

  1. That was a good ad, convincing.

    And I think it’s appalling that he’s being blocked from the ABC debate.

    I think I’m going to contribute to his campaign. Even if I don’t plan on voting for him, h is voice and the issues NEED to be heard. So, if that will help get the spot aired, I’m contributing.

  2. Regarding the loyalty oath, I think it’s typical democratic party practice — copy what the GOP’s doing — since the GOP is legendary at getting voted into office.

    I don’t get the debate exclusion, though… What’s going to hurt to have another or two candidate in the debate? Why is it necessary to narrow the candidates? It’s absolutely ridiculous. The Cynic in me thinks that it’s seems like a business deal — since the narrowing the candidates helps the included candidates’ election by eliminating competition, which may just give the networks some pull in getting the government to look the other way during shady business deals or the like.

    The republican loyalty oath is scary. Though I wonder, are these oaths legally binding? It sounded so disturbing to me, that I’m kind of surprised that it did not say to promise the person’s first born to or their entire estate to the GOP.

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