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Friday, January 4, 2008

Kucinich Boldly Picks Another Symbolic Fight of No Consequence

Posted By on Fri, Jan 4, 2008 at 1:12 PM

Since Dennis Kucinich first hit the political scene in the 1960s, he’s been happy to pick any fight worth a headline [“King of Spin,” December 5]. So today, fresh off a ringing endorsement in the Iowa caucuses – where he received exactly 0 percent of the vote – Kucinich has once again launched a patented Symbolic Fight of No Practical Consequence, refusing to sign paperwork allowing him to run in the Texas primary… Texas Democrats require candidates to sign an oath pledging to uphold the constitution and support the party’s eventual nominee. It is, of course, one of those weird rules you’d only find in Texas. But considering the litany of more pressing issues confronting the nation, it’s also the last place you want to make a stand. Nonetheless, the West Side congressman refused to pledge his loyalty, claiming he couldn’t support any candidate who wouldn’t renounce the Iraq war. So he’s filed suit against the party and the Texas Secretary of State. “[They are claiming] that it violates his First Amendment rights,” says Amber Moon, a Democratic spokeswoman. “We respect his convictions, but we can’t change the oath for any one candidate… The oath dates back to 1976 at least. It’s approved by thousands of Democrats at our state convention and the DNC. It’s been through a democratic process and we’ve never had a problem with any presidential candidate before.” Of course, Kucinich was perfectly happy to sign the pledge back in 2004, when we’re pretty sure there was still a war going on. But this marks a bold move of convenience for our hero, since he manages to achieve his one true love -- a day of headlines in the deep sections of the newspaper – while risking nothing. After all, Kucinich likely wouldn’t have vacationed… er… campaigned in Texas anyway, since the “Workers President” has an aversion to visiting working people who don’t happen to live near beaches or snowcapped mountains. Even if he did campaign there, the results would be much the same as in Iowa. Texans don’t seem the type to favor yelping little guys who are into UFOs and against steak. Finally, his endorsement the eventual nominee carries the same weight as the endorsement of Brad, the daytime shift manager at the Lakewood Blockbuster. But at least he got a day of headlines. And in the end, that’s the most important fight of all, now isn’t it? – Denise Grollmus

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