Sunday, March 12, 2017

Trump's Left-hand man




There seems to be an odd alignment taking place in politics.  Listen to Dennis Kucinich defend Trump's allegations that he was wiretapped.  Kucinich also came out very favorably on Trump's first major speech to Congress.  He has become a Leftie apologist for Trump on Fox News, defending numerous positions the President has taken, including Syria.

Kucinich views Trump as a "transitional figure," although it is pretty hard to discern what that means.  It seems our erstwhile legislator thinks Trump will force a reassessment in traditional party alignments.  He is oddly optimistic that the new President will take a softer approach to climate change and foreign policy than his rhetoric suggested during the campaign.  However, Trump's first two months in office has pretty much made it clear that this will be a pro-fossil fuels administration and that its foreign policy will not be a radical departure from that we have seen the last 60 years.  Nevertheless, Kucinich is willing to "see how this plays out."

The former Ohio representative has always been one to move to the beat of his own drum.  He was a vocal critic of the affordable health care when it was being moved through Congress back in 2009 and 2010, preferring the single-payer plan the House Democrats first proposed, and was very critical of Obama throughout his administration, particularly of the ongoing drone war.

He has become the Ron Paul of the Democratic Party, pitching from the left wing of the Libertarian Party.  In part because he has an ax to grind.  The congressional district he once represented in Ohio was merged into another, forcing an election against fellow Democrat Marcy Kaptur, which he lost.  Rather than take his ire out on the Republican legislature that merged the districts, he seems to be venting his anger on the Democrats who didn't vote him back into Congress, preferring Kaptur instead.

Since then, he has not only been pitching up at Fox regularly, where he is a paid contributor, but also at CPAC conferences like this one in Cleveland.  Dennis said he felt comfortable holding a joint interview with the notorious Steve King, and proudly boasted he wasn't afraid to work both sides of the aisle in Congress despite the many obvious differences.

That may help explain why he is dredging up a phone call with a foreign official from 2011 in defense of Trump's wiretapping allegations.  He was only made aware this "extralegal tap" took place when the Washington Times offered him a tape of a conversation he had with the son of Moammer Qaddafi.  The meeting took place in a Chinese restaurant in Washington in 2015, four years later.

Kucinich claims it was within his constitutional rights to communicate with Libyan officials, having cleared it with the House general counsel.  No attempt apparently to reach out to the state department or the president, whose authority on such matters he was overstepping.   He really played up this call, suggesting it might have been used as a homing beacon for a drone strike, so he used a disposable cell phone to receive the call to minimize such risks.  Sounds like he had a lot of contempt for the White House.

This story appears as far-fetched as Trump's 3:35 am morning tweet.  The tape apparently turned up in Tripoli, so it is just as likely Libyan authorities were monitoring the call, if such a call even took place.  After all, we are relying on an infamous right-wing newspaper that was using the call as part of its smear campaign in regard to Hillary's role in Benghazi, which Kucinich seemed to have no problem playing into it.

Even odder is how Kucinich can square Trump's willingness to side with Russia in Syria with his own opposition to Obama's engagement in Libya?  The civil war that started back in 2011 has led to one of the worst humanitarian crises in recent decades and is the prime cause of the refugee crisis in Europe.  If Dennis Kucinich is any indication, the Libertarian Left has lost its moorings.

Bernie recently said he believes many of his supporters did vote for Trump in the general election, particularly in the Midwest.  It appears the Left has turned on the Democratic Party and having nowhere else to go many Leftists lodged their protest vote with Trump.  The odd thing is that Kucinich seems to be actually aligning himself with Trump, touting the president's infrastructure pipe dream and other parts of his agenda on Fox News.

Why is anyone's guess?  We have to figure Kucinich is smart enough to know that Trump has long dealt in such pipe dreams.  The Donald was going to resurrect Atlantic City back in the early 1990s with the grand opening of his Taj Mahal.  The city was declared bankrupt in 2016 and taken into receivership by the state of New Jersey. The Taj Mahal had gone belly up long before.  Sadly, this is what has happened with most of Donald Trump's ventures so why should anyone, particularly a tenacious bulldog like Dennis Kucinich, have any faith in Trump's plans?

It seems a lot of persons want to ride the Donald's coattails to celebrity status, maybe even make another bid for Congress or the Presidency itself in 2020.  Kucinich tried twice before in 2004 and 2008.  He didn't get very far with either campaign because his ideas sit too far on the Libertarian left for many voters beyond his former Congressional district to identify with him.

Before his 16-year tenure as the US Congressional Representative of Ohio's 10th District, he was the youngest mayor of Cleveland at the age of 31.  It was a tumultuous two years which even saw the mafia take a hit out him for trying to clean up the city.  Cleveland was on the verge of bankruptcy but Kucinich refused to go through with a fire sale of the city's assets, particularly its publicly owned electric utility, which earned him the enmity of the local mob that had its eyes on this utility.  He lost the subsequent municipal election but won the hearts of local residents for standing up to the banks and the mob.

It's the kind of play a guy like Trump would make, so I suppose this could be another reason Kucinich feels he has found a kindred spirit in the President.  I well understand the frustrations that Lefties have with the Democratic Party, but they would be truly fooling themselves to think Trump represents their interests.  Trump's little trip to Flint, Michigan, was nothing more than a photo op, just like that little jaunt down to Louisiana when the floods ravaged the state last Fall.  He has no real interest in the American people.  The only thing he is interested in is protecting his brand name.

If Lefties like Kucinich genuinely want to see the country invest more in itself then I suggest they start by retaking cities like Cleveland and putting their plans into action, not lodging protest votes against the only political party we have that offers anything akin to a European socialist vision for this country.  The health care plan the Republicans are currently promoting to replace the Affordable Care Act should make a guy like Kucinich cringe.  And, you can bet that whatever "infrastructure plan" the Republicans eventually propose will be one that favors oil companies and other major industries not local redevelopment projects.

Unfortunately, the Lefties in this country are mostly talk and little action.  They love to stage rallies to call attention to themselves but rarely if ever offer a constructive plan much less vision of what they hope to accomplish.  Even Bernie, who I love, was notoriously vague on how he would pull off many of the promises he made on the campaign trail.  But, Bernie at least understands the legislative process, which it appears Kucinich never really made the effort to learn.  Too busy trying to negotiate backdoor peace deals with Libyan officials I guess.

He is perfect for Fox News, filling the void left by Alan Colmes, whether it be engaging in faux debates or offering Leftist support of Trump's agenda.  Good luck, Dennis, don't let the door hit you on the way out.

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