Did Kucinich Sell Out Anti-War Democrats?

Democracy Now! is reporting that a deal has been struck between Dennis Kucinich and John Kerry’s warmongering delegates, brokered by political hack Sandy Berger, concerning the anti-war stance of the Democrat Party. Kucinich’s demand for an early withdrawal of US troops from Iraq has been quashed. Interviewed by Amy Goodman, Kucinich said:

“Amy, I have not changed my position one iota. I think it’s important to understand that. At the same time, what we’re able to achieve inside the Democratic Platform Committee is an altogether different thing. So, you know, I know that there’s still a great distance to go before the Democratic Party and John Kerry will have policies that are going to be satisfactory to me. But I also know that there comes a time where we have to realize the implications of what happens if we continue to say that, you know, if you don’t adopt a withdrawal strategy, you are not going to have our support. I think that’s, you know, that’s a very dangerous proposition in terms of the fact that we have an administration that lied to get us into a war, and you can’t — you know, you can’t pin that war on the Democrats. This was a — you know, there are Democrats who voted for it. That’s true. And John Kerry was one of them. And I’m going to do everything I can to keep trying to influence a new direction for the Party. But we didn’t have the votes inside the platform. So, the question is, do we — you know, do we create a fight that there’s just no support for winning inside the Party?”

Kucinich goes on to say:

“… the people who are in the Platform Committee were people who were elected, the overwhelming majority, Kerry delegates. And, you know, what does that — so the platform does reflect the choice of Democrats from around the country. Now it may have been the choice that was made months ago, and it may not be where many Democrats are right now who are going to be voting in November.”

Goodman points out:

“according to the latest New York Times/CBS News poll, by a margin of 56-38%, people who identify themselves as Democrat, say United States troops should leave Iraq as soon as possible, even if Iraq is not completely stable.”

Kucinich makes a humorous gaffe:

“I tried and my representatives did everything they could to try to get a platform plank that would call for immediate withdrawal from Vietnam– excuse me, yeah, here we are — from Iraq.”

Essentially what’s happened here is that Kerry has swept aside an annoying dissenter, Kucinich, so that the Democrats appear to be in unison on the Iraq question. Kucinich has gone along because he erroneously believes that Kerry would be better than Bush. The worst part is, with Kucinich on board, anti-war Democrats may believe that Kerry is also anti-war. Rather than making deals, Kucinich should go around screaming bloody murder and criticize Kerry with everything he’s got. Politicians can be bullied by an angry electorate, but not if they have nothing to be angry about (as Kerry would like it). There is one ray of hope. At the end of the interview, this exchange happens:

AMY GOODMAN: Do you get to address the Convention?


AMY GOODMAN: Will you be criticizing its stance on the invasion?