Sunday, August 05, 2007

Kudos to Dennis Kucinich

I've never been a huge fan of presidential candidate Dennis Kucinich, but I have to loudly applaud his straight-shooting criticism of fellow candidate John Edwards as recounted in a blog post in The New York Times by Kate Phillips entitled "Revisiting the Heated Debate Exchange on Lobbying":

... this is also where Representative Dennis Kucinich fired a shot at Mr. Edwards, asking whether Mr. Edwards would forgo taking money from Wall Street hedge funds.

Mr. Edwards was enormously popular with this crowd today, in part because his campaign is wild about the Internet, and because he is pushing a populist approach that emphasizes taking on the big bad drug companies, etc. In answering Mr. Kucinich, he said he would continue to take money from Wall Street and elsewhere, but would not take money from a full-time lobbyist plying the halls of Congress.

Wall Street in general and hedge fund operators in particular are some of the sleaziest "lobbyists" around. Whether they "ply the halls of Congress" or peddle their influence and money in other ways, influence is influence and money is money. Edwards should be embarrassed and ashamed not simply because Kucinich correctly tagged him as a hypocrite, but also because he is too proud to admit that he is as exposed to influence and money as anybody and now he is trying to play the American people as a bunch of fools by suggesting that he is somehow above it all by spinning about his sources of funding. He honestly expects us to believe that Wall Street and the hedge fund operators are magically "the good guys" compared to drug companies and HMOs? The scary thing is that there are probably quite a few people who buy his story.

Again, Bravo for Dennis Kucinich. He may not be on a path to the Oval Office, but at least we can depend on him to ferret out sleaze.

Hillary obviously can be criticized for taking money from special interest groups, but at least she is honest and direct about it, while people like Edwards are not in a position to credibly criticize others for taking money.

-- Jack Krupansky


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