Congressman Dennis Kucinich has bowed to intense pressure, culminating
in a jaunt onboard Air Force One with president Obama, and decided
to to flip his vote on the pending health care bill to help
ensure its passage.
The representative from Ohio has repeatedly voiced his opposition
to the bill, calling it "a giveaway to the insurance industry".
"The fact is that one out of every three health care dollars
goes for corporate profits, stocks options, executive salaries,
advertising, marketing, the cost of paperwork - this bill doesn't
change that." he said.
Just last week, Kucinich told
MSNBC's Countdown that that even if it
meant he had the deciding vote in the House, he would oppose
the legislation, effectively signing its death warrant.
"I have doubts about the bill," Kucinich said. "This
is not the bill I wanted to support... However, after careful
discussions with President Obama, Speaker Pelosi, my wife Elizabeth
and close friends, I’ve decided to cast a vote in favor
of the legislation."
"I know I have to make a decision, not on the bill as
I would like to see it, but as it is," he added.
"I've had four separate meetings with the President,"
Kucinich also said this morning. "When the President of
the United States wants to have a conversation with you, you
take that seriously."
"We have to be very careful that the potential of President
Obama's presidency not be destroyed by this debate," the
"I got an invitation to go on Air Force One - given my
previous record in not supporting the administration on many
things, I thought that proper attire would include a parachute,"
It is anyone's guess as to whether the conversation drew upon
comments made by Obama last week indicating that he will
refuse to campaign for any Democratic congressmen
who fails to support health care reform. However, Kucinich cannot
have been unaware of the announcement.
Kucinich stated that he was not offered any favours by the
president, and that Obama made no assurances that he would push
for a public option after the bill passes, a provision that
Kucinich has long demanded.
In addition to a barrage of pressure from his own party, Kucinich
has received harsh criticism from the so called Democratic “Fifth
Chief Directorate”, the Daily Kos, Huffington Post, and
The day after Kucinich appeared on Countdown, Daily
Kos founder Markos Moulitsas appeared
on the same show, fiercely criticizing the Ohio
representative's threat to vote against the reform bill, adding
that Kucinich should be subject to a primary challenge as a
"I'm going to hold people like Dennis Kucinich responsible
for the 40,000 Americans that die each year from a lack of health
care." Moulitsas stated, before personally attacking Kucinich
with taunts about him using presidential campaigns to score
Investigative journalist Wayne Madsen has some
interesting information on Kos and his ilk that
sheds some light on their consistent attacks on any liberal
figures that do not offer unwavering support for the establishment
left and their corporate bedfellows.
Kucinich's turnaround highlights the fact that, although he
is the closest thing the Democrats have, he is no Ron Paul.
His own principles, the good of the people, and the Constitution
unfortunately come in a poor second place to the special relationship
between big government and corporate America.