After the $847 billion National Defense Authorization Act cleared Congress with overwhelming bipartisan support Dennis Kucinich, a former Democratic House member from Ohio who was once the mayor of Cleveland, questioned why there do not appear to be any pro-peace Democrats in Washington, DC.
Kucinich, who led opposition to the Iraq war, reacted to the Congressional Progressive Caucus retracting a letter calling for diplomacy with Russia.
“If we don’t believe in diplomacy,” Kucinich asks, “then where do we go as a country?”
A U.S. Representative from Ohio from 1997 to 2013, Kucinich sought the Democratic nomination for president in 2004 and 2008, and he ran for governor of Ohio in the 2018 primary election.
From 1977 to 1979, Kucinich was the 53rd mayor of Cleveland, serving a tumultuous term in which he survived a recall election, successfully blocked a sale of the municipal electric utility to private interests, and angered the Cleveland mafia enough to order his assassination by severing its ties to local government with a mandate that all city contracts be re-evaluated.
In 1996, Kucinich defeated two-term Republican incumbent U.S. Rep. Martin Hoke in a contest to represent Ohio’s 10th district, where he was reelected seven times.
In the 2004 Democratic presidential nomination race, Kucinich boldly challenged media companies’ power to shape campaigns by choosing which candidates to cover.
Kucinich also accused other Democrats of being “enablers” for refusing to stand up to Wall Street and giving President Bush a license to pursue an “illegal” war in Iran. Kucinich sought to hold Bush accountable by impeaching him.
“We have to have a president who is independent enough to be able to stand up to these interest groups and push the Democratic Congress to defend the American people by standing for the end of the war in Iraq, by standing for a universal not-for-profit health care system, by standing for control of these oil companies, which are out of control, and finally by standing for the Constitution,” Kucinich said.