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  xThursday, February 27, 2003

presidential un-endorsement


When Rep. Dennis Kucinich opened his Democratic Presidential bid with a flip-flop on his abortion views, I was skeptical. But after Josh Marshall's recent revelations of Kucinich's flirtation with racially-tinged politics, I agree with Kos: There is no place in the Democratic Party for a politician who employs the brand of racially divisive tactics Kucinich is alleged to have done, regardless of his or her stand on abortion. I urge Kucinich to immediately and publicly explain, apologize for and repudiate such tactics, and for Democrats withhold their support until he has done so.

Unlike the recent Lott fiasco, Marshall's revelations--while disturbing and certainly an issue that demands an explanation--are not overwhelmingly damning. (It seems to boil down to a 30-year-old quote by a campaign manager quoted by a paper Marshall acknowledges seemed to have a feud with Kucinich, with nothing attributed directly to Kucinich.) I am not condoning the racially-tinged political tactics Kucinich is alleged to have engaged in 30 years ago. However, it should be clear that one article citing secondhand sources is not as ironclad as a statement made on national television. This issue demands scrutiny and immediate clarification by Kucinich. And should subsequent inquiry reveal anything resembling the kind of pattern that emerged with Lott, Kucinich should either step down or be emphatically rejected by voters.

Update: Ampersand says there's no "there" there: "[I]f Kucinich was really "constantly telling people" such racist bile, then Cleveland Magazine should have been able to dig up a quote on the record - or at least a second person to support Ms. Sutch's account. That the evidence is so weak - in a magazine article that is obviously out to smear Kucinich - suggests that there really isn't much real evidence of racism."

Update 2: Nathan Newman weighs in here.





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