I’ve known Dennis since 1988.? We don’t really talk, or hang out, or even associate much anymore.? But I was there with Dennis, as a very green college intern, when he ran in a primary against Mary Rose Oakar in 1988, and got 25% of the vote.? At the time, Dennis was attempting the comeback from his disastrous stint as mayor of Cleveland, an office which Dennis handed on a silver platter to George Voinovich in 1979.
Dennis is reprising his stubbornness from his mayoralty over the current health care bill.? Like he is today, Dennis as mayor, took a single issue (the continued existence of a public utility, Cleveland Public Power) to the then logical extreme of leading the city of Cleveland into default.? Yes, Dennis was right at the time.? Yes, Cleveland Public Power is still with us, thanks to Dennis.? Yes, Dennis has been proven right over time.
All that “being right” also led to George Voinovich, a Republican mayor of the largest Democratic vote base in Ohio, in the most important presidential state in the country, Ohio. Dennis, in effect proven by facts, created with his own hand a kryptonite for Democrats statewide.? By giving birth to George Voinovich and a Voinovich GOP machine which could count on Democratic votes from the Democratic base, Dennis Kucinich, through his own stubbornness, doomed Ohio to two solid decades of Republican misrule, which in turn led to Ohio being the turning point for at least two Republican presidencies, each of which has been utterly disastrous for this country.? Just take one look around Ohio.
Now that I’m running for office, I have no incentive to criticize Dennis over his current idiocy on health care reform.? Dennis represents a good chunk of my county council district.? My voters like Dennis.? And I’d love to have Dennis’ support.? But I’d much rather have Dennis’ vote on this health care bill.
Because if Dennis gets his way on health care, and this bill fails, Dennis will again, as he did in Cleveland in 1978, doom this country to further Republican misrule.? Only this time, Dennis will be doing it with full knowledge aforethought.? Dennis knows that if this bill fails, Democrats across this country will pay a heavy price.? It may cost Barack Obama re-election. That’s just the politics.
More importantly, if this bill fails, Dennis will doom the rest of us, for the foreseeable future, to a health care system that is fundamentally broken.? Dennis will claim that he again is in the right.? Despite Dennis being completely unable to posit a scenario in which his position for single payer will ever be implemented, yes, he may be still be right.
The rest of us will pay for Dennis being right.? I know.? I’ve paid that price as a Clevelander, and an Ohioan, for a very long time.? I’m running for office in part to help clean up the mess “Dennis being right” left behind.
But you are wrong, Dennis, to vote against this health care bill.? The saddest part is that you know it.