Richard Cohen has a must-read column in today’s Washington Post. It’s a terrific antidote to Dana Milbank’s recent column in the same paper which ridiculed Presidential candidate and Congressman Dennis Kucinich.
It’s fine to disagree with Kucinich on impeachment–and even to suggest that he is isolated within Congress. But the snarky tenor of Milbank’s column suggested that to hold the President to account is bizarre behaviour–at a time when the Vermont Senate, state Democratic party groups, scores of communities, city council and labor unions have taken far blunter stances than has Kucinich. Milbank’s column was a classic example of inside-the-beltway policing of the debate–and it used the old technique of making fun of a legitimate dissenter.
Cohen, on the other hand, treats Kucinich with the respect he deserves. He may disagree with the remedy of impeachment, considering it too "radical"–but he doesn’t stoop to ridicule Kucinich for his stance. (And as would any semi-sentient person living in the US today, Cohen agrees that the congressman’s case against Cheney–lying the American people into war–is "persuasive.")
Now I’ll admit that I have as many questions as answers when it comes to the political value of pursuing impeachment–and The Nation has published strong views for and against. But that doesn’t mean that Kucinich and other good citizens who support impeachment as a democratic tool to hold this administration accountable deserve ridicule.
And while it is true that Kucinich remains fairly isolated in Congress, in a small piece of breaking news two members–Rep. Wm. Lacy Clay (D-MO) and Jan Schakowsky (D-IL)–today joined as co-sponsors of Kucinich’s H Res 333, the bill introducing articles of impeachment against Cheney. What’s especially newsworthy is that Schakowsky is a member of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s inside circle.