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Jewish World Review Dec. 19, 2003 / 24 Kislev, 5764

Debra J. Saunders

Debra J. Saunders
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Consumer Reports

Angry white guy? | I WANT Rep. Dennis Kucinich to be the Democratic nominee for president.

I don't want to lose those special moments when the candidate tells an audience he is tanking in the polls because of the Rotten Media, and all the true believers turn around and stare at me and my rotten media buddies, and we're slouched taking notes, and they're wondering what shame-faced thoughts we must be thinking, when in fact we are thinking, "Loser." Yawn.

The Democrats don't have enough angry white men -- oops, sorry, I'm living back in the Bill Clinton years, when the incumbent's party dismissed all conservatives as angry white men, happily unaware that their 2004 candidate crop would be an angry-guy fest, including the Ohio congressman.

I want a Democratic standard-bearer who blames the media for his poor showing. That means even he knows he is going to lose.

I want the Democrats to pick someone who announced that he would also run for his congressional seat in January. That, too, means he knows he is going to lose.

I want a Democratic nominee who complains that former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean isn't anti-war enough. (And I applaud any Democrat who goes to the trouble of pointing out how Dean waffled on the war, before he became former veep Al Gore's "only major candidate who made the right judgment" on the war in Iraq.)

I love hearing Kucinich talk about how he would pull U.S. troops out of Iraq immediately -- as he told a lunchtime crowd from the Bar Association of San Francisco Tuesday -- and replace them with U.N. troops. (And the U.N. troops would come from what countries? And just how would he order them up?)

I want a Democratic candidate who boasts, as Kucinich does, that he thinks "holistically." Who among the crowded Democratic field would have said, when he launched his campaign, that he is running "to enable the goddess of peace to encircle within her arms all the children of this country and all the children of the world?" Only Kucinich.

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I want a candidate who will go on a blind date as a campaign event. It makes it particularly choice when he complains about superficial press coverage.

I want Kucinich to be the Democratic nominee because he flip-flopped from opposing abortion rights to supporting them. Indeed, he told S.F. lawyers he would not appoint any judges who think the way he used to. (Well, that's not quite how he put it.) His shall-we-say transition befits the ample history of congressional Democrats who ditched their anti-abortion positions conveniently as they were considering moving up in Washington.

I want to see whom he picks to be the Cabinet-level secretary who heads his proposed Department of Peace. Failing that, I'd settle for hearing his explanation for the department in a presidential debate. (In 2001, his bill argued for an agency charged with conceiving "of peace as not simply being the absence of violence, but the active presence of the capacity for a higher evolution of the human awareness, of respect, trust and integrity.")

I want a nominee who bashes President Bush for unilateral decisions that separate us from the world, while in the next breath advocating pulling out of the World Trade Organization.

I think it would be refreshing to hear from a Democrat who wants to get rid of the Bush tax cuts -- but only for rich people. Then I want to hear his supporters coo about how courageous he is.

I want a Democrat who argues that he can win by attracting disgruntled members of third parties to the polls. I remember when defeat-bound Republicans made similar arguments about their base.

Most of all, I want to see a Bush-Kucinich debate because if the Dems actually nominate a vegan to run for the White House, nobody could blame Bush for asking: Where's the beef?

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© 2003, Creators Syndicate