Friday, May 25, 2007

Kucinich Calls for Primary Challenges Against Pro War Democrats

Rep. Dennis Kucinich is stepping up and voicing what many Democrats, Independents and quite a few Republicans feel: "The depth of anger is so deep."

What about? The continuing support of some Democrats for the war in Iraq. Consider this from MSNBC:

Will anti-war activists force Democratic incumbents to spend money to defend themselves in primaries next year — or could the party actually get stronger candidates as a result of contested primaries?


Anti-war leader Rep. Dennis Kucinich, D- Ohio said Thursday no one should assume that any Democratic incumbent who voted for war funding is immune from a primary challenge.

“The depth of anger is so deep,” Kucinich said.


Five-term veteran Shelley Berkley, who represents Las Vegas and environs, said Thursday afternoon, “My district is pretty evenly divided. I haven’t done polling, but according to other polls it’s apparent that more than 50 percent now oppose the Iraq war in my district or in Nevada.”

So her vote for the additional finding will go against the wishes of the majority of her constituents, but she explained, “I’m on record as saying I’m not going to leave the troops stranded. As angry and dismayed as I am with the Bush administration having created a debacle, I’m not going to take it out on the troops.”

She predicted, “By September, there will be enough Republicans who will have expressed their concern to the president; it will be a bipartisan effort to moderate his position.”

She also forecast that “as we get closer to election time, more and more Republicans will see that Mr. Bush is not on the ballot, they are.”

And what about the potential threat of a Democratic primary challenger against her? “I don’t foresee that happening. I’ve been very candid about my position.”

She recalled, “I was in anti-Vietnam war protests in college.” She said the U.S. exit from Iraq, when it happens, “will be much more complex than the helicopter on the roof of the embassy” – a reference to the Saigon evacuation in 1975. “This is very complex. It is so much more complex than just ‘get out tomorrow.’”

Of course, the 50% mark is not quite true and is an easy way to defend herself by saying well, it's basically 50/50. Take a look at this national poll from CBS/New York Times (pdf!):

Do you think the United States should or should not set a timetable for the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq sometime in 2008?

Should 63%
Should not 34%

Even 42% of Republicans want out. Clearly, Shelley Berkley is selling out to Bush and the pro war crowd.

Shelley Berkley should seriously reconsider her stance on Iraq or she won't know what hit her come next year. Facing the netroots who brought down Lieberman in a primary challenge last year might be a real possibility. At that point Dennis Kucinich will be the last of her problems.

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