Dennis Kucinich: Searching For World Peace, Understanding, Unity ... And Impeaching The Vice President

05/25/2011 12:05 pm ET
  • Robert Guttman Director, Center on Politics and Foreign Relations (CPFR), Johns Hopkins University

Congressman Dennis Kucinich, the Democrats' Don Quixote candidate for president in 2008, laid out his reasons why he is calling for the impeachment of Vice President Dick Cheney yesterday when he spoke at our Center on Politics and Foreign Relations/Financial Times breakfast at Johns Hopkins SAIS in Washington, D.C.

The Ohio Congressman stated that "the vice president was the driving force for the war in Iraq. He has to take responsibility for the war. Cheney has been lying to the American people and the Congress."

When asked why he was calling for the impeachment of the vice president instead of the president, he responded, " I am not calling for impeaching Bush because Cheney would become president."

His reasons for calling for Cheney's impeachment consist of: Cheney has "violated his duties by deceiving people over WMDs in Iraq and the U.S. armed attack against Iraq damages our national security.

Second, the vice president was manipulating the process by drawing a connection between Iraq and Al-Qaeda.

Third, the vice president is now using the same method against Iran in violation of the U.S. Constitution and the United Nations Charter. The U.S. has the capacity and the readiness to attack Iran. And, Cheney has violated his Constitutional oath of office."

The Ohio congressman, saying "we are all in this together", when discussing his policies for the world, which he does not like to call foreign policy, told our audience that mankind "shares a common destiny" and "peace is inevitable".

In his brief speech the former mayor of Cleveland, spoke of the imperatives for peace, unity, equality and "protecting the health of our planet."

The idealistic candidate discussing world trade commented, "Commerce should be based on equity; everyone has the right to a job and trade policy should not be for the profit of the few at the expense of the masses."

This was not your usual speech for a person running for the presidency of the United States. The Democratic presidential candidate seems to be more on a mission to change the planet from what he sees as a bad place to becoming a good place. That sounds simplistic to say but his remarks come out that way. Although he is rather stiff in calling for peace, prosperity, happiness and unity he is greatly helped by the support of his wife, Elizabeth. She seems very informed on the issues and appears to be a good asset to him on the campaign trail as he pursues his unusual quest for the White House.

When the former member of the Cleveland City Council comes back down to earth and discusses substantive issues he says, "I am not a protest candidate. My role is to win."

Saying he was the main anti-Iraq war candidate from the very beginning he went on to criticize the Iraq War views and voting records of Senators Clinton and Obama and former Senator Edwards.

He is quite correct when he states "Iraq is the overwhelming issue of the presidential campaign." He goes on to say, "The other candidates are insufficient and inadequate in their positions on Iraq. The only chance for Democrats is to elect me."

Kucinich feels that New Hampshire will be the "break-out" state for him because of the strong anti-war views of the Democratic voters in the nation's first primary.

Kucinich is quirky and unusual in his presentations. He is rather stiff in his speaking style and doesn't seem that warm and compassionate for a man speaking about compassion, unity and understanding.

And it seems a little ironic that a person saying that we are all "brothers and sisters" on the planet calls for impeachment hearings against the vice president.

But the congressman from Cleveland adds a type of New Age thinking to the 2008 presidential contest which some might see as refreshing and others might see as strange.

All in all, he offers a unique and different voice in the campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2008.