Yesterday, I watched the Rainbow/PUSH Coalition (Jesse Jackson) program on which the Democratic candidates were arrayed across the stage. Appropriatly at extreme stage right was John Kerry, then Gephardt, Leiberman, Al Sharpton, Dennis Kucinich, Howard Dean and Carol Mosley-Brown on the far left.
Considering the audience, it was no surprise that all the candidates claimed to stand foresquare for affirmative action.
Kerry and Gephardt sounded like watered down Republicans. I think that is Kerry’s strategy—to run as a Republican-Lite. Lieberman displayed his usual intelligence and integrity. It’s good to see two blacks running but I don’t think that either Sharpton or Mosley-Brown have a snowball’s chance of being elected. Mosley-Brown did look like Oprah in her more portly incarnations and delivered a metered and well-reasoned segment on reform of the criminal justice system and the drug laws. It’s good to hear main party presidential candidates calling for an end to that madness.
But the two candidates who particularly caught my attention were Kucinich and Dean. It’s good to see Democrats with some fire in their bellies for a change. Kucinich is a rousing speaker in the William Jennings Bryan tradition and Dean is the only one among them who has not hesitated to call the administration actions surrounding Irag a fraud.
It ought to be a lively primary season.
I hope one of them succeeds. I would rather have Al Sharpton for president than what we are stuck with now—an appointed president who dances to the tune of militarism and corporate greed.