I Shoulda Had a Dennis Kucinich

Obama Joker artist revealed, says he’d prefer Kucinich

(Photo: flickr.com)

Stop the presses. There is a connection between the racist, inflammatory Obama Joker socialism posters used to protest the president’s plans for the necessary overhaul of the health care system and the lost presidential candidacy of Democratic Congressman Dennis Kucinich. I rather liked the man and would have voted for him if he’d stuck around, but he’s wistful and thinks outside the box. Apparently that makes him an easy target for being labeled “crazy” or “unbalanced,” which is an unjust spin game in itself. As I see it, any politician who would propose the Baseball Fan Protection Act has interesting things to say. Unfortunately he supports squeezing legitimate lenders of payday loans and installment loans via “tightening up” the Truth in Lending Act (TILA), but nobody’s perfect.

First the Obama Joker poster

According to the Examiner, the poster was created by a 20-year-old college student from Chicago, Firas Alkhateeb. He is of Palestinian decent and – interestingly enough – is rather liberal in his politics. But here’s the Dennis Kucinich connection: Alkhateeb says he would have preferred him to Obama. As time goes on, I begin to agree.

“After Obama was elected, you had all of these people who basically saw him as the second coming of Christ,” he said. “From my perspective, there wasn’t much substance to him.”

Which is the same problem I have

The more Obama talks, the more it seems that he’s a promise maker with less drive to make those promises a reality. How can he let the single-payer option go, claiming it is “not the most important thing?” It’s ridiculous. Plus, his recent stance on the Defense of Marriage Act flies in the face of his support for gay and lesbian couples. And what about the wars in the Middle East? Shouldn’t we be close to withdrawing from that quagmire by now?

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Alkhateeb is frustrated with Obama, as are many others. That’s why he fired up Photoshop and made a Joker out of the president. Then he posted it to his Flickr page. At that point, someone else unrevealed stole the work and gave it the socialism tag. In Alkhateeb’s assessment (and mine), that’s an “immature” take on what Obama is trying to accomplish with health care reform. But it’s a convenient buzz word that the right can use to frighten the uninformed masses.

So who is Dennis Kucinich?

Congressman Dennis Kucinich of Ohio’s 10th District has been praised by Ralph Nader as being a “genuine progressive.” He firmly is in support of a single-payer health care system, one for which all Americans have a right to qualify for care. Like President Obama, he recognizes that the current system in place works for only a minority of consumers and a majority of large insurance corporations. As there are far too many who lack coverage altogether and costs continue to rise as corporate greed goes unchecked and Medicare fraud continues to run rampant, Dennis Kucinich is one of those who believe that Americans deserve something he likes to call “Medicare For All.”

Medicare for All

Kucinich, along with Congressman John Conyers (D-MI), introduced Medicare For All as HR 676. This bill would provide citizens necessary care at a high standard of quality, as well as free choice of provider. There would be no co-payments, premiums or deductibles.

Where would the money come from?

Because we know it doesn’t grow on trees. Customers of payday loans and installment loans know this all too well. Funds come from a variety of sources, according to Dennis Kucinich. From Congressman Kucinich’s Web site, they are as follows:

  • Savings from a vast reduction of paperwork
  • Existing government spending on healthcare
  • Savings from rational bulk procurement of medications
  • Tax on the top 5 percent of income earners
  • A small tax on stock and bond transfers
  • A phased-in payroll tax that is less than what employers currently pay on average for less complete employee health coverage

How has this bill been doing?

Dennis and Elizabeth Kucinich (Photo: commons.wikimedia.org)

HR 676 (aka the Conyers/Kucinich bill) “is the signature national health insurance bill currently before Congress,” according to Kucinich’s Web site. The number of political co-sponsors is growing, and there are at least 14,000 physicians and several thousand more nurses who support the measure. Its supporters include 14,000 physicians, several thousand nurses and many others. When Congress considered the most recent national budget resolution, Medicare For All was included among those bills that made up the Progressive Caucus’ “Alternative Budget” resolution. It is very real and could become the driving force behind real health care reform.

Unpopular decisions? He’d make them and make them work

That’s what I think. Check out Dennis Kucinich and see what you think. I have to hand it to him, however. After marrying someone like Elizabeth, surely he could become the President of the United States (see the video). Perhaps she has a soft spot for payday loans and installment loans on the legitimate side of the TILA blind.

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