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Rep. Dennis Kucinich: “Wake Up America!”

Rep. Dennis Kucinich

Former presidential candidate Rep. Dennis Kucinich delivered one of the most passionate addresses Tuesday night. “Wake up, America. We went into Iraq for oil. The oil companies want more,” Kucinich said. “War against Iran will mean $10-a-gallon gasoline. The oil administration wants to drill more, into your wallet. Wake up, America. Weapons contractors want more. An Iran war will cost 5 to 10 trillion dollars.”


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Kucinich wakes up Democratic Convention

26/08/08 DENVER -- Who lit a fire under U.S. Rep. Dennis J. Kucinich?

The Ohio Democrat went to church at the Democratic National Convention today, lighting up the 4 o’clock hour as time marched toward Sen. Hillary Clinton’s much anticipated appearance.

Kucinich preached.

I mean he preached like he’d had some lessons from the Rev. Jesse Jackson. And he woke up an audience that until that moment appeared to be mostly waiting to hear anybody else.

“We Democrats are giving America a wake-up call,” he preached. “Wake up, America. In 2001, the oil companies, the war contractors and the neo-con artists seized the economy and have added $4 trillion of unproductive spending to the national debt. We now pay four times more for defense, three times more for gasoline and home heating oil, and twice what we paid for health care.”

Sleepy delegates in a half-empty arena began to take notice. A couple of them pointed.

“If there was an Olympics for misleading, mismanaging and misappropriating, this administration would take the gold,” Kucinich said. “World records for violations of national and international laws … we can't afford another Republican administration. Wake up, America.

“The insurance companies took over health care. Wake up, America. The pharmaceutical companies took over drug pricing. Wake up, America. The speculators took over Wall Street. Wake up, America. They want to take your Social Security. Wake up, America.

He had them. Where was this speech when the tiny Ohio congressman was running for president? Or did we really just not pay attention?

“This administration can tap our phones. They can't tap our creative spirit,” he said. “They can open our mail. They can't open economic opportunities. They can track our every move. They lost track of the economy while the cost of food, gasoline and electricity skyrockets. They skillfully played our post-9/11 fears and allowed the few to profit at the expense of the many. Every day we get the color orange while the oil companies, the insurance companies, the speculators, the war contractors get the color green.

“Wake up, America! This is not a call for you to take a new direction from right to left. This is call for you to go from down to up. Up with the rights of workers. Up with wages.”

And Dennis Kucinich began to bounce, the way the ministers of my girlhood churches did.

“Up with fair trade. Up with creating millions of good paying jobs, rebuilding our bridges, ports and water systems,” he said, his voice rising, people rising and grinning at the Dennis Kucinich who was surprising them.

“Up with health care for all,” he said. “Up with education for all. Up with homeownership. Up with guaranteed retirement benefits. Up with peace. Up with prosperity. Up with the Democratic Party. Up with Obama-Biden!”

Hmmmmm. Did the Democrats miss something along the way from the only man with the courage to introduce a resolution in June to impeach President George W. Bush and whose speech reminded those gathered who their fight actually was with?

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