Dennis Kucinich just made it official: He’s voting for the Senate bill, making him the first member to go on record flip[p]ing his vote from No to Yes. “In the past week it’s become clear that the vote on the final bill will be very close,” Kucinich, who voted No last time because of the lack of the public option, said at a presser moments ago. He acknowle[d]ged that he’d be voting “not on the bill as I would like to see it, but as it is.” ... “However, after careful discussions with President Obama, Speaker Pelosi” and others, Kucinich said, “I’ve decided to cast a vote in favor of the legislation.” … Kucinich… recognized how difficult Obama’s challenge is. “I left [a meeting with Obama] with a real sense of compassion for our president and what he’s going through,” he said. “We have to be compassionate towards those who are called upon to make decisions for this nation. It’s not an easy burden that he’s taken up." … Kucinich said that ultimately he couldn’t escape the argument that “something is better than nothing.” ... “People are looking for some hope that maybe something can be changed,” he said, suggesting that… passing reform is essential in order to prove to Americans that government is not entirely dysfunctional. Kucinich conceded that… failure would be a threat to Obama’s overall agenda. He said he has “a real desire for our president to succeed,” adding that “one of the things that bothers me is the attempt to deligitimize this presidency.”
Kucinich is doing the right thing and for the right reasons and he is also obviously right about the deficiencies in the bill and the need to direct attention to these deficiencies as part of the effort to move forward to considerably better healthcare reform in months to come.
I was quite annoyed that he (and some others whose politics I tend to identify with otherwise, frankly) seemed nonsensically to be proposing that not passing this obviously compromised bill after a year-long nightmare of effort handing a victory to lying obstructionist Republicans somehow brought us closer to the single payer system every sane informed Democratically-minded citizen wants than passing it would. This is a counterintuitive belief to say the least, even before one grasps that it is a counterintuitive belief held in defiance of awareness of the cost of failure to millions of citizens who will get needed support they are not getting now through passage of the bill, compromised though it surely is.
Kucinich is not saying that stuff anymore.
Credit where credit is due.