Esoteric Dissertations from a One-Track Mind

November 17, 2007

Kucinich and Paul

Filed under: media, politics — Tags: , , , — codesmithy @ 12:00 pm

Above is Dennis Kucinich’s performance at the Las Vegas CNN debate.

Devz0r did some great work breaking down the time allotted to each candidate.

Candidate Total Chances to speak Average Response Length % of total
Obama 21 min 40 sec 14 93 sec 23%
Clinton 19 min 15 76 sec 20%
Richardson 15 min 40 sec 11 85 sec 16%
Edwards 13 min 30 sec 12 68 sec 14%
Biden 10 min 30 sec 10 63 sec 11%
Dodd 8 min 40 sec 8 65 sec 9.1%
Kucinich 6 min 6 60 sec 6.3%

This data seems to agree with the Talk Clock on Chris Dodd’s site.

Candidate Total % of total
Obama 18 min 9 sec 22%
Clinton 15 min 55 sec 20%
Richardson 14 min 6 sec 17%
Edwards 10 min 43 sec 13%
Biden 9 min 15 sec 11%
Dodd 7 min 10 sec 8.9%
Kucinich 5 min 37 sec 6.9%

The maximum percentage difference between the two data sets for any candidate is less than 1%.

A Ron Paul supporter emailed Noam Chomsky about the good doctor and here is Chomsky’s reply. Chomsky basically nails Paul’s position, which is one of extreme nationalism. While I may agree with Paul’s position on the Iraq war, we arrive at that similar conclusion based on fundamentally different lines of thought and principles. A liberal position is based on notions of international justice and diplomacy, Paul’s are based on isolationism that would also withdraw the United States from the United Nations. I understand the Friedman and Rand appeal to entrepreneurial supermen/women that are the engines of society, whose vast potential and independent spirit push society forward and any bureaucracy causes distortions that can be scientifically proven to be harmful. It is hard to argue with this myth with the believers. Chomsky tries to point out some of the problems by the various mismatches in the power structure. I don’t hold out much hope for it penetrating though. There is a saying that goes: intelligence is learning from your own mistakes, wisdom is learning from the mistakes of others. Although, I like this one better: “learn from the mistakes of others, you may not live long enough to make them all yourself.” Unfettered capitalism is counterproductive to middle-class, democratic societies. “The Shock Doctrine: The Rise Of Disaster Capitalism” by Naomi Klein gives an honest description of U.S. foreign policy during the Cold War and beyond. In many ways, what Bush has done is apply and insource policies that the United States has helped implement abroad since at least the 1950’s. Paul’s planned policies lead to speculation, and while cronyism may go down, inequality is likely to rise.

Whether I would vote for Ron Paul is merely a tactical decision. I like the fact that he is a grass roots candidate and I would have to agree with Ralph Nader’s this assessment that Ron Paul would be an enema for America. Also, it could finally discredit the free market fundamentalism and underscore the need for regulation when government actually has to live within its means (as if the great depression and its brutal application in third world countries didn’t already demonstrate its moral bankruptcy sufficiently for some, which nevertheless seems to be the case). That said, I honestly just wish Kucinich would get the Democratic nod, but I’ve come to the conclusion that is unlikely.

First, the leading Democratic candidates are just stronger than the Republicans. The Republican field is pretty weak, meaning an outsider like Paul has more of a chance. Second, Paul divides the Republican party in a really interesting way. He hits most of the values of the Republican party square on the head, except the authoritarianism and drug issues. However, given how strong of a candidate he is for the strong nationalists, gun rights and pro-life sentiments of the party, if he can gain perceived legitimacy he has some real potential to resonate with a lot of the Republican base. It is all about gaining momentum and peaking at the right time, which Paul might just pull off. The Democratic candidates, on the other hand, are promising just enough to keep Kucinich support divided and marginalized so long as he is perceived as a dark-horse candidate. Even if Kucinich received a money bomb like Ron Paul’s (which would be great), I can’t say that it would have the same effect in raising his chances of winning. It just means Kucinich supporters have to fight harder; history is what we make it.

Just imagine what it will be like to have a President of the United States who is right the first time – Dennis Kucinich

As a side note, the student who asked the “Diamonds or Pearls?” question at the end of the debate appears none too happy. It is rather remarkable how far downhill CNN has gone since Turner left.



  1. Kucinich for President 3 videos
    Kucinich for President 3 videos

    Comment by Tom Murphy — November 18, 2007 @ 5:49 pm

  2. […] from the ABC debate before the New Hampshire primary.  As I examined before, even when he is there moderators try to turn him into a wallflower.  What is new is a judge said that he will issue an injunction to stop the debate if Kucinich is […]

    Pingback by The MSNBC Kucinich Debate Saga « Esoteric Dissertations from a One-Track Mind — January 15, 2008 @ 10:20 am

  3. Correction: the newsgrouper link was a fake blog. The post was not actually written by Ralph Nader. I apologize for mis-attributing it to him. I thought Nader was joking. As it turns out, the joke went a bit further than that.

    Comment by codesmithy — February 17, 2008 @ 1:54 pm

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