Photo by: lisarosephoto.com (detail)
Sat July 26, 2008. LOS ANGELES, CA. About 200 people sat under a tent in hosts Stanley and Betty Sheinbaum’s lovely yard, eager to hear Kucinich address the topic of Restoring Our Constitution. One couple had driven six hours from the Sacramento area to bask in the passionate Congressman’s fiery rhetoric.
Stanley Sheinbaum welcomes guests. Photo: www.susanweingartner.com (detail)
There was a visceral feeling of celebration: the afterglow of the House Judiciary Committee hearing the day before had permeated the gathering, like a welcome oasis of victory in a barren land. While Nancy Pelosi did agree to the congressional hearings, she still maintains that impeachment is off the table. Nevertheless, it is clearly out of the oven and still bubbling, ready to be served. And the LA Times, often reluctant to cover Dennis at all, ran a story about the hearings, referring to the Congressman as a rock star.
And then Kucinich was at the mike, opening his presentation with his familiar words of gratitude and appreciation, as he has done without exception every time I have heard him speak.
Photo by: lisarosephoto.com (detail)
Kucinich began by saying that he offered his words in the spirit of transformation. He said, “Bush turned the Federal Government into an engine to accelerate wealth upward … but if you don’t have an economic democracy, then you can’t have a political democracy … “
He said, “You have to understand that the Bush Administration is a criminal enterprise masquerading as a government,” and called the Judiciary hearing a transformational “moment of kindling … even though there wasn’t legislation in front of us, we broke the silence, WE BROKE THE SILENCE! To break the silence is to reconnect with our passion for freedom and peace!”
He encouraged Americans to suspend linear thinking, to know that “this country WILL evolve out of the condition it is in.”
Photo: www.susanweingartner.com (detail)
He referenced the 737 military bases that America has in 130 countries (isn’t that overkill?), and said “we must reconnect with the world community in the spirit of felicity in a way that does not include aggressive war!”
“It is a time for the end of unilateralism, and first strikes, the end of peace through strength, and the beginning of a new doctrine of strength through peace … (we must) work to create affirming structures of international law, to get rid of all nuclear weapons, to uphold the Geneva convention. If America is to come to a place of reconciliation with the world community, we must make Bush Administration accountable for its violations … this isn’t about retributive justice, I don’t believe in that, it is about restorative justice. It is true that ‘the truth can set you free’ and we need to become a nation of truthtellers.”
Dennis and Warren Beatty. Photo: lisarosephoto.com
“This is part of a riddle that we must unlock during the next Congress. We must talk about how we can create structure that can birth truth and reconciliation, to have a re-United States.”
He said that 9-11 had been appropriated by the Bush Administration to create a war on terror—and that we need a program of appreciative inquiry to help people reconnect with their hearts, to reflect on the sense of freedom and personal joys they felt prior to 9-11, to focus on the innate power that each person has, that is not derived from government. And to that end of re-empowering ourselves, he proposes a “9-10 Forum.”
“We have a tendency to kvetch about the way things are, but we should never give up and never give in—we have enormous power for transformation.”