Wrong about McKinney

Allow me to correct some statements by UK-based political figures about former US Congress member Cynthia McKinney.

At the Socialist (dis)Unity blog, Andy Newman is correct when he writes:

The results in the Iowa primary are remarkable. Clinton came third, and Obama’s clear lead in a predominately white state suggests he may be a serious contender to become the first black president.

But then he adds:

Cynthia McKinney’s campaign to become the Green candidate [for US president] is also highly significant.

No, Andy. It’s not.

McKinney, a hero for some on the US far Left, represented a district in the Atlanta area. She was defeated for reelection by another Democrat in 2002, was elected again in 2004 after the woman who defeated her ran unsuccessfully for the Senate, and was defeated by yet another Democrat in 2006. While she has taken admirable posititons on some issues, she is a 9/11 “truther” who has suggested George Bush had advance knowledge of the attacks.

Her opposition to US aid to Israel and other positions resulted in contributions to her Democratic opponents from supporters of Israel. McKinney in turn received numerous contributions from Muslim Americans. Although she herself has never publicly expressed antisemitic views, her father and some supporters have had trouble keeping their feelings to thesmelves.

Andy links to a Comment is Free piece by Derek Wall, Green Party Principal Speaker (is that some sort of non-hierarchical title?) in the UK. He takes credit for advising McKinney to run. He writes:

…Cynthia could be the first third-party candidate to make a real impact.

Wrong. Third-party candidate Ralph Nader made a “real impact” in 2000, if a rather distressing one. And, especially if Barack Obama is the Democratic candidate, I can’t imagine McKinney winning more than a tiny fraction of the votes Nader got in 2000.

Neither Clinton nor Obama look like ending the war in Iraq, supporting justice for Palestinians or taking radical action to deal with climate change. A strong green challenge could shift the US political system – that decaying plutocracy – in a fresh direction.

So, I am saying, “Go Cynthia, go”; you might just do it.

No, Derek. She won’t.