There are many reasons to run for president. Some run to raise their profiles. Some hope to get a cabinet post. Some even want to be president.
Some do it to raise issues and improve the debate. These last deserve our thanks and praise. Sadly frontrunners cannot always be relied on to discuss the important issues.
Important issues are often, almost by definition, dangerous issues. Therefore the safe play for any frontrunner is to stay away from the big stuff and stick with vague platitudes about how the children are our future. As if anyone would disagree.
So the people who give of themselves to ensure that a campaign is not merely a circus, but also a substantive effort to come together as a society and address our problems serve one of the better functions in our political process.
It is largely a thankless task. The best of these men and women rarely get anything in return for their efforts, and they often lose what position in the government they do have. Conscience is not always welcome in government which is, of course, exactly why we need these people.
Right now, one of these candidates is Rep. Dennis Kucinich, R-Ohio. However, when the distinguished gentleman from the great state of Ohio insists on pulling stunts like calling for the impeachment of Dick Cheney, he is less the conscience of the campaign, and more its sideshow.
First of all, impeaching the vice president simply isn't going to happen it's tilting at windmills and everybody knows it. Second, it's not about how we tackle important issues in the future, it's about vindictive punishment for the past.
You might say it's about improving accountability in government and for that, a precedent needs to be established. Fine. Then impeach the man responsible, if, and only if, there are indeed grounds for impeachment. The VP doesn't actually have any power. The veep of the United States can't actually do anything. If you want to improve accountabilty, you have to hold the person accountable who is accountable. There's a word for someone who's punished for something he isn't actually responsible for: scapegoat.
We urge Kucinich to mend his ways and use what little time in the limelight he has to better the affairs of this nation. After all, he is not the only one in the limelight. When the most famous men in politics from Ohio are former governor Taft and Jerry Springer, the state's reputation cannot afford another clown.