Ron Paul has finally climbed out of his previous obscurity. With more fourth quarter earnings than any other Republican candidate, a fierce independent campaign orchestrated by a former Google employee, and surprising support from a few rank and file GOPers, he’s a bona-fide top-tier candidate.

What’s more impressive to me, though, is that the other guy out there who wants to end the wars, and restore our civil liberties and reign in the military industrial complex is starting to get some attention. That’s right, Dennis Kucinich is actually getting some press. Like Ron Paul, Dennis Kucinich voted against the Patriot Act and the invasion of Iraq; in fact, he and Paul co-sponsored a bill (ACLU) to replace it in 2003. Kucinich also wants to end the drug prohibition that’s filling our jails with non-violent drug offenders, and he’s for impeachment, too.

The frustrating thing was, that all through the Democrat debates, he’s basically been laughed off the stage. The Democrat debaters are much more uniform in their views than the Republicans are, and there really wasn’t much dissent tolerated at all. When Guiliani took a swipe at Ron Paul’s stance on Iraq, he got a thunderous applause, but Ron Paul came back strong and got his own applause. When Mike Gravel or Dennis Kucinich tried to attack Hillary Clinton for her vocal support of the war and wiretapping out citizens without a warrant, she just laughed at them. Then the crowd laughed at them, too. It was a painful thing to watch.

Sometime over the last few weeks, something has changed. In poll after poll, mainstream Democrats have been supporting Kucinich’s positions all year. One by one other candidates have had to slide closer to his very views they mocked only months ago. He’s also looking more confident, and people are starting to react. I realize that if Ron Paul’s bid for presidency is like shooting for the moon that Dennis Kucinich’s must be like shooting for Gliese 581 c, but seeing this hit the top of youtube was heartening.

He and his wife are adept at handling the media that try to trivialize them, too.

Kucinich: Well, the most important thing I would tell you, Hannah, as a professional, is it’s important not to trivialize a woman who has worked on international humanitarian matters, you know, helping people in Africa get access to energy and to housing and education, helping poor people and children in India, working with a group connected with Mother Teresa, working with the Mission To Seafarers in London. Here’s a woman of great accomplishment with a Master’s degree in international conflict resolution, and I hope that you’re going to talk about more than a tongue stud.

Well done, Dennis!

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