Biotech’s most prominent foe in Congress, Dennis Kucinich (D-Greenpeace), planned to file papers today to form a presidential exploratory committee. Before coming to Congress, Kucinich served briefly as Mayor of Cleveland — a tenure even he called “absolute chaos.” Kucinch labeled city cops “bullies, bigots and crybabies,” and blasted the city council as “a bunch of lunatics.” The local press described him as “brutal,” “vain,” a “yappy little demagog,” and “an obnoxious little twerp.”

Kucinich now calls himself “a dynamic, visionary leader of the Progressive Caucus of the congressional Democrats who combines a powerful activism with a spiritual sense of the essential interconnectedness of all living things.” Is this a guy you’d want as commander-in-chief?

In each of the last four years, Kucinich has proposed legislation that would cripple the U.S. market for genetically enhanced food. Generally, Kucinich proffers the usual criticism that agricultural biotechnology’s long-term effects are unknown. But in unguarded moments, Kucinich reveals his true motives.

On the streets of Seattle during the raucous World Trade Organization protests three years ago, Kucinich threatened to “pass up the issue of labeling” of genetically enhanced foods and “go right for the ban.” The next year, Kucinich accused geneticists and corporate executives of “arrogantly assuming godlike powers to bring forth a second genesis” and “combining genetic material from plants, animals and humans in some weird commercial potion and then marketing it for all to consume.”

It seems possible that Kucinich has been consuming “a weird commercial potion” of one kind or another. That’s as good an explanation as any for this Luddite’s ravings. But we can safely rule out genetically enhanced foods, since all Americans, not just Kucinich, have been eating them safely for years.

Note: This article has been corrected to reflect the fact that Mr. Kucinich had not yet declared himself a candidate for the Presidency on the date of its publication. That declaration was made on October 13, 2003.