Mike Gravel

It Has Begun

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First Democrat announces officially for the 2008 presidential nomination.

It is–wait for it!–former U.S. senator from Alaska (1969-81) Mike Gravel. He's 75, and he's anti-war. He'd be the first Alaskan president. His bachelor's degree is in economics, from Columbia.

Things I like about him: Read the Pentagon Papers into the Congressional Record. Supports the "Fair Tax," which has its problems but would be an improvements. Seeks federal-level ballot initiative possibilities to further his goal of "direct democracy." Again, a stance with positive and negative aspects–though I'm not sure the people could do much worse than Congress, especially if the Courts start taking the Constitution seriously–something they'd be far more likely to do against initiatives than against Congress. While I don't have a comprehensive survey of all the good and bad done by initiatives over the years on the state level, they've certainly done some neat things in California, from tax limitation to medical marijuana legalization.

Start the pile-ons, pro and con, now. I suspect that when the season gets in full swing, we won't have much reasonable opportunity to discuss Sen. Gravel and his presidential chances. Gravel: On The Road to Victory!

ADDENDUM: The amazing distributed information search system of Hit and Run has already helped pound Gravel to gravel: like most Americans, I couldn't have told you who this guy was three hours ago. But he's apparently, according to Wikipedia, got tied to him such political dynamite as an appearance at a conference run by Holocaust-denying Institute for Historical Review and Elizabeth Ray claiming she was forced to have sex with him in the 1970s, in the baroque "Elizabeth Ray" scandals I have only the vaguest memory of, though I think a Hustler pictorial might have been involved.

NEXT: Free the Twinkies!

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  1. I’m surprised you did not mention Senator Gravel’s peripheral involvement in the Rep. Wayne Hayes, Elizabeth Ray scandal of way back in the 1970s.

  2. Federal level initiatives are one of the most frightening ideas I’ve heard in a while. If we have them, we might as well just get rid of state governments and go to a straight unitary form of governance.

    As for the idea of whether the ‘people’ could do worse the Congress, when it comes to politics somebody can ALWAYS do worse than somebody else.

  3. Well, according to Wikipedia, Gravel spoke at a conference of a Holocaust Denial magazine in 2003. I think that would disqualify him for me.

  4. kraorh,
    But what did he speak about? According to the site linked off of Wikipedia his speach was about the influence that special intrest groups have in government. For Holocaust deniers, everything that influences government is a Jewish special interest group; so that would be right up thier alley.
    This would be like condemning Nick Gillespie for speaking on the O’Reilly Factor. I am sure that some of what Nick says jives with O’Reilly’s rabid fans’ ideals but that doesn’t mean that Nick belives what they do.

  5. Let me restate my previous post in a simpler format. I would like to see what his speech was about and judge the man on that rather than judge him on his audience.

  6. A Federal level ballot initiative would require not just a Constitutional amendment, but a new Constitution. Lawmaking is a power reserved to the Congress. It’s a stupid idea in any case; you think that the places with the most voters in the US — big cities — are very libertarian? Think California writ large.

  7. It’s a stupid idea in any case; you think that the places with the most voters in the US — big cities — are very libertarian? Think California writ large.

    As if Congress is libertarian at all.

  8. Now that he’s running for President, Wikipedia apparently has decided that he no longer was involved in the Holocaust denial conference.

  9. And on the Republican side, lets have a candidate who is a genuine fiscal conservative and has demonstrated a strong reticence to fall for the neocon’s duplicity when they want us to invade a mid-East nation to satisfy the desires of the Israeli government. Lets have Sen. Chuck Hagel

    .

  10. So, who’s going to explain that this Alaskan Democrat is a Dixiecrat holdover who represents the racist evil of Republicans? 😉

  11. eRay, man… she was fine… Before my time, though

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