Posted: August 20, 2007 6:32 PM
Gravel to Democrats: All You Need Is Love
Although he is polling at a less-than-robust 0 percent in a recent Washington Post/ABC News poll in Iowa, former Alaska Democratic Sen. Mike Gravel scored rounds of laughter and applause at the Democratic debate Sunday in Des Moines.
The Washington Post referred to him as an “offbeat provocateur” for saying Vice President Dick Cheney “should be committed” concerning his recent statements on Iran. Gravel also fielded a question about personal faith by championing love: “What I believe in is love. And love implements courage. And courage permits us all to apply the virtues that are important in life.”
In an LA Times piece on the former senator, he is described as “easily the most theatrical, decrying the misbegotten involvement in Iraq or the misbegotten war on drugs or the misbegotten coziness between his opponents and their campaign war chests.”
Gravel started the week with an impassioned post on his Web site about Sen. Hillary Clinton of New York, one of the Democratic front-runners. On Aug. 17, Gravel chastised Clinton’s stance on gay marriage, “By drawing upon the language of states rights, Hillary embraces the tradition of John Calhoun and the defenders of slavery along with Strom Thurmond and the segregationists. … States’ rights has always been the last refuge of the bigots. Now Hillary has given rhetorical cover to the homophobes.”
On Aug.10, Pat Thurston interviewed Gravel on the David Glass Show. The former senator reiterated his promise to get troops out of Iraq, and said of the reason the troops are there: “It goes from the sublime to the ridiculous; this is to sustain the military-industrial complex.” Gravel went on to delineate the way to end the war— by making it a felony. He advised that Congress could override President Bush’s inevitable vetoes through repeated and continuous cloture votes, for 40 days in a row. He continued, “We’re supposed to be a peaceful nation. … We’re a great country, but we’re not very great right now. We’ve been blessed and we’ve squandered our blessings.”
Gravel plans to head to California mid-week to attend Prez on the Rez, a first-ever candidates forum on Native American issues held on an Indian reservation in Cabazon, Calif. Democratic presidential contenders New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson and Rep. Dennis Kucinich of Ohio also intend to appear at the forum, hosted by INDN’s List Education Fund, a nonprofit promoting Native American issues, and the Morongo Band of Mission Indians.