On the sun-set of the Mike Gravel presidential campaign

It might be about time to dissect the significance and meaning of the Mike Gravel presidential campaign.  A flow-chart should be drawn to explain where certain themes became prevalent and tactics became prominent.

When launched, I gathered he was setting out to advance a few relatively esoteric ideas he had been championing — most notably the National Initiative.  Whatever degree he ever had covarage, they tended to be pushed aside for more immediate items on the political cultural scene — which is to say, his anti-war credentials.  It got to the point where he disowned his tax proposal, more or less, when asked saying not to worry about that because no congress would ever pass it.

Rounding through the debate circuit — the stage set up gravitating toward a set up which moved from the center to the edges — Clinton and Obama, Edwards and Richardson, Dodd and Biden, and then Kucinich and Gravel — question time following this line of progression, and the point of his campaign became the message of not being allowed to speak, even as he became noted for robust barbs against his opponents.  Thus his mute youtube videos — minimalist one item of symbolism.  The last of the youtube videos — just after the cane came and pulled him off debate stage Vaudeville style, a rendition of “Give Peace a Chance”, holding his banishment from grace as coming due to him being the one taking on the Military Industrial Complex — and the duct tape pulled right onto his mouth.

But I suspect this all should be pushed aside for the real message, the bottom line, of Mike Gravel Candidate for President.  Asked whether he had ever had premaritial sex, he teased the question before gloating about his premariatial sex.  Thematically roll this to the proposal to lower the drinking age, and then toss in his words of wisdom to a high school audience last week — which was that you should not drink because smoking pot is better.

It is about the only Gravel is going to make news, if only minor blurbs.  I don’t think it can carry him that much farther, and of course electorally there is by definition no underaged sex-recreational drug- drunk voting block.  One could look at Gravel as either being the Uncle who is trying to hard to be cool with the kids, or as somehow addressing the America that we live in as opposed to the one we like to pretend we live in.  What platform he has to continue I do not know — maybe now these civic lessons teachings are the only platforms that will be available for him.

2 Responses to “On the sun-set of the Mike Gravel presidential campaign”

  1. Shawn Says:

    Way to “play telephone” with the already skewed sound bytes coming out of the corporate media.

    Gravel is a serious candidate with serious plans that can work. It is not his fault he did not get asked serious questions in the debates. It is not his fault that his words are taken out of context.

    He downplayed his fair tax initiative in that debate to point out the fact that nothing like that could make it through our gridlocked Congress. That is why he created the National Initiative, to let ordinary citizens push through reforms that their elected officials can not or will not.

    If you listen carefully, Gravel only *promises* to do things he can do unilaterally as President: Bring our troops home from Iraq starting the day he is inaugurated. Stop the enforcement of drug laws against otherwise non-criminal, non-violent users. Establish an Apollo like program to get off of oil. Make the executive branch of government as open as it possibly can be. Use the bully-pulpit of the presidency to rally people to vote for the National Initiative, and take back control over their government.

    What do the other candidate promise?

    Health care plans that bankrupt small business and lower-middle class people that don’t qualify for aid, but are mandated to purchase insurance. Hmm, mandated to purchase insurance, and insurance companies are donating huge sums to Clinton and Obama.

    They promise to bring the troops home. Except they will leave some there forever. And they really can’t even promise most of the combat troops will be out by 2013. Hillary and Obama want to protect “our vital interests” in the Middle East.

    They promise “change”. What is change? No one knows. Apparently it is something that doesn’t require cooperation in Congress, votes in the Senate, or money from our bankrupt federal coffers. Change, promised by Senators that have voted to continue funding the Iraq war, to give telephone companies immunity for spying on Americans, and to allow Guantanamo Bay to keep on doing what it does so well.

    Please. PLEASE… Take a second look at Mike Gravel’s platform. Line his lasting accomplishments as a Senator up next to Hillary’s and Obama’s (if you can find any). Did Hillary end the draft and expose the lies that led us into Vietnam? Did Obama build the Alaskan pipeline, where 20% of our oil comes from today? No, Gravel did. That, and a whole lot more.

    Or you can moo, chew your cud, and vote for who the corporate media tells you to vote for. You’ll have a lot of company, apparently.

  2. Justin Says:

    Keep the Dream alive. Mike Gravel for… um… something!

    Incidentally, I took a good long view of Mike Gravel’s Senate career on this blog back in March through … May?. It’s in the archives.

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