Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Gravel Goes Green

Of the original contenders for the Democratic nomination, John Edwards was the candidate of “real (progressive) change” and Dennis Kucinich won on all the issues. But I liked Mike Gravel because he wasn’t afraid to tell the rest of them, Hillary especially, that they are full of shit. [For good or ill, he put the point more civilly, but his message was clear.]

Since it was plain that Obama would trounce Clinton in the Maryland primary, I felt free to vote for Gravel – though I’m not sure what that meant since all the pledged delegates on my ballot were committed to either Clinton or Obama (with the exception of one for Edwards, who had already withdrawn, and one “uncommitted.”) Anyway, I’m glad I did vote for him, especially this morning. Don’t expect to read much about it in the corporate media or to hear about it on NPR, but today Mike Gravel announced that he would be supporting Jesse Johnson of the West Virginia Mountain Party for the Green Party nomination for President. The press release didn’t quite say so, but the clear implication was that he’d support the Green nominee, whoever it is, over the Democrat. Since Gravel lives (and, I presume, votes) in Virginia, a likely “swing state” in November, that’s a brave choice. He’s evidently less of a lesser evilest than I am. More power to him!

Meanwhile, the Clintons continue to make voting against Democrats more problematic by continuing to show their inherent baseness and, in doing so, to boost John McCain’s chances of victory. The latest: it seems that they’ll let Geraldine Ferraro’s suggestion that Obama is an affirmative-action candidate stand, though in a typically weasel way – rejecting the contention, but keeping its purveyor on board . Geraldine (as in “Neat and Clean for Geraldine” or what that some other, better Gene?) was adept, even back in 1984, for putting her foot in her mouth. Back when she was the affirmative action VP nominee in a campaign Walter Mondale was destined to lose in every state but his own, she made a sarcastic remark about Italian men when her husband was caught in some shady real estate scheme. That got Mondale into trouble; diminishing his already dim prospects further. The beat goes on.

As I’ve written countless times, the reason to prefer Obama to Clinton (though not necessarily to vote for him, when there’s no harm in not voting for him) is not his politics (which are probably not much better) and not his vacuous talk of “change,’ but the likelihood that, when he is President, fewer Clintonites will be restored to power. Geraldine Ferraro is only a dunce, not a Henry Kissinger wannabe like Richard Holbrooke. But she’s typical of the kind of “help” the Clintons attract. The evidence for my contention mounts. Too bad that, in the process, gestures like Gravel’s become more problematic to carry out.

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