Mike Gravel For President!

Wait Wha???

DocuDharma and The Stars Hollow Gazette rarely make an endorsement of an individual candidate as our orientation is primarily policy and not personality. Hey, if you’re in favor of confiscatory wealth taxes (not as way out a Lefty idea as when I started talking about it) I’ll praise you for that and ignore your appalling ignorance of the finer points of Modern Monetary Theory (of course money is fake, been that way forever; the question is does it have utility as a medium of exchange?).

We do make exceptions for members who have contributed content like Mike Gravel.

Now if you remember Mike Gravel at all, it’s probably as the crusading Senator from Alaska who read the Pentagon Papers into the Congressional Record so they would be declassified and publically available. In case you forgot those were all about how JFK, LBJ, the CIA, and the DoD lied us into a military defeat (don’t forget that, doesn’t happen often, we usually win) that killed slightly over 58,000 U.S. Soldiers (a conservative estimate not including ARVN and Allies).

Where are my Legions Varus?

He’s also obnoxious in several other ways

Please help The Democracy Foundation tell America about direct democracy
By Mike Gravel, DocuDharma
Nov 09 2009

The National Initiative is very different from the initiative process that we have in the twenty four states around the country. Those states – you just qualify, everybody throws money at it, and the people vote. That is not a good way to make law. Law requires a deliberative process where you have hearings, markups, proper communications, and the like. And in that way, the people can make laws and properly deliberate the policy issues that affect their lives. And that’s what the National Initiative will be – it’s a meta-tool which we put in the hands of the people, so they will be able to then have an affect on how they are governed. It will be the first time that people will have a government “by the people,” because the people will become lawmakers.

The definition of freedom is the participation in power. Power in representative government is lawmaking. If you don’t make the laws, all you can do is obey the law or go to jail. And so if you really want to have freedom, what we have to do is to make ourselves lawmakers. And the only tool available to do that is the National Initiative. And this is a tool that will not be enacted by representative government, because it dilutes their power and they’re not about to empower the people.

And that’s the reason why we have been struggling with an organization called The National Initiative for Democracy, sponsored by The Democracy Foundation. And so that’s the reason why we’re making an appeal now for your help, to donate whatever you can afford so that we can pay for this documentary and then use this documentary as a device to inform people so that they’ll be aware of the potential of the National Initiative as a tool to empower them to have a more meaningful role in the governing of their lives.

Marjah is not Iwo Jima
By Mike Gravel, DocuDharma
Apr 05 2010

I’m standing in front of the Iwo Jima Memorial, and I’m blessed to live a block away, in fact, from my balcony I can look down at the Iwo Jima Memorial.

What this memorial represents is a sacrifice our young men have given for the safety of this country. Today we are visited with threats to our safety, but they’re of a different kind. They’re not of the kind of the Second World War, nor are they of the kind of the Cold War. What we have today is global terrorism.

Terrorism is not addressed with large armies, large military expenditures. It is addressed with a global intelligence effort where countries share their knowledge of the terrorists regardless of where they are. And then, with that kind of arrangement, we can prosecute and bring to justice these terrorists after they’ve committed a crime, and even before, when they’re plotting to commit a crime.

Now, that’s what we need more of, not what we presently have, which of course, is expenditures for jet fighters, for all kinds of hardware that was relevant in the Cold War, but is not relevant today. We spend more on defense, or war-making capability, than the rest of the world put together. And we now involve ourselves with two wars. One in Iraq, which was a fraudulent undertaking, and one in Afghanistan that need not be persued. We’re fighting for a country that is rampant with corruption.

And the same thing in Iraq: rampant with corruption. But they’ve taken our precious tax dollars and put it out in these countries so that these warlords, so that these people can be bribed and go out to the Arabian Peninsula and buy expensive homes and live off of the tax dollars that Americans have put forth. This is not a foreign policy that will lead to success. It will lead to the bankruptcy of the American people.

Now, keep in mind what we have is a situation where we spend more on defense than all the rest of the world put together. And the American people don’t even act as if they care. Now, that is a reflection, not only on the brainwashing that’s taken place, but it’s a reflection on the perceptions that Americans have about their role in the world.

A needed voice in the House
By Mike Gravel, DocuDharma
Jun 07 2010

I am endorsing Marcy Winograd in her race to represent California’s 36th District in Congress. She is a true progressive who will stand up to the military industrial complex, the medical industrial complex, and other corporate interests in Washington. Marcy is genuine in her concern for the people.

Marcy particularly understands the damage war profiteers and others who want to keep the war economy do to our country. As my friend Dan Ellsberg said in an earlier endorsement of Marcy, she was personally involved in the release of the Pentagon Papers. When I released the Pentagon Papers into the Senate record, I directly challenged the warmongers who benefit from the killing. Marcy Winograd would bring that spirit to the House. She can stand up against powerful special interests and for the poor, the veterans, the civilians, and others that war hurts.

Marcy Winograd represents the best the Democratic Party has to offer. Her opponent Jane Harman is just another Washington hawk disconnected from the real consequences of her Congressional votes. In 2007, during the Democratic presidential debates, I said that someone who made the political decision of voting to approve the Iraq War was not qualified to be President. I can comfortably extend that sentiment to the House of Representatives, and Harman did vote for the Iraq War. Keeping Harman in office strengthens war profiteers like Halliburton, General Electric, and others in their unhealthy quest for power.

Therefore, I urge the voters of California’s 36th district to cast their vote, and volunteer, for Democrat Marcy Winograd in tomorrow’s primary. If you do not live in California, a donation is still a worthwhile investment.

So as you can see this National Referendum/Direct Democracy deal is a big thing for him, I don’t necessarily agree (Prop 13) but certainly in the range of acceptable opinion on these pages (what would be unacceptable? We could start with “Jews Will Not Replace Us,” and descend into moderation hell one step at a time, I used to write tomes about this you know).

Today, at 89 years of age, Mike Gravel is still as sharp as a tack and still causing trouble.

Your average centrist politician is an amoral, soulless husk who wouldn’t be fit to babysit. Do people think Bill Clinton – who watched a mentally disabled man die so that he could get racists’ votes – could care less about them? Is Hillary any different? Booker? Harris? Biden?

Sen. Mike Gravel (@MikeGravel) May 4, 2019

Are These Teenagers Really Running a Presidential Campaign? Yes. (Maybe.)
By Jamie Lauren Keiles, The New York Times
June 6, 2019

Their plan was to trade the standard Democratic playbook for the equally peculiar norms of far-left Twitter. They angled for donors with tweets like, “The neoliberal dream is someone who is smooth and cool and looks dignified in all the official photos and also crushes Arabs’ skulls on the weekend,” or, “Pete Buttigieg is what you get when Patrick Bateman decides to pursue politics instead of banking.” Where most politicians were likely to sense danger, the Teens saw only retweets and likes. When one detractor suggested that people donate to him instead of to Mike Gravel, the Teens sent him $20 of their own money via PayPal. (He was freaked out, but onlookers loved it.) When another skeptic joked, “I’m going to get Mike Gravel to post ‘Trans Rights uwu,’ ” @MikeGravel replied, “Trans Rights uwu.” The extent to which the octogenarian appreciated “uwu” — an emoticon signifying superprecious joy — was unclear. In any case, it received more than 3,500 likes.

Through this kind of haphazard interaction, @MikeGravel began to find fans. Beyond the comic incongruity of an old man’s tweeting like a teenager, fans seemed to revel in the overarching strangeness of a candidate’s commenting directly on an issue, or a candidate’s replying to any tweet at all. Followers named themselves #GravelGang or #Gravelanche — a portmanteau that relies on mispronouncing the candidate’s name, which rhymes with lapel, not gavel. (Gravel himself prefers #Gravelistas.) Out of this new constituency, Williams and Oks assembled a volunteer campaign staff. Some of these staff members, who now number 80, work from their day jobs, sending out campaign missives on the clock with a free version of the email service MailChimp.

Gravel’s platform, the most detailed of any Democratic candidate’s, includes a vast slate of issues that poll well with young voters: immigration reform, student-debt forgiveness, a Green New Deal, military-spending cuts, a policy of nonaggression abroad. Oks and Williams call Gravel a few times a week to approve any additions to the slate. Because Gravel isn’t really trying to be president, he can also afford to openly support reparations, the decriminalization of sex work and the end of “Israeli apartheid” — policies considered urgent on the far left but largely ignored or rejected by the Democratic Party. His website, MikeGravel.org, hosts discrete pages for 47 issues. Pete Buttigieg, by contrast, introduced his own website with zero. (Buttigieg has since added his own issues page.) On Instagram, the Mike Gravel page taunted, “Good morning @pete.buttigieg did you finish your policy page yet it’s due today you can copy mine dude just hurry.”

Broadly speaking, the Mike Gravel campaign is part of the same Democratic Socialist moment that elected Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez in 2018 and nearly nominated Bernie Sanders in 2016. If Gravel seemed like a sideshow in 2008, then today — post-recession, post-Occupy, post-Trump — his campaign represents the most absurd form of a legitimate movement on the left that feels little obligation to the Democratic Party. Among this young, emergent class of leftists, change is enacted through local organizing efforts, and discourse tends to play out on Twitter, where news, and the organizations that produce it, are subject to daily systemic critique. The rise of leftist discourse on Twitter has helped to hone a new political humor that undergirds the @MikeGravel campaign. The target of this humor is not President Trump but rather what the far left sees as a defeatist and servile center-left that values compromise over belief and denigrates the social reforms beloved by the very same voters it seeks.

These values are ingrained in the center-left’s own humor, exemplified by late-night hosts’ trying to outreason Trump by fact-checking his tweets or calling him names like a lying orange Cheeto. If center-left humor says that Trump can be outwitted — despite what the overwhelming evidence suggests — then far-left humor is much more concerned with mocking the kind of political system that says you have to argue with someone like him at all. Williams describes this strain of humor as “a kind of postmodern ironic detachment, coupled with real earnestness.” Often this particular earnestness is vulgar, using bluntness as an antidote to self-regard. When I asked one #Gravelanche supporter what he thought of the candidate Kamala Harris, a former attorney general of California, he suggested that she “would be a good secret-police chief.” When I asked him what he thought of older voters, he said: “Older people are going to be dead in 10 years, so they just want their tax money and [expletive] to buy kangaroo-skin dildos.”

Oks and Williams have permission to use the twitter feed, but “Don’t tweet anything I wouldn’t say.” It’s like TMC giving the same warning to me. A lot of people don’t understand I’m the voice of moderation around these parts, a relative “centrist” myself because of my support of the Connecticut Compromise.

Still, I’ve been here since, well, ever, and I’m allowed a certain amount of latitude for my eccentricities including my 18th Century Conservatism.

Gravel’s campaign is no joke at all and I’m interested to see how much traction it actually gains. Had you told me 4 years ago that the 2020 Democratic Field would be fighting on Sanders plowed ground I would have accused you of cock-eyed optimism, but here we are.

Mike Gravel, 2020’s oddest Democratic presidential candidate, explained
By Dylan Scott, Vox
Jun 26, 201

The Democratic presidential campaign so far has been preoccupied with the idea of electability. The whole premise of Joe Biden’s campaign is that he can beat Donald Trump. Kamala Harris, Pete Buttigieg, Beto O’Rourke, and other candidates have predicated their White House bids on a generational contrast with Trump. Elizabeth Warren is hoping that the candidate with a detailed plan for what they’d do as president can break through with the primary voters.

But Gravel is distinct. When he entered the race, winning wasn’t even on the agenda. He (and his industrious young assistants) wanted to leave a mark on the debate. And while the infrastructure of his campaign might sound like the set-up for a late-night monologue joke, the point Gravel wants to make is deadly serious.

Gravel is the anti-war, anti-“American foreign policy for the last 50 years” candidate. Some of his priorities are the same as every other Democrat: He wants to rejoin the Paris climate agreement and the Iran nuclear deal. But he also wants to end unilateral sanctions against other sovereign nations. He wants to close every American base in a foreign territory and cut US military spending by 50 percent.

He wants to end American aid to Israel and Saudi Arabia. Mike Gravel, it is safe to say, says things you won’t see almost any other candidate say.

Gravel has bona fides, dating back to his 12 years in the Senate from 1969 to 1981. He filibustered to try to end the draft during the Vietnam War. He read the Pentagon Papers into the congressional record. He opposed nuclear testing. After leaving office, he was an opponent of the Iraq war and criticized Barack Obama for his drone strike campaign.

Look, he is a character. Gravel oddly campaigned for the vice presidential nomination in 1972. He ran for president in 2008 after nearly 30 years out of office, getting a viral moment for his troubles, and then pursued the Libertarian Party’s nomination when he quickly fell out of the Democratic running. He has talked about putting every piece of legislation up for a nationwide ballot referendum. Then a couple of teenagers convinced him to quote-unquote run for president again.

But, as an uncompromising anti-war candidate, he’s still an interesting voice in the debate. Bernie Sanders didn’t formulate much of a foreign policy message in 2016 and, while he has worked to flesh out his platform, the left still really hasn’t pulled together a cohesive foreign policy message.

Mike Gravel almost certainly isn’t going to be the next president. But he could give a voice to the anti-war left in a primary hurting for bigger and bolder ideas about how to reorient American foreign policy.

Now Mike won’t be on the stage tonight, but that puts him in the same boat as Steve Bullock and Seth Moulton who both get more Press than they deserve by being “Centrist” though they’re no more likely to be the next President than our contributor.

I count that another sin by the Democratic National Committee and it’s cast of Neo Liberal DLC Blue Dog Third Way Not Really a Democrat nor interested in a positive agenda for anyone who’s not a product of the current corrupt system or “democratic” institutions at all actually, thieves and liars.

Don’t waste your vote. Mike Gravel is your guy.