Kevin Drum on Mike Gravel and Dennis Kucinich

Kevin Drum advises those who want a noninterventionist, pro–civil liberties candidate to ditch Ron Paul and look elsewhere. I grew curious about what Drum had to say about the two least interventionist, most pro–civil liberties Democrats who ran for president in 2008.

Here’s Drum on Mike Gravel:

About halfway through last night’s debate I suddenly noticed that Mike Gravel was missing. What happened?

Democratic Presidential candidate Mike Gravel was forced to withdraw from the Oct. 30 Drexel debate after being unable to meet the required criteria for polling and fundraising. The criteria to participate are set by NBC news and include sufficient and polling requirements, as well as an actively documented campaign.

“There was no record that Gravel made more than five separate appearances in New Hampshire [and] Iowa, where the first caucuses will be held,” NBC News Political Director Chuck Todd said. Gravel’s campaign committee claims that he has made more appearances, but that his schedules were not released.

Thank God. I know lots of people support Gravel’s appearance in the debates based on some inchoate belief that “he deserves to be heard,” but not me. He’s not seriously running and he never has been, and the point of the debates is to give the public a look at actual candidates, not to give equal time to any crank who has a burning desire to mouth off to a national audience. That’s what blogs are for.

Good riddance, Mike. The court jester routine got stale a long time ago.

Emphasis mine. There’s plenty more of that in Drum’s archives. Drum mostly just ignored Kucinich, as far as I can tell, though he did say four months before the Iowa caucuses that Kucinich, Gravel, and the slightly antiwar, marginally pro–civil liberties Chris Dodd should “put their egos back into cold storage and stop wasting our time.”

It’s almost as if Kevin Drum considers noninterventionism and civil libertarianism themselves cranky.

10 thoughts on “Kevin Drum on Mike Gravel and Dennis Kucinich”

  1. 'Put their egos back in cold storage'? Sounds funny but what about the egos of Obama, Clinton, Romney, Gingrich et al? They don't have egos? Or maybe they've been covered up by $$$$$$$. Actually when someone speaks out for peace he or she is certain of one thing: that he/she will be humiliated and abused by the media. It's a sign that they have sacrificed their ego rather than the opposite.

  2. I remember gravel

    He was the one who made a campaign ad with him just staring at the camera without saying anyhing
    I agree with the assumption that he was not serious about running

    I'm not aware that he was actually antiwar. Most people in that election made vauge claims of ending wars. He didn't strike me as serious at all.

    Kucinich is a bit if a different story
    And certainly Ralph Nader is a very different story. Nader of course being the antiwar candidate with the most votes in any recent election. And yes that includes Ron Paul

  3. Well, Joe, I assume you are about 16 years old. When Mike Gravel was a US Senator, he was one of the strongest speakers against the war in Vietnam. He led an unsuccessful fight against reinstituting the military draft. He was also the one who was responsible for getting Daniel Ellsberg's Pentagon Papers read into the Congressional Record and making them public.

    1. I am in my 20's
      So you are correct that I was not around for the Vietnam stuff
      And yes, I try not to base my opinions on what heppened then because of it. I find that historical writings of poltical events tend to be wildly off base, and I can't imagine it was much better during the 70's.

      So yes, I'm very skeptical of 70's era vietnam protesters. Many were simply jumping on the bandwagon (like in the Bush years) and turned into yuppie sellouts the minute they got into the establishment

      I can only go by what I saw in 2008. And he was a joke. A youtube candidate that even his supporters were making fun of.

  4. MinnMouth and Joe, I'm 62 years old and I remember Mike Gravel. He ran a pro-war, red baiting campaign against Earnest Greuning, a real antiwar senator in 1968. He was an ardent supporter of the war when it counted. I could go on and on if anyone is listening.

    1. That's most certainly not how he campaigned in 2008, which is what's relevant here.

    2. Marty, I'm 71 and I believe you must be thinking of the wrong person. Gravel was never a red-baiter. And if you consider him, as one of the two Senators who voted against the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution and as the guy who led the fight against reinstituting the draft, as pro-war, perhaps you misunderstand the meaning of the term.

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