After exchanging comments with one of the grammar and spelling challenged perennial candidates I highlighted previously (as a comedic break) in my “Other (Less Known) Democrats I won't vote for” blog post, I got to wondering if you had to have some sort of brain damage or a learning disability in order to run for president as a democrat.
So, tonight I am blogging about why I will not vote for the only self confessed dyslexic candidate. I am only doing so I can finish off my collection of blog posts about Democrat candidates I will not vote for. Although, I give this fired and bankrupt senator less of a chance of making it past the primaries than Dal "Tweezerman" LaMagna, at least his campaign staff figured out how to get him on the stage for some of the debates.
Tonight’s Topic: Why I will not vote for Mike Gravel.
So, who is Mike Gravel? Good question. And unless you lived in Alaska between the late 1950's to the late 1970s or you rode the short yellow bus to school with Mikey when he was a wee lad you most likely don’t know him except as one of the book ends that stands on the stage during the Democrat debates.
Meet Mike Gravel:
Maurice Robert "Mike" Gravel is a former Democratic United States Senator from Alaska, having served for two terms (1969 to 1981). He is primarily known for his efforts to lose the Vietnam War and for using his position as Senator to make military plans part the public record. He is currently a candidate for the 2008 Democratic nomination for President of the United States.
He was raised in a working class neighborhood and his immigrant parents sent him to parochial schools as a Roman Catholic, attending Assumption College Preparatory School.
Gravel studied for one year at American International College in Springfield, then enlisted in the United States Army in 1951 and served in West Germany as a Special Adjutant in the Communication and Intelligent Services and as a Special Agent in the Counter Intelligence Corps until 1954. A dyslexic, who talks about his learning disability openly, he attended Columbia University's School of General Studies in New York City, a B.S. in 1956. He drove a taxicab to support himself.
In a classic Gravel move of leaping before you look, he moved to Alaska in 1956, without funds or a job, looking for a place where an extreme liberal like him could be a viable candidate for public office. He found work in several areas, including real estate sales, brakeman for the Alaska Railroad, and property development with very limited success.
Gravel married local beauty queen, Rita Jeannette Martin,("Miss Fur Rendezvous" of 1958) on April 29, 1959. In the early 1960’s, they had two children, Martin Anthony Gravel and Lynne Denise Gravel. In the early 1980s, she divorced him and won all of his Senate pension income in the settlement.
Gravel’s political career so far has been exercise in mediocrity. he ran unsuccessfully for the territorial legislature in 1958. He went on a national speaking tour concerning tax reform in 1959, sponsored by the Jaycees. He ran unsuccessfully for the Anchorage City Council in 1960. He ran for the Alaska House of Representatives representing Anchorage in 1962 and won his first political office.
Gravel served in the Alaska House of Representatives from 1963 to 1966, winning re-election in 1964. During 1965 and 1966, he served as the Speaker of the House. He did not run for re-election in 1966, instead choosing leap before looking and run for Alaska's seat in the U.S. House of Representatives. He of course lost to incumbent Democrat Ralph Rivers.
In 1968 he ran a deceitful campaign against the 81-year-old incumbent Democratic Senator Ernest Gruening, a former governor of the Alaska Territory who was considered one of the fathers of Alaska's statehood, for Democrat party's nomination to the U.S. Senate. Gravel's campaign was based on the heavy use of well-produced television advertisements, and by being deliberately ambiguous about his Vietnam policy (Gruening had been one of only two Senators to vote against the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution..) According to Gravel, "...all I had to do was stand up and not deal with the subject, and people would assume that I was to the right of Ernest Gruening, when in point of fact I was to the left of him." Gravel unexpectedly beat Gruening in a tight result in the primary and went on to win the general election, with less than half of the vote.
In 1974 Gravel was re-elected to the Senate, winning 58% of the vote against 42% for Republican C. R. Lewis. But by 1980, the Alaskan people had come to their collective senses and booted him out of office. In 1980 Gravel was challenged for the Democratic Party's nomination by State Representative Clark Gruening (the grandson of the man Gravel had deceitfully defeated in a primary 12 years earlier). Gruening won the primary.
Gravel had never established a firm party base. A group of Democrats (including future governor Steve Cowper) led the campaign against Gravel. Gravel not doing what was best for his people (actions against 1978 and 1980 lands bills in Alaska)was a major issue. Gravel would later concede that by the time of his defeat, he had alienated "almost every constituency in Alaska." Gruening went on to lose in the general election to Republican Frank Murkowski. To date, Gravel is the last Democrat to represent Alaska in Congress.
Gravel took the 1980 defeat hard, recalling years later: "I had lost my career. I lost my marriage. I was in the doldrums for ten years after my defeat." During the 1980s, Gravel was a real estate developer in Anchorage and Kenai, Alaska, a consultant, and a stockbroker. One of his real estate ventures, a condominium business, was forced to declare bankruptcy and a lawsuit ensued.
Gravel married his second wife, Whitney Stewart Gravel in 1984. They live in Arlington County, Virginia. In the 2000s, Gravel suffered from serious health issues, requiring three surgeries in 2003 for back pain and neuropathy.
In June 2003 Gravel gave a speech on direct democracy at a conference cosponsored by the Barnes Review (a journal that endorses Holocaust denial.)
In 2004 he declared personal bankruptcy.
In 2007, he declared that he has "zero net worth." (Financially, politically, morally, and intelligently I would say.)
So where does this bankrupt “never was” stand on the issues?
Taxation: Like most Democrats he wants more of your tax money. And I can guarantee you that he would be irresponsible with your money just like he has been with his own. One of his bright ideas is to create a national sales tax of between tax inclusive 19 and 23 percent on newly manufactured items and services. (Funny, he seems to forget that the American Revelation was started over a tax placed on common products.)
National health care: In his campaign pronouncements Gravel identified medical costs as “one of the leading causes of bankruptcies”. He is an advocate for a national, universal single-payer not-for-profit health care system in the United States. But has no reasonable plan for how to pay for it. (Seeing how he is bankrupt and in failing health, he probably is the candidate most likely to need it.)
Energy, environment and climate change: Senator Gravel has advocated that carbon energy should be taxed to provide the funding for a global effort to bring together the world's scientific and engineering communities to develop energy alternatives to significantly reduce the world’s energy dependence on carbon. (So, he wants to tax only the US to pay for a global effort. Typical.)
Gay Agenda: Gravel had explicitly stated his support of the full range of gay civil rights including same-sex marriage recognition, opposition to Don't ask, don't tell policy, extension of the scope and effect of hate crimes legislation to cover hate violence against gays and lesbians, and the removal of all other remaining legal discrimination against gay people.
Drug policy, including marijuana: Senator Gravel has stated that drug abuse should be treated as a medical problem rather than a criminal matter and that marijuana should be sold in stores next to alcohol. When asked his policy would be on cocaine and methamphetamine. He responded, "We need to legalize the regulation of drugs. The drug problem is a public health problem. It’s not a criminal problem” (So will his health care program pay for me to become addicted to meth?)
Stem cell research: Gravel in principle (or rather lack there of) does not object to the use of embryonic stem cells for medical research purposes.
Abortion: Gravel is avowedly pro-abortion. Concerning the legality of the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act of 2003, he issued the following statement "I am opposed to today's ruling or any ruling that places restrictions on reproductive freedom.”
Immigration: Gravel has said that he disfavors wholesale or widespread deportation of illegal immigrants found residing in the United States. He favors bringing existing illegal immigrants into legal status.
Israel: Gravel wants the US to sponsor direct negotiations between Israel and all Palestinian factions, including terrorist groups like Hamas. He support for a Palestinian state to exist alongside Israel (Like that will work.) He wants the US to act as a guarantor for the demilitarization of Israel's border with a future Palestinian state Gravel wants the US to commit to help raise the economic standards in a future Palestinian State to compare with those in Israel. (He not only wants to create a terrorist nation but wants to fund it as well.)
Nuclear Weapons: He wants to get rid of the US’s nuclear first-strike ability. And wants to cut the number of nuclear devices in US hands to a couple of hundred
Iraq: (Yep he is a surrender monkey.) He and all the Islamic terrorist in the world want the Immediate US military withdrawal from Iraq and support for a UN-sponsored regional peace process. Because Lord knows the UN was doing such a good job enforcing the Suctions it passed against Iraq.
Of the Seven Dwarfs running against Snow White for the Democrat nod. I would have to say he most resembles Sleepy.
Gravel has lost touch with the political world of the last 25 years since last held office. But he needs a job badly since he is bankrupt and lost his pension to his first wife. I would suggest he apply for a job at Wal*mart. I hear they are hiring door greeters.
He is a cookie cutter left wing liberal. He has no sense of financial responsibility.
And I will not vote for Mike Gravel.