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Mike Gravel could have challenged Clinton to filibuster to end this war

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In my previous piece chastising the Iowa Republican Party concerning their non-inclusion of Congressman Ron Paul in an upcoming debate to be fair and balanced, I noticed that in last night’s Democratic debate absent was former Senator Mike Gravel.  I do not care how he is polling and what funds he has raised, the public had a right to hear his views especially when it comes to the Iraq War and any possible war with Iran.


Many of the Democratic candidates spoke of how they would end the war and again, I will state, former Senator Gravel could have told each senator currently holding a senate seat how they could do so now.  As I have written of before all it takes is 41 senators to support a filibuster to end this war.  The former Senator single-handedly filibustered to end the draft when it came to the Viet Nam war and saved countless lives in the process.  He choked off the military personnel being offered up to the Nixon administration and all of which led to the end of that heinous war.  The same needs to be done in this war as well.


He could have stated to the front-runner, Senator Hillary Clinton: Why aren’t you filibustering to end this war given the fact you have said power?  I would have loved to have heard any response coming from the senator since she is my senator.  While she was back in her game last night having recovered from the driver’s license issue that has dominated the news not only within my state but clear across the nation, he could have challenged her further thereby not allowing her to recover any lost ground.


Democrats especially the ones in power love to say they are the inclusive party, yet they excluded someone from this debate and I find that unfair to the American electorate.

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As I was watching this feed where Mrs. Elizabeth Kucinich was speaking to a group at the Mercury Café in Denver, Colorado, she said something remarkable about her husband about having walked the walk.  Well the same could be said of Mike Gravel in walking the walk to end one war.


In this feed, Mrs. Kucinich says “the only thing that makes Dennis un-electable is an electorate that does not believe in itself” and quite frankly, I believe that as well.  She also states that this race is a “call to courage” and that too rang so true.  Yet, the Democrats showed anything but as they excluded Mike Gravel from that debate.


In past debates, Mike Gravel challenged the top-tier candidates and I feel they should have been challenged more to bring enlightenment to this campaign.  Which is another point brought out by Mrs. Kucinich.  If we are going to grow as a democracy we need the light to be shed in all areas that are important to our very survival as a republic.

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To shed light of how Governor Eliot Spitzer came to his decision not to issue licenses to illegal immigrants I am going to be blunt in my belief that he came to this decision on the heels of this debate. Senator Clinton could have been questioned further concerning her recent comments where on one hand she supported it and on the other hand tried to distance herself.  I noticed in last night’s debate when asked by Wolf Blitzer who amongst the candidates supported this program, she gave an affirmative “No”.  Note to my senator, Senator Clinton, I do not believe you and quite frankly, I do not think that many within New York State believe you as well.  Why do I believe this?  She voted in favor of the comprehensive package on immigration reform along with my other senator, Chuck Schumer.


While I was glad to see the second-tier candidates such as Senators Biden and Dodd as well as Governor Richardson given more time, still former Senator Mike Gravel should have taken part in this debate.


As an independent with no party affiliation, I have no dog in this race since I cannot vote for any of them in the upcoming primaries; I would have liked to hear more coming from Cong. Kucinich.  You could see through his facial expressions his annoyance at not being questioned as much as the others.  At least he brought up the fact that he brought to the floor an impeachment bill.  That resounded at cheers coming from the audience.   


In watching Lou Dobbs each night concerning the goods coming from China and how dangerous many of them are since many of these products do not meet U.S. safety standards, I would have valued Kucinich’s opinion on NAFTA, CAFTA and the WTO.  Those are important trade agreements that do affect each and every American.  In fact prior to NAFTA being signed by former President Bill Clinton, H. Ross Perot stated of this agreement you would “hear a giant sucking sound” should it come to pass and how correct he was.  Americans are losing their jobs and livelihoods due to outsourcing.  We are being bled dry by these trade agreements.  We have become a debtor nation.  What security do we have as a nation when we are beholden financially to countries such as Japan, China and Mexico?  On the Republican side, Congressman Ron Paul has also been outspoken against these trade agreements.


When his wife spoke of courage, one must congratulate Kucinich in bringing impeachment to the floor since Speaker of the House; Nancy Pelosi has continually stated that any impeachment of Bush was “Off the table” She might as well put it back on the table since many of the bills passed by the house have been vetoed by Bush. Yes, I realize that this too will go no where; at least it would result in investigations in which the American people can see for themselves the illegality of this war, the wiretaps and yes torture.


With the demise of the illegal immigration bills that came to the senate twice, it was stopped dead in its tracks by the American electorate as they phoned into their senators.  Maybe as a result of opening up investigative proceedings on the floor of the house and senate, the same ground swell can come forth by the American people to impeach this president.  It may bring pressure to bear on those Republican senators who would look to block any impeachment of President Bush, Vice President Cheney or both.  At least we the American people would see some productivity coming from congress.  Maybe their dismal polling numbers would rise.

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I do think a disservice was done to the American electorate especially independents like me when a former Senator was excluded from this debate.  Democracy in my eyes is where we hear from all corners concerning the destiny of this republic.  Former Senator Mike Gravel should have been included in that debate period.  As an American I have every right to hear of his opinions as do all Americans.  At least he knew how to stop a war dead in its tracks and one must ask: Where is the courage of these other senators when it counts most to the American people. 


We are broke and we cannot continue to fund this war for years to come.  More importantly we cannot even think of waging war with Iran.  That is something that former Senator Mike Gravel has often warned us against as he spoke in prior debates challenging both Senators Clinton and Obama.  But, what did Senator Clinton do?  She voted in favor of the Kyl/Lieberman resolution.  As Obama chided her, let it be known he did not even vote up or down concerning that resolution.  At least Senators Dodd and Biden showed the temerity in not voting in favor of it.


Author’s email address is, xmjmac@optonline.net


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I am a writer who currently writes pieces for my own blog http://www.mary-macelveen.blogspot.com I have been published by Buzzflash.com, TheLiberalPatriot.org and MikeHersh.com. I was a guest on the Jay Diamond Radio Show on WRKO in Boston and have (more...)

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