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babylonsister Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-16-07 08:04 AM
Original message
George McGovern Gets the Last Laugh
http://www.alternet.org/blogs/peek/56966/#more

George McGovern Gets the Last Laugh

Posted by Guest Blogger at 12:02 AM on July 16, 2007.

Al Eisele: As George McGovern celebrates his 85th birthday, history has proven he is no longer one of the biggest losers in American politics, but one of its biggest winners.



Thirty-five years after losing a landslide election to Richard Nixon and winning only one state -- Massachusetts -- that branded him as one of the biggest losers in American politics, George McGovern claimed his place in history as one of its biggest winners.

It was only appropriate and fitting that he did so with the help of Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein, the famed duo of reporters who disproved Nixon's claim that "I'm not a crook."

Woodward, speaking at a luncheon honoring McGovern on his 85th birthday on Saturday, said that after listening to hundreds of hours of secret Nixon White House tapes, "You realise that the character of Nixon becomes clearer. You see not only the criminality of his abuse of power but you see the dog that never barks, which is that he never says what would be the right thing to do, what would be good for the country?'"

McGovern, by contrast, Woodward said, illustrates "the irony of American politics," that he "asked exactly that question, 'What do the people want, what do they need, what would be good for the country?'"

Bernstein, Woodward's raffish former partner who is fresh off a revealing biography of Hillary Clinton, said, "There is so much in our political system and in our journalism that is about George McGovern, his legacy of decency, his absence of cynicism, his civility. ... We see where there's still hope and that's the life of George McGovern. Obviously, we need those McGovern rules more than ever today. ... I'm grateful for that lesson, and I think we all are."

McGovern, basking in the adulation of former aides and campaign workers,called this "the best day of my life, except maybe for the day I was nominated." Still recovering emotionally from the recent death of his wife Eleanor, the former South Dakota senator said, "I feel love in this room and it means more to me than anything."

more...
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liberal N proud Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-16-07 08:11 AM
Response to Original message
1. Saw an interview with him on Sunday he had a great line
"Nixon would have been better off if he (McGovern) would have won." Asked why he said, "He wouldn't have had to resign from office in disgrace"

It was great!
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Cooley Hurd Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-16-07 08:48 AM
Response to Original message
2. McGovern is a war hero and a great American who continues to be maligned...
...by the right-wing. :grr:

I made my political bones working on the McGovern campaign back in '72 (at the age of 7):
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babylonsister Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-16-07 08:50 AM
Response to Reply #2
3. Awww, anti-war from the get-go! Props to you! nt
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Cooley Hurd Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-16-07 08:57 AM
Response to Reply #3
4. I stuffed envelopes until my fingers ached....
...and left lit on doorsteps all over Auburn, NY (my hometown). I really felt I was doing something important & also knew my older brother was turning eighteen in '73, and I didn't want him to go to Vietnam. Not to mention Nixon gave me the creeps. :scared: ;)
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Douglas Carpenter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-17-07 01:26 AM
Response to Original message
5. thank you for this article about a Great Man
some quotes from Sen. McGovern's 1972 Acceptance speech at the Democratic Convention

" This is the time for truth, not falsehood. In a Democratic nation, no one likes to say that his inspiration came from secret arrangements by closed doors, but in the sense that is how my candidacy began. I am here as your candidate tonight in large part because during four administrations of both parties, a terrible war has been chartered behind closed doors.

I want those doors opened and I want that war closed. And I make these pledges above all others: the doors of government will be opened, and that war will be closed"

"I have no secret plan for peace. I have a public plan. And as one whose heart has ached for the past ten years over the agony of Vietnam, I will halt the senseless bombing of Indochina on Inauguration Day.

There will be no more Asian children running ablaze from bombed-out schools. There will be no more talk of bombing the dikes or the cities of the North.

And within 90 days of my inauguration, every American soldier and every American prisoner will be out of the jungle and out of their cells and back home in America where they belong."

And then let us resolve that never again will we send the precious young blood of this country to die trying to prop up a corrupt military dictatorship abroad."

---------

"From secrecy and deception in high places; come home, America

From military spending so wasteful that it weakens our nation; come home, America.

From the entrenchment of special privileges in tax favoritism; from the waste of idle lands to the joy of useful labor; from the prejudice based on race and sex; from the loneliness of the aging poor and the despair of the neglected sick -- come home, America.

Come home to the affirmation that we have a dream. Come home to the conviction that we can move our country forward.

Come home to the belief that we can seek a newer world, and let us be joyful in that homecoming, for this is your land, this land is my land -- from California to New York island, from the redwood forest to the gulf stream waters -- this land was made for you and me.

May God grant each one of us the wisdom to cherish this good land and to meet the great challenge that beckons us home.

This is the time."

------

link to full speech:

http://www.4president.org/speeches/mcgovern1972acceptan...

.



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morningglory Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-17-07 08:47 AM
Response to Reply #5
7. There is a documentary out on him. It is very good. n/t
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Douglas Carpenter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-17-07 10:31 AM
Response to Reply #7
11.  One Bright Shining Moment: The Forgotten Summer of George McGovern
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Tom Joad Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-17-07 02:06 AM
Response to Original message
6. 1st presidential campaign i ever worked for, if only briefly.
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progressoid Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-17-07 09:11 AM
Response to Original message
8. There is a new library named in his honor at Dakota Wesleyan University in Mitchell SD
At the entrance is a life size bronze statue of McGovern and his Wife.
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DeeDeeNY Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-17-07 09:31 AM
Response to Original message
9. First presidential election for me
McGovern had spoken at my college graduation, and I was so excited about him beating Nixon, which I was sure he would do. It's gratifying to see this respect, after so many years.
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Douglas Carpenter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-18-07 12:24 AM
Response to Reply #9
14. me too, I voted for him on my 18th birthday in the first election 18 year-olds could vote
very depressing evening though.

But the one time I could vote my conscience without nuance or reservations.
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Rambis Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-17-07 10:21 AM
Response to Original message
10. Great interview nobody saw
He was interviewed before the 2000 "election" on night line with Alan Cranston which aired at 1 am.


George McGovern....
"where has this idea that Democrats are weak on national defense come from? It is a made up lie by republican party and has no basis in fact" "I just don't understand it"

Alan Cranston agreed but it seemed to be said enough that people bought it.
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Scriptor Ignotus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-17-07 11:38 AM
Response to Original message
12. this was all way before my time
but I am curious about this McGovern fellow. I'll think I'll take some time today to poke around for more info. Thanks for posting this.
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groovedaddy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-17-07 12:14 PM
Response to Original message
13. I'm proud that I worked for him in '72
We had a great platform that year too!
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LeftishBrit Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-18-07 10:11 AM
Response to Original message
15. Glad he's continuing to stand up for his beliefs...
in spite of all the disappointments he must have had over the years - not only losing that election, but seeing the awful things various governments have done.

I wish he'd won that election instead of Nixon.
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