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Thu Jul 19, 2012, 08:47 PM

Charles P. Pierce Politics Blog: "Happy Birthday, George McGovern" A wonderful tribute! [View all]

http://www.esquire.com/blogs/politics/george-mcgovern-birthday-10818938

The man whom Bobby Kennedy called "the most decent man in the Senate" turns 90 today.

The worst thing that ever happened to the Democratic party in this country is that, when McGovern lost so big to history's yard waste in 1972, the rest of the party was complicit in turning him and the politics he represented into a punchline for the next 20 years. He was the template. He was the first war-hero Democrat you don't fly 35 missions in a B-24 and come away with a DFC without a big clanging pair of brass ones, kids who was accused of being a wimp by a flock of chickenhawks. (Ronald Reagan? Who kept the bar at the Brown Derby safe from Nazi occupation? Please to be giving me a break.) He was the first liberal Democrat against whom other opportunistic Democrats bragged about running. He was turned into a synonym for something he was not. He was the vehicle through which Democrats taught other Democrats to be terrified of all their best instincts and all their best policies. Through it all, he remained exactly what Bobby Kennedy said he was, and more.

And, just for the eternal historical record, because of the invaluable work of Stanley Kutler, we find that, on July 19, 1972, George McGovern's 50th birthday, the man he was running against had a meeting with his aide, Chuck Colson, in which they chatted amiably about how the Watergate cover-up was going as regards Howard Hunt, the White House aide who hired and supervised the burglars.

Nixon: What's will he say then?

Colson: Well, if he's properly coached and he's got a good lawyer, I think he is the one guy I figure will take the rap, take the heat, and will not speak.


Nixon is dead. Colson is dead. Hunt is dead. The most decent man in the Senate turns 90 today.

Sometimes, god's on duty.


Great comments at the link, too.

McGovern in '72 was my first general election vote. And as one of the commenters on Pierce's blog says, it was the one time I voted FOR a candidate.

sw

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Reply Charles P. Pierce Politics Blog: "Happy Birthday, George McGovern" A wonderful tribute! [View all]
scarletwoman Jul 2012 OP
femmocrat Jul 2012 #1
Douglas Carpenter Jul 2012 #2
scarletwoman Jul 2012 #3
RainDog Jul 2012 #4
scarletwoman Jul 2012 #5
chieftain Jul 2012 #6
Douglas Carpenter Jul 2012 #7
scarletwoman Jul 2012 #8
Douglas Carpenter Jul 2012 #12
midnight Jul 2012 #9
WorseBeforeBetter Jul 2012 #10
senseandsensibility Jul 2012 #11