Thursday, March 27, 2008

Mike Gravel leaves the democrats

On Wednesday Mike Gravel announced that he was leaving the Democratic party and joining the Libertarian Party, with the intent of securing their nomination for president. While I don't think Gravel is a real libertarian(and that's mostly a good thing), I can easily understand his sentiment when he says "I didn't leave the democratic party, the democratic party left me." (see video, above)

Although I don't entirely agree with his platform, to me the fact that he's nearly 78 is the only shortcoming Gravel presents as a viable candidate. Yes, he's an unpolished debater and very few people take him seriously, but those are separate matters.(I also like his sense of humor, as evinced by the rock-in-the-lake video.)

If you live in a solidly red state like I do, it makes very little sense to vote for the democrat when the GOP will win all your state's electors, but a vote for Cynthia McKinney of the Green Party, or Gravel should he secure the Libertarian nomination, is a meaningful way to vote against the war, and doesn't strike me as any more of a "wasted vote" here than voting for the democratic nominee, especially one who's already hemmed and hawed about withdrawing from Iraq by 2012, as both HRC and Obama have.

Perhaps even less of a "wasted vote," if you think about it. In the past the Libertarian Party has always made the ballot here in Texas in presidential years, but the Greens weren't on the ballot here in 2004. The dynamic is substantially different in a place like, say, Wisconsin or Pennsylvania.

Given Gravel's historically important role in defending an open society[video], you'd think the mainstream press would have told you about Gravel's announcement. I didn't see anything about it on TV, but both the Washington Post and New York Times dealt with it using the new 21st century style of burying news on the back pages: by only discussing the news in their blogs.

WaPo, here, and NYT, here.

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