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[From the Frog Pond]

Anyone who is old enough to be traumatized by George McGovern's enormous loss in the 1972 election is also old enough to have learned the wrong lessons from the Clinton/Bush era.  McGovern was right.  McGovern was a war hero.  McGovern would have made a great President.  But there is a whole generation of nominally left-leaning Democrats that were so damaged by the 1972 election that they have spent the intervening thrity-four years looking to explain away McGovernism as some kind of un-American anomaly (paging Joe Klein). I'm tired of it.  Finally, someone in the mainstream media seems to kind of get it.  Harold Meyerson recalls that Edmund Muskie was the early front-runner in that campaign and he has a warning for Hillary Clinton.

A specter was haunting Hillary Clinton as she campaigned in New Hampshire this weekend: the specter of Ed Muskie.

As the ancient or merely studious among us will recall, the Democratic senator from Maine, who'd been Hubert Humphrey's running mate in 1968, entered his party's presidential contest in 1972 as the front-runner. His prospects were dashed in the New Hampshire snows, however. As popular memory has it, an indignant Muskie started crying while refuting a silly attack on him (though whether he was genuinely upset or merely sniffling during a frigid outdoor news conference was never authoritatively resolved). Muskie's more serious problem, however, was the Vietnam War, which he opposed.

His opposition, though, had none of the fervor or long-term consistency of another Democratic senator and presidential aspirant, George McGovern. By 1972, seven years had elapsed since the United States had sent ground forces to Vietnam, and Richard Nixon, through his invasion of Cambodia and stepped-up bombing campaigns, had made clear that the road to de-escalation would entail periodic escalations, at least as long as he was president. The Democratic base was in no mood for temporizing on Vietnam.

Party voters wanted out, and they wanted a nominee who'd been right on the war (almost) from the start: McGovern. Sic transit gloria Muskie.

Today, Hillary Clinton seems almost uncannily positioned to become the Ed Muskie of 2008. She opposes the U.S. military presence in Iraq but not with the specificity, fervor or bona fides of her leading Democratic rivals. As Muskie did with Vietnam, she supported the legislation enabling the U.S. invasion of Iraq, and she has been slower and more inconstant than her party rivals in coming around to opposing the continued U.S. occupation.

Meyerson goes on to point out that Nixon won, not by running against McGovern, but by running against the social tumult, the riots, the Blank Panthers, Altamount, the freaks, the Mansons, the disorienting changes in sexual mores, the general social tumult.  The Republicans will not have that luxury this time.  We're too busy with our iPods and stock portfolios to cause that kind of consternation.  As Meyerson notes:

...should Americans still be fighting and dying in Iraq when the next election rolls around, the Democrats probably could win with Dennis Kucinich as their nominee.

And it might be the truth.  If it is the truth, it only points out much more strongly how wrong it is to fight the new campaign only with reference to the old one.  This election is going to provide the first chance since 1972 for a truly progressive revolution.  If we stay in Iraq, there is almost no telling how sweeping our electoral victories might be.  And there is no telling how widely the 'electability' of the candidates might be expanded, or just how irrelevant the media might be in dictating the outcome.  

The only thing that might save the Republicans is the kind of actual social unrest that causes a law and order backlash.  But right now, I'm not seeing it.  Instead, I see Hillary 'Muskie' Clinton heading blindly into a buzzsaw that is going to chew her, and anyone that is replaying 1972 in their minds, into little bitty pitiful pieces.

Originally posted to www.boomantribune.com on Tue Feb 13, 2007 at 08:47 PM PST.

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Comment Preferences

  •  It'd be nice... (12+ / 0-)

    Nevertheless, this doesn't mean we should underestimate the power of the Clinton machine. Hell, Joe Lieberman was able to get re-elected because he convinced Nutmeggers that he was for getting us out of Iraq as soon as possible. Given that Clinton has an even better media machine working for her, it's going to be that much more difficult.

    Progressive Wave
    "Inconvenient truths do not go away just because they are not seen." -Al Gore

    by PsiFighter37 on Tue Feb 13, 2007 at 08:46:10 PM PST

      •  good diary (0+ / 0-)

        Tweety was talking about this last night. the muskie comparison

        Hillary is going the Lieberman route of confusing everyone by spinning effectively via the MSM

        Why do Murdoch and Trump like Hillary?

        by inevitibility on Wed Feb 14, 2007 at 05:00:41 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  If Hillary Clinton can leave a legacy (0+ / 0-)

        as wonderous as Muskie's, she'll go down as one of the greats of our time; no matter the outcome of this election cycle. Muskie was born in Rumford, ME -- my birty place about 40 years later. It's a mill town on the banks of the Androscoggin River. In the 1970's, it was one of the 10-most polluted rivers in the nation; fouled by the paper, textile, and tanning industries and by muncipal waste.

        While attending grades k-3, I walked to school every day. The walk crossed a brook, Whitney Brook, which drains Lake Annasaguntacook (aka Canton Lake), only a half mile from my home. Yet already, the brook was fouled on it's way to the Andro with clods of human waste and toilet paper. I would watch them race one another as I walked across the bridge. In thrid grade, we moved to a diary farm that hugged the Androscoggin for a mile. It stank. Sometimes, our cattle walked out to an island when the water was low, and I'd have to help retrieve them. Then, I'd come in and scrub my feet until they were raw, have nightmares for weeks. Fish kills were common. Gobs of organic waste would boil up with methane forming floaters of foam two or three feet deep that caught up in nooks along the shore. I remember going to Lewiston/Auburn and watching people throw bags of trash off the bridge into the river.

        It's a different river now. You can swim in it down to Lewiston/Aurburn, where the water's no longer safe due to CSOs (combined sewage overflows, creating ecoli problems.)

        The Androscoggin is a living testament to Ed Muskie, father of the Clean Water and Clean Air acts. And if anyone has inherited his mantle, it aint' Hillary.

        It's Al Gore.

        •  A Small Correction (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          zic

          The "silly attack" that supposedly made Muskie cry was not on himself, but on his wife. I can't see Hillary crying over an attack on Bill. She's heard it all before.

          I can't believe I just defended Hillary when she's the candidate I'd least like to see nominated.

          Get out of the dark with Clark!

          by YestoWes on Wed Feb 14, 2007 at 08:29:47 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  ... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      algebrateacher, esquimaux

      Just let me know where I should send that new Canuck Letter I've been working on.

      I'll get it off ASAP.

    •  In fact, (0+ / 0-)

      the Clinton machine helped Lieberman get re-elected as did many of the other Dems.   And we cannot ever forget what was done to Dean the audacious outsider by the Dems.  I wish there was a Clinton alternative, but I think we are stuck with her like it or not.  

      "Often it does seem a pity that Noah and his party did not miss the boat." Mark Twain

      by dkmich on Wed Feb 14, 2007 at 04:56:13 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Imagine This in Late January 2008 (10+ / 0-)
    • Cost of the 2008 Hillary Campaign - $100+ million.
    • Spent on her behalf by surrogate groups - $10-$20 million.
    • Cost of the planned 2008 NH Primary 'Victory Party' - $500,000.

    and

    • Hillary (ala Muskie) in the falling snow standing outside her campaign office in New Hampshire the day after the NH Primary and withdrawing from the race...

    Priceless!

    A riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma

    by JekyllnHyde on Tue Feb 13, 2007 at 09:10:55 PM PST

    •  Whether Or Not She Loses (13+ / 0-)

      it's a disgusting display of money, including her Senate re-election campaign.

      If you need to raise half a billion just to get yourself in the White House, maybe you should be doing other things with that money... like preventing a few million people from dying of malaria, war, slavery and malnutrition.

      The billion dollar election.  Weep for democracy.

      (-7.88, -6.10) "Susan Collins is worse than garlic breath and stinky old socks together" me, out of context

      by Nulwee on Tue Feb 13, 2007 at 09:14:31 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  ... (5+ / 0-)

      Anyone but Hillary being our nominee... priceless.

      •  Yeah, we wouldn't want the one with the best (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        rmx2630, FischFry, Ciccina

        organization, poll numbers, or voting record. That would be terrible.

        •  "That would be terrible." (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Pompatus, rkelley25, YestoWes

          So... you are saying that the candidate we want is the one who, more than any other elected Democrat in America except Lieberman, has been an enabler of the Bush administration's foreign policy?

          You are saying that the candidate we want is one who was wrong about the war in 2002, was wrong about the war in March of 2003, and is wrong about the war now?

          You are saying that the candidate we want is a candidate who is deeply, deeply invested in a Dick Morris school of politics that puts focus grouping and calculation and triangulation ahead of conviction and leadership.

          You are say that the candidate we want is the one who has about as much red state crossover appeal as Jane Fonda?

          You are saying that the candidate we want is the one who is perhaps the single most polarizing citizen in America?

          Yeah.  That would be terrible.

          •  A wrong vote does not an enabler make. (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            catullus, rmx2630

            And is it your belief that Clinton reached her liberal position through triangulation, while Obama reached his nearly identical (though not quite as good economically) liberal position through pure conviciton? Is that logical? How is being a big ol lib liberal (which Clinton really is) triangulation exactly? If she were triangulating, wouldn't she have a more moderate record, like Edwards?

            •  Intellectually Dishonest (0+ / 0-)

              First off, Hillary is not a "big ol liberal."  That is pure fiction.  

              In terms of pure voting record across the board, she is a middling centrist. She ranked 25th out of 46 Democrats in the last Senate- putting her in the 45th precentile. Being in the 45th precentile does not make her a big ol liberal. That makes her the DLC centrist she is. In objective, empirical terms, you are fictionalizing.

              But it doesn't end there.  The fact of the matter is that by far the overwhelming majority of votes in the Senate are on domestic or institutional issues.  A much smaller percentage are foreign policy related.  So if you are using one of these Senator ranking sites, foreign policy views are significantly muted.  And the fact of the matter is that Hillary is farthest right precisely on foreign policy.  Her past and current position on the Iraq War now puts her very firmly to the right of many GOP Senators.  This is irrefutable.

              Thirdly, using one of the Senator ranking sites, you are only looking at votes.  What you aren't getting is a factoring of leadership.  And the fact of the matter is that Hillary has shown a disastrous lack of leadership during her Senate tenure.  She failed miserably to take any kind of stand whatsoever on Iraq.  And instead, she is slavishly invested in a cynical Dick Morris politics that puts issues like flag burning and video games ahead of issues of true substance.  Hillary has done nothing, literally nothing to assume a leadership position on matters of war.  But she's found time to prioritize flag burning and video games?  That is not leadership.  That is cynical pettiness.  Obama, on the other hand (since you brought him up) has realized that there is much more to being a Senator than just voting.  He has shown leadership.  And on Iraq, for example, he has been speaking out in bold opposition since 2002.  Hillary has done nothing of the sort.

              Then, you go back to repeating the idea that Hillary isn't moderate.  She was 25th out of 46 Democrats.  That's the 45th percentile.  On what planet is that not moderate?  Your Hillary-is-actually-a-big-ol-liberal meme isn't fooling anyone.  Hillary is a DLC centrist on Domestic policy.  And she is now to the right of many Capitol Hill Republicans on foreign policy.  

              If you support Hillary, fine.  But do so honestly.  You are flagrantly misleading.  And when Hillary finally decides to take a stand on Iraq, let us know.  But I'm sure she'll need to do some more polling and focus grouping first.

        •  I don't understand this diary at all (0+ / 0-)

          Diarist argues that whichever Democrat wins the nomination is sure to win the general election. So, why should we lose sleep if Hillary turns out to be a lot more popular with primary voters than she is on this site? Diarist basically undercuts the significance of his argument against her. Not that he really offers an argument against her -- it's more of a prediction.

          BTW -- his analysis or recollection of the '72 campaign has huge gaping holes. Nixon was plenty critical of McGovern, and McGovern killed any chance of winning when he f'd up his VP pick.

          "America! F*%# Yeah! Coming again to save the mother-f*%#ing day!" -- Team America

          by FischFry on Tue Feb 13, 2007 at 10:55:22 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  That and a dollar will get you coffee, but (0+ / 0-)

          will it get you out of Iraq?  Fair trade?  Single Payer health care?   Might doesn't make right unless one is a Publican.

          "Often it does seem a pity that Noah and his party did not miss the boat." Mark Twain

          by dkmich on Wed Feb 14, 2007 at 04:57:53 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  Best voting record? (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          nocore

          Take a look.

          Apart from voting for the war authorization, with full knowledge that she was voting contrary to the expressed wishes of her constituents, for which I will never forgive her (or her senior colleague), she sponsors flag-burning amendments. That's my kind of Democrat, all right.

          She has advocated for the state with all the duty and passion of a bright junior-high student doing her homework (trans: plenty of duty, no visible passion). I wondered, even as I voted for her 6 years ago, if she was planning to use my state as her placeholder and and she did.

          And by the way, those poll numbers you're so proud of? Name recognition off the charts is pretty much a given for someone who's already lived in the White House for eight years. You're looking at her best right now. Let's see how things have changed a year from now.

          The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.

          by sidnora on Wed Feb 14, 2007 at 06:43:27 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  Your numbers are a stark reminder (0+ / 0-)

      of the economics of the Clinton Presidency -- an internet bubble of wealth as the markets risked to fill the new niche created by the web.

      I'm not convinced that's model we should be pursueing in a retracting economy.

  •  I'm more concerned that she will be (5+ / 0-)

    the new Humphrey...

    I think that is a better comparison.

    •  A valid comparison... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      truong son traveler, Autarkh

      I remember the 1968 Humphrey as a calculating politician who enabled Johnson in the pursuit of the Vietnam war, and who then expected the American people to elect him president despite his pro-war machinations. It almost worked; he barely lost to Nixon.

      •  Your Account Is Not Accurate (0+ / 0-)

        Humphrey broke from LBJ's war policy at the end of the general election campaign.  HHH was running behind in the polls until he broke from LBJ.  Humphrey came charging back at the end of October as he was beginning to get back the support of anti-war Democrats, but fell just short on election day.  Many analysts believe that if Humphrey had another 1-2 weeks he would have won the election.  I think it's a shame HHH lost.  He would have made an excellent President.

  •  Hillary has a problem with Obama's resolution (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jct, Winston Sm1th, Democrat

    to withdraw from Iraq. Obama's resolution is based on the Iraq Study Group, which was formed to write a hawk-acceptable withdrawal with bipartisan support Bush could use as cover to get out of Iraq before Iraq throttled the Republican party. Bubble boy refused to use it, and Obama got to pick up that particular hawkish-center compromise while retaining full antiwar bonafides. Hillary thus faces quite a dilemma. If she opposes it, she's hawkward of most Americans, and unreasonable to most Dem primary voters. If she supports it, she's just a follower on the most important issue of the day. Obstructionist or follower, it's no-win for her.

  •  But nice diary (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    andreuccio, rkelley25

    I meant to say this in my previous comment.

    Thanks.

  •  New Hampshire is hard to predict (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    dunderhead

    Front-runners stumble, and longshots beat the expectations game. That's true in Democratic and Republican primaries in New Hampshire.

    For example, Howard Dean stumbled in New Hampshire after the Iowa scream (sigh, what a non-issue) and Pat Buchanan, who actually won the Republican primary there (shudder).

    But just when you start to count a candidate out, New Hampshire revivifies the campaign.

    For example, Bill Clinton, who became known as "The Comeback Kid" after fading, then resurging in a New Hampshire primary. He didn't win the primary, but he wasn't knocked out of the race, and he went on of course to win the White House. He thanked Granite State voters and said he would never forget their support, and would fight on their side "'til the last dog dies."

    Is HRC the new Muskie? Too early to tell. But New Hampshire voters are contrary enough to vote her up if the pundits count her out, or vote her down if the punditocracy says she's a shoo-in.

  •  In General, I Try To Avoid Getting Involved... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    sidnora, jct, Winston Sm1th

    ...in bickering about primary candidates either here or in the real world.  But I'll say this much about Ms. Clinton.  It appears she believes that if she positions herself as part of the general opposition to the war, but does not take the lead on anything, does not forcefully stand by a specific position, and more or less stays perfectly still until she wins the presidency, everything will work out.

    I understand the desire to be politically shrewd and calculating, but in this case I think she's very, very wrong.

    But it may already be too late.  She may have already painted herself in a corner where she can't convincingly take a stronger position while saving political face or what have you at the same time.

  •  You leave out a critical part of this story (3+ / 0-)

    The Muskie smear -- which was that he referred to Canadians as "Canucks," something he never actually said -- was PLANTED by none other than the Nixon campaign:

    ...Attorney General John Mitchell had controlled a secret fund which financed political spying and dirty tricks targeting Democratic presidential candidates.

    Perhaps the most notorious dirty trick was a letter planted in a New Hampshire newspaper alleging that leading Democratic presidential candidate, Senator Edmund Muskie of Maine, had referred to Americans of French-Canadian descent as "Canucks."

    On a snowy New Hampshire day, standing outside the offices of the newspaper, Musky gave a rambling, tearful denial. His emotional conduct, replayed on television, caused him to drop in the New Hampshire polls shortly before the presidential primary. George McGovern, considered a weaker candidate by Nixon political strategists, eventually won the 1972 Democratic nomination and lost the general election to Nixon in a landslide.

    Was Muskie a poor candidate?  Probably.  Was he better than Humphrey or George Wallace, the other two chief rivals to McGovern?  Undoubtedly.  We'll never know for sure, because of abuse of office by a president who makes this one look positively honest by comparison.

  •  This is a very interesting analysis (3+ / 0-)

    You might want to reach out and share with Marcy Winograd, who's not so busy with her iPod that she can't organize left-wingers to get arrested at Congressman Adam Schiff's (D-CA) office.  Frustrated that Dems have had control of the House for a whole month now and U.S. servicemen are still in Iraq, Winograd and her crew planned to pull a stunt today -- a stunt that makes sense to radical anti-war activists, but not so much to swing voters.

    I believe you are correct:  The biggest danger in this upcoming election is that now, as in 1972 (and 1968, for that matter) we'll eat our own.

    Am I wrong in thinking that a lot of folks aren't persuaded by riots or mass arrests?

    If Dems look like the party of chaos and lawlessness, we lose.

    We need to be the party of national security.  That means we're smart enough to end the war, in an orderly fashion, and not to get us into any more of them.

    •  Eating our own. (4+ / 0-)

      Looks like the Clinton and Obama campaigns are taking off the gloves against each other already over Iraq.

      The Clinton machine is already trying to prick holes in the Edwards candidacy.

      Any time I see Richardson's name, somebody shows up to mention his "woman problem."

      Clark isn't even in the race yet and it seems awful easy for people to talk about what job he should do after he loses.

      One of the most popular and respected diarists here at dkos endorses Vilsack and kossites barely show up (relatively) to read why.

      Dodd is at work trying to save our country and Constitution.  Yeah, that's right; he's at work doing the job he was elected to do.  What kind of campaign is that?

      Don't even bring up Gore until September, especially if California moves its primary to February.  And if he doesn't want it, California will be the scene of some of the most ugly political bloodsport imaginable.

  •  McGovern proves that having been a Senator from a (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    catullus, andgarden, tigercourse

    red state and running against an unpopular war does not necessarily translate into electoral success.

    Join the College Kossacks on Facebook, or the Republicans win.

    by DemocraticLuntz on Tue Feb 13, 2007 at 09:27:02 PM PST

    •  True (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      pb, catullus, bronte17, Autarkh

      but its a mistake to think that way.  Nixon, Hoover, et al. had a merciless plan, merciless tactics, and a lot of reasonable appeals to the Archie Bunkers of the world who were distraught by the social upheaval of the times.  Let's not replay that in this election.  No timidity.

      •  While I agree (0+ / 0-)

        that we should be putting 1972 in perspective, I think it would be a huge mistake to assume that the Repugs won't have a "merciless plan" next year, too. Why shouldn't they, since that's what has worked for them every time they've won since '72? McCain has already hired the same crew that Swiftboated Kerry (and himself in 2000, for that matter).

        If splintering on their side makes them less effective next year, so much the better for us, but we have to be ready for anything.

        The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.

        by sidnora on Wed Feb 14, 2007 at 06:57:18 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  It's also important to remember... (0+ / 0-)

      ....that McGovern ran an inept campaign. The whole deal with taking Eagleton off the ticket after saying he'd support him made McGovern look weak. Like, if he couldn't even run his own campaign, how could he run the country. Sure, the electorate was pissed with Vietnam, but once Nixon had reached a peace deal, he took McGovern's issue from him.

    •  Your point being? (0+ / 0-)

      First off, S.D. wasn't such a red state then. They did make McGovern their senator. And later, Tom Daschle. Second, I imagine you're making a point wiht respect to a current candidate, but I'm not sure whom. Edwards? Not a senator now, so the analogy fails. Obama? Not from a red state? Ditto for Clinton, Dodd and Biden. Richardson? Not a senator? SO, what's your point? Are you thinking of Chuck Hagel?

      "America! F*%# Yeah! Coming again to save the mother-f*%#ing day!" -- Team America

      by FischFry on Tue Feb 13, 2007 at 11:05:00 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Will someone start her on Ibogaine? (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Gooserock, catullus, CabinGirl, FGFM

    And if you understand that reference, you are one of my true compatriots here at dkos.

  •  mcgovern '72 (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Grand Poobah, catullus

    First things first: George McGovern is the best man (as in moral quality) either of the two major parties has ever nominated for POTUS.

    Second things second: The McGovern '72 primary campaign  (that is, before the general election) was the greatest primary campaign every waged by a candidate in either party.

    Third things third: We need to stop treating guys like Muskie, Humphrey, and even Scoop Jackson like pariahs because they didn't pound the table hard enough on Vietnam. I would die to have liberal voices of their quality representing us in the United States Senate today.

  •  I hope Meyerson is right ... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    catullus, jct

    Iraq is definitely one issue that Hillary is weak on.  Rather than Muskie as an example, I believe Kerry is more relevant - front-runner with a confusing record on the war.  The difference is that public opinion on the war has collapsed since 2004, so unless she takes a very forceful stand to end the war before 2008, then her promise to end it if elected might sound as shallow as it did coming from Nixon in 1968.

    A tyrant must put on the appearance of uncommon devotion to religion. - Aristotle

    by DWG on Tue Feb 13, 2007 at 09:42:00 PM PST

    •  Actually John Davis is the best comparison. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      wu ming

      You can make to a lot of current Democrats.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/...

      In 1924 the Democratic Party was so far to the right that it wasn't indistinguisable from the Republican Party. It was indistinguishable from the Jefferson Davis party.

      It was only that social unrest that today's Moveon.org liberals wet their pants thinking about that put the Robert Wagner/FDR wing of the party back in power.

      And if the Democrats want to stay in Iraq in order to harm the Republicans and be electable in 2008, don't be suprised if 1929 is more the future than 1972.  

      It's bloody suicide for the Democrats to want to stay in Iraq. The republicans have set the debt trap just in case of this very scenario.

  •  Wellllll--We're Too Busy Working (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    wu ming, daveygodigaditch

    The college middle class demonstration classes are not threatened by a draft but they are saddled with mountains of debt and working much more than my generation was. There isn't a whiff of the sense of freedom on campuses of my youth, and I worked on a campus till recently.

    And today's media won't cover demonstrations anyways, and don't operate anything remotely like the skeptical, investigative press that served the mainstream in the past.

    So, no, demonstrations won't do it this time, and there probably isn't any "it" to do as far as the media is concerned.

    Stock portfolios!

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Tue Feb 13, 2007 at 09:48:58 PM PST

  •  This makes sense to me. (0+ / 0-)

    The other consideration is that if Dems don't get troops out by the next election, the electorate will hold them equally culpable with Republicans. (Bad effects could be nullied if the Republitic Party continues as it has been lately.)

    Other consideration: "...The only thing that might save the Republicans is the kind of actual social unrest that causes a law and order backlash..."

    Well, a rapidly collapsing economy would fit that bill, wouldn't it?

    The Bush crimes will continue every single day for the 746 between 1/04/07 and 1/20/09. Every single day. Our plan to stop him is...?

    by Jim P on Tue Feb 13, 2007 at 09:49:48 PM PST

  •  Oh... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    fladem

    ...and a proper comparison to '72 would have been if Dennis Kucinich had won the Democratic nomination in 2004. That's how much of a longshot (and radical) choice McGovern was in '72. The closest comparison to this year is '84 in which '83 was dominated by Mondale versus Glenn storyline, but the real battle ended up being between Mondale and the out-of-the-blue lightning insurgency of Gary Hart.

    •  So... (0+ / 0-)

      would you dare venture a guess as to who the insurgent will be this time around? There's going to be one...I can feel it in my bones.

      I just hope there's no Monkey Business this time around.

      •  asdf (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        catullus
        • Vilsack -- because he could pull off a surprise win in Iowa
        • Edwards -- because the media always underestimates him, and he is the only one building a national grassroots organization with the depth and breadth to allow him to take advantage of early success
        • Gore -- because he could totally surprise and jump in at the last minute after the other candidates have been attacking each other for months, and he would own all the grassroots energy.
    •  Hillary might be Mondale (0+ / 0-)

      I think that comparison is very apt.

      What is unclear to me is who the Gary Hart of this race is.  Maybe it's Obama, maybe Richardson, maybe Clark.  Edwards is a very different candidate that Hart was.

  •  Social unrest leading to a law and order backlash (0+ / 0-)

    Can only be due to the citizens taking the streets in opposition to the Iraq war when the 'surge' turns out to be disastrous!

  •  Tag cloud clean-up was here (0+ / 0-)

    I'd forgotten some of the story about Muskie; some I doubt I ever knew: thank you.

    About tag clean-up: tags are meant to help us search for diaries. Consistency and frequency are our friends. Working from the List of Approved Tags, I added 2008 Elections, primary, and war. Hope that meets with your approval.

  •  How about the new Hubert Humphrey? (0+ / 0-)

    Dump the Hump.
    Chill Hil.

  •  Without Mass Protest (0+ / 0-)

    Kucinich would be the next Allende.

  •  McGovern didn't lose because of "unrest". (0+ / 0-)

    He lost because his own party stabbed him in the back. Think Ned Lamont squared.

    If Kucinich got the nomination (which is pretty unlikely considering how much further to the right the meedia is now) the Democratic Party would simply abandon him.

    •  WTF? He ran an inept campaign (0+ / 0-)

      He killed an momentum at the convention picking Eagleton, and didn't respond to attacks very well. He let Nixon define him and his base. And everyone outside that base turned away.

      "America! F*%# Yeah! Coming again to save the mother-f*%#ing day!" -- Team America

      by FischFry on Tue Feb 13, 2007 at 10:59:15 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  mcgovern? chisholm! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    wu ming, sgary

    shirley chisholm, may not have been a war hero, but she was a serious fighter in '72, and she was even more right than mcgovern.

  •  Muskie to most people under 50 (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    hhex65, truong son traveler, Autarkh

     title=

  •  She could rehabilitate (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Autarkh

    Hillary could rehabilitate her war position if she was bold enough to do so.  The conundrum for her is she fights the early image of being too strident, too forceful in her role as First Lady.  Now she is too hesitant, too nice, too metered....too controlled.  To win the primaries there has to be a recognizable streak of populism, mixed with dash of anger, tempered by a pragmatic outlook....and most importantly a newness on the scene my gut tells me she just does not have what will sell.

    Time waits for no one, the treasure is great spend it wisely.

    by mojavefog on Tue Feb 13, 2007 at 10:45:21 PM PST

  •  This goes in so many directions I don't get. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    catullus, andgarden

    Firstly, I disagree with your contention that people have tried to explain away McGovernism as an anomaly. Rather, it has been noted that while McGovern was very popular among the party faithful, he got clobbered in the general -- the all-time biggest electoral sweep, at the time. People don't dismiss McGovernism, they just caution the Party faithful against voting for someone who cannot win votes beyond the Party. You also understate how the crying incident impacted the Muskie campaign. It was devastating. And you ignore how McGovern killed his own bid, just as he was accepting the nomination. Remember Eagleton? How well that went over. The only VP choice that turned out to be more damaging than Quayle.

    Second, you offer an argument that Clinton will go down like Muskie, in favor of a stronger critic of the war. Very possible. But much of the diary is devoted to arguing that the Democrats will win regardless. I guess you are subtly saying that we shouldn't fear choosing another McGovern over Muskie this time because the Dems are sure to win. I might have said the same thing three years ago -- that Bush was so unpopular, he couldn't possibly win, but Kerry managed to lose. And this time the GOP won't be running Bush. There's no guarantee that a Dem will win this time.

    Besides, if a Democat is sure to win, why do you care so much who the Dems do nominate? Do you really think the different Dems would govern very differently? So, if Hillary is nominated, don't sweat it. She'll win the general election, right?

    "America! F*%# Yeah! Coming again to save the mother-f*%#ing day!" -- Team America

    by FischFry on Tue Feb 13, 2007 at 10:50:17 PM PST

  •  Funny... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    catullus

    I was just thinking today that, should Americans still be fighting and dying in Iraq when the primary comes around, Dennis Kucinich is going to do rather better than anyone dreams of now.  And, should Americans still be fighting and dying in Iraq when the generale election comes around, third-party candidates are going to have a field day.

    The Senate is the last bastion of white supremacy. --Andrew Gumbel

    by Free Spirit on Tue Feb 13, 2007 at 10:58:36 PM PST

  •  I'm too young (0+ / 0-)

    to know the trauma, but I take my history on that race from Doc Gonzo, who basically claimed that McGovern lost due to his literally certifiable VP.

    In all seriousness though, everything I've heard suggests you're right.  '72 was a vote against socio-cultural upheaval.  How else could Nixon win on the same unfulfilled war pledges of '68?

    The only maxim of a free government ought to be to trust no man living with power to endanger the public liberty. - John Adams

    by tipsymcstagger on Tue Feb 13, 2007 at 11:01:09 PM PST

  •  Fight for your candidate (4+ / 0-)

    But make peace with the results.

    I'm a Clarkie, who will only abandon ship if Gore jumps in. I have many problems with Hillary.

    But if Hillary wins the nomination, she will have my full support.

    I will not be a party to inflicting upon this nation another Republican president.

  •  For whatever reason... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Expo, catullus

    The Clinton campaign reminds more of the Mondale '84 debacle, with Barack Obama (or possibly Edwards) playing the part of Gary Hart.

  •  Muskie actually won the primary (0+ / 0-)

    I've always wondered about the narrative that Muskie blew it before the NH primary, considering that he actually won it. I don't know--maybe it was an expectations thing. I wasn't around at the time, but I feel like the "crying in the snow" narrative was tacked on at the end by the media.

    •  It was partly expectations (0+ / 0-)

      The logic was that a New Englander front runner should have performed better in NH. That was his backyard and the fact that he didn't completely wipe the floor with McGovern, Yorty, et al demonstrated weakness. More importantly, though, McGovern was able to break out from the pack and demonstrate that his Iowa showing was for real; even outside the Midwest. McGovern didn't win, but like Clinton in 92, his second place finish went a long ways towards cementing his legitimacy.

      I think you're right, though, that if Muskie had broken 60-65%, the crying narrative wouldn't have stuck the way it did.

  •  You forgot the media and the Cannuck letter (0+ / 0-)

    in which Muskie allegedly slandered Canadian Americans in New Hampshire.

    Another Republican dirty trick.

    Another Republican effort at undermining democracy here.

    Now they do better - they DIE BOLD and steal our votes.

  •  You Underestimate the Resiliency of the Clintons (0+ / 0-)

    Muskie's campaign ended in New Hampshire for a couple of reasons.  The Manchester Union's attack on his wife that led to the tearful speech was perceived as 'weakness' at a time when many (perhaps most) believed it was unacceptable for men to cry in public short of grieving a death.  Second, Muskie was the designated frontrunner expected to win New Hampshire by a comfortable margin and his results fell short of expectations. The combination of the two events just made his campaign and himself as a person appear to be too vulnerable, 'weak,' and Muskie was RAVAGED by the press.  He never recovered.

    If there is anything everyone should be able to agree about on the Clintons it is that they roll with the punches and keep on going.  Few people rememeber that Bill Clinton was the media's "designated frontrunner" before the Gennifer Flowers scandal hit and Bill's campaign team spun their third place finish in NH as a "comeback."  Clinton was labeled "The Comeback Kid" and few people even remember who won the New Hampshire primary in '92.

    Hillary is no Muskie.  She can finish 2nd (perhaps even 3rd)in NH and keep on rolling because that's what Clintons do.  They get mad in public, but not hysterical.  And they know how to run a campaign. If Hillary loses the nomination, it won't be because of  an emotional outburst.  Hillary can lose only because another candidate has made a stronger case based on the issues.  At this point I would say that Hillary is the presumptive nominee, and another candidate is going to have to take it from her.  She's not giving it up.

    •  Muskie Was Out of Money (0+ / 0-)

      HRC has a much more sizeable war chest than Muskie had, even allowing for inflation, and she won't be looking for more donations like a junkie about to go into full twitch mode the day after New Hampshire.

      But even so, she's the putative front-runner at this point. Historically, that's the kiss of death. With any luck, she'll also become bored with the Senate when her Presidential bid comes up short, and Eliot Spitzer gets a chance to appoint a fresh face who isn't a party regular and doesn't owe Chuck Schumer a nickel every time s/he farts.

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