Mike Gavel: Pro-Iraq War Dems UNFIT

February 5, 2007 -- This editor attended this past Saturday's Democratic National Committee Winter Meeting. Former Alaska Senator Mike Gravel's speech had the Democratic Party official's undivided attention when he chastised those Democratic candidates who supported the Iraq war resolution. Gravel said those candidates who voted for the war and who are now claiming they made a mistake do not possess the judgment to be president. Candidates who voted for the war in 2002 include Senators Hillary Clinton, John Edwards, Chris Dodd, and Joe Biden. Gravel criticized them and their Democratic colleagues, who, while in control of the Senate in 2002, "provided political cover for George Bush to invade Iraq." Edwards has conceded that his vote was a mistake. Some Democratic Party officials, including Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean, squirmed in their seats as Gravel, who was one of the architects of ending the draft and the Vietnam War, reminded some of the Democrats present in the Washington Hilton ballroom of their culpability in enabling the Iraq war.

Gravel declared, "anyone who voted for the war on October 11th [20002] based upon what President Bush presented to them is not qualified to hold the office of the president of the United States." Gravel continued, "The Senate leadership could have refused to even take up the resolution and many Senators who opposed it could have mounted a filibuster, but the fear of opposing a popular warrior president on the eve of the mid-term election prevailed. Political calculations trumped morality and the Middle East was set ablaze. The Democrats lost that election anyway, but more so the American people. It was politics as usual."

Former Alaska Governor Mike Gravel hit DNC meeting hard on past support for Iraq war by Democratic senators. DNC delegates were wowed and pleased by his anti-war stance.

Gravel, who was the first major candidate to declare for the presidency last April and was largely dismissed by the Democratic leadership, is now tied with Biden in polls in Nevada, an early caucus state.