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After reading o the umanity's diary Moved from Hillary to Edwards on the current rec list, I just had to stand up for the one true underdog.

You see, I have to--HAVE TO--say it one more time, loud and clear to those who continue to insist that Barack Obama and John Edwards are the only other choices there are besides Hillary Clinton, and that Mike Gravel should get out of the race...

Why? If you really care about "having more than three choices", make the jump with me now...

Gravel is staying in. Deal with it. It's PRIMARY season.

It’s fairly obvious that some powerful entity in the Democratic Party establishment wants Gravel eliminated.

One would hope that as the lies become outlandish enough, they are no longer believed.  Instead, perhaps Goebbels was right:  Tell a big enough lie, for long enough, and the people will believe you.

And why shouldn't he? First and foremost, his campaign is reporting it's on the ballot in many states:

The Gravel Campaign is right on schedule getting Mike in all the primaries and caucuses. We have confirmation from the 20 states where the deadline has passed, and we are hard at work on the remaining states.

There has to be a really good explanation for that.

At this point, I'd venture a guess that it has to do with the fact that a lot of Democrats are just plain disgusted: by the media, who continue to feed our people misinformation and half-truths, couched in the high-arching tones of "punditry-via-polling"; by the rhetoric coming from the Clinton, Obama, and Edwards camps, ISMing us to death between "racism" and "sexism" and "class warfare"; by the steady drumbeat of style over substance at every turn; and by the continued and frightening accusations of disenfranchisement of our votes.

And while all this goes on, real, substantive discussions on ISSUES are being ignored, in favor of the Jerry-Springer-like sound-bytes foisted on us by the coverage given--IMO, free, extended-length campaign commercials--by the American media.

Yet in the face of all this, Gravel remains steadfast and determined, refusing to waver from discussion of the kinds of things that really matter most to our people.

His words are resonating in this great nation, and by this great nation I mean quite a few people on YouTube. And I believe that the ballot access the Mike Gravel campaign is seeing lends credence to that assertion. I can tell you it resonates with me.

I'm posting this diary on January 27th, offering kudos to Edwards for his distant third in South Carolina, one that shared the juxtaposition of a man and his fish living under one roof, where his candidate = Gravel and their candidate = Edwards:

I'm not gonna rain on his parade, I promised you, and I meant it. Props are clearly in order for him--it looks like he kicked Mike Gravel's butt in South Carolina! As I watched him deliver his concession speech last night, I felt very proud, even though my father didn't work in a mill.

See, I was trying to open my mind! This meandering diary came about, period, because my fish and I watched his SC concession speech, and I caught a fleeting glimpse of why they liked him.

I've been trying to understand since last fall why they planned on voting for him ("his father worked in a mill" is the main reason they cited, over and over). And we've had more than a few heated discussions about that, as I tried to explain to them that some mills harm fish habitat. But still, I was trying to come around, at least for their sake. Even so, it hasn't been easy.

As sound-byte wars ratcheted up between Hillary and Obama and Edwards, along came a very powerful endorsement from Doris "Granny D" Haddock to Mike Gravel, after the race-soundbytes started flying thick and fast the other campaigns.

"He's working for the same things that I'm doing," said Haddock, 96, who gained fame several years ago by walking coast to coast in the name of campaign finance reform. "But he's doing it in a grandiose way. It's just another way to get where we all want to get. Back to democracy."

Well Granny D got MY attention, I'll tell ya. And then came the SC debate. That was a big turning point in our home. A BIG turning point.  What did Mike Gravel talk about?

How many times have you seen that repeated?  Never!  None of the three media darling candidates "participating" in the "debate" took time out from their bickering and self-promotion to stare silently at the camera and throw a rock at a pond.  Therefore, Mike Gravel is the only adult in the race.

So in the last week or so, I'd noticed that my fish had started getting real quiet about all this.  They're usually quiet, because they can't talk, but they've been especially quiet lately.  When John Edwards appeared to deliver his concession speech and incorporated many of his stump speech sob stories, they started bumping angrily against the glass.

Oh, man. The shrimp ran and hid under a rock, they got so loud. And these are clownfish and cardinalfish who are very laid-back and peaceable, otherwise.

So by now, Mike Gravel's little ditty is on YouTube:

My fish just looked at me as if to say, "I think I am sick of the politics of division. I need to think about this guy a little more."  And then my anemones went limp for the evening, so they stared at my laptop as I started surfing.  They were still at it when I went to bed.  The screensaver kicked on after 5 minutes, but I'm not sure they knew.

And this morning, over brine shrimp and flake food, Nemo looks at me as if to say, "Well, that does it. I've had it with Hill, and I just can't get behind Obama and Edwards at this point. Because all they do is snipe, snipe snipe and talk about themselves. So his father works in a mill.  BFD! Talk about the issues, huh? Right now, Gravel has my vote. Fuck it, at least he's talking about THE IMPORTANT STUFF like immediately withdrawing troops from Iraq and impeaching Dick Cheney."

Power to the people!  Give peace a chance!

---------------------------------------

And for anyone who hasn't noticed, this whole diary is a very snarky parody designed to make people think about perspective.

Originally posted to Troutnut on Sun Jan 27, 2008 at 09:30 PM PST.

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