Hubert Humphrey

Sidney Blumenthal on Pat Buchanan's 1992 primary coup.

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Apparently America cannot be the world's policeman. Political quarrels in foreign lands are none of our business. Apparently our nation is "on the verge of catastrophic decay" because we've been ignoring the problems of the poor. Major new government initiatives are called for. These are not sentiments culled from the 1972 McGovern campaign or the speeches of Hubert Humphrey. These are "new ideas" being trumpeted by America's triumphant conservatives.

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Why I Am For Humphrey

Only he can lead the right kind of pragmatic, liberal majority.

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Beatles Buy-Out

Michael Jackson turns "Revolution" into a commercial jingle.

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What liberals want from government includes what everybody else wants—security, prosperity, personal freedom, honest and efficient governance. But liberals also want more—an active remaking of society along more equitable lines, and promotion of humane values in the world. In making political judgments, it is often hard to resolve these goals. But judging Jimmy Carter is not hard. In four years as president, he has failed by both the general standards of competent administration and the special standards of the liberal agenda.

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Carter’s Problems

The networks tried to convey an understanding of what they were broadcasting. ABC called it a social occasion: "You get no sense of a political gathering here," cracked Harry Reasoner. Over at CBS, Walter Cronkite remarked: "The convention is in complete control of the Carter and Democratic National Committee forces and no fights are being permitted." The prevailing theme was persistent unrelieved harmony, the image of an absolutely unified gathering. Of the less fortunate, less harmonious past, there were only glimpses and allusions.

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Money and Politics

Americans see nothing ignoble in riches, but we are suspicious of money used to elect or to sway politicians. This suspicion that big money taints politics slacked off somewhat with the emergence of big donors who are not beholden to big business. Rockefeller generosity to Republicans has been matched by big labor's generosity to Democrats. The liberal Committee for an Effective Congress came on the scene, followed by Common Cause. The Humphrey and McGovern lists of contributors were not lacking in millionaires.

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Impasse At Paris

After more than four months and 24 sessions, the Paris talks are still at an impasse; no progress has been made; there have been only "official conversations" and no negotiations. These meetings have provided both sides with full opportunity to expound official positions on the origins and development of the conflict and to castigate each other's very different interpretations. But all this has amounted to little more than repetition of statements made publicly elsewhere by spokesmen of both governments.

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Robert Kennedy is on to something. He hovers over it like a pig in the Perigord sniffing a truffle. It is just below the surface; he can't quite see it; he doesn't know its size or shape or worth or even what it's called. He only knows it's there, and he is going to get it. Where does he look? Among the grape-pickers on strike in central California, in Cloth Market Square in Cracow, on the Ole Miss campus, in a Senate hearing room. And always with the same single-minded, almost frightening intensity.

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The Philippines

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