Thomas Eagleton, RIP

The pro-life and antiwar Democratic Senator who was George McGovern’s running mate until word of his psychiatric treatment — including electroconvulsive therapy — died Sunday at age 77. We could use a few Democrats (or heck, Republicans for that matter) more like him. He once co-wrote a book called War and Presdiential Power: A Chronicle of Congressional Surrender. He didn’t put up with any crap from neocons during the Iran-Contra hearings, either, as this exchange reproduced in John Patrick Diggins’s new biography of Ronald Reagan reminds us:

Eagleton: Today I asked were you at any time in the fundraising business.

[Elliott] Abrams: We made our solicitation to a foreign government.

Eagleton: Were you then in the fundraising business?

Abrams: I would say we were in teh fundraising business. I take your point.

Eagleton: Take my point? Under oath, my friend, that’s perjury. [Abrams had earlier denied raising funds in the Middle East to support the Contras.] Had you been under oath, that’ s perjury.

Abrams: Well, I don’t agree with that, Senator.

Eagleton: That’s slammer time.

Abrams: You heard my testimony, Senator.

Eagleton: I heard it, and I want to puke.


3 thoughts on “Thomas Eagleton, RIP

  1. John Lowell March 9, 2007 / 8:36 pm

    Yes, my memories of Eagleton are good also. Felt he got rather short shrift on the depression business, actually, and would have made a good VP. But getting tarnished unjustly in politics is standard fare. The worst cheap shot in memory the hit that Dan Quale took from Lloyd Bentsen in the 1988 Vice Presidential debate. Bentsen had always been an arrogant, slick and seedy sort, the kind you’ve have to watch if he were entrusted with your kid’s lunch money. The dignity he tried so hard to project was underneath it all simply the posturing of a blowhard. Despised the man.

    John Lowell

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