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.