The Moose defends the honor of a great Democrat.
During a period when the McGovenites gained ascendancy within the Democratic Party in the '70s and '80s, one Senator, in particular, kept the Truman tradition alive. At a time when many within the Democratic Party accepted the arms control theology, Senator Henry "Scoop" Jackson believed that Soviet behavior was more important than paper agreements. The left within the party labeled him a warmonger and a danger to peace.
However, Scoop was a prophet who understood the nature of the Soviet Union far better than his critics within the party. And history proved Scoop right. While Scoop passed away in 1983, the Reagan Administration essentially promoted a Scoop-like policy toward the Soviets.
Meanwhile, the left critics opposed the hard-line approach at every twist and turn - from the nuclear freeze to missile defense. And at the end of the eighties, the Soviet Union collapsed, and Scoop was vindicated. He occupied a lonely and courageous position within the Democratic Party, and it was the correct one.
The other day Mark Schmitt offered this comment about Scoop,
"Scoop Jackson's not the great lost hope; he's merely one of about two dozen capable, non-brilliant Senators since 1972 who saw a president in the mirror each morning, but couldn't persuade anyone else to see the same thing."
Schmitt is correct about one thing - Scoop did not fare well with the Democratic primary electorate - and that was the party's loss. Perhaps the Democrats would have not lost forty-nine states in 1972 had Scoop been the nominee - that is why the Nixon White House feared him.
While Scoop was not the best politician, he understood the nature of the totalitarian foe far better than most other Democrats. And he was a tribune of liberty . Don't just take the Moose's word for it, ask the thousands of Soviet refuseniks and dissidents who viewed Scoop as a liberator who successfully passed legislation which helped them gain freedom. They remember him to this day as a hero.
One does not have to be brilliant to recognize that Scoop was right - and his detractors ,then and now, were wrong. --