The Tiger of the Senate

A U.S. Senator from Oregon, Wayne Morse was a passionate and powerful advocate against the Vietnam War. Thanks to Jack Bog's Blog, here's a short video about the man known as "America's most controversial senator".

A little political history from Wikipedia:

In 1944 he won the Republican primary election for Senator and the general election that November. Once in Washington, he revealed his progressive roots, to the consternation of his more conservative Republican peers. In protest of Dwight Eisenhower's selection of Richard Nixon as his running mate he left the Republican Party in 1952. After a term as an independent he became a Senator for the Democratic Party in 1955. ...

In 1964 he was one of only two United States Senators to vote against the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution (Alaska U.S. Senator Ernest Gruening was the other), which authorized further United States involvement in the Vietnam War. During the following years Sen. Morse remained one of the most outspoken critics of the war. As early as 1966 Morse told a student union he would like to see "protests such as these multiply by the hundreds" across the country. Partially as a result, Morse lost his seat in the 1968 election to Bob Packwood by 3,000 votes.

Morse spent the remaining years of his life attempting to regain his seat. He was the Democratic Party nominee for the U.S. Senate in 1972 but lost to incumbent Mark Hatfield. He won his party's Senate primary again two years later, setting up a return match against Packwood, but died before the general election.

Discuss.

Update: Thanks to KOPT's Brian Shaw, we now know where this clip came from.

How 'bout a little cred where cred is due. The clip comes out of "War Made Easy; How President's and Pundits Keep Spinnning Us to Death," the new [Media Education Foundation] produced documentary based on Norman Solomon's 2005 book of the same name. Norman is also the the first person you see in the clip.

Thanks, Brian. More info about "War Made Easy" right here.

Comments

  • Bill Bodden (unverified)
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    Wayne Morse as political maverick. This article is scary equating Gordon Smith with Wayne Morse. I suspect the author spent too much time in the seamier parts of Saigon.

  • Dave Lister (unverified)
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    I remember Morse's admonition:

    "This gives the President the ability to wage war without a declaration of war."

    If only the Senate would have listened.

  • Tom Civiletti (unverified)
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    Morse understood, and he cared. He understood that US foreign policy has never reflected the values of our people. He cared that interests of big business have led again and again to the use of US military force causing death, destruction, and the denial of sovereignty to millions.

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    But Wayne Morse is unelectable and will never get into the Senate since he never held elective office before running for the Senate and... oh.. wait.

  • pdxskip (unverified)
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    I campaigned for Wayne Morse. Neither Novick or Merkley are anything close to Wayne Morse.

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    Posted by: pdxskip | Jul 31, 2007 2:09:36 PM

    Based on what... your anonymous say so?

  • Robert G. Gourley (unverified)
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    I campaigned for Wayne Morse. Neither Novick or Merkley are anything close to Wayne Morse.

    I too campaigned for Wayne Morse, and Steve Novick is so much like him they could be related.

    Furthermore I know my real name - that puts me above all those who do not know theirs.

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    Well.. for what it is worth, I know my real name Mitch Gore (which I include on sites that allow signatures) but use this screen handle since I have used it for well over a decade online... going back to the old Prodigy and eWorld days.

    Just sayin'

  • Larry McD (unverified)
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    I was in college in southern Illinois from '62-'67 (after which I went into the Army for almost four years). I was majoring in PoliSci and my favorite professor used to cite Wayne Morse as one of what he called "gen-u-ine damn-the-torpedoes and get-outta-my-way American originals" in public life. He also taught us to respect (and usually to admire if not agree with) contemporaries like Barry Goldwater, Paul Douglas, Eugene McCarthy, and Stephen Young.

    That history explained, I'd like to say that Wee Gordie doesn't have the stature to wash Wayne Morse's undies if, at this late date, we could find them.

    He is, like his friend Mitt, the political equivalent of a slick (OK, slimey) used car, er, character salesman.

    By the way, I was stationed in SE Asia when Packwood beat the man and I damn near cried.

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    There's some historical info about Senator Morse on the Oregon Democrats web site, including some old radio commercials we uncovered a couple of years ago. Listen to Bill Bradbury, Eugene McCarthy and Ted Kennedy talk about Wayne Morse in 1968! http://www.oregondemocrats.org/wayne_morse

  • brian shaw (unverified)
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    How 'bout a little cred where cred is due. The clip comes out of "War Made Easy; How President's and Pundits Keep Spinnning Us to Death," the new MEF produced documentary based on Norman Solomon's 2005 book of the same name. Norman is also the the first person you see in the clip.

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    thanks for that clip....

  • rtscot (unverified)
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    Merkley and Novick may share the spirit of Wayne Morse, and Gordon Smith, well any pairing with Morse is a slander on a great mans name - Wayne left his party over the war, Mr. Smith can't even bring himself to support all of the Democratic initiatives to stop the war.

    <h2>As long as we're talking about Morse though, let's recognize the Oregon pol who has the most direct and personal connection - Ron Wyden was Wayne's driver as a young man and spent long hours of his last campaign with him - learning at the knee as it was. I imagine it was this experience that lead wyden to speak out against the original war resolution (and project that it would generate more terror, not less) when the majority of both sides were marching toward our destruction.</h2>
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