FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

The Senator Without Shame

by JAMES ABOUREZK

A few days after the announcement of Alexander Cockburn’s death from a cancer affliction, former U.S. Senator Larry Pressler (R-SD) told the Rapid City, South Dakota Journal that he had obtained a “huge libel settlement from Alex’s publisher” as a result of a lawsuit Pressler said he initiated against Alex and his publisher.

In the words of Robert Welsh, the lawyer who represented the U.S. Army when Sen. Joe McCarthy tried to smear a young associate of Welsh’s with a Communist brush, “At long last, have you no shame?”  he asked of McCarthy.  That question applies doubly to Pressler.

Pressler, whose Senate career was largely unremarkable, took offense to a chapter in one of Alex’s books, Washington Babylon (with Ken Silverstein), in which he quoted various people as saying Pressler was gay, among other descriptions of Pressler’s moronic stumble through his Senate career.  Like the time he left a Senate Committee hearing and tried to exit through a closet.  Waiting what he thought was an appropriate amount of time so there would be no one left in the hearing room, he came out of the closet to find everyone staring at him.

Not satisfied to ignore the chapter in Alex’s book, his television consultant for his 1996 re-election campaign decided to denounce both Alex and me in a massive television advertising buy, calling attention to Alex’s book.  Incidentally, Pressler’s advertising consultant whose brilliance conceived the idea of attacking Alex on the issue of gayness was a Pressler consultant named Art Finkelstein, described in part in his Wikipedia entry:

In 1996, Boston Magazine outed Finkelstein as a homosexual in a feature story.  In April, 2005, Finkelstein acknowledged that in December, 2004, he had married his partner of forty years in a civil ceremony at his home in Massachusetts.

Finkelstein, who is credited during his opportunistic career with making “liberal” a dirty word, has consulted for such statesmen as Avigdor Lieberman and Bibi Netanyahu, as well as a host of other Republican luminaries.

But for Pressler to find cheer in Alex Cockburn’s death is an act that is beyond the pale, even for a nonentity like Pressler.  Knowingly offering his grave-dancing to a South Dakota newspaper is so obscene that one can hardly find words to describe it.

Alex Cockburn was one of the few honest men left in America, someone journalism sorely needs.  Pressler is first among a number of persons who are not fit to shine Alex’s shoes.

JAMES ABOUREZK is a former U.S. Senator from South Dakota.  He is the author of Advise & Dissent: Memoirs of South Dakota and the U.S. Senate, a  memoir now available only on Amazon’s Kindle.  His e mail address is:  georgepatton45@gmail.com

 

More articles by:

James Abourezk is a former US senator from South Dakota. He is the author of: Advise and Dissent: Memoirs of an ex-Senator.

January 23, 2018
Carl Boggs
Doomsday Panic in Hawaii
Mark Ashwill
If I Were US Ambassador to Vietnam…
Jack Rasmus
US Government Shutdown: Democrats Blink…Again
Nick Pemberton
The Inherent Whiteness of “Our Revolution”
Leeann Hall
Trump’s Gift for the Unemployed: Kicking Them Off Health Care
Dean Baker
Lessons in Economics For the NYT’s Bret Stephens: Apple and Donald Trump’s Big Tax Cut
Mitchell Zimmerman
Law, Order and the Dreamers
Ken Hannaford-Ricardi
The Kids the World Forgot
Dave Lindorff
South Korea Slips Off the US Leash
Ali Mohsin
Extrajudicial Murder of Pashtun Exposes State Brutality in Pakistan
Jessicah Pierre
Oprah is No Savior
John Carroll Md
Keeping Haiti in Perspective
Amir Khafagy
Marching Into the Arms of the Democrats
January 22, 2018
Patrick Cockburn
It’s Time to Call Economic Sanctions What They Are: War Crimes
Jim Kavanagh
Behind the Money Curtain: A Left Take on Taxes, Spending and Modern Monetary Theory
Sheldon Richman
Trump Versus the World
Mark Schuller
One Year On, Reflecting and Refining Tactics to Take Our Country Back
Winslow Wheeler
Just What Earmark “Moratorium” are They Talking About?
W. T. Whitney
José Martí, Soul of the Cuban Revolution
Uri Avnery
May Your Home Be Destroyed          
Wim Laven
Year One Report Card: Donald Trump Failing
Jill Richardson
There Are No Shithole Countries
Bob Fitrakis - Harvey Wasserman
Are the Supremes About to Give Trump a Second Term?
Laura Finley
After #MeToo and #TimesUp
Howard Lisnoff
Impressions From the Women’s March
Andy Thayer
HuffPost: “We Really LOVED Your Contributions, Now FUCK OFF!”
Weekend Edition
January 19, 2018
Friday - Sunday
Paul Street
Dr. King’s Long Assassination
David Roediger
A House is Not a Hole: (Not) Caring about What Trump Says
George Burchett
How the CIA Tried to Bribe Wilfred Burchett
Mike Whitney
Trump’s Plan B for Syria: Occupation and Intimidation
Michael Hudson – Charles Goodhart
Could/Should Jubilee Debt Cancellations be Reintroduced Today?
Marshall Auerback – Franklin C. Spinney
Boss Tweet’s Generals Already Run the Show
Andrew Levine
Remember, Democrats are Awful Too
James Bovard
Why Ruby Ridge Still Matters
Wilfred Burchett
The Bug Offensive
Brian Cloughley
Now Trump Menaces Pakistan
Ron Jacobs
Whiteness and Working Folks
Jeffrey St. Clair
The Keeper of Crazy Beats: Charlie Haden and Music as a Force of Liberation
Robert Fantina
Palestine and Israeli Recognition
Jan Oberg
The New US Syria “Strategy”, a Recipe For Continued Disaster
ADRIAN KUZMINSKI
The Return of the Repressed
Mel Gurtov
Dubious Partnership: The US and Saudi Arabia
Robert Fisk
The Next Kurdish War Looms on the Horizon
Lawrence Davidson
Contextualizing Sexual Harassment
Jeff Berg
Approaching Day Zero
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail