October 31, 2002
9:13 AM   Subscribe

The Republican Party is demanding equal time by the news to match the 3 1/2 hours of what they call "free campaigning" in Paul Wellstone's funeral. Jesse Ventura has joined the fray, threatening to appoint an "Average Minnesotan" to Wellstone's seat because he was angered by the political tone of a funeral for a politician that was attended by politicians. It certainly does suck when media-covered events turn into political commentary. Between the actions of Ventura, the Republican protestors, and the Democrats at the funeral, does anyone here have the high ground?
posted by XQUZYPHYR (98 comments total)
 
Well, gee, if they want to send some pinheaded right-wing republican to die in a flaming plane wreck, they're welcome to do so. That will ensure equal time.
posted by e.e. coli at 9:18 AM on October 31, 2002


Acknowledging, of course, that the Concert for America and the Wellstone funeral were somewhat different, seeing as how the former was, in fact, a memorial service that was intended to raise support and funding. I agree that the booing of Sen. Lott was disrespectful, and for that matter, the excessive applause... this was, after all, supposed to be a memorial service, not a rally.

Still, is it fair for the Right to praise the booing of Hillary Clinton and condemn the Left's tone during the funeral at the same time? And is it fair for the increasingly-irrelevant Ventura to exploit one of his last potential executive powers because, according to the article, his wife's feelings were hurt?

Right now, it seems to me the highest ground belongs to the guy who's six feet under it. Would Paul Wellston have wanted any of the three: the Democrats to exploit his death for the mainstream DNC agenda, the Republicans to complain about his supporters' desire to further his cause, or the governor to stop Wellstone's vision of Democracy by using his death to temporarily suspend the democratic voting process?
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 9:20 AM on October 31, 2002


From a campaign perspective, of course they're going to try to get equal time. The funeral did get the Dems some good campaign media time, and if the Reps have a shot to get equal coverage it would be silly of them not to try for it.

But when it comes down to it, they have no "right" to it. The media can do whatever they please, biased or not(Exhibit A: The New York Times). The Reps saying they should be given extra time is as silly as the notion that talk radio should be regulated because it's "too conservative".

They're going after this as a practical matter, not as a matter of pride or principle. This is a crucial election, and they're going to do everything they can get pull it in their favor (just as the Dems took advantage of the funeral to rally people to their cause.)

....does anyone here have the high ground?

Yes: Ventura. And that's saying a bit.
posted by oissubke at 9:25 AM on October 31, 2002


Let's face it. Wellstone was a political figure, not a vacuous TV celebrity. His life was dedicated to progressive causes and issues, so it would be hard for his memorial service to not reflect that in a large way. It would be hard for people to speak of Wellstone without thinking of his legacy and how to honor it. It's natural for people to urge others to honor an lifelong activist's death with action...

No, the crowd shouldn't have booed Lott or Ventura, but as far as the rest of it, the right-wingers don't get to dictate how the friends, supporters, and loved ones of Wellstone choose to speak about him or honor his death. Perhaps TV didn't need to televise the service, but I don't see anything wrong with the emotion and words expressed at his memorial. It wasn't choreographed, from anything I've read... It was spontaneous.

And frankly, while Lott doesn't deserve to be booed at a memorial service, I'd be happy if he was booed everywhere else he showed up.
posted by crookdimwit at 9:31 AM on October 31, 2002


....does anyone here have the high ground?

The booers did, boo hoo as it was Paul Wellstone's day.
posted by thomcatspike at 9:32 AM on October 31, 2002


Unfortunately, "politics" and "high ground" seem to be polar opposites. This is especially true in the governor's race in Massachusetts and the Senate race in New Hampshire.
posted by MediaMan at 9:33 AM on October 31, 2002


I could not be more tired of politics. From the incessant, inane campaign ads to the politicization of every conceivable event (including the Wellstone "memorial service"), I can't shake the belief that we've lost our collective minds. There is no high ground in politics -- the only question is who has the deeper trench.
posted by pardonyou? at 9:34 AM on October 31, 2002


"or the governor to stop Wellstone's vision of Democracy by using his death to temporarily suspend the democratic voting process?"

I didn't know he was suspending anything. I thought he was thinking about puting someone in Wellstone's place until the election was over.
posted by Akuinnen at 9:34 AM on October 31, 2002


I don't think anyone has the high ground. Jesse is widely seen among the circle I run with as a bit of a whiner (constant bitching about the media, mainly); the Republicans are trying to make hay over the event to counter the sympathy factor, and the Democrats are trying to exploit the death for gain.

It's really sad, and now we get to trade an old man (no one under 53 has ever gotten to vote for him in a senate race) for a young(er), dynamic populist leader. Boo.
posted by norm at 9:35 AM on October 31, 2002


James Carville made the anaolgy the other day, crookdimwit. Wellstone was a politician. Therefore, his funeral had a political tone. If Louie Armstrong died, odds are they'd play jazz at his memorial service, and musicians who spent their careers talking about how jazz sucked probably wouldn't be as welcome.

I'm personally much more concerned with Ventura's belief that he can make himself relevant by trying as hard as he can to find some way to influence the election. For someone who chose not to run because he was tired of the politics, he seems to be very intent on staying involved.

Akuinnen- Ventura's threat to appoint someone himself include the option of keeping the appointee there until a special election in 2003. Declaring the election to be postponed until a year from now is unfair to both the Republican and Democratic candidate.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 9:39 AM on October 31, 2002


Sometimes in life, things happen that don't seem quite fair, but you can't complain about them without looking like a whiny, selfish, insensitive jackass. This is one of those times. The Republicans should shut up. Whether or not they are right, this demand for TV time looks really bad on them.
posted by Fabulon7 at 9:41 AM on October 31, 2002


Somehow the Dem's un/intentional exploitation of a big, politicized crowd just seems way, way less heinous than the Bush administration's politicization of 2,900 funerals on 9-11; you'd think the Republicans really wouldn't want to open this can of worms.
posted by DenOfSizer at 9:42 AM on October 31, 2002


To clarify, it wasn't the "Democrats" at the funeral who turned it into a campaign style event, it was the crowd that did by way of cheering for Clinton and other Democratic leaders there. The crowd happened to be mostly Democratic and they were the ones that made it into what it was, and you can't control the emotions of 20k+ people at an event like that, nor would you want to.. It was emotional.

The "Democrats" that spoke at the memorial did nothing to politicize the memorial service, and any attempt to somehow place blame on them for the actions of an emotional crowd is stretching it, to say the least.
posted by djc at 9:43 AM on October 31, 2002


Most of the Republican outrage about the memorial is politically motivated, but as someone who watched the last half of the event on C-Span, I do think that Wellstone treasurer and longtime friend Rick Kahn was wrong to deliver such a fire-breathing partisan speech (as terrific as it was), especially in his singling out of specific Republicans in attendance.

However, when you read about Kahn and see that he's a background guy who never speaks at Wellstone events, I can believe that his sons had no idea Kahn would take the podium and rain down righteous wrath from the heavens.

Most of the partisan moments in the memorial were brief and not particularly pointed. Wellstone's older son barely touched on politics at all, and his younger son only got carried away at the end with his junior high pep rally "we will win!" chant.

As I said recently on Daily Kos, a great liberal weblog, I found it to be a remarkable and inspirational event that did justice to the memory of one of the great unreconstructed liberals of our time. Tom Harkin's speech was movingly delivered and struck the right mix of the personal and political. It was nice to be reminded by his presence that there are still a few Democrats in the Democratic Party.
posted by rcade at 9:52 AM on October 31, 2002


Am I the only one that was out-and-out disgusted at the rally disguised as a funeral?
And I am a Democrat!
posted by konolia at 9:53 AM on October 31, 2002


Uh, djc...did you even watch the service? I can't see how anyone could come to the conclusion you did. Just curious...

I was furious when I heard those boos at the beginning and cringed and turned away during Rick Kahn's speech. Who the hell boos at a funeral?
posted by hootch at 9:58 AM on October 31, 2002


Am I the only one that was out-and-out disgusted at the rally disguised as a funeral?

No, you're not.
posted by pardonyou? at 10:02 AM on October 31, 2002


Well, gee, if they want to send some pinheaded right-wing republican to die in a flaming plane wreck, they're welcome to do so. That will ensure equal time.

Jesse or Strom are ineligible. It's really not that much more implausible of an idea than the fact that the Senate balance is being held hostage by a man that used to hang out with Randy "Macho Man" Savage.

If there was ever a time more painfully evident of our need for a third party, I don't know of it.
posted by machaus at 10:02 AM on October 31, 2002


The next time a Republican senator dies mere days before an election, equivalent coverage should be expected. That seems most fair. Otherwise, what e.e. coli said.
posted by mcwetboy at 10:02 AM on October 31, 2002


hootch, I did watch most of the service, yes. Like I said above, it was the emotional crowd that reacted, not the "Democratic Leaders" who Republicans are trying to place the blame on. Mr. Khan, like rcade pointed out, did go over the edge, but he's hardly a 'Democratic Leader' now is he?

If anything, the post should read: Between the actions of Ventura, the Republican protestors, and the Sen. Wellstones treasurer at the funeral, does anyone here have the high ground?
posted by djc at 10:07 AM on October 31, 2002


So djc...you wouldn't characterize Rick Kahn's speech (where he embarrassed Republican friends of Mr. Wellstone by begging them to desert their party while those Republicans were paying their respects at the man's funeral) as politicizing. Maybe you read it differently than I do.

The easily manipulated crowd response can be excused...but implicitly using the memorial service to raise money and get votes is tasteless and pathetic. The desperate response of the opposition is equally pathetic, but I guess they viewed the service as the green flag to take off the gloves.
posted by cyclopz at 10:08 AM on October 31, 2002


I nominate Matt Wilson. No, really. He has things to say.
posted by geekyguy at 10:12 AM on October 31, 2002


Much ado about nothing.
posted by rushmc at 10:14 AM on October 31, 2002


This just has that sweet, rancid smell of election fear about it on the part of the Dems, & bumbling, self-inflicted gunshot wound self-righteousness about it on the part of the Reps., who would be better off simply deploring the shamelessness of the participants' turning a memorial service into a party rally and moving on. Where's that 1.75 liter bottle of George Dickel....?
posted by Pressed Rat at 10:14 AM on October 31, 2002


Who has the moral high ground here? Certainly not the Star-Tribune, which should be prosecuted for crimes against the English language.

Their headline reads, "GOP demands equal time." But in the article itself we read, "The state GOP asked for equal air time to match the 3 1/2 hours the memorial was on TV Tuesday night," and "State Republican Party Chair Ron Eibensteiner announced at a Capitol news conference that he had asked for equal air time from radio and television stations."

Does no one at the Star-Tribune realize that "ask" and "demand" are not synonyms?
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 10:16 AM on October 31, 2002


After the Supreme Court gave the presidency away and deprived the country of the real winner (popular vote), nothing else can be viewed as "political" or in bad form....
let the whiners go to war and fix the economy and cut the crap.
posted by Postroad at 10:32 AM on October 31, 2002


[...does anyone here have the high ground? ]

No.

I can't for the life of me figure out why our election laws aren't written to include this rare but foreseeable circumstance. Perhaps in the future the law should just delay the election for 90 days. Wouldn't 30 days for a primary and 60 for a statewide election be enough?
posted by revbrian at 10:35 AM on October 31, 2002


the republicans will probably have the CIA assassinate one of their senators just so they can have their 3 1/2 hours.

conspiracy theory coming right up..................
posted by JonnyX at 10:45 AM on October 31, 2002


The death was news, the funeral was news, and any hijinx at the funeral are news too. I think it's all perfectly legitimate material to be covered on news programs, especially in the state of Minnesota. Nobody's really getting the high ground here, but the state GOP isn't aiming anywhere near that direction by describing the coverage as a "great political imbalance."

Any way you look at it, the privately owned media don't owe the Republicans a thing. The Fairness Doctrine is no longer enforced, and seeing as that change happened on Reagan's watch, it's kind of funny that they're trying to bring it up.
posted by teenydreams at 10:52 AM on October 31, 2002




What Fabulon7 said. It isn't "fair" that Wellstone died, and it isn't "fair" that in celebrating his life the crowd chose to celebrate his politics and got a lot of media coverage in the process.

Are the Republicans demanding that the government compensate for life's advantages being given to someone else? That's a goddamn switch, isn't it.
posted by George_Spiggott at 10:52 AM on October 31, 2002


Thank you very much for that link, teenydreams.
posted by machaus at 10:54 AM on October 31, 2002


And here it is: the target would, of course, be one of most centrist, one most likely to pull a "Jeffords". The actually choice would, however, need to be submitted to a rigorous, computer assisted, cost/benefit analysis, with final approval given by our alien reptilian overlords from area 51.
posted by troutfishing at 10:56 AM on October 31, 2002


This just has that sweet, rancid smell of election fear about it on the part of the Dems ...

If you believe the latest poll, Democrats in Minnesota don't have anything to be afraid of.
posted by rcade at 10:58 AM on October 31, 2002


I would like my taxes returned from George W. Bush, a man who uses my money to campaign for people I would never endorse.

Republicans continue to be vicious, ridiculous and cruel. I guess trapped in the corner, on their way out, what can they do but this?
posted by four panels at 11:08 AM on October 31, 2002


If there was ever a time more painfully evident of our need for a third no party, I don't know of it

After the Supreme Court gave the presidency away and deprived the country of the real winner (popular vote), nothing else can be viewed as "political" or in bad form....

Postroad are you familar with the Electoral College? Because your own popular vote for President has never counted in my life time.
posted by thomcatspike at 11:12 AM on October 31, 2002


I would like my taxes returned from George W. Bush, a man who uses my money to campaign for people I would never endorse.

I agree with you, but it should be borne in mind that while Bush does this to a shocking degree, it's still just a matter of degree. The law should be much clearer about this. Finding a seemingly legitimate pretext to pay an almost entirely taxpayer supported presidential visit to a place when the real intent is to campaign while he's there is invidious no matter who the President is. That Bush exploits it to the hilt is a secondary, if infuriating, issue.
posted by George_Spiggott at 11:18 AM on October 31, 2002


Have we learned nothing?
posted by geekyguy at 11:20 AM on October 31, 2002


I would like my taxes returned from George W. Bush, a man who uses my money to campaign for people I would never endorse.

It would set a nice precedent. Good luck with that, I am counting on you.
posted by thirteen at 11:23 AM on October 31, 2002


One comment please:

This was NOT a funeral!
It was a memorial service.
The funeral was held the day before and was a private matter.

Thank you for listening.
posted by nofundy at 11:24 AM on October 31, 2002


I agree with James Carville--Wellstone devoted his life to progressive causes and ideals. So why not have a big rally devoted to those same causes and ideals as a memorial service for him? I'm sure he wouldn't have wanted those 20,000 people to ignore his values in some misguided attempt at "bipartisanship." If what he believed in can be perpetuated after his death through the enthusiasm of his supporters, why not?

Meanwhile, I was so happy when the Wellstone family uninvited Dick Cheney--if I were Wellstone I wouldn't want a warmonger/profiteer at my memorial service either.
posted by notclosed at 11:34 AM on October 31, 2002


I agree with you, but it should be borne in mind that while Bush does this to a shocking degree, it's still just a matter of degree. The law should be much clearer about this.

How's this: No President or Vice President of the United States may henceforth engage in any campaigning activities whatsoever during their term of elected office.

Many of you have argued in past threads that it is perfectly acceptable for people to be fired by their employers for their political activities, whether because it utilizes company resources (email, phone lines, letterhead, time, etc.) or simply that it reflects poorly upon the company (letters, personal websites, participation in public demonstrations, etc.). If that is the case, then surely the American public has the right to expect those who are paid to represent them not to spend their time and effort in political, rather than governing, activities on "company" time.
posted by rushmc at 11:35 AM on October 31, 2002


You can't get more liberal than Paul Wellstone. Obviously, he was very loved and respected. This, of course, is in stark contrast to the daily propaganda from the GOP media about the evils of liberals and how they have no place in society.

That's what driving Republicans nuts here. They get a dose of reality and they don't like reality. Someone respected this liberal? That can't be, no way....

BTW, wait until they unplug Reagan. It will be a week-long GOP network infomercial up to, and after the funeral.
posted by BarneyFifesBullet at 11:47 AM on October 31, 2002


make himself relevant by trying as hard as he can to find some way to influence the election. For someone who chose not to run because he was tired of the politics

I don't read this as a ploy, a power play... it sounds like our former-wrestling now-governing friend sees a way to throw a wrench in the system that he's sick enough about to leave.

It'd be very interesting, that's for sure... could Mr/Mm Citizen do it? Would they learn what power and influence they actually had and how to use it effectively quickly enough to be... effective? The absolute biggest change in the political system could come about if the answers were yes. Because then someone one else might try it, and the public might pay attention... which is, when Ventura was elected, one of the things pundits said was important about his victory. Hmm.
posted by namespan at 11:50 AM on October 31, 2002


It's really not that much more implausible of an idea than the fact that the Senate balance is being held hostage by a man that used to hang out with Randy "Macho Man" Savage.

I never looked at it that way before.
posted by monkeymike at 11:51 AM on October 31, 2002


I think most of the hubub is around Rick Kahn's passionate, and ultimately over-the-top political speech. Democrats are basically saying "Give the guy a break." This is a guy who was Wellstone's close friend for years, who worked for Paul Wellstone because he believed in Paul Wellstone and what he stood for. Paul Wellstone and his wife, daughter, and staffers died in the midst of trying to win the election. Rick Kahn is surely in emotional turmoil, and wanted to do justice to the Wellstone cause. It happened to be on national television, and nobody could have known he was going to give that speech. Let it be and let's move on, already.

Incidentally, I've heard that none of the political talk seemed the least bit inappropriate if you were inside that auditorium. To those that were there (generalizing I know), it was a terrific and passionate memorial to Paul Wellstone and what he stood for.
posted by Dok Millennium at 11:58 AM on October 31, 2002


It really would have been nice to see all the politicians shut the hell up for once and respect the passing of a respected friend with silence.
posted by botono9 at 12:23 PM on October 31, 2002


The Republicans can complain when their candidate dies. Then the Republicans can complain when the votes they cast by absentee ballot won't count toward the replacement candidate. Then the Republicans can complain when the other party makes it more difficult for voters to get replacement ballots. But until then, playing the victim card shows how little perspective -- not to mention shame -- they have.
posted by subgenius at 12:24 PM on October 31, 2002


tomcat: do you know the history of the electoral college and why it was outdated so many years ago and why the fakery of the election in Florida tossed the "case" to the right-win majority in the Supreme court? Yes: the electoral college finally prevailed. And I know all that. Ok fair is fair. Let a key republican die and then you can have your party there, right? Many honored Wellstone by trying to forge ahead in his path. That some booed Lott is a shame but a natural outpouring of contempt for a fellow who was direct opposite of what--for better or worse--Wellstone stood for and believed in. Lott was just doing his "civic duty."
posted by Postroad at 12:26 PM on October 31, 2002


I agree Dok. Most of it was fine. Rick Kahn just got way out of line, and some nitwits in the arena didn't have the good sense to not boo at Republicans (one leaving only because he had a plane to catch).

Daily Howler points out how some are spinning this way out of control.
posted by McBain at 12:28 PM on October 31, 2002


I think it's pretty safe to assume that if there were a memorial service for a recently departed Republican at the height of campaign season, things would've turned out much the same way. Except maybe the spineless Democrats wouldn't be bitching as loudly.
posted by Ty Webb at 12:32 PM on October 31, 2002


Once again proving (a) there's nothing meaningful, private or personal that politicians of all stripes won't demean with their pitiful aspirations, power-trips, denunciations and wheedlings, and (b) there's nothing those same politician's supporters won't excuse or rationalize away.
posted by UncleFes at 12:37 PM on October 31, 2002


It really would have been nice to see all the politicians shut the hell up for once and respect the passing of a respected friend with silence.

By what right do you seek to impose your notions (silence? please) about what constitutes a properly respectful memorial on other free citizens? How bout this: when you die, leave instructions concerning the type of service you would like, and don't try to dictate to anyone else what they should do. Sound fair?
posted by rushmc at 1:04 PM on October 31, 2002


I'm a Minnesotan Democrat, and Rick Kahn's speech put me on edge. So maybe, at best, the Republicans should get like 10 minutes of comp time. But really, if you think about it, the Republicans get free air time on TV whenever Bush comes to town stumping for someone.
posted by jodic at 1:19 PM on October 31, 2002


Remember that the memorial service was not just for the family and close friends of Wellstone (that was what the funeral was for) but for all of Minnesota and everyone that was represented by Wellstone (not just the people that agreed with him) (why else hold it in a large arena?). Therefore, it was outrageous the level of partisanship and meanness exhibited at the service. If it was a funeral, perhaps I could understand, but not when it's something that's supposed to bring all of Minnesota together in mourning and rememberance.
posted by gyc at 1:22 PM on October 31, 2002


If any one has some time to waste, and they did not see the event they can watch it here via C-SPAN (RealPlayer)

Or if they want to cut right to the Kahn speech that made Ventura walk out, you can listen to that here (Also RealPlayer)


Enjoy...
posted by Steve_at_Linnwood at 1:35 PM on October 31, 2002


Slightly OT, but the largest subplot of The West Wing last night was about a campaign for a deceased candidate continuing unabated and without a replacement.

And is it terribly childish of me to find it amusing that the Republican gubernatorial candidate for Michigan is named Dick Posthumus?
posted by George_Spiggott at 1:40 PM on October 31, 2002


After the Supreme Court gave the presidency away and deprived the country of the real winner (popular vote)

Hey Postroad, before you make comments like that, why don't you take some time to learn how our goverment works....

How the Electoral College Works
  • Whichever party slate wins the most popular votes in the State becomes that State's Electors-so that, in effect, whichever presidential ticket gets the most popular votes in a State wins all the Electors of that State.
  • The candidate for president with the most electoral votes, provided that it is an absolute majority (one over half of the total), is declared president.
But I guess that steals some of your thunders about how the GOP screwed you over, so I guess you might want to keep ignoring the law...
posted by Steve_at_Linnwood at 2:01 PM on October 31, 2002


That's what driving Republicans nuts here. They get a dose of reality and they don't like reality. Someone respected this liberal? That can't be, no way....

Republican Senators and Reps stated all weekend long how much they respected this opponent. The fact is conservatives and liberals disagree fundamentally. They aren't calling the Democrats "evil" here. Republicans are simply pointing out that the Democrats got a mini-convention on national TV just days before the election – and just after asking the Republican opponent to stop campaigning until it was over.

Perhaps this was the best tribute Paul Wellstone could have received, but with the booing of Republicans and Rick Kahn's intentional politicizing of the service, Republicans do have good reason to ask, "What the f*ck is going on?!"
posted by BirdD0g at 2:31 PM on October 31, 2002


From the Daily Howler--

We thought Rick Kahn showed very poor judgment in Tuesday night’s eulogy of Senator Wellstone. Kahn created an awkward, surreal situation by urging Republican pols in attendance to help “win this election for Paul Wellstone.” Minnesota Dems are now paying the price. And by the way, this is almost surely not the way Wellstone would have wanted the event to be handled. Among his other public virtues, Wellstone was courteous and fair.

Everyone claimed to be upset by what happened. But back in Washington, it didn’t take long for the lying to start about Tuesday night’s event. On Wednesday morning’s Washington Journal, for example, Kellyanne Conway (formerly Fitzpatrick)—one of our most disingenuous pundits—made the following ludicrous statement. Try to believe that she said it:

CONWAY: I would commend the viewers’ attention to this morning’s Minneapolis Star-Tribune, which I thought did a bang-up job of reporting on this memorial service. Among the excerpts, Steve and Celinda, you’ll note that the Star-Tribune covers the fact that the people who were in attendance were told by screen when to cheer and when to jeer, and they were told to cheer when the Clintons and Ted Kennedy were displayed and they were told to jeer when Trent Lott and Rod Grams, former senator of Minnesota who lost in 2000, were displayed.

Amazing, isn’t it? Who on earth could really believe that attendees were “told by screen” when to jeer?


As for the boos--

But the Star-Tribune described the conduct on October 30, before it became a cause celebre. Lead writer: Chuck Haga:

HAGA: The biggest cheer was for Walter Mondale, the former senator and vice president who is expected to announce today that he will seek to take Wellstone’s place on the ticket. Moments later, scattered boos greeted Senate Minority Leader Trent Lott, R-Miss., as he entered the arena. Lott smiled and waved.


Ooh, scattered boos or flat out lies--where's the outrage here?
posted by y2karl at 3:01 PM on October 31, 2002


It was so heart warming to see inclusive Democrats honor a man who put principle before politics by hosting an event that put put politics before principle.
posted by paleocon at 3:16 PM on October 31, 2002


As heartwarming and inclusive as the President campaigning two weeks for Republicans on the taxpayer's dime, isn't it, paleocon?
posted by y2karl at 3:25 PM on October 31, 2002


A principled polititian is someone whose politics are inseparable from his principles.
posted by George_Spiggott at 3:40 PM on October 31, 2002


As heartwarming and inclusive as the President campaigning two weeks for Republicans on the taxpayer's dime, isn't it, paleocon?

You right Karl, that is so wrong...

And if we are going to start there, I want 8 years worth of taxes back from all the campaigning that Clinton did on my dime... And every all the campaigning Gore did in 2000 on my dime....

Yeah!
posted by Steve_at_Linnwood at 4:10 PM on October 31, 2002


paleocon, you get my vote and I hope wish some of my taxes.

Ok fair is fair. Let a key republican die and then you can have your party there, right?

Postroad, I live in Dallas and the Prez is coming to support some guy that I don't care or know. I want Ron Kirk to get the Senate seat and I'm republican. Don't tell me how to mourn when I have said nothing bad about Wellstone. Yet your negative comments reflect on him not me if your so passionate. See it is funny what you said, as a republican and one not soon enough that as one I always get the negative remarks thrown at me about the dead ones. Because some know of my past work for a Congressman. So if you thought I was being negative towards your loss sorry. Reflection of one's life is always what seems to be remembered. And the parties tarnished his image, imho.

You all seem to have ethics, certain ideas we don't agree, yet don't ever feel your not on my side. Saying something is more than most these days. So if you care that's all that counts with me. We do get to vote, so the choices are sealed there nothing to argue over. I think some remarks because of the medium we are using seem more of pointing than discussion.

PS, in Dallas they said a lot of nice things that I was able to here. And they said more than I ever thought they would. I learned a lot these last days. Politics has a way of showing its bad side.
posted by thomcatspike at 5:00 PM on October 31, 2002


Well, Steve_At_RushLimbaughwood, considering your pathological obsession with Clinton, I can understand.
posted by y2karl at 5:18 PM on October 31, 2002


The whole thing was an embarrassment for the Democrats. I thought that one of the good things about Wellstone was that so many people liked him, notwithstanding political differences. Shame on the Democrats for dissing his Republican friends at his memorial service. They could have had a rally some other time.
posted by Durwood at 6:18 PM on October 31, 2002


Karl, I have no obsession with Clinton. You attempt to single out Bush for his campaigning, ignoring that the last president (or any past president for that matter) did the same. This is something that all Presidents (Dem or GOP) does.. If you want to talk about how you don't think any president should do this fine. But don't attempt to pin this on Bush solely.

Once again, you like only the truth that is convenient.
posted by Steve_at_Linnwood at 6:31 PM on October 31, 2002


Karl, I have no obsession with Clinton.

???
posted by y2karl at 7:58 PM on October 31, 2002


y2karl: why not contribute something more constructive instead of attacking Steve?
posted by gyc at 8:25 PM on October 31, 2002


Pointing out Steve's creepy dig at Chelsea Clinton shows the pointlessness of responding to him. I think y2karl did us all a valuable public service.
posted by rcade at 9:27 PM on October 31, 2002


Karl, if any one has a creepy obsession, it seems to be you...
posted by Steve_at_Linnwood at 9:45 PM on October 31, 2002


So let me get this straight... Two photos that made the rounds in the major media, one dealing with a major news story from yesterday, and one political cartoon an obsession make? That is pretty loose standards for "obession"...

Karl you really need to get some thing better to do on a Thursday night than search my weblog...
posted by Steve_at_Linnwood at 9:58 PM on October 31, 2002


Look at it this way with me for a minute. Indulge me.

Imagine Trent Lott died in a plane crash last week. Please--stop cheering. That's the problem. Knock it off.

Imagine Trent Lott dies, and there's a big memorial back home in Mississippi in some big auditorium. Half the Senate shows up to show respect: Trent was a nice guy. But they show up for another reason too: to show solidarity with democracy. To show we're all Americans together, and we respect the ballot together, and we are big enough to feel regard and respect across party lines. You know, where I am, party lines are nothing--they're a mirage, an old joke you half remember.

But Lott's dead and the Democrats who worked with him in the Senate show up. I walk in--Paul Wellstone walks in, out of respect--and the 30,000 people in the auditorium jeer me. Ted Kennedy's behind me--he gets hoots and boos. Paul Sarbanes, same thing.

The crowd doesn't honor our presence; the crowd lets us know we're the enemy.

And then some Republicans get up and speak, and they jeer the Democratic party and say Democrats are the enemy. They use Trent Lott's corpse to make partisan gains, to get the turnout up next Tuesday. They turn mourning into mischief.

What would you think if you saw that? Would you say, "What a great moment in the history of our democracy"? I don't think so.


- Peggy Noonan
posted by Steve_at_Linnwood at 11:47 PM on October 31, 2002


Karl you really need to get some thing better to do on a Thursday night than search my weblog...

It took all of 3 minutes to scroll through your 99.9% uncommented upon posts for the past two months, Steve_At_RushLimbaughwood. Although I must admit that my 4 or 5 total visits probably have rolled your total hits into the double digits. Obsession, my ass...

Pointing out Steve's creepy dig at Chelsea Clinton shows the pointlessness of responding to him.

My point exactly.
posted by y2karl at 5:25 AM on November 1, 2002


Okay Karl... You post some crap, I call you on it, and you change the subject... What a shock...
posted by Steve_at_Linnwood at 5:36 AM on November 1, 2002


On topic:

I walk in--Paul Wellstone walks in, out of respect--and the 30,000 people in the auditorium jeer me. Ted Kennedy's behind me--he gets hoots and boos. Paul Sarbanes, same thing.

Ooh, Peggy Noonan--no axe to grind there!

But again, look at the record:

The biggest cheer was for Walter Mondale, the former senator and vice president who is expected to announce today that he will seek to take Wellstone’s place on the ticket. Moments later, scattered boos greeted Senate Minority Leader Trent Lott, R-Miss., as he entered the arena. Lott smiled and waved.

Chuck Haga
Minneapolis Star-Tribune

In a crowd of 20,000, the Star-Tribune reported “scattered boos.”

Daily Howler.
posted by y2karl at 5:42 AM on November 1, 2002


Funny Karl, I watched it, didn't seem to "scattered" to me...

But that is besides the point... There should be NO booing at someone who crossed party lines to show respect, that being the key word here, for a fellow Senator...
posted by Steve_at_Linnwood at 5:46 AM on November 1, 2002


There should be NO booing

You mean, like, Hillary Clinton?

Not that I would ever ever accuse you of trolling with the Peggy Noonan quote.
posted by y2karl at 6:12 AM on November 1, 2002


Yes I mean like Hillary, as much as I dislike her and you think I am obsessed, I think that was inappropriate also. (Though I found it more than a little disturbing that VH1 edited the booing, but that is another subject)

Two wrongs, do not make one right... Were you not taught that as a child?

And Karl you can harp on Noonan all you like, she still raises a valid point. (Lets not change the subject, yet again)
posted by Steve_at_Linnwood at 6:24 AM on November 1, 2002


like, with Hillary Clinton, to be sure...

More to the point, from that link:

The opportunism of Rush Limbaugh and the other whiners was entirely predictable. No complaints need be entertained from the ghouls who have exploited so many deaths for political reasons, from Vince Foster to the children of Susan Smith. The most decent responses came from Republicans like Jim Ramstad, a congressman from Minnesota and a close Wellstone friend who was tastelessly singled out in Kahn's remarks, and former U.S. Sen. Rod Grams, who drew a few boos himself.

"This was their event," Grams said afterward. "They can do what they want. We're here tonight to say goodbye to a friend. That's all I'm thinking right now." "I think it's unfortunate that a memorial service has become a center of controversy," said Ramstad the next day. "Last night was about paying our final respects to six wonderful people and beloved Minnesotans who perished in a terrible tragedy. That was where my focus was. People get carried away sometimes with emotions. We all get carried away sometimes with emotions. Just let it be."

posted by y2karl at 6:24 AM on November 1, 2002


Yes I mean like Hillary, as much as I dislike her and you think I am obsessed, I think that was inappropriate also.

Um, and your cheap shot at Chelsea, Mr. Taste and Decorum?
posted by y2karl at 6:32 AM on November 1, 2002


The opportunism of Rush Limbaugh and the other whiners was entirely predictable.

So you are telling me that you think they only people offended by this were Rush Limbaugh types? Tell that to my very liberal in-laws, who always voted for Wellstone, that turned off their TV because they were so disgusted.

A better question: If there was nothing wrong, why did the DFL apologize?

Um as for my "cheap shot" first take that up with AP, where I got the photo, and every major media outlet that ran it. Secondly, the "young lady" knows she is often photographed, yet goes out in public like that? I think that says a little some thing about her....

(For the third time, don't change the subject.)
posted by Steve_at_Linnwood at 6:37 AM on November 1, 2002


Peggy Noonan wrote a very moving column regarding Paul Wellstone's passing earlier...not partisan at all.

I think the point everyone is missing is simple common decency. Why should any side boo the other side, especially at such an occasion? I cannot fathom Paul Wellstone doing that. It is simply rude and uncouth, and one could think one could expect more polite behavior from supposedly civilized mature adults. And that goes for Hillary's boo-ers as well.
I think getting nasty about the Republicans here is a red herring. They have not reached sinless perfection by any means, but this particular incident is what we are talking about, and the rude ones just happened to be Democrats.
posted by konolia at 6:51 AM on November 1, 2002


A better question: If there was nothing wrong, why did the DFL apologize?

That's a rather poor question, actually, given that politicians will apologize loudly and with an aspect of full contrition for their own births if they think it will play will with the voters.

Secondly, the "young lady" knows she is often photographed, yet goes out in public like that?

What's wrong with the picture?
posted by rushmc at 7:26 AM on November 1, 2002


Why did Republicans get booed at Wellstone's memorial? I'd simply point to the Ted Rall article about Wellstone possibly being assasinated, which was absolutely the first thought to enter this Minnesota Democratic Farmer-Laborer's head last week when I heard this horrible news.

What I hate most is that I'm now living in a country in which I would even have this thought--this was not true before GWB took power. I'm fairly confident that most of the DFL Wellstone activists (who made up the bulk of this audience) at his memorial thought much the same thing last week. And I bet, like me, they absolutely hate the thought of showing respect to former political opponents who are really now enemies. There is a huge difference.

Enter to this memorial several Republicans paying respect to Wellstone -- dirty-politics-smear-campaigning-election-stealing-now-political-murdering Republicans -- and you wonder why they booed? Their opportunistic presence is what really makes me sick in this whole thing.

Here's a thought--if they want a free, three hour Republican memorial rally shown on teevee, then they should pick one of their own candidates to off. Otherwise, shut the fuck up.

Luckily the election is in less than a week -- though I expect plenty of dirty tricks to mar Minnesota's normally smooth election process.
posted by mooncrow at 8:10 AM on November 1, 2002


So, Steve, again, tell it to Representative Jim Ramstad, Republican, Minnesota:

Last night was about paying our final respects to six wonderful people and beloved Minnesotans who perished in a terrible tragedy. That was where my focus was. People get carried away sometimes with emotions. We all get carried away sometimes with emotions. Just let it be.

Oh, and...

Secondly, the "young lady" knows she is often photographed, yet goes out in public like that? I think that says a little some thing about her....

Not that I could care less what Jenna Bush wears or does with her time but where's your outrage at that display?
No, I think your cheap shot at Chelsea says volumes about you, Steve. You just obsessively hate the Clintons.
posted by y2karl at 8:29 AM on November 1, 2002


So what, just because Jim Ramstad is a Republican doesn't make him correct, and he isn't...

And did you not read what I wrote???

Two wrongs, do not make one right...

You are so busy yelling "But, but look over here what they did..."

What the underage drinking of the Bush daughters is awful too.. that doesn't make Chelsea behavior less notable... One does not excuse the other... Are you mad that I didn't post one of the drunken Bush girls? Well if they make the rounds at the AP photo loop, I will... I surely wasn't going to search the web for a site the expressively exists to make fun of them... If Chelsea photo hadn't made the major media, it would not have found it was to my site, but I regress, I need not defend my self to you.

Karl you may think what you like, but do not ever attempt to inform me what I do and do not think.

I mean for Christ's sake, the Clintons isn't even the topic of this thread, but you have no where to go with your invalid point, that you deflect.

Get over yourself! Learn to argue back, instead of changing the subject when you get cornered. You then excuse one misdeed with another you think I will excuse... You are wrong, I am not blind to the deeds of my party. I can not stand stupidity in my camp, though you seem fine with it, as long as you can find something to trump it....

You may attempt to paint me a partisan, but I am not.

I have made my point, and I am done with this little pissing match you want to have...
posted by Steve_at_Linnwood at 9:17 AM on November 1, 2002


Yeah, yeah--getting her picture taken with your boyfriend while not wearing a bra=misdeed and moral lapse. The horror! The horror! Boy, you must be fun on Oscar night. Not a partisan--right...
posted by y2karl at 11:39 AM on November 1, 2002


well, her boyfriend, not yours, to be sure...
posted by y2karl at 11:42 AM on November 1, 2002


Learn to argue back, instead of changing the subject when you get cornered.

Gonna have to agree with Steve here, y2karl. He's at least trying to make this a sensible argument, whereas you resort to ad hominem attacks and repeated subject changing. Do you have a point or not? ("Steve is evil" doesn't count here - we'd need a new thread for that. A long, long thread.)
posted by BirdD0g at 12:43 PM on November 1, 2002


Here's a thought--if they want a free, three hour Republican memorial rally shown on teevee, then they should pick one of their own candidates to off. Otherwise, shut the fuck up.

By all means keep that "Wellstone was assassinated" theory going, it reflects well on your reasoning ability. As does use of the phrase "shut the fuck up."
posted by pardonyou? at 1:21 PM on November 1, 2002


Gonna have to agree with Steve here, y2karl.

I second that motion. At the very least, y2karl, try to make your evasive one-liners more entertaining! :-)
posted by oissubke at 1:33 PM on November 1, 2002


"Steve is evil" doesn't count here - we'd need a new thread for that. A long, long thread.

I'd be with the minority arguing that Steve is good, of course. I'd like to formally thank you now, for fighting our battles (particularly the ones regarding gun-control) when I haven't got the time. On Wisconsin!
posted by BirdD0g at 3:01 PM on November 1, 2002


Oh, and going off on a tangent here-regarding the Chelsea pic-you men may not be aware of the fact that a lady's chest can look like that even WITH a bra on-all it takes is youth and cold weather.

That photographer must be VERY proud of him/(her)self.
posted by konolia at 4:04 PM on November 1, 2002


And which subject did I change? That Clinton campaigned on the public dime, too? Well, Steve's right there. Whoo, smackdown! Let it be noted, however, that Bush has taken campaigning on the public dime to a new height .And since Steve weaseled out with the I won, I'm leaving, maybe some of you amen choirboys over there in the far right corner can tell me what is so awful and offensive about that picture of Chelsea Clinton--that her nipples are visible--the horror!--or that she's with her boyfriend?

Two wrongs don't make a right

What is she doing wrong!?

Not a damn thing--unless you have a hair up a gnat's ass animus towards all things Clinton. Christ, I can't stand either Bill or Hillary--but slagging on Chelsea? C'mon... And over nothing? I repeat: what's she doing wrong?

Take a cheap shot, don't explain what's so goddamn offensive and run--talk about evasion, Mr. Islamic Dress Code.

So what, just because Jim Ramstad is a Republican doesn't make him correct, and he isn't...

Wow, now that's proof. I am so refuted.
posted by y2karl at 5:26 PM on November 1, 2002


What I hate most is that I'm now living in a country in which I would even have this thought--this was not true before GWB took power.

Where's your sense of history? Anyone who is just now feeling uneasy paranoia about political assassination is ignoring the horrendous period when we lost JFK, RFK, and Martin Luther King and people tried to kill Ford and Reagan too.

Your statement reminds me of all the people who make it sound like 9/11 was the worst thing ever to happen to this country and the biggest burden the American people have ever faced. Like the Civil War, Great Depression, and World War II were walks in the park.
posted by rcade at 8:36 PM on November 1, 2002


It's one thing to assassinate a political leader; quite another to destroy the foundation of a government hard-won at considerable cost over a period of more than two centuries.
posted by rushmc at 10:49 PM on November 1, 2002


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