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i will not let it rest

i will not let it rest. i'm still pissed

From Maria McGrory in the Washington Post: more glorification and rationalizing of the Wellstone Ballot Drive Memorial Service. (italics are hers)

Wellstone was unique in death as well. His memorial service, which commemorated all the victims of the crash, was like no other.

Got that right. He's probably the first person to be memorialized at a party convention rally.

Twenty thousand grievers crowded into the University of Minnesota -- and had a wonderful time.

Actually, they weren't all grievers. There were busloads of union workers and voters brought in to lend to the politcal rally atmosphere.

There was rock music, there were emotional, dry-eyed tributes from his two lovely sons, one of whom looks just like him.

Don't forget the beach balls and concession stands selling hot dogs and soda. And his son looks like Yahoo Serious.

Tom Harkin delivered what could only be called a fighting eulogy, almost every line of which was cheered to the rafters.

That wasn't a euology. It was a campaign commercial.

It ended with a call to arms for the mourners to fight for the causes Wellstone had bequeathed to them -- along with his high heart for life and politics.

It ended without the governer of Minnesota in attendance, because he walked out on the shameful display. It ended without dignity. It ended with a disgusting display of partisanship and election time whoring.

Funeral service as rally is a new concept, but as the master of ceremonies, George Latimer, said, "He would not have wanted it any other way."

Master of Ceremonies? Where were the scantily clad girls to escort the speech makers out on stage? Where was the Ringmaster in his tophat announcing each new speaker? They wouldn't have been totally out of place.

And please stop calling it a funeral service. It was a ballot drive, pure and simple.

His memorial service, which commemorated all the victims of the crash, was like no other.

Really? I bet the families of the pilots who died thought the service was "like no other" also. Not in a good way, dear.

Will someone from the Democratic party please stand up and admit how wrong this was?

link via Juan Gato


my absolute favorite response was in stephen's comments. i assume you saw it, but just in case:

I think it's perfectly appropriate to single out Republicans in the memorial audience and ask them to change to Democrats for Paul's sake. I just don't think they went far enough. Since Wellstone was Jewish, I think the speaker should have insisted that the Republicans, if Christian, change faiths as well; they should have their foreskins reattached and ritually removed. Out of respect.

Bris for Paul! Bris for Paul! Bris for Paul!

Posted by Lileks at October 30, 2002 11:13 AM

I saw it at Stephen's but smirked upon reading it again. No one does it quite like Lileks.

question - why did you watch it if it was so bad? and was jesse the body wearing any kind of boa, or was he in the solemn black tights today?

Stupid question. Would you rather we bury our heads in the sand as our leaders slouch towards Bethlehem? It is our duty to watch them...and then to vote their asses out of office.

If his family was cool with it, I don't see where any of the rest of us have much say in the matter.

What about the families of the rest of the dead? Their names were invoked that night as well...

Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying the Republicans are the shiny knights in this...Lott probably left early because he had an appointment with a hooker or something. And their indignant outcry was just a tad delayed, wasn't it? It's like they gauged public opinion first before going, "Um, yeah, hey, that was not cool, guys!" Meh. They all suck.

Except Jesse. I love Jesse.

Good point Stacy. As long as ALL of the families are on board, then more power to 'em.

I have always wanted a full-out New Orleans funeral for myself, with a marching jazz band and a wake where everyone gets good and drunk and it takes three rooms to hold all the food...

Wow, I can't believe the outrage continues.

Why not outrage about real issues, like the economy, terrorism, etc? Getting all bent out of shape over this is really, well, stupid, when there are real issues to be outraged about.

I'm still a registered Democrat but an alienated one. I'm probably considered a traitor for advocating self-examination. Tammy Bruce is an insider with some good observations on the hipocracy of the left. I haven't read anything from Camille Paglia on this yet but I'd say she might have a few choice words for her fellow Dems.

If you want to have a party for a funeral that's fine. I'd like to be cremated and have a non-religous service with a party atmosphere myself. The party-like atmosphere is not an issue with me. The political atmosphere is though. When my grandmother died one of her church friends came up to me and told me that I needed to find Jesus so my grandmother's death would not be in vain. (I wanted to slap her) The Democrats did the same thing only with a different agenda.

Scott: Isn't that like saying that outrage is a finite quantity which has to be allocated sparingly? I'll admit that the economy and terrorism are much more important issues in the long run, but it's okay to be pissed off about a tasteless campaign run at somebody's memorial service.

Besides being tasteless, it could also be an issue to be concerned about, simply because the US has had very little confidence in the voting process lately. We've had allegations of misconduct, misrepresentation, and poor handling of elections. The recent Florida election and the Presidential election caused a great deal of division in the country. The sort of grandstanding and partisan behaviour that went on at what was supposed to be a memorial service seem to take advantage of people in mourning. Voter manipulation. Legal, yes. Ethical, no. And this sort of thing only harms the external image of the Democratic party.

Thanks for calling us stupid, Scott. Why do you assume we're not outraged about anything else? Because we don't give them all equal time in every single post? That's stupid.

Pfish said it better. pout

There is nothing legally, ethically or morally wrong with what happened at Mr. Wellstone's memorial, unless it happened against the wishes of the deceased, or the family of the deceased. Yeah, it was certainly tasteless, and it definitely didn't make the Dem's look very good. But Paul Wellstone lived a good part of his life in the political arena, so it shouldn't come as a surprise that his memorial service took a political turn. And as far as divisions go, the way I see it, division is the only thing that will make a democracy work. If you don't have large groups of people who are pissed off and inspired enough to get involved in the process, you wind up having an elite little group of dictators who get to make all the decisions on their own, with little regard for the common good.

No, I'm saying that folks are really up in arms about the wrong thing, Stacey. The sheer amount of bandwidth wasted over everyone's outrage over this has been unbelievable.

How come there's no outrage from y'all about Bush campaigning non-stop since he got his war resolution? I thought that the war was the priority, but then he turns around and does nothing BUT partisan politics, including telling blatant lies every single stop he makes? Why did he need that resolution right then and there? He hasn't used it, has he?

Better yet, how do folks feel about the fact that WE'RE the ones paying for his campaigning? I'm a registered Democrat, and I didn't not vote for this man. The claims that Clinton was a campaigning maniac pale compared to what this Administration has pulled off.

But nope, W was to bring back respect to the White House.

I just find it ludicrous that folks are so up in arms over all of this. I shouldn't, considering how much time and money was wasted over Clinton.


We're up in arms about it because shows a lack of common decency in public we expect professional public servants to show. You may or may not like Bush. You might think he is good or you might think he is evil. At least he doesn't blatantly do things like this.

Actually, I'm not in favour of partisan politics at all. So Bush doesn't get a yay from me for throwing down the Republican partisan gauntlet over war issues either.

This whole partisan, vote party line stinks. It stinks because it's back to Them Against Us, Good Guys Versus Bad Guys, and none of them paying attention to actual issues. (Well, no, that's not entirely true. But the issues become the ax they wield to get their party in. Not the other way round, if that makes sense.)

On top of it all, you can't be on the side of one issue, without being slotted in with whichever team holds that side. Say you are anti-abortion, and you are automatically labelled conservative. Say you are pro-gay marriage and wham! you're a liberal.

To get back to a few points made earlier about the memorial service, and the family wanting it that way: I have no problems with cheerful, riotous, or weird memorial services BUT if it's for the family's benefit, then it should be kept private. The media danced around this one, and the Democrats, as pointed out on other blogs, got in a whole schwackload of free publicity without the nasty spending caps normally set on campaign publicity or rally expenditures. It seemed like the Demos really seized on an emotional moment and used it to extract public sympathy to try and manipulate voters. (Not saying that the Republican's haven't done similar things, and when they do, they often get their share of criticism. It just happened to be the Democratic party this time.)