Ed Driscoll.com Ed Driscoll.com
By Ed Driscoll · October 30, 2002 12:54 PM · Bobos In Paradise · Democracy In America

As probably everybody reading this has already seen, the funeral services for Paul Wellstone ended up as a partisan pep rally yesterday. If you haven't, here's a round up of the coverage.

InstaPundit notes that "The event was too tacky for former pro wrestler Jesse Ventura." (And that's saying something!)

Meanwhile, Jonah Goldberg writes:

That is what was so offensive about that rally: It shamelessly used Wellstone's death for partisan advantage while its organizers cynically accused their opponents of doing precisely that. Blaming others for something awful you've done is perhaps the defining attribute of Bill Clinton and his legacy on the Democratic party. Wellstone did many good things out of principle including work with Jesse Helms, a man he grew to befriend, on human rights in China. But he will now be invoked by Democrats everywhere simply to get out the vote, beat up Republicans, and raise millions of dollars in campaign contributions.

In short, so long as they hold onto the Senate, the Clinton Democrats who often found Wellstone's principles inconvenient will find him more useful dead than alive. They will rewrite the story of his life to fit any cause they choose much as they have done with other Democratic martyrs like John and Robert Kennedy (a Cold War anti-Communist and the attorney general who personally authorized the bugging of Martin Luther King, respectively). Wellstone's distinctiveness and honesty will melt in a warm pool of mass-marketed nostalgia. And, if Republicans complain, Democrats will simply charge insensitivity and laugh all the way to the bank.

Andrew Stuttaford reports that "Rick Kahn, the friend of Paul Wellstone who made what has been seen as an excessively partisan speech at the late senator's memorial service was, apparently, unrepentant afterwards". Kahn was quoted as saying:
"Can they not one time, just one time, step forward for Paul and honor that friendship? Why can't they do that? One time, for one week. That's what we're asking. That they go out there and say Paul Wellstone did this wonderful work and we need to keep his legacy alive by sending his successor to his seat. "
Here's the photo that started it all. In retrospect, it was probably wise of the Wellstone family to tell Dick Cheney that he wasn't welcome at the funeral.

Wellstone's death released a remarkable outpouring of sympathy from both parties. Peggy Noonan's warm, admiring essay is representative of the tone from a wide range of columnists and bloggers.

But Wellstone's awesomely tacky funeral has destroyed much of that bipartisan goodwill. Its ill-will has already caused Orrin Judd to write:

Out of respect for the wishes of the Wellstone family and the Democrat Party we too will abjure decency and treat the Senator's death as a purely partisan matter. In that regard, while we regret the manner of his departure, we would note that on the day he died the prospects for human freedom were improved in America and the world.
Expect to see more such writing as the anger from this ill-conceived event festers. Next time, bury Caesar, praise him--and then have the pep rally, the day after.

UPDATE: CNSNews.com is reporting:

The chair of the Minnesota Republican Party is calling on the state's television and radio stations to give the GOP equal time to campaign, given the partisan tone of Tuesday night's memorial for the late Sen. Paul Wellstone, who along with his wife and daughter, perished in a plane crash last week.
UPDATE: Wellstone's campaign manager now says, "It would probably have been best not to have the election mentioned."

Gee, you think?

Since 2002, News, Technology and Pop Culture, 24 Hours a Day, Live and in Stereo!

(And every Saturday on Sirius XM Satellite Radio.)

What They're Saying

"Just this week, the McCain camp released an ad that looked astonishingly similar to a parody ad created by blogger Ed Driscoll, which combined Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton's famous '3 AM' ad with a second segment telling viewers that Mr. McCain also could be relied upon to respond to a crisis situation." --The Washington Times, September 5, 2008

Twitter Feed
About Me


Support the Site


February 2009
January 2009
December 2008
November 2008
October 2008
September 2008
August 2008
July 2008
June 2008
May 2008
April 2008
March 2008
February 2008
January 2008
December 2007
November 2007
October 2007
September 2007
August 2007
July 2007
June 2007
May 2007
April 2007
March 2007
February 2007
January 2007
December 2006
November 2006
October 2006
September 2006
August 2006
July 2006
June 2006
May 2006
April 2006
March 2006
February 2006
January 2006
December 2005
November 2005
October 2005
September 2005
August 2005
July 2005
June 2005
May 2005
April 2005
March 2005
February 2005
January 2005
December 2004
November 2004
October 2004
September 2004
August 2004
July 2004
June 2004
May 2004
April 2004
March 2004
February 2004
January 2004
December 2003
November 2003
October 2003
September 2003
August 2003
July 2003
June 2003
May 2003
April 2003
March 2003
February 2003
January 2003
December 2002
November 2002
October 2002
September 2002
August 2002
July 2002
June 2002
May 2002
April 2002
March 2002


Bookmark Me!

Blogroll Me!

Steal This Button!

Syndicate this site (XML)
Podcasts Feed

AddThis Feed Button

AddThis Social Bookmark Button


Our Podcasts' Apple iTunes Page

Powered by
Movable Type 3.35

Site design by

tumblr site counter
Copyright © 2002-2008 Edward B. Driscoll, Jr. All Rights Reserved