October 29, 2002
DISHONORING HIS MEMORY:
Wellstone Family Bars Cheney from Memorial
(NewsMax, Oct. 29, 2002)
The family of political "nice-guy" Sen. Paul Wellstone has said they don't want Vice President Dick Cheney to attend a memorial service for the late liberal Democrat scheduled for Tuesday night, a White House spokesman confirmed late Monday, with a Wellstone campaign spokesman hinting the service will double as a campaign rally.
"The [Wellstone] family was appreciative [of Cheney's offer]," White House spokesman Scott Stanzel told the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, confirming that Cheney's offer to attend was rebuffed in conversations with family members.
"Asked if that meant the Wellstone family did not want Cheney to come, he said that was correct," the Star-Tribune said. [...]
Wellstone campaign spokesman Allison Dobson hinted that Cheney was also disinvited because the memorial service will double as a campaign rally for former Vice President Mondale, Wellstone's chosen successor.
This is the most vile kind of politicization of the Senator's death. He was after all a United States Senator, not just a senator for the Democrats. Imagine the uproar if Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter were to be asked not to attend Ronald Reagan's memorial service?
Posted by Orrin Judd at October 29, 2002 10:14 AM
Yes, this is fairly disgusting. It seems fairly common that the families of decent men like Wellstone are less decent and more political than the deceased. I think we've seen this sort of thing before.
Disgusting? Yes. Indeed, shameful.
Hypocritical? Even more so. I just read not two hours ago that the Dems are assailing Republicans who are attacking Mondale's record "so soon after the tragedy." Wellstone's death -- not to mention the death of his wife and daughter and fellow passengers -- is indeed a tragedy of the first order. But Mondale is still living and apparently intends to vie for a seat in the higher house of our national legislature (a legislature that, vis-a-vis the legislatures of the several States, more and more frequently determines the fate of our sovereign People). How is it logical that a candidate (for that's what he is) who replaces another killed by tragedy is thereby insulated from criticism? Life will go on for the rest of us when the grieving process ends, and as voters we all deserve to know that for which Mondale will stand after it does. Indeed, the Republicans have a DUTY to get the information out there on the airwaves while there's still time to inform the electorate (if they didn't already know that Mondale is the wrong choice). I would point out to Ms. Dobson as well as the Mondale campaign that it is clear which party is seeking to capitalize and the death of one its standard-bearers.
Is all of this hypocrisy surprising? Good God no. The Democrats don't even bother to make sense any more, if they ever did.
I don't know, guys. I like a good Democrat bashing as much as the next guy, but this strikes me as nothing more than good heads-up hardball. Of course the Dems want to get in some stealth campaigning while Coleman is still shut-down. Who wouldn't? Shame on Coleman if he let's them get away with it, just as its shame on John Ashcroft for not fighting for his senate seat. I'm surprised they didn't let Cheney show up and then have him sit there while they bashed Bush and Coleman, giving him a choice between acquiescing through silence or attacking them at the "Memorial Service."
If you believe that there is something important at stake in these elections (and I'm not sure that the Republican party is convinced of that), then using Paul Wellstone's death to further his politics seems like a pretty small gnat at which to strain.
What's funny about this is the criticism the Dems leveled at Mr. Coleman over the weekend after it was revealed that the Republicans were polling in the state to see how Mondale v Coleman would shake out.
So it's wrong for the Republican to poll, but it's okay for the Dems to turn a funeral into a campaign rally. I thought Mr. Mondale had more class than this.
No conservative can welcome a society in which the blood of a dead Senator, no matter his politics, is used to score partisan political points. To be a conservative is to believe that there are things more important than the merely political. That may be why we lose, but it still seems better than the alternative. Let the poor guy be buried in peace.
"Another White House official said privately that with the memorial service expected to draw thousands, the Wellstone family told the White House they did not want mourners subjected to the kind of security screenings that Cheney's attendance would have required. This official also said White House advisers worried that the memorial service, with unions bringing supporters by the busload, would double as a Democrat get-out-the-vote rally and be awkward for Cheney."
Fuck all of you. You guys seems to believe that you have the right to play pundits at how the families of six dead people grieve. The fact that conservatives have tried to lie about their relationship to the deceased doesn't mean that those closest to the dead agree. Nor does ABC's centrist The Note.
Wellstone thought that a) politics were central to scoiety's existence and b) the GOP was wrong on all important issues. He clearly would not have wanted those central values to be omitted from a public celebration of his life.
Blogger self-regard is out of control when random assholes second guess the families of dead people.
At the point where a funeral is a carefully controlled, public, partisan, campaign event, there can be no expectation of privacy and the reprehensible behavior of the family is fair game.
Jeff: What gives you the right to cuss out the rest of the posters? Do you walk on water or something special?
He's a Leftist, don't you know. Because his heart is pure he's not bound by rules of simple courtesy.
The funny thing is that a lot of post-mortem coverage cited Wellstone's attendance at the funeral of conservative godfather Barry Goldwater.
While Wellstone reported considerable bemusement -- and some good natured ribbing -- from Goldwater's right-wing friends and associates, he wasn't hissed at.
And, as far as I know, then-Vice President Al Gore wasn't told to keep his distance by Goldwater's family.
Andrew Sullivan put it well: Wellstone's memorial was the triumph of political values over human ones. Wellstone was a passionate politician; but he also knew when to leave the politics at home and just be a decent human being.