by John Nichols from the May 27, 2002 The Nation
Paul Wellstone is a hunted man.
Minnesota's senior senator is not just another Democrat on Karl Rove's target list, in an election year
when the Senate balance of power could be decided by the voters of a single state. Rather, getting rid
of Wellstone is a passion for Rove, Cheney, Bush and the special-interest lobbies that fund the most
sophisticated political operation ever assembled by a presidential administration.
Subject: Re: Senator Wellstone--i agree
what a shame.
while attempting to attend the funeral of a friend,
senator wellstone and his family died.
it is a sad day for all americans.
Paul Wellstone: In His Own Voice
by David Corn at TheNation.com
A former student of mine, Joel Chrastil, asked me to come to Paynesville to support
this effort. When I left home, Sheila said to me, "Don't get arrested!"
I said, "Of course not, don't worry about
it. I am working for the governor.
I certainly can't get arrested." Famous last words!
Sheila knew me too well. The problem is,
I made the mistake of jumping on a table and
giving a speech about how we would "stay until there is justice for the Kohnen family."
I thought the bank would surely work out a compromise.
But not so. At closing time, one of the
farmers, Mike Laidlaw, announced, "Some of us are staying!"
They turned to ask what I was going to do. I had no choice. I'd given the speech! I couldn't walk out
on the farmers or him. I made the lead story on the 6:00 and 10:00 P.M. news, being handcuffed and
led away by the police. Not a good move for a special assistant to the governor and not a great strategy
for getting elected to the U.S. Senate.
Subject: Senator Wellstone
I'm stunned and saddened, Senator Paul Wellstone,
one of my heroes is gone.
I am reminded of part of a simple eulogy I heard in 1968.
(He) "need not be idealized, or enlarged in death beyond what he was in life. Rather he should be
Remembered simply as a good and decent man
who saw wrong and tried to right it
saw suffering and tried to heal it
saw war and tried to stop it.
Those of us who loved him and who take him
to his rest today
pray that what he was to us and what he wished for others
will some day come to pass for all the world."
I will miss him.
"No public servant in America did his work
with more honesty, passion and courage
than Senator Paul Wellstone. None was more faithful to his conscience. None was
more tireless in pursuit of what he believed. He brought to the Senate the tenacity
of the champion wrestler that he was as a young man. And he was as personally
decent as he was politically effective. Nothing about him was more admirable than
his partnership with Sheila and his commitment to his family."
---DNC boss Terry McAuliffe
Subject: Sad, beyond belief.......
Bart, Unfortunately some of my relatives
could care less about politics, one Son is a ditto-monkey,
and friends do not share my passion. I need to speak to someone who perhaps will understand.
The more I have heard persons who knew him, the sadder I have become. Paul Wellstone was
truly a great man, and it is just sad beyond belief that he is gone. I have always admired him so,
for many many reasons, not the least of which is having been perhaps the last of the great liberals.
Bart, I hate myself for this, but cannot help mulling the following facts over in my mind:
1. The Minnesota election was apparently
tightening, with Paul Wellstone pulling ahead.
2. Heard on CNN that Karl Rove personally saw to the appointment of his Republican opponent.
3. Paul Wellstone voted against the Iraq resolution, and probably anything and everything that the resident wanted.
4. Iraq and the sniper are off the news, and they had to do something to keep from losing the Senate.
5. They would do ANYTHING to keep from losing the Senate.
6. They would do ANYTHING to win, always.
As I said, I hate myself, but can't help
What hope do we have, when they have no compunction about removing our greatest citizens.
Sorry, I am just so very very sad and upset.
Thanks for being there.
by Paul Wellstone February 19, 2001 issue
The elections of 2000--resulting in the election of George W. Bush to the presidency, a historic 50-50 split in the Senate and a reduced Republican margin in the House--have supplied the basis for countless commentators to intone that Democrats must operate "from the center" or else face political annihilation. Progressives have heard this tune often enough over the past decade, invariably following every election. It seems that regardless of whether Democratic fortunes are up or down in any given year, the lesson drawn by inside-the-Beltway pundits is always the same: Operate from the center. It's easy to dismiss this stale conventional wisdom, but in the aftermath of this unusual election many progressives are legitimately wondering about the prospects of a progressive politics.
The American people do want us to govern from the center, in a sense. But it is not the center the pundits and politicians in Washington talk about. Citizens want us to deal with issues that are at the center of their lives. They yearn for a politics that speaks to and includes them--affordable childcare, a good education for their children, health and retirement security, good jobs that will support their families, respect for the environment and human rights, clean elections and clean campaigns.
One thing this election confirmed is that progressive politics can be winning politics. The public is clearly center-left on the most important issues: campaign finance reform, education, healthcare, living-wage jobs, trade and the environment. And there can be no doubt that Al Gore's championing of ordinary people over powerful interests gave a postconvention boost to his sagging candidacy. Progressive populism responds to the widespread awareness that large forces in our economy have too much power and ordinary people have too little.
Another critical lesson of this election is that progressive constituencies cannot be ignored. Union households, African-Americans and Hispanics were crucial to Democratic mobilization and turnout. It has become increasingly implausible to argue that Democrats must distance themselves from working people and the disadvantaged in order to win elections.
Yet the politics of our country, strangely, is center-right. The cruel irony is that George W. Bush won the presidency, in good part, by campaigning on Democratic issues--investing in children, education, prescription drug costs, healthcare and Social Security. His "compassionate conservatism" praises local volunteer efforts by ordinary citizens yet rejects the notion that government can make a positive difference when it comes to the most pressing issues of people's lives. This is a fine philosophy if you're a large corporation or wealthy, but not such a great deal if you're a working family.
Moreover, President Bush's agenda is bold and clear: $1.6 trillion in tax cuts flowing mainly to the wealthy, which will erode our country's revenue base and thus bar major investments in childcare, education and healthcare; a direct assault on environmental and workplace health and safety standards; massive new Pentagon spending on unworkable missile defense; the privatization of Social Security and Medicare; and an open challenge to Roe v. Wade and a woman's right to choose. There is more to the Bush agenda, of course, but this much ought to be enough to galvanize progressive forces around the country.
The problem is that all too often progressives have been better at denunciation than annunciation. We need both. People are as interested in what you're for as what you're against. With a unified GOP preparing to take the reins of a new administration, now is the time for progressives to put forward new ideas and new leaders. We need to take stock, compare notes, support one another and begin building today a winning progressive politics for tomorrow. Progressive politics is a winning politics so long as the central focus is on workaday majority issues.
Progressive politics is successful when it is not top-down and elitist and when it respects the capacity of ordinary citizens. That is why the impetus for change must come from outside Washington. There are three crucial ingredients to democratic renewal and progressive change in America: good public policy, grassroots organizing and electoral politics. Policy provides direction and an agenda for action; grassroots organizing builds a constituency to fight for change; and electoral politics is the main way, in the absence of sweeping social movements, that we contest for power and hold decision-makers accountable for progressive public policy. These ingredients are linked like the three legs of a stool.
As important as new ideas are, another think tank or policy institute not connected to local grassroots organizing will not suffice. Many of the discussions I have had so far in the progressive community have focused on creating a new organization as a counterweight to the Democratic Leadership Council. I am sympathetic to these efforts. Without them, the DLC moves us toward a Democratic Party that gives the country what the eminent political scientist Walter Dean Burnham calls "the politics of excluded alternatives"--what Jim Hightower calls "downsized politics." I am all for representing the democratic wing of the Democratic Party. But progressive politics must draw its energy and ideas from local citizen-activists. Too often we have failed to make that critical connection.
On February 28, the Campaign for America's Future will hold a conference of citizens' organizations and activists in Washington to draw a blueprint for a campaign to fight for economic and social progress. I am excited about participating in this gathering, which will be an important first step. There must also be regional gatherings held around the country to involve people in a meaningful way in an inclusive effort to create a progressive politics. As a Midwesterner, I am particularly sensitive to an exclusive focus on East and West Coast gatherings.
We must recognize that there is a wealth of effective labor, community and citizen organizing going on all across the country. The Service Employees International Union is showing the way by organizing a grassroots campaign for universal healthcare. The grassroots campaign for clean money/clean elections is our brightest hope for political reform. The nationwide grassroots campaign for a living wage has supplied new energy to the struggle against inequality. And the Seattle Coalition of trade unionists, environmentalists, human rights advocates, family farmers and people of faith is providing a democratic counterweight to corporate-led globalization.
Even so, I often ask myself, "Why doesn't the whole equal the sum of its parts? How does this organizing translate into more national clout for a progressive politics?" If we are to make this grassroots politics part of an effective national politics, grassroots leaders must be included. We must reach out to these leaders, including those disenchanted with party politics. A lot of these leaders' energy is focused on progressive issues, not party politics. Likewise, most citizens are not interested in party strategies; their politics is much more concrete and personal. If we don't speak to the concrete and personal issues that affect people's lives, we will miss out on some of the best opportunities for organizing people.
We need to build a progressive force that does a lot of organizing within the Democratic Party--especially candidate recruitment and elections. But this cannot be the only goal. This new force must not only introduce new and exciting perspectives into the political dialogue of our country; it must also recruit candidates; provide training, skills and resources for successful campaigns; build an infrastructure of field directors and campaign managers to support progressive candidates; have a savvy media presence; apply effective grassroots organizing to electoral politics; and otherwise build political leadership at the local, state and federal levels of government.
This is more a democratic than a Democratic challenge, though I hope there is a strong connection between the two. It is a challenge that is certainly bigger than any one leader or campaign, and it will require progressives to work together and to pull in the same direction. But building such a grassroots-based effort to advocate effectively for the progressive agenda, and to put more progressives in office at every level and across the country, is a goal worth fighting for.
Subject: Senator Wellstone
I am on the verge of tears here at my desk. I just found out about Senator Wellstone this morning.
My emotions are in serious turmoil. I'm from the state of Washington so why should I care about
some senator from another state? Well, I'll tell you. I have never in my life felt this threatened from
our government. I have tended to believe (naively) that our government would watch out for the best
interests of our country and those of us who live here, but that has changed since the selection of 2000.
I am terrified of the bush administration,
and since its selection, I have not been able to shake the
paranoia that the repuglican party would do ANYTHING to attain its goal of stealing our government.
Which brings me back to Senator Wellstone. His death leaves a gaping hole in our defense of the
Constitution and Bill of Rights, and it comes in our greatest hour of need.
I can't say anymore cause my mind cannot
fully describe what my heart is feeling.
Senator Wellstone, thank you for your life, and though I am not from your state,
I was always there in spirit.
I had to go to state court and federal court Friday.
As I left the Tulsa County Courthouse, the radio said, "...crashed.
All aboard were killed."
I knew we'd lost someone, but I had no idea.
After I left the federal building, I went to deposit my check
at the bank.
As I was getting out of the car, I heard, "Paul Wellstone was killed in a plane crash."
My first thought was "Not again!"
My second thought was that Wellstone was often called the most decent man in the senate.
You know how when someone dies, there's this tendency to portray
them as more than they were?
They said that stuff about Paul Wellstone before he died, which tells us it was true.
Then I remembered the friends I have that worked for the Wellstone
Wellstone had more friends of mine working for his re-election than any other candidate - even in Oklahoma
You know these people, too.
A very good friend, whom I've never met, was working for Wellstone.
When I saw her name in my mailbox I was afraid to open it.
I could only imagine the hell she was going through. I knew she had to be crushed.
She had written weeks ago to say because of bartcop.com
she'd gotten energized
and wanted to be more involved, so she volunteered to help the Wellstone campaign.
She got to meet Paul a couple of weeks ago. She even got a hug.
She said that was more exciting than the time she got to meet Keith Richards.
Hours later, when I clicked on it, all it said was "turn
What a tragic way to begin a journey into politics.
Mrs. Bart told me she heard a story about Wellstone getting a
bite to eat at some restaurant,
and when he was done he took the time to go back in the kitchen and talk to the food prep people
and he thanked them for doing such a good job.
Last night on Capitol Gang, Al Hunt said he knew of a story where
Wellstone went into the
Senate chamber in the middle of the night to thank the cleaning crew. The crew told him
they had never met a senator before, even though they cleaned the place every single night.
I thought the only way it could've been worse would be to lose
him like we lost RFK.
Saturday, I listened to the anti-war protests in DC and San Francisco on RadioLeft.
I was surprised to hear them refer to "Paul Wellstone's murder."
I guess it's a tribute to Wellstone that foul play is suspected,
because it wouldn't help your cause
to have Paul Wellstone on the opposing team because he was the most decent man in the senate.
I never believed Carnahan's death was a murder, but Paul Wellstone
and John Kennedy Jr.
were both in a position to derail the Bush Family takeover of the planet, so who knows?
I keep telling myself it's a coincidence that it's always
the Democrats who lose their best
in the prime of their careers. Maybe I'm not thinking clearly, but the last Republican who died
suddenly was John Tower - hardly a shining example of the best the Republicans had to offer.
Jim Inhofe, the biggest bastard in the senate, lost a propellor
when flying alone, and sure - he landed
his plane with no difficulty. It's as tho God protects the worst of the slimeballs and takes our heroes.
The Republicans constantly whine about the buildings and highways
named after Democrats,
and I always thought, but never said, "Had Reagan been murdered in his prime, I could accept
his memory being honored on civic buildings and such, but the GOP is never the victim."
Meanwhile, we've lost JFK, RFK, MLK, John Lennon, Ghandi, JFK Jr., Wellstone and Jesus Christ.
there was foul play, we'll never know because I firmly believe the CIA
can make things happen.
I believe they can cover their tracks so they'll never be caught. As I've asked many times on this page,
"Would evil men commit murder if it made world domination a little easier for them?"
You know I mean this with respect... a shot of Chinaco for Paul Wellstone.
Subject: Paul Wellstone and Rush
I heard about Sen. Wellstones passing on
the Limbaugh show. He said something to the effect:
"the plane carrying Wellstone has gone down and Faux news has confirmed there are no survivors."
Now, I've never heard of Mr. Wellstone before
but I knew he was a Democrat. How?
Because after a pause he went straight ahead with the show. No: "my thoughts are with his family"
or: "my deep condolence to him and his loved ones" Nothing.
It was that exact second..that pause..when
I knew we lost a Democrat.
Well, I'm glad to know that Rush's ears are now working...
I wonder if they'll ever get around to bringing his heart to life.
Thanks much for your site Bart.
I am certainly glad you are out there fighting for us and the truth.
Kevin, it could have been much, much worse.
I heard some of Rush Friday, and he did NOT do his usual trashing of the victim.
I've said it a hundred times - and Molly Ivins even wrote a column about this - the vulgar Pigboy
enjoys making fun of the recently deceased more than he likes tax cuts. That's a fact.
The day Tip O'Neill died, Rush defecated on his memory for three
I called the local AM stationa and asked, "How can you let this go over your airwaves?"
The guy said, "If Rush says it - we broadcast it."
He called Tip every lousy and disgusting name the FCC would allow to be broadcast.
Then, and I'll remember this as long as I live, the day they buried
Jackie Kennedy at Arlington,
Rush said, "I wonder if that grave is as cold as the bed she shared with JFK?"
Rush is easily the most despicable bastard in the history of American
And those phoney Christian jackasses think Rush is the greatest man who ever lived?
Friday I heard Rush say, "Wellstone
was a partisan and there's nothing wrong with that."
That's the closest he came to saying something negative about a hero we'd just lost.
Maybe it's his old age or maybe he just had a touch of the flu
and didn't have the strength to trash him,
but Rush Limbaugh sounded half-human during this tragedy, compared to what he's done in the past.
Subject: Paul Wellstone
Despite the lip service being paid to a
good man, does anyone who even remotely understands
the Bush administration believe there is no silent rejoicing by the scumbags in the White House?
Lets hope the people of Minnesota vote to honor the memory of Paul Wellstone.
Wellstone, 1944-2002 An Appreciation
by John Nichols, TheNation.com
Wellstone was more than a representative. He was their champion. And the news of his death
struck with all the force of a death in the family. I know, because I had to deliver that news.
Family farm activists had gathered in Sinsinawa,
Wisconsin. I had just finished delivering the
keynote speech--ironically, about the need for activists to go into politics--when a colleague
called with the "you'd better be sitting down..." news.
Sister Miriam Brown and I talked for a few minutes about how to tell the crowd.
We knew the 150 people in the room well
enough to understand that this news would change the tenor
of the day. But we did not know just how much until I announced from the podium that Wellstone, his wife
of thirty-nine years, Sheila, their daughter Marcia, and several campaign aides had been killed two hours earlier.
Cries of "No!" and "My God! My God!" filled
the room, as grown men felt for tables to keep their balance,
husbands and wives hugged one another and everyone began an unsuccessful struggle to choke back tears.
This is the time NOT to let Bush get away
with it. The media won't hold Bush accountable.
THE COURT won't hold Bush accountable. Most of the elected democrats won't hold Bush accountable.
It's time to do an "Ashcroft."
With sympathy swelling to righteous levels, it's time to elect another dead person to office.
And what would THAT message do to the expression on McSmirky's face?
It's my guess the Democrats will win this election.
What a senseless fucking loss.
This is an eerie article in light of recent events:
Why is it that those high profile, dynamic individuals
who are truly compassionate and
are working towards bringing about some dignity and justice to the human race end up
prematurely dead (you can COUNT on it, be it by a plane crash, devastating illness, bullet, etc.)
while those who are evil and corrupt live long and prosperous lives?
If there isn't some elitist conspiratorial plot
(hard to believe), then there has to be something
so vile and sinisterly evil (subjectively speaking, of course) lying dormant in the human genome
that is triggered to rear its ugly head whenever we, as a species, try to evolve, destroying much
of the progress we've made.
Most recently in history, the assasinations of
the sixties, and now the 2000 coup and all that is
transpiring in the new century kind of makes me wonder. Paul Wellstone was one of the handful
of fighters in Congress, and one of the more decent human beings to ever enter into politics.
I'll never understand this bullshit.
Poverty Is the Question...
by Paul Wellstone in TheNation.com
I will be the first to say that adults in our society need to take responsibility for themselves
if they possibly can. But until we come to a real understanding of the structural problems in
our economy and society that are getting in our way, we will continue to legislate by bumper
stickers and slogans. We need to have an honest national conversation, and an honest
conversation in every community, about what is really going on, why we face the unacceptable
level of poverty and near-poverty, and what we are going to do about it.
Subject: investigation into wellstone crash
please do everything in your power to conduct or call for a thorough investigation into todays plane crash.
i am an american who doesn't for one moment
believe this was an accident.
Inga, I have no power to make that happen, but I will print whatever
sensible stories I find about it.
If there's a spark, I'll do what I can to flame it, but if the elected Democrats are afraid to raise the subject,
I don't think anything will ever be investigated beyond Bush's friends and appointeees in the FAA
Subject: re: Paul Wellstone
I came home to horrible news: Paul Wellstone,
dead at age 58.
It was shocking and saddening. Words cannot express my dismay and sadness.
I apologize for the email intrusion, I usually
don't do this, but I am writing to you all today to propose
the following idea: in addition to the numerous memorials and articles that Wellstone's passing will inspire,
I think it would also be great if we could post a link to Wellstone's 2001 book, "Conscience of a Liberal,"
It is described as, "When senators think about
running for president, they write books like The Conscience of a Liberal.
Indeed, Senator Paul Wellstone of Minnesota thought about pursuing the Democratic presidential nomination in 2000,
but ultimately backed off. There's some speculation he'll run in 2004. Whatever the case, he's known in Washington as
one of the Senate's most liberal members--giving his better-known colleagues Ted Kennedy and Hillary Clinton a run
for their money in this category. The first part of the book explains Wellstone's unlikely ascension to the Senate (he was
once a college professor), and some of his campaign war stories are fun reading for political junkies.
One of the most amusing passages describes how
he once nearly clocked New York Republican Alfonse D'Amato
over a disagreement: "When the train reached the Senate chamber, I jumped out and lunged forward, intending to
catch D'Amato and deck him. My body was shaking with uncontrollable anger." Another senator held him back,
and Wellstone calmed down. The bulk of The Conscience of a Liberal, however, is given over to laying out a political
agenda that includes universal health care, reversing welfare reforms, prekindergarten education, raising the minimum
wage, and campaign-finance reform. He closes with a call for a new politics: "This is not a conservative America....
There is a huge leadership void in this country that the Democratic Party, emboldened by political courage and a
commitment to the issues that made our party great, can fill." Democrats looking for a candidate to support in the
next presidential election may want to start here. --John J. Miller"
This is the Amazon.com link:
Wellstone was a great man and his death should
not be the end of his work.
By giving people access to his words, hopefully his vision will live on.
Just my thoughts and my own efforts to make sense of this tragedy,
Thanks for listening and god bless,
Eric, "The Hamster"
Subject: political assassination
I have no doubt the same people eager to kill
a million people in Iraq over
oil had no problem taking out one annoying liberal Senator and his wife for
good measure so she could not pull a Jean Carnahan on them.
I dreamed I saw Paul Wellstone
As alive as you and me.
Says I, 'But Paul, your plane went down.'
'I never died,' says he.
'Liberalism's still alive,
Our cause has never died,
Whoever fights for people's rights,
Paul Wellstone's at your side!'
by Maia Cowan of FailureIsImpossible.com
Subject: Bush on wellstone
In Texas, Bush called Wellstone "a man of deep convictions."
And in Texas, when you're convicted... you're
executed. I know I can't rule out
Republicans from assassinating pretty-much the only dissenting democrat in the senate.
Subject: I know we are not supposed to think this way but....?.
I lived in MN and voted for Wellstone in 90 -
Believe me -- he was
a liberals liberal, the man deserved more than reelection - If this country would
get it's head out of it's ass he should have been the VP on the Gore ticket not
- back stabbing Libberman - the so-conservative-he-is-almost Republican.
Back to my why do Democratic senators who are
crucial to races die in plane crashes so close to the election??
I think it's the BFEE.
How will we ever know?
What about JFK jr.?
I don't see any republicans dying in plane crashes -
JFK Jr. sacred the shit out of the GOP you know
(Although I think it was his arrogance that really caused his death)
Just pondering - I think MONDALE would win if
they put him up in MN
There are a lot of DFL'ers there
Yours in hate of Bushes, the 5 supremos and all other thieves of the electorate!
Subject: Sen. Wellstone
First Mel, now Paul.
If the Repugs win against an appointed replacement
(and Jean Carnahan counts as one, as will Wellstones),
then the winner takes office IMMEDIATELY.
This gives them a three-month majority.
Fear what they will do with it.
The following "piece" appeared on yahoo today:
Business - Reuters
Short-Term Bonds Up on Wellstone Death
Fri Oct 25, 2:50 PM ET
By Daniel Grebler
NEW YORK (Reuters) - Short-dated U.S. Treasuries
rose on Friday on news that Sen. Paul Wellstone,
a liberal Democrat from Minnesota running for re-election next month, was killed in a plane crash.
Analysts said his death raised the odds that the Republicans could take control of the Senate,
which would strengthen Bush's militant stance against Iraq.
Shortly after news of Wellstone's death, two-year
Treasury notes were up 4/32 at 100-8/32 and their yield
fell to 1.99 percent from 2.04 percent at midday and 2.06 percent on Thursday. The five-year note added
6/32 to 100-28/32 and its yield fell to 3.05 percent from 3.10 percent on Thursday.
"Whenever something like this happens, there's
always that safe-haven bid into the front of the market,"
aid James Caron, Treasuries strategist at Merrill Lynch Government Securities. "One would think it
probably strengthens the Republicans a little bit at the moment," he said....................
As I read this today while mourning the loss of
a great man, your organization and some others looked at
a tragedy as an opportunity to make some pennies. I am so shocked at the crassness that you've shown
publishing this, that I feel I can only put this in terms that you can understand:
I would love to take your writer, Daniel Grebler,
editors at Reuters, your analysts you interviewed,
and James Caron, and one-by-one physically rip off their heads. You people represent America at
its worst. Paul Wellstone fought in the Senate for you, too, only you're too fucking stupid to realize it.
You are pitiful, sickening, and show bad taste
beyond anything I think I've ever seen.
God loves everyone, and He/She will surely have mercy on your pathetic, money-grubbing souls.
You're lucky there isn't a hell, because you'd be burning in it for idiocy like this.
Sincerely, Fr. Mushroom.
Fr. Mushroom - besides that, I believe the Democrats will win the Minnesota senate seat.
Subject: Freepers and the late Senator Wellstone...
What some FReeper had to say in regards to the
loss of Senator and Mrs. Wellstone....
Well good riddance to bad rubbish, I say,,he got
an F- from GunOwnersofAmerica
and the more of these emenies of the people that bite the dust, wheather by Gods hand
or defeat in the elections. the better we shall all be, and our beloved Bill or Rights.
A week of good news...
posted 10/25/02 by aspiring.hillbilly
back to bartcop.com