BuzzFlash Reader Commentary
October 31, 2002
BUZZFLASH READER COMMENTARY
It takes real chutzpah to do what the Republicans have done today. Feigning great outrage and moral indignation, this pack of shrill corporate wind-up dolls had the audacity to criticize mourners at Paul Wellstone's memorial service for being partisan. That criticism is too stultifyingly stupid for words. Many of these well-paid RNC propagandists leveled their criticisms and ludicrously hypocritical calls for "equal time" from their carefully protected perches ensconced as the unchallenged Bush Administration's parrots on major radio and tv networks who refuse to give liberal talk show hosts even the remotest bit of comparable airtime. If Minnesota TV gives equal time for a Coleman rally, as these bloviating blowhards have demanded, then I want equal time on every Minnesota radio station that carries Rush Limbaugh, or a radio show of equivalent length to that "compassionate conservative" Tom Barnard who expressed his desire for Wellstone's death on his radio show.
The plain truth is that Paul was a man spent his whole life as an unabashed partisan crusader for Democratic causes. What did they expect his mourners to say, "Well Gee uh Paul wanted us to be bipartisan and forge ahead to join with President Bush in enacting more tax cuts for the rich?" No chance. All of the mourners who spoke at his service, most of whom fought along side of him in his struggles, spoke movingly and eloquently about the life of a great man and told the world about his life's work, specifically how he wasn't afraid to stand up for the little guy no matter how much that caused discomfort to the political insiders. Paul, unlike most senators, was not concerned with preening for the cameras and being part of the Washington "in crowd." Rather than fight for a ticket to the White House Correspondents dinner, he preferred to fight to see that each American had a dinner. The successes in his struggles on behalf of ordinary Americans was the only glory that he ever wanted or needed.
However, the simple undeniable truth of the matter is that this is a man who devoted his whole career and, sadly, sacrificed his life for the causes he passionately believed in. People were moved by him unlike any public leader in modern memory. They respected his fighting spirit and, most importantly, his honesty. That is what the mourners paid tribute to last night. The Republicans were upset at this raw outpouring of public emotion because, for once, they did not control the media scripting of an event as they are accustomed to. They are used to being able to use the media to demonize and denigrate Democrats. However, this time they could not control what people saw and heard and they were afraid. Last night all the world saw, for once, what and for whom the Democratic Party truly stands. We showed that we stand for and with ordinary Americans from every walk of life. We showed that we are the party that practices diversity and compassion not simply preaches it. We showed that we are not afraid to sacrifice for our country, even if it means paying the ultimate sacrifice as Paul did. Most importantly though, and most frightening to the Republicans, the many speakers who spoke of Paul's life spoke of his cherished hopes and his dreams, as their personal unfinished business, and in so doing, they showed that Paul's hopes and dreams of an America founded on social justice, not injustice, may yet be realized. The Republicans saw the future and they were afraid.
Paul was a Democrat because he believed in the principles for which our party stands and he fought and died for those principles. His supporters should in no way apologize for having a rally which captured the true essence, soul and the spirit of a great human being and a great American. The supporters who spoke for him last night realized, as I think we all do, there is no better way to honor this man than to continue his fight. In us Paul lives on, and when we do his work, we honor his memory. So let's show the Republicans that the days of them intimidating us by their shrill caterwauling are over. Paul's fighting spirit is our fighting spirit. We will not tire and we will not falter until Paul's dreams become America's realities.
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