The BuzzFlash Mailbag
October 28, 2002
A Special BuzzFlash Mailbag about Senator Paul Wellstone
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Senator Wellstone was a small man in stature, but a giant of a man in many ways. We lost a good man today. My heart is so heavy.
What a sad day for America, the world and, of course, liberals who found him to be a hero. I personally, though a retired person, have contributed $100.00 to his reelection campaign this year. Hope Ventura does the right thing by the people of Minnesota. I tried to send this in black, but couldn't get the computer to work for me. Guess I am too upset.
A BuzzFlash Reader
This country has lost a great man--a giant.
I will miss his bravery, passion, his ethics, and his standards.
He was the Democrat they all should be.
Subj: Fox News can hardly hold back their glee!
I just witnessed the Paul Wellstone coverage on Fox News and it was the most disgraceful site I have ever seen!
Fox News political pundits could hardly hold back their glee! And already they are blaming Wellstone for pushing the envelope at the end of his campaign and causing his own death!
Nancy Lynn Nagy (TN)
This is very sad news.
We send our deep sorrow, our condolence, and wishes of peace to this man and his family and friends.
The death of Paul Wellstone is one Democrat Senator too many dead shortly before an election. And this time his wife is dead too? I understand that it is just by chance that Edward Kennedy was not also on the plane which went down. I am not prone to these kinds of suspicions but it will take a great deal to convince me that this isn't more than an accident. We have to insist on the most rigorous of investigations without the Bush family enforcers, FBI etc. involved.
Are we going to find out HOW and WHY his plane crashed? Who will be in charge of the investigation? Seems a little too coincidental?
I am way too cynical these days. I know this now because when I heard the news about Paul Wellstone, I immediately thought his plane was sabotaged. I am ashamed of myself for that. For not immediately thinking how sad it is that he is dead, or that his surviving family must be devastated. The world is crazy, this country is the caldron of insanity boiling over. Maybe he was sabotaged, maybe not. But it is sad that I am living in a time when my first thought is, "he was killed because of his views". Oh when will the darkness end?
Regardless of how his plane went down, he is already sorely missed, and our prospects for saving our country from these lunatic right wingers have just dropped considerably. "How long will they kill our prophets, while we stand aside and look?"
May Senator Wellstone and his wife and daughter, and the other good people on the plane rest in eternal peace, having fought the good fight. May we pick up his mantle and continue.
Paul Wellstone was apparently much loved throughout the Senate. CNN had Pete Dominici (sp?) on the phone to interview. He broke down and was unable to say more than a few words. An aide took the phone and told Blitzer that the interview could not continue.
The measure of a man certainly has to include the love and respect felt for him by his opponents.
I am crying and am unable to stop as I try to work. I am sickened to my soul at what has happened. I followed Paul Wellstone's senate career and since January, 2001, I regarded him as one of the few lights in the darkness that has engulfed our country. I will mourn Senator Wellstone for a long time. I send my deepest, deepest sympathy to Senator Wellstone's sons and family and to his Minnesota constituents. Minnesota has produced one of the few politicians of any time and any party who knew what integrity and ethics really meant. I am so sad.
Subj: Start a movement to honor the memory of Paul Wellstone by getting out and voting.
If all Democrats got out and voted on November 5, we can prevent this profound tragedy from becoming a political disaster as well. Honor Paul Wellstone's memory by committing to vote - and by committing to get at least five other progressives who might have stayed home to vote too.
Check out this petition to communicate with the Wellstone family & campaign:
Subj: Wellstone: May the Angels Take You Home
Friday, October 25th, 2002Darkness has descended on Minnesota, and the United States of America. One of our best, one of the most passionate men that fought to make our lives better, a Senator and statesmen like no other, one of Americas proud sons, Paul Wellstone died today with his family in a plane crash.
We are indebted to such a man, who with courage and conviction, proudly wore the name Democrat, carried it with distinction, marched forward, leading us toward compassion in all our actions and decisions. Paul understood common people who found themselves in extraordinary circumstances, and he worked to bring happiness and quality of life to his fellow Americans.
Wellstone believed that war was not an option, opposing the Gulf War, and then only weeks ago opposing Bushs War Resolution on Iraq in the Senate. He was the only Democratic Senator in a tight campaign race to vote against a preemptive invasion of Iraq a testament of his courage.
Let us pause before we rush onward to debate the future. Yes we must do that too. We all know to well what is at stake with our heros passing. But let that day come when it may. But now reflection, and sorrow, and gratitude for the man who left us all too soon.
In only a few days, let us carry the candle of hope in Pauls death from the torch he shouldered in life. But for now, as the sun sets on our country, may the angels take Paul Wellstone, his family and friends home.
Pauls holy work, and now our work, is not finished. Our leader not forgotten.
But not today. Not when such dark night has fallen on our country.
Subj: Fellow Bloggers 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"
If I had had to pick Sen. Wellstone out of a line-up I couldn't have done it. But after a BuzzFlash reader wrote a very passionate plea for campaign contributions and described what type of man he was, I sent a check for his campaign. Since then I have kept up with his campaign. So I was stunned to hear of his death. Added to that I am ashamed to say that my first thought upon hearing it was "foul play". I pray that I am wrong. My heart and prayers go out to his family, to the people of Minn., and to all of America for OUR loss!
I just had to send you a message. I was stunned and heartbroken to learn of Senator Wellstone's death. BuzzFlash was the first and only place where I could go for comfort, knowing that there would be others as devastated as I am. Thanks for being here.
To all BuzzFlash readers:
The state of Minnesota and our country has suffered an immeasurable loss today. Paul Wellstone, I fear, was a vanishing breed. The untimely deaths of Sen. Wellstone and his wife, Sheila, have left a void in the Democratic Party that will not be filled anytime soon. Despite his physical stature, Paul Wellstone was a giant among men. He was what all Democrats should be: courageous, tenacious, and a champion of those without voice. He stood for all of us "true believers" with his vote against war, despite the alleged "risks".
In light of today's tragic events, I would like to offer a suggestion to all who visit BuzzFlash:
Soon after the vote regarding the Iraq attack, I received an email appeal from the Democratic National Committee for a donation and flatly turned them down. I was livid when so many Dems voted for--and proud of the few who stood in opposition to--the resolution and I did not want my money going to the wrong people. Writing back to the DNC, I told them I would donate only to those with the strength of their convictions. Unfortunately, it is a short list.
As of today, I had not yet sent a check to anyone. As of tomorrow, I am sending one to Sen. Wellstone's campaign. It will be a tangible way to show my support for this man who I wish was my senator.
Granted, this is not an earth-shattering idea but I truly want to honor Sen. Wellstone and his legacy in some way. I am going to send a donation to his campaign headquarters. I have procrastinated doing this, wanting to wait until closer to the end of the month when I will have more money. Now, no matter how small the donation, it will be on its way tomorrow.
I urge all other BuzzFlash readers who admired and applauded this brave man to do the same. It will be a powerful statement, just as Paul Wellstone's "NO!" vote was just a short time ago. The address is defined as:
I looked up the word "Liberalism" today--it is defined as:
(Mirriam Webster): "...a political philosophy based on belief in progress, the essential goodness of the human race,and the autonomy of the individual and standing for the protection of political and civil liberties..."
Paul Wellstone's picture could be next to that definition. It is my fervent hope that at the end of my days it will can be said about me that I was a Liberal in the style of a Paul Wellstone.
My deepest sympathies to the Wellstone family, loved ones, constituents and, of course, to the families and loved ones of those who died along with the Wellstones.
Thank you BuzzFlash, for your tributes to Senator Wellstone.
My husband and I, too, are stunned, dazed and in mourning. Our nation has lost the best of us. Wellstone was a true patriot. He challenged, questioned and voted his conscience. He led with honesty, integrity and passion.
We now hear other members of the Senate and some in the House say that to honor Wellstone they "will pick up his banner and carry on in his style."
If only they could. Very few Senate and House members have even a small portion of his dedication, courage and integrity.
This is a tragic, tragic loss.
Our condolences to all of those who lost loved ones in the plane crash and to the Wellstone family, and to the citizens of Minnesota.
A BuzzFlash Reader
Despite what the rest of America thinks, we in south Florida are very attuned to political matters both local and national. Today, when the tragic death of Sen. Paul Wellstone and his family and associates was announced, a local radio talk show hostess began taking calls. Some expressed their sadness at the loss of a fine liberal, a great Democrat...others began voicing their opinion that the mishap was somehow planned by the Bush operatives in order to take control of all three branches of government.
True, conspiracies will abound now that a truthful man of the people can no longer give voice to Democratic principles but more troubling is that Americans actually believe that this Administration -- Karl Rove in particular -- would actually arrange the accidental death of a United States Senator in order to assure their agenda is not disrupted. What does this say about the belief of many Americans that the Bush Administration -- which was never elected -- could stoop to such degradation? What faith can the voters put in a Republican-led Federal Government -- House, Senate and Judiciary? What's next -- martial law?
This country is in trouble - facing terrorists and a trumped up war with Iraq -- and it was people such as Paul Wellstone who dared to rein in this pseudo-dictatorship. We must not let his legacy be overwhelmed in November. We must elect a Democratic majority in both the House and Senate. Believe me, those of us in Florida who watched helplessly as our votes were cast aside in November 2000 by the Supreme Court are well aware of how devious the Republicans can be. Just look at Jeb Bush.
I am saddened by Senator Wellstone's death...I watched him many times on the floor of the Senate..alone...voicing his opposition to big business, lobbyists, PAC's, this Administration of "Chickenhawks..." Many times, sadly, without his own party's support. We need more politician's for the people not the PACs.
I beg the voters of Minnesota to follow the tradition of Hubert Humphrey and Walter Mondale and put another strong Democrat in the Senate...the country needs this...
Subj: At first I thought I was the only one
At first I thought I was the only one harboring suspicions. First there was Mel Carnahan in a tight race that would affect control of the senate, and now Paul Wellstone in a tight race (but apparently winning in the polls) that would affect control of the senate, the country and the world. They say George W. Bush is a lucky man. How "lucky" can one man be?
I have been struggling just to get my emotions and fears under control. I share the suspicions of many posters on the Internet about why it is always key Democrats whose planes seem to go down. I even have this horrible vision of Bush administration people going around the White House "high-fiving" one another.
I am so filled with sorrow, fear and anger I couldn't watch the TV news about Paul Wellstone. It all just made me too ill. We have lost a true champion for all we believe is right and good, and I wonder if we will see anyone to match him in our lifetimes. There have been so few, and almost all of them have died too young. While the mean and the nasty ones seem to go on forever.
A BuzzFlash reader
In memory of the life, beliefs, and work of Paul Wellstone, I offer this poem by Xuedo Zhongxian. I write it to myself, to each of you, to Democrats and other good people everywhere, and to every elected official, journalist, and media personality who upholds the status quo through fear, ignorance, hubris, greed, or spiritual weakness. Change is a choice.
We can work, singly and together, to give this fine man the legacy he so richly earned. Change is a choice.
'em Tough Dove!
Subj: What Paul would've wanted
The news of Paul Wellstone's death hit me, as it did everyone, in the gut. I'd already been feeling maxed out, and upset that I wasn't going to D.C. for the Oct. 26 protest.
But something stirred inside me, and I think BuzzFlash writer Gloria LaLumia nailed it when she wrote "what Paul would've wanted" us to do. I'd been invited to a gala event where my senator, John Kerry, was to be keynote speaker for a veteran's group I've been involved with for the past several years. I'd toyed with the idea of going and protesting by turning my back on Kerry, who has done nothing for the past two years but give his Skull and Bones Fraternity Brother, GW Bush, a blank check to install the likes of John Ashcroft, Ted Olson, Negroponte, and now, a blank check to wage war for oil. But I kept putting off buying my ticket. The group deserved the money, but I wasn't sure I could spare that much, and I wasn't sure whether my stand would divert too much attention from the reason the group was celebrating.
Paul's death changed my attitude and filled me with a conviction I must go. And so, within two hours of hearing the news, I'd secured one of the final seats left, dressed to the nines, and went. There was no way I could justify letting Senator John Kerry, who has sold his constituents out, receive honor and accolades when a hero like Paul Wellstone, who stood up for his convictions and those of his constituents, had just fallen.
I'm so glad I went. When Senator Kerry was introduced, I stood in the JFK Library, and turned my back to him. At one point two secret service agents barreled down on me, told me I was "ruining" the event for all and would have to go. But from behind me, one of the members of the group came and told them I was OK. He did then stand with his back to mine, so Kerry would not see my back, but I maneuvered myself until we stood side-by-side and remained with my back to the Senator, who was justifying his vote to give Bush the power to wage war. A vet in a table nearby heckled Kerry who replied that "later" they'd have time for dialogue. Of course the dialogue never came. The vet decried the Senator's excuses with one word: "oil."
After the speech, as I made my way back to my table, another vet leapt up, grabbed me and hugged me hard, and said "thank you" in such a choked voice I was near tears. Other vets thanked me as well, and everyone respected my stand. In fact, the host of the evening made a stand, too, against the coming war, and received extended applause.
The political writer from the Boston Phoenix interviewed me later and I told him my protest was in honor of Paul Wellstone. I can think of no better way to honor Paul than by going the extra mile to stand up for our convictions and making ourselves seen and heard.
Your faithful reader,
Subj: Wellstone Remembered at Washington Rally
The rally yesterday in Washington was awesome. Such powerful peacefulness must leave its mark on the world. And you will be happy to hear that among the banners and signs and posters, Paul Wellstone's name was carried on the march too. I don't think all of those hundreds of people were from Minnesota, so it's clear that people from everywhere understand who the man was, and will continue to be, to the principled and intelligent peaceful of America. It was hard to believe, sitting there on the emerald grass at the end of the march, that Paul and the others in the plane had been gone for just over a day. How great it would have been if he'd been allowed to live. Almost everyone, young and old, short and tall, left and center, had the same feeling: he hadn't been allowed to... But be that as it may, his loss will not deter us. Quite the contrary!
By the way, my friends and I joined the march about 1/2 hour after it got under way, and it still took another 2 hours for everyone to arrive at the end after we'd gotten there. There were A LOT of people, BuzzFlash, a whole lot of people. Peaceful and powerful, it really made you believe we might be able to pull it off. Man, wouldn't that be something? So much work to do in the world - and maybe, finally, at last, we could get started on it!
PS: You should have seen the look on the face of this Middle Eastern guy as he deciphered one of the funniest posters: "ASSES of EVIL" with photos of Bush, Blair, and Putin. He burst out laughing! And then he just whipped around and hugged me. It was so cool. Hey, there was even a group "West Point Graduates against abuse of power"!
I think there's going to be another rally in a few months, no date set yet. We have to make a million souls. Why? Because they say it was the 1/2 million during the Vietnam War that caused Nixon's hands to shake and kept him from nuking Vietnam. Georgie's a little more thickbrained and has got a lot more riding on this war, so for him it'll probably take a million. First we have to vote! Unfortunately for those RATS the DEMOCRATS (hey, a slogan?) But I have reconciled myself to the distasteful task of pulling the lever for them this election. I will then let them know that they were only a tool for revenge. Thank goodness we don't have to pull the lever for HILLARY CLINTON (I supported her move in my state and every step of the way. Sorry now!) here in NY. That would be impossible under any circumstances. But at any rate, everyone, just go into the booth and HOLD YOUR NOSE and think of the look on Geo's face the day after....
And thank you, too, BuzzFlash for helping to keep us informed. We love you for it.
You hear the words over and over of Paul Wellstone and his absolute stance on the side of what was fair and right, with his fitting tag line "I represent the Democratic wing of the Democratic Party." I think what has shocked me the most is suddenly finding myself shaken into the reality that he may be the last true liberal in Government, a real liberal, and unashamed liberal. Eventually more will come, they always have. The Jefferson's, Lincoln's, Teddy Roosevelt, FDR, Truman, the Kennedy's and Paul Wellstone, more liberal voices will come, the people will demand them and they need to come soon.
In the meantime, Paul Wellstone's voice has been stilled, but not his hopes and dreams for a better more fair and tolerant America, and for a little while America had their own "Mr. Smith Goes to Washington," in Paul Wellstone. We need to get out there and find more. Thank you Mr. Wellstone for lighting the way for another generation.
I hope it helps everyone mourning for Senator Wellstone and his family to know that people all over the world are joining with you.
I wish his son could read this at his memorial service, because it seems the perfect description of who he was and what he fought against.
let men kill which cannot share,
to steal and cruel kind,
dull were all we taste as bright,
nothing quite so least as truth
from my father moved through dooms of love, by ee cummings
Win it for Wellstone!
A BuzzFlash reader from New Zealand
Subj: Paul Wellstone, Fighter
Subject: My dream
I had a dream.
I had a dream of multitudes of voters turning out at the polls. All were steadfast, waiting in long lines for the chance to voice their opinions through their votes. Some were waiting in snow and rain, but refused to waiver. The multitudes were the "little people" of this nation. Many had stern, intentioned, expressions on their faces as if they were on a deliberate mission... a mission of change in our government. They were tired of corporate control and corruption. They were tired of war and the rumors of war. They feared unemployment and many had already lost their jobs. Numbers were there to vote out senators and representatives who pledged allegiance to the republican party-line, rather than the people.
Nationwide results began to filter in via television, radio and the internet. As the evening wore on, commentators were in shock. Those who had rubber-stamped the president's anti-people agendas were losing soundly and a new dawn was breaking. In the wee small hours of the morning, the commentators were discussing the quagmire that Bush had been thrust into. The democrats had taken control of the House and Senate. The people had spoken as only they can speak.
With a lump in my throat, I caught a glimpse of an old green school bus, slowly lumbering down the road, as it drove out of sight.
PS: Let's take back our nation November 5th!
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otherwise noted, all original