Saturday | October 26, 2002
I get the feeling many on the left are demoralized by Sen. Paul Wellstone's untimely passing. But if nothing else, Democrats should feel inspired to move forward and strive toward preserving Wellstone's legacy.
Wellstone is irreplaceable. But not his agenda. Corporate reform, workers rights, the environment -- his policies can live on, but we need a Democratic Congress. And who knows, perhaps Wellstone's courage will inspire other Democrats to better uphold our party's convictions -- other than Kennedy and Feingold, are there any Democrats in the Senate today that could inspire the fervent outpouring of emotion engendered by Wellstone?
The nation will be awash in Wellstone tributes the next few days. The talking heads will talk glowingly of Wellstone, his agenda, his integrity, and the strength of his convictions. More so than Mel Carnahan (which inspired sympathy only in Missouri), Wellstone transcends state boundaries and can potentially help shape races across the country (especially in Missouri -- were Carnahan could benefit from a "sympathy" bump).
The cynic would accuse me of crassness for suggesting this tragedy could be used for political gain. But I don't intend it as such. Wellstone stood for a clearly defined set of ideals -- all of which run directly counter to GOP interests. If we are to properly celebrate Wellstone in death and strive toward his ideals, we have to ensure his policies aren't torn asunder by a hostile Republican Congress. If we can glean that silver lining from this tragedy, it will make it all just a bit easier to bear.Posted October 26, 2002 12:21 AM | Comments (14)