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R.I.P. Senator Paul Wellstone 1944-2002.

Oh no. This is horrible news. Wellstone was the progressive lion of the Senate. He’s going to be missed in so many ways. And, while it seems utterly rude to consider politics at this moment of personal tragedy, lest anyone else out there was at first imagining a Jeanne Carnahan scenario to save the contested Senate seat, his wife and daughter are also among the deceased. Will Governor Ventura appoint someone to the seat? Ted Mondale or Skip Humphrey? Whomever it is, I’m positive they won’t fill Wellstone’s shoes.

Paul Wellstone was one of the last champions of the little guy, fighting daily for campaign finance reform, corporate accountability, universal health care, and a cleaner, safer environment. When the Democrats were falling over each other to prostrate themselves before Gore, Wellstone broke ranks to support Bill Bradley. When all too many of his Democratic colleagues in Congress voted to cede their constitutionally-mandated authority to debate and declare war, Wellstone voted no to Dubya’s Johnson-esque power grab. In sum, Wellstone had in surplus those characteristics that are in such short supply in today’s Capitol — vision, compassion, and above all, integrity. In a sea of mealy-mouthed, equivocating liberals, he was a bold, fighting progressive.

And he is struck down in his prime. Meanwhile, Jesse “Race-baiting” Helms and Strom “Dixiecrat” Thurmond just go on and on and on. Sometimes the world seems so goddamn unfair I just can’t wrap my mind around it.

Omsbudsdog Emeritus

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