The Party Of Poor Taste

I only caught bits and pieces of the Wellstone funeral/rally yesterday, but from what I saw I have to agree with Stephen Green’s assessment of the affair:

When a dictator dies, please feel free to turn the funeral into a rally. In fact, I highly recommend you do so. Sure, the Great Leader is dead, but the Dear Leader is in charge now – and his thugs will be just as protective of daddy in death as they were while he lived. Smile, you’re on Comrade Camera. But Wellstone was no Stalin, Hussein, or Franco. The "mourners" weren’t partying for fear of The Party. Wellstone was a member of the United States Senate – an august, deliberative body in the world’s most successful free nation.

But you wouldn’t think so, watching the Wellstone service yesterday in Minnesota. Paul and Sheila’s sons allowed – perhaps even encouraged – their father’s funeral to become a testament, not to a good man’s life, but to everything that is wrong and slimy and sleazy and uncivilized about modern politics.

There is no doubt that Paul Wellstone was a good man, but the way in which his followers treat hm is almost eerily cult-like. Granted, much of that can be explained by the fact that Senator Wellstone was very charismatic guy, but there’s just something about the way in which the memorial degenerated into an old-fashioned political rally that doesn’t sit right with me.

UPDATE: The Star-Tribune has more on the backlash of this event. If it’s so tacky that Jesse Ventura walks out, it’s clear that a line has been crossed. The fact that the Democrats in attendence had the audacity to boo people who had come to honor their fallen comrade is wrong, sickening, and childish. Had the Democrats had the courage of Senator Wellstone they would have vigorously condemned such inappropriate behavior.

UPDATE 2: Another Minnesotan points out the DFL’s hatred of all things Republican. Luckily most Democrats I know are nowhere near that bad, but there are quite a few who think that Trent Lott is worse than Saddam Hussein out there. When politics takes on the air of a cult or a religion, democracy suffers.

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