Sunday, September 30, 2007

Senator Paul Wellstone Had a Spine

In the Primaries, We Fall in Love. After the Primaries, we fall in line.

This is an old line I heard first from Randi Rhodes. It will work for me in 2008. It works for me. Every damned time.But. . .

The photo is borrowed from an excellent column by an infrequent contributor to my pages, Coleen Rowley. She challenges the statement on the sign, asking Is Spineless Better Than Evil?

Her answer is YES-BUT!:
Spinelessness = Silence + Inactivity = Complicity
Like any good Minnesotan, Coleen's guru on not being complicit is the late Senate Paul Wellstone. I learned from reading Coleen, that Senator Wellstone was the only Democratic incumbent facing a re-election challenge who voted "no" to Bush's use of force in Iraq, along with 22 other Senators.

I say "Learned"?

I have to disclose that I was such a self-absorbed American hedonist in 2002 - silent, inactive and complicit - that I never knew who Paul Wellstone was until his tragic death, three weeks after he made this speech:

Never again, Coleen.


  1. For the record, I feel compelled to highlight the elements of Wellstonian wisdom (3-Oct-03) that are particularly painful to recall in this fifth year of Bush's occupation of Iraq:

    . . . . This debate must include all Americans, because our decisions finally must have the informed consent of the American people, who will be asked to bear the costs, in blood and treasure, of our decisions. When the lives of the sons and daughters of average Americans could be risked and lost, their voices must be heard by Congress before we make decisions about military action.

    . . . . Right now, despite a desire to support our president, I believe many Americans still have profound questions about the wisdom of relying too heavily on a pre-emptive, go-it-alone military approach.

    . . . . in recent weeks, I and others including major Republican policymakers like former Bush National Security Advisor Brent Scowcroft, former Bush Secretary of State James Baker, my colleague on the Foreign Relations Committee Senator Hagel, Bush Mideast Envoy General Anthony Zinni and other leading US military leaders have raised serious questions about the approach the Administration is taking on Iraq.

    . . . . There have been questions raised about the nature and urgency of Iraq's threat, our response to that threat, and against whom, exactly that threat is directed. What is the best course of action that the U.S. could take to address the threat? What are the economic, political, and national security consequences of possible U.S. or U.S.-British invasion of Iraq? There have been questions raised about the consequences of our actions abroad, including its effects on the continuing war on terrorism, our ongoing efforts to stabilize and rebuild Afghanistan, and efforts to calm the intensifying Middle East crisis, especially the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. And there have been questions raised about the consequences of our actions here at home.

    . . . . are the questions raised about the possible loss of life that could result from our actions. The United States could send tens of thousands of U.S. troops to fight in Iraq, and in so doing we could risk countless lives, of U.S. soldiers and innocent Iraqis. There are other questions, about the impact of an attack in relation to our economy. The United States could face soaring oil prices and could spend billions both on a war and on a years-long effort to stabilize Iraq after an invasion. The resolution we will be debating today would explicitly authorize a go-it-alone approach.

    . . . . But as General Wes Clark, former Supreme Commander of Allied Forces in Europe has recently noted, a premature go-it-alone invasion of Iraq "would super-charge recruiting for Al Qaida."

    . . . . Authorizing the pre-emptive, go-it-alone use of force now, right in the midst of continuing efforts to enlist the world community to back a tough new disarmament resolution on Iraq, could be a costly mistake for our country. . . .

    I will post them again when we enter the sixth year.

  2. Sad, but true. I think I'll be using it too.

  3. "Beware of the Blob! It creeps, and leaps, and glides and slides, across the floor, right through the door, and all around the wall. A splotch a blotch, be careful of the Blob!" --Hal David.

  4. Great postand like lextopia said:"sad but true". So much so that I'd really like to get drunk but I'm on call for the hospital and can't.

  5. C.W., So do I.

    I also could fall in love with this guy, again.

  6. Brilliant: "Spineless is better than evil." In other words, if I have to vote for Billary, I will. (She is a democrat, right? I'm not sure...)

  7. Vigil,

    Paul Wellstone was America's Robin Cook!