"There is always a philosophy for lack of courage."—Albert Camus

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

When the Wellstone Runs Dry

Hunter, along with most of the talk radio dial and a gazillion bloggers, has already noted the parallel between Coretta Scott King's funeral and Paul Wellstone's. Everyone remembers the Wellstone funeral/pep rally as a dreadful embarrassment for the Democrats. That is only because the reckoning for their behavior was so immediate, and so unambiguous. (One of the last funny things I recall Dave Letterman saying was his summary of the 2002 Minnesota Senate election: Call me sentimental, but wasn't it nice to see Walter Mondale come out of retirement for one last ass-whoopin'?) Paul Wellstone's "mourners" -- the out-of-town, nationally prominent Democrats who turned his memorial service into a political monster truck rally -- thought the evening a rousing success. They had no idea that their behavior appalled all Minnesota. A lib has to sink pretty low to get scolded by the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, but they had negative altitude to spare.

There will be no such bucket of cold water this time. Mrs. King's funeral will be spun clockwise and counterclockwise by platoons of pontificators, who have no idea how such shenanigans would have been viewed by her, or are viewed by those modest, ordinary, unremarked people who carry on her legacy. It's too bad. Would that something could make Jimmy Carter as silent as his vice-president has been since 2002.

4 comments:

Tom Van Dyke said...

They had no idea that their behavior appalled all Minnesota.

Exactly. Boors cannot recognize boorishness. What's the big deal, they ask, after they've pissed in the punch.

Hunter Baker said...

Tom, you really, really got it right. Boors don't recognize boorishness. I've been trying to figure it out. Wondering how so many could be so utterly without class or civility, but this is the answer.

Kathy Hutchins said...

Which means that all the calls for a "return to civility" in political discourse are probably doomed. Calling Tom Harkin out for being an ass is about as useful as scolding the church choir's tone deaf alto for ruining the offertory hymn.

Tom Van Dyke said...

Yes. I'm afraid your corollary is quite depressing.