16 October 2007

A Vote Remembered

No better way to reenter the blogosphere than by writing about Paul Wellstone.

I was reminded in a recent Wellstone Action! newsletter that it is the fifth anniversary of the Iraq War vote. Wellstone was one of 23 senators who voted against that resolution (3 October 2002). But even more important--Wellstone was the only one of the 23 senators facing the voters in just a few weeks. As Jeff Blodgett writes in the newsletter, "The vote was considered by many political observers to be the death knell for his reelection."

Paul Wellstone was an inspiration on many levels. Not only did he vote against this bogus war, but he probably risked his political career. That whole "risked his political career" quip sounds dire--but maybe we would like to see some of our current progressive/liberal politicians inch just a little closer to that position. We aren't asking for outright political suicide, we just want to see some backbone.....a little courage.....show us that you fucking care!

Wellstone also voted against the 1991 Gulf War--the one started by Bush's daddy. And incidentally, he voted against the so-called Welfare Reform bill in 1996--another vote cast during a rough reelection campaign.

As you all know, Paul Wellstone died three weeks after his Iraq War vote. I think the consensus in Minnesota is that Wellstone would have been reelected in spite of his vote on the War. I trust that he would have been a strong voice for the antiwar left. And I get a sick feeling in my stomach each and every time I see Norm Coleman occupying the senate seat that Wellstone once held.

I miss Paul Wellstone. And I lament the fact that there so are few politicians today that are so resolute and fearless.

The other 22 senators who votes against the Iraq War resolution: Akaka, Bingaman, Boxer, Byrd, Chaffee, Conrad, Corzine, Dayton, Durbin, Feingold, Graham, Inouye, Jeffords, Kennedy, Leahy, Levin, Mikulski, Murray, Reed, Sarbanes, Stabenow, Wyden.

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