More on the Wellstone death rally: Trunk and Rocket Man have already made the most salient points about the disgusting memorial rally for Senator Wellstone. As an aside, I would add that the event may have been, in part, a release of pent up frustration among middle-aged Democrats who yearn to be back in 1972 nominating George McGovern. To Democrats like Clinton, Gore, and Harkin, Wellstone must have seemed like the one true-believer who never “sold out” his McGovernite ideals, not even when locked in his tight race with Norm Coleman. In paying tribute to Wellstone, these faux “New Democrats” apparently couldn’t resist returning to their McGovernite roots and putting on a display that, like the 1972 Democratic convention, alienated mainstream voters. I’m not denying that the primary force at work was sheer opportunism. But it’s possible that the subconscious desire to roll back the years to a time when left-wing Democrats could be unabashed left-wing Democrats helps explain the lapse of judgment that led to Tuesday’s shocking display.
UPDATE: Deacon, you are right on the button. Life has been pretty depressing for leftists for quite a while– Reagan, the Berlin Wall, the fall of Communism, prosperity in the West, and so on–but there was something about Wellstone that took aging leftists everywhere back to their roots. For one brief moment (not so brief, of course, for those of us who sat through the whole three-hour marathon), the leftists could pretend that they were back in Selma, Alabama or congregating on the Mall to oppose the VietNam war. They have been yearning for this for a long time.
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