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October 29, 2002
I WAS BUMMED by Paul Wellstone's death, but these guys can barely hold back the tears.
UPDATE: Reader J. Michael Neal says that the above post is nasty and inappropriate. I don't think so -- I was struck by the photo, and the caption that went with it. Maybe it's the caption that does it (follow the link to read it) and that's not exactly Clinton's fault, but still, it's a freakin' funeral . . . .
ANOTHER UPDATE: Okay, Oliver Willis sends this picture of a glad-handing Trent Lott, and Ted Barlow thinks the post is nasty too. Well, I'm not sure which way the Trent Lott picture cuts (I think it just underscores my sense that politicians don't actually experience authentic emotions) but you can follow the links and form your own opinions. I still feel that this isn't how you should act at a memorial remembering how a man, his wife, his daughter, and several other people died in a fiery plane crash.
STILL ANOTHER UPDATE: Tom Maguire says that we've seen this before. Here's Margaret Carlson:
The most pointed moment of Instant Grief Analysis came when NBC did a frame-by-frame deconstruction of the President walking along after Brown's funeral, laughing at something he was being told--then going all somber when the camera was trained on him.
Meanwhile a bunch of people who watched the ceremonies on CSPAN2 say the whole thing was rather unseemly, more like a fundraiser than a funeral. I didn't see it, but that would get Clinton, Lott and Mondale off the hook, I guess. It's perfectly seemly to laugh and gladhand at a fundraiser.
Michele of A Small Victory watched the coverage and found it unseemly. You can read her comments. Local coverage is here and here.
The other day, when I wrote that there were more important things than who took the Senate, I thought I was chastising partisan Republicans. Seems like a lot of Democrats need chastising on this point too. But, hell, at least they're not claiming that Bush had Wellstone killed, as Ted Rall is in his latest column.
LAST UPDATE: Driving my daughter to school, I heard NPR reporting that the memorial service "turned into a political rally." So it's not just my perception, here. NPR didn't seem to mind, but I think it's tacky. Rachel Lucas notes: "[I]t wasn't just Democrats. The problem is, they're politicians, who more and more make me believe that they just aren't human."