Friday, August 28, 2009

The Left's Pushback Against the 'Wellstone Effect' Meme

The Politico's got a piece up, "Conservatives Warn of 'Wellstone Effect'." But what's interesting is the pushback against the meme. Leftists are outraged that right-wingers would take issue with their crass exploitation of Edward Kennedy's death, so they've gone on the offensive to smear conservatives.

It turns out a bunch of "liberal lions" of the blogosphere are parroting the meme at Media Matter's post, "Conservative Media Invoke Wellstone Memorial Smear in Predicting Politicization of Kennedy's Death." See, for example, Hullabaloo, The Minnesota Independent, Taylor Marsh, and MyDD.

But the truth is unkind: "
Democrats Accused of Using Edward Kennedy’s Death to Promote Reforms":
Within hours of Mr Kennedy’s death on Wednesday leading Democrats were trying to turn it into a rallying point for healthcare reform — something that he had called the “cause of my life” — and suggested that any legislation should carry his name.
“[It was] the passion of his life,” David Obey, the Democratic chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, said. “Above all else, he would want us to redouble our efforts to achieve it.”

Robert Byrd, the senior Senate Democrat, called for the passage of healthcare legislation that would bear Mr Kennedy’s name, and Nancy Pelosi, the Speaker of the House, said: “Ted Kennedy’s dream of quality healthcare for all Americans will be made real this year because of his leadership and his inspiration.”
And, "Kennedy’s Death Spurs Calls to Pass Health Legislation":
The death of Sen. Edward Kennedy quickly became a rallying cry for Congress to pass health care overhaul legislation.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s office sent an email to reporters at around 2:30 a.m. today, just hours after his death, calling for the passage of health care overhaul. “Ted Kennedy’s dream of quality health care for all Americans will be made real this year because of his leadership and his inspiration,” the statement read.

Andy Stern, president of the Service Employees International Union, also issued a statement this morning calling for the passage of health care overhaul. “Let us continue his cause,” Stern said. “Let us take action this year to pass health care reform. And let us continue to build Kennedy’s vision of America.”

South Carolina Rep. James Clyburn, the House majority whip, said: “As we move forward with health reform legislation, his absence will be palpable. But let us use his inspirational words as our guide, to rise to our best ideals and finally provide decent quality health care to all Americans as a fundamental right, not a privilege.”

Kennedy, who spent the past year battling brain cancer, had frequently called health-care overhaul the “cause of my life.”
Plus the endless examples of Kennedy exploitation across the leftosphere: issued
this statement:
In his honor, we'll redouble our efforts to win what Senator Kennedy called 'the cause of his life' -- health care for all.

And from the blogs:

At AFL-CIO Blog, "Filled with Hope for Kennedy’s Dream of Health Care Reform to Become Reality."

At Balloon Juice, "Time for the Teddy Kennedy Memorial Health Care Reform Bill."

At Booman Tribune, "The Best Way to Honor Ted Kennedy's Memory is to Pass a Really Good Health Care Bill."

At's Health Care Blog, "Complete Kennedy's Unfinished Work -- Pass Health Reform."

At Daily Kos, "Honor Sen. Kennedy: Pass Kennedy's Medicare for All Act."

At the Huffington Post, "Greatest Tribute to Kennedy: Pass Health Care for All."

At Firedoglake (Christy Hardin Smith), "Ted Kennedy: Health Care “Has Been The Passion Of My Life”."

At Firedoglake (Jane Hamsher), "Sebelius Asks, “What Would Teddy Do?”."

At Political Junkie, "Let's Pass Health Care Reform for Teddy Kennedy."

At Talking Points Memo, "Franken: Kennedy's Death 'Makes Me More Determined' To Pass Health Care Reform."

Nope. No left-wing Kennedy healthcare politicization there.

Those crazy conservatives! A "
Wellstone effect"? Sheesh. That's absurd!

Cartoon Credit: William Warren at
Americans for Limited Government.


Added: From Eric Florack, "Ted Kennedy; Another Wellstone."


edwin said...

If Edward Kennedy took up his brother's causes in their name, isn't it obvious what he would want us to do?

We are not doing anything that is inconsistent with his wishes. I wish that my own life had enough that was remarkable about it, that a nation might better understand that value of a cause of mine and make it a reality.

Your rant seems very disconnected from the obvious.

science fiction writer said...

Shameful behavior.

likwidshoe said...

The argument that calls for passing a bill in order to "honor" Kennedy is pathetic.

The debate should be about the merits and/or the lack of merits in regards to the proposed medical care federal takeover.

Nate said...

What was said during Watergate? "Follow the Money"

When I care about something, I do something about it. I donate to homeless shelters, I donate to food banks, I donate to first-step groups to get people off welfare and into taking care of themselves, I donate to the two free-clinics that operate in my city, etc.

I grew up on welfare. I took what I had and made the best of it, and through hard work made a successful life. I care about these communities, and the people who are struggling to achieved what I've achieved -- not that there aren't a ton of them who think they're 'owed' the product of my long hours away from my family.

Where's Ted's money? What did he REALLY care about? Hey, Ted, why didn't you buy some cheap health insurance for a few folks, eh? Didja leave any of your money to even ONE downtrodden group? No?

I have zero respect for anyone who is eager to give away YOUR money but not their own. Pelosi, Reed, Soros, Kennedy, Obma, Gore, et al.

I grew up hearing that these people 'cared about people like me' but I took a cold, hard look at the neighborhood where I grew up and decades later, it's the same inner-city rat-hole. It's not about fixing anything, it's about power and money-for-them. They're the rich that need to be demonized.

In my new home town, businesses are encouraged to sprout into low-income neighborhoods. The people get jobs but more importantly they create their OWN small businesses and jobs, which creates more opportunities. The ones who actually "cared" enough to improve these communities? A bunch of republicans, of all things.