US Sen. Paul Wellstone, D-Minnesota, is the Democrat the Bush administration loves to hate. White House political director Karl Rove personally selected Wellstone's Republican challenger in the November 5 election, former St. Paul Mayor Norm Coleman, and Vice President Dick Cheney and President George W. Bush have visited Minnesota again and again on Coleman's behalf.
But Minnesotans have not taken to the high-level pressure. Bush made a swing through the state last week on Coleman's behalf, but it was Wellstone whose poll numbers went up. Actually, Wellstone's numbers have been rising ever since he voted against the president's request for blank-check authorization to launch a war with Iraq. After months of too-close-to-call poll numbers, the headline of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune on Sunday announced, "Wellstone edges into lead in U.S. Senate race." The Star-Tribune's latest poll found the two-term liberal Democratic senator to be ahead by a 47-41 margin among likely voters.
But that doesn't mean Wellstone is sure to beat Bush, er, Coleman.After the poll results were released, a shadowy Virginia group that campaign finance analysts have linked to the Bush family and George W. Bush's 2000 campaign -- as well as to the insurance and pharmaceutical industries, former Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott and the Republican Party -- made a record-breaking $1 million purchase of television and radio advertising time to attack Wellstone.
(Translated From the Norwegian)
The Nobel Carter finally got
He got 'cause he's what Bush is not.
There's a joke circulating on the Internet: A grandmother overhears her
5-year-old granddaughter playing "wedding." The wedding vows go like
this: "You have the right to remain silent.
It's filling the grassroots role once played by the Christian
Help prove that the public supports peace by donating money to the campaigns of members of Congress who voted against the war and now face tough re-election campaigns. And let the pols know exactly why you're supporting them. Chief among these, according to MoveOn.org, are Paul Wellstone, who faces a brutal Senate race in Minnesota, and Rick Larsen, Rush Holt and Jay Inslee, all running for re-election in hotly contested House districts.
Regardless of who's in office, though, it's critical to build up the grassroots. A national movement will give decent legislators the backbone to stand up to the hawks and will serve notice to less enlightened members of Congress that there will be political costs to their support for war. And the notion of peace is gaining traction. As the Washington Post reported yesterday--a week after The Nation's Liza Featherstone wrote about a nascent peace movement--people are seeing a "rising tide of student activism, of protesting by people who have never protested before and of an engagement on the issue that was absent prior to US involvement in Vietnam."
There are big marches being planned in Washington, DC, and San Francisco for October 26, as well as smaller events happening almost continously nationwide. The country is clearly not united behind Bush's policy of regime change in Iraq. The larger the protests, the more difficult this will be to ignore.