Thank you for saying this. As you write: "No one wishes a father and husband to drop dead at 58." I agree. And no one wants to speak ill of Tim Russert, the person. But if we are going to be honest about what has happened in this country over the past eight years--both in the media and in Washington-- we must take a hard, unsentimental look at Tim Russert, the journalist.
Let's not revise history. Russert did all of the things you say he did, promoting the "trifecta" of the conservative agenda: "War on terror, war on women's reproductive rights, and war on Social Security."
As an individual, he had every right to hold these views. But as a journalist, he had an obligation to ask conservatives the hard questions--to speak truth to power, and to challenge the many lies. Some journalists have done that on all three issues.
Instead, Tim Russert hectors Al Gore, demanding that Gore tell him what no one knows: when life begins.
I, too, am puzzled with the national mourning for Russert. I think it springs from the fact that his death was so sudden and so unexpected-- and that he was so young. It could happen to any of us.
As a society, we have not come to terms with the fact of death. So when people say that when they heard of Russert's untimely death, they found themselves crying, I think they may have be crying for themselves, and the loved ones that they know they might lose at anytime. Memento mori.