RUSH: This is from the UK Times: ‘Democrats Accused of Using Edward Kennedy’s Death to Promote Reforms.’ (laughing) Democrats accused?
Let’s go to audio sound bites. Last night on MSNBC, this is great. Listen.
MADDOW: We have seen something like this before in liberal politics. The right went on the attack for the funeral of the great Senator Paul Wellstone. They attacked that as being a celebration and a rededication to his political goals and to his political mores. Is there residual resentment for having been attacked for the way that they mourned Senator Wellstone? Could this end up being a really big fight?
KOFINIS: There’s some residual resentment. It was distasteful when it happened. In terms of Senator Kennedy, I think it’s going to be a very respectful affair. But I have no doubt that they’re going to — and appropriately so — talk about his incredible accomplishments. They defined him as a public servant, a man who spent nearly five decades fighting for the issues that I and so many Americans care about. The notion that you shouldn’t talk about that — the notion you shouldn’t talk about health care and these other issues — I actually think would be inappropriate. I think they’re going to do a great service to a great public servant.
RUSH: So the liberals apparently are harboring all kinds of resentment out there for being criticized for the way they mourned Wellstone. I guarantee you this is going to be… They’re not going to be able to help themselves. This is going to be the Wellstone memorial on steroids. They can’t help themselves because this is their religion, this, liberalism, is their religion — and for them, they’re burying their pope.
RUSH: Go to sound bite number two.
MAN: We wanted to turn out and pay tribute to the senator. He’s done so much for organized labor and for — for all labor, organized or not, you know? For all working people. So we know we thought it fitting to come and stand out today with the procession.
RUSH: A union thug reduced to sniffles along the processional route saying, ‘Yeah, we just wanted to come out and show…’ What do you bet there was a memo that went out to make sure that there were people lining the streets just as there are memos from the Obama White House making sure that there are pro-Obama supporters at town hall meetings and they’re coming from the various unions? Now, here’s David ‘Rodham’ Gergen also on Anderson Cooper 180 last night. Cooper said, ‘Look, Vice President Biden said perhaps that Senator Kennedy’s death would be a ‘catalyst’ to push through health care reform. Do you see that’s a possibility? And certainly that’s something some folks would not be comfortable with?’
GERGEN: I do think there is a window for President Obama to rally Democrats and he can begin doing a little bit in his — in his eulogy on Saturday but most importantly when President Obama comes back to Washington, he’s got a small window to rally Democrats in the name of Teddy Kennedy and maybe he can move it.
RUSH: Yeah, a small window. ‘More importantly when Obama comes back to Washington small window to rally Democrats in the name of Teddy Kennedy and maybe he can move it.’ But there is dissension in the ranks! Way off over there on the left fringe is Dennis Kucinich and he was on Neil Cavuto’s Fox show. Cavuto said, ‘A lot of advocates are saying: ‘Do this for Teddy! Get health care for Teddy.’ Many are saying, ‘Debate it aggressively. It would be what Teddy would have wanted.’ Are we overdoing this, Congressman Kucinich?’
KUCINICH: We have to be very careful that his passing isn’t seen as an opportunity to appropriate his memory for a specific course of action at this time. Once, uh, his funeral services have concluded, then I think it’s appropriate that we get back to the debate, and I think that we — those of us who worked with him for years understand his sentiments on the issue of health care. But it’s really a question of propriety right now. I mean we’ve gotta be very careful that his passing, not just be used as a — a simple opportunity to advance an issue. And then afterwards we’ll have plenty of time to remind people what he has stood for throughout his whole life.
RUSH: Too late, Congressman. I don’t think that your idea has a prayer. I don’t think your party can help itself. Let’s go back, shall we? Let’s go back to the archives, the Grooveyard of Forgotten Hits. Let’s go to some sound bites from the Wellstone Memorial. Just to give you an idea of what that was and what is probably coming, here’s a montage of Senator Wellstone’s son, Mark. None of the ‘We will wins’ that you will hear here are repeated.
WELLSTONE: We will carry on the fight!
MOURNERS: (cheers and applause throughout)
WELLSTONE: We will carry on the struggle! We will carry on the tradition! We will carry on the pride! We will carry on the struggle, and we will carry on the legacy, and we will do it for Paul, and I’ll tell you what. Mom? Mom, you’re right!
MOURNERS: (cheers and applause)
WELLSTONE: (screaming) We will win! We will win! We will win! We will win!
MOURNERS: (chanting) We will win! We will win! We will win!
WELLSTONE: We will win! We will win! We will win! We will win! We will win!
RUSH: And they proceeded to lose Wellstone’s seat. It was Walter F. Mondull ran in the place of Wellstone. Mondull lost to Norm Coleman, and the Democrats lost big. These were midterm elections and they lost big because this thing just rubbed everybody wrong. It’s a memorial service for a guy that died in a plane crash, turned into a political rally. Here is a montage of Rick Kahn, former Wellstone student and treasurer of his campaign.
KAHN: He needs you now. I am begging you, please.
KAHN: Get the people of this state to hear your voice on his behalf to keep his legacy alive and help us win this election for Paul Wellstone!
KAHN: I can still hear that strong clear voice calling to me that is now our time to stand up for the people he fought for, that we need to stand up for our children. We must stand up for our seniors!
MOURNERS: (louder cheering)
KAHN: We have to stand up. We are going to stand up together, and we’re going to organize! (screaming) We’re going to organize!
MOURNERS: (cheers drowning out Kahn)
KAHN: We’re going to organize! We’re going to organize We’re going to organize! We’re going to organize!
RUSH: This was a funeral! This was a memorial service for Paul Wellstone. Here’s more of Rick Khan.
KAHN: Tonight we are filled to overflowing with overwhelming grief and sorrow. If Paul Wellstone’s legacy in the Senate comes to an end within just days after this unspeakable tragedy, then our spirits will be crushed and we will drown in a river of tears.
RUSH: Can you believe this?
KAHN: We are begging you: Do not let this happen. We are begging you to help us win this Senate election for Paul Wellstone. We can be the answer to his prayers if you help us win this election for Paul Wellstone.
RUSH: You see the unspeakable tragedy here wasn’t Wellstone’s death; it was the possibility of losing a Senate seat! That’s what had them all uptight — and the piece de resistance: Senator Tom Harkin. By the way, if you remember that Trent Lott and some Republicans showed up and they got booed when they walked in and they got jostled and they had to leave? And they were colleagues of Wellstone. But the revelers at the Wellstone Memorial, the organizers of the Wellstone Memorial wanted no part of it. Tom Harkin brought down the house.
HARKIN: (screaming crowd) For Paul Wellstone, will you stand up and keep fighting for social and economic justice? Say YES!
HARKIN: For Paul! For Paul, will you stand up and keep fighting for better wages, for those who (voice warbling) mop our floors and clean our bathrooms, for those who take care of our elderly, take care of our sick, teach our kids, and help our homeless? Say YES!
HARKIN: For Paul will you stand up and keep fighting for cleaner air and cleaner water, for a cleaner environment for our children and our future! Say YES!
MOURNERS: (cheering wildly)
HARKIN: For Paul…
MOURNERS: (fall silent)
HARKIN: For Paul will you stand up and keep fighting, for peace and understanding and to stop the exploitation of women and children around the world? Say YES!
HARKIN: For Paul! For Paul, will you stand up, and keep fighting to end discrimination…?
RUSH: I gotta stop this. Stop it, stop it, stop it. If I don’t stop it now, I gotta play 18 minutes in a row of commercials. We’ll be back.
RUSH: As you listening to the rest of Tom Harkin here, you gotta ask yourself: Do these people sound like they live in the same country we do? ‘Carry on the fight, carry on the struggle for the women and the children and the blacks and the homeless and carry on the struggle!’ For who? What about, what’s the struggle? They sound like they’re in Castro’s Cuba. They sound like they’re in jail. They sound like they’re in prison trying to break out of some shackles here. They say they love the country. Do they sound, these people from the Wellstone memorial, like they love the country? Listen to the rest of Harkin here.
HARKIN: — based on race, gender, religion, ethnicity or sexual orientation? Say YES!
MOURNERS: (screaming and cheering)
HARKIN: For Paul…
MOURNERS: (fall silent)
HARKIN: For Paul, will you stand up and keep fighting for the poor, the homeless, and those left on the roadside of life? Say YES!
HARKIN: Now let’s all get on that bus together that, green bus, that bus of hope —
RUSH: They’re on a yellow bus, I’m telling you.
HARKIN: — and let’s keep it moving —
RUSH: They’re on a little yellow bus.
HARKIN: — to a better America!
MOURNERS: (cheers, whoops)
HARKIN: Keep — keep standing up! Keep fighting! Keep saying YES to justice, to hope! For people, for Paul!
MOURNERS: (wild cheering)
HARKIN: (pounding the podium) For Paul! For Paul! For Paul! For Paul! For Paul! For Paul!
RUSH: I swear. We got it. I swear they sound like they live in Cuba. Do they sound like they live in the same country we do? Oh, and grab audio sound bite number 23. This just happened this afternoon on PMSNBC, the host, Dr. Nancy Snyderman spoke with the doyenne of Washington social life, Sally Quinn about Kennedy. Snyderman said, ‘Hey, one thing that seems to separate Ted Kennedy from all the rest is that average, ordinary people have a Ted Kennedy story.’ Oh, what a line that is.
QUINN: Bobby was very passionate and very compassionate, and, uh — and Jack was very sophisticated and urbane. Teddy was somebody that everyone could identify with. I mean, he —
QUINN: — was kind of the — the kid. You know, the one who had to look at all these older brothers, uh, to look up to and to carry the torch and he somehow managed to remain a man of the people. He never took his Kennedyness seriously.
RUSH: ‘He never took his Kennedyness seriously.’ You didn’t have to take his ‘Kennedyness’ seriously! You people in Washington and the Northeast Corridor and the media did it for him. And, by the way, everybody can identify with Ted Kennedy? I don’t know anybody that’s left a woman in a car and driven off the bridge. I’m sorry. I don’t know anybody.