In today's Minneapolis Star Tribune Doug Grow writes that now that Paul Wellstone is gone Senator Mark Dayton is going to be making a greater effort to make his voice heard on the sort of issues that Wellstone had previously championed. He even uses the term "unshackled" as if Dayton were a caged political beast now being unleashed:
Dayton promises that in each of the first 10 days this Senate session, he will be delivering blunt, progressive messages on such issues as prescription drugs for seniors, federal funding of special education mandates, veterans' issues, ag issues, renewable fuels and "the Wellstone amendment."
(Wellstone tried to amend the big-bucks homeland security bill so that government contracts couldn't be awarded to U.S. companies that use offshore addresses to avoid corporate taxes. The Republicans shot the amendment down.)
I think you could pretty safely substitute the word "socialist" for "progressive" based on Dayton's speech on Thursday:
". . . To the millionaires and the multimillionaires of America, the captains of industry who are running up support for this [the Bush] proposal, I know whereof I speak. I say, you are letting your greed ruin America. . . . If you can't live on a million dollars in this country and pay your fair share of taxes on it, you should deal with that yourself. You are the luckiest people in America. You are the luckiest people in the world. You are the luckiest people in the history of the world."
Actually Mark I think someone who inherits a family fortune, uses it to fund numerous bids for public office, and finally stumbles into a Senate seat largely due to the gross incompentence of his opponent's campaign staff might be considered THE luckiest person in the world. And I'm so very pleased to learn that a man who did nothing to earn the money he has is now going to decide for the rest of us how much is enough and how much we should be forced to hand over to the government.
"I'm no shrinking violet," Dayton said. "I wouldn't have got here if I didn't have something to say. I'm just getting started."
No response yet from the Bush administration on how they plan to counter the rhetorical juggernaut that has been launched by Dayton.