Thursday, December 17, 2009

What would Wellstone do? 

Democratic Sen. Al Franken took the unusual step Thursday of shutting down Sen. Joe Lieberman on the Senate floor.

Lieberman, a Connecticut independent, currently is the target of liberal wrath over his opposition to a government-run insurance plan in the health care bill.

Franken was presiding over the Senate Thursday afternoon as Lieberman spoke about amendments he planned to offer to the bill. Lieberman asked for an additional moment to finish � a routine request � but Franken refused to grant the time.

"In my capacity as the senator from Minnesota, I object," Franken said.

"Really?" said Lieberman. "OK."

Lieberman then said he'd submit the rest of his statement in writing. ...

Franken's spokeswoman, Jess McIntosh, said that the Minnesota senator wouldn't allow Lieberman to continue because time limits were being enforced by Senate leaders rushing to finish a defense spending bill and get to the health bill.
One thing Wellstone would do is not rely on his spokeswoman to explain everything from how he votes to what he eats. But I think there's more:
In a world that has become so divisive and so partisan, so angry, whether in this Chamber or in the House Chamber, Senator Wellstone reflected in the passion for his belief that politics was not a death sport, it was something which you could agree to disagree and still shake a hand and ask: How are you doing? And move on. -- Sen. Norm Coleman, 10/25/07
If you were sworn in on the man's Bible, you may want to pay attention to things like that, Senator.


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