by digby

Yesterday, I warned everyone to gird themselves for the Wellstoning and it's already happening:

Conservative media invoke Wellstone smear in anticipation of Kennedy's service

Hannity on Kennedy's death: "a lot of this was the politicizing of -- remember Paul Wellstone's death?" Discussing Kennedy's death during his radio program, Sean Hannity asserted, "We've got The Wall Street Journal reporting -- and by the way, a lot of this was the politicizing of -- remember Paul Wellstone's death? You know, 'Let's do everything for Paul.' And we're now being implored to get behind Obamacare because it's what Ted Kennedy would have wanted." [The Sean Hannity Show, 8/26/09]

Savage fill-in Markowski on possible naming of health care bill after Kennedy: "It's political theater" like the "Wellstone memorial." Chris Markowski, filling in for Michael Savage on his radio program, took a caller who said that "if Ted Kennedy had wanted his name on this health care bill, I think that he would -- I would want to see where he said that in writing before he died. He had plenty of time." Markowski responded, in part, by asserting: "I don't think he's requested -- you got to understand, it's a show. OK? It's political theater. Like the Democrats thought that whole Wellstone memorial was going to -- it was going to force them to -- it was going to allow them to win the Senate race in Minnesota. This is political theater. It's a show." [The Savage Nation, 8/26/09]

Lopez on Kennedy's death: Wellstone service "turned into a political rally." The National Review Online's Kathyrn Jean Lopez wrote in an August 26 post to the blog The Corner titled "Re: The Politics of Ted Kennedy's Passing": "All politicos need to remember the Wellstone funeral when a well-known politician dies. Instead of memorializing his life, his service turned into a political rally. Some of the MSNBC coverage today I'm catching looks like a [sic] Obamacare convocation. Human life is about more than poltics. And politics isn't American Idol. Or, even, The Lion of the Senate."

Allahpundit "sure" Kennedy "eulogies won't be politicized at all." Hot Air blogger Allahpundit wrote in an August 26 tweet: "Looking forward to the Democratic line-up at TK's memorial service. I'm sure the eulogies won't be politicized at all."

Instapundit: "A Wellstone Memorial on steroids?" An August 26 post on Instapundit.com linked to a post by JammieWearingFool with the headline "A Wellstone Memorial on steroids? And how did that work out?" JammieWearingFool asserted in the post, written the same day, "While we have no doubt the Democrats will do all they can to exploit his death and will probably have a Wellstone memorial on steroids, we'll stay above that." The link on the words "Wellstone memorial" were to an October 30, 2002, Slate.com article describing Wellstone's memorial services as a "pep rally."

Noting "conservative talking point," Politico's Smith says "[i]t would seem odd to bar politics" from Kennedy's funeral. In an August 26 post, Politico's Ben Smith referred to the comments by Allahpundit and Instapundit as "a conservative talking point [that] is emerging to counter the the hope on the left that Kennedy's death will advance his cause of health care reform," and commented:

Wingnuts don't think liberals should be allowed to have political heroes. This, despite the weeks long memorials for Gerald Ford and Ronald Reagan (I can still hear the keening) in recent years where I seem to recall that politics were mentioned a time or two.

I doubt seriously that the Democrats have learned how to handle these things any better than they did in the past. There's no evidence of it anyway. In fact, if things go the way they usually do in the face of a right wing hissy fit, they will end up agreeing to scuttle health care reform altogether as penance for their bad behavior.

*Go to the link for a full debunking of the Wellstone smear from Al Franken.