Friday 1 November 2002

How Very Convenient...

by John Bottoms

...that Democratic anti-war Senator Wellstone died, to the advantage of his Republican adversary, whose ascension to the Senate will give a majority to the Republican Party.

...that Wellstone died right after Republicans conceded privately that he was going to win his Senate race in spite of, or maybe even because of, his anti-war vote.

...that he died after voting against Bush's unilateral attack on Iraq, against Bush's Homeland Security Department, and in favor of an independent 9-11 investigation over Bush and Cheney's objections.

...that he died one day before time ran out to name a replacement candidate. Running posthumously, Wellstone would surely have won, and a replacement named by Minnesota Democrats. Replacement candidate over-the-hill Mondale has less of a chance. Senator Wellstone's wife was conveniently killed also, preventing a repeat of John Ashcroft's defeat two years ago by the wife of newly deceased air crash victim Mel Carnahan.

...that a weather radar map from the hour that the plane went down shows no precipitation anywhere in northern Minnesota, and the on-the-scene reporter said there was no indication that weather was a factor, which was confirmed by officials the day of the crash. But two days later Robert Benzon, the NTSB official in charge of the investigation describes temperatures near freezing with icy and snowy conditions at the time of the crash, and is searching for "valves and cockpit switches that could indicate whether the plane's de-icing equipment was functioning."

The story takes shape...