portland independent media center  
images audio video
newswire article

drug war | economic justice

April 24, 2001--Bu$h fears Tenacious, Popular Wellstone

But the level of involvement in the Wellstone race is remarkable. Coleman dropped a planned gubernatorial bid after two White House pressure sessions with Bush. And now that Coleman is leaning toward a Senate race, Bush, Cheney and Rove are pulling out all the stops to make sure they are in charge of the anti-Wellstone effort.
Published on Tuesday, April 24, 2001 in the Madison Capital Times
Bush Fears Tenacious, Popular Wellstone
by John Nichols

ST. PAUL U.S. Sen. Paul Wellstone had just finished rousing a crowd of 2,000 trade unionists, farmers, environmentalists and students with a fiery condemnation of George W. Bush's free trade policies, and now he had a problem. He couldn't get down the steps of the Minnesota State Capitol here to join the march protesting Bush's Free Trade Area of the Americas scheme.
Wellstone is just too popular with his constituents. He couldn't move in the face of a steady stream of men in Teamsters jackets, farm wives holding newborns, green-haired college kids and Catholic priests approaching to offer variations on the words of a steelworker who told Wellstone, "I am so damn proud to be able to say you're my senator."

Most of them also asked a question: "How come Bush hates you so much?"

Let there be no doubt as to the identity of George W. Bush's least favorite Democratic U.S. senator. It's Wellstone, the rabble-rousing Progressive who represents not just Minnesota but what remains of the fighting populist spirit of the Upper Midwest.

Elected in 1990 following a grass-roots campaign in which he toured the state on a beat-up school bus, Wellstone was the No. 1 target in 1996 for Republicans who thought the senator had doomed himself with a lonely vote against punitive "welfare reform" legislation. He won re-election with ease that year, proving to both the Republicans and to their whimpering Democratic allies that bashing the poor might not be nearly so smart a political move as Dick Morris thought.

As Wellstone prepares to seek a third term next year, it would be reasonable to assume that he might finally be in for some smooth political sailing. But reasonableness doesn't figure into the calculations of the Bush White House, where the president himself, Vice President Dick Cheney and political commissar Karl Rove practice the politics of vengeance.

The Bushies despise Wellstone, who unlike most Senate Democrats has been fighting spirited battles against the new administration's policies on everything from the environment to the tax cuts for the rich to military aid for the "Plan Colombia" drug war boondoggle. Other Democratic senators who face re-election contests in 2002 are, according to polls, more vulnerable than Wellstone. But the Bush camp has been focusing highest-level attention on "Plan Wellstone" its project to silence progressive opposition.

Last Tuesday as Minnesota House Majority Leader Tim Pawlenty was just hours away from announcing his intention to mount a Republican challenge to Wellstone, he got an urgent call from Rove asking him to step aside for Bush's preferred candidate, St. Paul Mayor Norm Coleman.

Then, on Wednesday morning, with just 90 minutes to go before his planned announcement, Pawlenty was driving his kids home from a dental appointment. The car phone rang, and Pawlenty found himself talking to Cheney. The vice president told Pawlenty that Bush did not want Coleman a party-switching former Democrat who chaired the losing Bush presidential campaign in Minnesota to face a difficult primary contest from a credible Republican.

Pawlenty finally "agreed" to step aside.

Minnesota is not the only state where the Bush camp is seeking to pick senators. But the level of involvement in the Wellstone race is remarkable. Coleman dropped a planned gubernatorial bid after two White House pressure sessions with Bush. And now that Coleman is leaning toward a Senate race, Bush, Cheney and Rove are pulling out all the stops to make sure they are in charge of the anti-Wellstone effort.

Even Pawlenty, as he was proclaiming himself a "team player," admitted that "it makes you wonder about the process and the integrity of the process."

What does Wellstone say? "I think the way to oppose George W. Bush is to stand up to him, to speak out when his policies are wrong, to put holds on bad legislation he's promoting. Obviously, that's not the sort of opposition Bush and Cheney approve of. The nice thing is that, even if they can dictate the Republican nominee, the people of Minnesota still get to choose their senator."

homepage: homepage: http://www.commondreams.org/views01/0424-07.htm
address: address: Madison Capital Times (via Common Dreams NewsCenter)

Paul Wellstone, Media Appointed Progressive 26.Oct.2002 18:11

Paul Wellstone's Ghost

What does Wellstone say? "I think the way to oppose George W. Bush is to stand up to him, to speak out when his policies are wrong, to put holds on bad legislation he's promoting."

That is why I supported the Patriot Act, the attack on Afghanistan, the Defense of Marriage Act, the 1998 bombing of Iraq, and numerous other policies and legislation that represent America at its best.

I must be a real honest to god Progressive. AFter all, two prominent Left Wing media outlets, New York Times and Washington POst, have penned glowing editorial and articles eulogizing my progressive politics.

Left Wing-Right Wing, Badda-Boom, Badda-Bing 26.Oct.2002 19:56


we live in a Corporate Capitalist Plutocracy.

there is NO SUCH THING as a "Left-Wing" media outlet.

there is NO SUCH THING as the "Left" or "Right" anymore in Amerikkka.

there is NO SUCH THING as "politics" or "democracy" here.

there is only:

1. people who enforce the Plutocracy

2. sheople


3. people who resist the Plutocracy

plu*toc*ra*cy Pronunciation Key (pl-tkr-s)
n. pl. plu*toc*ra*cies
Government by the wealthy.
A wealthy class that controls a government.
A government or state in which the wealthy rule.
[Greek ploutokrati : ploutos, wealth; see pleu- in Indo-European Roots + -krati, -cracy.]
pluto*crat (plt-krt) n.
pluto*cratic or pluto*crati*cal adj.
pluto*crati*cal*ly adv.

Source: The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition


\Plu*toc"ra*cy\, n. [Gr. ?; ? wealth + ? to be strong, to rule, fr.? strength: cf. F. plutocratie.] A form of government in which the supreme power is lodged in the hands of the wealthy classes; government by the rich; also, a controlling or influential class of rich men.
Source: Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary, 1996


n : a political system governed by the wealthy people
Source: WordNet 1.6, 1997 Princeton University

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

A Plutocracy is a government system where wealth is the principal basis of power (from the Greek ploutos meaning wealth).

The influence of wealth on governance can be expressed either via the wealthy classes directly governing, or (more typically) by the wealthy classes using money to control the government. This control can be exerted positively (by financial "contributions" or in some cases, bribes) or negatively by refusing to financially support the government (refusing to pay taxes, threatening to move profitable industries elsewhere, etc).

There have not been many examples of a "true" plutocracy in history as such, although they typically emerge as one of the first governing systems within a territory after a period of anarchy. Plutocracy is closely related to Aristocracy  http://www.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aristocracy as a form of government, as generally wealth and nobility have been closely associated throughout history.

In the present era, there are numerous cases of wealthy individuals exerting financial pressure on governments to pass favourable legislation. Most western partisan democracies permit the raising of funds by the partisan organisations, and it is well-known that political parties frequently accept significant donations from various individuals (either directly or through corporate institutions). Ostensibly this should have no effect on the legislative decisions of elected representatives, however it would be a bit idealistic to believe that no politicians are influenced by these "contributions". The more cynical might describe these donations as "bribes", although legally they are not.

See also:

Pareto principle (on unequal distribution of wealth)
corporate police state


"Plutocracy" Defined

The term "plutocracy" is formally defined as government by the wealthy, and is also sometimes used to refer to a wealthy class that controls a government, often from behind the scenes. More generally, a plutocracy is any form of government in which the wealthy exercise the preponderance of political power, whether directly or indirectly.

Plutocracy may also have social and cultural aspects. Thus, in Democracy for the Few  http://progressiveliving.org/who_rules_samples.htm political scientist Michael Parenti is led to comment "American capitalism represents more than just an economic system; it is an entire cultural and social order, a plutocracy, a system of rule that is mostly by and for the rich. Most universities and colleges, publishing houses, mass circulation magazines, newspapers, television and radio stations, professional sports teams, foundations, churches, private museums, charity organizations, and hospitals are organized as corporations, ruled by boards of trustees (or directors or regents) composed overwhelmingly of affluent businesspeople. These boards exercise final judgment over all institutional matters."

The question of whether or not the United States could be said to be a plutocracy is discussed at length in Who Rules America  http://progressiveliving.org/who_rules_samples.htm by sociologist G. William Domhoff. There Domhoff remarks: "The idea that a relatively fixed group of privileged people might shape the economy and government for their own benefit goes against the American grain. Nevertheless, this book argues that the owners and top-level managers in large income-producing properties are far and away the dominant power figures in the United States. Their corporations, banks, and agribusinesses come together as a corporate community that dominates the federal government in Washington. Their real estate, construction, and land development companies form growth coalitions that dominate most local governments."

The argument to the effect that the US is a functional plutocracy (that is, that the wealthy exercise a preponderance of American political power) is different from, enormously better documented, and altogether more credible, than claims to the effect that there exists a small circle of conspirators bent on ruling the world, claims for which no credible evidence exists. (Domhoff explicitly disavows the existence of any such conspiracy.)


See the resource on the Bush cabinet, with links that illustrate its plutocratic nature
Go to the Essay on Politics
Go to the PL Political Field Guide
Return to the PL Site Map

Some other enlightening and useful links:

Corporate Capitalist Plutocracy

The Plutocratic Presidency, 17892002

The Corporate Domination of American Culture and Politics

Left  Wing-Right Wing, Badda-Boom, Badda-Bing
Left Wing-Right Wing, Badda-Boom, Badda-Bing

Go plutocracy!!! 26.Oct.2002 20:16

futt bucker

It that is what a plutocracy is then you go girl..

this is the best fucking plutocracy in the world!

whatever you call it the system works quite well for those who work within it. Those who buck the system, suffer like pigs in the wilderness...

oink oink porky...