Friday, June 07, 2013

Left Side of the Aisle #111 - Part 2

RIP: Frank Lautenberg

Just a quick RIP. New Jersey Senator Frank Lautenberg has died at the age of 89. I mention him for two reasons: One is that he was the oldest Senator, in fact the only remaining World War II veteran and probably the only remaining child of the Depression in Congress.

Lautenberg was always a liberal in the classical sense, not a radical by any means but a good, Democratic party liberal at a time when the term still meant something rather than a cause for sneering. Among his last acts was being brought to the Senate chambers in a wheelchair to vote in favor of gun control and filing a bill for background checks on the sale of explosive powders in the aftermath of the Boston Marathon bombing.

Maybe it was just the contrast between him and Shrub, but it seemed to me that he moved at least a little to the left in his time in office, perhaps especially on environmental issues.

Which raises the other reason I have for mentioning his death: I recall saying of him one time that he stood as proof that it is not necessarily true that you grow more conservative as you grow older. In fact, it's possible get more liberal.

Yes, there were a lot of reason to criticize him from the left, lots of reasons, but that's not the point here and I'm not going to deal with that. I prefer, at least for today, to remember him as, again, proof that progressivism is not a matter of age, but of insight and understanding.

RIP, Frank Lautenberg.


No comments:

// I Support The Occupy Movement : banner and script by @jeffcouturer / (v1.2) document.write('
I support the OCCUPY movement
');function occupySwap(whichState){if(whichState==1){document.getElementById('occupyimg').src=""}else{document.getElementById('occupyimg').src=""}} document.write('');