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Partisan Politics

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CBS/AP
Tragedy can bring out the best in people, but it can also bring out the worst, as we saw last week in Minnesota.

They had not yet identified the remains from the plane crash that took the life of Senator Paul Wellstone, when state Republicans began polling and launched an attack on Walter Mondale, the man they correctly expected to replace him.

As distasteful as that was, Democrats managed to top it when they turned a memorial service for Wellstone into a partisan campaign spectacle and booed Republican senators who'd come from around the country to pay their respects.

I suppose we shouldn't have been surprised in this age of mean, negative politics, when the only objective has become to win, no matter what the cost. Still, it took my breath away. Our politics has become so partisan that it has divorced itself from reality, and the insiders have lost all sense of how they come off to the voters.

But that's the bad news. Now comes the good part. On Tuesday, we can close the curtain on the voting booth and vote for or against any of them, for good reason or bad or no reason at all. It's still free. We don't have to tell anyone, or we can tell everyone. That's still the best deal in the world.

As I always say at this time of year, go vote. It makes you feel big and strong.